WEBPALS MOBILE & GOOGLE: NEW CREATIVE PARTNERSHIP, MORE WAYS TO GROW YOUR APPS

We’re super excited to announce that Webpals Mobile has been chosen to participate in Google’s App preferred creative partners program (APCP).

What is Google’s App preferred creative partners program?

It’s a unique, brand-new program that was developed to help app advertisers enhance their Google App campaigns (formerly known as UAC) by promoting the adoption of creative best practices at scale.

After all, the competition in the mobile app industry is fiercer than ever, which means designing high-quality, thumb-stopping creatives that drive action and make your Google App campaigns stand out has become more than a luxury; it’s one of the keys to an app’s survival – and the more creatives you have, the more opportunities you get to fully leverage extensive Google’s inventory across all Google’s platforms like GDN, YouTube, Search, and Google Play.

Think of your app’s creative assets as critical leavers that help you build your brand by telling compelling and memorable stories to extremely demanding customers in seconds. As such, they help you, an app marketer, stay ahead of the pack.

So, what do you gain from working with Google’s preferred creative partner?

Webpals Mobile – Home of Creative Best Practices for Google App Campaigns

Our in-house creative studio and video production crew are always ready to help you throughout the entire process of creatives design, from conception to the final design stage. These top-notch, inspiring creatives engage users, fit any Google placement, reflect Google App campaigns creative best practices and undergo a localization process to ensure a perfect match to user preferences in a specific market.

It goes beyond designing remarkable creatives. We have the expertise in structuring campaigns, selecting the right campaign type, and managing bids and budgets. All of this combined helps app marketers run successful Google App campaigns.

That’s our creative edge and one of the main reasons Google has selected us for the program.

Our Top Google App Campaigns Creative Best Practices

Texts: Keep it short – Every text ad for a Google App campaign has four lines, and Google recommends having at least two of them shorter than twenty characters. Why? Firstly, just to be brief. Secondly, keeping things short improves ad performance and prevents truncation in properties like Gmail.

Images: The more, the merrier – it’s always a good idea to upload a variety of images to Google App campaigns to ensure maximum reach and scale. You can have up to 20 image variations in Google App campaigns.

Videos: Diversity of formats – You can work with three different formats in Google App campaigns: landscape, portrait, and square. By the way, portrait videos have shown to drive higher conversion rates than landscape ones.

If you’re looking for more creative best practices and tips for Google App campaigns, we’ve got them gathered for you right here. Better yet, our team is here to help you build great creatives from scratch, and take the work of applying these best practices off your hands!

Each such creative asset is a powerful user acquisition and app growth engine and has proven to drive the best possible CVR-to-FTD and ROI to many of our global clients – as you can see from the success stories we have.

There’s more. As Google’s App preferred creative partner, Webpals Mobile will now also offer a fully customized and tailor-made creative solution for app marketers. You’re welcome to drop us a line for more details.

Technology & Creative Analysis Working Together

In today’s era driven by technology and automation, keeping tabs on your creatives is no less crucial than the creatives themselves. Google App campaigns utilizes machine learning algorithms that automatically pick the best performing creatives for your Google App campaigns – and that’s what our partners at Google find highly effective, which is fantastic!

However, if you want to get ahead in the game, you will need to know how to interpret creatives data and act on it. That’s where the power of Google data and Webpals Mobile’s creative analysis comes in.

Growing Mobile Apps on a Larger Scale

By becoming Google’s App preferred creative partner, Webpals Mobile is showing continuous commitment to its customers, ensuring they benefit from more effective, profitable creatives, enhanced technology, data-driven methodologies, and more opportunities to grow their apps on a larger scale.

Contact us today to find out how we can help unleash your app’s potential with Google App campaigns.

FASTING FOR MUSLIMS, FEASTING FOR APP MARKETERS: 6 APP PROMOTION STRATEGY TIPS FOR RAMADAN

Knock-knock. Who’s there? Ramadan –the Holy Month celebrated by 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide. For app marketers, Ramadan presents thousands of opportunities to catch the attention of high-value users hungry for gifts, travel, recipes, videos, religious content, and much more.

How ready is your app marketing strategy for Ramadan? Leverage this blog to understand your target audience, get inspired, and create a comprehensive app marketing strategy that can deliver exceptional results and serve you well for the following Ramadan too.

1) Tap Into the Psyche of Your Audience

Consumer behavior starts to change about a month before the holiday. Muslims free more time to spend with their families, go on vacations, go shopping, cook meals, and worship.

People are hungry for recipes – according to Google, the average number of cooking videos on YouTube in the first week of Ramadan increases by 30%. Google also shares that searches for recipes during the first week of Ramadan exceed the annual average by 50%.

Restaurant app marketers can invite their users for Iftar, Suhur and other family meals. Food delivery app marketers can concentrate on enhancing their traditional Ramadan food offers.

They can’t get enough of shopping – Fueled by shopping frenzy; weekly retail sales tend to rise as well. In 2017, they jumped by 29% in ME; Turkey showed a 5% increase, Southeast Asia – 52% and Indonesia crushed it with an 80% spike.

Cravings for vacation – There’s an increase in vacation bookings throughout the month, up until Eid. Research shows that in the Middle East, for instance, travel bookings go up as much as 39% during Ramadan.

Seeking religious content – As consumers prepare for the month of religious observance and fasting, the viewership of religious content rises by 25%.

Yes, there are many needs to fill! We’ve made this short video for you, summarizing all your app’s high-value users:

2) Social Media Turns Into a User Magnet

The changes in consumer behavior during Ramadan go beyond search; they are also evident on social media.

Our partners at Facebook reported a 25% increase in conversations about food during Ramadan, and these conversations tend to begin early. Aside from that, it’s been proven that platform users in the MENA region spend an extra 57M hours on Facebook during Ramadan. Keep in mind though that most of the usage tends to occur at night, peaking at 3 am.

eople-Spend-More-Time-on-Facebook-During-Ramadan-Than-Usual-Especially-at-Night-2016-Facebook-IQ

[Image source]

Instagram isn’t left on the outs as well. People tend to center their conversations around Iftar, desserts, recipes, and much more. According to the report:

“While Facebook shows Ramadan as it is; Instagram shows the Ramadan that it could be.”

3) Early Bird Gets the Worm

As people start hunting for offers weeks before Ramadan, it’s essential to build your brand as early as possible, making sure it can be easily recognized by users, which helps drive bottom funnel conversions later.

Brand awareness and burst app campaigns are great for that. That way, you’ll not only secure your app to be top-of-mind for your users but also push it up the App Store rankings. For exceptional results and to give your users time to get to know your app after the initial install, launch these campaigns as early as three weeks before Ramadan.

Also, the earlier you start, the more chances you got to catch lower CPIs. The costs tend to go up towards the middle of the Holy Month as more competitors fight for coveted ad placements.

Here’s a quick illustration to help you understand all three phases of Ramadan advertising:

Ramadan Advertising Phases

4) Spread Out Your Targeting

You know who your app’s users are – awesome! Avoid targeting those users all at once, though. Instead, spread out your targeting throughout Ramadan. Google’s data shows that you should target your audiences at different times to make the most out of awareness and burst app campaigns.

argeting users at different times Ramadan

[Image source]

When it comes to the consideration stage, users are aware of your app and have shown some interest, but they aren’t locked on your app just yet. To influence consideration, investigate their intent more. For that, dive into user personalities and look beyond raw demographics data, analyzing behaviors, likes, dislikes, and more.

Connecting with users during Ramadan

[Image source]

Got your loyal app users? Now it’s time to encourage them to act by assisting them with different offers, promotions, and deals.

Targeting users at different times Ramadan

[Image source]

Prepare in advance and consider using engaging creatives like videos and carousel ads leading up to the season.

5) Get Creative

Leverage the holiday to create engaging, custom-made, Ramadan-related content. Designing that kind of content shows your app users that your brand welcomes and understands the principles of Ramadan, which include family, community, reflection, self-improvement, and worship. That, in turn, helps establish deep, personal relationships with users; it excites them, leaving them hungry for more.

It’s highly effective to leverage storytelling to resonate with your app’s users. Check out this case study that tells how a leading make-up brand created make-up tutorials specifically for Ramadan:

Our partners at Google reveal that thumb-stopping Ramadan content that resonates with audiences leads to more views and can influence decision-making for the rest of the year. 

Incorporating Ramadan-related creative elements and symbols in your existing content can work great too.

To get your creative juices flowing, here’s an example of a Ramadan-related creative offering an “All-You-Can-Eat” Iftar, designed by Pizza Hut in 2018:

Ramadan-promotions-Pizza-Hut

[Image source]

If you’re looking for a muse, you can always check out the Lantern Awards’ YouTube channel – the home of winning Ramadan campaigns that move and engage users.

6) Measure Success

Optimize your campaigns and measure performance specifically during Ramadan as it’s associated with high purchase intent and increased motivation to engage with content.

Now is the time to finalize your Ramadan app marketing strategy to ensure you make the most out of this holiday and maximize the growth of your app.

Let’s Grow Your App This Ramadan!

Leverage our professional know-how, remarkable campaign management and optimization technology, exclusive data, and in-house creatives to unleash your app’s potential. Contact us today!

