It’s that time of year when we look back at our accomplishments as well as some lessons learned, and recommit to doing our best in the New Year. Mobile app developers faced industry-wide challenges in 2013 (from stricter COPPA regulation to Google's Ban of Push Notifications ), sparking many to re-think their marketing and monetization strategies. With the New Year upon us, we offer you these realistic and achievable fitness tips to help your app monetization strategy shape up to all it should be in 2014:
1) Trim the fat - Would you rather spend hours walking slowly on a treadmill to burn 100 calories, or 20 minutes on the elliptical to burn off twice as many calories and convert that energy into lean muscle? To monetize efficiently, don’t overstuff your app with ads by placing banners in every conceivable place. Opting for quality ad formats over quantities of mundane banners, is key to driving engagement and thus, more revenue. It’s all about efficiency. Think of your user experience first, and replace bulky banners with fewer but smarter, more effective ad formats that work harder to drive results.
2) Exercise different muscles – Since it’s the New Year, we’ll give you points just for having a workout routine (i.e., monetization strategy). For many developers, this means defaulting to banners. The truth is you’ll likely see results at the beginning of any strategy. However, despite success you may see early on, invariably, repeating the same thing over and over will eventually cause your app performance to plateau and profitability will wane over time. This is where most of us give up, and our resolutions go sideways. Connecting with your user in different ways is like exercising different muscles. To achieve results and continue to convert energy consistently, switch up your routine and target more than one area. Evaluate the entire usage cycle of your app. Identify key points during app entry, engagement and exit, and experiment with different types of ad formats that are best suited to each phase. Ad formats vary, and appeal to audiences in different ways. One combo we like: try a mix of Audio Ad (upon app entry), App Wall (during engagement) and a Re-engagement notification (upon app exit).
3) Pay attention to your vitals – Resolve to measure your app performance by paying attention to analytics. Diving into the data will give you a 10-fold ability to monetize. Here are a few ways app analytics can help you achieve optimal results:Monitor the performance of your app install sources - Understand which ad network/marketing channel is driving the most installs of your app so you can alter your marketing spend accordingly, and spend more marketing dollars on the sources that are working, and less on the ones that are not.
Monitor open rates and engagement - tracking usage trends will help uncover opportunities and uncover potential issues in the app flow.
Determine lifetime value of your users – Identifying LTV’s and knowing their worth helps you focus on attracting the type of lucrative users that will make In-App Purchases. Lifetime value and revenue reports will help identify how much users are spending on in-app purchases and help validate or adapt the strategies used to acquire these users.
Perform funnel analysis to track progression, identify drop off points and improve user flow of purchasing and other actions. Create custom events to track specific actions within the app. (E.g., Say your users only complete up to a certain level of your game. Discover why the drop off is happening, and potentially adapt your app to allow users to advance more easily to the next level.)
Keep an eye on marketplace comparisons - monitor and compare your app’s ranking in the charts and identify similar apps for relevant comparisons.
Wishing you a Prosperous and Fit New Year!