App Marketing

How to build an effective user acquisition strategy with video: Three insiders talk teamwork and top tips

Marne Litfin
Product Content Strategist

The future of mobile advertising? It’s video! Between 2011 and 2016, video ads doubled in volume, and it’s expected that US mobile video ad spend will reach 7bn USD in 2019. Here’s why: video ad clicks have been shown to boost a key metric down the funnel - retention - in a big way. App users who arrive via video ads have retention rates three times as high as those who find an app via non-video ads.

In our latest webinar, we talked to experts about how to take advantage of video ads for an effective user acquisition strategy––and how apps, ad networks, and mobile measurement partners like Adjust can work together to achieve aggressive acquisition targets. Adjust’s Director of Product, Katie Hutcherson, and acquisition experts Helen Wu (Director of Growth Partnerships at AppLovin) and Gina Kwong (User Acquisition, Smule) spoke to us about how the three companies partner up in the struggle for high-quality users.

Below you’ll find a summary of some of the key takeaways from the webinar. If you’d like to listen to the entire talk, it’s located on our webinar site.

How do you create compelling video ad campaigns?

  1. User-generated content, when available, can reach users in a way that few other campaigns do. Potential users learn from the ad not only what the app looks like, but how it will function when they install it on their phone, as well as some of the unique capabilities that the app will have. When user-generated content is featured in ads, it gets new users sharing, posting, and engaging in more social interaction in the app.
  2. Localized content is another key piece of the most successful ads. Smule found that video ads, for example, that are popular in South East Asia, do not necessarily translate well to Western Europe and vice versa. Campaigns that reflect the styles and tastes of the targeted geographic region resonate more with the local audience.
  3. Test, test, and test again. It’s important to create and test content as often as possible - content that highlights different concepts - to test appreciably different variables and quickly determine the right combination that together makes a compelling ad. Test one variable at a time (across a wide range of platforms, regions, and channels); those tests should all be labeled clearly and tracked properly, allowing you to ultimately iterate on what works best and scale up quickly, with the confidence of data behind you.

If we’re talking about benchmarks, what’s a good CTR?

Apps often ask this question - folks want to look at click-through rate on an aggregate level, but Helen suggests that marketers to “be open to the fact that these videos are being served across thousands of publisher placements. Typical click through rates may be high single digits to low double digits…but it would be wise to filter to a publisher placement level so that you can do a true apples to apples comparison between different video variations on a single publisher.”

What role do networks play in video ad-based UA strategy?

Smule works closely with both Adjust and AppLovin, a mobile marketing platform that helps brands reach new customers on mobile. AppLovin helps brands identify users who are likely to download and determine the right amount to bid to acquire them, with a platform that can both view and understand analytics and create and optimize in-app campaigns based on incoming data.

With the Adjust SDK, Smule can directly send their KPI data down to the creative level straight to AppLovin. AppLovin’s capabilities allow Smule to tweak their campaigns in real-time, based on the data provided by Adjust and crunched by AppLovin’s algorithms. The integration of the partners is seamless, allowing Smule to test creatives on a schedule and optimize accordingly. With this triad, Smule is able to view ROI, cost per trial, cost per registration, and cost per registration, which, according to Gina, “is very effective in figuring out which test and which creative and which variable works for the different regions and the different channels that we test in.”

Why do you need to measure and attribute in real-time?

You have a lot of data and a lot of networks - what a mobile measurement partner (or MMP) contributes to your user acquisition strategy is the ability to measure confidently, make decisions quickly, and share your results immediately. Adjust’s goal is to simplify the mobile ecosystem. It’s possible to go directly into your dashboard, click on event linking and set up exactly which data you’d like to send to a partner like AppLovin, using filters like country, platform, time zone, and click or impression data. This way, AppLovin can automatically pump the data (Adjust offers four levels of data, from campaign down to creative) from your creative testing back into their algorithm so that they can make the smartest decision possible regarding which video to send to a new potential user for re-engagement.

What’s on the horizon for video ads? While there have been some rumblings about virtual reality, Gina hinted at the growth of playable and engaging ads that users can participate in. “I think,” she said, “those have a lot of potential to hopefully take video assets to the next level and I look forward to the different ideas that can come with that.”

Want to hear more insider viewpoints? Check out our archive of webinars here and keep your eyes on the lookout for what’s coming up next.