"If the screenshots are bad, you've lost the user". How Zorka.Mobi monetizes mobile apps
Any factors can be decisive, even the weight of the application. 20MB app demands one strategy, 200MB app is a completely different case
Influencer and performance marketing agency Zorka.Mobi is one of the leaders in the online advertising market in Belarus. In 2019, the company was recognized as the best B2B company in Eastern Europe according to Clutch and the best agency in the Boutique Influencer Marketing Agency category of the Influencer Marketing Awards. Adsider talked with Anastasia Grigoryeva, Zorka.Mobi Partnership Director, about how the company is building its marketing strategy.

How to effectively acquire users for the app?

The formation of a promotion strategy depends on many factors: budget, vertical, geo, advertising campaign goals, degree of competition. But there are well-known principles. It is always necessary to study the market and the competitive environment in detail. As soon as we come to the conclusion the product will be in demand, we can proceed with building a plan for its monetization. Together with the owner of the product, we determine the target audience: core, interests, geo. Next, you need to highlight the metrics by which the effectiveness of the advertising campaign will be evaluated, and determine how achievable and adequate they are.

You also need to evaluate the development potential of the application. What do we offer to the market? What is our USP? How will we attract the user? For example, it can be bonuses, pre-registration, a unique service, 24/7 access to some content. After that, we must determine what kind of communication is better to conduct with a potential user. Here it will already be clear in which sources to work and how quickly we will be able to attract the right audience.

You should always run test campaigns. And after the approval and successful launch period, determine how you can scale and due to what.

Are there any general principles for a successful strategy, tips that always work?

Product orientation, testing promotion channels, fighting fraud, analysis of key indicators, timely optimization of advertising campaigns 24/7 — you need to do it constantly.
Visual is 60-70% of success. Hence the theft or "rent" of creatives
When a client contacts you, what kind of analysis of his company do you conduct to draw up a strategy?

First, we analyze the business. There are businesses mostly offline or the web, where mobile history takes only 10-30%. If the focus is more on mobile, then we determine the model itself: mobile first, mobile only, mobile + web or mobile + web + a bit of offline. You need to know how the product is monetized: internal purchase, registration, subscription. How mobile traffic is monitored by quality, what analytics are used, what metrics are monitored — there are many points. It is important to understand the economic model and the model of user engagement. For example, a game company comes in which everything is fine, but ARPU is lower than the purchase price of the user at auction. In such a situation, you need to tell the client that it is necessary to increase ARPU so that the advertising campaign is not initially unprofitable. There are businesses with a quick payback, where you simply measure all the indicators and immediately see the effect of the promotion. But there is also a long-term payback — for example, if we're speaking of a taxi, marketplaces of equipment and electronics. There was a case with the radio app: the annual subscription is quite cheap, the conversion to payment is average, and the cost of attracting a paying user in this case may be higher than the cost of the subscription itself. In such situations, we immediately say that it is necessary to look for other methods of monetization and promotion, so that the payback of the product does not stretch for years.

While developing a strategy, you analyze geography, degree of competition, and so on. Which of these factors are decisive?

Budget and goals. As well as an effective economic model of the product (how well this product is monetized).

Any factors can be decisive, even the weight of the application. 20MB is one strategy, 200MB is a completely different one. And this is with the same geography and audience. Geography, competition, USP — there are no minor factors. We pay attention to everything.
We choose partners with whom we will grow together, not regions
What are the main features of mobile promotion?

Mobile applications have their own metrics and analytics systems. Be sure to have a mobile tracker in order to monitor the quality of the purchased audience by sources and partners. And if for the website Google Analytics or Yandex.Metrica are enough, app promotion demands a combination of analytics and tracking system. The peculiarity of mobile promotion is that the contact here is shorter than with the website or landing page. The speed of calling interest, making a decision about the installation is a fraction of a second. Therefore, if the application has unsuccessful screenshots, then consider you've lost the user. Nowadays content is being consumed at maximum speed. You need to figure out how to instantly attract the attention of users. And for this you need a very clear understanding of your target audience: what exactly and from whom exactly are we expecting, which can potentially catch or surprise, what type of content is most influencing the group of people that we want to get hold of. Here, an important role is played by thorough research, deep immersion in the specifics of a particular product, and, of course, testing of visuals.

What promotion tools do you use most?

Creatives decide a lot here. You can choose the source, but if you, for example, have non-selling screenshots, then nothing will help. Visual is 60-70% of success. Therefore, there is such a thing as stealing or "renting" creatives on the market. People see that it works great, and try to capitalize on copying other people's approaches. We select sources carefully, focusing on the quality of traffic. Therefore, transparency of data in working with a client is important to us. All metrics configured on the client side, all funnels, etc. must be transferred to our side so that we can track them and optimize the campaign in a timely manner.

Which regions do you work with — and which ones do you like best?

We do not choose regions, but partners with whom we will grow together and whom we can really help. Each region is interesting in its own way: Tier1 — large budgets and solvent audience, RU + CIS — native and most understandable, Asia — a developing promising market, which many advertisers seek.

What is more difficult — to start a campaign from scratch or "intercept" an existing case?

In fact, these are just two different work models. Everywhere has its own difficulties. It is believed that it's more difficult to connect to a promoted project, in particular due to market saturation, when some part of the audience has already been bought out and at auction the rates for attracting the audience begin to grow. But if there is a case with conversion guidelines and organic data — this is already a good start and any detail can help.

Starting new applications from scratch is also not easy. It is necessary to go a long way in finding approaches and working adsets, fixing KPIs and quality assessment metrics; a soft-launch period is often required when the product itself is adjusted depending on the received data on the use of the product. In this process, in any scheme of actions, the adequacy of the parties and the right approaches are the most important.
If you have a case with conversion guidelines and organic data, this is a good start
What are the main mistakes that agencies or in-house teams make?

The biggest mistake is to start attracting users before the product is finalized. Other common mistakes are neglect of anti-fraud tools and a qualitative analysis of indicators. In general, the rush, the ill-conceived strategy of monetization.

If we talk about agencies, then they have more expertise and opportunities to connect various teams to the tests.

In-house teams are usually small and can work on a limited number of advertising accounts. Also, there are often fewer opportunities for operational maneuvers. If you need active generation of creatives in large volumes, then it is better to contact agencies. If the volume of purchases is small, then in-house teams are the best solution.

What are the criteria for selecting clients? Do you have a clear "no": what applications will you not work with?

First, we always look at the application itself and sometimes we can give recommendations for improvement before taking on the project. Also, if the cost of purchasing traffic will obviously be unprofitable for the advertiser, we honestly say that we can't help and give optimization tips.

There are minimum budget requirements, the ability to obtain analytics data is always important. When access to such information is difficult, it hinders promotion. Otherwise, we work with all applications, regardless of geography and vertical. For each client, the promotion strategy is individual.

The most challenging case you had to deal with?

inDriver, I think. This is a story about growing together with the advertiser and the constant search for new approaches. inDriver is an alternative taxi service mobile application where the passenger sets the price of the trip and chooses a car. Currently, the application is used by more than 20 million people in 18 countries.

We have been cooperating with inDriver for more than two years, and during this time we managed to try out many different approaches to promotion and strengthen our expertise. Together with inDriver, we launched campaigns in such large regions as the CIS, Latin America, South Africa and India. When a company scales at such a pace, we as an agency also need to expand our range of knowledge and creativity. It is important to constantly strengthen your service and be ready to provide the best solution for the success of the campaign. This is continuous progress and research. I am glad that the guys are always for experiments, they are not afraid to adjust the course of campaigns and act outside the box.
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