Top 3 Videos on Mobile Growth #2: November 2016

Mobile App Growth

December 5, 2016

This is the second post of this “Top 3 videos on mobile growth” series. You can find the first post here (October’s videos). The idea is to share with you the 3 most interesting videos we can find on mobile growth and app marketing, and give you the main insights.

[ Video #1] Firebase Keynote and Firebase Analytics


This is a Keynote by Google on their Firebase (@Firebase) product, with a big focus on Firebase analytics.  Presentation really starts at 4:20. You can of course watch all of the video if you want to know more about the full Firebase solution (15 different features to develop, grow and earn) but what we’ve focused on is the Firebase analytics part (starting around 9:20 to 38:00).

Digging in

Firebase Analytics in a nutshell

Here’s how Google presents the core principles of Firebase Analytics:

  • Free and unlimited (unlimited volume of in-app events tracked)
  • Automatic reporting – it’s plug n play, and dozens of events are already logged in for you once you drop the SDK in your app
  • Seamless integrations with other Firebase and Google products
  • Cross platform support – iOS and Android

Even though some events are already logged for you and reporting is automatic, you still get access to your raw data via BigQuery if you need it.

Real-time conversions

You can identify up to 10 conversion events and get results in real time (in BigQuery too), allowing you to analyze and react quickly.

Using Google’s Data Studio (up to 5 reports for free) you can get a visual interface to look at your data. Your dashboard makes it easy to change dimensions and customize your reports.

DebugView: real-time feedback on implementation and real-time reporting

A debug view in Firebase Analytics allows you to easily check if you’ve set things up correctly: you do an action in your app, and you see it logged in Firebase Analytics (with a pretty cool feed/timeline). Spot errors easily in your tracking and make sure you’re logging everything right.

This feature should be available soon.

StreamView: live view of your analytics data

Another feature not yet available. Pretty impressive as well.

It starts with a live geomap of your users in the world and lets you filter by types of devices, countries breakdown per city, app versions.

The biggest part of it is to see the events going on right now. Like what tracks are listened to on a radio app, and where. Or seeing the top search terms.

It can also be used to measure in real-time how people respond to app install campaigns, engagement actions like push notifications, email campaigns, etc.

[bctt tweet=”With Firebase Analytic, see in real time if people are responding the way you thought” username=”sganem1″]

With user snapshots, you get the same kind of view than in DebugView but for a user you select based on several criteria. You then see a feed of how they are interacting with your app.

[bctt tweet=”User snapshots (in Firebase Analytics) give you a snapshot of the events logged by real users” username=”sganem1″]

Want to give it a try? Check out the Firebase demo project.

Going further – check out this presentation to learn more about Firebase analytics and this one about growth hacking with Firebase.


[ Video #2] Paid App Marketing and UA Tips – Webinar


This is a webinar hosted by Fabien Pierre Nicolas of App Annie (@appannie), where 3 experts in UA and mobile growth weigh in on 2016’s App Marketing Trends. They share the game changers and what they see coming next.

Digging in

Some ASO pointers

You want to select keywords based on both the search volume and the competition. The category you pick is also crucial.

For your app name, it does matter what you lead with in terms of keywords.

You should ask for reviews at points when users are already highly engaged (for games: specific levels, engagement, etc.).

It’s important to test your visual assets like app icon and screenshots. On a regular basis. Without going too far…And of course, leverage video the right way.

The importance of the app icon

An interesting trend in the casino slots game is the emergence of icons showing the app’s value proposition directly on the icon. Going further than having your brand on the icon, the examples showed things like “free 2,000,000 coins”.

Vertical video is taking over

Both in gameplay and user acquisition space, vertical video is being adopted quickly. It’s not just for Snapchat and the App Previews on the App Store.

Facebook has recently added a vertical format for app install ads, and most video ad networks already offer and recommend vertical ad formats so users don’t have to flip their phones.

[bctt tweet=”Vertical video is taking over” username=”eyalgru”]

I have to do another shameless plug here: get in touch if you want to get a mobile video ad produced (both in horizontal, square or vertical format)!

Search ads are a game changer

With their search ads, Apple and Google both gave new and interesting data to developers on search volumes. With the 50 characters limit in the app name, you need to select carefully.

Apple search ads are fairly new, but people have seen lower (and “impressive”) CPI, even though the tool still needs improving.

Mobile ad spend growing fasters than smartphone users

This makes advertising more expensive and advertisers need to get smarter to maintain or improve ROI:

  • Targeting needs to get better, understanding which segments perform better and using dynamically optimized CPM
  • Better conveying the value proposition of the app and how they get intention so they can increase CTR and CVR
  • Going beyond the CPA and understanding what happens after the download to scale efforts and get more of the engaged users

The storefront will be integral to the funnel

Tied to the previous point (going beyond the CPA), measuring only what makes people download your app on your app details page will not be enough: these elements need to be optimized to focus on LTV (Life Time Value).

With more tools allowing to get the attribution and the post-install data this should become more and more the case.

