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Top User Acquisition and Monetization Tips From 2022

By Ruoji Tang | December 12, 2022

2022 has been a turbulent year for the mobile app industry. As an industry, we’re facing new challenges from a looming recession to ever-evolving privacy initiatives. Fortunately, marketers and publishers have also developed fresh strategies to meet these challenges. 

Whether you’re an app publisher or a UA specialist, here are a few valuable lessons from our Mobile Heroes to set you up for success in the new year. 

User Acquisition Tips 

Expand your media mix to tap into your target audience. >>

Katarzyna Marques David, Product Marketing Manager from Huuuge Games, reminds us: “It’s risky to base your marketing strategy on only one or two media partners. The key to a good UA strategy is a variety of media mixes.​​ Once learning completes and performance stabilizes, add more media sources—rewarded networks, DSPs, influencer marketing, incentives and direct. Test your new solutions to scale your mobile game successfully, and optimize for retention or ROAS depending on your monetization strategy.”

You can read more tips from Katarzyna about launching your app here

When diversifying your media mix, learn what each channel has to offer. >>

Agustin Ochoa, Senior Performance Manager at Winclap, breaks it down this way: “Each media presents different LTV curves and different performances on Android and iOS. While Google Ads performs very well on Android, it tends not to serve as well on iOS. On the other hand, Meta can sometimes perform well on iOS, not Android. Seek to first understand where your target users are and what technology each partner offers. When we talk about big budgets, we can’t leave out TikTok, Twitter, Snap, or programmatic networks. Working with mobile phone manufacturers is also interesting and new media sources are constantly appearing with unique value propositions.”

Read more from Agustin on diversifying your UA strategy

Level up your Apple search ads strategy. >> 

Radostina Zhekova, UA Manager at Jam City (previously at Voodoo) writes: “Apple Search Ads is a powerful channel. But the real question is—how do you optimize for search intent? Switching to multiple ad groups can help organize keywords more effectively. Start with several ad groups arranged around one main keyword. Once you identify the more successful ad groups, you can use them to guide your focus.” 

For a more detailed breakdown of keyword research, structuring your campaigns, and grouping your keywords to optimize performance, consult Radostina’s Apple Search Ads: Beyond the Best Practices.  

When automating your UA processes, think about scale and long-term impact. >> 

Yann Fasbender, Global Mobile User Acquisition Lead at Canva, recommends: “Use frameworks such as RICE (Reach, Impact, Confidence and Effort) to prioritize what needs to be automated and its potential impact. Always evaluate the longevity of specific automations and future maintenance requirements. Automation is rarely complete, and it will almost always require further automation. Assess the timing of implementation based on immediate needs, upcoming initiatives, and short-term vs. long-term impact.”

Learn more about scaling your global app from Yann’s Guide to Automating Your Mobile UA Initiatives.

Add casual games to your games portfolio to create sustainable growth. >> 

Mert Ersöz, Head of Marketing at MagicLab, points out: “Hypercasual games yield high short-term profitability. By contrast, casual games usually aren’t profitable in the short term, but they aim to achieve higher returns in the long term by designing a game that hooks and engages its users for years. As a result, casual games can create more sustainable growth because the genre has a higher financial entry barrier but higher revenue opportunities in the long haul.”  

Read more from Mert about the benefits of adding casual games to your hypercasual studio here

App Monetization Tips

Build up your ad infrastructure to support your global app. >>

Daniel Kenny-Godoy, responsible for Programmatic Monetization and Ad Ops at Wattpad, advises: “For apps with a large percentage of international traffic, default dashboards won’t provide enough information. When architecting ad-serving infrastructure, start by asking the right business and technical questions. Use consistent ad unit/campaign naming conventions and develop scalable reporting processes. This helps to analyze the state of the business based on the right dimensions. It also saves time cleaning up reports and adds more ‘thoughtful’ complexity to our systems over time.” 

Learn more about monetizing your global app with Daniel’s ​3-Part recipe.

Make ad monetization an organic part of the gaming experience. >>

Amy Huang, CEO of Mattel163, shares her perspective:Hybrid ad monetization is not only a trend in mobile games but also a proven business model. When Mattel163’s team started to develop mobile games, we developed the blended monetization strategy with in-app purchases (IAP) and In-app advertising (IAA). Monetization is fully integrated with the gameplay, designed into the economy and live ops events. We continuously AB test and optimize, keeping the player experience in balance. It’s always important to focus on players’ interests and provide a smooth yet fresh in-game experience.” 

Learn more about adapting gaming IPs to mobile and developing a successful app monetization strategy from Amy. 

Understanding your audience is key to scaling ad monetization. >>

Dave Edwards, SVP of Revenue at Audiomack, breaks down the benefits of audience segmentation: “For our app, collecting first-party age data has had a significant impact on our ability to understand our users and to monetize. Over 90% of our users are between the ages of 18-34, with Gen-Z (18-24) ranking higher than any other age group. For Gen-Z, research has shown that interactivity is key, so we leaned into interactive audio and fullscreen formats. Here’s our takeaway: when deciding on an ad format, the medium of your app (audio streaming in our case) is less important to a thriving monetization stack than understanding your key user demographic.” 

Read more from Dave on segmenting and leveraging your audience.

If you segment your audience well, minor changes can have an outsized impact. >>

Geoff Hladik, Head of Monetization and Growth at FlipaClip, points out: “In many cases, there is low-hanging fruit everywhere for improving user experience, MAUs and revenue. In most cases, we can spot opportunities in core KPIs (ARPDAU, LTV, retention) ahead of time by analyzing key event-driven KPIs which improve engagement. Conversely, we can spot a fatal flaw in a monetization feature rollout that may check all initial boxes. There might be something deadly under the hood that’s impacting a small segment of critical users.” 

Learn how to segment your audience and improve KPIs by reading more from Geoff. 

Know your role in the digital advertising supply chain—and what sets your inventory apart. >>

Brian Truman, VP of Production, Web3, at Scopely (previously at GSN Games), advises: “As a publisher, you supply ad impressions, and it’s essential to know what can increase the demand for your ad impressions. With new technical and privacy-driven changes, you will need new methods to discover, value, and target ad inventory. Update your app with the latest SDKs to support the most popular methods. Optimizing the placement and timing of your ads also improves ad performance. When marketers see the results, they will increase the demand for your inventory over other apps.” 

Read Brian’s tips on How To Future Proof Your Career in Ad Monetization

When optimizing your waterfalls, study ARPDEU—not just ARPDAU. >>

Gabby Bradford Pigott, VP of Partnerships at Candywriter, observes: “I typically see studios only studying average revenue per daily active user (ARPDAU) instead of average revenue per daily engaged user or daily ad viewer (ARPDEU/ARPDAV). While ARPDAU examines your entire user base, ARPDEU focuses explicitly on users who see ads and tracks how these users engage with that experience. Some thoughts to consider: As you optimize, is ARPDEU increasing along with your ad revenue? What ad network has the highest ARPDEU and is driving the largest share of the wallet? Can you add more line items from that network?” 

Learn more about managing waterfalls from Gabby.  

That’s all for our 2022 tips—but there are a lot more insights from our Mobile Heroes. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest Mobile Heroes insights as they happen.