Best Practice For Optimizing UA & Performance Ad Campaigns: Part 1

Almost all of the world’s Top 100 Brands now have an app (92 to be exact). Major global brands are utilizing branded apps to fulfill multiple sales and marketing objectives, from increasing consumer engagement and building brand loyalty to increasing sales. In fact, the vast majority of marketers — 71% — say that mobile marketing is now core to their business, and they are investing accordingly; 66% of marketers plan to increase their investment in mobile apps this year (here’s the research). Many of these major brands have developed multiple apps, not just one.

What this means on a macro level is that as more and more global brands build branded apps, the global app market is becoming increasingly saturated and competitive. The challenge that app marketers now face is not deciding whether or not to have a branded app, nor knowing how to effectively tie it into a marketing strategy; it is in knowing how to cut through the competition and grow their app user base.

It makes sense, then, that marketers are investing increasingly large budgets in advertising campaigns that are designed to grow their user base and keep their users engaged. At Tapjoy we have been helping app marketers design and optimize successful User Acquisition campaigns for several years and we’d love to share what we’ve learned with you.

In the coming weeks, we will post a series of articles addressing best practice for creating and optimizing successful User Acquisition campaigns and provide recommendations for getting the most out of your advertising investment.

Part 1: Identify Key Performance Metrics

The key to any successful digital advertising campaign is to identify key performance metrics and optimize your campaign against those metrics to ensure you are reaching your goals.

Let’s start by taking a look at the most important performance metrics of the ad campaign itself (pre-install KPIs).

KPI: Click-Through Rate

What It Is

Click-Through Rate, or CTR, is a basic measure of how many of your campaign’s impressions lead to a click; or in other words, what percentage of users that see the ad click on it. It is calculated as clicks / impressions.

What It Will Tell You

How enticing your offer is and how effectively you drive users to take the first step towards installing the ad.

How To Optimize Your Campaign To Increase CTR

A good ad spurs consumers into action. If your CTR is high, it means your ad is compelling consumers to install the app. The two main factors that affect your CTR are the ad format and the ad creative.

Here are a few recommendations for different elements of the ad format and creative you can test to learn what will drive the highest CTR.

Ad Format:

  • Have you tried utilizing a video to showcase the best parts of your app in an app trailer?
  • Have you tried utilizing a gallery of images to tell your app story and drive interaction with the ad?
  • Have you tried A/B testing different types of ad formats? (EG: a video, a single image, an image gallery)

Ad Creative:

  • Have you tried A/B testing multiple creative variations of your ad (EG: different images, videos, end cards, etc.)?
  • Have you tried A/B testing different video lengths? (EG: 15sec, 30sec, etc.)
  • Have you tried A/B testing multiple creative variations of CTA copy?

Let us make this easy for you!

Our team of specialists would be happy to design an A/B test for you, analyze the results, and make recommendations. To get started, email your account manager or Advertise@Tapjoy.com

Keen to try video ads?

  • If you haven’t tried using video before, we will be happy to make an app trailer for you! Please email us at Advertise@Tapjoy.com to get started.

KPI: Conversion Rate

What It Is

Conversion Rate, or CVR, is a basic measure of how many of your clicks lead to the desired end action; or in other words, what percentage of users that click on the ad go on to install the app.

What It Will Tell You

How effectively the ad, in combination with the app store listing, drives installs.

How To Optimize Your Campaign To Increase CVR

Once consumers have taken the first step, it’s important to provide a consistent and compelling experience on the App Store or Google Play store to make sure they complete the install.

Unfortunately, a high CTR doesn’t always translate to an equally good conversion rate. There is always a bit of drop-off between a consumer clicking on the ad and then installing and opening the app. If you see a high discrepancy between your CTR and CVR, it may indicate that your app store experience can be improved.

To combat this drop-off, it is important to make sure that your app store listing is compelling and also that the user experience from ad to app store is cohesive.

There are lots of great resources available to learn more about designing a compelling app store listing (like here and here). At Tapjoy we specialize in driving user acquisition through advertising, so will focus on the second point — a cohesive ad-to-store experience.

Here are a few recommendations for different elements of the app store experience you can analyze and test to learn what will drive the highest CVR.

  • Does the ad reflect the app store listing?
  • Are the images in the ad also in the listing?
  • Does the description match the ad copy?
  • Do the ad and the listing feature the same highlights or key elements of the app?

For the next blog post in this series, we will look at key performance metrics after the install — i.e. how to assess the quality of the user you’ve acquired — and recommendations for optimizing your campaign to achieve high volumes of qualified new users.

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