How to Boost Your Mobile Advertising ROI

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Stuck in a rut with your mobile advertising campaign performance? Perhaps you’ve relied on the same practices for a while, and results have plateaued. There could be unnoticed factors that are limiting your ad performance from reaching its maximum potential. Not news to mobile app marketers, user acquisition costs are rising; therefore it’s more important than ever to find ways to trim the fat, operate lean, and run an efficient mobile ad campaign that delivers on your specific app goals. As with any over-haul, it’s the small, incremental changes that can have a significant impact on over-all campaign performance. Here are five actionable ways to boost your mobile advertising campaign ROI this year:

App Store Optimization (ASO)

Let’s begin at the beginning. How you present your app in the App Store or Google Play, is entirely within your control. While the decision to feature/highlight an app is up to the editors, you can improve your chances of getting noticed by making sure you have a fantastic page set up that sets a good example and utilizes the current features, and bells and whistles of the platform.  Fix any known bugs, add new features as you go, and refresh the experience from time to time (e.g., introduce seasonal designs if possible) to keep existing users engaged.

Positive app reviews and ratings matter. Would you download an app with a 2-star rating? This is where a focused effort will have a big result. Newly launched apps can start by asking their inner circle of friends and family to leave a review, while more mature apps could consider a custom campaign designed to earn reviews.

Ad Creative Testing

Creative that performs with online audiences may not garner the same results on mobile. Ads that are designed specifically for mobile will make better use of the often limited screen space, and leverage designs/layouts and custom experiences (e.g., Playable experiences) that are available through mobile ad formats.  Work with your ad delivery partners to run a series of A/B tests very early on in your campaign to quickly discover which creative components resonate with mobile audiences. A simple color change of a button, call-to-action word swap, or image adjustment could increase the likelihood of engagement, and ensure your campaign is putting its best face forward.

Ad and App Seasonality

As mentioned in the ASO tips, staying current with the seasons and local customs is important to keeping your app and ad campaign relevant.  Adapting your app and campaign to leverage excitement around key events is a great way to keep users interested, and appeal to a vast audience.  Consider holidays, events, and other opportunities occurring throughout the year, such as Valentine’s Day (February), Chinese Lunar New Year (February), St. Patrick’s Day (March), Easter (April), or applying a seasonal  theme for Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter. Beyond holidays and seasons, consider annual events that hold mass appeal such as Super Bowl for football fans, March Madness for basketball fans, and general interest such as Back to School, or Taco Tuesdays.  Your app genre will lend itself to specific seasonal marketing that complements your app theme and speaks to your audience.

Define your ROI

All marketers understand the basic formula of ARPU:  The Average Revenue Per User must exceed the cost to acquire the user.

You may be paying on CPI (Cost-per-install), but true value will be measured by what a user does after an install occurs.  How does your company define a quality user?  In other words, what actions do you want new users to take inside the app? Whether the desired behavior is adding funds, registering, making an in-app purchase, or returning to the app with regularity, make sure your post-install goals are known to your ad delivery partner.  Establishing firm KPIs that are “SMART”: Specific (simple, sensible, significant), Measurable (meaningful, motivating), Achievable (agreed, attainable), Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based) will ensure that the targeting and ad-delivery strategy is aligned to achieve the specific metrics that matter most to your app.

The way ad networks may see performance may be different to how Advertisers see performance, which is one of the biggest reasons campaigns are paused.  Take a moment to discuss how your BI tool will measure performance, so that tracking across all touch-points is consistent.

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MarketingHow to Boost Your Mobile Advertising ROI