5 Ways to Master the Art of App Promotion in 2016

The following is a guest contributed post to MMW from Kobi Edelstein, VP of Advertising at Appnext. It’s not an exaggeration to say there is an app for everything. Nowadays, we live in a world where anything and everything is accessible with a touch of a button. We can measure our health, organize our day, …   Read More

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opinionThe following is a guest contributed post to MMW from Kobi Edelstein, VP of Advertising at Appnext.

It’s not an exaggeration to say there is an app for everything. Nowadays, we live in a world where anything and everything is accessible with a touch of a button. We can measure our health, organize our day, get recipes, find products, play games, and do almost anything in between thanks to the variety of great apps which cater to our every want and need.

From the publisher’s perspective though, the over-abundance of apps, both in iOS and Google Play, poses a dilemma. In a world so cluttered with apps, how can each of them promote their own business and make it stand out from the crowd? In this reality, staying ahead of the game is an absolute must. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Know your users and develop ads to fit them

It may seem obvious, but unfortunately there are still many apps today that are designed for money making rather than engaging users.  But if your goal is the long-term success, the bottom line should be your users–not your own profits.

Therefore, you should focus on providing an experience that resonates with your audience. In order to accomplish this you must first establish who your users are. Are they teenage boys? Or are they perhaps middle aged women? When do they interact with your app? Do they check it over the morning coffee or late in the evenings just before going to bed? Do they live in cities, small towns, suburbia, or somewhere else entirely? Knowing who they are, what their interests are, and getting a feel for their lifestyle is a great way to understand when and what message should be conveyed.

For example, in the ad below by Gett, they realized that their target audience (young urban professionals) might need their service to get back home after a night on the town. They therefore created an ad representing this notion, giving them a way to opt into a reliable designated driver even before they go out.

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We cannot emphasize it enough – knowing your users is the key. The marketing opportunities that come from aggregating this information are almost endless. Knowing information such as what other apps they have installed means knowing where to find them. Do they enjoy casual games? If so, try Direct-Buy campaigns, bidding directly for the apps in this category. By providing the most relevant message for the perfect placement, you will ensure supreme conversion rates, and eventually, user engagement.

  1. Make Transparency Your Sacred Mantra

As an app marketer, you work with a wide array of mobile advertising partners such as platforms, networks, and direct partnerships. Unfortunately, with many of them, you still gain little to no transparency beyond the basic campaign performance. However, we are entering the age when clicks and installs are no longer so important. In contrast, user engagement, and hence, the publisher relevance and quality, are the real deal breakers.

The answer here is being at the driver’s seat of your app promotion campaigns. Know exactly where your apps are promoted, and how they are promoted. Keep an eye on post-acquisition app usage patterns, comparing those across publishers. It will allow you to focus on the top performing publishers and allow you to buy directly from them to attract top-engaged users.

3. Research Competition

There’s a lot of competition in the mobile industry. For this reason, it’s important that your app value proposition is well-defined so you can declare your point of difference. With so much to choose from in the mobile world, users can get overwhelmed by all the choices they have which can hinder their ability to make a decision.

That’s why you should always research your competition. Knowing what they offer and what makes you different can help you reduce the anxiety associated with decision making and allow them to feel more confident in their final decision.

Gett aced this by delivering an ad highlighting the fact that they, as opposed to Uber, do not raise prices on weekend nights. Of course, since this is the most popular time for people to take taxis, emphasizing this benefit gives users an extra push to download the app.

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  1. Take Advantage of Better Targeting

As we previously mentioned, your user experience should be at the core of every decision you make. That’s why targeting is so important. With targeted ads, you create advertisements that are relevant in terms of timing and a user’s specific location.

Most US users tend to install apps in the evening. The timing slightly varies by platform – 6-11:30 pm for iOS, and 7-10pm for Android. From this, it appears that American mobile users prefer a relaxed evening mood to discover and try new apps. Interestingly, the top installed apps belong to shopping, lifestyle, strategy and casual game categories.

This implies, that if you have, for example, an eCommerce app, having advertisements appear around 6:30-8:00 PM would be ideal. Optimum timing paired with a laser-targeted message, and competitive research on your users can bring champion results. Furthermore, you can also add user location into the equation by targeting specific cities. This allows you to stay super focused in terms of budget and message, especially if you power a local offering app (e.g. taxi service, food delivery, dating apps, etc.).

  1. Consider Video Ad Format

Nowadays, mobile video ads are a must-have. Because videos are both engaging and entertaining, users tend to stick around longer to enjoy video ads versus other types of ad formats. In fact, according to VentureBeat, video ads deliver 7 times the number of conversions and also maintain the highest retention rates as compared to other ads.

The success of video ads specifically for app promotion relies on the fact that it allows the user to really feel what the app is about, and as such provides app marketers with immense creative opportunities to get the users hooked. Indeed, 30 seconds of an undivided attention sets the marketers’ creative spirit free from 300×250 banner prison.

A great additional benefit of video is that they can be a true source of entertainment. Often times, they star actual Hollywood actors, which naturally draws in their entire fanbase. It’s true that producing an app trailer that feature celebrities like Arnold Schwartznegger, and Liam Nissan is quite expensive. However, it was discovered that when it comes to performance, basic app trailers do not always cut it. If you haven’t done so already, you should definitely include app video ads to your promotion strategy to be on the forefront of user acquisition and engagement.

For all of these reasons, mobile video advertising is growing at astounding rate, becoming the most successful mobile ad format of all time.

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While we all know how hard smart app promotion can be these days, the key to being successful lies with developers and publishers working to get to know users and cater every aspect of apps and advertising formats to improving their experience. By doing this, you will see increased revenue, retention rates, and overall user satisfaction.

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