After visiting countless professional shows in the ad-tech industry, I can confidently say that there is a fresh vibe in the digital marketing conferences market and the DMIEXPO show definitely stands out from the rest. It’s an opportunity to meet with some of the brightest and leading minds in this industry, and standing on the stage at DMIEXPO 2019 to give a quick brief about the leading trends in mobile user acquisition was a sheer pleasure.
There is an increasing trend where mobile app developers are building their internal UA teams and no longer outsource their acquisition budgets, thus causing higher competition among agencies looking for those budgets.
In case you missed the last event or my presentation as you were possibly busy with the amazing networking opportunities, here is quick catch-up of today’s top trends and insights for effective mobile user acquisition strategy:
The Main Challenges in Mobile User Acquisition:
Fraud – Though there is an ongoing battle raging against fraud inventory, bots and false user techniques are ever-evolving and even high-cost compliance tools are not always enough to block them all.
Budgets – There is an increasing trend where app developers are building their internal UA teams and no longer outsource their acquisition budgets, thus causing higher competition among agencies looking for those budgets.
ASO vs. Paid – Are you looking for quality users over time? Of course you are. However, keep in mind that it can take an exhaustingly long period of time to grow organically, and on top of that you will be spending a significant amount of money and time before seeing your first dollar from those users. On the other hand, if you are looking for volume, but can sometimes compromise on quality, and are looking for a faster way to get that positive ROI, then paid acquisition is the way to go.
Fierce Competition for Users’ Attention – Comscore came up with a graph that illustrates the pain of most mobile advertisers and publishers alike. It shows that users spend almost 96 percent of their time on their top 10 apps, which leaves them with a scarce amount of time to test and download new ones. Think about it this way: When was the last time you downloaded a new app?
Source: Comscore Global Mobile Report
Leading Tactics in User Acquisition (UA) – What works?
Remarketing – Take this piece of advice as a rule of thumb: If you are not remarketing, you are leaving money on the floor. Users that have already engaged with your app or social networks are your valuable target audiences, and they should be remarketed to. Just remember not to use the same generic ads and adjust your message to this audience.
OEM Traffic – OEM stands for original equipment manufacturer. You basically acquire new users directly from special widgets on their smartphones; for example, in Samsung it’s called Bixby, in Xiaomi it’s -1 screen, etc. I’ve seen this one work phenomenally for some app advertisers as these are almost 100 percent real and high-intent users. Note: Be ready to pay top dollar for this kind of traffic as it is considered to be a premium medium due to the low-margin profits for the sellers.
Influencer Marketing – This is a blooming source of high-intent users. To do it effectively you need to pick out the right influencers that can represent your brand and approach them with an offer, but don’t be tempted to spend big budgets without performance. Fun fact: 33 percent of users claim to have downloaded a new app as it was recommended by others. (Source: AppAnnie)
Programmatic – There are a lot of different programmatic DSPs out there. You need to keep in mind that even though this can be a lucrative source of cheap media, this can also cause a lot of headaches if you are not familiar with their traffic sources and targeting methods, or whether it’s the right platform for your business vertical. (Some DSP are doing well in one vertical but are low-performing in others, so you must be ready to test and cherry-pick what is right for your app.)
Effective Ad Formats – Choosing the right ad format can be crucial for effective user acquisition campaigns. Regular banners no longer do the job and the trick here is to find an ad format that is more engaging and to show it to the right audience at the right time. Tip: Think about video ads, playable ads, native content, and other unique ad formats and placements.
About The Author
Alex Lyhovez (MBA), a digital entrepreneur, blogger, and founder of m-Simplex, a boutique agency for marketing and business development services, with over 10 years of experience in driving sales.