In the exciting world of mobile app user acquisition, mistakes are often the gateway to success. Performance marketers are constantly tweaking elements that dip for best results possible. Our team have experienced various pitfalls and conquered them across their user acquisition journey and are more than happy to share them to help sustain your healthy mobile app ecosystem:
1) Making too many changes
All major marketing channels need time for their algorithms to absorb ad behavior patterns. They are designed to deliver best results possible over time with the right amount of spend. Making changes too quickly disrupts the flow needed to accrue the right amount of data, severing the spend pattern needed to generate result data. So with every change made, testing effectively restarts, creating a different kind of test. Making too many changes strips away the performance marketing power of assessing whether or not to move forward with an ad set or campaign.
2) Underestimating the power of creatives
With marketing channels offering so many targeting options, it’s all too easy for UA managers to relegate much needed attention towards creative assets. Winning ad creatives make all the difference in scaling user acquisition campaigns – it is imperative for app advertisers to invest in creative assets. Common practice should not be to produce hundreds of creatives to reach the few but rather to produce the few to reach the many- this approach will have significant positive impact on ROI. Where creatives are concerned, UA managers need to:
- measure in the right way, gaining a thorough understanding of which assets perform and which do not
- know what works within a creative -whether they be colors, characters or specific elements
- gain a clear understanding of uploaded creative impact on KPIs
- understand how to apply successful creatives to additional formats and hence reach new audiences
Having the right AI in place can help performance marketers understand the DNA of ad creatives and analyze variables including image, video, color, contrast & concepts. It can also identify winning elements – and those needed to be replaced for optimized results.
3) Blurring the lines between campaigns and tests
An obvious pitfall we know, but when aiming towards scaling, it’s critical to be as organized as possible when it comes to campaign management. We always advocate the separation of Evergreen campaigns (those that have already proved themselves successful) and tests – a separation which is surprisingly often ignored. Evergreen campaigns should be treated differently as they offer more consistency with little need to pause within the first few days- even if they are displaying a slightly lower performance. They have already proven their worth so you can allow them a longer amount of time to perform. Tests should be handled differently- from our experience, it’s best practice to cap testing budgets at 20%.
Pre-defining test budgets can prevent volatile performance; as the targeting mix will not change too much- you are effectively capping your risk. Engaging in many tests can hold a lot of risk for the activity – the Evergreen campaign has a winning formula within.
Separating is also important when it comes to creative assets. Bidalgo best practice dictates that 70% of creatives should best performers, whereas the remaining 30% should be split between evolving successful creatives to new versions (colors, elements, etc) (20%) and testing new creative concepts and combinations (10%).
4) Assuming every channel will perform the same
There is a dangerous misconception that a successful ad on one channel will automatically translate to another. Any performance marketer worth his or her salt knows that this is simply not true. In this day and age with so many channels hosting different formats and different audiences- a substantial amount of time needs to be allocated to each channel. One channel might have short term success and long term failure. Creative assets might work across one channel and under-perform across another. Not only is it imperative to test each channel separately, but it’s an enormous help to bring all channel performance results to one platform to access a macro vision and easily understand the differences between them. By localizing each channel and format into one platform with a multi channel approach – you’re already one step ahead of the competition.
5) Looking at the wrong data
Data is of paramount importance when assessing how to move forward with ads – which is why performance marketers need to focus on the right data when making decisions. Wading through each channels performance data together with copious amounts of data from third party/MMPs can seem oppressive. After all, different points of data hold different meanings / values. How do you make sure you’re looking at the right data for your mission? The solution here is to bring all cohorted data into one platform which can allow the user to view everything in one place, in order to to act on the right performance trends. Bringing all data points to one platform can not only save time, it can also allow the user to quickly see any tracking discrepancy.
6) Focusing on menial tasks
It’s so easy for performance marketers to get bogged down in small tasks, adjusting minor elements to ensure the right spend in the right place. These small time consuming elements are menial tasks. In reality, with the right automation in place, performance marketers can safely leave these tasks to the AI, freeing up time to test new features and try new ideas. AI should be the constant stable portion of activity, spends consistent amounts, bringing in steady results, freeing up time for performance managers and media buyers to test new activity and to improve their own methods. AI can be the team member you never had, helping amplify performance like never before.
The road to UA success is often laid with pitfalls, triumphs and most importantly, lessons. Watching out for these common UA mistakes can put you in the right position for success.