Create and Manage a YouTube App Marketing Campaign

George Osborn

In App Marketing. February 5, 2015

Michael Puriz is Senior Manager for Global Strategic Partnerships at AppLift and he spoke at App Promotion Summit Berlin 2014 on the topic of Youtube User Acquisition: Leveraging The World’s Second Largest Search Engine. The talk covered the following areas:

  • What are the opportunities for app marketers on YouTube?
  • How to create and manage a YouTube campaign the right way
  • Case study of a successful YouTube user acquisition campaign

Now we’re able to share the video and audio recordings of the event and you can find this talk and more in our App Promotion Summit Berlin 2014 Bundle.

Create and Manage a YouTube App Marketing Campaign Video:

Create and Manage a YouTube App Marketing Campaign Audio:

Create and Manage a YouTube App Marketing Campaign Transcript:

I am going to talk about YouTube and how you can use YouTube basically to promote your app, to promote your game, and a little different way of what we’ve heard so far. Let me just jump right in.

First of all, why is YouTube relevant to your marketing efforts? Christian has already talked about it a little bit. YouTube right now is a big deal. If you look at the ad spending on digital right now, it’s growing very massively. In 2018, I think 50 % of mobile ad spending on digital video will be on mobile. That’s a huge increase and a huge potential for promoting apps and games as we do for AppLift.
Also, if you look at what people consume, like what kind of properties they look at when they watch digital video, YouTube by far is number one platform, as we already have heard today. Yeah, basically people who consume video on mobile or on digital, almost every time, go to YouTube. So basically YouTube already now is the most dominating platform for video consumption, for mobile video consumption and, in a sense, one of the most relevant platforms for app promotion.

What else makes YouTube very relevant? If you look at it, it has, globally, already above one billion unique users per month. In 2013, it had about 40% of views coming from mobile. I think this year, it’s approximately going to be around 50-60%, and it’s expected to grow even further than that. So mobile is becoming very, very relevant for consuming videos on YouTube. Eighty percent of the traffic actually comes from outside of the US. So YouTube is not even a US-only phenomenon. It’s actually a global phenomenon.

As we already heard, YouTube is the number one medium, basically, to reach the 18 to 34 year olds, which is basically the key demographic for these games. We promote at AppLift, but also for several kinds of apps. Also, all those 18 to 34 year olds who consume video on YouTube, they consume it on mobile devices. If they use basically all the devices they have, 98% of those people consume it on mobile.

Also, I think this year in June, YouTube actually surpassed Facebook as the number one social site because it had more unique monthly visitors than Facebook, actually. In June this year, there was 168 million compared to 166 million only in the US. Basically YouTube is the second largest search engine worldwide, and it’s also one of the biggest social platforms. It is very, very relevant for mobile app promotion and games promotion.

How can you utilize that to promote your app or to promote your game? What we did at AppLift is a little bit different. You know all the pre-rolls? You know all the mass hits on YouTube? What we did, we went a little step further and what we did . . . We contacted YouTube influencers directly.

We contacted people who create videos, who upload them, who have a massive subscriber base. We talk about different kind of concept. That might be beauty channels. It might be let’s play videos, any type of concept that is suitable for, in our case, games promotion as well as apps promotion. We’ve seen this slide already. Christian already had it on. Basically it shows what kind of content people engage with the most, divided by gender.

If you look at females between 18 to 34, music in number one content, and then comes comedy, film, beauty, fashion, and gaming is somewhere in-between, somewhere in the middle with 31%. If you look at the male side, gaming is second-most relevant content type, where this key demographic engages with.

What we’ve seen from our experience so far, with females, comedy and fashion and beauty and also gaming . . . Those types of content with those key demographics engage with the most, and on the male side, gaming obviously is the number one concept that people engage with the most, and then comes, again, comedy and so on. Engagement can be a comment on the YouTube page. It can be a message to a friend, maybe a like, or maybe a post on Facebook or anything like that.

