How to take over the app store in 48 Hours with a burst campaign

Gilad Bechar
Gilad Bechar 09 July 2015
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The post was originally published on The Next web 

It’s obvious enough that a newly launched app can’t really take off on its own – vast marketing efforts are vital to accomplishing any kind of exposure and acquiring an initial user base. After launching their app, marketers often watch eagerly and anxiously as the first users pile on. However, in many cases early-stage apps take a long time to develop an active user ecosystem, and in most cases fail to do so.

It’s important to remember that the launch period of an app is a critical time for marketing since it’s an opportunity to be spotted as a hot new product. Many companies launch an app without the appropriate marketing efforts and end up regretting it after realizing the opportunity that escaped from them.

So app marketers – stop anxiously waiting for a miracle to happen and pursue the results yourselves! How do you launch with-a-bang and attract a maximum amount of users in a minimal amount of time?

The answer is “burst campaign.” Taking aggressive marketing measures using a relatively high budget in a time span of 48 hours in order to achieve visibility, increase organic download volumes, reach high app store rankings, and go viral.

But first, let’s put things in context. In order to reach the app store’s top charts, an app needs to be one of the most downloaded apps in a certain country on a specific day. The exact figure varies from country to country, depending on the number of mobile devices used by its population as well as the total amount of daily downloads in the country’s app store on that day. Achieving such a high volume of downloads in a single day as a newly-launched app is extremely challenging and nearly impossible.

Most of you must be thinking it’s completely reckless to go through so much of a company’s budget after just launching an app, however, it’s worth the risk. Choosing the right launch strategy can make or break your app, so instead of thinking of this as a one-time splurge, consider it a long-term investment. Acquiring a large amount of organic users right in the beginning is only a launchpad for more and more to come.

I’d like to use an example from my own experience working with Pfizer. The company set out to launch an app that aims to educate the market about its solution for Growth Hormone Deficiency in children, which enables parents to track their children’s development. Pfizer’s main goal was to promote the app to a prominent spot in the app store.

Our main goal was for the app to reach a prominent spot in the app store while attracting as many parents as possible to it. We starting by rolling out a highly targeted mobile campaign that lasted two days and ran on various social, RTBs and ad networks.

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Within 48 hours, Pfizer Reached the App Store’s Top 3 most downloaded apps, thus increasing organic download rates and lowering CPI. The average CPI during the campaign period was half of the average cost in the market. Our most outstanding accomplishment however, was attracting quality users, ten of thousands of parents that used the app and remained active for a long period of time.

So how’s it really done? Let me break it down for you:

What to Do

Concentrate your efforts on a short period of time for an aggressive marketing campaign and focus on the following steps:

Media Buying

  • Run campaigns across as many ad networks, RTBs, exchanges and major social platforms as possible. The goal is to reach as many users as possible, and therefore maximizing your sources can be instrumental in reaching that goal.
  • Do not opt for incentivized platforms or bots as it’s against Google Play and Apple policy and compromises the quality of users. It might seem tempting but make an effort to refrain from incentivized platforms, as they won’t earn you engaged and active, loyal users.
  • Check the price of each offering and choose the cheaper kinds in order to maximize your budget. As mentioned earlier, the goal here is to purchase media from as many sources as possible, and if you opt for the more expensive ones you’ll simply run through your budget quicker.


  • Check your results in real time, ideally once every hour. Since the campaign runs for a relatively short period of time, it’s important to check in as frequently as possible to make sure you’re heading in the right direction.
  • Optimize your campaign results according to the data you receive. Checking your campaign results regularly allows you to catch problems and deal with them immediately.
  • Once you’ve reached the App Store’s Top Ten, continue purchasing downloads until your budget runs out in order to stay in the top ranking for as long as possible.

What to Expect

  • A high App Store ranking
  • A dramatic boost in organic downloads as a direct result of a high placement in the App Store’s top ranked apps
  • A significantly lower CPI as a result of the massive amount of organic downloads
  • An established user base

As you’ve probably noticed, the actual process is more complex than it seems. Most global brands and startups don’t have an experienced team of media buyers and creative professionals who are able to deliver top level results. Achieving outstanding results requires an outstanding team, and therefore my last suggestion would be to spot a trusted partner to work with that’s able to perform to that level on mobile.

Gilad Bechar
Gilad Bechar
Gilad Bechar is the Founder & CEO of Moburst. Gilad serves as a mentor to rising startups at Microsoft Accelerator, The Technion, Tel-Aviv University, Unit 8200 and for strategic Moburst clients, and is the Academic Director of the Mobile Marketing and New-Media course at Tel-Aviv University.
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