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Mobile Advertising exam study guide

1.2.1 Promote an app

Apps offer unique ways to engage with your best customers, including connecting through social and gaming. They can also aid the offline experience,  driving e-commerce and loyalty.

The biggest challenges of promoting an app are driving discovery and installation, driving engagement, and driving conversion of your most valuable customers. We’ll discuss these in more detail and suggest some potential solutions for overcoming them.

Driving discovery and installation of your app

The first step in driving discovery and getting customers to install an app is to build a great app. Then you can build a strong user base using both organic and paid channels. Given people's many choices, most brands aren't able to connect with their mobile customers. Companies can offer convenience and value to customers, but these same customers may have no idea that an app exists.

Once your app is built, you'll need to promote it strategically. Remember that user mindset matters. You want to reach people wherever they are, while they watch, surf, search, work, or play.

Google has many ways of engaging people throughout the day, in all of their mindsets. A potential app user could be enjoying entertainment on YouTube, in research mode on the web, ready to purchase products or services through Search, or enhancing productivity on Gmail. As a search site, ad network, video platform, and mail product, Google offers a diversity of formats and placements that can help you reach people at the right moment. We also offer organic discovery via Search and the Play store.  

Driving more-frequent engagement with your app

Getting someone to download your app isn't enough, since most apps are abandoned after they're downloaded. To drive more value from your app, you need to bring customers back.  For many businesses, re-engagement is fundamental to their strategic objectives of:

  • More usage (since you monetize by serving ads in your app, like a traditional media publisher)
  • More brand awareness (e.g., for key brands, driving continued awareness of the parent brand or specific product launches)

The key is identifying whom you want to re-engage and deciding how you'll do it.

Driving users back into your app once it's installed

Google offers a full re-engagement suite, including support for app indexing,  deep-linking, formats and targeting that are optimized for re-engagement. The easy-to-use remarketing lists leverage YouTube (videos watched), Google Play (automated), and Google Analytics (user segmentation), along with first- and third-party data.

Identifying customers you want to bring back

There are many things you can do today to re-engage customers: identify target customers, reach out to them via existing channels (organic and paid search), offer them something unique, measure results, and repeat. Here's how you can bring people back to your app:

Build remarketing lists

Define in-app triggers (e.g., dropped out of purchase flow) or key segments (e.g., lapsed users) to target

Do proactive outreach

Consider available channels (e.g., e-mail, app push notifications, back of register tape) to re-engage

Offer something unique

Provide a unique experience (e.g., an in-store reward, exploding offer, or discount)


Develop your app so it directs people into deeper, more targeted sections


Measure everything beyond installs to understand your most valuable customers and their behaviors

Driving conversion of your most valuable customers

For many companies, results are ultimately measured by counting specific transactions such as buying virtual goods in games, retail purchases in commerce apps, and subscriptions. Because mobile app revenue comes from in-app purchases, it’s critical to understand in-app behavior with the right analytics tools. Without tracking in-app conversions, you won’t be able to identify your best customers and keep them coming back.

Improve measurement and customer targeting

You can measure the lifetime value (LTV) of your users with Google Analytics. AdWords lets you track conversions with a  codeless solution, use conversion tracking, and target cost-per-action (CPA) optimization. You can also identify and target customers based on segments. For example, you can help frequent users make in-app purchases and help casual users install your app.  

As you structure your app to measure everything and understand LTV, consider:

Creating a seamless checkout

For in-app purchases or e-commerce, make checkout a breeze (e.g., log-in/pay button, fewer clicks and fields, 1-click purchase)

Tracking purchases

Measure each customer's (or segment's) lifetime value and shopping behavior by monitoring conversions

Offering something unique

Consider reputable third parties that can help with more-complex tracking/reporting (e.g., x-device, x-platform)

Leveraging unique features

Drive specific conversions (e.g., camera, location, QR codes, alerts, offline)

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