Need to Know: 4 Things about Paid Installs

There is no doubt that mobile apps are exploding, “Canada’s 18 million app users—along with their two billion global counterparts—download apps, both free and paid, to their mobile devices” (ICTC, 2014). Many brands, developers and agencies create an app and expect it to be downloaded by hundreds of thousands of people, unfortunately most of the time that is not the case. Sure, there are certain cases where apps go viral and are a huge success story, but since mobile apps are software not web based applications, development is expensive, and stagnant downloads will not get your messaging in front of the right people.

Paid Installs Increase Organic Installs

Do brands get free mass exposure for TV commercials, billboards and radio ads? No, they don’t. In certain situations, when creative is great, brands may receive residual exposure through “earned” media, but generally mass media is “paid”. So why do brands create apps and let them sit in the app stores with little awareness? Most likely because paid installs were not a priority during the marketing planning phase, and budget was not allocated to mobile acquisition, or the marketing team was dreaming about “word of mouth” success. Paid installs are imperative for brands that are competing for mobile real estate on smartphone home screen’s, because paid installs actually increase organic installs. Sure, there are ways to have a successful app without paid media, but generally the apps that do have organic success, are not branded content (Periscope, Whatsapp, Snapchat). In most app categories there is a correlation between organic installs and paid installs. So put your “testing” boots on, get to work and see if paid installs help organic growth.

Installing an SDK, Allows for Better Measurement of CPC/CPM/CPV Campaigns

All media vendors who allow their clients to buy on a “cost per install” require the installation of a Software Developers Kit (SDK). Mobile applications differ from websites, because they live on peoples personal devices, therefore apps require different tracking methods, than web based tracking. Certain SDK’s allow marketing teams to determine the cost per install of publishers who are bought on a CPC/CPM/CPV. This is important for mobile marketing teams, because they can determine where inefficiencies are coming from, and optimize their campaigns based on performance. Certain media vendors (cough cough Connected Interactive) allow brands to buy on a cost per install, eliminating the risk of wasting clicks, impressions or video views.

In-Game Advertising Offers a Unique Opportunity

Gaming has become a major part of “time spent” via mobile, and brands have yet to fully capitalize. Mobile and Social games allow advertisers to deliver messaging using a value exchange, therefore giving the users digital currency, in exchange for a brand action. User’s are rewarded with “points”, for downloading an app, which allows them to progress within the gameplay i.e. buying parts for a car to improve the top speed, within a racing game. It is very important to practice due diligence when using the in-game value exchange because it can result in low post download engagements rate, if used incorrectly. Click here to speak with an in-game expert.

Silo’s Are Bad

Never allocate your dollars to one publisher. At Connected Interactive we use multiple publishers to achieve our client objectives. Generally we use a blend of in-game and in-app media. Anecdotally, we have found that using one publisher does not allow our customers to obtain the reach necessary to improve app store optimization and organic installs. In order to obtain organic acquisition it is imperative to quickly obtain mass reach and acquisitions, therefore resulting in higher organic conversions, due to more visibility within the app stores.

In Conclusion

Paid install campaigns require a METHODOLOGY and every app is different. If an application has a strong user on boarding experience, and app store rating, the cost per install is significantly less, than an app that has poor user ratings and has a bad on boarding process. It is important to work with an organization that you trust, when implementing a paid install campaign. Always make sure to test and learn.