Written by: Tom Murray | Managing Director, Agency
There are hundreds of mobile app stats out there, but the ones that I tend to look at are around usage. Most commonly, I look at how many apps people use on a daily basis. That answer is just around 9 or 10 per day in the US, and you can probably guess some of the top apps on that list such as Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, YouTube, Amazon, Google Maps, Snapchat, Gmail. That is 8 right there that most of the people I know use fairly regularly. That doesn’t leave much room for other apps in people’s phone.
This means that the hardest challenge for almost all mobile app advertisers is simply getting onto the phone itself to share the screen time that are devoted to these major apps. If you have able a mobile app, there are some best practices that you can follow in order to help you have the highest chance of success in getting users to download your app.
Best Practice #1: Utilize Google UAC and Facebook Mobile App Install Campaigns
These 2 platforms will give you the best chance for success as well as scale early on. UAC stands for Universal App Campaigns, and are Google’s method of driving app installs across their suite of products such as Search, YouTube and Display, all in the same campaign. We’ve seen advertisers spend $1,000 a day on UAC and get to $10,000 in a few days as there is often ample scale here to drive efficient downloads. Facebook is not much different in that it can also drive lots of scale and success after just a few days of ramping up.
Best Practice #2: Test LOTS of Creatives and Targets to Find Winning Angles
Because mobile app install campaigns tend to have really low costs per installs (typically $2 – $10 depending on your app and vertical), this means you can test a lot of creative and targets, and get back data very quickly. Often times we see app advertisers that don’t creative test much, mainly due to the difficulty in getting quality video since it is tough to video users actually using the app. Facebook allows you to do this easily with its Dynamic Creative Optimization tool, or DCO, that allows you to upload a combination of top body (5), headlines (5), images or video (10), and multiple call to actions such as “install now” vs “download” to create a Super Ad of hundreds or even thousands of combinations. Similarly, since data comes in fast, you can also test a wide variety of targets and demographic splits (ages & genders) where you might not normally do that for a higher end eCommerce product in order to structure for optimal algorithm setup. With mobile app efficiency however, you can split test early and often and then you can then use this data across your other channels to help find your winners early on.
Best Practice #3: Don’t Forget About the Apple App Store!
Running ads on Apple Search for example may sound like a waste since users are already searching and can find you, but often times new apps won’t show up at the top until they receive a lot of ratings. Using the Apple Search Ads platform can help you be top of mind to users or even alert users that you have an app. We’ve seen that with broader targeting, scale is definitely there and have seen some advertisers go from spending $500 a day to $2,500 a day to over $10,000 per day efficiently.
Best Practice #4: Test Different Descriptions & Creative Sets for your App Landing Page
Unlike eCommerce products that have desired landing pages, most people send ad clickers directly to the app store landing page. This needs to be tested and treated like any other landing page, which means it should be constantly A/B tested with different descriptions, copy, and image / video combinations. Constantly optimizing this can cause lifts in install rate of anywhere from 20% – 100%, which can have extreme impacts on your CPI in a positive direction.
Best Practice #5: Figure Out Your Tracking BEFORE You Launch
Often times we see mobile app clients that do not have their tracking in a good spot even months or years after being live as it tends to get pushed to the back-burner in order to launch the app on time and keep it updated. This is a big mistake and often times the #1 thing holding you back from properly spending and scaling. If you get your tracking and events in order, then it will be very easy to see what is and what isn’t working. When testing as much as you can with mobile app campaigns, there is going to be a lot of waste, and understanding where it comes from can help you trim the fat early and focus on the winners.
If you follow these best practices, you are going to be well on your way from increasing your budgets from $100 to $1,000 and in no time you may see yourself over $10,000 per day!