Six High-Performance App Marketing Strategies

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Six High-Performance App Marketing Strategies
Six High-Performance App Marketing Strategies

Mobile advertising is here to stay, with worldwide revenues leaping a massive 82.8% to $8.9 billion last year from $5.3 billion in 2011, according to new numbers from the IAB. With more than half of the adult U.S. population using smartphones and 900,000 apps in the Apple App Store, it's no wonder that mobile app publishers and other brands are hopping on the mobile advertising bandwagon to get their brands out in front of the skyrocketing number of mobile users. But with increasingly fierce competition, brands face the enormous challenges of achieving discoverability, sustaining user engagement, and, ultimately, driving monetization.

Successfully marketing your app requires much more than strategic media buying, compelling creative units, and catchy social media tactics. High performance mobile app marketers have a laser-like focus on targeting, acquiring and retaining loyal users—those who take a specific desired action, such as an in-app purchase. It's these loyal users who become repeat customers, word-of-mouth advocates, and deliver real, ongoing ROI.

Here are six tips for marketing your app, focused on driving more of these critical loyal users. They're based on more than 120 billion user-based app actions recorded on our platform, and they're proven marketing tactics for putting your app ahead of the competition:

  • Establish goals for loyal users.

Exactly what constitutes a loyal user will vary from app to app, and the definition will be tied directly to your marketing and business goals. Perhaps it's someone who launches the app frequently, or someone who makes an in-app purchase or registers via email. Defining that metric before launching any acquisition campaigns is important. You'll also need to determine the expected lifetime value per user so you can set cost-per-conversion targets (i.e., determine how much to pay for different traffic volumes to deliver the best possible ROI).

  • Promote your app across multiple traffic sources.

There are several types of traffic sources for mobile apps: ad networks, real-time bidding exchanges, social networks, such as Facebook, and more. Using just one source—or even one from each type—gives you too small a universe to be successful. You'd be missing out on valuable opportunities to identify the best sources for large volumes of loyal users. In fact, working with several traffic sources can improve loyal acquisition results by up to five times.

  • If Facebook isn't part of your strategy—think again.

Just a few months ago, Facebook was barely part of the mobile app advertising mix but, in a short span of time, we've seen brand spending on Facebook mobile app install ads grow by more than 500%. Facebook mobile ads are not only more cost-efficient but they also deliver a higher percentage of loyal, engaged users compared to other paid advertising channels. According to our data, the cost to acquire loyal app users is up to 55% lower via Facebook mobile install ads. Additionally, Facebook provides these results at a significant volume.

  • Track post-download activity and revenue.

As your mobile ad campaigns are running it's critical to track users' post-download activities and tie this data back to its traffic source, ad creative, and other campaign variables. This helps to pinpoint which specific traffic sources and campaigns are driving your most loyal users—not just the most downloads—as well as the most revenue.

  • Use direct attribution for the best insight into your results.

Ad tracking is a mission-critical component of most app marketing programs. By being able to attribute downloads and post-download events, like in-app purchases, to the marketing source, app marketers harness a powerful way to gain insights that drive business and deliver ROI. Be sure to use platform-specific, standard attribution tools (Apple's IDFA or Android's Referrer) to measure exact marketing results.

  • Measure engagement.

Relying on traditional tools such as CPM (cost per thousand impressions) and CPC (cost-per-click) as sole measures of ROI ignores the powerful engagement potential that mobile apps offer. Instead, we urge brands to utilize a new mobile measurement metric: CPEm–cost per mobile engagement. CPEm is defined as the cost of an app launch, an in-app purchase, or a registration. It's a far more meaningful tool that captures the extended relationship mobile apps create as consumers launch and relaunch apps, spend time in sessions, make in-app purchases, and register with the brand. In fact, in a study of more than 2.4 billion app marketing data points, we found that the average CPEm for mobile app advertising is one-tenth of the cost of a desktop keyword click.

Mobile app marketing shouldn't require guesswork. By deploying these tested strategies and tactics, brands can achieve high-performance results with their mobile app marketing campaigns that not only drive business objectives, but also acquire large volumes of loyal users.



By Craig Palli is chief strategy officer at Fiksu.

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