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How To Use Owned Media To Increase App Users

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By Daniel Junowicz, Managing Director of LATAM & Africa at AppsFlyer

Mobile technology is fuelling innovation in Africa. Businesses are increasingly adopting mobile apps as a way to connect more directly with their customers, and access users like never before. For marketers, the best places to find new customers vary across different regions in Africa, but the one constant is social media. Almost a third of worldwide social media users are in Africa – this is projected to increase substantially in the coming years. For marketers, social media platforms have emerged as a vital driving force for generating leads, encouraging app installs, and growing visibility with target customers. 

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However, the challenge faced by many marketers is that, for most tech-enabled startups, a big chunk of the company’s budget tends to be focussed on the technical development of the platform with little left for marketing. Budgets everywhere have been further reduced by the impact of COVID. So how do small and medium sized businesses with limited budgets grow their mobile-app user base and revenue without breaking the bank?

Making your owned channels work for you

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A core part of any marketing mix should involve leveraging your own channels, such as your website and social media profiles, to grow your user base. Not only is this relatively low cost, it also affords businesses a degree of versatility across the sales funnel – from awareness to acquisition, right through to engagement. 

But with almost 90% of users discovering products and services while browsing online, and 70% of digital revenues occuring in apps, the challenge for marketers is to be able to creatively and seamlessly route the new user traffic from your website and social channels to your app. 

Some of the relatively inexpensive ways of doing this include prominently displaying smart banners on your website’s home page and on key product and category pages and embedding links in your social media posts. 

Smart banners can turn web visitors into loyal users, initially through installing your app and then through revenue generation. They direct users to either  install the app, or to specific, in-app content that’s relevant to them. They have been proven to be highly effective, with a click-to-install rate of 30%, which is the highest rate among owned media channels. Smart banners also enable app marketers to display messaging according to geolocation, scheduling and URL path settings.

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Using deeplinking in social media posts

As more channels enter the mix, such as social media, marketers are tasked with ensuring that the user experience spanning the social media-to-app journey is frictionless. One way to do this is ensuring that pre-and-post install activities are measurable, giving you a clear picture of the whole customer acquisition journey.  

Quite often, as users click on an embedded link in a social media post, which directs them out of the walled gardens of the social media app they are using, they often encounter friction points. This is because the social media apps are designed to keep users within, and attempts to navigate elsewhere can lead to less than smooth user journeys. The embedded links used by app marketers to drive potential new users through social media posts to their app can break down, resulting in lost conversions. 

One solution is the use of deep links. Mobile deep links contain all the information needed to take the user directly into an app or a specific location within the app. With deep linking, you can also direct a user straight to the most relevant piece of content for them within the app. For example, if a telecoms company has a new offer of discount on data, or a special sign up offer from a mobile money provider, the user would be able to click on that link, then be directed straight to the app or to the app store, to download the app, and once they open the app they would be taken directly to the discount page, rather than the generic app home page. These links can be used on social media posts, mobile web banners, email, and SMS.

Measuring the customer journey

To be certain your social media-led customer acquisition strategy is working, the embedded deep links in the social media posts contain information that can measure the user’s journey, from the moment they clicked the link right through to downloading an app or making a purchase. This is essential for evaluating your campaign and understanding what tweaks are required and at which stage of the customer journey.

As well as allowing companies to grow their users through their existing social channels, smart banners are critical to the success of newly launched apps, by offering an in depth assessment of the app’s performance during its initial launch phase. Being able to run these low cost campaigns enables companies to test their market growth potential on their very limited budgets, which is invaluable to the app’s future development and growth.

Using mobile as a marketing channel is still relatively new for marketers in Africa, but shouldn’t be ignored as the number of mobile users is growing daily. Additionally, social media has become part of everyday life and is a key channel for app marketers in boosting conversions, helping to drive users to desired sections of an app relatively seamlessly at little to no cost. With millions of app users consuming content on social media daily, combined with limits on marketing spend, there is a vast opportunity for marketers to connect with new users by leveraging existing owned channels without spending thousands on other marketing tactics.


Author Bio:

Daniel Junowicz is the Managing Director of LATAM & Africa at AppsFlyer, the global leader in mobile attribution. Prior to joining AppsFlyer Daniel worked in the manufacturing sector in China for over six years. In 2014, Daniel brought his passion to AppsFlyer as the first employee on the Chinese team. 

Holding a double BA in Business Administration and Far Eastern Studies, Daniel is also fluent in Hebrew, Spanish, Chinese and Portuguese. Currently, as the managing director in LATAM and Africa, Daniel works to bring his knowledge on digital marketing and innovation to provide a holistic view of the mobile landscape in LATAM, Africa and more. 

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