6 advices from the App Promotion Summit in Berlin

Mobile App Growth

April 22, 2014

The App Promotion Summit in Berlin was full of good tips.

I can’t possibly summarize a whole day of presentations with just one post (and you’re missing out on meeting with everyone). But I can, however, let you know the main themes discussed and the advices that seemed to be coming back in several speeches.

After sharing the insights from the previous APS13 in London, here are 6 lessons from the APS13 in Berlin.

1. It’s (still) about having a great app

It’s not new, and everyone says it at each conference and event: you need a great app.

Still, how many developers try promoting apps with unintuitive user experience and waste both money and time on marketing.

Diego Meller from Jampp gave yet another cool presentation (London’s one was on the opportunities for mobile developers in Latin and South America) , and his first commandment of app marketing was this one:

“Thou app shalt not suck” – Diego Meller, Jampp

The chart below is not that serious, but still gets the point across : if you can’t find users who love your app, go back and change it until that’s the case.

App promotion flowchart from App Promotion Summit in Berlin

Lele Canfora from Lovoo gives the same advice as well: “Do marketing but never push a bad app!”

And of course, it doesn’t hurt if you build an app that implements the latest technology/innovations in an app platform (new iOS version, Google+ platform, etc.)

“App platforms and stores are looking for inspiring apps they can use as ambassador of their ecosystem” – Anne-Catherine Goulby, SwiftKey

2. Listen (and analyze) more

We’ve said it countless time, getting feedback for your app is critical.

You want to get feedback about your idea.

Before your launch. After your launch. All the time.

There are 2 kinds of feedback:

  • Qualitative feedback
  • Quantitative feedback

“Measure, measure, measure!” – Anne-Catherine Goulby, SwiftKey

For the former, you need to find beta users and testers (not just your relatives) and learn what they think about your app.

For the latter, you need to measure things. Use in-app analytics tools (more tools here) for that.

“Analytics are your best friend” – Stefanie Hoffman, Co-founder, Loui apps

This one is not about knowing where your downloads come from (you should do that too), it’s about defining the right KPIs and measuring.

A few things to keep in mind for the metrics you need to use:

  • Define metrics to mirror the desired behavior of your users: what is important for your app?
    Different apps, distinct metrics
    Slides are from adeven (now https://www.adjust.com/)
  • Depending on which stage you’re at, you need to focus on different KPIs
    Specific KPIs

Another important thing is to use cohort analysis. Not all your users are the same: some signed up during a price drop, after reading a specific article, and in any case at a different time.

You can’t put everyone in the same basket, or you won’t be able to know what’s happening.

Quick example: almost no one that has installed your app a month ago did any key actions (or purchases) in your app this week, but you just got featured on a blog which significantly increased the usage of your app (or revenue). If you mix the 1-month old users and the brand-new users, you can’t understand what is happening.

Cohort analysis

Cohort Analysis

To end this topic, here is an interesting slide by Zattoo on the process you need to be prepared for your launch:

App Marketing Process
Slide from Zattoo‘s presentation

3. Market and advertize the right way

Once you know users keep coming back to your app and love it, you can advertise to get some additional exposure.

When advertising, make sure you try several different creatives to optimize your campaigns.

Diego from Jampp advises to create more than 10 per format and to try them out. You also want to make sure your branding stays coherent, from your app to your banners to your screenshots. Here is a blog post with some additional tips on creating ad banners.

Once you figure out which creatives work best, both Stefan Bielau and Diego Meller mentioned you could also use the results to pick and improve your app screenshots.

What’s important next is to take a lean approach.

Start small.

You can for example try a small country that has the same kind of demographic and user behavior, or start with a low cost test. Or both.

Here is an interesting chart from adparlor on the test & learn approach for Facebook ads (which brings us to our next advice).

Facebook Mobile Ads
Slide from adparlor‘s presentation

4. Market your app using Facebook

Facebook ads are not new. Apparently 8,200 advertisers are using them and it led to 145 million app installs.

It might not be the solution for every app neither.

But it allows you to target your audience pretty specifically and uses the power of the newsfeed on mobile.

You won’t see the profiles of the people you target of course, but you can get to a pretty precise level of targeting.

Facebook : targeting audience

If you already have an existing database of app users (email, facebook id, phone number, etc.) you can do a match with people on Facebook. Here’s how you can use that:

  • Reactivate users by asking them to come back
  • Convert active users into Facebook fans
  • Encourage engaged users to share with friends
  • Cross-promote another of your apps
  • Exclude your users from specific campaigns

Facebook connected with CRM

Pretty cool, right?

