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Posted by: Jeremy SaccoOctober 2, 2013
The August Index was one for the record books, with the Cost per Loyal User index hitting an all-time high of $1.90 – a six percent, or ten cent, increase from July’s $1.80. Driving this increase were two main factors:
First, we continue to see the effects of big brands saturating the market to cost-effectively acquire loyal users. Bigger brands are ready and willing to pay more for the valuable users, like those on Facebook, ultimately driving up this competitive cost. They also may be starting to realize that mobile is an undervalued media channel and increasing their willingness to invest in it.
Second, marketers are looking ahead and starting to make headway with holiday planning. Many are applying their Q3 budgets to test different mobile marketing strategies before the big rush in Q4 when costs will likely rise further, as seen in previous years. Now, more than ever, is the time for mobile marketers to hone their campaign strategies before the real competition starts.
While a two percent bump to 5.9 million daily downloads is a small change month over month, it does represent a 46 percent year-over-year increase from August 2012, underscoring the explosion of app usage.
Check back next month to see how the much the iOS7 and iPhone 5s/5c launches affect the Index for September! But in the mean-time, tune in to our device and OS adoption tracker to see how they’re taking off.
Posted by: David WalshAugust 1, 2013
Last week, Fiksu attended the HasOffers client and partner Postback conference in Seattle. It was the first-of-its-kind event from HasOffers and provided a great opportunity to learn about the rapid changes that are taking place in the mobile app ecosystem and connect with other industry experts.
First off, it was a teriffic event. Kudos to HasOffers for putting together two days of engaging keynotes and panel discussions, with just the right pacing to facilitate informal discussions among the 200+ participants. The panels featured an appealing balance of advertiser and network perspectives, all highlighting the evolving challenges and opportunities facing participants in the mobile space.
The opening keynote from HasOffers CEO Pete Hamilton was upbeat and set the optimistic tone that carried throughout the event, touching on HasOffers' journey, the state of the mobile industry, and the excitement of working with partners and clients focused on the same mission.
Equally impressive was the second day keynote from Rich Wong of Accel Partners. Wong, as a HasOffers investor, delivered a thoughtful assessment on the rapid growth of the industry and the still-to-be-realized upside for well-positioned players. His comments served as a reminder of the opportunity to be seized in the rapidly evolving mobile space.
Also, a quick shoutout to Fiksu's own Steve Bagdasarian, who moderated a well-received panel on Mobile Advertising Platform Players that featured Facebook's Bryant Lee and Google's George Goffman. The three discussed an array of pressing issues facing networks and advertisers today, including:
- The challenges of improving audience targeting - and the incredibly granular opportunities afforded by Facebook's mobile app install ad.
- The trend towards focusing on meaningful metrics beyond "cost per click."
- The importance of tracking the cost and ROI from users who monetize or engage in a meaningful app actions.
- And the emerging and varying definitions of "lifetime value," with all three agreeing that Lifetime Customer Value (LTV) should be the focus of today's mobile advertisers.
For more color on the panel, see a great write-up on the HasOffers' blog.
The Facebook story
The other main theme throughout the conference was Facebook. The conference kicked off on the day following Facebook's incredible Q2 earnings results - where Facebook's share of revenue from mobile grew to 41%, up from 30% in Q1, cleanly surpassing industry espectations. The exceptional earnings, and the rapid adoption of Facebook's mobile app install ads by advertisers, drove many panel comments and hallway conversations on the incredible potential for cost-effective, and high volume user acquisition and the huge potential for the industry.
All in all, the event delivered on its promise for insightful presentations and great informal conversations on the maturation of mobile app marketing. The takeaway for many: mobile app marketing has come into its own, with the cost effectiveness and high engagement it delivers finally being recognized by larger brands and nimble startups alike.
Posted by: Jeremy SaccoJuly 31, 2013
“Come on in, the water’s fine…”
As Facebook continues to rock the news world, our June Index data is also feeling the love from the social networking giant.
Brands are beginning to catch on to the power of Facebook’s mobile app installs ads to drive large volumes of quality users at incredibly low CPIs. The impact of this growing demand was most vividly evident in the 13 percent increase we witnessed in our Cost per Loyal User Index this month, up $.17 to $1.55.
What does this mean moving forward?
The reality is that as brands, large and small, ramp up their spending on Facebook, app marketing costs and competition will continue to heat up. This means the best time to participate in Facebook mobile install ads is now.
But if we take a step back and examine this month’s Indexes against June 2012, the year-over-year cost to acquire loyal users has increased by only four percent, indicating maturation in app marketing compared to a year ago as marketers’ abilities to leverage timing, targeting and optimization are in full effect. This also shows the consistent seasonality of app marketing costs, as the increase from May to June last year was just over 14 percent, almost exactly consistent with this year.
