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Aug 18 2021
As it does every year, WWDC 2021 brought the next version of iOS. Some of the updates coming in iOS 15 will create exciting opportunities for mobile marketers and product managers, and others will require work to adapt.
We have been digging through the details of Apple's announcements, and we'll get into them below. But perhaps the most notable news from this year wasn't any specific feature — rather, it's how the updates combine to demonstrate the continuation of two long-term trends for Apple:
Apple is swinging for the fences on data protection and tracking prevention. With the latest round of new privacy features, it's clear that AppTrackingTransparency in iOS 14 was just the first step in a much grander plan.
Apple is trying hard to revitalize the app discovery process inside the store itself. With the context of increasing developer unrest about App Store policies and the potential of new regulations around the globe, it's more critical than ever for Apple to show why their walled garden approach brings value.
Apple clearly has a vision in mind for where they want the iOS ecosystem to go.
Product page optimization in iOS 15 – focused on organics
One of the biggest iOS 15 features that will drastically increase opportunities for marketers to drive more traffic to their product pages on the App Store. The latest iOS update is going to divide the app store into two categories: Paid and Organic. This means that you can tailor the content on your product pages based on your audience.
Now, with custom product pages and product page optimization, marketers will have the ability to essentially A/B test their pages and see what clicks. You can change screenshots, app icons, or highlight certain features to see if that drives conversions or increases downloads in particular categories.
You can create a maximum of three different treatments, or variants, on top of your default product page and compare them for the best results. You can also get comprehensive App Analytics from App Store Connect and run tests for up to 90 days. While tests are live, you can monitor the performance of impressions, page views, installs, and conversions for each variant.
For each test you run, you can define the amount of traffic you wish to allocate as well. The best part is that each test can be localized for different audiences, so you can track and gather user behavior learnings from different cultures and countries.
This is similar to Google’s Store Listing Experiments, designed to give developers the option to better optimize their product page(s) and understand what their audiences like most. All metadata that you intend to test must be submitted for review. Variants that include screenshots and app previews can also be submitted for review without being bound to a version update.
One of the biggest announcements of the new iOS 15 update was Custom Product Pages. You can now create up to 35 versions of your App product pages to highlight specific features of the app for certain audiences. Marketers will have complete freedom to change the promo text, screenshots, and the app preview video and drive audiences to unique URLs.
For UA marketers, this shall result in a paradigm shift. For years, marketers have had difficulty in aligning their message with the intent of their audiences. Now, with the new iOS update, you can create a product page that appeals to your target audiences. Tailoring the message to your audience’s intent could have the power to drive up conversion rates significantly.
You will be able to monitor and review analytical data associated with each of the product pages, including downloads, impressions, conversion rates, and more in App Analytics. For each Custom Product Page you create, you can also see average revenue generated per user.
This gives granular insight to marketers about how to optimize their product pages to their audiences.
The scale of the user acquisition strategy
In preparation for iOS 15, we can already begin identifying opportunities, planning & producing product pages, and even test them in advance.
For strategic planning, we’ll begin with getting our data ready.
This is a paradigm shift from looking at campaign-level data to a more granular level of funnels. The challenges we face are:
Certain networks don’t share publisher (app referrer) level data in a way that’s conducive to understanding funnels, and we need to get a single view of publishers regardless of the network.
App Store Analytics data on App Referrers doesn’t tie back to our Campaign data.
There are potentially hundreds of App Referrers, and we can’t customize the experience for all of them, but we can group them and design contextual funnels.
Getting here was not simple. Existing technologies and the available analytics weren’t built in a way to understand funnels, and map out full-funnel optimization opportunities. They were built to optimize campaigns.
For this reason, we've come up with new technology, Funnel Analytics. Bringing all the data you need about your funnels in one place. This has given us the ability to understand what to prioritize, and get a sense of who we’re really designing funnels for.
How marketers can adapt
This is one of the most profound Apple Keynote conferences in several years. However, while it’s a big change, marketers have already shown that they can adapt when needed.
Instead of relying on one strategy, brands need to diversify their marketing efforts to focus on multiple platforms and many different audiences.
If you start preparing now for the upcoming iOS 15 update, you will be in a good position, with decent benchmarks and comprehensive analyses on multiple marketing avenues, by the time the update rolls out globally this upcoming Fall.
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