How brands can now optimize their App Store strategy with Apple’s In-app Events

Arazoo Kadir, Head of Agency Growth at Yodel Mobile, offers a guide to the benefits of Apples In-app Events, and explains how to create and deploy them to best effect.

Since In-app Events hit the market in 2021, millions of brands have been implementing them in their app marketing strategy to grow awareness. With this exciting feature, developers can improve visibility by promoting fun events, challenges, and updates. It is one of the most effective marketing strategies for engaging current users, attracting new ones, and reconnecting with the lost leads.

You can improve the visibility of your events through In-app Event cards. They typically appear in product pages, editorial content and search results. Whenever a user searches for a particular event, the card appears alongside the app icon, title and subtitle.

On the other hand, you can also view the event cards in Upcoming features besides the other tabs, such as Today, Games and Apps. All you need to do is optimize the event cards with metadata and keywords to boost their ranking in search results and editorial content. 

These time-dependent events allow you to cut costs, while driving user engagement and converting prospects. Ready to learn how In-app Events can maximize your marketing strategy and help overcome competition?

Below we’ve created a comprehensive guide to In-app Events, when to use them, and their many benefits. Further in the article, we also explore how brands can hold enticing events and ways to measure success. Let’s jump right in!

A quick glance at In-app Events
Before we discuss the nitty-gritty of In-app Events, let’s discuss the fundamentals.

This robust feature allows game developers and brands to spread awareness of timely events. In addition, most in-app events are not live events; instead, they are competitions, new updates, and challenges within the app.

In-app Events appear as “Event Cards” on the Apple App Store, featuring the event’s name, image/video, and a concise description. So, you can expand your consumer base, capture new app users, and even re-engage users.

Now, let’s dive into Apple’s In-app Events examples:

  • A Challenge – These include tasks encouraging users to reach a milestone or hit a goal before the event closes.

  • A Competition – This comprises any activity where users can compete to win prizes, unlock rewards, or rank at the top.

  • A Live Event – These entail real-time activities that viewers can watch or attend simultaneously, such as a sports event, news, or concert.

  • A Major Update – These allow brands to announce feature updates or new content. App owners can use this feature to introduce fixed bugs or recent significant game changes.

  • A New Season – These refer to new game characters, storylines, levels, media libraries, or designs used to grow visibility.

  • A Premiere – These let app owners introduce unique content, such as content, to attract new gamers.

  • A Special Event – These include limited events lasting a specific period and involving new features or characters to boost customer loyalty.

When can you create an In-app Event?
The Apple App Store allows you to create up to 10 app events. But you can only launch five events at a time, so remember to use event cards wisely. 

In addition, you can promote your In-app Event 14 days before the event.

What are the benefits of using In-app Events?
Organic visibility is indispensable for the success of your mobile app, but its not everythingYou also have to consider engagement, reach, and user retention. Fortunately, all of these marketing issues can be addressed by running In-App Events!

Here are the top five reasons why every app or game developer should leverage In-App Events:

  • Boost Brand Visibility – In-App Events increase your chances of getting featured by the official editorial team. What does that mean? Increased visibility and free exposure to new users!

  • Offer Users Exciting Content – It’s no secret that you should be introducing fresh and exciting content to retain your loyal customers. With In-App Events, you can captivate new and reengage passive users through enticing competitions, challenges, recent seasons, etc.

  • Improve User Retention and Loyalty – By providing value and top-notch experiences to users, you can keep them engaged and build trust. Remember to introduce new events, characters, features, or storylines to grow user retention and encourage word-to-mouth marketing.

  • Provide a Cost-Effective Marketing Channel – While you can create brand awareness through PPC, social media advertising, and influencer marketing, these can cost you hundreds of dollars. But why overspend when you can drive engagement rates with In-App Events that are free to run?

  • Grow Your Ranking and Ratings – Offering regular updates and events makes engaged users more likely to leave positive reviews and ratings. Not only does this improve your app’s organic ranking, but it also increases visibility. Besides, In-App Events let you optimize your event cards to rank higher for relevant strategic keywords in the App Store.

Step-by-step guide to creating In-app Events?
Now that we’ve discussed the many benefits of In-App Events, we’re sure you want to learn how to create one. Here’s how you can create one within seconds:

  • Write the Event Name – Craft a 30-character-long event name that reflects its purpose. Ensure you create a unique title and avoid using generic terms. Don’t include your app name, and Apple also recommends not including your event type either since your badge already explains it.

  • Create Your Event Description – Curate a compelling 50-character-long event description to briefly explain the event’s features and goals. Ensure you sprinkle in target keywords to improve your organic ranking.

  • Incorporate Eye-Catching Media – Capture your prospect’s attention by complementing your event description with vivid imagery. You can add vibrant pictures, relevant screenshots, or captivating 30-second-long videos.

  • Add an Event Reference Name – Developers can write event reference names that only appear in the App Store Connect. Its primary purpose is to help you navigate events in past event lists.

Bonus tips to optimize your In-app Events?
Here’s a secret: you can maximize your In-app Event’s reach by optimizing it. Wondering how? We’ve added three magic tips to achieve this:

  • Define Your Event Purpose – Capture new gamers, inform loyal users, or reconnect with passive players by selecting a badge that fits your event’s purpose. You can choose “appropriate for all users” to tick mark all three boxes. Each will have a slightly different impact on the App Store algorithm and where you will be featured most. Experiment with different purposes for each event to understand how it affects your vertical!

  • Determine Event Availability – Define when users can access your event from and until by adding your start and end date. Remember that an event can last up to 31 days, and you can promote it for a maximum of 14 days before the launch date. Longer events tend to perform the best for generic themes, whereas timely events will likely only see traction around the relevant Live date, so these can be shorter.

  • Select Event Priority – Apple displays upcoming events based on their priority and starting date. So, choose which event you want users to see first on your listing and rank it as “High Priority”. Please note that Priority only refers to the priority the App Store gives to your own events against each other, not against other events on the store.

The bottom line
In-app Events offer app and game developers a one-of-a-kind marketing opportunity. You can use this robust Apple feature to boost your organic ranking and visibility.

Besides, you can attract new users and re-engage gamers with enticing competitions, challenges, and live shows!