SEARCHING WHAT YOU SEE: A COMPLETE MARKETER’S GUIDE TO VISUAL SEARCH

An image is worth a thousand words – who knew that, with time, this saying would become the essence of visual search; its backbone.

Pinterest’s CEO, Ben Silbermann, did. In his own words:

“The future of search will be all about pictures, not keywords.”

With visual search, you search for images with images. That’s different from the traditional image search that relies on textual queries to find images.

Let’s use Google Lens as an example. Say you’re walking down the street, window shopping. You see a bag that you like; you take a picture of that bag using Google Lens. This is how your search result would look like:

google-image-search-functionality

[Gif source]

So, what is it about the visual search that makes it so appealing? How can marketers like you capitalize on it to maximize performance? As a leading performance marketing company with a stellar reputation in SEO, we couldn’t leave these questions unanswered.

Back to Basics, or Where Does Visual Search Come From?

Technological Advancements – visual deep learning algorithms identify searched items, dissecting every image into smaller elements to help search engines recognize what’s in an image. What’s more, these algorithms constantly learn to retrieve relevant results based on visual similarities like color and contrast.

Gina Сasangrande, a senior Adobe Experience Cloud evangelist, notes:

“The value of visual search technology grows as the customer returns to the site. On that next visit, it’s a more personalized, powerful targeted search.”

Take Google Lens, for instance. Aside from acting as a basic visual search engine recognizing objects in an image, it can match these objects to local retailers, display reviews, and sort listings. That way Google Lens takes the concept of search to the next level. Say you see a band poster and you take a picture of it, the tool can not only identify the band but also play music videos.

Here’s a quick demonstration of how visual search algorithms work in contrast to text-based search tech:

Text search vs visual search

Changing Consumer Behavior – we live in an era when ‘see-snap-buy’ behavior is becoming dominant. That is, people crave to find a fast and easy way to get more info, and they want that info to be relevant.

What Does Visual Search Hold in Store for Businesses?

The change in behavior has opened up a myriad of opportunities for businesses to conquer the user funnel with an image as a query.

To illustrate, here’s a short story for you – which is very likely to become a reality in the nearest future:

exotic fruit
Where can I find this exotic fruit?

 

[Image source]

Imagine a John Doe walking down the street. Suddenly, he sees an exotic fruit poster. He takes a picture of the poster and receives recommendations on where to buy/eat the fruit, along with explicit instructions how to get to the place that has it and a few special, tasty recipes featuring that fruit.

You can see that visual search allows businesses to really step into customer’s shoes, be part of their journey.

It’s no wonder that by 2021, early adopter brands that make sure their websites support visual and voice search will boost their conversions by 30%.

For many businesses and brands, visual search can become the ultimate tool to practically eliminate the distance to the moment a customer buys a product. Macy’s does it through visual search capabilities on their mobile app. Macy’s customers can snap a photo of a product to find analogous products on Macy’s website.

From the consumer’s perspective, if an image is worth a thousand words, visual search is worth hours of saved time and thousands of accurate searches that fit the exact users’ preferences at a specific moment.

If you think about it, visual search offers users much more than traditional search, turning into a shopping/travel/ [anything else] buddy for customers.

Beyond Google Lens; or Where Else Can You See Visual Search?

Pinterest

Users can find pins featuring similar content by highlighting specific sections of their saved Pins. This is how it works:

How Pinterest works visual search
[Gif source]

Since then, we’ve seen the birth of Pinterest Lens – which happened only a year after Bing introduced its mobile image search. The idea is to let users “use the camera in [their] Pinterest app to discover ideas inspired by objects [they] see in the real world.”

Pinterest lens visual search

[Image source]

According to Pinterest’s report, their users carried out over 600 million combined monthly searches using Pinterest Lens in February 2018.

Capitalizing on its users’ craving for more, Pinterest went further and brought ‘Shop the look’ pins to life. The feature adds little white dots to images when they are expanded. The dots are clickable so that users can discover more details about selected products in the images. The user funnel is enriched with extra cues to click through and buy a selected product.

Google lens at work
[Image source]
Facebook

The social network is aiming to enhance its Marketplace platform with visual search. It’s been experimenting with Artificial Intelligence to make product recommendations to users based on photos submitted to the Marketplace. For instance, you can upload a photo of your computer and get recommendations for similar products being sold near you.

To incorporate visual search into its platform, Facebook has acquired a visual search startup GrokStyle.

Amazon

Just six months ago Amazon teamed up with Getty to enrich its searches. As Getty described it: “.’” What it means is any search on Amazon Echo devices with a screen will display visual results from a vast collection of Getty’s photographs. Industry players see this union as Amazon’s step towards creating its own app based on the visual search for all its devices.

Aside from making moves on Getty, Amazon has been working with Snapchat on a new visual search feature. The idea is to use Snapchat’s camera to “send images of a product or a barcode scan to Amazon, which then will display search results.”

The fact that big shot giants like Amazon are doing their best to catch the wave of visual search should not stop other marketers. On the contrary, marketers should use the big shots’ knowledge and experience with the visual search to maximize performance.

What Can Brands Do to Get Noticed in Visual Search?

To get the most out of visual search brands and businesses should concentrate on the challenges their customers face and polish their digital assets to fit visual search. How? Your traditional SEO image optimization tips can help:

  • It’s Not Only the Size That Matters – To make it easier for visual applications to process your images, ensure that your images can be displayed easily. Pay attention to image size, file type, appropriate titles with relevant keywords, and device type (desktop/mobile) when working with images.
  • Include Images in Your Sitemaps – for Google to identify an image, it must be part of your sitemap. To feed Google info about images, using Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool and add info about the images in those URLs, including image type, subject matter, caption, title, location, and license. You can find more info on image sitemaps here.
  • Schema Markup for Images – add product markup that meets the basic metadata requirements. Ensure your product has a name, price, description, currency, availability. The more details you add about your product, the better, as it will make your product more appealing and your results more clickable.
  • Don’t Forget About Alt-Text – descriptive alt-text can help images to get indexed in search engines. It’s what search engine crawlers use to understand the meaning of your images.
  • Setting Up Image Badges – in 2017, Google announced that they added badges over image thumbnails to help users “identify the type of content associated with the image.”

google_image_badges_in_action

[Gif source]

The badges work only on mobile (for now) and include the following categories: recipes, products, videos, and animated images. While Google algorithms can automatically detect animations (GIFs), if you want your products to get noticed in other categories, you’ll need to add special markups and structured data fields. For more info, check out this article.

Where is Visual Search Headed?

It seems like the industry that’s benefiting the most from visual search is eCommerce. As technology becomes more advanced and widespread, we can imagine visual search expanding into other sectors as well, but it’s highly likely that eCommerce and retail will still dominate.

There are a bunch of visual search evolution scenarios that we can think of, starting with Google allocating resources to incorporate visual search into its other products like Google Maps; and other giants will follow.

With chatbots being a thing right now, it’s fair to say that we can expect to see visual search and chatbots becoming one. That is, it’s going to be possible to start a conversation with a chatbot using visual search.

Will visual search put an end to traditional SEO?

Short answer – the two will coexist peacefully. As mentioned above, you’ll still need the magic of traditional SEO optimization techniques to get ranked in visual search. Some industry players argue that we’ll even witness brands and businesses utilizing both text and images “to increase their visibility and reach.”

If you need a hand, our performance marketing and app promotion experts are ready to leverage our data from over 2,000 exclusively owned and operated websites and cross-channel analysis to deliver high-value users to your online business or mobile app. Contact us today for more details!

WEBPALS GROUP AND GLOBAL LEADERS AT THE UN TAKE BIGGER STEPS TOWARDS DIVERSITY AND GENDER EQUALITY

Surprisingly enough, whereas 66% of companies have strategies for diversity hiring, only 25% set gender diversity targets.

Moreover, if you look at C-suite positions, female representation plummets to 20%. That’s despite that fact that equal representation in leadership roles offers compelling financial benefits to companies: 53% higher return on equity, 42% return on sales, and as much as 66% higher ROI.

It’s clear: companies intentions might be good, but to truly accomplish equality and diversity in the workplace, they need to take the bull by the horns and turn their plans into concrete action.

Time to Make a Change

Hundreds of business leaders, activists, policy makers, and international diplomats gather together every year at United Nations headquarters in New York to help each other do just that. Working together, they strategize and come up with new initiatives to help facilitate change in the way women are seen in the world, promoting gender diversity.

Webpals Group was honored to participate in the sixty-third session of the Commission on the Status of Women just a few days after International Women’s Day. Our CEO, Inbal Lavi, discussed what diversity and equal opportunity mean to Webpals, confirmed Webpals Group’s commitment to fostering equal opportunities in the workplace, and shed light on what can be done to make a real difference.

Here’s our Inbal Lavi giving her speech at the United Nations:

Webpals Group wouldn’t be where it is today without our commitment to spreading equality and diversity, both internally and externally.

“Today, as CEO of a leading high-tech company, I feel responsible for other women who did not or don’t necessarily get equal opportunities along their life journeys. It began at home, it continues at Webpals, and beyond.” – Inbal Lavi.

Here are a few of our strategies we’d like to share. Hopefully, these will help other companies foster gender diversity:

1) Role Models & Gender Diversity

Studies have shown that women are influenced by “exposure to counter-stereotypical female role models.” As role models, such women can encourage other females to make different choices in life.

