Today, we are in a new era of app marketing, one in which developers have realized that this strategy is not sustainable. A burst of new installs might help an app break into the charts or even find its way to the top of them, but unless its users are engaged, active and monetizable, there will be little overall value gained from this type of ad campaign.
That is why most app developers today have shifted their focus to quality over quantity. Rather than acquiring lots of low-cost installs quickly, they’re focusing more on the long-term goal of driving high-quality users that provide a user lifetime value (LTV) greater than or equal to the money spent to acquire them.
What are some of the strategies that savvy app marketers use to acquire LTV?
App Trailer Videos
What better way to showcase an app than through a trailer video? Videos allow the user to see an app in action and get a sense of its graphical style, mechanics and overall value proposition. If a user watches an entire trailer video and decides to download the app, the likelihood that they are genuinely interested in it is very high, whereas even most text descriptions leave them wondering. Some video ad solutions even allow marketers to capitalize on users’ interest by embedding a call-to-action at the end of the video that drives the user straight to the app store.
Pay-Per-Engagement (PPE) marketing allows advertisers to first test-drive new users to install their app and then reward them for completing a specific action within it. With PPE marketing, app marketers are not charged per install, but only after the user completes a specified action. These types of campaigns tend to be more expensive on a cost of acquisition basis and cannot typically match the volume of new users that a PPI campaign can produce. But by pushing users deeper into the engagement funnel, developers stand a better chance of having those users produce higher LTV.
As targeting has gotten more advanced for mobile advertising, it is now possible for marketers to retarget users who have previously downloaded their app with ads encouraging them to come back and re-engage. Retargeting campaigns can reduce churn, improve retention rates and deepen engagement by reminding users of why they downloaded the app in the first place. Many marketers use retargeting campaigns to announce app updates or introduce new features, creating a spike in re-open rates among an existing user base and maximizing the ROI of ad campaigns.
Deep linking is the relatively new technology that allows app developers to send a user to a specific part of their app, much the same way that URLs allow a user to visit a specific page within a Web site. Deep linking allows app marketers to adjust their creative, targeting and the overall app experience based on specific content. For instance, a hotel reservations app could conduct an ad campaign targeting users in a certain city, then deep link them from the ad to the screen in their app with the relevant listings. This personal method of app marketing leads to higher conversion rates and better quality users.
Analytics & Attribution
Mobile analytics solutions are becoming more sophisticated, allowing marketers to have a better understanding of how users are behaving within their app and what factors are leading them to engage deeper or monetize more effectively. Attribution analytics, in particular, can track the behaviors of users and attribute them to a specific advertising campaign or referral source.
With this information in hand, marketers can optimize their ad campaigns to increase their spend with those sources of higher quality installs and either tweak or altogether eliminate the under-performing sources.
The new era of app marketing brings with it an array of new strategies and tactics that can only be mastered through a mix of creativity, ingenuity and patience.