…and we are at it again or I am at it with yet another post on marketing. I have lost count on the number of posts that I have written on marketing for my (small) startup. It feels like I am on a relentless pursuit to growth hack or grow or ‘whatever you call it’, to increase My Day To-Do usage and bring it to the masses. Anyway this time, I tried something different to all the marketing I have done in the past. At first, I identified our target audience and I wrote some new blogposts which includes fictional stories that the target demographic can relate to and the agile user story. Later, I tried marketing it to that niche audience via Facebook ad campaigns or promotions
Motivation for this approach
As I have written a number of times in the past, we use Firebase Analytics at My Day To-Do to track app usage. One of the things we (or I) observed on Firebase was the age group statistic of our app users. Our Analytics data tells us that the majority of our users are females in the 18-24 and 25-34 age group. Now considering the problem My Day To-Do solves and our target demographic, I hypothesised the three categories of our app users. These were females that are students, working professionals or new mums. Therefore I decided to focus my marketing towards this demographic.
I know for a fact that one of the most important things about being a student was finishing assignments on time and making lecture notes. Personally I can’t remember taking lecture notes in class but I certainly saw most of the girls in my class taking lecture notes. Anyway, I thought I may write a couple of posts of some “fictional stories” that highlight what I think are very important things for that demographic. I wrote posts about days in the lives of three women, these are their stories. Remember, there was no direct mention of My Day To-Do in any of these blogposts, just some subtle hints at how the features can benefit students.
p.s. I am big fan of Law & Order: SVU, so I couldn’t help but write the line in bold haha
Post 1: An Australian student
This story centres around Sheila who’s a 22 year old student with a busy social and family life. This story talks about how an ‘app‘ she downloaded helped her submit her university assignment on time. Features such as speaking to-do on alarm, smart automated reminders, helped her maintain focus despite distractions such as, being dragged to a party by a friend, being a listener to her relationship troubles and helping mum prepare for a party. You can read Sheila’s story here
Post 2: An American student
This story is about a 20 year old American Student who goes to the University of Kentucky. Mary is not the most technically savvy person, a bit forgetful and she had trouble keeping up with what was being taught in her lectures. In this story it was the fast todo entry and speaking todos on alarm of the ‘app‘ she downloaded that came to rescue and helped her stay up-to speed in her classes. You can read Mary’s full story here
Post 3: A mum doing Christmas shopping
This post tells the story of a 30 year old woman in her early 30s and she’s a mother to two very ‘full-on’ boys, especially during the holiday season i.e. Christmas. Unlike the previous posts this is a ‘user story’ i.e. the agile methodology. The target demographic here are young mums. This is a relatively short post that talks about her expectations or ‘wants’ from an app that can help her stay organised with her shopping during the holiday season. You can read her user story here.
Promoting the stories
Ok writing a story is only half the job the next part is to try to bring it to the masses or more specifically, to the target audience. To promote these blogposts, apart from sharing these posts on all my social media i.e. Twitter, Instagram etc, I shared this on the My Day To-Do Facebook page and boosted it. You can read more about “boosting a Facebook post” here.
Facebook promotion for Post 1
I ran it (ad or boost) for 5 days targeting women in the age groups 18 – 25 in Australia, Kenya, Uganda, UK and USA. The boost reached 18,506 people and got around 159 link clicks. So to summarise it, of the 18,506 people who saw this ad, less than 1% of it thought it was worth clicking it.
FYI, for this post I had set it to optimise it for link clicks. The image on the right to shows what the ad looked like. Also this ad was run on Instagram too. This is something you can configure when setting up the promotion.
p.s. when setting up an ad campaign on Facebook you can configure it to get more link clicks, engagements (like, share etc)
Facebook promotion for Post 2
For this one, given that this post featured a story about a student living in the USA, I targeted the boost to just 18-24 year old women living in USA. I just ran it for 3 days and it reached 157 people with 14 post engagements.
FYI, I had optimised this one for more engagements. I wanted people to look at it, share it and just create brand awareness.
I did not do a Facebook promotion for my 3rd blogpost because that was a User Story i.e. something agile project managers do for their project. In contrast to the third post, the first two posts are stories that aim to paint a picture of a day in life of university students and how My Day To-Do can benefit them. The fictional stories are narrated to be as realistic as possible so that anyone reading it from the target demographic can relate to it.
In conclusion how much did these posts benefit us? Like my previous attempts at Facebook marketing, I am not sure how significant the benefits were? I ran these promotions in the November 2018 and that month, I had over 300 downloads. So this was business as usual, the download breakdown was
- 290 Downloads for the Lite version
- 3 people unlocked the daily weather in-app purchase in Lite
- 7 Downloads for the Full version
The normal monthly downloads are around that mark for all of 2018….except DECEMBER 2018 (more on that later). So yes the November downloads were nothing too spectacular. At this point, I need to re-think my marketing strategy, as there are a number of reasons for it not yielding the results that I expect,
Ad running time too short?
Should I be running the promotion or ad for a longer period? Some marketing experts on social media have pointed out that I should be running it for a month at least to see any tangible results. So perhaps I should have a set budget for every promotion and let it be.
Maybe get a dedicated person for it?
I know, I am repeating myself here but now it’s really more about my need to find an interim solution before I can hire a dedicated marketing expert. At this point, I am spread a bit too thin, I really am. There’s a ton of work todo and I simply cannot get to it all. I am still not the best at context switching between
- social media posting,
- using Agile methodology to plan a new feature.
- running an ad campaign (this includes doing audience and location research prior to it)
- and then coding the new feature
As it is, all of this has me working later than I should everyday and then to carefully monitor an ad campaign? Nope that hasn’t happened quite well, however I did correct my previous errors though. In the past, I have let an ad campaign run for longer than I should have on a few occasions. This meant, I ended up spending more than my budget constraints for marketing.
p.s.I have tried solving this problem before via hiring interns and that was, well….. my experience as a startup founder was that I rather just hire professionals on a contract. I mean I have felt that unless you am running a mid-big size company in which the intern sees a future full-time job, they are not likely to take the project seriously enough to be of any substantial help. Of the NINE interns that I have hired over the last 2 years (both paid and unpaid) only ONE was extremely effective and did something useful. More on this later…
Nothing too attractive about a product?
Once again, I think I may have mentioned this a few times before, just as some people on social media forums have. Maybe the product a to-do list is something that simply fails to attract enough people to it. Like I said before, I don’t believe this to be true, otherwise we wouldn’t have any downloads whatsoever.
As usual, if you find any of my posts useful and want to support me, buy or even try one of our products and leave us a review on the app store.