App Promotion Summit Berlin 2018 highlights

Artyom Dogtiev | December 17, 2018

App Business

December 6th. 8:30 am. Berlin. You’re looking out of the bus window to see people with laptop backpacks are heading towards Adlon hotel and you realize it’s your stop and you need to get off the bus too. In a few minutes you will walk into the hotel to join other folks who flew here from US, Asia, Europe or just took a short trip from their Berlin-based office to be a part of the App Promotion Summit Berlin 2018 crowd.

And when I say crowd I do mean it, this year more than 400 participants checked into the summit. In a contrast with other tech summits that may take couple days, APS has been giving people only one day to do business, see how the industry is doing or just have a cup of coffee in a nice face-to-face conversation. As many of you would agree, events that take more than a day only in theory are more productive, we all know how it feels the next morning after the day one, right? 🙂

So let’s flip through that day. Because it was the sixth time when APS welcomed app ecosystem professionals, the hosts knew exactly what is the right balance between feeding the information via workshops and keynotes and letting people have a conversation in between. Avoiding the risk of making this recap the next War and Piece, we’re going to cover APS highlights only.

Grow Your App With Content Marketing

Among many marketing channels, content marketing has a special place. It requires from you such qualities as being a good story teller, strategic thinking and yes – patience. As you can see on the shot below, Sandra Wu of Blinkist decided to let the great Master Yoda to prove the importance of patience himself. In a contrast with some other marketing channels, where you may expect immediate results, content marketing is a long run game. You need to define your KPIs in advance and stick to their measuring along your content marketing campaign journey to be efficient.

Also Sandra talked about several content distribution channels and Facebook, Taboola and Outbrain are the biggest among them. There is a mistake that many newbies do when they start writing and distributing articles about their apps – they don’t pay attention to how frequently people are exposed with their content and it triggers the opposite effect – people will run away from your app. The other good point was that a clickbate – should not be even close on your content marketing campaign agenda, make sure your articles title does reflect their topic, do not mislead your readers.

Finally – always remember that articles you write and publish are only the starting point for your potential app users, you need to have a clear but not pushing call-to-action ad the end of your article to guide them further to your app’s website or its App Store or Google Play page.

Grow Your App With Content Marketing keynote by Sandra Wu

Source: Artyom Dogtiev

Here is what Beverley Eve from TechMode had to say about Sandra’s keynote:

Next up was the first panel of the day with Ben Jeger, Managing Director Dach & Nordics, Appsflyer (Moderator), Mariya Katernyak, Mobile Marketing Lead, Goeuro, Lorenzo Rossi, Head Of Marketing, Free2Move, Max Varnalii, Digital Marketing Manager, Readdle, Maria Fossarello, Social Media And Search Channels Team Lead, Blablacar, Enric Pedro, CMO, Lab Cave, Moshi Blum, Head Of User Acquisition, Viber.

The  Growth  Panel: Finding High Growth App Channels In 2019

It was a live conversation with a bunch of topics floating around that touched upon what channels do work for the panelists and so they would suggest people to stick to these in this coming year. Some of the takeaways are scaling up marketing channels such as Facebook Ads may require hiring an agency that does have an expertise in increasing app install ad campaigns, as well as automation of your app marketing activities may help you to free up time for your team to brainstorm new ideas, improve your product. The other one was that increasing your revenue with an app’s existing user base is the way to go, because it’s much less expensive to retain your apps users and increase your revenue with them than finding new users.

One of the panelists raised an important point about Facebook ads, telling that there is a real danger of showing ads to Facebook users who have been using your app for a while already and hence the efficiency of your ad campaign will be low, meanwhile CPI quite high. On the other hand, if you create the right environment for your app when its users are invited to share their app using experience, you many end up with great ad campaigns launched by your app brand ambassadors for free.

The  Growth  Panel: Finding High Growth App Channels panel

Source: App Promotion Summit

Braavo, a company that funds app companies for growth, described the discussion that was taking place at the panel with the following:

The next highlight of the day was Dave Bell‘s, Co-Founder and CEO of Gummicube keynote.

Driving Growth With App Store Marketing

Like all speakers at the event, Dave had only 15 minutes to lay out the current state of App Store Optimization for the audience and show them what the landscape is. So he framed his keynote within the famous – The Good, Bad and Ugly meme to get his point across really nicely. Despite App Store Optimization has been among app marketers toolbox for a number of years, people still do this mistake of confusing SEO (stands for Search Engine Optimization) and ASO. So Dave made a case for how actually these two are different. In fact, in their structure, function and how people perceive them, both the App Store and Google Play marketplaces are closer to Amazon than to Google’s Search Engine.

