Why App Marketing Should Be Viewed Through a Traditional Lens

Why App Marketing Should Be Viewed Through a Traditional Lens


App usage is on the rise—but so is competition among marketers to acquire and retain engaged users. Getting attention from the right mobile users in today’s marketplace means adapting to new developments within the industry.

For example, more marketers are running Cost-Per-Action (CPA) acquisition campaigns now to ensure they only pay for quality users who engage in post-install events like registering and subscribing. This contrasts with the past prevalence of Cost-Per-Install (CPI) campaigns which required payment per install, whether or not users ever opened the app again after downloading it. This demonstrates how advertisers have shifted their attention from quantity of installs to quality of users in an attempt to make the most of their ad spend.

However, it’s worth considering why app marketing should be viewed through a traditional lens. After all, marketing an app requires many of the same tactics as marketing anything else. This is true regardless of specific industry or channel. Furthermore, even as technology enables functions like automatic ad assembly, many of the underlying principles remain unchanged.

Know Your Audience—Then Expand It

At the end of the day, app marketing is still contingent on knowing your target audience. Your app simply isn’t going to appeal to every single mobile user out there. Paying to acquire users who quickly disengage will only eat up your ad budget. Engagement is increasingly the name of the game.

Now, modern app marketing platforms allow advertisers to create a target lookalike audience pulled from billions of mobile user profiles. This ensures you’ll be serving ads to people statistically most likely to engage with your app because they have commonalities with your existing user base. Examples of factors taken into consideration include: age, gender, location, income level, device type, operating system and more.

Understand User Motivation and Behavior

Part of knowing your audience, besides understanding their demographic information for more targeted marketing, is being able to predict their behavior and respond accordingly. User motivation and behavior may vary by specific app vertical, which is why you’ll need data analytics to uncover past trends and predict future ones.

Here’s one example: A dating app called Zoosk boosts their ad spend during the period between Christmas and New Year’s. Why? Because more users are seeking dates during this time, as revealed by seasonal behavior patterns. Similarly, travel apps may find boosting ad spend during spring helps fuel late-summer and fall travel. Ecommerce tends to be heavily influenced by seasonality, so app marketers should take note. Certain gaming apps may experience higher levels of user engagement during summer months, meaning re-engagement campaigns could be particularly effective during this season.

One of the best ways to market an app is simply to align your campaigns with the natural behavior patterns of your target audience.

Personalize Your Messaging

People have always and will always respond better to personalized messaging. This is true whether you’re sending an email blast, delivering a push notification or serving an ad for your app to a mobile user. Whereas people have become practiced at tuning out generic marketing missives, personalized ones tend to appeal to people’s sense of individuality.

What can app marketers do to personalize paid campaigns? Dynamic ads increase engagement because their assets assemble programmatically based on data for the individual or segment. Rather than a one-size-fits all ad, users see a template filled out to suit their demographics and devices, ultimately increasing the chances they’ll install the app and engage further.

So, yes. App marketing is advancing in leaps and bounds toward personalization and automation. But many traditional principles still hold true. Above all, know your audience and understand what makes them engage.


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