11/21/2017 7:53:09 AM
Smart mobile marketing during the holidays
Mobile Marketing Tips,Holiday Season Marketing,Mobile User Acquisition Tips
App Developer Magazine

Smart mobile marketing during the holidays

Itamar Benedy Itamar Benedy in Marketing & Promotion Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Mobile marketing tips and tricks to make sure your marketing and user acquisition strategies pay off this holiday season.

The holiday season is often glorified as the “App Developers’ days”, with dream conditions to send people to the app store and download new apps. The numbers don’t lie. 2016 was the best year yet for apps, with over half a million dollars being spend on mobile apps over the holiday - a 52% increase from the year prior (Sensor Tower).

This holiday bump can be attributed to a number of factors - people have free time during the holidays, they unwrap new smartphone devices with empty screens, and they are more willing to open their pockets a little wider - all which encourage the exploration and discovery of new apps. So as an app marketer, this is the perfect time to increase your ad budget during and raise attention with an all-out app-install campaign, right? But, when you are a small or medium-sized app business, does this strategy alone do the job of reaching new customers?

Unfortunately, most app developers and owners also realize the great earning potential that the holiday season presents, which means that peak season has turned into bidding wars season, too (VentureBeat). During December, user acquisition costs for mobile apps hit their annual highs, as big players like Amazon or Alibaba spend more on acquiring users than you. Consequently, these larger entities achieve higher installs, engagement and retention, which are all crucial factors for app store algorithms when determining rankings..

No matter how much you spend on your campaign, the competition is tough. The question then becomes: how do you capitalize on the holiday season to get people to see and install your app, without getting lost in the fray of bidding wars and massive competitors?

If you can’t spend big, spend smart. Consider these strategies to make sure your app thrives this holiday season.

Maintain your ad spend, if you don’t consider increasing it

Spending $0 on your app campaign during the holidays is likely to hurt your positioning in the app store. If you’re already running an app install campaign, the best strategy is maintain activities during the holidays. In that way, you maintain your install volumes and ranking. Otherwise, you risk low app rank and visibility in the app store, and then, low organic installs.

Leverage pre- and post-holiday user activity

Understand the right moment to launch your campaign. Since Christmas is usually reserved for big players with big budgets, smaller players should work around that period. There are still great opportunities to gain new users after Christmas day, for example, by promoting post-holiday deals.

An example of this, the best time to promote a classifieds app is after the holidays, when people want to sell their second-hand products. In 2016, installs for classified apps increased 67% after Christmas day.

Prepare your app store optimization for holidays

Keyword optimization is a must to attract holiday-related searches in store. Adjust your title and description to fit the season, using the most searchable keywords for that period like “Christmas gifts”, “deal” or “save”. Additionally, ask people from early on to rate your app. Good ratings and reviews in high seasons could be an important factor for people to download the app.

Add some holiday spirit to your creatives

Adjust your app design as well as your ad creative to fit the season by using colors, images, copy, and stories. This will add to the emotional appeal of your campaign. Make sure to connect to people by expressing the happiness and joy of the holidays, not only because this resonates to the spirit of the season, but also because it proven to motivate people to purchase more (Forbes).

Use mobile video

Delivering emotions is best done through video, so implement this format in-app as well as in your ads. Beyond brand awareness purposes, mobile video is increasingly used for successful app install campaigns to trigger direct responses (TheDrum). Consider using rewarded video in particular, as a recent study by AdColony found out, it is the most accepted in-app ad format, and is likely to continue convincing people during the upcoming holidays.

Include social media as an additional channel for your user acquisition campaign

Support your app install campaign with a social media campaign, which can help your app to get discovered, as well as encourage in-app activity and purchasing decisions. Social media is particularly effective for players with smaller budgets as it has the capability to reach a broad audience while being less costly. Consider a festive social media campaign with strong content and creatives that resonate with the values of the season, and use hashtags that relate to your campaign to get discovered.

Plan in advance for the update or release approval period of app stores

Check when to submit the updates or release of your app to the app store, and how long it takes to get it approved. Watch out, the approval period in the high season can take as long as 14 days.

So, enjoy the holiday season this year by optimizing your ad spend rather than joining the battle of big budgets. Increase your installs with smart moves - and you’ll be on track to hit your monetization goals in no time

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