How To Grow Your App By Combining Paid Promotion And ASO

How To Grow Your App By Combining Paid Promotion And ASO- 1

How To Grow Your App By Combining Paid Promotion And ASO


You have nothing to lose —and everything to gain — by applying the principles of App Store Optimization (ASO) to make sure users discover and download your app. While there is a strong consensus that ASO is one of the most inexpensive ways to get the most mileage out of your organic reach and appeal (after all, organic installs can account for a whopping 70% of all installs), there’s also a growing awareness that ASO—on its own—may not be the most effective way to build a successful and sustainable app business.

This is because ASO has some serious shortcomings, many of which are inextricably intertwined with how Google and Apple search capabilities indirectly boost established apps at the expense of newcomers. Put simply, this is a matter you can neither impact nor control. There’s a lot at stake for a lot of app companies if we consider that Pocketgamer counts an incredible 300+ app submissions daily to the Apple iTunes app store alone. It adds up to a lot of apps competing for keyword dominance--and a lot of companies that won’t make the cut.

 

ASO efforts can only take your app so far

 

The scales are tipped in favor of established apps that have accumulated downloads over time. It’s by no means intentional, however, it is a dynamic that divides the haves (apps that benefit from a positive download velocity, for example) from the have-nots (newcomer apps trying to break in and move up the charts).

And it doesn’t stop there. Apple and Google have also evolved their app store search to take more “soft” metrics (such as retention, overall user satisfaction and real reviews by users, not bots) into consideration. App companies—especially companies with new apps—need a boost to get audience and awareness—and they get both when they combine ASO and paid promotion.

 

Move the needle with paid promotion

 

It’s important to realize that paid promotion and organic efforts are not separate universes. Good organic stimulates a better response to paid campaigns. And the opposite is true: Good paid campaigns also grow organic as they increase download velocity ( a ranking signal to the app stores) and boost brand recognition.

There’s also a significant and positive impact on the social sharing that can rocket your “K-Factor.” In this scenario, new paid users become your app advocates—and the downloads they influence don’t just boost metrics at the top of the funnel (such as downloads). Their efforts have a knock-on effect deeper in the funnel, where their engagement can inspire lasting loyalty.

Milestone research (recounted in the must-read blog, Mobile Marketing: How Paid App Installs Impact Organic Downloads) draws from hundreds of millions of clicks and in-depth interviews with 50 app marketing experts) to conclude that paid app installs boost organic downloads by 1.5X across the board. But in some categories, the boost is as high as 17X. Both are good news for your mobile strategy.

Image from branch.io

The bottom line: ASO and paid promotion are mutually beneficial and magnify the overall impact of your app. Imagine a scenario in which your app isn’t getting traction on Google Play—perhaps because your newcomer app can’t break into the search results. Running paid acquisition boosts installs and also sends a clear signal that your app is popular and deserves a higher search ranking.

 

Paid promotion powers holistic app marketing

 

The power of combining paid and organic marketing goes even further. The customer data and insights app marketers glean from paid campaigns allow them to optimize customer acquisition and retention, amplify brand equity and grow their app, and appeal in the long term.

These are huge wins on their own, but the *real* prize comes when you leverage the data from paid campaigns to better understand your app audience. It’s why more ASO agencies and experts advise their clients to invest in paid campaigns and—more importantly—feed data and insights from those campaigns back into product and marketing teams.

Indeed, data from paid promotion speaks volumes about what user like (and dislike) about all aspects of the app (features, messaging, ad creatives, branding). Smart marketers don’t just follow the data to make tweaks, fixes and optimize their presence in-store and off-store. They wield analytics from paid campaigns to increase conversion rates and yield even higher returns on ad spend.

To recap, paid promotion and ASO is a winning combination that can

  • Boost organic downloads and visibility
  • Generate impressions, views, likes, shares and other meaningful forms of app interaction that can take your app to new heights
  • Provide the perfect conditions to learn about your audience and optimize messaging, creatives, targeting and all the other components of a comprehensive strategy to reach and engage the right audience for your app

As app marketers take on the responsibility to build stronger app brands and deeper relationships with their users a strategy that combines ASO and paid promotion is an effective way to drive positive results and a measurable performance lift.

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