It perhaps is one of the most difficult aspects of being an independent app developer. You developed an outstanding app, and of course you want people to download it. You are willing to invest money in a marketing campaign but later on you have no clue where your customers came from. Lets take a look at the story of Michael Patzer, who tried a variety of marketing tools for his Orange Group apps before he started to do things rather different.
“I tried a variety of promotions”, Patzer tells TapStream. “Admob ads, cross-promoting my apps with house ads and a ‘more apps’ view inside of my apps; posting updates to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn; a newsletter sign-up on my website; creating websites for each app; writing press releases and even building in-app sharing features. I had no idea what was working.”
Patzer did not have a clue about which sources were helping him acquire app downloaders. “Let alone which sources acquire higher quality users”, he claims. “That is people that spend more time in-app or make in-app purchases.”
That stopped when Patzer started using TapStream, a service specialised in tracking app downloaders. “I ran several tests on Tapstream with differend accounts, devices and sources (Facebook, Twitter, my website and other apps) and was able to see conversion tracking from source to destination with 100% clarity.”
As a consequence Patzer was able to cut off certain marketing methods, like Facebook. “For me, social advertising is a huge waste of time”, he thinks. “My conversion rates were nothing compared to the work I had to put in on these social channels.”
“Social media is useful if you have time to produce great content related to your product, but as a one man shop I don’t have time. It was a huge relief to know that stopping my social efforts would have zero impact on growing my app business.”
Also, Patzer beliefs it is not worth the time of an indie developer to spend much time on a website for his app. “I was wasting tons of time on my website with very little benefit. I made a radical decision and went with a text-only website with just two links: one to my App Store showcase and the other to my most popular app, Travel Altimeter.
So: Facebook is rubbish, as is a website. At least, that is how Patzer thinks about it. So: what IS working, mr. Patzer? “AdWords is the single best way to advertise mobile apps”, he says. “I had no idea how effective these ads were until measuring them with Tapstream. AdWords lets me specifically target iPhone, iPad or Android devices so I don’t waste any impressions or clicks showing ads to the wrong platform. I now acquire about 80 to 100 new users each day via AdWords and spend only about 10 to 12 dollar a day.”