Approaching mobile app marketing using the motto, “If you build it, they will come” is the quickest route to experiencing underwhelming installation and engagement rates. By the time you’re ready to launch an app, you’ve sunk considerable resources and effort into the process. It behooves app marketers to do everything they can to ensure a healthy return on investment (ROI) so their endeavor is a success right off the bat and for the long haul.
But how? Paid advertising is one popular method. Mobile ad networks for marketing apps and real-time bidding exchanges allow marketers to rack up ad impressions by bidding for real estate on people’s screens. The thought process here is that the more eyeballs you can get on an ad featuring your app, the higher the likelihood users will take the next step and download it.
So, the best strategy is to cast a wide net, rack up as many impressions and installations as you can and wait for people to fall in love with your app, right? Not quite. App marketplaces are competitive landscapes. According to Statista, mobile users downloaded over 149 billion apps to their devices in 2016. The projection for downloaded apps in 2017 is even higher: 352.9 billion. In such a saturated market, marketers need to look beyond initial installs to figure out how to optimize their ad spend budget.
At first glance, it may seem like a worthy goal to simply concentrate on getting the most installations possible across a wide range of users. This is why many marketers follow a cost-per-install (CPI) model when it comes to app marketing. But it turns out users have different values depending on demographics, online habits and other factors. Installation is the end of the road for many app users, while it’s just the beginning for others, making them more valuable. Utilizing a CPI model means you’ve essentially paid for someone to download your app—and that’s it. It may sit unused on their mobile device, or they may delete it before completing another action.
As Kissmetrics writes, “While pumping in some money to get initial downloads for your app is all right, in the long run it pays to focus on user engagement and retention. Otherwise, you will see people dropping off soon enough.” That’s where a utilizing a cost-per-action (CPA) model can help marketers make sure their ad spend goes toward users who have a greater likelihood of engaging with their app beyond the original download.
Mobile app marketing platform Liftoff creates target lookalike audiences based on the characteristics of active users, then targets these promising consumers across mobile ad networks for marketing apps. With two billion mobile profiles in their database, and up to 200 unique characteristics per profile, it’s then simple to serve ads more intelligently to those users who are likely to engage in post-install events.
ROI in app marketing depends on who you target and how. Want to pay for quality users over vast quantities of install-only users? Learn more about the power of Liftoff today.