In any way, it’s something that creates a viral effect, and it’s something that creates some sort of buzz around this video and is then helping you, again, to promote your app or your game. What I’m going to show you next is basically an example of one of our influencers we work together with and we plan campaigns with. It’s a bit of a mixture between gaming and comedy, through a unique style. We used it in past and continue using it because it has worked so well for us. So if you just click on the little play button there. No.

Plays demo.

Basically what they do is they compare games with real life events. Basically if you have a shooting game or whatever, they compare that game to real life shooting or real life bow and arrow, so whatever. It might be a very good idea to promote your game with this kind of concept with this kind of channel, to contact those influencers and create very specific content for promoting your game in this case, because it might fit the audience that this channel has very well. You might get very engaged users who are very interested in the topic and will be, in the end, good users for your game.

Let me continue with a bit of layout of how to actually plan such a YouTube influencer campaign. It sounds very trivial, but it’s actually not because the first thing you need to ensure is basically to find a YouTube channel or YouTube influencer that fits your app or your game very well. This is not as trivial as it sounds because if you do not have this game audience fit, then you’re out, or the content that you create or the influencer creates will be very intrusive, and the audience will just simply not engage with it in any way, like it or watch it.

The very first thing you need to do is to ensure that you have this game audience fit, and also you need to ensure, again not very trivial, is to have a commitment from this influencer to actually produce something that’s meaningful, which is high quality. I have put in brackets the word “payment” because, again, it’s a very important aspect here. When we talk about promoting apps or games, you talk about CPI as a commercial model.

In this case, actually what we have found that flat-fee, upfront payments are much more likely to lead to an outcome that is most beneficial to you and has the most impact, and it will also ensure the most commitment from these kinds of influencers, because what you have to understand is that those people work on these videos for quite amount of time, and they need to be sure that they get paid. It’s just as simple as that.

When they don’t have any experience in promoting apps or games on their channels, they will simply not do it. So to get this commitment from those influencers is to work with their aims. This is the way we work it at AppLift. We basically work on flat-fee, upfront payments, which guarantees the sort of commitment we need to be able to have very high quality video.

The second thing is you need to understand the influencer’s audience, because you need to know what kind of audience is that, what kind of game or app am I actually promoting there, and what’s the be best fit again and also, to reserve rights to still influence the content. So you don’t just say, “Here is my game. Here is my app. Just do whatever you want,” but you need to still reserve a right to influence the video content and the quality of whatever you want to do.

Also, define a very appropriate media strategy. Just a bit of an example here. What you could do if you promote a game on a YouTube channel through specifically designed content, is you could go to a very large YouTube influencer with a lot of followers, with a monthly viewer base of about half a million or a million, and you can create about one specific video which will then yield a bunch of downloads, or what you can do is go to a little bit smaller YouTube influencer and create a series of downloads or a series of videos, which will then create also downloads or generate downloads, but also have a much more engaged audience.

So you basically think about your aims. Is it about quantity here for me? Or is it about quality? Do I want to really have a burst effect with my campaigns? So I’d rather go to someone who’s very big, who can generate a lot of views in a very short amount of time. Or is my strategy to really have a branding effect, to have a very engaged audience?

So maybe in that case, it’s better to look for someone who is a small YouTube influencer, who creates very high quality, LED-splay videos and then engages with his audience, and then basically tells them, for example, “Join my alliance. I’m going to post videos every week, and you can join me. You can play with me. You can play against me.” In this way, you can have a much more different sort of outcome from such a YouTube influencer campaign.

Also, very, very important and, again, not very trivial, or it sounds trivial but it’s not, is actually to integrate the game properly in the video content and also to be able or to be sure that the tracking links actually work, and the tracking links are put at the right spot.

What we do is we put the tracking links in the description box of those YouTube videos. So it’s basically, again, trackable. Obviously you will have those people who will click from desktop devices. So you need to make sure that you have some sort of landing page to tell the user, “This link only works from a mobile device.”

