Be sure that your product is scalable
Can everything be scaled? We’re optimistic, but if your app is a dating app that connects tattoo enthusiasts (yes, that exists!), it will be hard to scale. Some verticals are just overcrowded; like anti-virus software, news or casual games. But it doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
With hundreds (even thousands) of apps fighting for the top spot in the app store, you need to have a competitive advantage. Without it, you’re doomed. To check to see if it’s even worth it trying to expand your product, you need to know your user Lifetime Value (LTV). If it’s smaller than the average CPA, it makes no sense to expand.
Research (your target audience, market, everything!)
Imagine you’re in a bowling alley, holding a bowling ball, about to aim at pins. Your aim is to knock down all the pins with a single hit. Well, targeting is similar. Imagine that the pins are your target audience, and the bowling ball represents ads. The better you aim the ball (ads), the better the results will be (user acquisition).
If you don’t have your target audience defined, you’re shooting in the dark. Targeting and the defined target audience is the key to the success of all of your marketing efforts. Everything should revolve around the user, and knowing who he is will enable you that.
If you have a clearly defined target group, you’ll have a much clearer idea of how, where and when to reach it. You can start very broad with categories like millennials, but you’ll achieve the best results when you figure out the details.
A target audience is the demographic of people who really want or need what you’re offering.
If you know what problem you’re solving or what innovation you’re offering, you’ll also know who to target. To target these people mean you’ll be able to put your product in front of the most relevant audience.
Begin with figuring out who needs your product and focus on what problem it solves.
Choose your markets wisely
The logical step for scaling any user acquisition journey is expanding into new countries. Penetrating into a new market can often be hard and challenging, but if it’s done properly, it will reward your business with additional volume and revenue.
You’ll also need to estimate the downloads and revenues in your app category. Another important thing would be to check the competitor numbers. These numbers will tell you not only which markets are the biggest, but also where are user not spending their money. For a soft-launch of your app, you’ll want to look for countries with lower CPI that will enable you to generate cheap installs for the launch of your app.
Many app intelligence platforms like MobileAction or AppsFlyer will be able to give you reliable data about the current state of the market.
Great tool for estimating the potential of a certain niche, app or market is Google Consumer Barometer. With Google Consumer Barometer, you can visualize how people around the world use the Internet and get access to country-specific data on consumers’ device preferences and insights into how people make purchase decisions. The Consumer Barometer covers more than 45 countries and 10 product categories. A simple filter can help you create graphs with the data you need for your blog, research or presentation.
The first step to entering a new market is to actually decide which market will carry the biggest opportunity for your business. Very common classification of markets is based on tiers — considering the financial and overall development of the country, cost of advertising and the current political situation.
There is no unifying theory on this topic, so we came up with our model of Media Buying Campaign Geos. Tier 1, in this case, is the most expensive and the most challenging one. But it is also the biggest one with the most competitors fighting for the same spot. Tier classification will also depend on your product, niche, target audience and competition. What applies to one app, won’t necessarily apply to another.
In Tier 1 of Media Buying Campaign Geos you’ll usually find the following countries: Norway, Switzerland, United States, Germany, Australia, Luxembourg, Ireland, Iceland, Sweden, Canada, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Denmark, France & China.
There are many challenges in Tier 1, this market is strictly regulated, and the breaches of data protection can be legally pursued. General Data Protection Regulation, more commonly known as GDPR regulated how data should be handled and brought a whole different set of rules to anyone working with personal data.
Traffic in these countries will be very expensive — 2x, 3x or even more expensive than countries in Tier 2. You should have in mind that your ad is competing with much more ads on the same market.
Before making a final decision on a strategy, ask yourself these questions:
- What is my desired ROI?
- How will I measure the success of your campaigns?
- What is the retention rate of my organic users, and what is the retention rate of users acquired through paid ads?
- Which mobile ad networks and campaign strategies will be used for user acquisition?
- Estimate your creative team workload
By the time you get to creative production, you’ll have everything figured out and your budget will be assigned. Preparing creatives for different markets can be a demanding task, and if you don’t have a system set up, you can face some obstacles.
Always be testing!
Even if you’re working on the smallest budgets or the smallest campaigns, always test at least two creatives. There will always be differences between the performance of ad-groups and you can be surprised to see what works and what doesn’t. Sometimes the best ad will be the one you had least expectations for.
Chances are, the more often users see your ad, less likely they’ll click on it. Ad fatigue is a phenomenon that affects even the most successful ad campaigns on all networks. It will happen when your campaign frequency gets too high, causing your target audience to see your ads again, again and again. It causes the contra effect and your audience simply becomes tired of seeing your ad.
To overcome ad fatigue, you’ll need to constantly replace your old ad creatives with new ones. From our experience, new creatives have always proven to boost our campaigns and revive some older titles that aren’t that attractive anymore.
If you are targeting more countries, optimize creatives and think about localization. Simple steps like translating your CTA can take your results from good to great!
Revise and optimize
Once the app is finished and you obtain your first user base, you need an insight into their behavior. What are they tapping, swiping, watching and buying? How often do they use your app and how long do they stay in the app? The best way of knowing that is using a mobile app analytics platform. In the two of the leading app stores, there are more than 4 million apps, and it is becoming increasingly important to track the habits of the users and their behavior. Mobile app analytics collect and present the data with the insight in all the platforms.
Relying on data and constantly tracking your result will minimize the possibility of mistake. Most of the platforms will go beyond just collecting the data about users, they’ll offer you ad mediation, crash analysis, deep linking, attribution and more.
To sum up:
If it works on a small model, it can work on a bigger scale too. The opposite is not the case. So before you try to scale your product, make sure it works with a smaller number of users.
With so many tools helping you improve your user acquisition, it can become a bit overwhelming. The key to any successful user acquisition is planning. You need to rely on data while you’re strategically planning expansion.
Before making any major decisions, acquire as much data as you can, set up your KPI’s and how you’re going to track everything.
User acquisition on a scale is never easy, but it can be done. If you do your homework, it will work like magic! ✨
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