According to our data, having high female representation, especially at the executive level, can boost talent acquisition efforts. In the words of our Inbal Lavi:

“We have close to 400 workers, half of whom are women. In addition, women make up 67% of the company’s management. [Other women] see equality at the senior level and realize our company has no glass ceiling.”

What’s important is to let women express themselves in the workplace. A fantastic way to do that would be to organize special meetings and panels, featuring female employees. Just recently, we tried to implement the strategy at Webpals.

We had women talking about their life journeys, sharing their thoughts on the gender gap, and discussing what can be done to further the cause of gender diversity.

“When a team member sees she can grow, and her workplace lets her voice be heard, she can make an impact.” – Inbal Lavi.

2) Diversity in Every Sense

Imagine a Chanukkiah and a Christmas tree standing side-by-side – sounds like the beginning of an interesting story, right? Here at Webpals, it’s a reality.

You can see Jews eating lunch with Christians and Muslims; 65-year-olds dancing together with 25-year-olds.

Companies with such a diverse culture can grow their business faster, delivering phenomenal results to their international partners. Why? Because it helps create an ongoing flow of ideas, fosters open dialogue and allows to think globally.

3) Promoting Women During Pregnancy

Maternity leave poses dilemmas for many women. The desire to stay at home with their babies oftentimes means putting career goals on hold. Unfortunately, women’s choice to stay at home and take care of babies leads to wider gender gaps in the workplace.

In that case, an effective strategy to put into action is to promote women during pregnancy. Think about it this way: a new position will be like a new challenge for these women to look forward to.

The strategy has proven to be very effective here at Webpals. At the same time, when a woman goes on maternity leave, we let other employees fill her position, stimulating internal mobility.

4) Closing the Gender Pay Gap

Studies reveal that women have lower salary expectations than men. Aside from that, they are less likely to get a raise. Some tangible actions that Webpals Group has taken to change the gender pay gap is leveling salaries and offering the same salary increase, without gender discrimination. Before bringing a salary offer on the table or giving a raise, we examine salary benchmarks on the market as well as within the company, assess a person’s skills and look at their experience.

It was very inspiring to hear Scott Beth, Intuit’s Chief of Diversity and Inclusion Officer, talk about Intuit’s successes in closing the differences in pay between men and women at the U.N:

“One way we’re doing this is no longer asking candidates for their pay history when they join us.”

What We Learned at the U.N.

Going to the United Nations’ event was more than just about sharing our practices, spreading our vision of gender diversity on a global scale, and helping raise awareness of the gender gap; it was also about learning from others and discovering new techniques to combat gender discrimination in the workplace.

Although all the participants shared inspiring stories and examples, there are a few that stood out to us:

  • Encouraging women – CEO of WePower, Dr. Mazal Shaul, revealed that WePower leverages its resources to, among all, locate, train, and encourage women to dream big and go for public and governmental positions. Aside from that, WePower has done a lot to enact gender-conscious laws.
  • Understanding societal laws and norms – Bathylle Missika, Head of Division of the OECD Development Center, briefed us on traditions that impact women in the workplace such as child marriage, discrimination in the family, restricted physical integrity, restricted access to productive and final resources, and much more. If we look at Israel, for example, 1/8 of the male population believes that a wife should not have a paid job. She reminded us that it’s important to be aware of these gender inequality issues and pay attention to gender norms to be the voice of change, from the bottom up.
  • Fostering equality through a sense of belonging – Scott Beth shared that every six months they conduct an anonymous survey at Intuit, asking their employees: “Do you feel that you belong at Intuit?” 82% of Intuit’s employees feel that they do – and this is equal between men and women.

Going Global

Thanks to our esteemed partners at Parliament 51 that move mountains to foster diversity and achieve gender equality in the workplace, we were able to leverage the event to the fullest, helping make bigger steps towards gender equality and diversity. As Inbal Lavi has put it:

“It was a privilege to join global leaders and promote equality and diversity. After visiting the United Nations and sharing my beliefs with others, I feel like we’re headed towards a brighter future.” – Inbal Lavi

Here’s a selection of pictures for the complete experience. 🙂

Inbal Lavi Scott Beth Mazal Shaul Bathylle Missika at the UN
Inbal Lavi, Scott Beth, Dr. Mazal Shaul, and Bathylle Missika taking bigger steps towards diversity together
Einat Ben Moshe of Deloitte, Sigal Bar-On of Dr. Fisher, Inbal Lavi, CEO of Webpals Group, Daniel Ofek and Liri Halperin, Founder of Parliament 51
Einat Ben Moshe of Deloitte, Sigal Bar-On of Dr. Fisher, Inbal Lavi, CEO of Webpals Group, Daniel Ofek and Liri Halperin, Founders of Parliament 51
Inbal Lavi, Webpals Group's CEO, at the UN
Inbal Lavi, Webpals Group’s CEO, at the UN

6 REASONS WHY AI AND FINTECH ARE TO BECOME BFFS

The word on the digital street is that “AI can transform the productivity and GDP potential of the global economy.” As far as the numbers go, we’re talking about the potential contribution of $15.7 trillion by 2030.

In their “2018 Digital Trends in Financial Services” report, Econsultancy and Adobe shared that 20% of financial institutions are already incorporating AI into their day-to-day and 41% hope that they will do so in the nearest future.

There’s no question that the competitive race to capitalize on AI’s unmatched capabilities is on! Here’s how we expect AI to reshape the Fintech market:

1) How AI Improves Customer Service & Personalization

AI Customer Service Fintech

We’ll witness many efforts to implement AI into customer experience, starting with chatbots and digital assistants. Digital assistants are a clever blend of Big Data, machine learning, and natural language processing (or NLP – the process of converting data into human language) enclosed in a conversational interface.

One of our recent surveys revealed that many banks are already experimenting with chatbots and virtual assistants, which will soon, hopefully, become financial advisors. Bank of America’s digital assistant, Erica, is a great example. It uses text messages and voice to provide clients with financial advice 24/7.

There’s lots of data analysis at work with different, less common customer queries getting examined in real time. The algorithms learn, which makes it possible to have ready-made answers without the need to turn to consult human experts every time.

The forces of Artificial Intelligence are also aimed at making customer service more personalized. Transactional and many other types of data can be used to connect with customers at different touchpoints and understand their preferences, improving the user experience.

There’s a company in London called Personetics that uses NLP to create conversational agents for different banks and other financial institutions. These agents work toward improving UX. Each conversational agent can be “taught” to respond in a certain way using customer emails, feedback forms, etcetera. The agents then use NLP to interpret customer inquiries and redirect them to a relevant page offering a particular service.

This allows financial institutions to solve issues for their customer quickly, maintain trust and promote user engagement. After all, such agents can help customers feel like they’ve accomplished something positive, and fast – which reinforces customer confidence.

2) Wealth Management and Artificial Intelligence

In this realm, AI acts more of as advisory support, helping wealth managers and advisors to make decisions, generate investment ideas, create portfolios with better investment options, and predict asset risk via data analysis.

Greg B. Davies, Head of Behavioral Science, at Oxford Risk says:

“When it comes to advice, we should be thinking about AI in terms of Iron Man, rather than the Terminator.”

What AI does is dives into a large pool of data and analyzes it to create highly specific, personalized strategies that wealth managers can then communicate to their clients, building stronger, long-lasting relationships.

Through such an advanced data analysis, Artificial Intelligence can easily identify new price signals, price volatility, and more successful investment options, making the most out of different data sets and market research. The data can later be utilized to forecast the future state of affairs on the market and even identify patterns and trends.

AI applications in wealth management can also be seen in robo-advisory. The below image is a great demonstration of how robo-advisors have evolved.

Robo-Advisory_evolution
Robo-Advisory Evolution: Digital Wealth Management from 1.0 to 4.0

[Image Source]

According to Deloitte, we’re in the era driven mostly by hybrid robo-advisors (3.0). That is, investment advisors use technology for a rebalancing of portfolios, asset allocation, and so on. You can even say that some steps have already been made to move to the 4.0 version.

Meet Amelia, IPSoft’s wealth management expert. Amelia can handle tasks at different stages of client lifecycle – from customer onboarding to investment transactions and recommendations for portfolios optimization. She can also utilize multiple data sources and back-end processes to give you different information on investments. She can analyze, learn and use her contextual awareness capabilities to give insights on various investment options, stock performance, and much more.

3) AI in Personal Finance

AI in Personal Finance

AI is finding its way to personal finance as well, helping users make sense of their financial plans, savings, and spending habits. This comes in handy, given the fact that around 49% of Americans reported that they spend more than they can reasonably afford.

How can you save money with Artificial Intelligence? There are several personal finance management (or PFM) software options to look at. Let’s start with Wallet.AI that analyzes your everyday spending activities (food you eat, places you shop, social media posts, online purchases) and identifies patterns, providing advice when necessary.

Acorns is another great example. With Acorns, you can link your credit and debit cards and then get a rounded-up value of your every purchase. Say you bought a T-shirt for $10.35. Acorns rounds it up to $11 and puts the difference to your share portfolio. It uses machine learning to classify your spending habits and determine how financially savvy you are, providing tailored insights based on this data analysis.

AI’s benefits in personal finance go beyond transactions, savings and spendings monitoring, though. You can find Artificial Intelligence being used in dividend management, transaction limit approaching notifications, and so on.

