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8 ways to make your mobile app stand out

Posted by Chad O'Connor  February 14, 2013 11:00 AM

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With more than 1.5 million apps in the Apple and Android app stores, mobile app marketers face the enormous challenge of achieving discoverability, sustained user engagement and, ultimately, monetization. Successfully marketing your app requires more than strategic mobile media buying and compelling, creative advertising. High-performance mobile app marketers have a laser-like focus on targeting and acquiring loyal users – those who take a specific action, such as an in-app purchase or registration. It's these loyal users who become repeat customers, word-of-mouth advocates, and deliver real, ongoing ROI.

The following eight tips for marketing your app are focused on driving more of these loyal users. They're based on more than 70 billion user-based app actions, including launches, registrations, and in-app purchases, as well as real time bidding requests recorded on our platform, and they're proven marketing tactics for putting your app ahead of the competition:

1. Establish goals for loyal users. Exactly what constitutes a loyal user will vary from app to app – perhaps it's opening the app a certain number of times or completing an in-app purchase or registration – so define that metric before launching any acquisition campaigns. You'll also need to determine your lifetime value per user so you can set cost-per-conversion targets (i.e., determine how much to pay for different traffic volumes to deliver the best possible ROI).

2. Promote your app across several traffic sources. There are several types of traffic sources for mobile apps: ad networks, real-time bidding exchanges, incentivized download networks, and more. Using just one source – or even one from each general type – gives you too small a universe to be successful. You'd be missing out on valuable opportunities to identify the best sources for large volumes of loyal users. In fact, working with several traffic sources can improve loyal acquisition results by up to five times.

3. Track post-download activity. As your mobile ad campaigns are running, it’s critical to track users’ post-download activities and tie this data back to its traffic source, ad creative, and other campaign variables. This helps to pinpoint which specific traffic sources and campaigns are driving your most loyal users – not just the most downloads.

4. Optimize ad campaigns in real-time. By analyzing real-time data, it’s possible to eliminate inefficient ad spending and shift budget to those traffic sources and campaigns that are delivering loyal users.

5. Employ a campaign optimization solution. Optimizing advertising campaigns based on post-download actions is challenging but there are automated solutions available. Instead of managing a huge matrix of ad networks, costs, creative, downloads, and conversion rates, it's worth investigating a solution that incorporates everything and adjusts your campaign spending on the fly.

6. Conduct ongoing closed-loop analysis. Continuous analysis of marketing campaign performance, post-download usage and revenue return helps you understand, at a granular level, what's moving the needle. It’s important to dive into these analytics frequently to fine-tune campaign planning and align with marketing objectives.

7. Conduct a loyal user acquisition test. Not convinced that the concept of marketing specifically to bring in loyal users will produce results? It's easily testable. Assign a portion of your marketing budget to a test that employs the above-recommended strategies. You’ll gain valuable insights into how a loyal user acquisition strategy can directly impact your bottom line.

8. Benchmark performance against industry averages. The best way to improve your mobile marketing results is to more precisely understand the competitive landscape you're pouring your budget into. By benchmarking how your mobile app marketing stacks up against industry averages, you’ll gain a larger, more accurate picture of the trends impacting your business goals, allowing you to adapt and plan with more agility.

Mobile app marketing shouldn't require guesswork. By deploying these tested strategies and tactics, mobile app marketers can achieve high-performance results that not only drive business objectives, but also acquire large volumes of loyal users.

Craig Palli is Vice President, Business Development at Fiksu, developer of the award-winning Fiksu Mobile App Marketing Platform that combines advanced media optimization technology with the world’s largest app media inventory. The company is headquartered in Boston. Learn more at, @Fiksu and on the Fiksu blog.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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