In September 2016, Apple released iOS 10. The update included improvements and tweaks to nearly every iOS app. For example, the Mail app now offers suggestions on which emails should be moved to a certain mailbox, and the Camera Roll allows users to search for specific people, places, or objects in their photos.
And while iOS 10 makes many adjustments to the user experience, several of its changes also affect mobile marketers. To understand how you can take advantage of the update, let’s look at five new iOS features that every mobile marketer should know about.
1. Dealing with “Limit Ad Tracking”
A new controversial feature in iOS 10 is “Limit Ad Tracking.” It’s a change at the operating system level that makes it more difficult for advertisers to monitor user behavior. iPhone owners who choose to limit ad tracking will now have their unique ID number, known as Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), masked.
But is the Limit Ad Tracking feature a game changer? Not likely, as we’ve noted in a previous TUNE article and discussed with several experts in a candid webinar. Up to 15% of iOS 10 users may activate this option, yet these are already the ones less likely to engage with mobile ad campaigns. Ultimately, mobile marketers need not worry about losing out on potential conversions through this feature, but read up on the latest research if you’d like to learn more.
2. Upgrading mobile apps with SiriKit
With SiriKit, developers can use Apple’s virtual assistant to build voice controls into their own apps (although Siri in iOS 10 may only work with six types of third-party apps). This means that Siri may be used to order users a taxi, or adjust the temperature control and stereo volume in their cars.
For mobile marketers, this new feature opens up endless possibilities—anything that makes a mobile device more convenient will help improve user engagement. What’s more, SiriKit may serve as a competitive advantage for mobile apps to stand out in the ever more saturated app stores.
3. Taking advantage of mobile payments
The mobile version of Safari supports Apple Pay, which makes it easier for users to buy products online securely without having to enter their credit card details over and over. What this means is that marketers can boost conversions through mobile transactions.
Just a few weeks ago, Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2016 proved to be the biggest m-commerce weekend in history. And the trend of using mobile devices to make purchases online will likely climb due to the convenience of iOS 10’s new support feature. Retail marketers should focus on making the online shopping process easier in order to guide more users to purchase through their phones.
4. Sending hyperlinks using SMS
The ability to send push notifications is one of the most important iOS 10 features for mobile marketers. While it was possible to send links by SMS in the past, iOS 10 now generates a preview of the mobile website.
The preview allows marketers to add an image, title, and call-to-action in the SMS itself. The end result is a more engaging experience for SMS recipients, and an opportunity for marketers to increase their clickthrough rate.
However, when using SMS to send hyperlinks to iOS 10 devices, there are a few guidelines to remember:
- A link must be at the start or end of the text message. If it’s inserted in the middle, the preview won’t appear.
- A link must begin with http:// or https:// in order for the preview to render.
- The image competes with the title for space in the SMS. If the image is too large, the title may get cut off so it’s best to keep the wordcount concise.
5. Using ASO for paid app search
App Store Optimization (ASO) is evolving. And while many factors affect app store ranking, paid app search is a new iOS 10 feature that can help mobile marketers compete in a crowded landscape. Marketers can bid on keyword searches, but only one ad result will appear at the top of each keyword search in the app store. App descriptions can be used to help determine the relevance of the ad, so compelling copy will be crucial in creating an effective ad that users will click on.
How to win with iOS 10
By taking advantage of these five new iOS 10 features to optimize ad campaigns, mobile marketers will be in a strong position to connect with—and retain—a broader audience of iPhone users. If you’re looking for more tips to win (and retain) more app users, check out our Complete Guide to App Marketing.
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Becky is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at TUNE. Before TUNE, she led a variety of marketing and communications projects at San Francisco startups. Becky received her bachelor's degree in English from Wake Forest University. After living nearly a decade in San Francisco and Seattle, she has returned to her home of Charleston, SC, where you can find her enjoying the sun and salt water with her family.