The Top 5 Mobile App. Marketing Mistakes And How to Avoid Them

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1 The Top 5 Mobile App Marketing Mistakes And How to Avoid Them

2 2 Even the most experienced marketers agree that marketing mobile apps is one of their most difficult challenges. The top reasons cited are: The app world is new, leading to lots of trial and error App stores are constantly changing, and it s difficult to stay ahead They don t have the resources or the time to manage it the way they d like Therefore, many mobile app marketers are struggling to acquire users, to stretch their budgets, and to deliver a return. Based on discussions with numerous mobile app marketers, this ebook outlines the top 5 mobile marketing mistakes, along with actions to eliminate errors and effectively grow your mobile app business. The Top 5 Mobile App Marketing Mistakes 1. Relying on traditional marketing vehicles 2. Not tracking and optimizing marketing in real-time 3. Ignoring post-download events 4. Employing too few traffic sources 5. Relying on traditional agencies or on direct interactions with ad networks Let s take a look at each of these in further detail.

3 3 Mistake #1: Relying on Traditional Marketing Vehicles This mistake is widespread, particularly among name brand companies trying to get their app into the hands of a large customer base. Marketers are too often relying on the traditional marketing activities they already know in an attempt to drive app downloads: online activities like banner advertising and PPC campaigns that target desktop web, offline activities such as TV and radio advertising, and even print marketing. There are two reasons this approach isn t particularly effective. First, these vehicles target large mass audiences, many of whom have no interest in downloading and using your app. Many people in these mass audiences may not even have the iphone, ipad or Android device required to use the app! As a result, user acquisition cost through traditional marketing outlets is much higher than it would be through mobile-specific advertising. Secondly, TV ads, banner ads or print marketing rarely offer an effective method to click through and download an app, as it requires work. Even if a potential user has a required mobile device on hand, it has been proven that the conversion rates are extremely low in comparison to in-app advertising through mobile devices.

4 4 How to Avoid this Mistake Advertise where you know potential users have the appropriate device and where they can download your app immediately upon seeing your ad. Examples include: Mobile Ad Networks that display your ads on their network of mobile publishers. Real-Time Bidding Platforms that allow you to bid on mobile traffic in real-time. Incentive-Based Download Programs that allow you to bid on low-cost mobile app downloads from users who are incentivized to download your app. This is not to say that you should shun traditional marketing. Social media, twitter, PR, PPC campaigns that target desktop web, and your website are important for reinforcing your marketing and generating awareness, but large amounts of downloads will come from the sources listed above, which are intended specifically for user acquisition.

5 5 Mistake #2: Not Tracking and Optimizing Marketing in Real-time App store dynamics and ranking algorithms can change by the hour. Newtraffic sources burst onto the scene every week, and strategies that were once effective often lose their luster over time. Nonetheless, most mobile app marketers either don t or can t stay on top of these changes, often rendering their marketing strategies obsolete before they even have a chance to use them. Marketers who are unable to track spend and optimize advertising in real-time are not just wasting their money, but they re also losing opportunities to rise above their competitors. How to Avoid this Mistake To be successful, marketers should use technology to track their marketing data in real-time and optimize toward sources that are generating the most efficient results. At the same time, real-time optimization is often easier said than done, as implementing the appropriate technology can be a complex challenge that consumes both a marketer s time and a company s technical resources. If you don t have the in-house expertise and tools to perform the required analysis and adjustments, you should strongly consider building out these capabilities in your organization or partnering with an outside resource that incorporates tracking technology specifically designed to optimize mobile app advertising.

