ASO: the foundation of mobile marketing

Dave Bell, Co-founder and CEO of Gummicube, looks at mobile marketing in the context of user acquisition and App Store Optimization.  

There are over 5 million apps on the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store. In such a vast and ever-expanding app store marketplace, it pays to stand out. But how exactly can companies and app developers cut through the competition? 

When it comes to mobile marketing, app developers often find the process of figuring out what marketing channels feed into different funnels confusing, and at times, daunting. With so many opportunities to reach your target consumer, you might find yourself wondering which direction will yield the best results. 

Mobile marketing is the process in which app developers use multiple channels to reach a target audience for a mobile app. Mobile marketing gives companies, businesses, and app developers an opportunity to strategically invest in the mobile marketplace. Mobile-specific marketing strategies are quintessential in user acquisition – traditional or even digital marketing techniques aren’t substantial enough to capture a mobile audience. 

Now more than ever, people look to their mobile devices to find the goods and services they need. Everything from food delivery, to gig work, or just a simple game of solitaire to pass the time – our mobile devices connect us to the world in ways that were unimaginable just a decade ago. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in an even bigger reliance on mobile devices to connect us with the brands, people, and places that are important to us. Yet, many companies and app developers still can’t quite find the right footing in the mobile marketing landscape. 

Depending on the lifecycle of an app, mobile marketing techniques differ in how they should be approached. Some mobile marketing strategies work better than others based on an app’s developmental stage. Whether an app is in pre-launch, soft launch, or live, your mobile marketing strategy may need a fresh mobile marketing approach to maximize its growth potential. 

Let’s look at what exactly mobile marketing is in the context of user acquisition, and how App Store Optimization (ASO) fuels the continued success of mobile marketing strategies that sustain long-term growth potential.

User acquisition campaigns
User acquisition is the process in mobile marketing where app developers can buy ad placements that drive users directly to an app page. Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and Apple Search Ads are the most common user acquisition channels for mobile app marketing. 

Campaigns on these platforms vary drastically depending on several factors. These platforms are all algorithmically driven, so the intricacies of using them may be a little more complex than email marketing and require more maintenance and monitoring. However, user acquisition campaigns are one of the most effective tools in driving higher organic conversions and downloads. Let’s look at some of the paid user acquisition campaign platforms a little more closely. 

Apple Search Ads (ASA) allows app developers to target their users directly on the Apple App Store through the process of keyword bidding. To reach a set of targeted users, relevant and high-volume keywords are ideal for ASA keyword bids. However, app developers and mobile marketers are often led to believe that an ASA campaign will sustain their growth. Since 70 per cent of app discovery occurs in the search bar, organic app store growth is essential in ASA campaign success and long-term growth. Without an ASO strategy in place to support ASA campaigns, app developers may see that the results from their ASA campaigns are short-lived. ASA directly impacts organic growth, as any clicks will count towards the collective clickthrough rate. 

Google Ads and Facebook Ads
Google Ads is an invaluable mobile marketing tool for Google Play apps. Google Ads reaches users across all of Google’s channels, so iOS and Google Play apps are both discoverable through Google Ads. Unlike Apple Search Ads, Google Play and Facebook Ads surpass the boundaries and confines of a single app store platform. 

While Google Ads and Facebook Ads provide app developers with the ability to market their app outside of an app store, organic growth is not accounted for in the process of user acquisition. Thus, running Facebook Ads and Google Ads may blur the line of which downloads stem from organic optimization efforts and paid user acquisition campaigns.

This may make it more difficult to truly gauge the effectiveness of either organic or paid efforts exclusively. Knowing whether your downloads are a result of organic growth or paid campaigns is fundamental in mobile marketing strategy. Additionally, paid ad campaigns through ASA, Google, or Facebook Ads need a solid organic growth strategy to sustain their effects in the long run. Without such measures in place, your paid marketing results may taper off significantly in a short period of time, as user search patterns and behaviors often venture into unpredictable patterns. A user may not have the need or want to download an app when they see it. ASO ensures that your app remains visible during and after a paid campaign launch.

To execute successful Google Ads and Facebook Ad campaigns, App developers must empower themselves with technical knowledge of the App Store and Google Play app store platforms to give them the long-term organic results needed for a successful paid ad campaign. With the help of an ASO company that knows how to navigate and understand paid search campaigns outside and inside of the app store, app developers can further inform themselves about the users, data, and trends that affect their app performance. 

App Store Optimization
App Store Optimization, or ASO, is the process in which app developers and mobile marketers optimize their app metadata and creative assets to ensure that an app appears relevant to the user and performs well within the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. This process involves updating keywords in your app metadata assets, as well as updating and creating relevant and eye-catching creative assets to boost conversion rates. ASO is fundamental in growing and sustaining organic app store performance. 

The mobile marketing strategies outlined in this article are all great ways to boost app store performance and mobile app success, but ASO serves as a powerhouse that maintains and grows performance over the long term and adjusts to seasonal, trend, and competitive changes in the mobile marketing landscape. Without organic app store growth, other mobile marketing efforts may result in pop-and-drop, leading to stagnancy on the app store or irrelevance in the eyes of users. 

ASO empowers and upholds strong organic performance to support all other mobile marketing efforts. Organic performance is quintessential to maintain, as competitor changes and user trends often dictate the trajectory of app relevance despite mobile marketing strategies. To address and mitigate their effects, ASO allows app developers to combat them head-on with optimization techniques and ASO technologies that transcend typical mobile marketing techniques. 

Mobile marketing is a holistic process that requires the synergy of all the strategies to work towards a unified marketing goal. ASO serves as a foundation for the continued success of mobile marketing efforts through organic growth and offers a springboard to maximize the results of your paid mobile marketing efforts. 

About the Author
Dave Bell is Co-founder and CEO of Gummicube. Gummicube is a global leader in App Store Optimization with more than 11 years of experience optimizing and marketing apps. We offer the leading enterprise ASO technology and agency services, providing support to clients around the world. Our company is trusted by thousands of enterprise brands and leading startups including Microsoft, LinkedIn, Bethesda, SWEAT, GrubHub, McAfee and many others.