Monday, November 24, 2014

Tips for Promoting Your Mobile App, Part 2: Encouraging Downloads When Patrons Attend Events

In part 1 of this blog series, we shared some tips for encouraging your patrons to download your mobile app when they are not at a performance.  So what can you do to encourage your audience to download your app when they are attending one of your performances?

Curtis Institute of Music displays
this six-foot retractable banner
in the lobby at performances.

6 Tips for promoting downloads when the audience is at your event or performance

1. Spotlight your app on the back of tickets or ticket envelopes to be picked up on-site.
  • Include the app logo and a brief description of the app's value.
  • Highlight the Smart App Download URL.
  • Add a QR Code linked to the Smart App Download URL.
    [How-to video]
2. Display signs and/or banners strategically throughout the venue.
  • Include screenshots from the app, the logo, and a brief description of the app's value.
  • Highlight the Smart App Download URL.
  • Add a QR Code linked to the Smart App Download URL.
  • Consider placing signs in areas where patrons are more likely to congregate: seating areas in the lobby, concessions, coat check, merchandise table, etc.
  • If you will need to move the signage regularly, retractable banners are a portable, self-contained option.   
3. Pass out promotional cards to attendees in the lobby.  
  • Choose a strong screenshot for the front of the card.  
    • If you are promoting the overall value of the app, then highlighting the home screen may work well.
    • If you are promoting the special content available in the app for performances, then you may want to print small batches of cards.  With each new batch, the front of the card can be changed to the landing screen for that performance's At The Event content.
  • On the back of the card, emphasize the value of the app for patrons attending your event and provide instructions for downloading.
    • Include the Smart App Download URL.
    • Add a QR Code linked to the Smart App Download URL.
  • Encourage the card holder to opt-in for your push notifications by emphasizing how they will benefit from receiving those messages.
    • Partners who communicate the type of content they send via push notifications prior to the app download see a higher opt-in rate than those who do not.
Kennesaw State University's School of Music hands out
promotional cardsfor their mobile app.

4. Present slides on digital screens in the lobby or projected in the performance hall.
  • Include a screenshot or the app logo, as well as a description of how they will benefit from downloading the app.
  • Highlight instructions for downloading the app and/or provide the Smart App Download URL.
  • Since these are usually timed slides, there is no need to include a QR code.
The Ford Center for the Performing Arts projects slides on the overhead
screen in the performance hall to prompt app downloads.

5. Highlight your mobile app with an ad or an insert in your printed program.
  • If you are using a full-page ad or insert, include a compelling screenshot from the app.  If you are going with a smaller ad or insert, use the app logo.
  • Include a brief description of the app's value.
  • Feature the Smart App Download URL.
  • Add a QR code linked to the Smart App Download URL.
Austin Symphony Orchestra advertises their mobile app and its performance-specific
content with a full-page ad in their printed programs.

6. Mention your mobile app in stage announcements.
  • You can do this while simultaneously asking the audience to turn off their mobile devices.
  • For example:  "We hope that you used our mobile app to access the special content available for tonight's show.  If you have not, see page 5 in the program for information on how to download the app during intermission.  At this time, however, we ask that you turn off all mobile devices or set them to silent mode."
  • Don't be afraid to guide the audience's behavior toward acceptable mobile etiquette in your venue.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Promoting Your Mobile Apps - Partner Spotlight: Dallas Summer Musicals

Today we have the pleasure of highlighting one of our newest partners, Dallas Summer Musicals.  This is a well establish theatre organization with 75 years of experience which produces performances throughout the year.

They are also one of our newer partners, with their Apps being published just one month ago.  In this short time, they have seen an App adoption rate for both iOS and Android that is a factor of 10 higher than some other similar sized arts organizations, and even higher than some larger organizations. What is their secret?

Example: Android downloads over a one month period

The key is simple: Communication.

I reached out to them to find out what specific steps they have taken in promoting their app to their audience:

  • Promoted the App on Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms.
  • Included links on the footer of their website and marketing emails.
  • Advertised along side of their Season Tickets.
  • Updated their previous App to promote the new App with download links.
  • Sent special email announcement to one of their audience lists with over 50,000 contacts.

They were also gracious enough to let us in on some of their plans for the future:

  • Remind patrons to download the app, emphasizing the At-The-Event content, when sending out performance reminder emails.
  • Planning to produce a one minute (or less) introduction video about the App that will play in the lobby and in the theater before performances
  • Offer business cards in the venue to further promote the app

Dallas Summer Musicals App Promotion Card

What we see is a comprehensive campaign to make sure that their audience is not just told, but informed about the App at every opportunity both at home and at their events.

When thinking about how to promote your own App, keep in mind that simply advertising that you have an App isn't necessarily sufficient.  Letting your audience know what the App can do for them will give them a reason to check it out.  A Mobile App can be an extremely valuable tool, but if you don't let your audience know all about it, they won't use it!