How to maximize your mobile UA this holiday season

Dave Bell, Co-founder and CEO of Gummicube, explains how app developers and marketers can take advantage of new opportunities in the app stores this holiday season.

 It’s not enough to be the best thing since sliced bread. To win in the app stores, all the gears in your App Store Optimization (ASO) strategy and paid UA campaigns have to be in working rotation. But here’s something to get excited about: new developments in the Google Play and the Apple App Store have now made it easier than ever to go after your intended target market, rather than painting growth with a broad brush. 

As the holiday season approaches, now’s the time for developers to put their event and paid marketing campaigns into action. With falling revenue on both app stores in September, developers can look ahead to the “purchase boom” of the season. With users eager to discover new in-app events and features, the holidays are an exciting time for both developers and their audiences alike. 

New additions like LiveOps and Apple’s New Ad placements can significantly help many developers get new traffic, but also simultaneously re-engage with current users. We’ll discuss some of how they can be used for this holiday season, but first, let’s dive into what you need to know heading into the rest of the year. 

Organic seasonal app marketing – optimizing for seasonality
Picture this: you walk through the mall in October, November and December and you notice the merchandising displays all have a seasonal element – whether it be spooky skeletons, subdued fall pastels, or tinsel-tattered mannequins. 

Now, think of these windows as your store listing. They essentially serve the same purpose – proving relevancy to your users when search and purchasing behaviors are changing. Except here, it’s your app metadata and creative set. 

Should I invest my time in seasonal app marketing?
Of course! This
ASO best practice is especially pertinent for retail app developers, but it touches on nearly all app categories – mobile games, productivity, travel, finance, dating apps and beyond. Throw into the mix of global holidays and the scope and breadth of your seasonal localization strategy could get trickier. These sorts of hyper-targeted approaches, however, work wonders in attracting new and existing users, and they’re often an opportunity overlooked by competitors.

Seasonality helps both organic and paid campaigns
Best of all, seasonal app marketing not only helps you prove relevance to your audience and algorithms organically, but they also helps build hype around paid campaigns. Black Friday Deals? New Christmas-themed skins? Cyber Monday? Sign us up! 

Promotional events for the holidays are great axioms of paid UA for in-app events, LiveOps campaigns, and external marketing channels! Not only do they introduce new users to your app in a fresh new way, but they also allows current users to “rediscover” the app and give it some renewed consideration. 

Keep in mind, any and all seasonal app marketing initiatives on the app stores should include search and conversion elements – metadata and creatives like screenshots or icons. Both work together to help funnel the user through to a download. It takes about 2-3 weeks before the app store algorithms stop crawling your metadata, so it’s vital to ensure you get a kickstart on things before the momentum starts to build up. 

How to synergize seasonality with LiveOps, In-app Events, and Paid UA
Like milk to coffee, seasonal marketing and paid UA are a match made of gold. Apple recently opened up slots for its new Today tab ad placements. For apps with proven abilities to convert and higher budgets, this placement could garner a massive influx of new users. LiveOps and In-app Events are great opportunities to attract new users and engage current ones as well.

With the introduction of CPP, PPO, and LiveOps, it’s clear the app stores are looking to expand into a more personalized and engaging store experience – one in which users can discover new features, apps, and releases more easily. Seasonality speaks to both discoverability and engagement – if your app looks relevant to the time of year, the user may find that it may be more favorable as opposed to a competitor who isn’t highlighting certain callouts (Think: Black Friday).

Clever use of any paid mobile UA campaign, whether through events or search campaigns, relies on the sole purpose of providing users with what’s relevant. If you’re able to 1) understand what new, fresh features new and existing users want, and 2) optimize your search and conversion accordingly, you can take full advantage of these new opportunities on the app stores.

It’s important to understand that this process is simple in theory, however, optimizing creatives, whether for paid or organic app marketing requires thorough market research, competitor analysis, and A/B testing. All of these factors help developers maximize their mobile UA during and after the holiday season.

About the Author
Dave Bell is Co-founder and CEO of Gummicube. Gummicube is a global leader in App Store Optimization with more than 12 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.