6 6 Mistake #3: Ignoring Post-Download Events A common mistake made by mobile app marketers is to focus efforts on sources that generate brute volumes of downloads without paying attention to what happens next. When marketers clamor for low-cost downloads, certain publishers are happy to oblige, creating services that incentivize people to install the app, but never use it again. As a result, marketers who rely only on download metrics leave themselves vulnerable to spending a lot of money to get downloads, but these downloads do not necessarily translate into ROI. In fact, many people who download your app may never even use it. There are metrics other than downloads that relate more closely to generating profits called loyal user metrics and these are the events that occur after the user downloads your app. A few of these post-download events include ongoing app usage, registrations, reaching level 3 in a game and purchases. Obviously downloads are important, however a download may not be the valuable end result the marketer was trying to obtain if the user does not engage more deeply with the app again and again. Rapid and sustainable app-business growth is all about finding loyal users who engage with your app. If you re not tracking your users interactions with your app and targeting your marketing to the sources that generate these high-value users, you are likely missing an opportunity to acquire better users more cost-efficiently. How to Avoid this Mistake Start by identifying the post-download events that are most important to your business and establish metrics based on these events. Then, as you acquire users, track your postdownload events along with the traffic sources that generated these users, and steer your marketing toward these sources. You are virtually guaranteed to get a better return on investment using this approach than focusing exclusively on low-cost downloads, which might also be low quality. Follow these 5 Steps: 1. Define the characteristics of your loyal user 2. Automate the tracking of these loyal user characteristics 3. Track all of your users interactions with your app 4. Identify the traffic sources that generate these loyal users 5. Steer your ad spend toward these traffic sources

7 7 Mistake #4: Employing too Few Traffic Sources One of the most frequent mistakes mobile marketers make is employing too few traffic sources to acquire new app users. There are numerous sources available and marketers run a considerable risk of achieving subpar results if they do not take advantage of whichever traffic sources perform best for their specific mobile app. While site optimizations within key networks and an occasional creative refresh also drive performance improvements, identifying over-performing mobile sources and exploiting those networks can often be the single biggest driver of app marketing success. In addition, by working with too few traffic sources, marketers are at risk of subjecting their app to audience saturation.

8 8 How to Avoid this Mistake Successful app marketers have found that working with a large number of traffic sources to identify those, which are most effective, can improve performance by 3x to 5x. In addition, by working with a wide range of sources, marketers can avoid audience saturation and maintain a more consistent stream of traffic in the face of inevitable traffic fluctuations. Successful mobile app marketers should consider a traffic plan that includes: Several Mobile App Ad Networks Real-Time Bidding Platforms Incentive-Based Download Programs

9 9 Mistake #5: Relying on Traditional Agencies or on Direct Interactions with Ad Networks Marketing a mobile app requires approaches that are different than traditional marketing approaches, yet a common mistake marketers make is to rely on traditional ad agencies or marketing firms that may not have specialized expertise in the nuances that are unique to mobile app marketing. In many cases, traditional agencies will rely on one or two preferred mobile app ad networks rather than trying a broad base of sources to determine which perform best. Even if you sidestep traditional agencies and work directly with ad networks, you should be aware that ad networks have an incentive to provide the best possible results for you within their own inventory and in conjunction with meeting publisher fill rates to display your ads. While ad networks should be a key part of your marketing mix, it is a common mistake to rely too heavily on a single network s advice. Inherently, the ad networks serve two masters advertisers and publishers thus, cannot focus solely on your needs as an advertiser. It is in the networks best interest to give business to each of their publishers, and this could be in direct conflict with your objectives. How to Avoid this Mistake Successful app marketers have found that working with a large number of From an advertiser s perspective, it is better to rely on an outside partner that specializes in mobile app marketing and only represents the best interests of advertisers. Ideally, your partner of choice should enable you to benefit from custom-built tracking technology, allowing your advertising dollars to go as far they possibly can. Be sure to interview the firm based on known mobile app marketing best practices and choose a firm that has experience with organizations similar to yours. If you re not using a mobile app marketing agency, strongly consider doing so. Even if your in-house marketing team does have the expertise, they probably do not have access to the best ad-optimizing technology available, and they may not have the time to manage campaigns the way they d like to.

