The holiday season is renowned for driving record app downloads, as millions of new devices are unwrapped and tested by lucky new owners. According to ABI Research, over 280 million smartphones were shipped during the fourth quarter of 2013. And with the recent release of a new generation of iPhones and iPads – as well as new Android devices from Google/Motorola, Samsung, and more – it’s clear that this year will be no exception. Most importantly for app developers, the holidays also mark the time of the year when owners of new smartphones are actively looking for cool, useful and fun apps to populate their devices.
Through Fyber’s Ad Marketplace, we typically see an inventory boost of over 35% during the last quarter of the year. With users being especially active during the weekends and holidays, we also expect to see a 50% increase in install volume. Since this season is so critical for app discovery, we’ve compiled a list of tips that will prepare you to win new users for your app:
1. Submit your app in a timely manner for app store review
While the automated validation process through Google Play takes just a few hours, review periods prior to the holiday season have been a major pain point for developers targeting iOS users. Even though the review periods have been relatively speedy throughout 2014, the process usually slows during the last quarter of the year. The App Store’s average review period of 7 days can increase to 9-12 business days at the end of November and rise even higher in December. In addition, iTunes Connect generally shuts down for about a week starting a few days before Christmas, meaning that releases scheduled to go live between these dates will be delayed. So ensure that you account for enough time to receive the proper validation for your app.
2. Review your bidding strategy
The holidays are a period of fierce competition for visibility, driving up bid prices across all traffic providers. As a result, it’s important to plan your budgets accordingly. Many advertisers reserve the biggest chunk of their advertising budget for the end of the year.
Despite this spike in acquisition cost, there are various tactics that can help you meet your user acquisition objectives during the holiday season. Whether you’re looking to launch a new app or grow your user base, your Account Manager will advise you on the best bidding strategy for your needs.
3. Account for varied peak times in different markets
If you’re planning a global app launch, we recommend you optimize your campaigns according to the various peak times in different markets. For example, our most successful advertisers in the United States spread their campaign budgets throughout the entire holiday season, from Cyber Monday through to the New Year and into January, rather than focusing only on Christmas. So have a chat with your Account Manager to discuss if you should adjust your user acquisition strategy based on the countries you want to target and their specific peak times.
4. Continue to run campaigns in the following quarter
With so many new devices activated during the holiday season, the momentum in inventory boost continues well into January and February. Acquisition costs tend to drop and stabilize in late January. Consider extending your campaigns into the new year to capitalize on this trend. By re-engaging with users over time and solidifying user loyalty, you can make the most out of your user acquisition budget.
5. Plan in advance with your Account Manager
Don’t wait until the last minute to set up and launch your campaigns. Reach out to your Account Manager as early as possible to discuss your user acquisition strategy during this key season. We have you covered regarding all aspects of campaign management, from set-up to optimization. We’ll also provide information on special holiday placements available from our premium publishers and explain how you can review your bid strategy to secure those placements.
If you have any questions regarding your holiday campaign strategy, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our Account Managers are happy to guide you through this key advertiser season and assist you in maximizing ROI for your user acquisition campaigns.