4 In-App Behavioral Metrics To Guide Your Next UA Campaign

Mobile app marketing is getting increasingly sophisticated.

While revenue-based metrics like LTV and ROAS will always drive the bulk of digital marketing campaigns, sometimes even revenue needs to take a backseat for the sake of an app’s long-term success. Engagement, retention, and virality all have crucial roles to play in an effective growth strategy. They have the potential to affect an app’s place in the charts, its organic acquisition capabilities, and a myriad of other nuanced performance characteristics that marketing novices often overlook.

Thankfully, as the landscape matures, digital marketers are being given more control over where and how to acquire the kinds of users that drive these metrics. Mobile marketing veterans know that every acquisition source produces its own unique type of traffic, and by considering the benefits of prioritizing unconventional KPIs over revenue, digital marketers can use these sources to play a greater role in determining an app’s overall success.

Consider these four unique campaign optimization metrics and how they can lead to success beyond ROI.

Content Progression
Healthy user bases are powered by their most engaged members. The kind that progress through an app’s content quicker and more enthusiastically than other users. Measuring this progress at a user level is crucial to knowing where your app’s super-fans can be found, but progression means something different for every app. For hyper-casual mobile games, it might mean the number of engagement loops a user starts. For midcore titles it could mean the number of levels a user has completed. In the case of media apps it could refer to the amount of content a user has digested.

Regardless of category, progression is a crucial metric for app marketers looking to maintain healthy, active user bases. It allows growth teams to quickly stress-test their latest releases by funneling users from reliable acquisition sources into the deepest levels of content. This not only fuels the beating heart of an app’s organic community, but also has the added benefit of revealing any usability issues that may have been overlooked pre-release. Use this metric to drive buzz around new updates and product launches.

Time To First Purchase
Sometimes growth strategies necessitate a quick influx of in-app commercial activity. This could be for rapid UA reinvestment, burst campaign performance, or to test out the effectiveness of new in-app merchandising strategies. Knowing where to acquire users that are quick to make IAPs helps with all three. Measuring the delta between time-since-install and conversion helps keep this metric actionable. Using average number of sessions to conversion could still signal a valuable source of engaged users, but wouldn’t necessarily offer marketers the quick cash bump they need to execute the kinds of strategic growth initiatives listed above.

Rewarded Ad Engagement
Hyper-casual games have been dominating the app store charts in recent years. Their monetary reliance on rewarded ad engagement makes this metric essential for any publisher looking to turn a profit in an increasingly competitive market segment. While the majority of users are likely to engage with rewarded ad placements to some degree, knowing where to the find the most enthusiastic ad viewers has substantial impact on ad revenue. These “ad-whales” represent an emerging player archetype that haven’t yet caught the attention of triple-A mobile publishers, who focus primarily on IAP revenue, making them more affordable and lucrative targets for casual game marketers.

Social Shares
No matter what you’re marketing, third-party endorsements are solid gold. If your app includes functionality that allows users to share their achievements and activity with a social following, this is the metric for you. Whether you’re trying to draw attention to a new update or just looking to tap into your app’s organic acquisition potential, knowing where to find the most vocal users is a huge benefit. For a more focussed approach, break out earned social shares by platform to see which networks your users are most active on. Feed these insights back into your campaign budgets to compound the overall effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

Knowing where to find users most prone to these kinds of behaviors takes time. Veteran marketers know to treat every campaign not only as a growth opportunity, but as a learning experience. Monitor what sort of users every acquisition source is producing, and you’ll have all the information you need to affect your app’s overall success.

The Tenjin growth data infrastructure gives digital marketers the tools they need to optimize campaigns based on any metric, allowing for the kinds of strategic initiatives that lead to long-term growth. Get in touch with us to learn more!

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