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What is the Value of Getting Featured on the App Stores ?
Burst campaigns, Blitz campaigns, App Ranking campaigns – used to be a known marketing strategy for app developers during the early days of the app stores. App developers would invest enormous amounts of budgets for a short period of time in the hope of getting ranked high in the app store charts.
The Top Free App of the day would give developers an organic boost in downloads (known as the K Factor), as the common behavior in the old layout of the app store was that users were checking the “top charts” for new apps almost every day.
Nowadays, app store ranking campaigns are a thing of the past, as both Google Play as well as the iOS App Store changed the app store layout, and Apple went for a more curated, controlled environment with App Featuring.
App Featuring on the iOS App Store
There are four areas within the iOS app store where apps can get featured. We listed and sorted the four areas by the prestige and visibility each can provide for an app:
Today’s Featuring: Story (Editor’s choices)
Today’s Featuring: Collection
Today’s Featuring: App Of The Day
Category Featuring: Collection
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INCRMNTAL is an always on incrementality measurement platform. The platform allows marketers to measure incrementality for their media channels, campaigns, ad groups, and more – without the need to plan or execute any experiments.
The platform was designed for a post-IDFA world and does not require any user-level data to operate.
App Featuring on the Google Android Play Store
The Featuring section in Google play is more convoluted than the iOS App store, with multiple apps listed under the “For You” section of the play store. Unlike the Apple App Store – Google Play does not provide the same curation, story telling, and promotion of apps.
App Radar created a great article about how to get featured on Google Android Play Store
Campaign results with UAC were so great, that most developers would look away at the fact that UAC campaigns show users ads on the App Store itself.
Many in the industry would claim that Google has an unfair advantage here, and given that Google is a Self Attributing Platform – Google is bound to “show” great results for ads seen on their own app store.
While Apple does offer Search Ads – sponsored search ads that are not placed unnaturally into the organic app store listings.
How to measure the impact of App Store Featuring ?
INCRMNTAL’s method of measurement is using causal inference, allowing advertisers to measure the impact of activities over activities. Our platform can measure the incremental impact over conversions (Organics and Paid) of a new channel being launched , same as our platform can measure the incremental revenue impact of ad spend decreasing, increasing, or even bid changes.
Measuring the incremental impact of app featuring was a natural step for INCRMNTAL.
The incorporation of Ads into the organic results
When Google started offering UAC campaign types – Developers were happy. UAC offered superb campaign performance and completely automated everything from ad placement, to bids, and even dynamic creatives.
Google’s superb algorithms distributed UAC campaigns across the various Google properties:
- Google Search Ads
- Google Display Network
- And the Google Play Store…
Why is Getting Featured on iOS More important than getting featured on Google Play?
There are several reasons to why getting your app featured in the iOS App Store is more important than getting featured in the Google Play Store.
The ability to find apps using search
The Search functionality in the iOS app store is not really good. Apple sucks at search. Searching for an app in the app store, unless you practically use it’s full exact name – will not provide you with relevant results.
If you try searching for something more vague or searching a meta term – you’re more likely to find nothing.
Google knows search. Very well.
In the example below, we searched “App to find details about movies”.
Google Play’s first result is the obvious IMDB, while Apple shows no result, other than a paid ad that probably targeted one of the words in the search term we used.
Measuring the impact of getting featured on the app store can help companies leverage their marketing performance by creating the right strategy. Being featured on the app store creates a potential wave of new customers that would otherwise not reach your app. Catching this wave rather than sharing it with your media partners allows Advertisers to enjoy the full momentum and improve their LTV.
In another case study, a customer found that getting featured within their app category, did create lift – however, as many of their paid media campaigns were using Cost Per Install pricing – much of the value was taken away from organic results to paid channels. In this case study, the customer saw incrementality for conversions and revenues, but the incrementality over profit was limited due to the increase in spend.
This Advertiser changed their strategy, and moved to a CPM/CPC buying model. This helped this advertiser capitalize featuring opportunities by controlling their budgets and not allowing an external influence (such as getting featured) miss out on a wave.
We integrated an API process that collects all app featuring, including the type of the featuring and the country where the app was featured. We visualize this on our dashboard as an “activity” – allowing Advertisers to measure the impact of their app getting featured – but as importantly – allowing incrementality measurement to take the app getting featured as a consideration when calculating what is the incremental value of a channel, campaign, or any specific activity (such as budget increase, decrease, or bid changes).
We published a case study with one of our customers: Traplight Games , who used INCRMNTAL to measure the incremental value of getting featured. You can download this case study here
What is the Value of Getting Featured in the App Store ?
In general, getting featured is not always a recipe to incremental value. We notice that often – paid media channels enjoy the featuring more than the Advertiser would have liked them to.
In one of the cases studies, we found that getting a “Today’s Featuring: App of the Day” in the UK, created a very strong incremental impact for one of our customers. In this case study, we saw that getting featured had a positive incremental impact over Organic conversions, Revenues and Profitability. The incremental lift caused over other paid channels was also noticeable, but the increase in conversions did not bring additional costs with it – allowing the Advertiser to capture all of the incrementality to themselves.
This Advertiser was able to leverage almost 100% of the lift, as their media buying strategy was focused on buying on a CPM / CPC model, where a lift in conversions did not infer an increase in media costs.