School is back in session, but you know that the holidays will come in quick succession. Before we can even say “Happy Hallow–” online and retail stores are already pushing Thanksgiving merchandise. Marketers of mobile apps, grab your pumpkin spice latte and take note. Here’s what app marketers can do right now to ensure Christmas comes early for their most successful Q4 yet.
Start Before the Holidays (Plan Now)
Get a head start. Activating pre-holiday boost campaigns is a great way to spark interest and build momentum throughout the season while avoiding the higher costs of advertising during the holiday weeks. Buying on a CPI (Cost Per Install) basis helps you manage costs and mitigate risk, since you only pay for the installs you get, but don’t ignore the option of having multiple advertising strategies, and trialing different campaigns and pricing models. By trialing CPC and CPM campaigns alongside your CPI campaigns, you can access different publishers, and boost volume during the highly competitive holiday season.
Customize Campaigns with Seasonal Creatives
Do you hear what I hear? Jingle all the way, or let it snow – but whatever you do, customize your ads for the holiday by applying a festive twist to your creatives. Think beautiful snowflakes, holiday colors and bells, or a Santa hat, elf, etc. You get the idea. Fun and spirited designs add novelty, lend themselves to the good feelings of being off work, out of school and surrounded by food, family and free time. They also help you cut-through in the cluttered holiday advertising environment.
Spread Good Cheer
Consider incorporating a charitable overlay to your campaign. For example, set an app milestone and reward your community by donating to a charity when the milestone is reached. Match the charity to the app theme. For example, if the game involves animals, consider partnering with / giving to a wildlife conservation group. Got a food-related app? Consider giving to an organization that feeds the needy during the holidays. Educational app? Contribute to an after-school program, tutoring center, or college scholarship fund. There are endless ways to give back and involve your app users in the cause. Bonus: Your charitable partner may promote your app goals across their marketing channels, for extended campaign exposure and reach.
Change It Up
Keep audiences interested by offering a variety of ad experiences, such as video ads, interstitials, and even surveys or behind-the-scenes game trailers. By offering campaigns with varying ways to experience your ad, users have an opportunity to engage on their terms. Hint: Video ads generally perform highest for install campaigns vs other ad formats, so marketers of game apps will especially benefit by prioritizing video ads in the campaign cycle. Look for an ad network partner that offers Rewarded Video ads, as well, since this ad-delivery method rewards the user with an additional in-app perk for watching, providing an extra treat for the user during the holiday.
Alternating your creatives regularly will also help limit campaign fatigue, so make sure that you have a creative campaign plan ready ahead of launch, so that you can be testing and evaluating continuously to find the best-performing creatives, without having to scramble to build new creatives.
Old Acquaintances Shall Not Be Forgot
Don’t forget to keep existing users active with holiday-themed re-engagement campaigns. Reward them with new features, special opportunities not available to ‘new’ users.
Resolve to Keep Momentum
Plan your post-holiday campaigns now, so they do not become an afterthought. Take advantage of the post-holiday calm that occurs in January, when competitors are less active and there is more inventory available. Try updating the campaign creative to incorporate popular New Year Resolutions, such as honing your gaming skills and achieving your best score!