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10 New Year Resolutions for App Advertisers

New year and resolutions go hand-in-hand. While Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg is trying to make his 2018 resolutions about fixing the problems of hate speech and misinformation on the social media platform, many others like us are digging out their forgotten trainers and resolve (yet again) to catch up on those fitness goals (which, if you know, happens to be the most popular resolution that people make in the new year).

Being in the industry that we are, we thought why not put ourselves in the shoes of the mobile advertisers and look at what their new year resolutions would look like if they made any!

“I Will Monetize From the Start”

Developing an app without a strong monetization strategy is a recipe for disaster. User acquisition can be challenging with millions of apps in the App Store and hence it is crucial to strategize on how to drive revenues. Create a go-to-market strategy and choose a monetization model based on your business KPIs.

According to research by Apptentive, in-app purchases are the biggest source of revenue, followed by subscriptions. Read our cheat sheet for ad-based mobile monetization to gain insights into the key metrics for monetization.

“I Will Focus on LTV”

The lifetime value of users (LTV) is one of the most important success metrics to measure performance and profitability. Develop an LTV model that’s right for your app. Knowing the LTV of your users is critical in determining where and how much to invest in acquiring users, and in improving your app experience. Not having a sound knowledge of your users’ LTV can have direct impact on the profit as well as keeping your users engaged. LTV is really the mother of all metrics and it will also equip you with all you need to detect and address potential speed bumps in your revenue flow before they become a bigger problem.

“I Will Not Ignore User Retention”

Speaking of LTV, another important factor in your app success is the ability to retain users. Retention is indeed an important factor when computing the LTV of the acquired users.

Installs don’t necessarily reflect the success of an app. User retention is a big part of the puzzle and unless you have that figured out, you have only one part of the problem solved. According to research out of an average 36 apps installed on a user’s device, only 4 apps are used daily, whereas 23% users abandon the app after the initial install. An article in the Harvard Business Review suggests that marketers who leverage their returning customers to drive acquisition efforts are likely to see an ROI of upto 15 times, as compared to only 4 times ROI for traditional acquisition. Bottomline: Resolve to have a retention and re-engagement strategy in place depending on the type of app.

“I Will Leverage Programmatic Advertising”

For the modern-day app advertiser, a strong understanding of programmatic is imperative to navigate the mobile advertising landscape. Programmatic advertising has many benefits, including highly-efficient targeting, minimizing budget waste, as well as transparency, which are important for advertisers to remain ahead in the face of tough competition. Our programmatic constellation will help you dive into the concept if you still have doubts about using this technology!

“I Will Diversify the Creative Mix”

App advertising has become much more sophisticated with cutting-edge offerings in mobile ad formats such as in-app video advertising as well as formats such as native and rich media. Newer formats of playable and rewarded ads are now proving to be a game-changer for the user experience of viewing ads, and advertisers who catch on the trends early on are all set to reap the huge benefits of these formats. We are already seeing a pick up in adoption of these formats on both the publisher and advertiser side and 2018 will see this advance further.

“I Will Fight Ad Fraud”

Ad fraud has continued to co-exist with the development and advancements in mobile ad tech as fraudsters chase its vulnerabilities to game the system. The modern-day challenges posed by ad fraud can be fought only if all the stakeholders in the ecosystem play their part. Advertisers can minimize the risks by becoming more aware of the target KPIs of the app and working closely with the ad networks, publishers and attribution partners. Have a proactive approach to combating ad fraud that can allow you to detect and fight fraud in real-time at the beginning of the campaign. Not sure where to start your fight against ad fraud? Read our 10-step guideline for advertisers.

“I Will Localize My Messaging”

More and more brands are looking to localize their messages to drive conversions. In a 2016 IAB UK study, 66% of marketers said that they believed location-based advertising is the most exciting opportunity. Focus on location-based geo-targeting options to see better click rates from consumers who are likely to have a higher intent to purchase.

“I Will Leverage Data to Understand User Behavior”

User data is the engine that is driving today’s app advertising. Whether it is first, second, or third-party data, leveraging each one carefully can help to serve advertising campaigns that more accurately reflect your customers’ needs and wants. For instance, first-party data enables targeting of returning users and can be leveraged to create call-to-actions based on the products a user has bought in the past.

“I Will Use Dynamic Creative Optimization to Tailor Creatives On the User Level”

If you have reached till here, you would know one thing by now: app advertising in this day and age is not only about reaching users, but about reaching the relevant ones who can maximize your ROAS. A crucial element of this puzzle is also the focus on using the right creatives (not just formats, but the actual creative content itself). DCO, or Dynamic Creative Optimization, is one way in which advertisers can leverage the many benefits of technology to modify and optimize the creatives in real-time and serve relevant ad content to every single impression. DCO is also a cornerstone of app retargeting and can be done by optimizing creative elements in the ad such as text, images, links etc., also with integrated product feed to pull up-to-date product information in case of commerce or travel apps.

“I Will Analyze Campaign Performance and Continuously Optimize”

And finally, when you have checked all of the boxes above, remember to continuously track the performance of your campaigns. There are many levers to check when optimizing the performance of your campaigns to bring them up to maximum efficiency, so track your main KPIs and work closely with your ad partners to ease the optimization on their end. It is also important for advertisers to work on two-levels of analysis: LTV analysis and Industry Benchmark analysis. While the former can help to evaluate the true LTV of users and optimize campaigns based on those findings, the latter empowers advertisers to evaluate how their app is ranking against peers in the industry and adjust strategy.

Advertisers, what are you thinking of doing differently this year? Let us know in the Comments section!

Diksha is a Senior Content Marketing Manager at AppLift and is based out of our Bangalore office. When she is not behind her computer writing, you can find her binge watching her favorite movies, finding her happy place at a dance studio, and checking off places on her bucket list.
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