Anyone can create and market their own App – whether you are an indie developer or Domino's Pizza – the toolbox is up for grabs.
However there’s so many app fails out there, even some great ideas that just weren’t executed or marketed properly. Expert mobile marketers are full of secrets that could make money even off the most outrageous ideas, using many different modes of revenue you can take advantage of through your mobile app. It’s a shame to miss out on any of these monetization opportunities simply because you don’t know.
Paidium is The New Freemium
Freemium has been the trending business model for apps in the past 2-3 years; take a look at the top grossing apps for iPhones this past year. As you can see out of the top 50, all but 2 apps were charging their users an initial downloading fee. Today we’re seeing many mobile marketers switching their strategy from the ‘oh so popular freemium’ versions to the slightly more esteemed ‘paidium’ strategy. Hey, they must be making money somehow, but how are mobile marketers encouraging the users to make in-app purchases? There are two major ways in which mobile marketers are doing this.
First we have your, In-Game Mechanics which make the user stay on your app longer (increasing your session length) and entice them to comeback and play on your app more often (increasing your retention metric). This method is commonly used by all of your most used gaming apps, Candy Crush for example offering you more lives to play longer.
While your in-game mechanics are definitely essential to your users, there’s another method that hardly anyone is taking advantage of and the technology is still in its beginning stages. Outside game mechanics are acquainted with the user before they’ve even downloaded your app. These outside mechanics also work with users who haven’t been seen in a while to re-engage them back into your app.
The real challenge is not encouraging users who are already engaged with your app to make purchases, since they’re likely already your biggest spenders. But rather enticing those who downloaded your app and haven’t been active awhile by giving them real value they can only receive through the app.
Providing users with real-life value is setting a new wave of startups aiming to do that, which in my opinion is completely blessed. TROPHiT is a better known platform that lets major app manufacturers entice their app users with a new sword, a new level or some additional life-points; stuff that might make them jump right back on the wagon.
Since your audience is unique, the value can change depending on where particular users are coming from. For instance, you many find that users from the US love free items that save them money, whereas users from Russia prefer items that save them time, and they can use to progress in the game more quickly.
In 2014 the mobile gaming app sector was a 17 billion dollar market, and 50% of this revenue, 8.5 billion dollars was from in-app purchases. Apple AAPL +0.1% recently released their list of the top grossing apps of 2014 and the top 3 grossing apps were all games. When you see people waiting in line or even a group of friends out to eat and everyone is staring down at their phones the majority of them are playing games. We see that mobile app gaming consumption is the leader in time spent on mobile devices.
Powerful Formats to the Rescue
The secret to success all mobile marketers know is a simple formula: ad placements + rich media. What’s a method that’s sure to lose you customers using your app? Giving them a fully loaded with irrelevant advertisements app where they have to uncover layers of unwanted ads before actually being able to uncover your content. Don’t let this surefire way to lose users scare you away from using ads as a method to monetizing your app. It’s important also to consider your audience, advertisements have seen greater success amongst android platforms, while apple users tend to prefer in-app purchases.
There are many strategies mobile marketers are using to institute this simple formula. For example, it’s been proven that most mobile users are sufferers of banner blindness. For this reason it’s not a wise decision to place your ads on mobile banners or side bars, because your users will tune them out. Commerce enabled advertising allows seamless integration of your product with the ad. Shazam is utilizing the user experience by placing their ads after relevant content on the app they saw a much greater response rate.
Innovative ideas for placement are creating a skin for your app, if you get a highly relevant sponsor for your app you can fully integrate their brand into your application influencing the consumer more subtly not to frustrate them and also to create a longer lasting impression. Rich media solutions describe something that the user can interact with, the skin for instance is constantly interacting with the user by providing a backdrop for the app. A skin that interacted with the interface and added something to the app itself would be an even richer media for your equation. Double Click is a great solution to help you build and manage your rich media creatives.
Mobile marketers may not tell you these secrets, but all of the information is out there for you to translate your mobile app consumption into dollar signs. There’s so many opportunities for success in the mobile app market, and since each app is unique in their own way take time to test which combinations and which tactics in particular work best for you and your app. Have patience, your first solution most likely won’t be the best fit for you, and you have to keep up with the ever so changing users. Another thing the mobile marketers won’t tell you, all of your hard work and patience WILL pay off.