As Senior Marketing Manager handling user acquisition at leading game publisher Kongregate, Linh Tijan has a huge amount of experience in how to optimize UA campaigns. Kongregate is behind hugely popular games such as AdVenture Capitalist, Animation Throwdown and Pocket..
When it comes to marketing your app, getting overwhelmed can be inevitable. From planning and writing to content and publishing, it’s easy to lose focus of the ultimate goal: turning your app into a successful, profitable business. You cannot monetize efficiently without first having an engaged audience. You cannot get an engaged audience without knowing who to market to, requiring a delicate balance of both marketing and monetization techniques in order to reel the right audience in.
Monetization doesn’t necessarily have to come after marketing – they go together. Marketing can provide a strong foundation for monetization, funneling in quality users with high revenue potential.
With in-app advertising becoming an increasingly popular form of in-app monetization, it is also becoming a challenge to make sure you aren’t serving too many ads and frustrating your users, or worse irritating them to the point of uninstall. So how do you successfully market your business to increase monetization, all while maintaining retention? It all lies in the balance.
1. Quality is key
It all starts with high-quality in-app content; in other words, how good your app is. While monetizing is the end goal, your first priority is to create high-quality content for high-quality impressions. People must enjoy seeing your app’s unique content, otherwise you’ll struggle to monetize it. So go big and be creative – if you stand out in your app’s content, then your advertisements will speak for themselves. If your in-app content is top-notch, it will help ensure your marketing content is equally superior. It is far simpler to turn out quality advertising content if your in-app content is covetable.
At the end of the day, you’re in a battle – with millions of other apps contending for a user’s attention. Competition is tough and, with a saturated marketplace and low patience for poor quality, standing out with pure quality is as important as ever.
2. Value trumps cost
In today’s freemium-dominated app market, people who are willing to invest time and money in your app must first see the value in it. What will get your users to engage with your app? For some, it takes the form of sale offerings. Why do potential consumers enter certain stores? Sales are used to attract people in. The items on sale may be worth more than their reduced cost, but the worth of a user entering your store (or app) with access to all of your offerings is far more valuable to your business.
An app offering in-app purchases, for example, should focus less on the precise cost of its offerings, but instead create weekly special offers and deals that may not show immediate ROI but will encourage more frequent visits, higher retention and, in the long run, more in-app purchases being made.
Similarly, a retail app can choose to offer special – and time-sensitive – deals or sales on a specific product. It not only funnels users into their app in order to claim the special offer (which leads to more time spent in-app), but also creates overall brand awareness.
Whether it take the form of special IAP deals, 1+1 offers, or other virtual goods, the time consumption of churning short-term promos that may provide a lower initial ROI will end up attracting more users and leading to long-term opportunity for engagement, retention and, of course, monetization.
3. Individual > group
In order to utilize your marketing for optimal monetization, it’s important to treat every user as an individual. Singling out and segmenting certain users will allow you to to market to and engage with them in a very targeted and personalized way, thus maximizing their in-app experience and their full potential.
New users vs. existing users, young vs. old, US vs. Latin America – for best monetization you need to step away from the macro level and use segmentation and targeting tools to customize your ads and in-app experience. This will help you understand how users are engaging on a micro level. Applying these targeting techniques will leave you with a greater understanding of your marketing tactics and allow you to optimize them for acquiring more quality users and – as a result – driver better monetization.
There are many routes that lead to monetization – from a paid app and subscription offerings to in-app advertisements and virtual goods. From how you sell IAPs to the way you format your in-app ads, your marketing strategies will ultimately impact every aspect of your app’s monetization. If you invest little in your marketing, it will be seen in your app’s revenue – so next time you struggle with monetization or look to increase your ROI, take a look at your marketing efforts and consider restructuring your campaigns.