Paid User Acquisition – How to Decrease Costs and Increase Results: Mastering Mobile Marketing Video

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In the newest episode of our Mastering Mobile Marketing series, Joe D’Souza, Paid UA Specialist at Yodel Mobile, talks us through how to decrease costs and increase results in your paid user acquisition strategies. We run through the foundational building blocks for a paid user acquisition campaign, how to scale your campaigns, and how to test new channels.

See the video transcript below:

The Fundamental Building Blocks of Paid User Acquisition

To start with, one key focus area is having a clear message about what the app business wants to portray to its potential users. This includes ensuring brand guidelines are clear and well laid out, and this will reflect well in your ad creative. You also need to set a defined KPI for your product. So whether that’s a cost per acquisition or an intended ROI, this needs to be the main focus for your campaign and is your main goal. Try not to have multiple targets because if you have too many plates spinning at once it is very difficult to focus on what your main goal is to reach your target. Even if it means incremental increases every week, and just focusing on that particular goal, that’s the way to go.

Finally, it is important to ensure that everything is tracked. Using an MMP (Mobile Measurement Partner) is so vital and often overlooked by a lot of startups. It is an additional cost, but it’s definitely worth the benefit that they provide. Especially now with iOS 14 going live, tracking has major implications for app businesses. It is important to understand what these implications are and how that will impact your business.

How can Paid User Acquisition be a Channel for Pre-Launch Apps to Build Brand Awareness?

A lot of businesses who are looking to launch often question how they can educate users on the purpose of their app and really establish their brand values and messaging. This is often particularly difficult for businesses who have zero brand awareness and presence.

A lot of clients combat this is by introducing a branding or exposure campaign before they even start a paid user acquisition campaign. The logic behind this type of campaign is to explain what your USP’s are or what your key features are and set a foundation for your UA campaign. This will allow brands to have users who already know what their brand is when they run a Paid UA campaign. It is a lot easier to get these users to convert, especially when we retarget those users who have viewed the exposure campaign. And even after this, having a learning phase really helps to have an understanding of what targeting works best, what creative works best, providing an opportunity to try out different things. You can learn so much about your product, through creative campaign management in particular.

How Can App Businesses Reduce the Risks that come with Paid UA?

Creative is such a key lever for really optimising campaigns and building that brand generation from day one. However, some app businesses are concerned about the potential risks associated with Paid UA, which can be based on specific channels, or how much budget they should be putting into certain campaigns. But especially for those apps that are looking to scale, it is essential they understand how they can really reduce those risks and prevent overspending, which can be quite an easy rabbit hole to fall into.

A common occurrence is usually when businesses start seeing success at a smaller level, they want to scale immediately and start throwing budget at their campaigns and expect to see the same results at a higher level. Unfortunately that’s just not how things work. Scaling campaigns is more than just throwing budget at your campaigns, it’s about expanding your audiences and your channels, as well as working at multiple various points to improve your results. Even Facebook, for example, only recommend increasing or even decreasing your spend by 20% within 48 hours, to allow their algorithms to understand who to reach within your specific spend levels.

The more you spend, the more users you’re trying to get and the more competitive it’s going to get, so your cost and your CPM is going to drive up at the same time. It is about being able to manage all of these to get the right results for you, instead of just purely increasing budget. Using the additional budget to scale 20% every few days is a good start.

You also need to allow these campaigns to grow consistently over time as well as choosing to invest in new audiences, there may be audiences that you have overlooked. It is also good to test out new channels, if social works well for you, try another social platform. This way, if something doesn’t work, that means only a part of it stopped working and you still have your foundations of successful campaigns and can just cut off anything that’s not driving the results that you want. This allows you to scale more effectively instead of having to cut everything back down and start again from the beginning.

Which Paid UA Channels Should App Businesses Start With?

This is dependent on where you’re at with your product and what industry you’re in. The most fundamental channels would normally be Facebook, Google and Apple Search Ads. Those are the foundational partners. They have a wide reach and huge targeting options that allow you to understand your audience really well. Even more, they’re very self-sufficient, enabling app marketers to run campaigns right off the bat. It is important to remember that there are a lot more nuances within these platforms, particularly with Facebook and Apple Search Ads. There are a lot more settings and levers you can pull to push your campaigns and you need to be a bit more advanced to understand how those work and how you can apply those to your campaigns as well.

The Benefits of Testing New Channels for Paid User Acquisition Campaigns

The old saying is never put all your eggs in one basket. Although those are the foundational channels that app businesses often begin with and build out from there, not everyone uses Facebook or Instagram, not everyone’s on social media, and those users are potentially the ones that could be very valuable to your business. Finding new channels is a good way to reach those additional users and is key to growing your business.

The Secrets to Paid UA Success!

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There is no one secret, it is just important to be efficient across all your campaigns and conducting incremental changes. It may not seem like much at the time but all these incremental changes across various areas, they do add up and they do make that bigger impact across your business over time.

One key mistake a lot of people make is when measuring creative is that they use cost to measure the impact, which doesn’t necessarily give you the right answer of how well a creative is doing. CPM (Cost Per Thousand) varies across different targeting campaigns that you’re running, and that means the Cost Per Install (CPI), or Cost Per Registration (CPR), for creatives is going to vary a lot. Ultimately, you want to look at how many people are clicking on your ad and how many are installing from your ad. Those are key metrics to keep an eye on when you are running these campaigns, it’s not just the Cost Per Install.

Creatives are such a key element of all your campaigns that you’re running, try not to just adjust the same creative that you’re running on Facebook and run it on TikTok. Every platform has its unique way of reaching the user and this rings true for Facebook and TikTok in particular. TikTok ads, for example, need to be a lot more native. They need to engage with the user and show them that you’re part of the community, just running a standard ad won’t work. So whatever platform or audience you’re running campaigns for, be specific about your creative and how to reach them.

Check out our Mastering Mobile Marketing YouTube Playlist to ensure you are in the loop with all things app marketing.

Want to find out more about optimising your app and keeping up with the latest OS capabilities? Make sure to subscribe to our Mastering Mobile Marketing video series. You can also get in touch by visiting the Contact Us page. Follow us on LinkedIn, chat with us on Twitter @yodelmobile, and join our #mobilemarketingUK LinkedIn group.

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