Kickstart Your Library App Promotion!

Want to kickstart Your Library App Promotion? Well we want to share this case study on the work of Alex Rawling and Laura Norman, both are passionate and talented Development Officers at Plymouth Libraries. They designed a focused campaign drive around the Plymouth Libraries app, from Solus during the month of February 2022.

Kickstart Your Library App Promotion!

They were finding that only a few of their current library members were aware of the Plymouth Library app and its various uses and benefits. They loved that the app can display a barcode that can be read by compatible handheld barcode readers and as their self service machines had recently been replaced they also have the ability to read a barcode from a mobile phone screen. Armed with this new functionality and the local authorities drive to become plastic free they figured it was the perfect time to launch a campaign to promote “digital library cards” and use of the app.

The scannable digital library cards that a customer can access within the app is a gamechanger in the way their libraries can operate. The Plymouth Libraries app from Solus had the perfect function to enable this to happen.

Most people now tend carry a mobile phone with them meaning that the Plymouth Libraries app can allow the user to always have their ‘card’ with them as the barcode on the app can then be scanned on the self service machines or by their handheld scanners.

They offer new members and existing members the option of a digital library card by using the app instead of a plastic library card. Plastic library cards are still available for those who would prefer them to using the app for example those who are digitally excluded.

The digital library card and app promotional campaign began with a planning meeting where they put a marketing plan together. This involved looking at the various marketing channels e.g. social media, their website, digital display screens, self service machines etc. and how they could utilise each one of these for this campaign. They also looked at each of the functions that the app provides and how they would benefit the user.

Kickstart Your Library App Promotion!

Why this campaign?

Laura and Alex ran through all of the outcomes they’d like to see from this promotional drive.

The main goals for them were:

  • Increase digital library card users.
  • Increase the amount of Plymouth Libraries app downloads and launches.
  • Increase traffic, transactions and actions performed on the app.
  • Encourage customers to become more independent with the help of the app.
  • Show customers the benefits of using the app – how quick and easy it is to reserve, renew, check their accounts, use a digital library card, and much more.

They knew from the start that they wanted to create a series of promotional graphics and other resources which would give a distinctive appearance throughout this campaign. The resources had to be informative, engaging and demonstrate to the viewer/reader that downloading the app will benefit their library user experience and allow them to take more responsibility of their account(s) in a more efficient way.

Kickstart Your Library App Promotion!


Using Photoshop, the graphics were created using the library’s existing font & styling, while including real screen images of the Plymouth Libraries app. The base concept for these images were then transformed into a poster along with a variety of other display formats so that all the images created for each of the different marketing channels had the same look and messages.

Kickstart Your Library App Promotion!

The promotional graphics were left bold but simple…with just a background, a phone screen and the main functionality of the app at the tagline/title.

The final images were adjusted and re-sized so the campaign would have images on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Promotional TV Screens (Slideshow). They were even included on their webpages as banners.

Kickstart Your Library App Promotion!

The social media posts contained a link to a webpage on the library website that provided more detailed information about getting started with both a digital library card number and the Plymouth Libraries app.


A video was created to show a real-time user walk through of the app and its different menu options. Users can often be reluctant to try something new, especially downloading and getting used to a digital phone app, so a video is the perfect way to demonstrate the look, feel and functionality of an app before they get it for themselves.

Kickstart Your Library App Promotion!

The video was made on a Samsung phone, using some live video footage and the screen record function for showing the actual Plymouth Libraries app. They then put all the filmed sections together, added a voice over giving instructions and some added graphics on top of the video all using the You Cut video editing app.

Once they were happy with it, they uploaded it to YouTube and set the privacy to limited until they were ready to make it public and you can view the video here

Outcomes and findings

During the campaign, as library staff introduced more and more of their members to the Plymouth Libraries app, they found that customers were unaware ‘The app could do that…’ which showed that the app hadn’t previously been fully explored.

This indicated that the campaign helped raise awareness of all the other functions of the app.

They monitored the number of app downloads and which functions on the app were used before, during and after the campaign by logging into the user area on the Solus website. They were delighted to find that app downloads had more than doubled from the previous month and book reservations via the app had also more than doubled!

This was their first official planned marketing campaign. They found it an exciting challenge and a great learning process which they plan to replicate in the future. All you need to make your own marketing campaign is an action plan, a creative drive and a passion for what you’re promoting.

A bit about the authors!
Alex Rawling – A Development Officer at Plymouth Libraries.
“I work in a small team but more closely with my colleague Laura. We are in charge of our Plymouth Library social media channels, promotions & marketing, aspects of IT & digital for our libraries, events & outreach, and a supervisory position at some of our library branches as well as other roles and responsibilities.
I have a passion for being creative and branding and I’m always looking for the things that others may look past and finding a way to make them special. I’m always tinkering around on Photoshop, creating new concepts for marketing materials or promotional banners.

Being allowed the freedom to create our own graphics as we did for this campaign gives a huge sense of satisfaction, knowing that our efforts and all of the planning we did came together and served its purpose. I look forward to our future campaigns!”

Laura Norman – A Development Officer at Plymouth Libraries.
“As well as developing new ideas and concepts to encourage people to use the cities libraries, I do IT support, outreach, events as well as all aspects of marketing and promotion.

I feel very passionately about libraries and the huge variety of things they offer as well as keeping libraries modern, fresh and up to date with the latest tech which can make things easier and more appealing for our customers.

This was the first time myself and Alex created a planned marketing campaign so this was a learning curve for us! But we thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait to see what we can do with our next marketing campaign!”

Thank you Alex and Laura for sharing! Want to know more? Contact us


Request a demo or get in touch