Earlier this month, during Blue Fountain Media's monthly webinar, Elana Chan from Google presented on how to correctly advertise a mobile app. Her presentation (which you can find below) was chock full of great information for anyone who is trying to drive more downloads to their app and has run out of new strategies for how they can effectively do so.
The Mobile App Landscape
With more than 700,000 apps in the app store and 675,000 in the Google Play store, the sheer amount of functional and well-designed apps for users to choose from has never been greater. Additionally, audiences have also never been more interested in exploring and using apps that they have downloaded. 70% of audiences spending an average of 81 minutes a day on apps (up 91% from 2010-2011). However, if you're trying to create an app in the current marketplace, it can be difficult to get users to download what you're offering. So, how do you effectively promote your app to be one of the 48 apps (on average) on a user's IPhone or one of the 35 on a user's Android? In a perfect world, getting people to download your mobile app would be simple - just take the time to create a fantastic app that works flawlessly and people will download it in droves. However, in the real world creating a finely tuned and functional app doesn't necessarily mean that it will drive a monstrous amount of downloads and become a household name like Snapchat. Driving app downloads requires promotion and optimization so that it is easily accessible for people that are seeking out the content that the app provides. In order to effectively optimize your app to drive more downloads, you need to increase the visibility and rank of your app in the app or Google Play store. A great way to promote your app is by utilizing some of the promotional features that Google provides on their search and display networks. Utilizing Google's search network will help you reach users who have expressed intent related to your app's services or information. Google's display network, on the other hand, will help drive initial awareness and reach users who are using or searching for similar apps.
Using the Search Network to Drive Downloads
The best tactic when trying to leverage Google's search network is to put its "Click to Download" ad extension to work. This will show users the price of your app and take them directly to the relevant digital store when clicked so that the download process for users is quick and easy.
Adopting this ad extension will help increase conversion rates from users searching out your app and will prevent them from getting lost between searching for it and actually downloading it.
Using the Display Network to Drive Awareness
Two of the best ways to put the display network to use to promote your app is to use interstitials and app promotion ads. Interstitials are "disruptive" fullscreen units that drive strong interaction and conversion rates for your mobile app. App promotion ads are ads that are created in the "app promotion ads" template that will automatically import app details, such as the icon, pricing and ratings of your mobile app. While each have their own individual benefits, drawbacks, and key features, when used effectively both can lead to huge ROI for your mobile app promotion efforts.
Interstitials provide fantastic opportunities for mobile app promotion through a variety of ways. First and foremost, there is a one click exit or "download" button present that means that when users click the ad they are going to actually be downloading your app. Another added bonus is that in order for a "click through" to be counted, users must actually click the download button on the ad, meaning that every time a user clicks your interstitial you are actually generating a download of your app. Interstitials will also auto-populate images, reviews and content from the app landing page -- helping your promotional material fit the overall look and feel of the app you have created. When used correctly, these features come together to help interstitials drive an impressive conversion rate when compared to standard banners - driving almost twice as many conversions.
App Promotion Ads
If interstitials don't fit your promotional needs, another option is using app promotion ads. Created in the "app promotion ads" template, these will automatically import app details, such as icon, pricing and ratings. App promotion ads allow you to display more information about your app to users while simultaneously allowing you to confirm user intent with an additional click. When used correctly, app promotion ads can lead to 66% higher conversion rates for promotional app campaigns when compared to using standard AdWords text ads.
Who Can I target with App Ads?
Much like any other marketing campaign, a big part of creating an effective promotional campaign for an app is knowing which channels to target to reach your ideal audience. Luckily, there are many different places you can target audiences when it comes to promoting your app on Google:
Optimizing Your App Promotion
To get the most out of your app promotion efforts it is helpful to keep in mind these four rules:
- Utilize mobile search and in-app mobile display so that you can position your app to stand out in the crowded mobile app marketplace.
- While it is not always the most cost-efficient option, sometimes doing a large "blast campaign" is the best way to increase your app's rank in the iOS store.
- Make sure your promotional efforts are well targeted. Use new device targeting to capture users looking to download apps on their new phone or try interest category marketing to reach an audience that is more likely to download your app.
- If your campaign performance isn't performing at the level you would like it to, measure and improve your campaign with Google's conversion optimizer.
Taking the time to utilize some of the best paid promotional services that Google has to offer can go a long way towards boosting your app's recognition and download rates among audiences. While it might seem daunting to spend money to try and drive more app downloads, the ROI that paid advertising provides for mobile apps can be extremely high if the correct steps are taken to plan out where you advertise and what targeting options are going to reach the highest percentage of relevant audiences. Have any other tips for promoting your mobile app? Let us know by posting in the comments section below or tweeting us @BFMweb.