Mobile Creative Campaigns: Scale App Acquisition through Creative Testing

ASO strategy blog 4

To call the app marketplace flooded today would be an understatement, let’s be honest. With an estimated $240 billion now being spent on mobile ads each year, both your ads and your app need to stand out. With the limitations that came as a result of iOS 14+, an app marketers job just got that little bit harder. Now, more than ever, leaning on high quality mobile creative and continuous campaign testing is essential to driving app growth.

Why Should You Test Your App Creatives?

We all know that creative can make or break a paid user acquisition campaign. But it is unlikely that you will get it right the first time round, so a process of testing will not only aid in improving the return on your paid campaigns, but give you the opportunity to capture some golden insights about what works for your audiences! You can start broad with testing themes and concepts, then get more granular and start testing colours, value propositions, features, call to actions, and more.

Why is Creative Testing Important?

At Yodel, we believe that every paid UA campaign would benefit from a creative test-and-learn process, helping to optimise conversion rates and install rates. Ultimately, this will improve your ROAS (return on ad spend) and we all wouldn’t mind that..!

Okay.. great. So how do you achieve a successful creative campaign? 

We’re going to run you through the effective three step process we developed here at Yodel Mobile:

Core: The Mobile Creative Foundations

The foundations of your app campaign. Your core will determine the path for your mobile app strategy – encompassing initial research into the field, identifying your target audience and observing competitors amongst the same space. This is where you will begin to plan your campaign, while considering your target KPI’S and keeping the growth metrics that will matter for your app in mind. 

From the testing and research you conduct, benchmarks can be set and audience profiling carried out, based on your findings. Focus should be directed towards the ‘Core’ channels dependent on your product and brand – this could be Google App Campaigns, Snapchat and Facebook – consider where your target audience are likely to be found and campaign goals are likely to be achieved.

This stage is also where you can really start to capture foundational learnings regarding your creative. You can do this through reviewing a bank of initial concepts and then starting to measure which concepts have shown the highest CTRs and down funnel metrics, dependent on the goals of the campaign. 

mobile creative foundations
An example of different ad sets, that utilise similar creative but showcase different value propositions and have different call to actions.

By doing the grafting work at the start during the core phase, this will set you onto the right path. From there you can start to gather the necessary learnings and gradually feed these learnings into your creative and campaign testing.

Top tip: Utilising static ads can be a good way to test concepts when you’re starting out. Static ads are a much smaller resource investment over videos for those looking to keep costs low. These learnings can then be fed into video production further down the line!

Evolve: Growth Is A Continuous Test & Learn Process

Growth is a marathon, not a sprint. Especially when it comes to sustainable growth and a successful campaign. Evolving and increasing your opportunities will allow you to test and learn as you scale along the way. At this point, you can begin to diversify your channels and experiment with new ones! More complex metrics, such as Lifetime Value  (LTV) and Return On Investment (ROI) are an effective measuring tool during the evolution stage – try to avoid using just top of the funnel metrics if possible. 

This is the stage where you can really start to experiment with mobile creative. For instance, you could start by creating three variants of successful concepts and trialling those initially. You can use the data you have gained from testing concepts to determine the winning variant – after which you can start testing variants of the winning concept in an ongoing creative evolution!

how to test creative variants
Creative testing can focus on different features of an ad. For example colour, copy, call-to-action, imagery. Did you know for instance that red can elicit feelings of danger or anger whilst green or blue creatives are typically better performing?

Top Tip: Continue to feed your new learnings into your campaigns – incorporate successful ads and remove the ones that clearly aren’t working so well!

Scale: Channel Expansion & Discovering New Audiences

As all of the hard work begins to pay off, the scaling strategy will fall into place. Possibly the most satisfying phase! 

Now is your time to think big… continued channel expansion and discovering new audiences! 

Testing the waters with platforms such as TikTok, for example, would allow you to target new demographics, such as Gen Z (Millenials and Gen Z have over $1 trillion in direct spending power!). But, determining the viable platforms and demographics takes time, and trials. You will need to put in place continuous tests and learn processes that constantly tie back into your core, feeding into your campaigns. 

Different channels will often require different ad formats. Creative produced for TikTok for example will tend to be most successful if it looks like it is native to the TikTok feed. This would require an approach that is much more centred around authenticity and creativity than other channels.

app creative for different channels
The three images above are scaled differently for different ad campaigns. The first one being a Google ad, the second could be for Instagram’s iconic square crop and the third adapts to full screen advertising e.g. Instagram or Snapchat stories.

Top Tip: Every app and campaign strategy is different, so it’s necessary to take specific guidelines with a pinch of salt. The time it takes to find successful ads is heavily dependent on the scale of campaigns, along with the impression reach available. 

Summary

Creative is part of a much larger app growth journey, which is why we take such a holistic approach. Just one example of how creatives can impact much more than just your paid user acquisition campaigns, is the ability to transfer learnings gained into the optimisation of your ASO screenshots – the same way Play Store experiment data can feed back into your paid campaign creatives!

ASO creative screenshot example
An example of how learnings from paid user acquisition campaigns can feed into app store optimisation and other app marketing initiatives.

A successful mobile creative campaign? Lightwork.

If you have any questions on mobile creative testing or any general app marketing queries you can reach out to the Yodel Mobile Growth Team here. Additionally you can sign up to our newsletter for exclusive industry updates and app marketing insights. Want to find out more about optimising your app? Make sure to subscribe to our Mastering Mobile Marketing video series. Follow us on LinkedIn, chat with us on Twitter @yodelmobile, and join our #AppMarketingUK LinkedIn group.

Smokehouse Yard, 44-46, St John Street, London, EC1M 4DF 🇬🇧

Smokehouse Yard, 44-46, St John Street, London, EC1M 4DF 🇬🇧