10 10 Bonus Mistake! You re in luck. Here s one more top mobile app marketing mistake to avoid. Mistake #6: Not Having a Mobile App Brand Plan You d be amazed to learn how many apps are launched without an effective brand plan tailored specifically to mobile apps. Investing a little bit of time to optimize the app s landing page correctly can significantly improve mobile app marketing performance. For ios apps, you should include as many keywords as possible directly in the app title to help improve organic search visibility. For Android apps, you should work to make sure the landing page copy contains optimal keywords and track referrer search information over time to improve your results. Optimizing category selection, designing banner ads specifically for mobile and not for desktop, and making sure you have a base of positive reviews can also go a long way toward ensuring your mobile app brand is as polished as possible.

11 11 Wait! We couldn t resist throwing a few more in as we have trials and tribulations of many to share. Other Common Mistakes: Here are a few more common mobile app marketing mistakes: 7. Focusing too much on rank A higher app ranking doesn t necessarily translate into incremental organic downloads. By simply targeting the highest rank they can afford, marketers might be spending more money than they have to. Every app has an optimal rank position that delivers incremental organic downloads at an efficient cost and the optimal rank is almost never as high in the app store as possible. Gain an understanding of your incremental organic users based on different rank levels and track performance continuously to ensure that you are not spending more than you need to spend. 8. Not identifying sources of loyal users and marketing to those sources At the end of the day you want downloads by loyal users who engage with your app repeatedly, make purchases, and spread the word on your behalf. It is loyal users on whom you build your business. A download, or even an app launch, does not mean that you have a loyal user. 9. Not defining clear success metrics Some businesses launch their apps without defining clear success metrics. This is especially true at big-brand companies where marketers may not have the time to focus on marketing their apps. Without understanding metrics for success, marketers have no way of knowing what they really should be investing to acquire new users, and don t have a true big-picture benchmark for whether or not their app marketing is succeeding. 10. Simply throwing money at it A mistake made by marketers with larger budgets is to simply throw money at the problem with no regard to performance tracking. Spending more does not always lead to better results and can sometimes be an inefficient allocation of a limited budget. It s important to establish a target cost per user and to develop a traffic plan that will get you the most loyal users at the lowest cost possible.

12 12 How do Mobile App Marketers Avoid These Mistakes? The answer is easy. Fiksu for Mobile Apps Fiksu for Mobile Apps is a breakthrough mobile app user acquisition platform used by leading mobile app marketers to avoid the mistakes outlined in this ebook and build scalable businesses around their mobile apps. App businesses and leading brands are using Fiksu to: Easily work with all ad networks and traffic sources Track ad performance and optimize ad buys in real-time Optimize around post-download events like loyal usage, registrations, in-app purchases, and more Raise an app s rank in app store environments Generate more loyal users at a lower cost Benefit from a deep history of app-marketing expertise and a technology proven solution The Fiksu platform tracks user interactions with your app after its download and applies this intelligence to ongoing ad purchases. The result is a larger quantity of loyal app users coming from all corners of the mobile app universe at the lowest user acquisition costs possible. In addition, Fiksu measures the interaction between advertising and app store rank to acquire incremental organic users where available and achieve the lowest overall cost per loyal user possible. The Fiksu for Mobile Apps platform is accessible to any app as a fully managed technology platform with access to a 24/7 reporting dashboard to view your mobile app marketing results.

13 Here s your next step Discover how the Fiksu platform can help you avoid today s common mobile app marketing mistakes and get you fast and predictable results. To learn more, or to set up an initial engagement, please contact Fiksu today. US Office Phone: Arch Street Suite 304 Boston, MA UK Office Phone: +44 (0) Hanover Square London W1S 1JY :: website :: Twitter follow us: Copyright 2012 Fiksu, Inc. All rights reserved. Fiksu, the Fiksu logo, and Fluent News are trademarks and Get Loyal App Users and the Get Loyal App Users logo are service marks of Fiksu, Inc. Apple and the App Store are registered trademarks of Apple, Inc. Android is a trademark of Google, Inc. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective holders.

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