Promotion of mobile applications

With the growing popularity of mobile apps, many online store owners are striving to develop their own apps and promote them to customers.

In this article, we”ll cover common issues. These observations will be useful for companies planning to develop an application for their online store or service.

  1. A mobile application for an online store is not always necessary

It often happens that, inspired by global statistics, business owners make a hasty decision to develop an application. This approach is not always justified.

Development and promotion of mobile applications for online business can be effective in the following cases:

  • the site offers a wide range of products, is overloaded with product filters, and its mobile version does not meet the needs of customers in usability and adaptability for mobile devices;
  • an online store / service has a high frequency of purchases (one user makes 2-3 orders in 12 months);
  • similar applications are already successful in their market;
  • e-commerce site has a high share of mobile traffic;
  • the business owner has sufficient budget to develop and promote time-consuming mobile applications.

Otherwise, the company runs the risk of wasting money. And the mobile marketing team will have to spend time on a complete analysis of the store / service and explaining why this solution can be unprofitable.

  1. Business owners do not see the difference between website and mobile app promotion

Marketing directors may erroneously build an application promotion strategy along the same lines as for a website. As a result, they are faced with low campaign efficiency, insufficiently visual statistics, and in the long term they are forced to stop the promotion. It is currently not possible to track application data in your Google Analytics account, but there are other solutions for this purpose, which we will discuss in more detail below.

So make sure to find an experienced team that specializes directly in mobile app marketing. This will help you save your own time and money.

  1. Most companies do not have accurate KPIs

In many cases, business owners who turn to app promotion services have never dealt with an app before. Consequently, they set goals that are not clear enough, such as “I want to attract new customers” or “I want to test new ways to drive traffic.” They may, in principle, not think about commercialization, while this task falls on the shoulders of the marketing team.

To successfully promote an app, marketers and business owners must work together to develop a clear roadmap and target LTV (Lifetime Cost) and ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) for the app. In other words, they need to understand how much to invest in attracting one user in order to then profit from him.

Otherwise, customer KPIs can be extremely challenging for the marketing team. For example, not so long ago, Promodo specialists promoted the Monobank mobile application. And, although it later became the most talked about fintech project of the year, the market was not yet ready for such mobile applications for paying for services. The main KPI was the number of card activations – the last stage of the customer passing the funnel. But at the same time, marketers were forced to work with only the top three stages of the funnel and could not directly influence the final results.

  1. Google AdWords is harder than it sounds

Your app promotion strategy may include different channels, but almost all of them hide pitfalls. Google changes the rules of the game frequently and unpredictably.

Whereas previously Google AdWords allowed setting audiences and CPCs, now it uses new, universal campaigns. All you need to set up is CPA and budget, and your ads are targeted automatically. This was a big surprise for the Promodo team, as they lost the ability to control audiences when promoting the app. For example, marketers could not prevent app install ads from showing to users who already had the app installed on their iPhones.

You never know when and how marketing services will change the way they approach advertising, but you should always be prepared to adapt your own strategy to fit the new rules.

Contextual advertising quickly loses its effectiveness. When promoting an application in the early stages, PPC specialists usually use the same banner package. They quickly annoy users and begin to annoy them, causing the effect of “banner blindness”. To keep the audience interested, marketers should change their creatives from time to time. However, Google AdWords allows a limited number of banners that you can use in a single campaign.

Thus, in order to test new banners (which, among other things, require a designer) and save the analytics data, marketers will be forced to create a new campaign. However, keep in mind that you are targeting a new campaign to the same audience, and ads from both campaigns will run at the same time. Consequently, the price for the target action will also rise.

  1. Video ads are not cheap

Users who view in-app video ads are 3 times more likely to install the advertised app. First, they hit the Skip Video button every 5 seconds on average, and hence they go to your product page. Secondly, users are more loyal to such advertising, since they consider it to be a payment for free use of the application or various bonuses.

However, business owners tend to find it time consuming and expensive to create video ads. It can take a lot of time for marketers to convince them of the appropriateness of such content.

Marketers need to convince business owners of the following:

  • A 10 second video will be enough to demonstrate the benefits of the app;
  • the frequency of installation of applications by target users can increase by 25%;
  • video advertising will positively affect both the results of the ecommerce project and the online marketing team.
  1. Application performance analytics has its own characteristics

As mentioned above, tracking app analytics data and tracking site data are not the same thing. For app analytics, there are many other tools (Firebase, Branch, Facebook Analytics, Amplitude) and trackers (AppsFlyer, Adjust, Tune) that can provide you with information on average session duration, where users came from, user interactions with the app, registration orders placed, and so on.

With these tools, you can get a complete picture of the behavior of visitors to your online store site and apps, but it”s not an easy task. Business owners may mistakenly assume that they only need to track app installs and uninstalls, although the most valuable information can only be found when all metrics are combined.

The average marketer cannot always install analytics tools on his own. The reason for this is the need to use the SDK. These are the pieces of code that need to be integrated into the general application code to pass specific data. The data depends on the goals, so the SDK for tracking transactions, first touches or collecting leads from a specific channel may also differ. Therefore, you should ask your developers to study how the tools used in mobile application analytics work and understand the details of how the SDK should look and how to inject it into the application code.

Then you should update the app in the app stores and send update notifications to users who have already installed the app. Therefore, it is better to immediately decide what data you need to track and analyze it in advance.

Finally

Despite the rapidly growing popularity of mobile applications, the first thing a business owner should do is to conduct a detailed market research and the behavior of their customers. Rough decisions can lead to significant loss of money and time. Before starting cooperation with the marketing team, it is necessary to accurately determine the performance indicators of the online store – this will help specialists create an effective marketing strategy from the first time.

In turn, marketers who plan to promote mobile applications online must have a good understanding of the specifics of this process. Website promotion is different from app promotion in general. For marketers to truly bear fruit, they must partner with the business by reporting problems and suggesting the right solutions. The marketing team must be prepared for unforeseen changes in the services and tools they use for promotion, and not be afraid of experiments and failures.

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