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mileafly

High or low traffic at launch

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I am very very new to doing marketing campaigns at the launch of an app to get some traction, but I have been experimenting a bit.

As a new and one-man indie you have to keep your bid level very low though. As far as I know this means I won't get many users from 1:st tier countries like USA, Germany etc because I will be outbid on those (could I still get some you think with a very low bid?).

 

My question though is if it is still better to focus on low tier countries at the beginning of an app launch since that means lower cost = more downloads for the money. So say just as an example for $1000 you might get 1000 downloads from a 3:rd tied country but only 100 for the same money from a 1:st tier. Would not the 1000 downloads be better to build traction in the beginning, even though you might earn less from inapps and it is not from 1:st tier countries like US etc?

 

Or are downloads and traction in one country not transfered to others? LIke if I have many downloads in India, will that not help with getting discovered in US? My gut feeling is that it should help on Google Play since the rating and downloads number seem to be shared. But on iOS it seem that total ratings are individual for each country?

 

Anyone know about all this?

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If your budget is very low then it might be more worthwhile looking into alternative ways to spend your money reaching people rather than spending on traditional ads.

 

(And if you're not just spending on ads, you'll have to explain a bit more - you say "marketing campaign" but normally that means something a lot more involved than just picking a price and a territory.)

 

Everything else you say is quite abstract - without knowing about your app's qualities it's impossible to know whether the revenue from certain territories will be significantly less or not, or whether increased virality can be a satisfactory replacement for early stage revenue. If you're thinking about "downloads" and "traction" as transferring across territories then you're missing out the middle steps about how that happens in practice. Are you hoping for word of mouth? Better store placement? If you have no budget and nothing remarkable about your game then these factors are going to be inconsequential anyway - being ranked 80th in the games category is not much better than being ranked 100th in the games category.

 

If the implied question is really "is there a way I can game the system to get my app near the top of the store pages and that will then drive discovery" then no, that's not the case. The mobile market is far too competitive for that now.

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In essence my question is this in short:

 

Is it better to get 1000 downloads from low tier countries vs 100 downloads from first tier countries when it comes to getting that initial "push" up the rankings and to get some kind of traction.

The lower ties countries are worth less in case of potential revenue back since they tend to pay less for inapps etc. But when it comes to just building traction for the app maybe the volume of downloads is more important? (more downloads since you pay less for every user)

 

So it might be wise to target low tier countries in the beginning, since the volume you can get back is higher (even though actual revenue back might be lower per user)

 

To be even more clear I am talking about aquiring users through ads. And lets assume it is a good app.

 

Also I am curious what "alternative ways to spend your money reaching people" could be besides ads?

Edited by mileafly

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If you want to go up the rankings then 1000 beats 100. But you're not going to factor in any useful rankings at those levels. If you're not front page or top of the list (give or take a few spaces) then you're not really in the game at all.

 

If you want to talk about traction then again you need to be more concrete. Normally when we talk about traction we're talking either about existing users - again, 1000 beats 100 - and the implied ability to attract more users - which you have no data on because none of your growth has been organic. If you're expecting growth to happen just because you're on the app stores then you're in for a very rude awakening.

 

So all that remains is the hypothetical virality level of your app, and that actually doesn't depend on your installed user base at all. If every user successfully invites 2 others, then you can go from 100 to 1000 in no time and for no extra cost. (And if your viral coefficient is lower than 1, no amount of ads up front will save you.)

 

My advice would be to stop trying to second-guess the system, and let the stats work for you. Create several parallel advertising campaigns, aimed at different markets. See which territories give you better cost-of-acquisition rates and focus your expenditure there, while also watching your analytics to see how that translates into revenue per user.

 

Alternative ways to reach people include drafting and distributing press releases, offering sponsorships, distributing copies to reviewers, writing articles for blogs, etc. Some of these things are services you pay for.

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