Simon Lejeune is the head of user acquisition at Hopper — the #1 flight-booking app in the U.S. Hopper’s mobile presence surpasses both Expedia and Booking.com — all without a website.
Building your brand online is expensive and time-consuming; marketing through mobile-first social channels can trigger high growth at a fraction of the cost.
HOW TO: Harness the power of social stories to promote your brand on the cheap
1. If you don’t have an app, create one
Visiting your website requires user initiative. Once past the initial download, apps help keep users engaged with no effort on their part.
You might consider hiring a professional app builder, but you can experiment on your own here →
2. Usher potential users to your app through social stories, both your current users’ and your own
Mentions in social stories, e.g. “Just booked my flight with Hopper — what a great app! Swipe to download!”, are digital WOM advertising. Instagram Stories is growing fastest, but SnapChat and WhatsApp Stories are also up-and-coming players.
Quickly create story-worthy material and syndicate it across networks →
Instagram Stories added 250M users in under a year and has a 70% annual growth rate →
3. Partner with influencers for product placement and direct promotion
Instagram and IGTV are primetime television for millennials, so reach out to influencers and ask them to feature your brand in their stories.
Hopper found that mid-sized influencers outperformed larger ones — engagement rates can be more important than followers. Find influencer authority scores here →
4. Don’t be complacent — create your own killer ad that grabs the viewer’s attention
Social stories are entirely visual, so test and retest your creatives until you find the perfect formula. In Hopper’s case, that meant minimal images in targeted location-specific ads like “Save up to 40% on your flight from [city].”.
Create and automate your IG ad experience →
5. Once they’ve downloaded the app, use push notifications to keep users engaged
The power of apps lies in push notifications; use them to keep your brand in front of users as your app sits passively in their phone.
90% of Hopper’s sales are triggered by push notifications →
Design and debug your own push notifications and set up triggers to automate them →