365 days a year, a successful app needs to be capturing attention and getting noticed. But constantly coming up with ad creatives and marketing campaigns to connect with users means despite all a marketer’s best efforts, there’s some variability between each campaign’s performance.
It’s hard to predict exactly what the “top-performing ad” will be until the results are in. Obviously, a lot of planning goes into every ad launched and campaign run, and all good marketers have expectations, benchmarks and ROI goals they hope to reach. But when the ad is uploaded and the campaign is finally launched, the actual results can still often be surprising. A new channel, message, color scheme or mobile ad format can sometimes be all it takes to transform your expected “steady-performance” into your top converting campaign of the year.
We asked the top mobile marketers in our community to take a look back at the year so far, and tell us the details of their best performing marketing campaign. Below they share with us the details of the best-performing ad creatives, see if you can spot the trends driving high-performance in mobile advertising!
The Mobile Mastermind’s Top-Performing Ad Campaigns
“Our best-performing ad campaigns are usually Search because it has the highest intent users. However one of the most innovative ad units we’ve tested have been immersive ad units where you can see a home tour within an ad unit. It’s been a great way for us to engage and captivate audiences to a new level but also drive performance metrics.”- Melissa Lertsmitivanta, Marketing Director at Realtor.com
“This year my campaign focus was on bringing the finance app, Fintonic, to a new market (Mexico). Although you might think the fintech sector would need to be serious, our top-performing ad this year was a campaign that managed to be a bit playful.
Because a key feature of the app is that it allows users to track their spending in different categories (e.g. restaurants, insurance, rent, groceries), we created a carousel ad that would show funny spending data tracking a fictitious user’s party lifestyle: “5 burgers at 3 AM”, “Uber to visit my Ex”, “Beer Six Pack” (next day transactions) “Aspirin & Gatorade” etc. Because the ad copy was funny, users wanted to engage with it and tagged their friends to tease them for their party spending. With the extra engagement, we were able to reach a wider audience and the ad’s performance was well above our usual performance.”- Raimundo Llao, Growth Marketer LATAM at Fintonic.
“Our best campaigns in 2019 have been when we were able to leverage the popularity of trending songs. Licensing the most popular songs being played in the app and using them in our ads has allowed us to attract new users with an example of exactly what people really want from the app: the ability to learn and perfect popular songs. This year, Jason Mraz and Vanessa Carlton performed really well when we used them to promote our Piano and Ukulele products.”–Sam McLellan, Head of Growth at Yousician.
“Our best performing creatives (when considering both the upper-funnel metrics like CTR as well as more-down-the-funnel CVR) are usually 1:1 format, and feature a powerful message that grabs the audience’s attention quickly. The top-performing messages usually appeal to a sense of urgency, e.g. “get your body ready for summer”, or provide something of an educational nature, e.g. “top X exercises for a fit [body part]”, or “X mistakes you make when performing exercise Y”.
In addition to looking at CTRs and CVRs, I also regularly make audits of all the parts of the creative assets (e.g. teasers, headlines, videos, CTAs) to see if anything seems to correlate with promoting deeper-level conversions, e.g. creating an account or buying a subscription. When looking for correlations you have to watch out for hidden variables like seasonality, audience targeting, or something like the ad being launched during a promo campaign, which could be affecting the performance of the campaign.
But this method can help discover “hidden gems” and help you get more insight as to what message or visual resonates best with a certain market, gender, or other dimensions. After finding a specific aspect of an ad creative that seems to perform surprisingly well in a certain language or audience, there is nothing stopping you from A/B testing it and taking it from there. We have a few videos in our storage that have performed well over a long period of time, even though they were designed in 2017 they have proven to still be relevant in 2019.
We also recently ran an ad study with one of our partners, testing if playable ads help campaign performance on Facebook, and they have turned out to be a valuable part of the creative mix for our fitness app. They’ve helped us bring down the cost per acquired and engaged user in very competitive markets like the United States and the United Kingdom.”- Ekaterina Shpadareva, User Acquisition and ASO Manager at Runtastic.
“This year at Free2Move we’ve seen great success with the Slideshow Ad format from Facebook. The format allows you to create videos starting from multiple photos, and showcases them at your own chosen speed and with the music you prefer. I think this format has been working particularly well for us because it allows us to show all the different sharing services that are available in our app – one image per “slide”.
At the end of the slideshow, we always add an image of a phone along with the call to action to make it clear to whoever sees the ad that the product is a mobile app. All in all these campaigns have helped to clarify our offering and have been bringing good results.”- Lorenzo Rossi, Co-founder at Mobile Marketing Italia.
“One of our best performing ads this year is actually something very simple: a glimpse of one of the workouts offered in the app. Another top performer is a “workout challenge” that shows a series of exercises step by step. This type of “workout challenge” works very well especially in paid social.” – Thais Brizolara, User Acquisition Manager at Asana Rebel.