Get your app ready for the holiday season!
December 12, 2022
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Not everyone celebrates Christmas but the app world sure does! With the holiday season in full swing, developers are launching their Christmas creative assets! How can you make your ASO creatives or your UA campaign more festive? Is it really relevant for your audience? Let’s find out!
It’s beginning to look a lot like seasonality
Seasonality is adapting your marketing materials to seasonal events. It goes for both visual assets and search optimization.
During certain events, users will adjust their search methods, sometimes looking for specific keywords (during Black Friday users will look for promotions, for example, Halloween may lead them to look for a more spooky ambiance in their games, etc.).
Seasonality is a great tool to leverage in your marketing. Not only it can drive attention to your product (both with visual assets and keyword optimization). But also having seasonalized assets can boost conversion rates by up to 20%.
Taking advantage of seasonal needs will help you stand out in the stores. Even better, for most events relevant to seasonalization, people attach positive emotions to these events. This means that a reminder of these events will bring a positive reaction from users. Positive emotions are great drivers for downloads and positive brand recall will drive long term users (or bring churned users back).
Christmas is a huge event in some countries with some very recognizable assets and lore. Every person that celebrates Christmas is aware of Santa Claus, his elves and reindeers, for example. Which makes it a very easy event to seasonalize for.
Moreover, seasonal assets show users that your app has been updated recently (and is being kept up to date frequently), which is always a good sign for long-term users.
You can also charm churned users, by showing them your app’s new content. For mobile games, you can take seasonalization one step further and implement in-game events on the topic, it’s a great way to keep players engaged.
Both the App Store and the Play Store also usually promote apps and games depending on seasons and events. It might give you a boost to play up your seasonality to get featured. A feature on Apple or Google’s lists is a visibility boost that can skyrocket your conversions.
Start with a festive icon
The easiest visual asset to seasonalize is the icon. Even with little space, you can have a seasonalized icon that will make a difference. The icons are one of the first visual assets that users will encounter. A seasonalized icon in Search results might just be the thing that makes them click on your app’s product page.
There are different ways of seasonalizing your icon for the Christmas season. You can decide to go for the Christmas theme (with colors and visual elements or characters), but sometimes even just a winter makeover can do the trick.
Look at Project Makeover’s seasonal icon. They changed the color palette to match Christmas: an overabundance of green and red that’s applied to the scarf and the tool. On the character’s eye make-up you can spot some snowflakes and a snowy theme. It’s still discreet while reminding the user of the seasonal event.
The photo app Prequel went with a more discrete choice. It did not adopt the color scheme but instead turned the app’s black circle into a Christmas ornament. Subtle and efficient.
Match Masters’ icon is also color coded (each half of the icon gets a Christmas color). The little tokens of the games even have some snow on top which is a nice touch that goes with the background snowflakes and winter elements.
Merge Mayor gave their character a full Christmas makeover with a Santa costume (complete with a snowy Santa hat), there are some winter elements and snowflakes in the background, and a red and green (with a star topping) wrapped gift in the character’s hands. All of the Christmas elements are there!
From more subtle seasonalization to bigger ones, there will always be an option that can fit with your app or game’s branding. Sometimes, even just a detail is enough to bring the Christmas spirit to your icon.
A seamless ASO experience
A seasonalized icon is a great start but it works best when the rest of the assets are seasonalized as well. If need be, you can focus seasonal content for the first 3 or 4 screenshots, they are the ones with the highest viewability rate. A seasonal preview video can also go a long way, so will actual seasonal content inside your app or game. A seamless experience all throughout the funnel will bring more conversions.
For example, Crazy Fox took the opportunity to adorn every character in its screenshots with Santa hats. Every screenshot of the game has been fully seasonalized, even the daily rewards show Christmas gifts, a snowy background, and Christmas trees around the potential rewards. There’s a Christmas twist to every situation there, with small humorous touches like Santa ironing his Santa costume in the back of the second one.
Even the preview video starts with a light snowfall in the background before panning to a fully seasonalized video.
For Coin Master, the screenshots are not seasonalized but the icon and the preview video are. Their approach to seasonalization in the video is to show the iconic Coin Master pig playing a seasonalized version of the game.
The pig character itself is not seasonalized, he’s wearing his usual domino mask in a regular kitchen. However, he’s clearly playing a Christmas version of the game, with snowy decor, reindeers, and Christmas trees.
It’s also easy to adapt the video to different events. You keep the pig as his regular self and just update the game’s extracts to match the season. With a landscape video like the Play Store version, most users will only watch the preview video and not scroll through the screenshot gallery. This is why it’s more efficient to seasonalize the video over the screenshot in this case.
A seasonal icon is great to get people on your product page, but if you want to convert them, you will need more seasonal assets.
Don’t stop at ASO. While seasonalized ASO assets may bring you higher organic conversion reach, a seasonal UA campaign could be just as impactful (as long as it lands on a seasonalized page as well for a seamless experience).
Make it eventful
Both the App Store and the Play Store now have event options on their store: they’re called in-app events in the App Store and Promotional Content (it used to be LiveOps) on the Play Store. These events are a great visibility tool, they offer more space for keyword optimization as well as access to certain spots both in search results as well as on the homepage (both stores often have selections of current events for apps and games).
Vinted didn’t use Christmas visuals for its seasonal event on the App Store, however, the shopping app capitalized on the gifting season to showcase the use of their app during these celebrations.
It works just as well for games! If you have some sort of in-app seasonal event happening, store events are a great way to showcase this exclusive content. They will boost your app or game’s visibility while adding a touch of seasonality to those who are looking for it.
Moreover, you can use your event to optimize seasonal keywords and attract users who will look for Christmas-specific content.
On the App Store, users who have already downloaded your app will see your events instead of your screenshot in the search results, so having a seasonal event may also be a great way to drive acquired users to your app again by showcasing your newest content.
Some tips to help you get festive:
- Use Christmas’ color scheme: red and green
- Go for a winter theme with snow, a lot of white, and clear blue
- Some Christmassy elements you can use include: Santa hats, Christmas trees, Christmas decorations, elves, reindeers, candy canes, fairy lights
- Some winter elements to add: snowflakes, snow, snowman
- Start preparing in advance. You will need to produce new creatives and it takes time.
- Don’t stop at the icon, only having a seasonal icon and regular creatives may impact conversion negatively while having the first screenshots seasonalized as well can go a long way
- Don’t stop at your product page, take advantage of other ASO tools like in-app events and LiveOps