TOP 8 efficient ways to promote your mobile app
4 January 2023
There are currently over 4.4 million applications available for the two largest operating systems.
On average, we have about 40 mobile applications installed on our phone, but we spend almost 90% of our time using 18 of them. It differs significantly in age groups, because millennials can have over 67 applications. The statistics in a range appear linear, the older the group, the shorter the life of the application and the smaller the number of them.
How to stand out with such a concentration of applications, engage and retain the user?
Here are the Top 8 ways to promote your mobile app
Start with the metrics
When you’re promoting your application, it is especially important to have a good understanding of the metrics that are used to track the user. More than anywhere else, user retention, attachment, returnability and lifetime value count. In web projects, Life Value (LTV) is rather not measured, everything is focused on the here and now results in a given period.
Metrics that will be key performance indicators for applications include:
Referral rate – how many users are attracted by one user on average?
ARPU – average revenue per user
LTV – lifetime value of one user
DAU / MAU – the average number of active users daily / monthly
CAC – cost of acquiring one user (installation, registration, subscription, purchase)
Churn rate how many users stop using the application in a given period of time
Of course, for individual application segments KPIs may be different, and so e.g. mobile games will focus on maintaining session length, average revenue, average number of application launches, etc., while e-commerce will monitor life value, the number of transactions, and the value of the basket.
Know the User’s Life Value (LTV)
Life Value is the most important metric in an application analyst. It can be said that this is the average revenue gradually obtained from one user
Usually it consists of several factors:
ARPU = revenue factor
CHURN = maintenance factor
REFERRAL = viral factor
Ultimately, we can write down the formula for calculating life value:
LTV = ARPU x 1 / CHURN + REFERRAL VALUE
Let’s assume that with ARPU = PLN 10 in a given month and the outflow of users at the level of 60% LTV, it will be:
LTV = PLN 10 * 1 / 0.6 = PLN 16.67
As can be seen from the formula:
The more users you keep, the bigger LTV;
The longer you hold the user, the higher the LTV;
The more income you generate, the higher LTV.
Take care of the comfort and ease of use (UX)
For mobile users, the most important aspect in the reception of the application is simplicity, speed and limited intrusiveness. First of all, focus on minimizing the cognitive burden. In other words, the human mind has limited power to process information. Their crowds make it difficult to perform a given activity, which will ultimately mean abandonment. In the practice of mobile design, too many elements in one view cause user’s dilemmas. Additionally, the less data you require from the recipient, the better. The most repetitive design mistake is duplicating the requirement to enter the same information in several places.
Mobile screens often require a longer process to be broken down into several steps. Thanks to this, it is possible to make them seemingly less complicated, at the same time arranging them into a logical whole and informing the recipient at what stage they are currently at.
In the design phase, carefully analyze existing similar applications on the market. They often develop certain standards of use. This applies, for example, to commonly used search mechanisms, the location of the notification button or sorting elements. The user is more likely to stay in the application if its interface is repeatable.
Provide high organic visibility (ASO)
ASO is the SEO equivalent for websites, i.e. ensuring high visibility in application stores for the relevant keywords.
The elements that you should pay attention to are the title / subtitle of the application, its description, graphic materials, icon, video. On the other hand, there are external elements that have a very strong impact not only on the positions under the keywords, but also the visibility in the category list, which are: the average rating and the trend in recently added reviews, as well as the number of downloads. It is much easier to have high-rated applications with a good history, which are distinguished by a large number of downloads.
There are many tools on the market that facilitate Dealership and automate the work related to optimization, eg TheTool.io, AppTweak, AppFollow or AppRadar. They will help, among others in:
Performing a keyword search process and assessing their potential
Analysis of competing applications
Assessing the quality of content added to stores
Performance monitoring and reporting
A thorough analysis of the download efficiency after combining data with Google Play and the App Store
Remember that the ASO process does not end with a one-time optimization. You should still analyze visibility, monitor competitors, draw conclusions, test different versions of descriptions and graphics, and take care of a positive reception on the market.
Increase your installs with online campaigns
Paid marketing channels are the fastest and most scalable source of influencing new users. Campaigns for the installation of the application, depending on the advertising platform, may contain the name of the application, description, creation (image, movie, animation), as well as call-to-action buttons. Therefore, they do not differ significantly in terms of structure from other types of online campaigns.
