App competition is fierce. There are more than 2.2 million in the App Store and more than 2.5 million in the Google Play Store. The staggering numbers are only increasing each day, making user acquisition harder. To stand out from the crowd, you need to make sure to optimize your campaigns for success. If you don’t know where to begin, have no fear.

We’ve got all the information necessary for you to make the best choices.

Organic Traffic

We know that users with the highest LTV  most likely come from organic traffic. This means that the user who downloaded your app was not prompted to by any paid campaign.  This is why they tend to be more committed because they found genuine interest in it.

Getting Organic Traffic Via App Store Optimization

(ASO) is the process of making sure your mobile app ranks highly in an app store’s search results. The higher the ranking, the more  free organic installs your app is set up for receiving. The bottom line is that ASO will help you leverage app store search to promote your app and get more free downloads.

NOTE: According to the Apptentive study (results below), 48% of iOS and 50% of Android apps downloaded come through app store searches.

Optimization Factors

A. Title.

This is the first impression your users will have when learning about your app. It’s essential to add your keywords in the title to increase the exposure of your app.  Having a keyword in your title can improve your app’s search ranking for that keyword by an average of 10.3 percent.

TIP: You want to place your most relevant keyword, regardless of the keyword difficulty, in the title. If you have limited space in the title, you can add the keywords in the subtitle.

B. Keywords.

It’s easy to understand why keywords matter so much in your search optimization methods. After all, keywords are what customers use to search for your app, so performing keyword research is one of the most crucial things you can do for your ASO strategy. Using the right keywords can help you maximize your app’s chances to get found by potential customers.

TIP: Your ASO strategy begins with putting yourself in your customer’s shoes. Your goal is to improve discovery in app store searches and target those keywords that drive the most traffic. The best way to identify optimal keywords is consumer research. This includes finding out exactly what search queries brought your customers to your app

C. Icon

You know the old saying, “you only get one chance to make a first impression.” Well, it rings true in ASO as well, which is why you need to make sure your icon appealing. As we discussed previously, app users have tons of app choices, so the icon is a good way to show off your uniqueness. It is the first opportunity to show off your app’s purpose.

TIP: Don’t forget to test your icon against many different wallpapers.

D. Description

This is the only place for users to learn about your app’s functions and features in detail. So, you have to realize the importance of description of your app. The first three lines are very crucial to attract users to click “read more” button. You can add the main keywords in this part, but you should make sure the they appear about 8-12 times. You can also a call to action here, such as “play now,” “defeat your enemies,” “start meeting new friends,” or a number of any other relevant CTAs for your app.

E. Ratings and Reviews

App store ratings are crucial to driving rankings, discovery, downloads, updates, and in-app purchases. Apple and Google both use app store reviews and app store ratings in their app store search ranking algorithms, so the higher an app’s rating, the higher it goes in the rankings.

With a few easy-to-integrate improvements, in the form of rating prompts and in-app customer communication tools, you can make your ratings and reviews work for you rather than against you.

TIP: Another great place to ask for reviews is to ask in the latest release notes. Uber does this a lot.

F. Preview Video

Users who watch your video and then choose to install are of higher quality, as they have the best preview of app usage and are the most likely to use the app post-download. Keep in mind that App Previews and Google Play Videos have a totally different design and different requirements for video. Apptamin has a great resource for this.

There are tons of different types of videos, so you really need to analyze your audience. For example, in the gaming ecosystem, we noticed that showing the actual game play at an advanced stage is working best.

G. Screenshots

Screenshots show the functionality, look & feel of your app. Users, as a majority will not read through the whole app description to find out, what your app is about. Check out the three examples below. In each, the user gets a great picture of how the app works.

To reap the rewards of ASO, you need to invest time and effort. If you do, you’ll have a consistent channel driving traffic to your app. Being found is one of the most difficult challenges for mobile apps, but it is a problem you can resolve.

ASO Tools

Keyword Trackers

App Store Data platforms

App Store Ranking optimizing agencies

Cross-Promotion

Some of the available networks use direct cross promotion. The idea is pretty simple, the network allows two apps to exclusively show each others’ ads to their users. Every time you generate an install for your partners’ app, you’re allowed to receive an install in return.

Usually direct cross promotion is free for developers, with the network making money by selling some of the traffic.

 

Influencers

An influencer is somebody who influences other persons to buy or to try a product, in our case, an application.  Getting the attention of influencers is invaluable, and it’s easy to see why. They already have a dedicated fanbase who values (and trusts) what they say. They are responsible for actually driving new users for your app.

According to an eMarketer survey, 81 percent of marketers found that influencer marketing is the most effective method. Another survey found that 51 percent of the respondent marketers got better customers from influencer marketing.

Traffic via influencers

A few popular youtube influencers can literally bring thousands to your app. There are tons of them. Just go to Youtube and search for an app similiar to yours. You will see a bunch of uploaded videos from influencers. Go through and pick the ones with the most views or followers.

 

 

NOTE: here are few places to look at when searching for influencers.

