It is beyond dispute that, nowadays, it is becoming more and more difficult to stand out among all the apps available on Google and Apple app stores, and the key to dominating the world of Mobile App Marketing is building up a successful optimized strategy. People are willing to choose to download an app rather than another because of some specific factors that are the combination of appealing design, good reputation, and an effective app promotion strategy.
The first thing we need to do is clarify the definition of Mobile App Marketing. The expression refers to marketing campaigns designed for app users, whose goal is to acquire them, improving their involvement until reaching monetization. Therefore, this concept should not be confused with Mobile Marketing, which instead refers to all the marketing activities run on mobile devices. Due to the increasing quantity of competitors, running a successful app install campaign has become crucial. The optimization of the app campaigns must happen soon after the launch and it is important to adjust it over time.
In addition, it is important to find the best technologies and marketing channels in order to raise the campaign volume and move the needle in the jungle of apps. Because the competition is high, it is difficult to achieve success, so adopting good strategies for mobile app marketing is essential to grow your app user base to increase brand awareness and generate revenues from the users.
For this reason, the article will focus on the main stages of the set-up of a successful mobile app marketing strategy:
- Choose the pricing model: CPI or CPA?
- Select your marketing channel: Programmatic Advertising vs Affiliate Marketing
- Leverage Machine Learning algorithms
- Choose the right attribution technologies: CTA and VTA
Let’s explore all the peculiarities of these elements.
Choosing the best payout model for a successful Mobile App Marketing Strategy
The first step of your mobile app marketing strategy is to find the best payout model for the campaign. CPI and CPA are the two main models when it comes to the context of app install campaigns. In a CPI (cost-per-install) campaign, the advertisers agree to pay the publisher (ad networks or DSPs) whenever a user installs and opens their app, motivated by the ad served by the publisher. Its main purpose is to help grow the number of installs and the app user base, so their incorporation in the app user acquisition strategy is crucial.
CPA, instead, refers to the cost-per-action model, in which advertisers pay the DSP or the ad network a fixed payout based on a previously chosen post-install action. As a result, they only pay the DSPs when a user performs a specific in-app action. In contrast with the CPI model, the goal of a CPA campaign is acquiring high-quality users, who are more likely to perform an in-app event. Besides, this process will produce revenues for the advertisers leading to a successful mobile app marketing strategy. Furthemore, in CPA app campaigns the advertiser only has to pay the DSPs after a post-install action of the user and for this reason they can be seen as less risky for the advertisers.
Nevertheless, the choice is never unfixable because these two campaigns can be switched or integrated depending on your goals. Therefore, once you have selected the perfect payout model, the secret of a good campaign for the app marketing strategy is deciding when to switch from CPI to CPA.
Mobile Programmatic Advertising and Affiliate Marketing
When talking about paid user acquisition there are two main methods to run an app install campaign and reach a successful mobile app Marketing strategy: Mobile Programmatic Advertising and Affiliate Marketing. The first thing to do is to understand the differences between the two methods in order to decide which one is more suitable for your campaign.
Mobile programmatic advertising is one of the most reliable advertising channels for marketers because it allows for enhancing user acquisition. It is efficient, measurable, and unequivocal also because it involves machine learning algorithms to collect data to target high-quality users and increase the ROAS. The DSP has a crucial role in mobile programmatic because it is the one that looks to place the ad. The DSPs (Demand-Side Platforms) use data to identify the users to whom the ads will be shown, based on the fact that these kinds of users are more likely to install the app. Advertisers use DSPs and their A.I. powered technology to optimize the app campaign: programmatic advertising helps have a better targeting ability, reducing the risk of fraudulent activities and providing transparency in the campaigns.
On the other hand, affiliate marketing is another popular way of promoting apps for a successful mobile app marketing strategy. Its popularity depends on the fact that this method helps reduce costs for online ads because with affiliate marketing the publisher obtains a fixed payout for the actions they generated. What is more, affiliate marketing always works together with other channels, such as social media or search.
Therefore, the optimization given by affiliate marketing is significant even if, in general, this method tends to be less clear than the programmatic technology. Since the relationship with publishers is managed by ad networks, advertisers sometimes cannot know where ads are shown and, what’s more, fraud is generally higher in affiliate marketing than in programmatic.
The optimization of algorithms for the Mobile App Marketing Strategy
The use of machine learning in the app install campaign is useful to monitor your results and adopt the best solutions after the launch of the campaign. As we have already seen in the previous paragraph, DSPs use machine learning algorithms to identify the best users.
Many advertisers decide to get the help of DSPs to run their campaigns because they find artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms very useful for the gathering and analysis of data. After all, these technologies can analyze data and quickly optimize campaigns, to greatly increase volumes and also revenues. Machine learning and data analysis are also used to check the strongest points of the campaign as well as its weaknesses.
Selecting the appropriate attribution technology: VTA and CTA
Picking the appropriate attribution technology is essential for the success of a mobile app marketing campaign, given the fact that it is very important for the optimization of user acquisition and the understanding of in-app events. The most common methodology used for clicking attribution is Last Click Attribution, which measures the final touchpoint a customer last clicked on before making a purchase.
The way of attributing results to an advertising campaign is divided into two main models: View-Through Attribution (VTA) and Click-Through Attribution (CTA). VTA attributes conversions to ad impressions even when a user doesn’t click on the ad. On the other hand, CTA counts the conversions that occur after the click of the user on the ad, thus advertisers can correctly identify the precise event that led to that conversion. In this way, CTA seems more advantageous for advertisers because they can easily measure the impact of their campaigns.
However, the key difference between view-through attribution and click-through attribution is the lookback window, also called the attribution window, which is the time frame between the engagement with the ad and the app install. The attribution window of VTA is shorter because it must show the specific ad that led to the app install. A very short attribution window is used to show that the installation is due to the display of the ad, therefore, it is not organic. VTA also gives more credit to the ads shown regardless of the click of the user, giving a more complete overview of the ad campaign.
Advertisers can choose to activate VTA within the Mobile Measurement Partners (MMPs) settings. An MMP is a company that helps app advertisers with the collection of app data, measuring campaign performance across media sources, ad networks and advertising marketing channels. So, the tracking of in-app activities is useful to understand how users engage with the app and the whole journey. This process needs constant monitoring, but it is advantageous for advertisers because it allows them to understand which app features need to be improved in their mobile app marketing campaign.
Due to the constant evolution of the app marketing world, all these strategies need to be constantly monitored to achieve the right optimization of the campaign. Anyway, these are the 4 key tips for a successful mobile app marketing strategy that should help you to set your goals for the kind of campaign you want to run and that could make it easy to change your strategy at any point in the campaign.