Why iOS 9 Matters to Mobile Marketers

Gilad Bechar

An iPhone’s main screen

iOS 9 is here, and the tech community has quite a bit of adjustments to make. For mobile marketing experts, an OS launch is always an important event, but this time in particular there’s a lot to take in. To make things easier, here are a few key features that your mobile strategy should take into account when welcoming the new version to the neighborhood:

Siri Search Gets a Whole Lot Better

One beloved feature that has improved in a big way is Siri. The virtual assistant is getting smarter (and some say kinder), and will now offer users public transit directions, location-based notifications and more. Why is this important to marketers? Because it’s the future of mobile search, which means that search-marketing techniques, like ASO (App Store Optimization) and SEO, will need to adapt as well. Marketers will begin to examine the way people search by observing their choice of words when they speak, not type. This will definitely be a major change in app store optimization.

Changing Settings is Easier than Ever

One of mobile marketers’ biggest challenges is getting users on board when asking for permission to access their data. As marketers and developers know very well, when an iOS user declines your request, the only way to change their decision is through the system settings, in a series of actions that could be somewhat complicated for the average user to perform. Well, marketers, Apple has a treat for you! It seems that as part of iOS 9, iPhone settings got a makeover, making them searchable, easier to navigate, and overall more comfortable to use. This is great news for product marketers and something we’re all extremely excited about.

Ad Blocking Is the New Mobilegeddon

Remember when everyone thought the universe was going to collapse because Google decided to go mobile friendly? Well, now it’s the app marketing industry’s turn. Everyone is dreading the influence of a new feature in iOS 9 that allows users to use ad blocking extensions on Safari. As I’ve explained before, there is very little to worry about, and actually, something to be excited for. After all, the industry has been focusing on in-app ads as it is. However, when forming a mobile strategy,  marketers should obviously follow the effect of this feature closely. It would encourage more and more brands to develop a better app, and it should be interesting to see Google’s moves in response to this drastic act against mobile search advertising.

More Organic Traffic Is on Its Way

The way we discover apps is changing and evolving all the time, and it is only natural for Apple to adapt accordingly. So, the mobile web may block your ads, but it will also help discover apps. iOS 9 displays installed apps as part of the search results, and could very well include uninstalled apps later in time. This is a big deal for search marketers, as well as everyone out there with an app to promote. At the moment, the meaning of this change is that retention will increase for apps that are cleverly indexed, bringing dormant users back to the product following a relevant search. In other words: a marketer with a better app will see much better results.

As is usually the case in mobile, we will only truly know the meaning of iOS 9 after users worldwide get used to it and make it part of their daily routine. But still, getting caught off guard is never a good idea in marketing, and the above features are definitely worth investing in. If your app marketing strategy depends on one of the key factors mentioned here (and chances are that this is the case), I suggest that you set some time to think of how these changes are going to affect you personally and what needs to be done in order for your mobile strategy and brand to remain relevant

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