  • Buzzsumo has a great feature literally called “influencers,” where you use keywords and discover Twitter handles of users sharing similar keyword-related content.
  • Neoreach helps you search through millions of influencers based on keywords, social performance, and even audience demographics.
  • Klout helps people who want to be great at social media. Join today to start sharing original content and measuring your online impact.
  • Clarity helps identify, navigate and strategize with you to effectively use the platform to your advantage.
  • Instagram Search

Paid Traffic

Organic acquisition shouldn’t be the only strategy up your sleeve when it comes to gaining app users, even if it is cost-free. When executed properly, paid campaigns complement organic ones by bringing in users quicker.

Payment Models

Understanding digital advertising pricing can be a bit confusing for beginners. There is a lot of different information out there as there is no set industry standard. Here is our attempt at unifying the terminology, so you can make the best payment model for you.

NOTE: It is not rare for an advertiser or agency to use more than one pricing model within the same campaign, and with a same publisher or supplier, all depending on their creative used and objectives.

1. CPM (Cost Per Mille)

CPM means cost per thousand impressions. If your level of engagement is over the threshhold, your cost per click will be lower than if you were bidding CPC (Cost Per Click). The reason is that, when shown, your ad receives clicks much more often than average. So if you pay for a block of impressions, you know your ad will receive many clicks, resulting in a lower effective CPC.

Keep in mind that CPM bidding will often grant more impressions than CPC, so if you’re under a time crunch for traffic, CPM may be a good way to go. Also keep in mind that costs per result may be very high in this process, but it’s an option to push volume quickly.

Advantages

  • Brand building.
  • Reaching Premium Publishers
  • Scaling

Disadvantages

  • Huge Budgets
  • Fast Turnover
  • Can be easily manipulated
  • Chances of fraud are higher

NOTE: This model is the riskiest because of the unpredictable outcomes, which require tons of attention and constant optimization.

2. CPV (Cost Per View)

Cost per view is the method of charging for video ads based on the number of watches the ad receives. This is a common bidding strategy for branding campaigns that primarily focus on reach.

Advantages

  • Pay only after the video ad started on the users’ device.

Disadvantages

  • The viewer might skip the ad, or close it at anytime, so all of the views you paid for might not actually be relevant.

3. CPCV (Cost Per Completed View)

You pay after the view meets the agreed-upon requirement, such as whether the user watches the entire ad or just a part.

Advantages

  • Able to receive high-quality users by paying for just a view from premium traffic, which provides a competitive advantage in the battle for inventory.

Disadvantages

  • There is no industry standard for what constitutes a view. Some platforms say it is after 30 seconds. The lack of industry standard makes it difficult to gauge your results on varying platforms.

4. CPC (Cost Per Click)

This determines which ads and where they get shown. When bidding CPC, you’re effectively shifting the onus of performance to the platform. That means you pay nothing if your ad isn’t effective at getting users to click. That risk that the platform takes is not a charity it provides, though. If your ads do not succeed at driving clicks, they very quickly get sidelined and stop receiving impressions.

When your ads get really high engagement rates on other platforms, the platform is quick to provide discounts on your cost per click because your ads are earning the platform money more often than other advertisers.

NOTE: Instead of counting on the platform to proactively give you discounts, it is recommended to lower your bids until you’re at the point of naturally hitting your daily budget. That will generate the cheapest clicks and act as your own discounting mechanism.

Advantages

  • Easier to gauge ROI
  • The ad gets exposure even without clicks.

Disadvantages

  • Huge budget: To track this type of data you’ll either have a robust in-house team or you’ll hire an agency, which is pricey.
  • Sometimes pay for accidental clicks or people who were just curious and not looking for your business at all.
  • High risk: can be easily manipulated by fraudsters.

5. CPI (Cost Per Install)

In CPI, you pay only  after the user downloads your app after clicking on the ad.

Advantages

  • CPI bids are generally higher than CPC and CPM.
  • Performance-based, so you only pay for users who have expressed enough interest to install the app.

Disadvantages

  • Limited control over traffic
  • Limited user behavior tracking
  • Paying per install on average leads to a lower total campaign ad spend than running CPC or CPM.

6. CPA (Cost Per Action)

Leads are only paid for if they complete an action (registration, reaching a goal, purchase, etc). With a CPA model, the conversion happens immediately. The sale is complete, and the advertiser or affiliate gets paid. This works great if you are advertising a high-volume low-cost product or service.

Advantages

  • Low risk
  • Easy to work out your return on investment and how your campaign is going.

Disadvantages

  • More expensive per unit than pay per click
  • Not Available To All Businesses
  • You need to know you are good enough at converting leads to be able to meet those costs and still make a good profit.

7. CPS (Cost Per Sale)

Leads are only paid if the user completes a purchase. This method pays a commission on a sale only if the lead results in a purchase.

Advantages

  • Leads get qualified by relevancy before they can be sold.
  • Good for building brand awareness
  • Low risk

Disadvantages

  • Higher costs per lead than other payment methods such as CPO, or CPA.

User acquisition is an ongoing battle for digital app marketers. The market is completely saturated with mobile apps, so it’s important your strategies set you above the competition. Remember you don’t need to choose one method over the other.

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