4) AI in Fraud Analytics

AI-in-Fraud-Analytics

Financial word giants have been utilizing AI to detect fraudulent activities for a while now, so, by no means, AI in fraud analytics is a new trend. As fraudsters become more advanced, though, we see financial institutions like CapitalOne ramping things up.

CapitalOne’s AI-powered fraud detection tools can now learn from the notifications they send to millions of their customers to recognize what types of transactions have a higher probability to be fraudulent.
Youssef Lahrech, a senior vice president at CapitalOne, further elaborated that the algorithms can even learn in more personalized ways. For example, Eno, CapitalOne’s virtual assistant, can warn customers regarding potential fraudulent activities via a conversation.

5) AI Driving FinTech in Developing Countries

In one of the recent blogs, we mentioned that emerging markets are getting stronger in FinTech – Artificial Intelligence is one of the reasons for it. Countries like China and India have been relying on FinTech quite heavily – over 50% of consumers in India and around 70% of consumers in China utilize FinTech to raise money or manage their finances.

Aside from that, developing countries have been capitalizing on AI in FinTech to help their financial institutions deal with their own limitations.

Artificial Intelligence has been useful in helping determine potential borrowers’ credit score – an analysis that’s challenging to do in emerging markets due to the differences in credit scoring models and the difficulties of tracking customer incomes. That’s where P2P lending options come into play. Such service leverages social media platforms to find out whether a potential borrower is creditworthy.

6) Automated Processes

Manual report generation, claims processes, and many more may well be off the chores list for financial institutions – which means saved time.

AI-powered technology leverages Natural Language Generation (or NLG) to help financial institutions automate reporting. The way it works is Artificial Intelligence uses different algorithms to generate natural language text from data and stores it in specific easily accessible databases. That’s how Yseop Compose operates, creating customized reports for its clients.

With AI, filing an insurance claim is easier. Transactional bots, like Swishbot, equipped with image recognition, fraud detection, and payout prediction algorithms, ensure that the process takes less time consuming and less prone to errors altogether. The bots accompany customers through the entire process, step by step. You can upload videos or images of the damage and let the bot analyze the data to come up with a range of payout values.

The wheels have only started to turn for AI in FinTech, and more groundbreaking developments are to come. It very well may be that the most fascinating, innovative movement you can be a member of is Artificial Intelligence. Time will tell us more!

Got a financial product that needs high-value users? Leverage our exclusively owned and operated websites that rank at the top of search results, cross-channel analysis, and professional know-how to connect with customers that are ready to make a decision. Contact Webpals Finance for more details!

WEBPALS MOBILE EXPOSES: ASIAN AND AMERICAN MOBILE GAMERS ARE TOTALLY DIFFERENT

Great news for gaming brands and app developers! Industry experts forecast that the global games market will be worth a staggering $180.1 billion by 2021 – and we expect mobile games to contribute a great deal.

What’s All That Craze Over Mobile Games?

The source of insanely high demand for game apps is 3.39 billion mobile users around the world, out of whom 2.2 billion play mobile games, mainly on smartphones.

Micro-leisure moments also contribute to the growth of mobile game apps. We’ve seen a rise in the moments of spare time when consumers use their mobile phones to play games – and they have a wide variety of mobile apps to choose from. App Annie shares that there are about 900,000 mobile games available live across the app stores around the world (Apple App Store – 350,000; Google Play – 550,000).

Is It Worth to Invest in Mobile Games in Asia?

The Asia-Pacific region leads the way in-app spend, dethroning both North and South America.

Asian users spend $12 billion yearly on mobile games, especially South Korea and Japan, which, seem to top other global markets when it comes to average game spend per user. If a game is interesting enough for an Asian user, he/she is more likely to spend money on it than a user from the U.S.

GAMES SPEND US VS ASIA

[Data Source]

Countries like Indonesia and India have a lot to offer for mobile app developers as well. Industry players argue that by 2021, Southeast Asia alone will house 250 million mobile gamers and drive $2.4 billion in revenue. As for India, it seems to drive the growth in downloads on Google Play, together with Southeast Asia.

SOUTHEAST ASIA MOBILE GAMES STATISTIC

Despite China’s recent ‘game freeze,’ it’s still regarded as the next big frontier for mobile games. Newzoo predicts that by 2021, China’s mobile games market will be responsible for as much as 70% of the global games industry’s revenue.

Since game giants like NetEase hold 70% of the Asian market share, Western game developers may find themselves thinking twice before entering the market. However, 30% seems like substantial revenue, if you think about the total game spend in Asia.

As Ethan Collins, a business development manager at Yodo1, a China-based publisher, says:

“Top players in China will drop tens of thousands of dollars in-app without blinking an eye.”

What’s the Reason for The Rapid Growth of Game Apps in Asia?

Young mobile gamers are the force responsible for the rapid growth of the Asian mobile games market. Our data revealed that younger people in Asia are much more inclined to download an app than the older generation in Asia. This can be seen from the clear downward trend in the click-to-install rates -people among the older audience are clicking through mobile apps but not installing the game or product.

CLICK-TO-INSTALL RATES AGE GROUPS ASIA

Mobile games growth in Asia is also driven by the frequency with which people play. Gamers engage with mobile games daily, providing app marketers and developers enough opportunities to promote new features.

What’s Up with Game Apps in North America?

North American revenues from gaming came to a whopping $32.7 billion in 2018, most from mobile, increasing by 10 percent each year.

Compared to APAC though, North America is a very mature market, where the competition of mobile apps for attention with other types of entertainment is very fierce.

Newzoo shared that American women interact with mobile apps more than men. According to the survey, 65% of American women ages 10-65 play mobile games. The finding should hint on very high installation rates among the female audience in the U.S. However, Webpals Mobile’s campaign data showed a slightly different picture: average CPI for women in the U.S. is 23% higher than it is for men.

WOMEN VS MEN US CPI

This proves that American women are less likely to install a mobile game than men. That’s different from the Asian market, where CPI for females is twice as higher than CPI for the male audience. Research revealed that Malaysia has the largest number of female players among all age groups.

Let’s wrap it up by saying that both Asia and the U.S. hold a lot of promise for mobile game developers, each in its own way. Game developers that know how to convey the right message to different audience segments in various markets and to buy media for those segments at the right price will drive scalable growth to their apps.

Let’s Grow Your Game App!

Leverage our professional know-how, remarkable campaign management and optimization technology, exclusive data, and in-house creatives to unleash your app’s potential. Contact us today!

THE NEW WEBPALS GROUP: OUR REBRANDING STORY

Just like humans, brands sometimes need a fresh start.  That’s how BackRub became Google. Brad’s Drink became Pepsi. Blue Ribbon Sports turned into Nike.

Company rebranding is so much more than just a name change, though. It’s about finding that new identity, that will not only fit your company values and strategy but will resonate with your customers, pushing your business forward.

And, as a company that’s continuously planning, designing and anticipating for tomorrow, we were eager to move forward. Let us share our rebranding journey with you.

On the Path to Rebranding

Once upon a time, Webpals Group was a small startup that has matured into a stable, and structured organization over the years.

As we grew, we found ourselves in the middle of a fascinating situation: Becoming a corporate with a dynamic and innovative spirit; a company that breathes and moves in one of the most progressive industries out there – performance marketing.

What’s more, thanks to hundreds of multi-million-dollar website and business acquisitions, Webpals Group turned into a real house of brands, each with a different identity.

So, it was only natural for us to embark on a rebranding journey.

Dig Deep into the Foundation of the Business

We asked our marketing professionals to dig deep and figure out the purpose of the rebranding and the values it should highlight.  

We needed to:

  • Demonstrate our capabilities and growth
  • Connect our LOBs to the Group while fortifying their leading position
  • Strengthen our vision – to be a global leader in performance marketing, anywhere

Decide Where You Fit in the Brand Relationship Spectrum

So, how do you build a new brand? The brand relationship spectrum, composed of four different branding strategies, can help you with that. You can check out this article for more details.

Brand_relationship_spectrum

[Image Source]

For us, the sub-brands concept was the perfect fit (with one main brand as the driver and other brands as co-drivers). After all, even though our LOBs concentrate on different verticals, all of them operate under one umbrella – performance marketing – and serve the same purpose – to drive high-value users to global, top-tier partners.

This brand architecture also allowed us to show the abundance of markets in which we operate, which serves as proof of our exponential growth and the validation of our vision.

That’s how Webpals Finance, Webpals Tech and Webpals Mobile (formerly known as DAU-UP ClicksMob) were born.

Change the Way Your Brand Looks

Once you’ve determined the brand relationship, it’s time to let your creativity shine. We fully relied on the expertise of our in-house creative studio to design trendy, clean, and fresh logos.

Each logo design required a deeper dive into the industry in which our sub-brands operate. Preserving the connection to each industry helped ensure we fortify the sub-brands’ leading position on the market and maintain their unique identities.

Webpals Mobile

Since the mobile app industry spins around swiping, toggle buttons, and mobile interfaces, it seemed logical to connect the sub-brand’s logo to those elements.

A great example is a special “switch” element. It not only emphasizes action but also is closely connected to the concept of driving and reminds you of a gear stick, fitting like a glove to our slogan “Driving high-value customers.”

The switch appears on every design element related to Webpals Mobile.