These are all the small things you need to be aware of when thinking or when creating such a YouTube influencer campaign. Also, make sure to brief the YouTube influencer that these types of links only work from mobile devices. So it ways helps that this fact is being emphasized.

These are two cases we, at AppLift, have done in the past. The first one was with a casual game. We did basically one video on a YouTube channel. As I mentioned, we work on flat-fee, upfront payments. So in this case, we generated almost 9500 installs from this one video with a quite good ECPI.

In the second case, we did it a bit differently. What we did is we created a, as I mentioned before, a series of smaller videos on a YouTube influencer channel that’s a bit smaller, but that also generated quite a good ECPI on that. Those game publishers that we worked on in this case, they came back because basically their data showed it was working. The LTV showed that this worked quite well for them.
We are in the first case of ECPI of slightly above $2, and the second case $263, so quite a bit of result. What we also typically see is that you can always kind of assume a view-to-install rate of about 2-3%. This is our expertise in this case. These cases worked out quite well, and the game publishers continue to work with us on this.

Basically if you look at a YouTube campaign, you need to be aware that it’s not like advertising on mobile. You can just start a campaign basically the next week or the next day even. You just have to really plan it ahead. If you really want to do it well, it can take up to four to five weeks. So basically what we do is we work together very closely with the game publishers. Together with them, we speak about the target group they have for their game and basically have a campaign briefing with the game publisher and on the other side with the YouTube influencer.

We really speak about the type of content we want to create, about the media strategies I was talking about. Do you really want to go to a very large YouTube influencer? Or do you want to go rather to a small influencer, create a series of videos? Or do you even want to go to several kinds of YouTube influencers in the same country or different countries?

You need to make a campaign briefing and then have a pre-selection of YouTube influencers that are willing to promote this kind of game or this kind of app, and then have the game publisher or the app publisher, in the end, decide which kind of channel they want to go with.

This takes quite some time because it’s basically people’s business. You deal with artists. YouTube influencers see themselves as artists and not as business people, at the very first. So they see themselves as artists, and you really need to speak thoroughly with them to speak about the content, to speak about the quality and what you actually want them to do.

In the end, basically you have a creative concept, which is then done by the YouTube influencer. They do the video. They create the animation. If it’s a LED-splay video, they play the game, and they put something online, maybe even a series of videos.
What usually has worked quite well for us in the past is when, before the actual video, they announce this kind of video either in the last video before our video, or most of them have a social media channel like Facebook or Instagram or Twitter. So they announce the next video on those channels, which kind of helps to generate a bit of buzz for the video we really want to push.
Then basically what happens is once the video is online, the most views come in within the first, say, five or seven days, maybe 10 days. Then again, it helps to kind of support this video by, again, pushing on social media by reminding the subscriber base to, again, watch the video.

If you have a series of videos, you can always engage with the viewers and say, “Okay. Next week, I’m going to post another video. If you want, you can play with me in my alliance. I am going to be at level 10, whatever, and we can play against each other. We can play together.” This kind of helps to engage your audience or the audience of the YouTube influencer.

Basically what we as AppLift can do is help connect you to these people. We have access, as I mentioned, to all sorts of different YouTube influencers all around the world. It’s not as easy to contact them all because they are basically artists. So it’s not very business-like at some point, but still we can manage basically to run campaigns in all the relevant markets there are for apps, but also for games, ranging from small size influencers to very large ones, whatever you want, depending on the media strategy define for yourself.

Then basically to generate those earned organic views, which is important here because working together with YouTube influencers or promoting apps or games on those channels is not really perceived as advertisement. It’s perceived as entertainment, because the people who subscribe to those channels actively seek those videos.

They want to be entertained by someone who plays a game or by someone who talks on a beauty channel about the next or the newest casual game, for example, or on a comedy channel, talking about the top 10 things to do when you’re bored. This is something we did, and it worked out quite well, just for promoting a casual game.

Recently, what I already mentioned, we work on fixed-budget, upfront deals, which helps a lot to get the attention of those influencers, to get their commitment, and to ultimately generate something that’s beneficial for your app or for your game.