With the absolute explosion of mobile devices throughout society over the last decade, campaigns that are meant to target the enormous mobile app install market need to be ever-vigilant against trying to put the proverbial square peg in a round hole.
To put it more concisely, mobile app marketing requires a different approach that might be rooted in typical digital advertising tenets but from an alternative perspective. Mobile app users are already a highly segmented audience so traditional means of casting a wide net to maximize conversions won't produce the results desired. Instead, when advertisers are targeting such a specific audience, specific rules apply.
Mobile App Install Ads Play By Slightly Different Rules
The mobile app install channel is a segment of the mobile market that's already unique in of itself. Given the very nature of mobile devices, an audience tends to engage more thoroughly with apps simply due to the nature of the device, literally sitting in the palm of the audience's hand. It's not a distribution format that lends itself to passive consumption but is inherently much more engaging than other channels.
Therefore, mobile apps only create high levels of engagement since the customer takes complete control of the process by choosing which apps to use, downloading and installing them, and then consciously opting to open them. It is a process that is extremely active in nature and one that advertiser's find extraordinarily alluring because of those intense levels of engagement.
The inevitable downside to the mobile app install channel – since nothing is perfect in life – is its innately fickle nature. To put it more accurately, the audience itself is substantially more fickle in the mobile app market. Apps that are downloaded today might already be forgotten just a few days from now so permanence and longevity are not often a part of the mobile app install equation.
Like a high-stakes casino table, however, advertisers are willing to sacrifice significantly more of their finite ad spend on the mobile app market due to the far stronger, albeit often temporary, engagement created between the consumer and message. Similar to those blackjack tables cordoned off behind the red velvet ropes, it costs more to play the game, but the return on investment (ROI) might justify it.
These higher costs can skew the standard set of metrics that are typically used to gauge campaign performance so mobile app advertising requires more of an open mind, agreeable temperament and willingness to sacrifice ad spend for deeper yet highly sporadic engagement.
First and foremost, choosing to participate in the mobile app install space should be done with a realistic perspective. Make sure that your ad spend budget can support the higher costs involved with the market and that you can realistically devote the necessary resources to find success.
Also, adopting a new set of metrics will help you monitor the overall effectiveness of your campaign, specifically cost-per-install (CPI). Furthermore, tracking CPI on an individual basis for individual channels will prevent your data from being unnecessarily skewed by platforms with higher costs.
The more popular social media channels have higher expenses so this must be taken into account when calculating a campaign's ROI. In other words, along with square pegs and round holes, apples to apples is another old adage that is important to keep in mind.
Also, always take into account the extreme specificity of the segments you're trying to target. One of the reasons mobile apps are so engaging is the fact that they can be designed and distributed to parts of the customer base with particular interests and tastes. That said, campaigns best meant for a first-person military action app shouldn't be pushed on a channel that caters to elderly grandmothers who like to crochet.
A Handful of Best Practices
Aside from metric tracking and proper content alignment, just a few best practices can significantly boost a successful mobile app install campaign.
Identify Your Audience
A highly organized approach is needed to best communicate with an already segmented audience. Identify the customer segments that fit your mobile app well, beginning with the two primary segments. By utilizing this approach, your campaign won't be diluted by trying to appeal to an excessively broad audience. From there, tailor your campaign's content to specifically engage with those particular segment demographics.
Content Is King
A segmented but crowded marketplace requires the most engaging content possible to capture attention and prompt the app installs your campaign strives for. Leveraging the inherent power of video advertising is a good way to convey your message in a manner that can be customized to the interests and tastes of the specific audience segments you are targeting for the app.
Take advantage of the metrics you track to constantly monitor your campaign performance and make any necessary adjustments to your ads as you go. Utilize technologies that make ad testing far more convenient than cumbersome A/B testing techniques of old, altering content, tone, and delivery to maximize impact. Mobile app install advertising needs to be highly personalized so devote the necessary effort to make sure your campaign evolves as needed.
The Bottom Line
Even a data-driven world leaves some room for a risk-taking attitude if such risks are done in a deliberate and responsible fashion. The unique mobile app install market is a high-stake, high-reward trade-off that can pay handsomely to brands that are smart in their approach. Don't treat mobile installs like any other campaign, take necessary precaution and be calculated with your strategies.