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It’s finally done—or is it?
Your new mobile app is finished. It’s quality tested, capable and ready for rollout. But it’s missing one vital ingredient—something without which no app will survive. That ingredient is an audience.
Without new users, your app will never truly get off the ground. Most app creators tend to think that the market will naturally choose their app as long as it’s good. That unfortunately isn’t the case. In fact, you have a better chance of making it to the NBA than you have of your mobile app taking off, according to app market researcher John Dinsmore.
If you want to maximize your chances of success, you have to achieve critical mass quickly. That means acquiring and onboarding new users. Though a strictly organic strategy can occasionally drive success, you’re much more likely to succeed by harnessing paid media. With these tactics, we’re going to cover how to rapidly grow your app installs.
1. Use All Available Data
If you want to grow your customer base, you need to understand what your customers want and where they are, which takes measurement. That’s not rocket science—it’s a basic tenet of marketing—but it’s surprising how many entrepreneurs ignore it.
For example, Snapchat advertising’s ability to drive installs of non-gaming apps grew a staggering 75% over the course of H2 2018, according to the AppsFlyer Performance Index, but you’d never know it if you weren’t paying attention to the numbers.
Reports like the Performance Index are extremely useful in terms of giving you a direction to go in with your advertising. Understanding trends like how much the shopping vertical has grown or how much the gaming advertising networks have consolidated are essential. If you’re willing to invest a little money up front here, you can maximize your impact by choosing the right direction for your advertising.
It’s important to also make sure you’re monitoring where your installs are coming from. Watch your statistics and make sure you stay on top of key reports so you know if anything changes.
When you know which marketing channels are really converting, you can figure out how to divert your resources to the right ones. It’s simple, but something as basic as getting the right attribution for every new user gives you the information you need. Your decisions become much easier when you have the right data to act upon.
2. Advertise On The App Store
Apple Search Ads make a lot of sense because they place your app in the middle of prime real estate. Whenever someone searches for something that matches closely with your app on the App Store, if your ad is served, it pops up right at the top of the page, front and center.
No wonder it’s one of the fastest growing advertising channels for new apps. Less than two years after launching, it’s risen to the number three slot, as per the Performance Index. This network’s share of the app install pie increased by more than 20% between H1 and H2 last year.
Some 70% of installs on the App Store begin with a search, and App Store ads have a 50% average conversion rate. If you’re not capitalizing on this channel, you’re missing out on one of the best ways to get your installs up early on.
3. Use The Big Networks
Facebook is particularly useful for app advertising. It’s ranked number one in performance, in terms of mobile media sources. Google Ads comes in at number two.
Google’s platform is especially important though, because of tie-ins with both its search platform and YouTube. Facebook’s breadth of targeting options and huge user base make it a great choice, as well. There’s a reason both rank so highly—they’re the two biggest and best networks for regular advertising too, so it makes sense that they’d have the same reach into driving app installs.
If you’re going to use Facebook or Google, though, you need to make sure you’ll drive an impact in their crowded markets. Make sure you’re hyper-specific with your targeting, or you could wind up paying more than you need to, or reach an audience that doesn’t convert.
4. Dominate The Margins
Most app advertising campaigns focus on the big players—Facebook, Google and the Apple Search network.
We’ve talked about those already, and they’re definitely important, but that’s not the only way to go. Depending upon who your audience is, it may be a great idea to experiment on a few less-popular platforms with niche communities.
The more dedicated product evangelists you can get regularly using your app early on, the better chance you have of building a natural groundswell of support. Big platforms have a much larger potential audience, but they also have more competition, which translates into higher costs per click.
The ironSource ad network is one one such small niche player that’s made consistent leaps in the Performance Index specifically for the gaming app market. It’s gone from ranking twelfth to now being the sixth most effective network, and it’s not the only one for the gaming niche.
Plenty of other verticals also have their own smaller, more vertical-focused advertising networks—it just takes doing a little homework to track them down and see if the margins can work for you.
Optimize Your Strategy For Early Traction
Maximizing app installs takes the willingness to invest time, effort and financial resources. It’s also becoming increasingly difficult to get your app noticed without being on the right advertising networks.
Once you can identify the right ad networks for your app and begin experimenting with driving affordable installs, you’ll get your app in front of more and more people. If you’ve done everything else right, your excited early users should help to generate buzz, engagement and even referrals.
Getting an app off the ground is hard, but following the numbers and investing in acquisition channels that reliably pay off will keep you ahead of the curve.
June 11, 2019 at 05:49PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs