Five Ways to Win the Mobile UA Game in India

By Satya Manoj Vinnakota | March 2nd, 2017

We’re well into 2017 and with a stellar year behind us, it’s natural to wonder where we go from here. Globally, statistics for mobile apps downloads and revenue from app stores shows huge market potential. The Indian market, too, is poised for growth and this means vast opportunities for app marketers.

Consider this: India is the world’s second largest smartphone market. With falling data prices and deeper mobile penetration, the country has emerged as one of the lucrative markets for the mobile industry in the Asian subcontinent.

With ad:tech New Delhi (the biggest marketing and media technology show in India) just a few days away, it’s a good time for advertisers to review their strategy to acquire the best users for their apps. We know how tough it can be to break into a new market, so we’ve come up with some tips to acquire and retain loyal users for your app.

Test New Platforms and Channels

In order to target users who will become profitable in their lifetime of interacting with the app, start with choosing a platform that can offer non-incentive traffic and with a CPI payment model. High quality customers will yield best results and help in achieving KPIs, with a higher revenue and a positive ROI.

Explore the potentials of a programmatic platform to scale your campaigns. With programmatic advertising growing at a rapid pace in India, it’s a good time for advertisers to leverage a DSP’s superior targeting capabilities to acquire the right users. The ability to manage campaigns on a programmatic self-serve platform and optimize campaigns in real-time are just some of the reasons why it’s advisable to invest in programmatic advertising.

Know Where the Most Important Users Lie

Mobile advertising is all about serving the right ads to the right user at the right time. For app advertisers entering new markets or scaling the campaigns in already existing markets, it is crucial to know where the most valuable consumers lie and the user spending patterns they offer so as to plan an effective UA strategy. For instance, mobile gaming has a huge potential in India considering the country has the world’s largest youth population, aged between 10-24 years. Or that it is seen that Indian consumers do most of their shopping on mobile apps using mobile wallets. By paying attention to consumer spending patterns, advertisers can allocate their spending budgets to deliver tangible returns for their app.

User acquisition efforts can be accelerated by leveraging existing customer insights and user behavior within the app to optimize campaigns for the most effective results. For example, narrowing down the top cities where existing customers currently reside can help in localizing campaigns to attract users from a particular region. Existing customers are a great source of valuable insights to learn more and make informed decisions for your UA campaign.

Understand User Retention Patterns

User retention on mobile is a tricky issue for app marketers worldwide, considering the sheer number of apps that are uninstalled. But the trends may differ and not work in a similar fashion for the Indian customer. Here’s one such fact: where mobile game publishers struggle in three quarters of countries, they tend to see higher retention in India. Even for paid user acquisitions, India displays a different pattern from the rest, with 30.1% of Indian users still using the app after 14 days, compared to a global average of 24%.

By analyzing, tracking and measuring the post-install activity, advertisers can get deeper insights that can be leveraged to drive retention and retarget the dormant users. Retargeting enables advertisements to be targeted to bounced audiences based on their user behavior and enable conversion. This is especially relevant for travel, gaming and e-commerce apps, and could potentially yield a high ROI by leveraging data of existing users who have not converted yet.

Performance-Heavy, But Size Light

Timeliness and content of an app are very important to grab a user’s attention. But don’t forget the maturity of both the audiences as well as smartphones for the category of users you are targeting. In India, for instance, mobile users store up to 32 apps on their phones, far lower than the international average of 42 apps. Smartphone storage and data usage are some of the top concerns of an Indian users, especially those who don’t use highly sophisticated smartphones. A 2016 report found that 83% of smartphone users in India delete apps only to get some free space in their smartphones!

Performance and the size of the app itself are important factors to consider while designing an app and bringing it to the market. A high-performing app with fewer bugs and one which will only occupy a low amount of space on a user’s precious minimal phone memory is more likely to attract users across all categories.

“Out Of The Box” Techniques

Looking at unconventional methods ways to acquire users can pay off in big ways. Finding the right mix between ‘out of the box’ ideas and targeting the right ads to mobile users can take the user acquisition game to the next level. Some ways to do this can be:

  • Pre-Installed Apps: Phone manufacturers are increasingly opting to pre-install apps on handsets as they are looking at apps/services as considerable sources of generating revenue. Mobile advertisers can look at this as an option to acquire users right from the very beginning stages of when they begin to use a new phone.
  • Social Influencers: Social influencers can be great proponents of your app, so identifying and targeting the right social influencers can help in acquiring users who are culturally aligned with your app as well. Social influencers can effectively connect advertisers to the right user demographic with a high ROI.
  • Gamification: Gamified ads through the process of gamification (i.e the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts) can boost customer engagement and the data gathered can provide valuable insights into user behaviour. An important point to note is that leaderboard based incentivization does not impact new user acquisition. Mobile marketers should ensure that gamification works even if a user doesn’t have any friends using that app.

To Sum Up

Just as users are distributed across multiple channels, platforms, devices and networks, so should your UA strategy. Deploy, collect data, learn and re-deploy should be the mantra for successful user growth. Ultimately, your UA strategy will depend on various factors that will be defined by the end campaign goals. While no one strategy can be the same for all app marketers, the above tips can aid advertisers in understanding and beginning their UA efforts in the Indian market.

Catch AppLift at Booth # 03 & 04 at ad:tech New Delhi (9th - 10th March). Write to us at bookameeting@applift.com to schedule a meeting with our team.

Satya Manoj Vinnakota
Satya Manoj Vinnakota is a Direct Supply Lead working from Berlin. He is an avid football fan and loves Manchester United. He has been active in the Startup scene in India working with local incubators and helping other startups with Digital Marketing. He holds an Engineer degree in Information & Telecommunications from SRM University, India. You can write to him on all major social networks @satyamanojv

Satya applif