As for the App Store Competitive Index, the five percent drop signals the "summer doldrums" have set in as people tend to consume fewer new apps than during other times of the year.
Posted by: Jeremy SaccoJuly 24, 2013
Recently at Fiksu we've been seeing some exciting developments from Facebook's mobile app install ads. The combination of huge scale, extremely competitive CPIs, and flexible audience selection tools that the unit provides has proven effective again and again, and our clients are reaping the benefits.
To show you what I mean, I'm going to share some actual numbers from a current Fiksu client. Understandably, they prefer to remain anonymous, but suffice it to say they are a well-established social sharing app with an install base of millions of users across iOS and Android.
Goals and getting started
As a mobile-first company, this app publisher understood the challenges of mobile advertising, including the lack of screen real estate, the distracted nature of mobile users, and the lack of time available to capture a user's interest. They were also more than familiar with the challenges of managing multiple ad networks, having done it themselves in the past.
The goal chosen for this user acquisition program was simply to accelerate user growth to maximize market share: this fast-growing venture isn't focused on in-app monetization quite yet. With that objective, the client targeted a $1 CPI for their non-incent user acquisition efforts. However, they didn't want to just accumulate raw numbers: they wanted to find users who shared content with friends. So a content share became their marker of a "loyal user" -- the kind of people they wanted to go after.
Fiksu algorithmically ramped up their user acquisition program over a range of traditional mobile ad networks, delivering a steady stream of those loyal users with increasing efficiency. While initial performance was in an expected range across a spectrum of traffic sources, Fiksu’s programmatic execution achieved unexpectedly great results through its Facebook integration.
Facebook transforms the results
Given the social nature of the app, Facebook seemed likely to be a good match before we launched a single ad. But as it turned out, the results exceeded our expectations: Facebook's mobile app install ads have been a runaway success for this client.
The client's average CPI on non-incentivized ad networks is $3.47 on iOS and $1.59 on Android, although many sources yielded results well below and well above those averages. On Facebook, their CPI falls to $0.80 and $0.37 – a 75% reduction in costs on both platforms.
It's worth noting that these results are not due to low CPCs – in fact, CPCs on Facebook are higher than average. The primary contributor is an outstanding conversion rate – an amazing 24% of non-incentivized clicks turn into installs on iOS, and 11% on Android.
Most importantly, these results are coming at significant volume – a low five-figure daily ad spend -- and they represent high-quality, loyal app users. Their loyalty rates on Facebook are 46% higher than across other networks, pushing their effective cost per loyal user down even lower and allowing them to build up a huge base of happy customers.
We can achieve such impressive numbers using Facebook's granular audience selection tools: using age and gender to segment the audience has been extremely successful for this app, and our tight integration with Facebook's API gives us a deep understanding of what's working and where the most loyal users are coming from.
Facebook's worldwide reach is also a great match for this client. The app is rolled out in new markets one at a time with small test spends on Facebook mobile app install ads. Due to the focused nature of the tests, the client can quickly get enough data to analyze each market and decide if the country is worth ramping up – or if they should pull the plug.
Using this one-country-at-a-time testing strategy, the client has been able to build user bases in countries that would be hard to reach through traditional mobile ad networks, like Brazil, Russia, and Mexico – and been able to pause spending in countries where results weren't worthwhile, such as the UK.
Bottom line: the bottom line
This client was initially drawn to Facebook due to the social nature of the app, but the results have far exceeded expectations. The social sharing aspects of the app mean that Facebook users tend to share with their Facebook friends, delivering an extra dose or ROI that other traffic sources can't match.
While we continue to test new traffic sources – including incentivized networks, RTB, and other ad networks – Facebook has come to represent nearly all of this client's ongoing spend. We're looking forward to continuing to help them expand around the world and finding new ways to take advantage of Facebook and other new channels.
Posted by: David WalshJuly 3, 2013
Facebook recently announced that it is streamlining its mobile app install ad unit, allowing advertisers to more quickly and conveniently create mobile app ads with just a few clicks. Advertisers can now create a mobile app install ad by simply writing their copy and providing their app's URL to the App Store or Google Play. This new process makes it easier for developers to get their ad up and running by eliminating the step of first having to register their app with Facebook.
Overall, we see this as a great development for advertisers, particularly those smaller advertisers for whom a self-service ad is now more simple and convenient. In this respect, Facebook seems to have taken a page from the Google Adwords playbook of making it easier for small companies and developers who may be interested in dipping a toe in the water with the ad unit before allocating a larger spend.
