App Advertising Strategy: Bulletproof Approach That Will Send Your App to The Moon

App Advertising Strategy: Bulletproof Approach That Will Send Your App to The Moon

No matter if your app will transform the world as we know it for everyone or simply make the life of its 100 users one percent easier, you need a good app advertising strategy.

Strategies for advertising apps are not that much different from those for advertising other offers or products. The key ingredients are still there, but with some notable differences, plus an addition of some new flavours.

So let’s not waste any more of your precious time and let’s see what you can do to get your app advertising campaign off the ground.

Direction: Moon and beyond.


If there’s only one piece of information you should remember from this article, this would be it: 

“Take care of users at each step of a marketing journey.”

Your prospect app users go through various parts of a typical advertising funnel at their own pace. You should address it by running separate campaigns with messaging tailored for each stage:

  1. Awareness

People on this stage know nothing about you, your app, and what it can do. You can launch brand-oriented campaigns to make your brand more recognizable, you can talk about certain problems that your app can resolve.

There’s nothing wrong with building up the tension using the “Something big is coming” approach. However, you should be sure that your app delivers on at least some of the promises.

To sum up, you should introduce yourself to your audience and tell them what you plan to do. Don’t aim for app installs just yet. Even if your app is already launched, people on this stage rarely convert. However, they are ready for the second stage.

  1. Interest or Engagement

This is the part when you warm your audience and show off your product. You can do this by providing 

  • Educational content
  • Reviews

Both videos and blog articles will work great with this type of content.

App installs are still not your priority – although they may happen.

  1. Conversion

This is the part where you aim to increase the number of installs. You have several types of ads at your disposal:

  • App install ads. These ads allow users to install an app directly after clicking the ad. These ads usually convert great as there are no unnecessary clicks in the middle.
  • Lead ads. These are aimed to gather leads, so contact information such as email address. You can use these leads to send app install links or onboarding materials.
  • In-app ads. These ads use deep linking to guide to the specific places in your app.
  1. Retention

You thought your work was over after the conversion part? Far from that. No matter if your app is free to use, uses one-time payments or a subscription model, your goal will always be to increase user’s engagement with your app.

Churn – the percentage of users that ditch the app every month – is a phenomena that can and should be addressed. 

There’s a lot of things you can do:

  • Give out loyalty points.
  • Launch competitions, activity rankings.
  • Propose discounts for long-term users.
  • Build relationships with your users outside the app: on a blog or social media channels.

Plan Ahead

Doing anything else apart from curating your precious app weeks before the launch is asking for a lot, I know. But you simply have to find some time to launch a preemptive campaign. As we’ve discussed above, you have to think about users on different steps of the buyer’s journey. For some, this journey may start before the app launch.

The second thing to consider is that your launch may be postponed if your app encounters problems during the verification process in the app store. Don’t rely heavily on one date, take the “When it’s ready” approach.

vCPM vs CPM

Create Personas

This sounds like boring excerpts from a marketing textbook but trust me. Your app may be used in different ways by people with different motivations. Advertise for them separately.

Take any ecommerce app. It is suited both for sellers and buyers. You may choose to advertise this app using universal approach with a slogan like:

The best place to trade goodies online”

OR

You can create buyer and seller personas. If this is mainly for individuals getting rid of old clothes for some petty cash, you can create a more personal message:

For sellers: “Give your old clothes a second life and earn a little extra with our app.”

For buyers: “Truly vintage and unique clothing available for as cheap as a cup of coffee.”

Try to target these messages to concrete audiences. Sellers and buyers may be gathered in specific groups on Facebook or be present on different publisher’s sites.

Voluum DSP gets its traffic from a variety of ad networks like Smaato, Pubnative and SmartyAsa, that aggregate thousands of publishers. There’s always a place for you and your app.


Choose the Right Ad Format

Although online marketing has for years been synonymous with banner ads, know that there are other options.

A smart app advertising strategy should include ad formats that perform best with app ads. Such an ad format is native. It provides several benefits for app advertisers:

  • It allows to display ads in relevant context
  • It provides plenty of space to advertise your app
  • It emanates trust and confidence, unlike banner or push ads

To clarify a common myth, native ads don’t always have to mean bottom widgets on news portals. The native ad format implies an advertising technique that seamlessly blends with surrounding context. This context may be other apps as well.

Voluum DSP offers both web and in-app native traffic in one place. Check here for available native ad formats in Voluum DSP.


Track App Installs, Ads, and User Activities

Insights about your audience is the whole reason you go through the hurdles of setting up tracking.

Did I say hurdles? With Voluum DSP, setting up tracking takes almost no time at all. You launch a native ads campaign like you would in any other DSP or ad network and the tracking is already set. You just have to also select one of the conversion tracking methods: S2S postback URL, conversion tracking pixel, or API integration. 

As simple as that.

 Voluum DSP is built atop of the Voluum tracker infrastructure, which provides its users with a seamless experience. If you advertise apps, there’s simply no reason for you not to try Voluum DSP.

To get the full picture, you need to take care of the following:

  • Tracking your advertising campaigns with Voluum Tracker or other affiliate tracking tool.
  • Tracking In-app activity (such as reaching a certain level in a game or making an in-app purchase) with a mobile attribution tool, such as AppsFlyer

Despite using two tools, you can still have all information in one place, as Voluum can receive conversion information from AppsFlyer, even from mobile devices that run iOS 14.5.

Native vs Banner Advertising

Take Care of App Store Optimisation (ASO)

We all know and love (kinda) SEO but meet its younger sibling: APO. What this term describes is the effort of making your app more discoverable in the app store.

According to research, 70% of apps are discovered through internal search. To get a top position, make sure that you prepare:

  • Description with relevant keywords that advertises the app’s main benefits and lists the rewards it has won.
  • Visuals, like screenshots with a description and app icon that is clearly distinguishable in the crowd. Use distinct colors, avoid using soft pastel colors.
  • App name that should either contain keywords (for example, “Help sleeping app”), describe app’s main function (“Sleeper”), or a catchy name that is unrelated to its function but promoted enough to be recognizable.
  • You can also provide a short subtitle for your app’s name. It’s hard to tell how big of a role a subtitle plays in the discoverability. Maybe not at all. But once your app is discovered, the short yet precise subtitle may tip the scale towards installing your app.

Employ Influencers

If I had a dollar for every time the video contains the words “This video is sponsored by Skillshare”, I would probably be Skillshare’s CEO.

People sometimes put an unreasonable amount of trust into people they know from social media. This trust extends also to things they recommend. Reach out to youtubers or influencers on other media to discuss promoting your app. 


Create a Referral Program

There are few marketers that are more dedicated than the people that already tried and liked your app. Create a referral program and reward existing users for bringing new users. 

Use Voluum Tracker to track your referral program and the performance of each of your user-turned-marketers.

You can reward them with cash or in-app bonuses, your choice. Once you build a whole network of affiliates, your marketing is basically working by itself. 


Many App Advertising Strategies for Many Apps

There are various kinds of apps with different business models implemented in them. Maybe not everything that we have mentioned here will work for you. But surely something will.

Are you excited? You should be! Advertising apps is fun: you get a whole new playground for your ideas – your app.

You have a great way of rewarding people for their engagement. Gamification is the way to go.

You know what else is a way to go?

Voluum DSP.

Why sign up to +20 ad networks and leave top-ups everywhere when you can get a single interface and one top-up that you can spend on all networks?

I have no idea why.

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