This is a guest post by Paul Malicki.
On October 30-31, the 7th Search Engine Marketing Conference took place in Hotel Intercontinental. The event featured some of the biggest digital marketing agencies and speakers from the Philippines, US, Australia, and Europe. Among various theme related primarily to new trends in SEO and search engine advertising, only a few speeches extensive elaborated on mobile marketing. My topic, i.e. “Leveraging Mobile App Discovery” was probably the only one, which fully focused on mobile.
Marketing objectives VS app discovery
Any business engaging in mobile app industry (on a different note, isn’t it a right time to start referring to it as an “industry”?) should start with defining the objectives of their campaign. There are two main marketing objective, one being direct response and the other– branding. Let’s treat SEO as an external universe to these two, although we all know that SEO primarily aims at increasing conversion rates. Thus, during the user acquisition stage most of the efforts should focus on the former. Branding is a great way to increase the brand loyalty and brand awareness and it should be underestimated. However, still many businesses underestimate the fact that user acquisition demands separate type of marketing. Whether these are Facebook ads or AdWords or even social media content, choosing the right type of bidding, tracking and target URL is a must. Once we define the objectives we can finally understand what app discovery is all about. Just look at the definition below:
Most successful app discovery channels
How do most of the users find out about your app? The results shown by the biggest research I found on this topic, suggest that mobile is a totally different world. Remember all those articles about how great Google AdWords and SEO is for the desktop conversions? Leveraging mobile app discovery is not anymore about Google AdWords and SEO. Focusing on app reviews, positive word-of-mouth, and social media seems to be key to increasing the user base. As much as 63% of the users find out about the app through… searching in the online store! Nearly 50% – by speaking with their friends or family, while another 34% – browsing through certain categories in the app store. The fact that a typical digital marketing channel comes only on the 5th place signifies to the fact that creating good vibes and optimizing app store present are a must!
How do we do it at Easy Taxi?
Let me briefly introduce you an interesting startup. Easy Taxi is world’s biggest taxi hailing application, available on iOS and Android devices. With the app you can easily, with one-click, request for a taxi (and track it in real time). Although the company has been present globally for nearly 2 years, the local operations and marketing are so unique, that each local branch we initiate is a true startup.
Our approach to marketing is very holistic. In the explanation below I would like to focus on my favorite user acquisition channel, which is Facebook ads.
Have you noticed that social media was mentioned as the 5th most popular channel in the diagram above? Not without a reason. One unique thing about using Facebook as an acquisition channel is that it creates a brand environment that surrounds an ad. Each viewer is able to see the fan count, company description and additional graphics, which accompany brand’s Facebook presence. This makes them more convinced about the product. And although the relative conversion rate is quite low, in the developing countries, where advertisers don’t fully utilize that platform, you can easily get a Click-Through-Rate on mobile of 2%+, which assures the Cost Per Click which is close to zero.
What are the features of a good mobile ad on Facebook? Let’s analyze a sample ad of Easy Taxi.
1. Pricing Model
Choose Cost per Install. It’s good for user acquisition since Facebook will automatically optimize the best performing ads.
2. Campaign Structure
This is a general structure I recommend to all advertisers. It’s simple and straight to the point. At the same time it allows you to distinguish between the test and main campaigns and track what works and what doesn’t.
3. A/B Testing
I don’t recommend doing the test without accruing at least 50 clicks. Just choose the best ad and replace the current if it’s underperforming. You can follow this diagram to better understand the process:
- Please note the following:
- Target competitive fan pages and phrases
- Consider targeting users with higher education
- Technology Early Adopters tend to produce lower CPA
- Target precise interests and job positions
A good ad is engaging and has a call-to-action. It also features an image which clearly explains app usage or a user case.
On the top of that don’t forget about the following features / functions:
- High Ad Rotation
- High CTR = low CPC. Quality Score matters
- Register your app with Facebook. Use native SDK or third-party SDK for tracking, not iTunes or Google Play ID
- Understand Facebook bidding model
- Make sure you don’t display your ads towards existing users
- Analyze. Analyze. Analyze.
On a final note, let me outline a few recommendations to anyone who wants to start with mobile marketing. The main one is to try different things and stick to those that work. But before you do that, calculate your Customer Lifetime Value. It might happen that your app just won’t monetize and then your efforts will be pointless.
- Before you start, calculate your cLTV (Customer Lifetime Value)
- Measure your results regularly and make sure that your CAC (Cost per Customer Acquisition) is low
- The only right approach is a holistic approach which puts an emphasis on various mobile strategies
- However, there are usually 1 or 2 channels that work best
- Find a partner
- Humanize your brand and do something for others
- Offline is not dead