Webpals Finance

To create the logo for Webpals Finance, the designers looked at the financial and business worlds, examined the typography and colors used. The typeface in the New York Times is a good example. This font can be identified with stability.

As for the colors, finance is usually associated with the green color, which is usually identified with growth. Psychologically speaking, green is related to abundance and luxury. Since Webpals Finance operates hundreds of well-recognized personal finance websites that help people make informed financial decisions, it seemed like a great way to go.

Webpals Finance logo Our Rebranding

Webpals Tech

As for Webpals Tech’s logo, the muse came from the tech and software industries, specifically cybersecurity products, application software, and many more – which is what Webpals Tech focuses on.

Webpals Tech Logo rebranding

Company Logo

When creating the new logo for the Group, the design team had two objectives:

  • Show that the Group operates in the performance marketing industry
  • Connect the sub-brands to the Group

The two concepts – both of which are quite popular in performance marketing – that helped bring our new company logo to life are conversions and call-to-action buttons.

Company Logo Webpals Rebranding

Another critical element in the logo’s design is a gradient.

The team looked at a wide variety of logo designs with gradient for inspiration. The gradient is a calmer blend of Webpals Group’s original colors as well as the colors of the sub-brands. It’s those colors that helped strengthen the feeling of togetherness and harmony communicated by the logo.

Such an approach to logo design not only helped connect our sub-brands to the Group but also made it easier for people to remember and identify the company across the web.

Our brands Webpals
The results of our rebranding: all our assets have turned into 3 sub-brands – each a leader in its own vertical.

Here’s our rebranding video where you can clearly see the harmony between all the logos, which are also connected to different industries:

Our new sub-brands can help your business or mobile app grow even more. Contact us today!

WEBPALS MOBILE’S SURVEY REVEALS: MOBILE BANKING APPS ARE THE CHANNEL OF CHOICE FOR MANY

Mobile banking is so much more than just a way for customers to connect with banks.

Webpals Mobile ’s survey, based on a representative sample of 500 18-65+-year-old respondents from the U.S, makes it clear: Mobile banking apps are the channel of choice, the glue that holds the bank-consumer relationship together.

How Popular Are Mobile Banking Apps?

We’ve entered the era when banks’ mobile logins could very well surpass online logins. Industry players argue that mobile banking will overtake online banking in 2019 – and there’s a reason for it.

According to Webpals Mobile’s survey results, more than 60% of respondents prefer to turn to mobile banking for tracking expenses, paying bills, money transfers, budgeting, and viewing account balances.

Another study discloses that in the U.S., banking apps are being used as much as weather and social media apps. Our survey data backs up the research, showing just how widespread finance apps are: 70% of consumers have used one in the last week. Here’s more good news: out of all Webpals Mobile’s survey respondents, only 10% of people said they had downloaded a finance app but never used it.

Banks aren’t Falling Behind…

…they are adding more features to their mobile apps. That’s why Capital One is focusing on improving transaction details data, and why Ally Bank added CD maturities management to mobile in February 2018. As Anand Talwar, Ally’s Deposits and Consumer Strategy executive, said:

“We want our customers to be able to do things like set up a CD ladder in the palm of their hands.”

It turns out that the demand for mobile banking apps is not unique to younger generations. According to our survey, 26% of respondents are mainly banking digitally with minimal variation by generation.

How Popular are Mobile Banking Apps

If we look at the history of mobile banking, its linchpin was mobile deposits. Depositing a check by simply snapping a photo created a real revolution in the sector, offering a very handy feature available solely in mobile banking.

Our survey results show that Millennials are almost twice as likely as Baby Boomers to use financial apps for depositing checks.

Depositing checks mobile banking

Do Users Trust Banking Apps?

With concerns about hidden fees, ease-of-use, and most of all, security, trust in mobile banking has been a prevalent issue – but the tables seem to be turning. According to our survey, more than 72% of participants said they have no problem syncing their personal finances on their mobile phones.

Still, our research exposed the generational divide when it comes to syncing personal finances on mobile phones:

Generational divide mobile banking

One way that mobile apps can increase the average consumer’s level of trust is to ramp up their UX. To ensure the safety of users’ money, banking app developers must go all out, adding extra push notifications, explanations, and log-ins. Need more mobile banking security tips? Check out this article.

Case in point, Capital One’s mobile app requires a sign-in every time users want to access their account. If the app is open for a while, users are signed out automatically.

Are Users Satisfied with In-App Customer Service?

To reach a high level of personalized customer service, many banks are experimenting with machine learning and chatbots. We’ve seen rapid developments on that front: Ally with Ally Assist, Capital One with Eno, and Bank of America making plans for its virtual assistant, Erica. The word out there is that these virtual assistants might soon become real financial advisors.

While this domain has yet to be fully developed, Wells Fargo is already testing this type of assistance; the bank’s mobile users leveraged its new predictive banking feature last year, which provided them with robust financial insights.

From the looks of it, all the attempts to improve customer service in mobile banking did not go unnoticed. As Webpals Mobile’s survey showed, 56% of respondents agree that in-app customer service and in-person customer service are ‘the same,’ with Gen Xers favoring the former more: nearly 30% said that finance apps are better at providing advice and information.

People want to use banking apps; in-app customer service satisfies their needs. As for trust, mobile banking is getting stronger in that domain as well – and businesses that understand the potential of mobile banking and know when to jump on the opportunity will undoubtedly flourish.

Let’s Grow Your App!

Leverage our professional know-how, remarkable campaign management and optimization technology, exclusive data, and in-house creatives to unleash your app’s potential. Contact us today!

AR AND VR: WHEN YOU DON’T JUST TELL STORIES – YOU LIVE THEM

The age of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) is here, and they are expected to take advertising to the next level.

Some believe that both VR and AR global market size will reach $209B by 2022.

For advertisers, both VR and AR offer tons of possibilities, and storytelling is a major one. As we are headed to the future filled with immersive technologies, how will virtual and augmented reality change storytelling?

From today’s media landscape we can learn two essential facts:

  • Users want to be engaged.
  • They want to participate in media messages actively. We hear more and more industry thought leaders talk about how Millennials, for example, cannot be considered passive recipients by brands.

Both VR and AR satisfy customers’ hunger for control and active participation, offering a very visual experience that beats TV or video advertising. By interacting with VR and AR, users become the heroes of a story.

Let’s look at 360-degree videos, which have become quite a VR trend, especially in the travel sector.

This year’s study from OmniVirt revealed that 360-degree ads’ performance tops the performance of traditional ads, with 86% of users choosing to interact with the former. FreshStep’s and Febreeze’s VR video is a great example. It took us some time to find all the cats in the room. How fast can you do it? 🙂

As Digi-Capital noted in one of their reports:

“Truly immersive experiences are magical, lifting the spirit and compelling users to want more.”

VR content occupies the entire field of vision, letting users dive into the moment. The more senses are involved, the better users receive brand messages since they can better see, hear, feel and resonate with what brands are trying to convey.

While virtual reality completely encapsulates users, augmented reality adds a virtual layer between users and the real world.

AR and VR will help brands in many verticals create interactive product displays, getting customers more excited about products. Think of them as tools that make products an integral part of customers’ personal life stories: one moment the lipstick you’re looking at is just a picture on the web, the other – you have it on your lips.

It’s no wonder that the head of strategic planning at Google Zoo, Abigail Posner, calls today’s storytelling “story living,” saying that it completely “shatters” storytelling.

VR ads

[Image source]

So, the next time you create VR or AR stories, think about a user’s presence – a sensation of being in a given moment. After all, the feeling of presence is what makes AR, and especially VR environments, unique. Think about how you can help create a sense of responsibility by answering questions users might ask: Why am I here? What should I do?

Although skeptics argue that the cost of the technology and the challenge of getting that technology into relevant, attentive audience are going to prevent VR and AR from going mainstream, we expect virtual and augmented reality to gain momentum and become a key ingredient of advertising efforts in the next few years.

In the meantime, marketers need to examine the differences between the value propositions of the two environments to align their KPIs accordingly.

It’s time to get ready to grow your app or online business by creating relevant advertising strategies for the future and leveraging the yet not fully tapped potential of these cutting-edge technologies to the most. For now, you can contact us to see how we can help unlock your business’ potential.

 

MARKETERS AS STORYTELLERS & ECONOMISTS – THE BEST PARTS OF CONTENT ISRAEL 2018 CONFERENCE

You come to Content Israel, the largest content marketing conference in the Holy Land. The first thing you see is hungry marketers. Each marketer is hungry for something different: some try to catch the biggest fish in the sea and talk business, some are gathering the latest trends, others are craving networking opportunities.

Webpalers wanted to get equipped with knowledge (ok, you can throw networking on our to-do list as well😊). It turns out that you can learn a lot in one day. So, let’s get to it – what did we learn?

If You’re in Content Marketing, Be a Storyteller.

Ok, storytelling was such a popular topic, I feel like not mentioning it in the Content Israel conference recap would be a crime.

Stories can take many forms. Those that drive the most performance and engagement are customer-led stories, stories featuring pro-bono cases, and humoristic stories.

Here’s a story, presented at the conference, that made my day. The video sparked a lot of interest. I heard people having conversations about it during the networking sessions as well:

 

What can you learn from this example? I guess being bold pays off. I’m not saying that you should go and create stories featuring cocaine, just remember that being bold triggers emotions and when emotions are involved, it’s just easier to recall your story.

