The Apple App Store is one of the most popular and well-respected digital marketplaces in the world. Offering a wealth of applications for iOS devices. For developers and app publishers, being featured on the App Store can be a major milestone. it can not only increase your downloads significantly but it can also improve your brand equity.
When building INCRMNTAL’s predictive models, we had to ask the question - how much credit should the models potentially give app featuring ?
Or to be more specific - if an app publisher increased spend across a campaign, and their app got featured during the same day - which of these activities is causing an incremental lift?
In this article, we will dive deep into the data we used to research “featuring” as an input for our modeling processWe will also explore the different types of app featuring, what it takes to get selected by Apple, the benefits of being featured, and how to make the most of this opportunity to drive growth and success for your app.
Whether you're just starting out in the world of app development or you're a seasoned pro, this article is a must-read for anyone looking to take their app to the next level.
Let’s start with the discoveries of our data science team as they dove deep into our data, to unveil that in reality not all “featuring” gives advertisers the same incremental value.
Our data science team went on a mission to get a better understanding of the true weight of how featuring could impact a publisher's marketing figures. The process was not so simple.
To understand what the possible impact of featuring is for apps and games our data science team looked at over 30,000 app featuring across apps in the gaming, education, fintech, utilities, lifestyle, travel and other app categories .
The data science team started by comparing time series between a time that there was an app featuring, versus when there wasn’t one. We ran many statistical tests to evaluate this. One of those was a Kolmogorov–Smirnov test (known as a “KS test”), which allowed us to compare two different distributions: before and after an App Store featuring. This method allowed us to compare the different distributions and assess if we can detect a statistically significant influence caused by app featuring.
Accounting for seasonality and external factors by identifying all the other possible influences, The statistical evaluation found that dates that are closer to the app featuring events will more likely show an impact versus dates that are further from it.
Another method to explore the impact of app featuring was the need to remove the effect of “special days”. For example, to identify the impact of an app featuring event around a special holiday, say New Year's Day , we first had to remove the holiday effect. Additionally, the country had to be considered in the research. A higher weight is given to countries that have higher install/revenues . For instance, say the app has a history of having more success in their local market or a specific market then the app featuring effect will carry more weight in that geo than in others.
Once we isolated all factors beyond featuring that could have a possible impact, adjusting the time series and distribution allowed us to assign designated scores for the various types of app featuring.
This research needed to happen for every app category separately, as the research showed a significant difference between app featuring in the Gaming category versus, let's say, Fintech.
This research allowed app publishers using the platform to have app featuring taken into consideration in measurements, as well as allow our customers to measure the true incremental impact an app featuring had over their app performance.
This research was able to answer:
The findings of this research are part of INCRMNTAL's model, to provide scoring for any featuring our clients might benefit from. Advertisers can be confident in the results. They will know, if indeed the benefits they are seeing are due to app featuring or other marketing activities, occurring at the same time.
Above you can see the different types of featuring and the impact that they have for publishers. Let’s break down some of the most interesting findings of the research.
The most coveted and lucrative featuring of all is being featured on the homepage under “Today: Story”. This gives publishers the most substantial boost to their app installs for that day. Now when we look at the second most popular featuring opportunity “Collection”. We see that there is a big difference in impact whether you are an app or a game.On the one hand, being featured in “Apps: Collection” is not all that helpful to an app. On the contrary, being featured in games: collection, can noticeably help boost game app installs
Apps from different verticals benefit from app featuring differently. For example, lifestyle apps have seen substantial increase in their installs overall compared to those from the travel category. Whereas games, when featured, seem to always benefit from any form of app featuring, and they enjoy lots of different types. For a game, being in Game of the Day is like being given a halo.
Now that we have looked at the hard numbers, let's look at the different types of featuring available on the Apple App Store and the steps you can make as an app developer/ publisher to grab Apple’s eye.
There are several types of app featuring on the Apple App Store, but here are some of the most popular, let’s break it down.
Overall, there are many ways that Apple may feature an app on the App Store, and each type of featuring can have a significant impact on the visibility and success of an app.
Believe it or not, you can influence Apple to choose your app or game. There are no guarantees, but below are some recommendations.
First and foremost, you need to build a high quality app/game. In essence, you should build an app that that user will not only enjoy but understand. Apple encourages that games and apps offer both innovation and uniqueness to the user. Ensure that the app is well-designed and well-functioning while providing value to users. This can be achieved by building a sleek user interface (UI) and intuitive user experience (UX).
Focus on User Experience: Pay attention to the details that make an app easy and enjoyable to use, such as intuitive navigation, clear graphics, and engaging content.
Second: Use Apple APIs and update your app regularly. It is imperative that iOS designers develop their apps using the latest version of Swift and integrating Apple APIs.
Third: Follow App Store Review Guidelines. Make sure your app follows Apple's App Review Guidelines, which outline the requirements for app content, user interface, and functionality.
Forth: Optimize your App Store product page. This is where App Store Optimization (ASO) takes center stage. Your app’s product page is one of the most influential factors of app growth. Take these additional steps to get an amazing product page.
By following these tips, you can create an App Store product page that accurately represents your app and helps attract new users.
Fifth: Offer Unique Features: Offer something that sets your app apart from others in the same category, whether it's a new approach, a unique twist on a popular concept, or innovative technology.
Sixth: Promote Your App! Take advantage of all other marketing channels, such as social media and advertising to promote your app and reach potential users. You can also consider paid advertising. Using the Search Ads feature on the App Store, which allows you to place an ad for your app at the top of the search results for specific keywords. Seventh, engage with your user Community. Respond to user feedback and continue to improve your app based on user needs and preferences.
Now once you think you have excelled at all these steps, now comes the easy part. Submit your app via this form. Don’t be shy and share with Apple how great your app truly is.
The hard part is over and Apple has selected your app/game to be featured. How should you boost this success? As we say, ride the wave and enjoy the boost but don’t rely on it.
Being featured by Apple can provide a number of benefits for an app. It helps to increase the visibility of an app to a larger audience, as Apple has a large and loyal user base. It also improves credibility since Apple validates the quality and value of an app, and in turn this helps build credibility and trust among users. As seen from our research, it can have a positive impact and drive an increase in downloads, as users are more likely to download an app that is being promoted by Apple. Featuring can lead to increased revenue, through in-app purchases, subscriptions, and advertising.
The benefits of being featured in the app store can vary for advertisers, as it depends on several factors such as the quality of the app, the target audience, and the marketing efforts. Generally speaking, the impact of being featured in the app store can last for several weeks to a few months. However, it is important to note that the benefits are not permanent and may decline over time. So it is important for publishers and advertisers to update their app and marketing strategy to maintain visibility and engagement with their users. If you get off track, go back to the checklist of recommendations you used when you applied and ensure you are still adhering to them.
Ultimately, having earned this free publicity is great for any advertiser. Remember that the feature will only last for one day but the benefits can be seen for weeks to come.