App Store Optimization: The Science Behind Screenshot Testing

ASO (app store optimization) is a challenging yet critical part of the app marketing process. The goal of ASO is to give your app as much visibility as possible to increase the odds of someone installing your app to become a valuable user.

Through compelling copy and creative, you need to convince the viewer that your app is worth installing over all of the other options out there. This is where the magic of A/B testing comes into play.

Download our whitepaper here to get started in hacking your ASO strategy!

Using Direct Response To Boost Influencer Marketing Campaigns

Photo: Alexis Brown

 Influencer marketing is a buzzy term these days and rightfully so – it's  an area that can provide incredible reach for your product if executed well. Below are some tips and best practices for getting started with your first campaign and post-launch optimization using paid media, a.k.a. direct response.

Step 1:  Find The Right Influencer(s).

Know which types of influencers resonate best with your community.  Reference your in-market and affinity segments and conduct customer interviews. Go to YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram and browse categories to find potential candidates. 

When reviewing candidates for your campaign, overall reach is an important metric to look at but engagement is more critical. Here it is all about quality over quantity – finding an influencer with a dedicated, active community in place.

Create a hit list of potential influencer partners and prepare for the next step. 

Step 2: Do direct deals if possible. 

There are countless influencer-specific platforms and agencies out there acting as representatives on behalf of the influencer (Our favorite, Famebit, was even acquired by Google last year). While we've worked with many of them and can speak to the pros and cons of each, we recommend working with influencers and their teams directly.

Step 3: Experiment, and measure everything along the way.

Use tracking links everywhere possible to measure the promotion's effect. Keep your expectations in check - assume that for any average campaign 1-3% of people who engage with the post will convert to meet your KPI. 

It also helps to test a series of small campaigns before going big with a large influencer. By working incrementally, you can spread small budgets over many small-mid sized influencers over a period of time. This way, you have the option to make a handful of bets until you know what works. 

 

Step 4: Use DR to boost visibility.

Finally! Here is where you can leverage paid media to spread the message cross-network and boost it to new and relevant audiences. 

Video is King (or Queen!) on Facebook. Not only does it rank higher in the FB algorithms but users engage with it more frequently, so this is the time to boost your influencer posts and get specific in your targeting.

If you've followed the steps above you already have your links ready. Try running a series of experiments, for example three tests targeted at three separate audiences. One can be a variation on audience interests, while another can be a variation on audience behavior or general demographic (age, gender, location). You can even boost the post to the influencer's own audience so it displays more prominently in their feed.

Create and promote a tweet and do the same on Instagram and other platforms where your audience tends to spend their time.

Keep an eye on reach over the run of the campaigns. Then, double down on the experiments where you see the best gains (your goal may vary here but this is typically where conversion rates are the highest). The idea is to maximize the number of people viewing your content while simultaneously reaching the audience most likely to convert.

Tip 5: Go (Ever)green.

Lastly, get more from your investment by leveraging the content later for your brand awareness marketing campaigns. With permission from the influencer, use pull quotes (a.k.a. social proof) on your website and on other promotional materials, for example on your app store screenshots. 

Keep in mind that timing is everything on social media and visibility is key. With the right influencer, you can create amazing content that generates a high volume of buzz while producing quality marketing content that lasts even longer.

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NAC Worldwide is a multi-disciplinary, data-driven marketing studio operating in the new global economy. Learn more: http://nac-worldwide.com/

Apple Search Ads And Mobile Acquisition: A Primer

Example of an ad in the iTunes App Store

Apple recently launched Apple Search Ads, the first paid advertising channel for the App Store.

The platform has demonstrated notable success to-date. Initial findings show that these types of ads deliver quality users at scale with solid retention.

Bottom line: Apple Search Ads show huge potential.

This is in comparison to other install acquisition channels, for example advertising on mobile ad networks.

As opposed to mobile ad networks, Apple search ads are not display-based. You’re not going to see a random ad when browsing the app store.

Instead, they work a lot like Google’s search network.

You only see an ad when searching the app store for something specific.

