Seasonal app marketing: how to prepare your app for the holiday season
How do you prepare yourself for the holiday season? Perhaps by putting a little hat on, exchanging gifts, changing locations, or maybe even by adjusting the way you talk. Well, seasonal app marketing is pretty much the same thing. Adapting your strategy to special events will increase your visibility and also conversions in the app stores.
Let’s start with why you should tailor your mobile app user acquisition strategies to holiday seasons.
Different Seasons, Different User Behaviours
All days are special but some days are more special and popular than others.
For instance, today is stress awareness day but is it as special and popular as Christmas? Not quite. For Christmas, we buy and spend days decorating a pine tree. Do we do this for stress awareness day or any other days of the year? Nope, right? That is why pine tree sales figures skyrocket as Christmas approaches, and plummet to earth afterward.
Luckily you don’t have to sell pine trees to roll with these trends. App stores are also dynamic markets that are extremely responsive to special days.
As you can see above, the search score of Santa keeps increasing as Christmas and the new year approaches. Then it peaks on the 28th of December and starts to march back on its standard search score.
This is just one example where a special day caused new search trends in the App Store. It doesn’t take much research to discover that similar shifts in user behavior occur in different seasons and holidays.
So, let’s talk about how we can benefit the best from them.
The best way of getting ahead is to plan ahead. So start by preparing yourself a calendar.
Decide Which Special Day or Event Works Best for You
For instance, if you are a shopping app, you don’t want to miss out on Black Friday & Christmas. Or, your app might be related to sports, in this case, Olympics might be a perfect fit for you.
However, you should also consider the popularity. All the money, time, and effort can go for nothing if you decide to be the holiday armadillo on Christmas.
Localize Your App in Important Markets
There is something attributed to every single day of the year. Assume that we have a game that we are mainly marketing to far east Asia. February 1st is celebrated as the Korean new year in Korea and as the Chinese new year in China. We may want to utilize both. Careful planning will help you to prepare your app for holidays in different regions. Once again, we can see that localization is much more than simply translating your metadata. Seasonal adjustments will most certainly give you the edge over your competitors.
Research the keyword performances
As we mentioned above, keyword performances change due to the changed searching preferences of users. A low-profile keyword can hit its peak and gift us fruitful users. But if we don’t know which keyword performs how in which season, we can’t succeed in seasonal app marketing.
For instance, for Valentine’s day, love can be the first keyword you think of. However, as our Keyword Trends feature shows that its search score stands still over the course of the year. On the other hand, the search score of valentines day skyrockets from 5 to 53 as Valentine’s day approaches.
It is a significant opportunity because you can easily rank in the top ten for a highly popular keyword. As you can see above, Valentine’s day usually has a search score of 5. As a result of this low search score, apps don’t target it unless they are specifically created for Valentine’s day. This is to say, there is not much competition for the top ranks.
The chance score indicates the probability of any app to rank in the top ten. Meaning, in the right season, with the right keywords, you have a pretty good chance of boosting your app rankings.
Conversion Optimization for Seasonal ASO
Seasonal ASO is a great way to increase your visibility score, find new users and re-engage the old ones. Let’s talk about how we can increase our conversion rates and improve our retention.
Conversion and retention are closely related to the visuals of our game. Our App icons, Screenshots, video previews, adding new backgrounds, and new levels are all important for seasonal ASO. In order to succeed in seasonal app marketing, we should pay close attention to these subjects.
App Icons are the first thing that users will see when they make a search. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that we utilize them to the best of our capabilities.
As you would remember, the first step of the preparation is to put on a hat. In other words, fitting into the holiday season. It is simple but a nice touch that welcomes your new users and attracts your old ones.
Screenshots and Video Previews
The next step is our screenshots and video previews. With them, we can showcase how we adjust our game to the holiday theme. We may have added some new levels, maybe changed the location where the game is based on. In short, they are increasing the quality of our communication with users, so we should benefit from them.
This is how Temple Run 2 prepared for Halloween. As you can see they changed the location from Fall Jungle to Haunted Harvest. It is more suitable for the Halloween theme, don’t you think so? In this way, you have an excuse to use in-app events to talk with your user base.
It is important to mention that you should still maintain your product pages integrity. If you decide to change your app icon, you should also change your screenshots and other assets. Otherwise, these changes may have unwanted effects on your App Store Optimization performance.
As mentioned above, in-app events are great tools to re-engage your already existing users. We can create challenges and live events for these special days. Where’s fun if nobody knows about the events, right? Don’t worry. Once our event card goes live, users who already downloaded our app can see it on the listing page. Plus, we can always send notifications.
Promotional texts can also play a huge part in conversion.
Here, we see how Subway Surfers announced that they added Mexico to their World Tour. When we add something new whether it’s new levels, challenges, or modes, it won’t help our conversion and retention rates unless we promote.
As you know, ASO competitor analysis is one of the biggest aspects of App Store Optimization. We have to know what our competitors do. Which special days and events are they targeting? How are they preparing for these occasions? Do they change app icons or screenshots? If so, when?
Our App Store Optimization tools hand you all the information above.
We see here how they approach seasonal app marketing. In this way, we can optimize our strategies and manage a better seasonal ASO strategy.
An important aspect is that both apps changed their creative assets on the exact same day for Halloween. Meaning that they start racing three weeks earlier than the main event. If we don’t be at the beginning line with them, when we have arrived at the finish, they might have already won it all.
For instance, Shein changed their screenshots on 19th 2019 to increase conversion rates utilizing Black Friday.
Do you see how they implemented the Black Friday theme to their creative assets? We have already talked about the importance of screenshots and video previews for seasonal app marketing. What we haven’t talked about is how we are going to get insights into these creative assets.
Our Creative Asset Hub lists all the creative assets of apps in order of category rankings. We can filter the search by date, category, platform and country. In this way, we obtain the information we need to improve our creative assets in an instant.
Ad Creatives for Seasonal App Marketing
Seasonal app marketing does not end with seasonal ASO. We have to combine our organic and paid marketing efforts to achieve maximum growth. As you can see below, Coin Master adapts its ad creatives to Christmas, too.
So let’s say, we want to optimize our ad creatives for Halloween. In this sense, market research will come in handy. Our Ad Intelligence tool allows you to conduct your research according to your own custom criteria.
As you can see above, we searched for the ad video creatives of games that have “Halloween” in their title. For a better understanding of the market during Halloween, we set the time intervals to October. If we want a more focused analysis, we can add rules to narrow our research.
Similar to what we did for ASO, keeping a close eye on your competitors and their ad creatives will help you to keep in touch with the market, allowing you to apply best-performing techniques into your own mobile user acquisition strategy. With the launch of Custom Product Pages, we will have much more control on the customer experience leading from the tap on an ad all the way to the install. Without a doubt, this will help seasonal app marketing to become even more effective.
New Year’s Eve and Christmas are upon us. Do you still insist on being the Holiday Armadillo? Or you want to schedule a demo with our experts to make the most out of seasonal app marketing?
by Talip Sencan