Mobile Heroes channels guide

The Best of Mobile Heroes: Marketing Channel Guide

By James Haslam | October 19, 2020

There’s more to marketing than the duopoly. As a greater share of brands move away from the mainstays of Google and Facebook, viable alternatives exist that could give you more bang for your buck. Influencer marketing is a typical example, rising to become a vital component of app marketing. Elsewhere, new channels are bubbling up—30% of users want to see user-generated content and submit their own. Being able to curate and promote users is now one of many hats a marketer has to wear to stay relevant with their user base.

In this edition of The Best of Mobile Heroes, we’ve put together top advice from Liftoff’s Mobile Heroes to deliver the key learnings from some of the most experienced mobile marketers out there on the marketing channels that deliver. Looking to diversify? This post has you covered on influencer marketing, user-submitted content, and where you should be looking to next.

Expanding Your Network

The big question for Melissa Lertsmitivanta, Marketing Director at, is: “what traffic sources should I consider testing outside Google, Facebook, or Apple Search Ads?”

To answer, Melissa hits on five different areas of inspiration: preload campaigns, immersive ad units, podcast ads and programmatic, but the area to focus on first is key partnerships.

“Finding key partners, affiliates, and direct deals that cater to niche audiences may prove fruitful,” says Melissa. The first step is to set aside a small portion of your campaign spend to use for experimentation. This needn’t be expensive: “setting aside even 5% of the budget for testing new initiatives, new channels and ad formats can be very fruitful.”

Step two involves goal setting: make sure there’s something you want to get out of the test before you spend. “Not all initiatives will drive bottom-funnel metrics,” Melissa points out, “rather, some will be best suited for driving top or mid-funnel activities, like growing new audiences or increasing engagement.” Any initiative requires awareness of the market, so “be sure to stay on top of trends and look into what makes the most sense to test early on.”

The third step? “Build a pipeline of opportunities matched with a budget and scheduled launch dates,” says Melissa. “Not everything you test will work, so be prepared to pull the plug. With even a few wins, you may discover new areas of opportunity to drive growth of your app.”

For more of Melissa’s advice, read up on her Mobile Heroes blog.

Running a Successful Influencer Program

Just like the influencers themselves, influencer marketing is all the rage. According to Natasha Upal, VP of Growth at Clover Inc., “influencer marketing can be an important part of your mix, allowing you to tell your story in ways that even the best creative teams couldn’t dream up.” If that sounds enticing, Natasha nailed the ways to maximize this channel with a clear influencer strategy. Summarizing the full influencer guide is difficult, but here are Natasha’s key points: 

  1. Start with your audience: Like many just starting out with influencer marketing, Natasha started “working with influencers for a while but were limited in scope and not getting much organic uplift.” The team knew they needed to build their brand image while driving downloads. So, they researched their target audience to understand aspirations, passions and media consumption patterns. “Unsurprisingly, we found that novel and authentic content converts more, but that we also needed to broaden our reach to many different categories.”
  2. Pick your platform and your budget: Next up, you need to find the right platform. “Instagram is good for direct app downloads. YouTube gears well towards brand awareness while platforms like TikTok lend to novel content.” That will also define the influencers you can work with. On compensation, you’ll likely take that portion of experimental spend outlined earlier and see what you can do. For an alternative way to pay, Natasha advises brands to think about a bonus scheme to maximize a constrained budget: “If increasing brand awareness is a key metric, work out your ideal CPM. If downloads are critical, think in terms of target CPIs.”
  3. Dealing with influencers: When employing influencers, Natasha advises focusing on simplicity. For example, when creating a contract to finalize your agreement, don’t make it too wordy, “many influencers are young or inexperienced and long-winded paragraphs in small type font will scare them off!” Focus on the necessities, such as conditions of payment (as in, what an influencer must include in their work to receive payment), the approval process, and how to terminate if the engagement isn’t working out.

Want to find out the next steps to influencer marketing greatness? Read Natasha’s full post.

User-Generated Content and You

Moving beyond the influencers to new frontiers of content creation—it’s your users that can make the biggest difference. Just ask Jade Worobec, Head of Performance Marketing at The Meet Group, who drove the conversation over user-generated content, or UGC. 

“By tapping into content,” Jade says, “you can establish a steady flow of content that resonates with your target audience, promotes authenticity, and translates into high performing ads.” For Dating apps, users also help improve ads themselves. “Liftoff helped run a series of A/B tests where we featured a photo of an actual MeetMe user versus a stock image. The actual user outperformed the stock image in every test, with higher CTRs and lower CPAs.”

But getting your hands on user-generated content isn’t easy—and lazy campaigns can sometimes run the risk of getting trolled. So, as Jade notes, “find your highly engaged and immersed users, and cultivate the relationship by reaching out and showing your appreciation.”

Jade also shares a couple of guidelines for brands to follow:

  • Usage Rights Policy: Get help from your legal team to define ownership of the content, places where the content can be used, and consent for multiple uses. This can be the most time-consuming part of the process, but it is worth establishing at the outset.
  • Content Guidelines: Clearly communicate what you expect your users to share. Include examples to inspire them, and don’t be afraid to be specific. This saves time in the long run, as you know the content will be on brand when submitted.

Learn more about user-generated content in Jade’s post.

That’s a wrap on this edition of Mobile Heroes Best Of’s. Next week we’re deep diving with a trio of anti-ad-fraud fighters, so keep your eyes on the blog or sign up to our mailing list above. You can also catch up on our recently published stories too, click here for user acquisition strategies, and here for tips on how to launch successfully. For all the stories and more, take a look at our Mobile Heroes website.