Winning stories are quirky stories – Like the story about FedExing a giant panda. Do you know it? If you don’t, then you should definitely familiarize yourself with it. What the storytellers did is thought about one bizarre thing that FedEx can deliver and erected an entire campaign around it – from articles about pandas to a special Panda Express plane.

FedEx Panda plane

[Image source]

Winning stories are personal stories – Give your employees the mic. Let them share their work experiences and ambitions. That way, you’ll give a chance to peek inside what’s going on at your company. Here’s how TELUS did it:

While we’re on the subject of personal stories, you can think of customers talking about your product as stories too. This one was from Google, and they called it “The Customer Reference Program.” Your best bet is to make it systematic and push it lower in the content funnel, as MOFU or BOFU content (more about that below😊).

Winning stories are interactive stories – Interactive stories to the rescue! They help convey complex messages and ramp up those engagement rates. I think this is a great example of such a story.

If You’re in Content Marketing, Be an Economist.

The Pareto Principle – the way it works is you only need to put 20% of the work into content creation and 80% into its promotion. To make sure your work truly bears fruit, first let the content funnel be your friend.

TOFU MOFU BOFU content

[Image source]

As you go down the content funnel, you should gradually move from content that has nothing to do with your product to content that is more product-focused. This also means considering various user acquisition stages. TOFU is probably best for the awareness stage, MOFU is great for the consideration stage, and BOFU is there to help you during the decision stage.

And what about the 80%? Here’s a quick checklist for you:

  1. Keyword research – hunt for both high- and low-intent keywords and even keywords semantically related to the topic of your article; use Google autocomplete (if you’re not on it already); look at the keywords your competitors are using; scout Wikipedia.
  2. Go back to Google – once your keyword research is completed, go back to Google and see what results it shows for your keywords. Categorize, prioritize the results (blogs, forums, etc.) and try exploring the domains and the audiences that hang out on the sites that appeared.
  3. Promote in bursts – promoting in bursts creates a sense of urgency and momentum, helping you turn your product into that thing that everyone’s talking about. It’s easier to do if you slice your content into smaller bits and promote as individual pieces across channels, including paid ads on LinkedIn, Google, YouTube, and Facebook.

Some of you will automatically think “landing pages.” The truth is, users can smell a dedicated landing page that’s trying to sell them something a mile away. Try having a special page connected to your website. That way it’ll look like just another website page, and you’ll give users an opportunity to explore your digital home.

  1. Retargeting – MOFU content is best for retargeting purposes. You can push an eBook, for instance, and then butter up your prospects with a coupon.

So far so good, but before getting into any content creation, take one key rule of thumb: Answering questions like “Who am I telling the story to/writing this piece for?” and “Where people are going to hear/read this story?” Without the answers, you might find yourself shooting blanks into the sky.

It was a hell of a conference! Big thanks to the organizers and the speakers. We can’t wait for Content Israel 2019.

Want to come with us next year? Here are our open positions. Hopefully, you’ll find what you’re looking for.

FOREWARNED IS FOREARMED: 6 SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS THAT WILL DOMINATE 2019

Every marketer knows social media platforms are windows to the world — one challenge: social media behaves like a target moving at the speed of light. Fortunately, you still have time to gather all the necessary marketing tools and create a top-notch social media marketing strategy. Keeping tabs on these 6 social media trends will help you whip your social media marketing into shape for 2019.

1. It’s All About Messenger Marketing

Those moments when you get an occasional email from a brand trying to sell you something are yesterday’s news. The next step is Messenger Marketing.

While Facebook Messenger has been “the new way to do business” for a while now, WhatsApp Business came out just in January 2018, so it’s advertising secrets are yet to be unwrapped. We’re also hearing a lot of chatting about the possibility of WhatsApp monetization, which makes marketers very eager to conquer this advertising frontline.

From the looks of it, no social media or email platform is a match to Messenger Marketing.

messenger vs. social media trend

[Image source]

We’ve found more data to back up our belief in the power of Messenger Marketing. Here’s a nice graph showing click-through-rates across advertising platforms:

Click-thru-rate messenger

[Image source]

With Messenger Marketing, you’re doing more than just sending a notification; you’re starting a conversation, giving users opportunities to respond and engage.
It’s true that marketers will most likely need permission to send a message, but that’s not as overwhelming as it sounds; it’s a fantastic way to seep through your prospects, leaving only the most valuable ones.

2. 2019 – The Year of Ephemeral Content

The social media universe is confidently marching towards visual content with short-term lifespan. The knowledge that the content disappears in a day creates a sense of urgency; people feel left out if they missed your story or snap.

And hey, temporary content demands quick reactions – which means users can respond almost immediately. They get more engaged in the moment.

We have some staggering statistics to share: 70% of Instagram and Snapchat users watch Stories daily. What’s more, Stories have proven to boost purchase intent, CTR and ad recall. We’ve seen time and again that even though Stories are short-lived (up to 24 hours), their effects can be very long-lasting.

If you’re into creating Stories that drive paying customers to mobile apps, Webpals® Mobile is a highly recommended solution that offers engaging and custom-made Story Ads, created in-house.

3. Video is Going Strong

In 2019, we’ll see live video getting even more attention. It’s the authenticity that turns live video into a powerful tool, helping build trust and establish stronger connections with customers.

Besides live videos, you can expect portrait videos to rule the day on social media. It would work great for those brands that are into Snapchat Stories, and Instagram Stories since almost all the videos for those are shot vertically.

Bite-sized videos will stay a hit as well, so don’t go into full production mode. You don’t need hours of video to communicate your main message; you can (and probably better) do it in 10 secondsthe challenge: to be concise, yet engaging.

The beauty is that bite-sized videos do not require as many resources as your traditional videos might.

These 10-second videos can take many forms: cinema-graphs, sales, and product ads, user-generated videos, or anything else that’s interesting about your business. Want some inspiration? Check out Oreo and Coca-Cola’s Instagram accounts.

4. Social TV is The New Normal

And, of course, who can forget about IGTV? Plannable’s Vlad Callus forecasts:

“IGTV will become the new YouTube in three to five years, and if you’re joining now, you will catch the big wave.”

With IGTV in play, we’ll see more and more brands becoming broadcasters – which translates into a wide array of videos for mobile, featuring authentic brand stories up to an hour long.

Bite-sized videos, long-form content – a bit of a paradox, huh? The truth is, long-form content isn’t going anywhere; its structure is changing. Long-form content is becoming more visual, and brands are going to win by switching to a visual mentality.

5. Social Listening is a Big One

social listening

Social listening presents a win-win situation for all sides involved.

By paying attention to what their customers are saying about them on social, brands can efficiently manage customer complaints and crises, connecting with their audience on a deeper level. What’s more, social listening is a great muse that can bring innovative marketing ideas.

As for customers, their voice can be heard, their problems addressed and their ideas considered. You can get started with social listening now by trying tools like Sprout Social or Social Mention.

6. Augmented Reality (AR) is Going Places

We’re headed towards a new era where social media content will move from 2D into 3D, all thanks to AR. The prognosis is: augmented reality and virtual reality markets will exceed $298B by 2023.

AR will open horizons for brands, helping create emotional connections with potential customers. After all, AR ads are very immersive, interactive, and lifelike. With AR ads, customers feel like they’re playing a video game.

This year, Facebook rolled out Augmented Reality Ads, allowing brands to better connect with users. Brands can now help users interact and visualize various products and experiences on Facebook.

Imagine an ad for sunglasses. Your customers will be able to try them on and find the sunglasses that fit them the most by simply looking into their phone’s camera and swiping for different options of shades. This improves customer satisfaction and turns AR into a vigorous machine for driving high-value users and increasing revenue.

augmented reality facebook

[Image source]

Snapchat is also in on it. In 2018, it introduced 3 new capabilities of its AR Lenses, which focus on social commerce and engagement, in an attempt to “bring real-life shopping experiences to the digital platform.”

Two thousand nineteen will make it clearer which platform holds the upper hand in the augmented reality battle – Facebook or Snapchat. One thing for sure, we can expect to see augmented reality features pile up next year as more brands try AR out.

Visual. Short-lived. Personalized. Interactive – that’s the social media content to create in 2019 if you want to stay on top of the game.

Now that you have top social media trends for 2019 up your sleeve, get ready to inject them into your marketing strategy to grow your business or, better yet, combine what you just learned with the professional knowledge of our performance marketing experts to drive the most valuable users. Contact us, and we’ll talk!

SUCCEED WITH GOOGLE UAC: 19 CREATIVE BEST PRACTICES TO ADOPT

Mobile marketers want their apps to captivate the hearts of as many quality users as possible – that’s where Google’s Universal App Campaigns (or UAC) comes in to do the heavy lifting.

Here’s the truth: Google UAC is fantastic, but it’s only half the success of your app promotion campaigns. The other half is hidden in your creatives; in their power to mesmerize and engage. Think of Google UAC as the brains and your creatives as the beauty.

What are Google UAC creative best practices? Let this blog be your guiding force in the land of UAC creative tips. We’re going to dive into texts, images, and videos so that the next time you run an app promotion campaign in Google UAC, it will drive the most performance and value for you.