It’s intent-driven marketing at its finest. You are offering a solution to a potential customer who is already searching for something related to your product.

You are providing a solution to something they are already looking for.

The meat of a campaign is keyword-driven.  It’s similar to Google’s PPC (pay-per-click) advertising – you bid on specific keywords and only get charged per click (or in this case, tap).

The beauty of this is that you can run tests on various groups of keywords. And your audience consists of potential customers who are already looking for a product or service like yours.

This is perhaps why Apple Search Ads are out-performing other mobile ad networks.

The customer is targeted directly from within the App Store.

Users have intent to install within a captive place. 

Only time will tell if this channel will be a.) viable in the long term (e.g., most cost-effective) and b.) scalable, particularly with the holidays right around the corner when ad cost tends to go through the roof.

As of now, it’s safe to say that ASA is looking promising as a reliable long-term solution for mobile user acquisition.

You can find a nice preliminary findings report presented by AppsFlyer here.

Why Digital Marketing Is The Future (And The Future Is Now)

Image Credit: Death to the Stock Photo

Is building a product actually easier than marketing the thing? Some would answer yes. Perhaps it depends on what you’ve set out to build. (Yo, anyone?) On one hand, while marketing has become easier due to more methods at our disposal and advanced tools for measuring impact, the holistic idea of “marketing” as a whole does have its challenges.

For one, marketing departments don’t have a template to follow. There are no feature sets, no assigned tasks in Jira, no testing build to see if the features actually work.

That’s not to say that building a quality product isn’t challenging — it’s been reported that  less than 0.01 percent of consumer mobile apps actually find financial success. The argument is then reversed. Is marketing to blame for this unfortunate rate of success?  Perhaps.

Marketing has it’s own set of uniquely complex problems. In some ways the old adage still rings true – “marketing is throwing things against the wall to see what sticks.” But things have gotten drastically better.

In recent years marketing strategy has evolved considerably and the old paradigm is much less relevant. Consider advertising. This year the BBC reported that for the first time ever teens are spending more time online than they are watching television. This leaves the advertising world scrambling to reach them in other places like YouTube, in-games, or within narrowcast messaging apps like Snapchat. (by the way, they no longer use Facebook.)

The good news is that these new marketing opportunities are long tail and highly quantifiable through qualitative data. In other words, we can now measure our marketing dollars much more clearly.

Take the following example. Rather than buying a Superbowl spot on television an advertiser runs a video campaign tied to a timely topic using celebrity influencers as bait. The distribution channels? Social media. Along the same lines, relevant ad units can purchased within games, and badges or funny filters are great offerings we’re starting to see presented within narrowcast environments.

With the exception of the television spot, all of the above is measureable. What’s more, it can be broken down by demographic and  user persona. It becomes easier than ever to understand who engages with your product.

By the way, this is exactly what the new’ish methodology of “growth hacking” employs.

[To be clear, growth hacking isn’t actually hacking. It is the process of deliberately employing small, measurable action items in order to see what actually works. After you get an idea of what consumers respond the best to, you can then double down in the areas with noticeable (measurable) success.]

Examples of these small and measurable action items include:  running an incremental batch of ad buys on AdWords or Facebook, A/B testing content on your website, low level influencer marketing, strategically posting to social media. Marketing dollars don’t need to be spent in chunks, rather in small increments — think subscriptions and incremental ad buys.

This approach is vastly different from the old days when simply doing things like issuing a press release, having a presence at trade shows, or buying billboard space were the norm.

The key in the digital economy is to focus on things that are measurable.  

Not only can you market your product in a highly strategic way,  you’ll gain valuable user feedback as you go.

The new marketing paradigm involves more channels than ever. These channels include but are not limited to: content optimization, community building, e-mail marketing, and business development. With so many options it’s important to be strategic and find the channels that work best for you.

There are countless combinations of levers to pull in order to find success, which are found through experimentation. Some approaches may work for one company and fail for yours. You must choose your channels wisely, and you’ll be reaching your goals in no time.