Keeping up to date with the latest news and developments in the Apple App Store will help you to ensure that you are developing marketing strategies that work. These updates came out in September 2013 but it is just as important to be across them as it is understanding the new iPhone 5/5c and iOS7 technology.
What Apple’s September Releases Mean for App Marketers
Apple’s annual product update featured the anticipated introduction of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, which have raised speculations on possible new markets of iPhone users. Besides it’s new hardware, the new operating system iOS 7 featuring a new design and new functionalities will be officially released by September 18th. So what do all these new announcements mean for app marketers? Read below and find out how to best adjust your app marketing strategy and how to leverage the new changes to your app’s advantage.
The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c
Let’s begin with the new hardware: The iPhone 5 will be reincarnated in the iPhone 5s, with an even sleeker body and sharper technology. As the past years have proven, a new iPhone device triggers an influx in iPhone purchases and new iPhone users. In the coming weeks, app marketers can thus expect more downloads to happen by new users setting up their new iPhone and looking for new apps to use.
What makes this year’s Apple release different is the unveiling of the iPhone 5c. The iPhone 5c — which will feature a plastic casing instead of the usual aluminum and glass backing — was supposedly Apple’s attempt to break into new global markets that were previously edged out due to the high cost of iPhones. However, the price points of the iPhone 5c are much higher than analysts had projected. The cheaper iPhone comes in at $549 – $649 USD, which is not much less than the iPhone 5S that costs $649 – $849 USD.
Photo courtesy of macrumors.com
Even so, it will be important to closely track and analyze these new iPhone 5c users and compare them to iPhone 5s users as well as users of previous incarnations of the iPhone. Only time will tell how these iPhone 5c users will behave and monetize and which implication this might have on app marketing. For instance, will they show the same high level of monetization as regular iOS users or will theses users be of lesser quality?
best practice strategy: Leverage the influx in new iPhone users and run well-targeted acquisition campaigns throughout the rest of September and October to secure a top spot and permanent visibility on the new devices for your app. To maximize conversion, make sure your app is optimized for the new iOS 7. Towards the end of October, plan for a detailed user analysis of your user base to evaluate how much your iPhone 5c users may vary from your other iPhone users. Depending on your insights, you should then adjust your advertising strategy – for example you might find out that iPhone 5c users are inclined to make more purchases when seeing a special offer or discount.
App Store Developments
The iOS 7 App Store has seen multiple changes – from a new location-dependent app discovery service called “Apps Near Me.”, a changed design of the App Store Charts, a new app updating process up to a special new “Kids” section. So let’s have a look at each of those new features:
Automatic App Updates
Apps will now automatically update to the latest version, as on the Android platform. For app marketers, the automatic update means that more users will be using the most up-to-date version of their apps so advertisers and publishers may be tempted to update their apps more frequently. New updates can be good as they often bring along improved app features and a better user experience. However, advertisers need to be equally aware that an automatic update can be triggered at any time — if users haven’t turned off automatic updating over their mobile network — including when users are on the go and might not have Wi-Fi access. As a result, when started over 3G coverage, the download process will be longer and might mean the user cannot access the app for a while.
best practice strategy: Use this new feature as a benefit to more quickly optimize and update your app. Analyze your user’s behavior and reviews closely and optimize and update the app accordingly. Only with a great app and high rating will you see high conversion rates on your advertising. However, be wise when to update and don’t burden users with too many updates, especially if your app is large in file size. If you plan a larger promotion or special offers during which you want your users inside your app, make sure the latest update happens a day earlier so that most users will have completed the update and can access your app.
“Apps Near Me” Section
Location is often proclaimed the future of mobile marketing, and this could quickly become the reality thanks to this feature. Users will be able to find out which apps are popular in their area. This will especially be relevant for travel, hotel, and other booking apps as well as dating and social apps that adjust depending on where the user is situated.
best practice strategy: It is not yet clear how Apple determines which apps to show for which location. As of today, all apps connected to local offers should closely monitor the recommendations and test if their app is listed when relevant. If not, make sure to reach out to Apple and inform them about the local value of your app.