In campaigns for installations, the so-called A “burst campaign”, which consists in obtaining the greatest possible inflow of installations in the shortest possible time. This allows you to get more visibility in the organic app store rankings in the first place. This, in turn, drives organic picking even more and drives growth (ASO components). Depending on the location, you can estimate the number of downloads needed to “enter” the top charts, that is, rankings with the most popular applications in a given time period.
You can use many advertising platforms to conduct campaigns, the most popular of which are Google, Facebook, Apple, as well as Twitter, Pinterest or Snapchat, as well as many mobile advertising networks gathering other applications. In most of them, you will set a target cost of acquiring one installation depending on the operating system.
Thanks to Google, you will be able to be displayed in one campaign in search results on relevant mobile devices, in the Google Play search engine, in the advertising network and YouTube. Apple Search Ads will allow ads to appear in the App Store search results on iOS devices. In turn, Facebook is not only the most popular social networking site, but also Instagram, Audience Network and Whatsapp.
Optimize your campaigns on Google and Facebook
The main area for optimization within Google is resources, so it is worth using the maximum creative limits, i.e.:
4 advertising texts, each with a maximum of 25 characters
20 graphic creations
20 YouTube videos
20 HTML5 creatives
When preparing video materials, remember about their different layouts: landscape (16: 9), portrait (2: 3), square (1: 1). This will allow you to maximize the available space and obtain better results through greater availability on different screens. Remember the first two / three seconds of the video to attract attention. Add a voice over and finish the material with a clear call to action. Do not use too much text (the universal rule is max. 20% of the volume!), But use graphics directly from the application showing the context of their use.
In the case of Facebook, you can use the same effective advertising tools as other campaigns, especially create A / B benchmarks, optimize your budget at the campaign level, or choose your bidding strategies. Targeting, apart from creation, is the most important element affecting the effectiveness of the application’s campaign on Facebook. In addition to age, location, connections with the Facebook profile, it is best to focus on non-standard groups based on data from the application, website traffic, customer lists etc.
You can use several ad formats for your app ads:
a single image or video
carousel with the possibility of scrolling
In the case of FB, the creation actually goes to at least a dozen placements, each of which looks slightly different. Use previews to verify how it will appear in the right context.
When designing your ads, follow these rules:
put the context of using a given application on images, show a mobile device and a specific screen from the application (your application, not the stock one!)
write in the text about the numbers: we already have 10,000 users / in 2020 the application was used by 50,000 people / join 5,000 using a given functionality
show by value what the user will gain, eg time, discount, special access, distinction etc.
focus on video formats, use GIFs, test animations, carousels and various call to action buttons
Switch to campaigns optimized for actions, revenues and life value (LTV).
After collecting the appropriate number of users and data about the user of the application, it will be a natural step to move with campaigns in order to obtain installation for the purposes related to the use of the application. It may be the implementation of some stage, such as registration or purchase of a subscription with a specific value. How to mark this moment?
In practice, the good news is that you don’t have to designate one. The largest advertising systems, such as Google and Facebook, will use the incoming data even from the moment the application starts. Of course, your CPA optimization campaigns will be very small initially, and your spending there will gradually increase as your user base grows. For other types of campaigns, you don’t set a cost-per-click, cost-per-install, or cost-per-impression, but you control the maximum or target CPA cost you are aiming for, and even the percentage of return on ad spend, ie ROAS. It is very important to determine the average value from one installation / user – at least in the form of a plan. Only this indicator will allow you to calculate what the maximum cost of acquisition should be for the business to be profitable.
Plan remarketing from the first launch of the application
On average, 71% of your app users will leave after 90 days. To be “below” this average you have several options for action:
Provide clear, transparent and simple onboarding, which is the stage after the first launch of the application. Show how to use the application, learn about the benefits and do not require too much information the first time you use it.
Limit push communication. Their excessive number and, most of all, not adjusting them to preferences is one of the most common reasons for uninstalling an application.
Plan remarketing activities from the very first launch of the application – the key is the first 3 days for the user’s full interest. Return to the recipient with a message tailored to him, collect the history of use.
Observe technical data: number of crashes, screen loading times, use of specific functionalities, bug reports.
When remarketing, it will be important to configure deep links in the application. These are the screens that the user will see after clicking on the ad in such a way that he does not have to go several stages from the main screen.
To sum up, a good plan for promoting a mobile application should primarily be based on business indicators that are significantly different than those known from web projects. Understanding and calculating them provide the basis for the correct planning and optimization of an online campaign. A large share of machine learning means that most of the optimization work can be devoted to the analysis of creation, improvement of messages, testing various auction strategies or analysis of incoming data.