5 tips to help you plan the best ad strategy for your app

User Acquisition Campaigns

October 13, 2022

Your app is ready to hit the market, your ASO game is on fleek: you only need to get started on your user acquisition strategy. Where to begin? What do you need to do? We’ve got your back with 5 tips to help you get started!

1. What are your competitors doing?

If you don’t know where to start (and even if you do), it’s good to keep in touch with what the other actors in the industry are doing. Like everything else in the digital industry, apps are subject to trends. And staying up to date will help you create an effective advertising strategy. 

Look at the kind of creative assets they’re using, what are they showing, which ad platform they are using. It’ll help you position your ads efficiently.

Bumble data / source : MobileAction
Tinder data / source : MobileAction

You can see that Bumble is using more distributors (and seems to advertise more on social media) than its main competitor, Tinder, who’s mostly relying on AdMob. You can decide to advertise where they do, to compete directly, or, instead, aim for the channels they’re not using and take advantage of their absence.

Just because you’re closely monitoring what your direct competitors are doing doesn’t mean you need to follow their lead and do the same thing. Don’t hesitate to break out of the mold and innovate. Stand out from the crowd and offer something new. 

Knowing what your competitors are doing marketing-wise will help you get a good feel of where the industry’s at, stay up to date but don’t lose your creative streak.

2. Where should you advertise?

Looking at what your competitors are doing will also help you figure out where you need to advertise your app or mobile game. To make the most of your ad campaign, you need to target the right people, in the right places.

Of course, social media platforms are unavoidable and you should plan some campaigns there but which one should you choose? Meta is a usual go-to (between Facebook and Instagram you are likely to meet your target audience), but depending on your app genre you may need to bet on something else.

TikTok’s success has been tremendous lately, and its ad platform is steadily growing. Should you advertise your app on TikTok? Probably. If you have a mobile game though, you definitely should get into it. Out of the 10 biggest advertisers on TikTok, 8 are games (with a majority of Puzzle and Casual games). For mobile games, TikTok is inevitable.

source: MobileAction Ad Intelligence tool

Knowing where you want your ad to be showcased will help you create the best ad for the situation. A Facebook ad will be different from an Instagram ad or a TikTok ad. Same goes for in-game ads. Advertising in several locations is essential, but don’t make the mistake of feeding the same ad to different platforms.

3. Think about localization

Platforms aren’t the only thing you need to think about when preparing your ad campaign. It’s time to focus on localization (and with it, culturalization). With app stores, your app can easily go global. You can translate your listing page and your creative assets to broaden your horizons. Not only that, but you should also try your hand at culturalization to better address the market you are trying to break into: ad some cultural nods and adapt your content to match with the general culture of the country (food, maps, idioms, etc.). Same goes with your marketing strategy. 

Where should you go? Which languages are interesting opportunities for you? You need to find out which locations and languages are a good opportunity for your app. Keep in mind they may not be connected.

Bumble data / source : MobileAction

Look at Bumble, they advertise mainly in Canada and the US, and even though Germany doesn’t breach the top 10, they still produce creatives in German, because it’s an interesting opportunity for them.

Tinder data / source : MobileAction

Tinder, Bumble’s main competitor is heavily targeting Korea right now (with 52% of its creatives targeting Korean mobile users), probably aiming to grow their market there. They’re already settled in the Northern American market, so it makes sense for them to reach out to new markets with less competition while Bumble is still trying to gain ground on Tinder in Northern America and Europe.

Fishdom data / source : MobileAction

On the other hand, Fishdom, a successful puzzle game, is targeting countries more evenly (each country gets around 2% of their creatives). They’re casting a wider net to reach more people, using more languages to do so.

Your strategy will depend on the countries you’re already established in. If you’re targeting a new country, you will need a heavier marketing campaign there. The same goes if you’re trying to boost your downloads in a specific country that may be underperforming next to others. Study your app’s situation and adjust accordingly. 

Don’t forget that translation is only the first step of localization. You need to take into account the cultural differences and adapt your ad product.

4. Choose the right motivation

Once you’ve figured out the more logistical aspect of your ad strategy (what kind of ad do you want to make, which ad platforms to use, in which language, and in which countries will it be showcased) it’s time to think of the more creative aspects. 

Whether you’re promoting an app or a mobile game, you need to think about your users’ motivation. Why are they downloading (and using) your app? What do they get from it? 

If you know why users download your app, you can target them more efficiently. Each ad you create should be focused on 1 core motivation. Don’t drown them with too much information, create a story (for your video ads) around the solution you’re providing them with.

Look at InnoGames’ Rise of Culture. They’re created several banner ads showing different sides of their game.

source: MobileAction

The first ad plays on the desire for self-expression, the second one on discovery, and the third one on progression. You can still recognize the games’ visual identity but you discover several courses of action. 

Viewers should walk away from your ad having learned something about your game or app’s mechanics. Don’t stuff too much information in one ad, but create different assets for different user motivations.

5. Stay consistent with your branding

You can’t just rely on the stores’ users to drive your app’s download. Building a strong brand outside of them (with social media, marketing campaigns, etc.) will drive users to the stores specifically to download your app. 

Strong branding will help you convert users, it needs to be part of your overall strategy. To achieve that success, make sure all your promotional material matches your brand image. And not just your official brand colors or logo, but the tone you use to address consumers, the art style, the music for your videos ads. Even some iconic characters if you have a mobile game.

This also works for your A/B testing ventures. Even when testing new options, stay authentic. You can experiment with trends while staying consistent in your branding and learning what users want. Focus on a user-centric approach and stick to your core identity when leveraging new assets. 

source: MobileAction

Brand recognition will help users remember your app after they’ve seen the ad, even if they don’t click. Look above, Cash’em All’s bright green is instantly recognizable and stands out amongst the others. In one ad, they even use the PayPal logo, playing on the reach of such a recognizable brand in their ad (because people know and use PayPal, they’ll be more inclined to trust this app).

People may not click on your ad the first time they see it. Maybe they’ll search for it later in their app store, or will remember your ad when a friend or family member tells them about it. Which is why you need to have a strong branding. Your brand needs to be recognizable to users, a high brand recall will go a long way to help you convert consumers in the long run

What do you think about these tips? Do you have any other advice for an effective app marketing strategy? Tell us in the comments!

More about User Acquisition Campaigns

  1. Descriptive article. The best social media campaigns help users visualize the product in the long run. Before setting up a campaign, you should analyze and choose your target audience based on actionable data.

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