Lastly, the App Store has added a children’s category catering to children 11 years of age and younger. It will be a part of the prominent section “Featured”. Apps are categorized into three different age ranges: age five and under, ages six to eight, and age nine and above. While all apps will be featured in their appropriate categories with regards to content, only those that have also been tagged with the selected age ranges will appear in the new kids section. Moreover, Apple released a new policy enforcing advertisers to ban all targeted and non-age appropriate advertisement from apps that are used by children.
Photo courtesy of The Verge
best practice strategy: Before listing your app in the Kids section, wisely compare and evaluate the benefit of having increased visibility among the target group “children” along with the new responsibility to comply with the guidelines on targeting children.
App Store Charts Design
The App Store Charts have undergone aesthetic changes, and now look similar to the Google Play charts. The top five ranked apps appear “above the fold” with the following apps showing up when the users scrolls vertically through the charts. The new design allows users to browse more apps at a time, thus increasing discoverability for apps in lower ranks. Under iOS 6, the organic uplift sharply rises with the rank that is the last viewable rank before the user needs to scroll further down to see more apps.
Photo courtesy of Mashable
For example, the organic uplift a fourth-place ranking would receive was much higher than that of a fifth-place ranking and so on. It is thus likely to assume that rankings of 5th, 9th, 10th, 13th, 14th and 15th will most benefit from the new design and see a stronger organic uplift. The new design could thus make boost campaigns more profitable, as an increased organic uplift would lower the effective cost per download. To better understand the process, read our recent article on App Store Ranking campaigns. Moreover, grossing apps might be now getting more attention – advertisers who can well monetize their app might thus see an increase in downloads too.
best practice strategy: When planning a boost campaign, make sure you are working with a partner who can buy the needed downloads the most cost-efficient way possible, while guaranteeing you reach your rank and maximize your boost’s organic uplift. Also, have tracking integrated that allows you to closely analyze the results of your boost campaign to see if and how the organic uplift has changed under the new design.
The IDFA enforcement
Under iOS 7, Apple disables all campaign tracking technologies other than the IDFA, including UDID, pasteboard and MAC-based tools. Apple is thus forcing the advertising industry to adapt to one singular tracking solution – the IDFA. This brings increased privacy protection to iOS users, as they can now reset the IDFA and choose the option to limit targeted advertisements. Having a universal tracking technology will reduce the complexity in the industry and is a long awaited requirement for cross-network tracking and efficient audience targeting, retargeting and any advertising campaign run via mobile RTB.
best practice strategy: Make sure you have an iOS 7 compliant tracking SDK integrated in time for your next app update. Read our recently published app marketing analytics guide to understand which tracking technology your SDK may or may not use under iOS 7 or contact us.
Multitasking & Notifications
Lastly, some more changes that might have an impact on all app marketers:
One significant new feature is the advanced multitasking function. With iOS 7, double-tapping the home screen will bring up a full screen display of a user’s open apps, instead of the smaller row of icon thumbnails users currently encounter on iOS. Multitasking allows users to switch between apps quickly and more easily, potentially impacting how much time they spend within their respective apps. This new feature might help increase overall app user engagement and retention.
Notification features will also change with the new iOS 7. The expansion of the current notifications pull-down will include three tabs: one listing all of a user’s alerts, another for missed calls and messages, and a third pane with daily calendar events. Additionally, notifications will now be accessible on the lock screen, providing increased visibility for app messages being sent to users. These changes might positively impact push notifications, which is a popular tool used by app publishers to remind users of their app or promote new offers.
As app marketers align their strategies with the announcements Apple has made it will be most important to:
- Plan and advertise in the coming weeks to take advantage of the influx of new users.
- Track and analyze your iPhone 5c users to see how they engage and convert.
- Make sure an iOS 7 compliant tracking code is integrated in the app.
Trademob are one of Europe’s leading app marketing agencies. You can read more from their blog here.