You know what else you can do? Find statistical twins of your app users.

Let’s say you have Facebook info on your best customers, you can find more people like them and get more qualified and engaged users!

Facebook Twin Customers

All this sounds to me like something worth trying. Remember #3 though, don’t go crazy with it: start small.

So how does it look for potential users? It’s really close to the photo page post ad, except that you have a direct call to action to download the app which brings you to the app store.

Facebook Mobile App Intalls

Those Facebook mobile photo ads look quite powerful, and the best thing is that you can have the same thing with video.

Facebook video ads are 15 seconds videos that display in your potential users’ newsfeeds, with a direct call to action to download the app underneath.

At Apptamin we’re (obviously) convinced about the power of video to promote an app, and we believe this can be one great way to use it.

Facebook Video Ads

Facebook Video Ads

5. Use video

Another smooth transition 😉

You’re going to think we won’t shut up about app marketing using video…And you’re kinda right.

I was invited to the App Promotion Summit to talk on the topic. Below are the main points of my presentation:

  • A video is one piece of the app marketing puzzle. It’s not enough by itself, but it can be a powerful asset
  • Video is the best thing next to actually trying the app, and lets you get your point across while showing the user experience
  • There are plenty of ways to use video for app promotion: sending it to bloggers/journalists, putting it on the Google Play Store (and soon the App Store?), using (short versions) as mobile ads including on Facebook, embedding the video on your website, using it on YouTube for additional exposure and better rankings in Google search results, social media, pitching at contests, etc.

And we’re not the only one talking about video. Here are a few tips from Stefanie Hoffman:

Video for app marketing

6. Alternative App Stores – it’s (still) not all about Apple and Google

Megan from 23snapps had talked about it (Amazon, Opera) at the previous App Promotion Summit in London.

Stefan Bielau’s talk was focused on this topic this time, and proved really interesting. Here are a few insights on why it can help your app get extra distribution and get an edge over your competitors :

  • Some new stores are growing significantly, to a download volume that’s a quarter of the Google Play downloads in China
  • 73% of Android apps downloads are done through 3rd party app markets. If you’re targeting the Chinese audience, you have to go through those app markets
    Alternative App Stores
    Slides from Stefan Bielau’s presentation
  • The Apple App Store and the Google Play Store are not everywhere: if you want your app downloaded in some countries (especially for paid apps), you need to go through alternative app stores. For example MTN Nigeria NextApps acquires 3 million Android users every month. Here is a comprehensive listing of app stores and distribution points for mobile apps by Codengo and some alternative app stores detailed by mobyaffiliates.
  • Some alternative app stores like AndroidPit, the Amazon App Store or Mobango use paid promotions, which you can use to further promote your app
  • If you’re a brand, some users expect to be able to find you on alternative app stores.

Stefan does although state that it’s not easy due to fragmentation and the lack of common standards. He advices that you:

  • Identify where are the markets you want to accelerate your growth and identify the app stores within those markets
  • Go one by one
  • Use some tools to handle alternative app stores like Codengo or InMobi. This will let you
    • Save time by publishing through these platforms and get reports.
    • Use their connections/partnerships to do paid promotion within those stores

Stefan gave some numbers from case studies on DailyMe, TankenApp and Cut the Rope:

DailyMe Alternative App Stores Case Study
Tanken App Alternative App Stores Case Study
Alternative App Stores - cut the rope
Cut The Rope Alternative App Stores Case Study

Here is Stefan’s full presentation in video if you want to check it out:

Anne-Catherine from Swift key also mentioned that once your app has engaged users you should consider other app stores, especially in emerging market.

To end this post, here are a few other takeaways from the APS Berlin:

  • ASO: include a CTA in the first 3 lines of your post
  • Crazy growth in Korea in 2013 – 94% of them are games
  • Cross promotion: you know your users, so you can decide where the ads pop ups
  • To optimize monetization, create separated user journey experiences: new users vs. highly active
  • Retarget instead of trying to acquire
  • Localize your app
  • Build relationships with tech journalists/bloggers and the stores
  • Food is good at the App Promotion Summit 🙂

Check out the videos from the presentations, some of the slides and get your Early-Bird ticket for the next App Promotion Summit event in London…We’ll see you there!

More about Mobile App Growth

  1. Hello Sylvain,
    I love your blog post. You have mentioned very useful ideas and source to promote app. If any one want to promote their app he should  follow these tips. You can use social media to promote and do viral.I think for the promotion of your app you must have some SEO skills and develop your app with multiple languages.As Japanese is the most common language in android apps.

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