Recently, Apple announced that its App Store alone now contains more than 425,000 apps. As a mobile marketer, you’re undoubtedly searching for ways to make your app stand out in such a massive crowd.
Do you lose sleep at night wondering how to get your app ranked high enough to be discovered? Or
how to get enough downloads to cost-effectively scale your business? And most importantly, how to accomplish all of this without breaking the bank? Take comfort in the fact that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing to and securing mobile app users and that you’re not alone – your competitors are facing the same challenges.
Understanding your app’s “personality” might not be the first thing you think of when devising your mobile marketing strategy. But it can reveal some important insights that will help you convert your marketing spend – and results – from shots in the dark to precise ROI.
It may seem silly, but think of your app as a person for a moment. Is your app a celebrity like Lady Gaga – exuding the nonchalant coolness that compels everyone to download it as the ultimate smartphone accessory/status symbol? Or is your app less Gaga and more Martha Stewart, fulfilling a particular hobby or niche interest? Or maybe your app lacks charisma but is really very useful.
Identifying your app’s unique personality is fundamental to scientifically understanding your app’s ideal rank in the app store. You must go through a testing phase to understand your app’s personality characteristics with respect to its ratio of organics to paid conversions at given rank positions and then the value of users gained at those positions. To understand your app’s personality, begin by answering these questions:
- What is your total budget?
- What is your target number of users?
- Do you know how many organic users (those not influenced by marketing) you get in any given rank (irrespective of category?)
- Do you know at which rank organic users are more likely to become loyal users?
It may well be that you don’t need a top 10 rank to achieve your goals. For example, app 1 might attract the same volume of organic users whether ranked at #12 or #25, whereas app 2 may find that a higher rank drives greater organic lift.
But, it’s also worth noting that a high rank doesn’t automatically lead to loyal users, the kind who repeatedly use an app, register or even make in-app purchases. For some apps, the quality of the user when ranked very highly may actually be worse – someone who might only launch the app once or twice and then move on. There are cases when you attract a higher quality of user at a slightly lower rank position.
The takeaway is that every app has a different personality. Measuring these important factors helps app marketers hone their strategy and develop advertising campaigns that squarely and consistently target the ideal rank position for their app’s unique personality and goals.
Why Weekend Advertising Might Not Be Your Best Strategy
Once you understand the importance of your app’s distinct personality and how it helps you understand which rank position is the bull’s eye for your business goals, the next important step is focusing on when to spend your advertising dollars to achieve this ideal ranking.
Of late, I’ve seen many mobile advertisers spending large chunks of their dollars on weekend campaigns. Does this approach work and is it the best ROI for your marketing dollars?
Weekend campaigns are good for the ad networks – so they want you to do them. Over weekends, ad networks benefit from more aggregated buys with their publishing customers. It’s good, efficient business for them. Many trumpet the volume of interactions they handle over any given weekend, but does this
mean that you should follow suit? Not necessarily.
It is true that more downloads occur on weekends (when people are more likely to click on in-app ads while playing Angry Birds or Words with Friends.) But the reality is that it actually costs more to buy sufficient volumes of weekend traffic to achieve your target rank position.
Rather than betting your results on a weekend burst campaign, your best bet is not to bet at all. My advice is to set a specific budget and user goal, then run a consistent campaign over 30 days using as many traffic sources as you can. This will amortize your spend across weekends and weekdays, and optimise your cost per user.
To learn more about the tips above and others, download the free e-book, Best Practices for Growing Your Mobile App Business.