Understanding Ad-Based LTV

Technology will be built to understand the value of users generating revenue through in-app ads, and how they interact with those ads.

There’s a need to not just measure ROI based on In-App Purchases, but also being able to see what kind of users (generating revenue through IAP or Ads) are the most interesting for your app.

Importance of a multi-device attribution strategy

Video is the key driver of the advertising economy on mobile, and is used on several different channels and devices. There is still a lack of tools to determine how people move from device to device until you get the install, which will be key.

Aggregated Portfolio

Developers need to be managing a portfolio of apps with the same user base/targeting (or close) rather than a single app. And handle cross-promotion between those apps smartly.

The trend is to focus on incremental growth and cash returns to steadily grow the user base.

[bctt tweet=”People have started to abandon the monster launch – no one has the money to burn” username=”eric_seufert”]

This becomes increasingly true as it has become very difficult to break into the top apps without huge budget (and buying your way to the top with a monster launch is almost impossible) or IP (like the Kardashians or Pokemon).


[ Video #3] What the Top 50 Do With IAP That The Rest of Us Don’t


This is a presentation by Mike Hines (@MikeFHines), Amazon Appstore Evangelist, at White Nights Conference in Moscow. He talks about the best practices in In-App Purchases that the top 50 games apply and that you can use for your game as well. This is based on interesting data and its analysis regarding retention and spending habits of players.

Digging in

Some data on what separates the Top 50

A third of apps are never launched, and 3% of downloads turn into paying customers. This is true for both the top 50 and the other games.

However a big difference between both groups (Top 50 vs. “the rest of us”) is how much time people spend in the app, and how much money:

  • Users purchase 12% more items in Top 50
  • Users spend 36% more money in Top 50

As a result, the average revenue per paying user (ARPPU) on Day 1 is 54% higher for the Top 50. While the gap closes a bit on the second day, the difference then increases again and both average session length and ARPPU are consistently higher in the Top 50 apps.

After a month, the retention in Top 50 apps is at 8% vs. 4%. It’s “only” a 4% difference, but it’s also twice as much retention. And because the price that those active players pay for increases (significantly) over time, it translates into a much bigger difference of revenue.

Bottom line: you need to sell more items, at a higher price.

How the Top 50 sells better: differentiate your IAP catalogue and be clear about value

You need to give users a reason to come back. Because the more players have ordered and the most they’ve been active in your app, the more revenue they generate (64% of revenue comes from 3rd order and more for example).

Because 48% of repeat purchases happen within one hour of a previous purchase, it’s not only about the retention but also about the number of sessions per day. You need to make your game very easy to come back to.

Don’t give up on users that don’t buy on the first day though, instead find an offer that’s more adapted to them.

Teach people how to buy and use In-App Purchases:

  • Apps with tutorial about IAP saw a 2.5x more conversion rate
  • Games providing a post-purchasing tutorial generated 65% more repeat orders

Offer different things to different players, at different times. So have enough items in your catalogue and leverage it. Don’t show the same thing to someone that’s been playing your game and spending money for 30 days than someone that is just starting.

You should not have too many price points (less than 10 gave better results). You should make very clear differences between the value you get for each price: don’t let your customers figure it out, tell them exactly how much discount each price gets them.

[bctt tweet=”‘Don’t make your users do math’ – @MikeFHines on IAP” username=””]

And because more revenue is generated at higher end price points, don’t hesitate to have price points that go as high as $50/$100 (even if it’s just as a price anchor).

How the Top 50 engage better

Reduce the barriers to frequent use. Don’t make it hard on your players to replay (i.e keep the same settings, don’t ask them), and make it easy to pick up at the same level.

Optimize the game difficulty to next-session start, not to get more IAP. So you can keep them playing.

Leaderboards and achievements are the minimum bar for social engagement. But you should aim to build a community of fans. If you see any content created by game users, you should leverage it and promote it as much as possible. You can create your own influencers.

[bctt tweet=”‘Cater to your top players as if they were your favorite people in the world'” username=”MikeFHines”]

Tying both engaging and selling, you need to design In-App Purchases into the fabric of your game. Right where players can buy them and keep playing directly.

Finally, Mike states the importance of giving yourself control of your game once it’s published by using A/B testing tools.

Amazon Underground

If you haven’t heard of Amazon Underground and have an Android app, check it out. You waive all the fees of IAP in your app, and get paid per minute played by users.

Going further – You can get the slides here.


[Contenders] UA on a budget and App Launch Timeline

Here are some other really interesting videos that almost made the list:

[bctt tweet=”‘I do my best business evaluation when I’m full..and kind of tipsy’ – @eric_seufert” username=””]

That’s it for this month, hope you’ve learned something with these. We’re in touch with most of the mobile experts in the videos so if you have any question for them, just leave a comment and we’ll do our best to get you an answer!

Have you seen our Top 3 videos on Mobile Growth for October? Make sure you check them out.

You know of a great video we should feature next month? -> @sylvainww



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