This week we need to consider marketing strategies and ways of promoting and energising our idea/product – I think, because mine is app based, I’ve been too focussed on how I could use digital platforms to promote this app. However, I’ve since realised, having spoken to so many locals and tourists face to face, that analogue marketing is still a very much real and tangible thing. I’d be remiss to ignore this and not consider how much tourists in particular love seeing something real and fun in the City.
In the following blog post I’ve considered these marketing strategies and will expand on some and add to it as I go along:
- Production / Collab partners
- Shops/hotels/bars/pubs that want to get involved
- Soft Launch for basic app – Halloween 2020
- Big launch for more updated and in-depth app – Halloween 2021
- Insta focussed marketing – image based and story based
- Twitter focussed marketing – starting up conversations / discussions
- Work with VisitYork for more family focussed marketing
- Weekly Insta/Twitter/Blog insights into Ghost Activity (eg. Insta Stories: SPOTTED!) Story related posts to tell the stories of ghosts
- Weekly promotions for the local independent businesses involved – Promote the offers that you can get through the app
- These shops/restaurants etc would also have featured stories or posts regarding the ghost app
- Analogue marketing: cryptic posters around the City in the lead up to the launch.
- Actors around the city during Halloween promoting the app in specific locations
- Youtube – once the app is launched, ask the users to send videos of their family or friends reacting to the ghosts & the AR
- Use YorkMix press website to promote the app – adverts
- Get featured in “best of York” blogs etc.
In addition to the above marketing strategies, I also wanted to assess a few Case Studies I’ve found along the way during my research into AR Games:
Pokemon Go – Of course, I had to start with this one. It’s the closest in terms of structure to my app and their marketing strategies are definitely something to learn from. Of course, Pokemon already had a 20 year relationship with it’s loyal customers, so this app was always going to be huge. However, they definitely pursued a lot of avenues which gave them more traction for promotion towards people like me (who, before Pokemon Go, never knew what it really was). I downloaded it and loved it, I could finally learn who was who and the stories behind the characters. Their main selling point was being the first, high quality AR game on the market and using hidden in maps and real location technology it appealed to everyone. It was Free to play, they made is accessible across different platforms, combined AR and Location services, they also were promoted, kind of by accident, by many many shops and bars etc (see below examples). They could increase visitors and in turn profit from having a Pokemon in their location.
Frogipedia – Not a particularly popular app, but definitely an important one for me to focus on. They use scientifically correct information and visuals in AR to dissect a real frog. Not for the squeamish but really useful to acknowledge that despite the focus being AR, you can still be accurate with the information you provide. I think I need to remember that although this is a game and something that is taken very lightly, I still need to be as historically correct as possible as it can still be educational and fun.
BBC Civilisations – You can look at historical artefacts within your own home – zoom in on the finer details, look as close as you like and understand the size of these artefacts. Again, this is very similar to above – it’s only something I will look at for the clarity and accuracy of their AR and educational aspect.
Wallame – Not come across this before looking into Case Studies – this is quite a fun little app where you can find a wall in any city and use AR to write messages and drawings on the wall. This is then saved and geotagged so others can come across the message and you can also find others around the world. I will definitely be focussing on the geotagging aspect – it could be a really fun addition to include a message or a way of getting fans of the app to leave notes (very difficult to police however and could get out of hand).
Just a Line -a Fab Google experiment – you can draw and sketch in your surroundings which is then rendered in 3D. This means you can walk around your newly created 3D drawings in AR – not entirely useful to what I’m doing, but if you follow their success with this you can really see how the future of AR in apps is going.
Ok, so having considered the benefit of an educational, fun, location based AR app, I think it’s definitely time to nail down my next steps in terms of marketing and promotions.
Insta – this is definitely an app that’s made for Instagram and would be amazing to utilise the great York based connectivity and community we have on this social media site. I’d be focussing on daily posts with #york #visityork #yorkshire as the main tags. Of course I’d use #spectrecollector (currently about 20 posts of just someone who’s taken pictures of old spectre cars). My main posts would consist of snippets of stories and tales of Ghosts in York. I’d intersperse this with a post a week (or more) of local shops and restaurants I’m working alongside for promotion and payment for adverts. I would also create a weekly Insta story about a different ghost – this would create intrigue and a sense of fun on the profile (totally taking inspiration from the NYPL InstaStories but on a smaller level and I’d have to keep the story very open-ended so as not to ruin the fun when they find the ghost).
Posters & Actors – In the run up to Halloween, my focus would be very much on Analogue marketing – It’d be great to have profiles of some different ghosts and keep them very cryptic – having the Q-Code on the poster so the viewer can download the app there and then. During Halloween I’d also work with VisitYork and hire actors to work within the city as some specific, well-known ghosts – interacting with the visitors and tourists makes it a much more exciting and personal marketing strategy.
Alongside these strategies I’d also promote the app with YorkMix Media (a local independent news site but also a visitor page for tourists). VisitYork information centre and the train station for promotion and to put up posters of the ghost profiles. The shops and hospitality involved in the app would also actively promote the app – with small flyers and stickers in the windows. They could also be encouraged to do as above and promote their shop if they have a ghost there which most will.