App developers often go a long way to increase the number of app installs. However, even a large number of downloads doesn’t guarantee quality user engagement, and subsequently, high volume of incoming payments. App developers, who are looking to monetize their applications, need to focus their attention on attracting the right users, those who won’t quit the app right after they launched it. How to attract that? Here are some tips.
Tip #1: Maximize the efficiency of app store optimization
Take it as a background rule that all the content on your app store page should be relevant for the users. Describe the features of the app in the most clear and expressive way and make sure that the app name, description and keywords fully convey the benefits of the application. Avoid stuffing the app store page with popular, but irrelevant keywords — those will only confuse the users and increase the churn rate.
Here’s an example of a well-optimized, yet clear app store listing and it’s rankings for relevant search phrases in Google Play Store.
Similar principle works for video and images: they should be highly descriptive of what the users will find in the app once they download it. Simple and clear design that highlights the app features performs better than cluttered images. Keep in mind, relevant users should be able to get the right idea about the app just from scanning the page in the store.
Tip #2: Run user acquisition campaigns with precise targeting
Although it is a basic rule for any advertising campaign, an astounding half of ad campaigns still don’t reach the right audience due to the wrong targeting. It’s crucial to envision target audience as clearly as possible. At the same time, overly specific targeting can be costly and limiting in terms of available inventory. The first priority is to get the OS, geolocation, and interests of the audience right. This will help in finding quality users, but also predicting the cost of the user acquisition campaign. Hypertargeting also can help with effective campaign optimization, analyzing all the traffic sources and eliminating the ones that drive low-quality traffic with a blacklisting tool.
Tip #3: Concentrate on non-incentive traffic
It’s tempting to buy cheap incentive traffic and see your downloads soar and the number of users increase in one day. After all, that’s how you can get 4 users for the price of one and move to the top of an app store ranking more easily. However, it’s not the best strategy for acquiring high-quality users. Most of those, who were incentivized to download your app, will uninstall it as soon as they get what they wanted — some benefits from another application. Incentive traffic can only be effective as a part of an ASO strategy. But even that is not guaranteed to apps in categories other than games, social media apps or solutions for everyday use. Non-incentive traffic, even though it’s more expensive, better serves the goal of bringing the right kind of users to an app.
Tip #4: Invest into creative advertising
Quality users are more likely to discover an app through creative advertising, such as video or playable ads. Users enjoy rewarded video ads, seamlessly integrated into the UX of an app, which allows them to receive prizes in the app they’re already using. Playable ads are gaining momentum as well. They work like mini-games that require user interaction, while showcasing the application experience. Eventually, those who got acquainted with the app and liked it will download it.
Here’s an example of a successful playable ad:
Tip #5: Filter out fraudulent sources
In the case of low-quality traffic supply, real users do see the advertising, but they do not belong to the target audience and therefore, have no interest in it. It might happen if publishers engage in undisclosed re-brokering with too many counterparts. Another cause of low-quality traffic could be the misleading nature of the ads, that give the wrong idea about the application and bring in disinterested users. Fraudsters can fake impressions, clicks and even installs, by manipulating the post-back event code, they make the system believe that an app has been installed, when in fact it was not. Another way the installs are falsified is by using bots instead of real users, or hiring so-called “human farms”, where people are paid for installing and performing actions in an app. Any sources that bring both low-quality traffic and suspiciously good results, should be eliminated.
Tip #6: Go on social media
Facebook and Twitter both remain major sources of quality traffic. Due to its unrivaled scale and impressive retention rates, Facebook leads the way in mobile advertising across all regions and platforms. It was the top media source in 2016 on both iOS and Android, except on Android Europe, where it took the 3rd position. While Twitter does not match Facebook in scale and it is generally more expensive for advertisers, it certainly shows great retention, holding second place in Android retention globally and demonstrating significant improvement in the iOS index. Advertising on social media is costly, but it’s a great opportunity for acquiring loyal users that will keep returning to your app and share their experiences with their followers.
Tip #7: Remarket
Target those who’ve already expressed an interest in your app by visiting your website on desktop or mobile. Good chances that they will want to use your application in the nearest future. Pick the right channels to display advertising both on mobile web and in apps: mobile websites and mobile search, social media, and applications in the relevant category. At the same time, be sure to discontinue serving ads to the users that already converted.
Tip #8: Localize
Having adapted your app to non-English speaking countries, you get the chance of reaching new quality users. Moreover, the markets where English is not the primary language are less competitive and less expensive. Make the local version of an app fully adapted to the language and cultural context of the country, and make sure that the new copy fits well into the app design. Having great reviews in the regional app stores will help you attract the right users.
Tip #9: Analyze user engagement
Finally, for understanding whether your user acquisition strategy is working and what changes you should make in campaign targeting, constantly analyze how the users are engaging with the app. It’s important to find out exactly what makes the users leave. If they tend to put your app in the trash after they’ve used it for a while, most probably you need to improve user experience (UX). If the users uninstall your app right after the download, it’s probably a sign of wrong targeting, low-quality traffic sources or fraudulent publishers. However, sometimes high uninstall rates are just a part of the regional market dynamics. For example, in India and Latin America users don’t have enough resources to invest in their phones, that’s why they need to optimize the space on their devices by uninstalling some of the apps.
Collect and process this information in order to fine tune the user acquisition strategy, to make it bring in the right users.