1. UAC Text Tips

You have four lines of text to write and a story to fit into a limited amount of words. It seems like mission impossible, but it can be done. These creative text tips will help you clear the fog:

  • Know your audience – this one seems to appear everywhere in content writing, but it’s super important. Dissect user behavior and psychology, uncover your audience’s deepest and strongest desires and communicate with users in their language. Digging into your audience’s needs can help you write easy-to-understand and very straightforward calls-to-action later.
  • Tell a story – every line should be a story in itself; each one should convey its own message. With that, the four lines should speak in unison, just like music.😊 That way, when they’ll appear in pairs across Google properties and networks, they’ll flow smoothly, without overwhelming users.
Winning text ads tips
The four key elements of a winning Google UAC text ad
  • Keep it short – Out of those four lines, at least two should be shorter than twenty characters. Why? Firstly, it’s for the sake of being brief. Secondly, keeping things short is the recipe for better performance. Bonus: By using shorter lines you prevent truncation in properties like Gmail.

2. UAC Image Tips

Google UAC tips

Good news! You can upload up to 20 image variations (same for videos and HTML5 creatives). It’s always a good idea to utilize this capacity to the fullest to ensure maximum reach and scale – but this is far from being the only UAC image tip you’d want to follow. 😊

  • Leverage high-reach image assets – Our partners at Google suggest including at least two variations of recommended top-performing image formats. That is, image formats with a high reach like 320X50, 320X480, 300X250.
  • Be simple – Since your images will appear on smaller screens, aim to create and upload images with simple designs and minimum text.
  • Showcase your app – Show screenshots of your app to users, especially if they are engaging and relevant to the targeted audience.
  • Add credibility – App store badges and logos mean a great deal. Use them to show how trustworthy your ad is.
  • Use HD – high-quality images speak volumes! Try uploading images twice the pixel density for better results (e.g., 350X500 à 700X1000).
  • Upload landscape & portrait – Our partners at Google advise uploading both landscape and portrait images. Keep in mind, though, that landscape ones work best for native ads; portrait images are great for interstitials. Maximum size for all images (.png, .jpg, .gif) is 150KB.

3. UAC HTML5 Tips

Google UAC HTML5 TIps

HTML5 is a relatively new format in Google UAC, which works both in iOS and Android. There’s no need to create two separate playable ads; if you want to use HTML5 for both operational systems – upload your playable ads twice to AdWords and use a different URL for each ad.

Google says that to use HTML5 in UAC, you should upload it as .zip with a maximum size of 1MB, not exceeding 40 files. And, UAC only supports these sizes: 300X250, 320X50, 480X320, and 320X480 (the last two – landscape & portrait).

To get the most out of your ads, it’s recommended to follow these best practices as well:

  • Take advantage of intros – Interactive ads are somewhat unexpected, so make sure to provide an intro caption before the ad starts. Your intro can also give users a sneak peek into your ad and spark interest. Think movie trailers.
  • Play with ad orientation – begin with playable portrait ads, split it about 70/30 impressions. As for landscape, it usually performs better and can boost your reach by a third.
  • Experiment with length – Try different lengths, but keep it in the 30-120 seconds range. Our partners at Google say that 90 seconds is the optimal length.
  • Use an end card – Let users know that your ad is over by providing them with an end card and a clear CTA to install your app (great for videos as well).

4. UAC Video Tips

Google Universal App Campaigns Video Tips

We saved the best for last – UAC video creatives😊 Here’s a bunch of actionable UAC video tips to help your app promotion ad stand out:

  • Diversify – Don’t stick to just one type of video or one video size (Google recommends 10/15/30-second videos). After all, there’s no one-size-fits-all for length, and not every ad should be cinematic; it can be just a wide variety of images, depending on your app. The smart way to go is to make a couple of video ads, perform an A/B test and see which one of them drives the most performance.
  • Grab attention fast – Use the first five seconds to spark interest by including an engaging CTA and don’t forget to insert your app’s icon in the video.
  • Work with different formats – You have three different video formats to use in UAC: landscape, portrait, and square. By the way, portrait videos have shown to drive higher conversion rates than landscape ones. Just remember that all your videos should be uploaded to YouTube first.
  • Leverage UAC’s magic – Don’t have any videos prepared? UAC can make them for you by using the assets you have in your app store listing.
  • Show benefits – Don’t just describe your app in your video. Show your audience how it can solve a problem or show others using it. Localize your video content by making it relevant to the audience you’re promoting to. Going back to the beginning of the post, you should know your audience to achieve the best result possible. 😊
  • Use music wisely – Music can help you enrich your audience’s experience, but don’t forget that sound might be off, so put in an effort in the visual appearance of your video as well.

That’s it! Google UAC arsenal is at your disposal – and we’re sure there’ll be more exciting tools to work with. 😊

Now that you know Google UAC best practices, you can start growing your app. Our app promotion team can help you with that, drop us a line!

8 CLEVER WAYS TO PREPARE YOUR MOBILE APP FOR THE HOLIDAY RUSH

Winter is coming! Do you know what that means: hello holidays! 

We believe that all app owners should lay the groundwork and be ready to make the most out of the potential holiday goldmine.

Check out these 8 tips on preparing your apps for the holiday season:

1. Early birds get the worm

It’s best to start preparing your mobile apps for the holiday bonanza as early as possible, deciphering the minds of your targeted audience, allocating budget, brainstorming for inspiring copy and designs and creating content that encourages users to act; otherwise…

2. Be prepared to spend more on advertising

The thought of your in-app purchases rising during the holidays may be heartwarming, but you should know that all numbers tend to increase that time of year – conversions can go as high as 60%, ad impressions increase by 50%, order value increases by 30% – and so do media costs.

Webpals® Mobile’s data shows that a typical increase in daily user acquisition budget during the holidays stands at 25-50 percent, on average, but it can be even higher. For instance, one of the popular e-Commerce apps we work with doubled its budget for the holidays last year, along with many other leading apps.

After the storm…

Our app promotion experts noticed that the storm in media prices usually calms towards mid-December. During that time, many eCommerce app owners witness a big drop in in-app purchases and orders since many users realize it they may not get what they want in time. The result? A sharp decrease in demand for media and a plunge in prices.

While this time is less lucrative for eCommerce, it presents a window of opportunity for apps in other verticals, such as finance, gaming, travel, and so on.

In case you failed to catch the “low-cost” wave, be prepared to capture those valuable seasonal users for a bigger buck.

3. Ride the wave of peak buying times

Different holidays

To get the most out of your app marketing strategy, look at the bigger picture and don’t just focus on the mainstream holidays. Consider investing more in holidays like Alibaba’s Singles Day, Harbolnas in Indonesia, or White Day in Japan. These are yet to get the attention they deserve in the West, and some extend beyond January, which opens an opportunity for you to save on media costs.

4. Unwrap your app’s potential with paid user acquisition

As app stores become more and more crowded, it is highly recommended to complement your organic acquisition strategy with a paid one to stand out.

With the paid acquisition, you get to enlarge your user base by successfully engaging even the most niche of audiences who you may not have seen your app otherwise. Granular targeting does its magic.

Paid user acquisition can also help boost your ROAS as well as organic ranking (all those impressions count) and downloads. Downloads have proven to jump by as much as 1.5 times across all app categories.

5. Be present on different social media

Savvy app owners can’t just hold on to the past and ignore the latest developments on social media: Google’s YouTube began testing more actionable video ads; Pinterest is going all in with mobile shopping, and Instagram has added more shopping features to support direct sales.

On each of the platforms, try playing with different kinds of creatives, changing them frequently to avoid exhaustion and ad blindness. For example, consider serving playable ads for games and interactive apps to drive installs of higher quality.

6. Leverage holiday-themed images and copy

We all want to curl up in our cozy blankets and spend time with our friends and loved ones, sipping hot tea near a fireplace while drowning in glowing lights during the holidays. Why not infuse your app marketing with some holiday spirit?

Try injecting jingles, holiday slang, colors, etc. into your push notifications. As for in-app messages, decorate your apps with holiday-related images. Experiment adding snowflakes, gifts, Christmas lights, and anything else holiday-related. You can even beef it up a little and insert holiday imagery inside your logo (don’t overdo it, though.)

holiday offers mobile apps

[Image source]

7. Be the Santa Claus that comes early

Everyone loves to catch that special holiday sale. Don’t be a Grinch and give away some presents to your app users. Statistics show that Americans spend $906 on Christmas gifts, on average.

As people lighten their wallets, app owners can help reduce shopping stress by offering special deals, vouchers, discounts, and so on.

Thanksgiving offer

[Image source]

If your app has nothing to do with eCommerce, try finding other ways to resonate with users. For instance, travel apps can spark user interest with travel guides that feature must-see holiday spots. Food delivery apps can offer special deals to lighten the burden of cooking during the holidays or free shipping on orders above $X.

8. Celebrate with a new, holiday-themed app

The winter snowfall causes app downloads to skyrocket. App Store reported “a record-breaking holiday season” last year.

“A record number of customers made purchases or downloaded apps from the App Store, spending over $890 million.”

This seems like a good enough reason to have an app launched especially during the holiday season. Your app should solve people’s problems during the holidays, to make their lives easier.

Here’s an excellent app idea for the holidays: health and fitness brands can develop apps that show people how to get in shape with individual workout plans and food recipes. Fashion brands could build apps offering tips on what to wear on New Year’s to help users make next year a successful one. If you are in gaming, a fantastic way to go is to develop a unique Christmas game app, like the one below:

Christmas game app

[Image source]

If you lack resources to build a full-blown app from the ground up, you can always opt for a seasonal promotional mini-app. You’ll need less capital and resources to create it, and you can still make the most of the holiday rush.

Go App Owners, Go!

The most joyful time of the year, characterized by a very intense app activity, is coming! Make the most of it by prepping your apps for the holiday season now, and don’t leave it to the last minute. This list of app marketing tips for the holidays should get you started.

If you need a hand with growing your app, our app promotion experts are ready to help. Leverage our professional know-how, remarkable campaign management and optimization technology, exclusive data, and in-house creatives to unleash your app’s potential. Contact us today!

GET YOUR APP TO SPEED: GOOGLE UAC BEST PRACTICES FOR SCALING MOBILE APPS

Google’s Universal App Campaigns (or UAC) is shaking the mobile marketplace up. Intended to incorporate machine learning into advertising and make it easier for developers to promote their apps across different platforms and networks, UAC has already produced more than 6 billion installs and delivered over 50% of all app downloads.

To help advertisers scale up their UAC campaigns, Webpals® Group and Google have decided to put together a webinar. If you missed it, here’s a blog to bring you app to speed.😊 Here are a few of Universal App Campaign best practices to think about when promoting your apps with Google UAC:

UAC Best Practices per Campaign Type

With Google UAC, it’s possible to drive installs, in-app actions and even build lifetime value (or LTV) by targeting paying users. The last option has already proven to be very effective. Although it is still in beta, you can run LTV campaigns by working with Google’s partners such as Webpals® Group.

UAC for Installs/Advanced Installs

Google Play users downloading apps

If you are on the hunt for more installs, which is a great choice if you want to boost its performance, keep these tips in mind:

  • Number of Conversions

UAC’s conversion optimizer needs 100 conversions to stabilize and about two weeks to optimize. To ensure the most optimal result, remember to target by country and avoid excessive splitting of your targeting by regions/cities.

If you want to run an advanced UAC Installs campaign – targeting users that are more likely to engage with your app while keeping the volume of installs – stick to more than ten in-app conversions per campaign a day to allow Google UAC to do its job and optimize closer to the CPA model.

  • Ads

UAC uses texts and assets to create a diversity of ads for you automatically. That means, the creatives you upload become the building blocks for UAC.

To drive the best performance, make sure to add at least five images and one video in addition to the copy (four lines) for your text ads. By the way, videos are a game changer for iOS UAC campaigns.

Note that the same recommendations apply if you want to run advanced install campaigns in UAC.

  • Budget

Since UAC algorithms need to have some room to work with when it comes to your target CPI (or tCPI), set your budget to a minimum of 50X your target CPI (or tCPI.) Also, frequent changes of more than 20% to your bids and budgets are not recommended. That way, UAC algorithms won’t get mixed up and start working from the beginning every time you make a change.

If you are going for an advanced UAC install campaign, keep these recommendations in mind as well. Also, do not forget to bid 20% higher for your tCPI.

Why? Advanced install campaigns drive installs of higher quality that are more likely to drive actions – and those actions are going to cost you more.

  • Settings

UAC campaigns will yield better results if you tick “Yes” for only one install/first open. All other conversion settings should be marked “No.” If you’re running two campaigns for your apps from a single account (one for Android and one for iOS), tick “Yes” for both. Apropos, this is true for all UAC campaign types.

Google UAC settings

When it comes to advanced install campaigns in UAC, in addition to the above, it’s best to refrain from changing in-app event optimizations at campaign level to ensure the smoother performance of UAC algorithms.

UAC for Actions

Google UAC reaching valuable users

If your goal is to drive as many in-app actions as possible (registrations, purchases, etc.), it’s best to run “UAC for Actions” campaigns, which, in contrast to UAC advanced install campaigns, help you reach the right users by focusing solely on in-app actions.

According to our app promotion experts, these campaigns are more suitable for matured mobile apps and present an excellent opportunity to drive more paying and loyal users.

  • Number of Conversions

Just like with advanced install campaigns, set the number of conversions to be more than ten in-app conversions per campaign daily, but make sure it is representative enough of your business goal. Besides that, targeting multiple events of different value can overwhelm the system. For example, if you’re gunning for “Registrations” and “Purchases,” pick only one.

  • Ads

With this campaign type, one of UAC best practices is to upload five image creatives and two videos (both portrait and landscape), in addition to writing your four lines of text. Apropos, Google data shows that portrait videos tend to have a 60% higher conversion rate than landscape ones.

  • Budget

Here you’ll need to set your budget to at least 10X your target CPA (tCPA) to ensure the best results. Our partners at Google give a great example: a $300 actual, historical CPA and a $10 UAC bid will not do you good.

Google suggests checking the last three months of campaign results to examine the CPA you’ve been getting for the targeted event so far in your existing campaigns and make sure it’s similar to the CPA you want to bid on.

  • Settings

See the recommendations for “advanced UAC installs” campaigns above.

Let’s face it: bidding on the desired event is far from being a rose garden. Think of all the event data you need. Not to mention, your targeted events must occur at least ten times a day, which is not always the case. That’s why sometimes your best bet is to find a proxy event – the event that highly correlates with the targeted event.

Proxy event targeting
If the desired event can’t be targeted (Purchase), Webpals® Mobile experts check which of the events corresponds to it in the best possible way (Add to Cart).

Putting Yourself in User’s Shoes

No matter what type of UAC campaign you choose, always try to understand in-app user experiences, identify user behaviors and optimize – that’s the approach our app promotion experts take to help leading apps define user funnels.

There’s no doubt that there’s a lot of ground yet to cover regarding UAC best practices. Read about UAC video, images and text tips in our next blog. For now, our app promotion experts are ready to grow your mobile app by leveraging our professional know-how, exclusive data, and in-house creatives. Contact us today!

4 SMART TRICKS TO TURN YOUR GREAT FINANCE APP INTO AN AWESOME ONE

Banks and other financial institutions and services have developed an insatiable appetite for mobile apps, and for a good reason – 40% of smartphone owners use their phones for finance; and 63% of them do that at least weekly.

With such an amount of traffic, mobile banking and personal finance apps can drive higher ROI, boost customer engagement and revenue.

Here are 4 actionable tips and hacks, revealing the key features of top finance and banking mobile apps, to help you turn your app into users’ favorite:

#1: Feature-Rich Mobile Apps

Best finance apps features blog Webpals

Mobile banking apps with five or more features can make your app users extremely happy. A Citi research tells us that consumer loyalties lie with financial institutions that have feature-rich mobile apps in 80% of cases. Not only that, if you want your mobile banking app to stand out in a crowded market and become users’ favorite, its features must serve different functions. Case in point, Chase Mobile, a mobile banking app with tons of features that users love. The features allow users to view transactions, transfer money, create custom alerts, and more.

#2: Users’ Needs are Everything

Answering users' needs

Many financial institutions tend to focus on chasing profits, which leads to adding more features that ultimately improve their bottom line. For users, though, it is highly likely that an awesome app is the one that answers their needs in the best possible way.

One of the recent Google studies shows that when it comes to personal finance, users prefer to turn to mobile apps for money transfers, account status, and investment checks.

Take Acorns, for example, one of the leading investment apps on the market. They’ve realized that the app’s “Potential” feature truly has a lot to offer users. In an L.A. Times interview, Acorns said that the feature captivated the hearts of 17% of investors during the first months of testing. Such popularity led to the development of another feature – “Round-Up Multiplier,” which, combined with the first feature, allowed investors to recognize that they can invest more from purchases.

Going back to that Google study, 64% of respondents reported that ease of use and good navigation are the factors that help them decide whether an app is worth their attention – which brings me to my next point.

#3: Great UX

UX mobile apps Webpals Group

Don’t just look at your app through the lens of what it already has or might need in the future. A bullet list of features may be attractive, but you must pay attention to UX as well.

One of the recent studies, presented in PaymentsJournal, found out that users are hungry for ease of use and minimal effort when it comes to their financial institution’s digital experience: A staggering 68 percent of users crave for simplicity and 62 percent seek effortless experience.

Here’s an example of a well-thought-out UX:

Look at Capital One’s mobile banking app, for instance. Aside from many other fascinating features, the app sends notifications about every purchase.

Although automatic notifications are often seen as a big “no-no” UX-wise and might be considered annoying and invasive, it is less of a case with mobile banking: the demand for security in the sector is on the rise. In the case of Capital One, automatic notifications help create a safer user experience.

#4 A Sense of Control

A sense of control

Want your finance app to be one of the best mobile apps out there? It’s a good idea to follow Mint’s example and offer features that provide a sense of control to users. In Mint’s case, not only users can pay bills using the app, but they also can analyze their spending habits. Also, users can create different budgets based on their spending patterns and set up alerts to notify when a budget limit is reached. It’s the type of proactive budget management most users are drawn to. Mint is a great example showing how to properly capitalize on people’s need to reduce anxiety about being able to control their expenses, especially when it comes to emergencies.

With years of performance marketing know-how, proprietary data and exclusively owned and operated personal finance, Webpals® Mobile has proven to be very successful in the acquisition of high-value users and promotion of leading mobile apps. Here’s a selection of our success stories.

Contact us to see how we can help you unlock your app’s potential.