When it comes to the mobile affiliate market, areas such as travel, finance, and retail are still in the early stages. However, cost-per-install (CPI) advertising has proved to be a huge growth opportunity across many industries, giving rise to powerhouse CPI affiliate networks and making hundreds of individual affiliates extremely successful.
In a CPI campaign, publishers place digital ads across a range of media in an effort to drive installations of an advertised app. The advertiser is charged only when the app is installed by users, hence the model name, cost-per-install. In the affiliate channel, the average cost-per-install for quality leads (customers who would be most likely to be engaged with the brand in app) now starts at $3. Leading CPI affiliate networks are generating millions of monthly installs, making this an increasingly lucrative market for advertisers.
The Benefits to Brands
If you are aiming to increase your rank in the mobile app store organically, push app revenue, drive brand awareness, or increase app download volume, CPI campaigns are a great option. Here are a few major benefits of leveraging these low-risk and high-flexibility campaigns within affiliate:
Increased brand awareness and new customer acquisition
CPI campaigns promote a larger volume of downloads, which leads to increased category rank in mobile app stores and encourages organic installs. This is not only great for brand awareness, but is also a competitive play, as consumers are more likely to download a higher ranked app. Furthermore, mobile app ads can be advertised inside other apps and on mobile websites, which can then be served to your target audience. It’s a smart move to acquire new customers who have a higher probability of converting.
Specific targeting for Android and Apple device users
CPI advertising drives users to either the App Store or Google Play, depending on which device they're using. This ensures a flawless customer experience when downloading and interacting with your mobile app.
Optimization based on the quality of installs
With post-install tracking, advertisers have the ability to evaluate the campaign’s performance on a granular level, focusing on quality. How many customers who installed the app actually convert? How many times do they open and interact with the app? What are the highest quality media sources and how can we optimize in those areas? These are questions that post-install tracking can help answer. Plus, they provide valuable feedback to the app developers, helping brands continue to improve the in-app experience and ultimately lead to more sales.
Ability to set your cost-per-install and volume based on budget
A CPI campaign can be tailored to an advertiser’s goals by adjusting targeting around audience, publisher sites, and location. For example, if you have a $10K budget, you can set the CPI at a $2 cost-per-install (lower quality installs) to receive 5,000 installs. Or, you can set the CPI to $5 (higher quality installs from customers who are more likely to convert) to receive only 2,000 installs.
Before launching your CPI campaign, it’s important to set up mobile app conversion tracking for both Android and iOS, establish network and direct buy campaigns, and set proper targeting (i.g. geo targeting).
One of the keys to success following launch is monitoring performance during the initial budget/volume trials. Once a sufficient amount of data is collected, brands can examine those numbers and explore strategies for optimizing the campaign. This may include adjusting the CPI, offer, media partners, target audience, goal, and/or volume.
An excellent way to evaluate a CPI campaign is to gather enough information to create a database of the installs and determine the average Lifetime Value (LTV) of the CPI customers. This creates a compromise between traffic volume and risk, helping you understand your most valuable customers and focus on relevant traffic sources.
Keeping Users Engaged
Your job’s not finished once users have downloaded your app. Retaining your customers is as important as receiving an initial download. Keep a variety of potential campaign ideas in mind for retention. These may include launching mobile in-app campaigns that incentivize users to make in-app purchases, or frequently updating and innovating within your app to keep it top of mind with consumers.
To receive more information about trending topics in digital media, sign up for our monthly newsletter.