At Fiksu, we're big fans of the Facebook mobile app install ad. Having used the ad unit on behalf of our clients for the past several months, we have seen great results. In fact, our use of the ad unit has grown in just a few short months to a 7-figure monthly spend, all based on the strong performance we have seen. In our opinion, the Facebook mobile app install ad unit provides a great, granular way for advertisers to effectively reach the highly qualified Facebook audience of over 750 million mobile users.
To date, the best results we have seen from the Facebook mobile app install ad unit have been derived from consistently optimizing and regularly refreshing creative to avoid wear-out. The implication may be that advertisers who create their initial campaigns themselves may find that over time more aggressive monitoring and optimization can significantly improve their results.
Kudos to Facebook for making it easier for developers. The simplified mobile app install ad process seems to be a smart, forward-looking way by Facebook to broaden its appeal to developers of all sizes. For those developers who have not yet tried the unit, now is the time to give it a shot.
Posted by: Jeremy SaccoJuly 1, 2013
Mobile marketers have quickly realized the reach of Facebook’s mobile app install ad units and their ability to cost-efficiently drive volumes of users — and the latest Fiksu Indexes certainly reflect this trend.
Our May App Store Competitive Index numbers came in as the second highest month in 2013 to-date at 5.9 million downloads, trailing January with the highest volume at 6.1 million (the result of the holiday effect). In fact, compared to May 2012, we can see that downloads have increased 31 percent year-over-year – a result of the Facebook effect as well as the continued movement of big brands into the mobile app space.
As for our Cost per Loyal User Index, the May Index decreased by 11 percent, or 17 cents, to $1.33, from April’s $1.50.
As predicted last month, the increase in traffic in May can also be attributed in-part to the end of UDID tracking capabilities by the Apple App store on May 1 as well as Apple's new IDFA. This change caused many marketers to wait for the dust to settle on the new, standardized solution to resume regular marketing activities. Now that the IDFA is the clear standard for iOS marketing attribution, app marketers have returned and are spending again.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaMarch 13, 2013
Since we announced that Fiksu officially supports Facebook mobile app installs, we've been dying to put the new integration to the test and see how this new channel performs relative to other ad networks. We've gotten results from a few different client apps so far, and wanted to share some of them.
- Click through rates are twice as high as what we see when testing on typical networks
- Conversion rates are significantly higher than many other sources
- Loyalty and user retention are higher than a typical network
- CPI ranges are highly variable, but for the apps we've tested are within a reasonable range relative to costs seen on other networks
We should say clearly that these are preliminary results and can’t be guaranteed for every app. We're just beginning the in-depth optimization that really makes a Fiksu campaign work, so we expect to improve on the results we're seeing so far. Overall we're confident that for many apps, Facebook is going to become an important component of a comprehensive marketing plan.
Go get your likes
One audience segment that predictably works well is people who already 'like' you. By targeting a campaign at users who had already connected with their brand on Facebook, one of our clients was able to see a CPI that was less than half of their next-best-performing segment - and a third of their typical CPI on traditional ad networks.
While it's not surprising that users who've already made a connection to your brand are easier to win over, it's an important audience for you to go after. Big brands are learning that they can't just assume that a customer on their mailing list will like them on Facebook, or that a Facebook fan will download their app. There's an element of winning the customer over on each of these channels. So, it's good news that it's cheaper than other venues - because it's the first place you should start building your app user base.
Want more tips?
We're holding a free webinar this Thursday titled App Marketing on Facebook: Using Social Media to Drive Mobile App Installs. We'll have more examples from our clients, best practices for app marketing on Facebook, and some suggested strategies. Sign up here.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaFebruary 4, 2013
Last week, Facebook crossed a significant threshold, announcing for the first time, it has now more mobile users than desktop users: 680 million daily mobile active users, to be precise. For app marketers, Facebook presents a massive opportunity, but reaching out to and acquiring volumes of loyal users has always been an expensive and complex challenge and one that Facebook itself has wrestled with.
Today this changes.
Today we are thrilled to announce the integration of the Fiksu Mobile App Marketing Platform with Facebook to support optimization for Facebook mobile app installs. With this integration, Fiksu becomes one of the first mobile advertising platforms to combine centralized media purchasing and world-class optimization with the expansive audience that Facebook delivers.
Through this integration, mobile app marketers can now make precise media buys that tap into Facebook’s massive audience, providing an extremely efficient new channel to acquire large volumes of new, dependable loyal users. What’s more, they get to blend their social media and mobile app user acquisition programs into one cohesive program, a longtime desire for many app marketers.
If you’re a mobile app marketer looking to understand the changing landscape for app promotion across social media platforms, we’ll be hosting a webinar Thursday, March 14, at noon ET: “How to most effectively use social media to generate mobile app installs and loyal users.” Be sure to join us for this interesting and informative discussion.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaFebruary 4, 2013
- Facebook reports that mobile use exceeded PC use for the first time ever in Q4 2012.
