On the app stores, as it happens with the rest of marketplaces (both online and offline), demand varies depending on the time of year. On Halloween, for instance, commerces decorate their shops with pumpkins and skulls, and during Christmas, streets are filled with colorful lights. So, why shouldn’t the App Store or Google Play Store do the same?
It’s quite obvious that the time of year affects certain keywords’ popularity in search. Therefore, we should take advantage of those opportunities to make changes to our app listings in order to get some extra downloads on certain apps. Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Saint Valentine’s Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, sales, holiday season, among many others, represent great opportunities in terms of app listing optimization for hundreds of e-commerce apps.
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Seasonal Marketing in your ASO strategy
Seasonal Marketing aims to capitalize the interest in certain festive days, events, or complete seasons adjusting a marketing strategy to each of them. Although ASO is a long process and iterative, knowing the impact of different seasons in users’ behavior can really help us to gain more visibility and to get a better conversion rate for our app. As long as we play our cards properly…
We can work ASO as a part of our seasonal marketing strategy in two ways:
To include season features in an ASO keywords strategy can help us to get more popularity, in terms of search, for a certain period of time. It can also make our app rank to the top, surpassing apps that haven’t followed this strategy.
Users tend to change the way they interact with app stores during certain times of the year. In fact, there are seasonal trends in terms of search: some of them are obvious, such as “Christmas”, but there are other less clear, linked to a longer period of time, such as “tax declaration”. It’s important to understand what season is relevant for our keyword strategy, as it can make our app rank better in order to make the most out of the period.
Once we get those relevant keywords for our product, we can also use them in user acquisition campaigns in channels such as Google Ads, Social Ads, Apple Search Ads… However, we should assume that costs will be superior due to the great number of announcers bidding for them.
It’s interesting to observe the “war” that took place in Apple Search Ads on 23rd November when lots of apps started bidding for the keyword “black friday”.
Conversion Rate Optimization
The same goes for the graphics of our app listing: if we adjust them to a certain season of the year they can become a positive influence in our conversion rate. For example, if we try to rank our app for the “Black Friday” campaign, we can also make an update of our screenshot gallery, as Privalia did (see image above), on which they added a 15% discount along with a Black Friday announcement, or even an update of the icon with a graphic element that shows to users they are going to get a discount related to this campaign.
Preparing a seasonal ASO plan
1 – Research
The first step to take is to determine what seasonal trends are applicable to your app’s niche. In that sense, we can use Google Trends to discover the seasonality of certain keywords. Besides showing the popularity of certain web searches, it can also help us to detect when should we start optimizing. It shows us users’ behavior in terms of search and a display of relative popularity of the queries around the globe.
Did you know that in Mexico, instead of Black Friday they celebrate Buen Fin? We can observe in the following chart that “buen fin” (in red) is way more searched than “black Friday” (in blue).
We should also be in sync with our marketing and product teams to know any other events that we can use for our seasonal ASO strategy.
2 – Planification
Once we have collected all the information needed, we can establish a list of all the relevant events and dates to draw an annual roadmap. For example:
- February 14th: St. Valentine’s
- October 31st: Halloween
- November 29th: Black Friday
- December 25th: Christmas
When we have this part covered, we should identify our optimization and conversion goals:
- Keyword optimization: way before the event comes, we should plan detailed keyword research for ASO in several markets to detect on which moment we will add them to our ASO in order to get adequate rankings and relevance.
- Conversion: One of the best practices to optimize our app listing for a certain season is to work on the icon first. As it’s the most visible element, it has the greatest impact on the conversion rate. After doing so, it’s also wise to update the screenshot gallery, another important asset in terms of install and conversion rates.
3. Measuring results
It can be difficult to know if applying those seasonal changes can have a good impact or, on the contrary, we would’ve had similar results by keeping the app listing as it was. If that’s your case, we can measure a seasonal ASO strategy thanks to Google Play Experiments. We can set a test with the seasonal ASO strategy for 10% of our audience and collect data that will be useful for the same event next year. Apple Search Ads can also be a good source of testing for that kind of actions, as Creative Sets allow us to run campaigns with several groups of screenshots and let us analyze if screenshots announcing “great discounts” or “free shipping” are performing better during Black Friday or Christmas campaigns.
In a nutshell: Tips for a Successful Seasonal ASO Strategy
- The main goal of a seasonal ASO strategy is to get more installs from queries related to certain events or periods of time.
- We can get more popularity for certain search terms.
- Getting to know our users’ interests and cooperating with product and marketing teams will allow us to benefit from their knowledge.
- Updating visual elements periodically will help us to improve conversion rate.
- A/B testing will help us reduce risks and will also give us valuable insights.
- Last but not least, as in every marketing strategy, we can’t forget to measure results.
To view app promotion guides: How to Measure ASO Success in 2021