Growing competition across the major app stores is making it increasingly difficult for app developers to get significant organic download numbers. As a result, many are turning to paid user acquisition as a solution to this problem. Paid user acquisition campaigns (running ads) can deliver some amazing advantages to developers brave enough to give it a try. Some common ways that app developers successfully use ads is to drive installs to boost an app launch, collect valuable usage data, promote an existing app, or drive re-engagement.
Target users who are interested in your competitors. Interest targeting also allows you to target people based on products or services that they like. That means that you can often target people based on them being interested in a particular app.
To give you an example, I’ve previously used this to target an audience interested in the app ‘Subway Surfers’. I knew people who liked that game would also enjoy my game. And it worked REALLY well. With that campaign I achieved installs from tier 1 countries (USA, US, Aus & Canada) for less than $0.40 each.
Create a stunning image or video.
Once you’ve got your targeting set up, it’s time to create the ad. The image or video that you use is going to be the first thing people see, so you have to make it count. A second-rate video or image won’t cut it.
The role of the image or video is to get the attention of your ideal user. Always keep that in mind when you are creating images & videos. Notice I said ideal user, and not just anyone. You could use a picture of a pink gorilla dancing in the street that will get the attention of a broad audience, but if 99% of those people aren’t interested in your app, it doesn’t matter.
Here are some tips for creating an effective image or video.
- Look at your competitors to get an idea of what’s working. Leverage the work already done by big marketing departments by studying the images and videos they use. See what techniques they are using and apply them to your own images.
- Make it relevant. For example, if your app is a running app, it would be much better to show a fit person running than someone sitting on the couch watching TV.
- Don’t use low quality images. This is going to set the first impression of your app. If you use a blurry, poor quality image, people will assume a similar low level of quality from your app.
- Capture The Click With Great Text
- After looking at your ad’s image or video, the next thing people do is read the ad title and body text.
- The image has already done its job and captured attention. Now it’s up to the text to convince that person to click on the ad.
- Always include a call to action. When you create the call to action, use something they enjoy doing instead of just “download now!”. Here’s an example of what I mean by this:
- If you’re advertising a multiplayer racing game, what does your ideal user like doing? I’m going to take a guess and say racing their friends!
- So as my call to action, I would put “Click here race your friends now!” That would be much more appealing to your audience than just a boring “Download Now”.
- Make sure your non-keyword ASO is amazing. This is something that is often overlooked, but it is vitally important.
- When I say non-keyword ASO (App Store Optimization) I’m talking about everything that a person sees on the app store page for your app. The icon, screenshots, title, app description, and average rating.
Test, Test, and Test Some More
The final pillar I want to talk about is Testing. And I can’t stress its importance enough.
You should always test different images/videos, titles and text for your app install ads. Finding the best combination takes time and effort but it’s well worth it. You may be tempted to pick the image/video that you like the best, write some text and post the ad. But if you do this, chances are you will be paying way more than you need to per install or engagement.
I’m always amazed by which app install ads perform the best for me. Often the top performer is the combination I would have least expected. Spend some time creating different ad combinations and always run at least three per campaign, though I prefer to run more.