Recently, Yahoo! announced its App Search in an effort to address the app discoverability challenge. We understand why. Consumers have an insatiable appetite for downloading the hottest new apps that reside among the half a million crowding the app stores. As a mobile marketer, this spells huge promise and opportunity if you can overcome the needle in the haystack problem. Those 500,000 apps are competing with yours for users. How can you ensure that they will find and download yours?
The solution is in loyal user acquisition. Loyal users are those who take an action, such as an in-app purchase or registration. And they key to attracting loyal users is App store visibility. There is no amount of buzz, PR, one-off ad campaigns or sheer “wow” factors that can equal the power of a top ranking.
The challenges of app promotion are complex and can easily consume large chunks of your marketing budget. However, they don’t have to. Following are five of the strategies we’ve proven out for improving app store rankings and securing those critical loyal users (read about nine additional strategies in our e-book):
1. Work with as many traffic sources as possible
If you are working with only one traffic source type (e.g. a mobile ad network, real time bidding platform or incentive based program), or even just one of each type, it really is too small a universe to be successful. You are missing out on valuable opportunities to identify the best traffic sources for driving the largest numbers of loyal users, and to scale your business.
2. Focus on loyal users
None of the ad networks has a method for understanding how to deliver loyal users that can be directly tied back to your ROI. So you must take the initiative. To get loyal users we recommend the following:
- Define the characteristics of your loyal user
- Automate the tracking of these loyal user characteristics
- Identify the traffic sources that generated these loyal users
- Steer your ad spend toward these traffic sources
- Track all of your users’ interactions with your app
3. Drive and track downloads from organic users
Organic users are those who actively seek and download your app without any marketing influence. They have a much higher lifetime value than ad-driven users. You should be actively targeting organic users because they are the most likely to become your loyal users.
4. Consider differentiated or alternative categories
Do you know which category and rank will generate the most loyal users for the lowest cost possible? Your app probably fits into a number of categories, and while your gut instinct may be to place it in the most popular categories, you may fare better in one that is differentiated or alternative that might enable a higher
ranking. For example, it might be better to rank fifth in a smaller category as opposed to 25th in Games.
5. Know which traffic sources drive loyal users
Based on your definition of a loyal user, you need to understand how many loyal users you are generating from each ad network and traffic source, and at what cost. Measure and recalibrate to get the mix right.
It’s true that finding the right mobile app marketing formula takes time and effort, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, you could even slash your user acquisition costs tenfold in the process. To learn more about the tips above and others, download the free e-book, Best Practices for Growing Your Mobile App Business.
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