Also Dave touched upon how important A/B testing is for ASO, it’s crucial to keep a close look at your app users seasonal behavior patterns and take it into account for its App Store Optimization. Recent huge changes in search results on both stores shouldn’t be overlooked either. An example of those would be Apple’s decision to include screenshots into search results. One metric from Dave Bell’s keynote that nailed ASO significance was this – 80% of the Apple Store users download apps come right from the search, without visiting an app’s page on the store.

App Store Marketing Practices – The Good, Bad And Ugly keynote by Dave Bell, Co-Founder & CEO of Gummicube

Source: Artyom Dogtiev

The next panel that lit up a great conversation on stage was dedicated to the ever green problem that all app marketers face – how to engage their app user base effectively.

The ❤️ Engagement ❤️ Panel: How To Create Great App User Experiences

The Heart emoji in the panel title speaks to the fact that to be efficient at engaging your app users, you need to think in terms of what emotions do your app marketing activities trigger? The other important thing to consider that was brought up by the panelists was this – as you’re crafting your engagement strategy, you need to realize that a healthy balance in messaging to your app users is just crucial. Do not bombard your app users base with messages, being guided by the principal – the more the better. Your app users will just leave.

It may sound as trivial and obvious to you, then kudos to you, but people still do mistakes with how they portray their app in ads and what message they should deliver to their potential users. On the same note, segmentation is paramount as well, make sure you split your ad campaign between distinct audiences with the right message for each. And on top of that, retargeting is a good way of reaching your future users but make sure you do not just copy+paste the same message fir every channel. That message won’t work.

Source: Artyom Dogtiev

Peggy Anne Salz caught this important tidbit from the panelists discussion:

One of the most attention grabbing and promising social media platforms of the last several years has been Snapchat. As fascinating and popular it is, many app marketers have a really hard time to wrap their head around of how exactly Snapchat can help them to connect their app with people. Timothy Armoo, CEO, FanBytes took the stage to explain exactly this.

Ethical Hacker’s Guide To Driving Downloads From Millennials

Tim began with giving the audience a promise that if he doesn’t manage to explain folks how Snapchat can be that thing to connect an app with Millennials and especially Gen Z, it will mean he’s wasted his time and he should fly back to London right after. To set the stage Tim talked a bit about himself and how he got into this business. Then he moved on right to the core question – how to use Snapchat to communicate with youth, when you need to introduce an app to them.

So at the core of Tim’s explanation was that to speak to Gen Z efficiently you need talk to them a language they will understand and, if you can pull this feat, think like they do. Yes – it is hard but this is the way. Think about it, if you can master this skill and begin using Snapchat efficiently, you can actually beat big guys on the market and dramatically decrease your Cost Per Acquisition, aka CPA.

One practical suggestion from Tim was – do your best to find the right part of your app using experience to resonate with your young audience, adjust the ad copy to focus on emotions. Think benefits, not features.

Timothy Armoo, CEO of FanBytes delivers “The Ethical Hacker’s Guide To Driving Downloads From Millennials” keynote

Source: Artyom Dogtiev

Judging by the round of applause, Tim did manage to deliver on his promise. He ended his keynote with three hacks for people to walk away with and the final one was this:

In the spirit of trying new formats and bringing fresh ideas on the table, this year APS got its first live podcast recording.

Mobile Growth Nightmares  – Live Podcast Recording

To make this never-tried-before in the history of APS event, Gessica Bicego, Director Of Performance Marketing, Blinkist, Andy Carvell, Partner & Co-Founder, Phiture, Jacques Frisch, Digital Marketing Director, Glovo and Lenette Yap, User Acquisition Manager, Wargaming took the stage. The topic for this episode of the Mobile Growth Nightmares podcast was app marketing and advertising mistakes. There is nothing more enticing and engaging than discussing mistakes others do and actually watch people acknowledge them right on the stage in front of others. Well, the premise did deliver and perhaps it was the most live, pun intended, discussion of the day.

Source: Artyom Dogtiev

This tweet from Beverley sums up that 30 minute discussion nicely:

When workshops were over and all speakers could finally start breathing freely again after delivering their keynotes it was time for the annual App Growth Awards.

App Growth Awards

It’s been three years since the App Growth Awards was launched and it became a part of the APS that consciously or subconsciously everybody are waiting for throughout the summit. It’s final accord that cheers up not only the winners but all attendees. Some of the winners for this year were Glispa that got Best Paid User Acquisition Campaign for NARCOS mobile game, Liftoff got the Best App Advertising Platform award, AppTweak grabbed the Best ASO Company award, you can find all winners here.

The best way to show you emotions of the winners, once they got the award, would be this shot from the one and only Gessica Bicego:

And this is how the App Promotion Summit Berlin 2018 looked like through the lens of its highlights.

Wrap up

If you want to get more color for the summit check out photos from the event on the App Promotion Summit Facebook page and check out hashtag #APSBerlin on Twitter. No matter how cool this year summit was there is always room to improve, see you next year to check the app industry barometer together again.

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