- In just five short months since its release, Apple’s iOS 6 is now powering a whopping 300 million devices around the world.
- As the app store giants continue to jostle for first place, Apple's App Store hits record revenue numbers while Google Play boasts faster growth.
- During Q4 2012, Apple sold more smartphones than any other seller in the U.S. market, a first for the company.
During its Q4 earnings report last week, Facebook announced that, for the first time, it has more mobile users than desktop users and also hinted at plans for improving mobile ad targeting and relevance, critical to building its mobile ad revenues. In fact, Fiksu is a part of those plans, as we announced a new integration with Facebook this morning. (More details coming later today.) Mobile ads accounted for 23 percent of Facebook's revenue during the 2012 holiday season, and of its 680 million mobile monthly users, 157 million now interact with the service exclusively on mobile devices, reports Ad Age.
On Monday, Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, announced, “iOS 6 is the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, with nearly 300 million iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices on iOS 6 in just five months, it may be the most popular new version of an OS in history.” This is certainly motivation for mobile developers and marketers to take advantage of Apple’s latest innovations, reports Matthew Panzarino of The Next Web.
While Apple’s App Store grew by one-fifth from Q3 to Q4 in 2012, Google Play saw its revenue double, according to a recent report from App Annie. “Google Play owed this boost to Japan, the U.S. and South Korea, which respectively led the growth, and contributed nearly half of the store's app revenue in the fourth quarter of last year,” reported Anita Li in Mashable. The report also noted that the majority of app revenue from these countries came specifically from gaming apps.
For the first time ever, the iPhone was the most popular phone in the U.S. during the fourth quarter of 2012, reportsGigaOm’s Erica Ogg. The company sold 17.7 million smartphones during the quarter, just barely edging out Samsung, which sold 16.8 million phones, according to Strategy Analytics’ new Wireless Device Strategy report. In total, 52 million phones were sold in the U.S. between October and December 2012, and Apple and Samsung dominated the competition, selling two out of every three phones.
Image courtesy TechCrunch.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaJanuary 28, 2013
- Apple reported record revenue numbers this week, along with record iPhone and iPad sales.
- As if the App Store isn’t packed enough, 2013 will bring an estimated 435,000 new apps to iOS users – further aggravating discovery challenges for app marketers.
- Across iOS, Android, and RIM, Facebook is the No. 1 app in the U.S., with nearly 86 million unique visitors per month.
- Experts believe 2013 could be a year of explosive tablet growth, as global tablet shipments are expected to reach 145 million. What does this growth mean for mobile marketers?
This week, Apple reported its first quarter earnings, revealing the company sold a record 47.8 million iPhones, 22.9 million iPads, 4.1 million Macs and 12.7 million iPods. In total, some 75 million iOS devices were sold during the quarter. “We’re thrilled with record revenue of over $54 billion and sales of over 75 million iOS devices in a single quarter,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We’re very confident in our product pipeline as we continue to focus on innovation and making the best products in the world.” AllThingsD has more here.
A recent year-end adeven report forecasts that the Apple App Store will boost its inventory this year. More than 435,000 new apps are expected to launch in the already jam-packed App Store, creating more user acquisition headaches for app developers and marketers. “Growth in terms of App Store size will continue to increase steadily as it has during the past few years, but it also points to a steady climb in the number of apps that fall into its ‘zombie’ category, which accounted for 60 percent of apps in June, but climbed to 64 percent in its most recent tally,” reports Darrell Etherington in TechCrunch. Zombie apps are those that aren't ranked and so have very little chance of being discovered by users.
While the competition is fierce, Facebook sits atop the crowd as the most popular app brand in the U.S., according to comScore. In 2012, the Facebook app enjoyed 85.5 million monthly unique users across iOS, Android and RIM platforms. Of note, Facebook not only has the largest number of users, but also the highest level of engagement. And while Facebook sits at number one, Google apps (including maps, search, and YouTube) occupy slots 2 through 6. Seth Fiegerman of Mashable has more.
New research from ABI Research suggests that 2013 could see dramatic growth in tablet sales. A projected 145 million tablet shipments are set to hit the shelves across the globe this year, meeting the demands of tablet-crazed consumers, reports Mobile Entertainment’s Daniel Gumble. This boost also produces a huge opportunity for marketers. “The concept of mobile advertising started with smartphones but tablets are changing everything, rapidly establishing themselves as universal media players (TV programs, movies, radio, news, magazines) in a way never achieved through ‘personal’ computers,” said Magna EVP and Director of Global Forecasting Vincent Letang to MediaPost.