STEWART ROGERS MAY 16, 2016 10:48 AM
So you’ve built an app. With over 2,300 launching on the two major app stores every day, how will you make sure people see the digital embodiment of your blood, sweat, and tears?
We have been analyzing mobile user acquisition strategies and tactics for some time at VentureBeat, summarizing the results of over 14 billion mobile ads and talking with leading user acquisition experts. When something different comes along, we take notice.
So what is different about App Blaster and its approach?
The tool promotes an app through influential social media accounts. Sounds simple enough, but there’s a twist. It utilizes its network of over 800 themed social media accounts, each of which creates a series of social posts that “blast” apps throughout different platforms. These posts are exposed to as many as one billion social media users who are directed to the app stores to install the app.
For example, let’s say you’ve created a new sports game. Popular social media accounts that discuss athletes, equipment, and sporting events will promote your game to their audiences. Because the accounts are sports related, it is likely that your app will be downloaded by bona fide sports fans, resulting in high engagement.
App Blaster has another interesting element. Hypr’s technology crawls every public social media account in the world and analyzes them to understand audience demographics. That depth of understanding allows App Blaster to select accounts that speak directly to the audience most likely to be interested in your app. I wondered how it determines the best users to target.
“Hypr’s sophisticated engine looks at the follower lists to understand audience demographics,” Hypr CEO Gil Eyal told me. “We look at any platform that has a following mechanism, including, but not limited to, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Vine, Periscope, Meerkat, and others. By taking a representative sample of the audiences of each social account, we’re able to compare them to our proprietary database and understand if an audience is particularly interested in specific subjects, as well as generate a demographic audience map for the account, including a breakdown of audience interests, gender breakdown, age breakdown, income levels, education levels, ethnicity, location, and more.”
That level of understanding provides complex targeting and segmentation.
“It allows our system to insert automated targeting into the account selection process,” Eyal said. “By understanding which accounts reach which audiences, we are able to ensure that a larger percentage of relevant followers is exposed to the app. For example, if the app is about basketball and targets teens 15-18, male, in the U.S., it would be a waste to post on a fashion-oriented account that targets females in Latin America.”
Although the company says that campaigns are effective across all platforms, some produce better results than others.
“Typically, the most effective platforms have been Instagram and Facebook,” Eyal said. “Our posts are carried out on themed accounts, thereby giving us control over the content and posting time. Message delivery includes a short video and a caption, regardless of platform. Where it is possible to include a link, we include one.”
App Blaster campaigns are first tested with a pilot campaign that costs $5,000. The system optimizes posts in order to reduce user acquisition costs. Once the posts are optimized, customers can scale increasing organic downloads to hit their rankings or download quantity goals within the app stores. In comparison to other user acquisition techniques and tactics, the per-user costs are low, considering Hypr’s claim of delivering high-quality users.
“The pilot is focused on understanding the cost of installation on our network for a specific app,” Eyal said. “Prices [per user] typically don’t exceed $3, and often go below $1 for extremely high-quality users. There is no incentivizing during the process, and users will most often go and download the app organically from the app store, resulting in a major boost in the ratings, as well as highly engaged users who chose to download the app.”
We know from our research on App Store Optimization (ASO) that paid acquisition campaigns deliver a 20 percent uplift in organic installs. High-quality users become advocates for your app, increasing reach via word-of-mouth and social sharing.
“There are many services that send volume downloads in an effort to drive an app up the rankings,” Eyal said. “From the outset, our goal was to only send extremely high-quality users who will engage with the app, leverage any viral features, and write genuine positive reviews. No one knows exactly how the app store algorithms work, but we do see a major boost for apps that have positive engagement [and] high user ratings. As an app developer, the days of just obtaining a lot of downloads are gone. Apps are measured based on the quality of their users and how often they come back, and we believe there is no value whatsoever in a user who downloads the app and leaves shortly thereafter. Our goal is to generate the highest-quality users at the lowest cost.”
App Blaster is available from today.