Burst Campaigns for Mobile App Marketing

Ithai Eldan

Promoting a mobile app is no easy task, and it’s just getting harder every day. One of the most useful techniques in app marketing is the burst campaign. This method of user acquisition has become very popular in the past years, and with very good reasons.

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How Does a Burst Campaign Work?

The burst campaign is a process of aggressive media buying over a very short period of time (24-48 hours) aimed at exposing the app to the largest audience possible. So instead of spending the budget over a period of time, the burst campaign utilizes it to create the “burst effect”.

The Burst Campaign Effect

A burst campaign, unlike traditional app install ad campaigns, generates a large quantity of downloads in a short time. This affects not only the size of the user-base, but also the app rank in app store charts. Achieving a prominent spot in the download charts can significantly increase organic downloads, creating a chain reaction of downloads and users. Especially if the app is useful, relevant and well developed. But these aren’t the only reasons to launch a burst campaign for your app.

The main advantages of a burst campaign are:

  • Improved exposure in search results
  • Prominent placement in app store charts
  • Low CPIs
  • Sharp increase in organic downloads
  • Massive user-base growth

How Many Downloads Do I Need for The Burst Effect to Work?

The number of downloads needed to rank high enough in charts to get a surge in organic downloading varies between app stores, platforms, categories and locales. For example, in order to reach the charts in the US, you would need at least 120,000 downloads. However, this volume of paid downloads will yield about 60,000 organic downloads.

When Should I Launch a Burst Campaign?

One of the most important decisions when planning a burst campaign is timing. You might think that the best time for a burst campaign is the time an app is launched. This isn’t always true. Newly launched apps often encounter bugs and issues when exposed to a large and varied audience of users. In addition, having the chance to optimize the app store page for conversion before sending masses of traffic to it can make a huge difference.

For some apps, a burst campaign should be timed with events and seasonal rise in popularity of certain categories. For example, a gift list sharing app would do better if advertised around Christmas in the US and a vacation booking app will be more popular during local holiday seasons and the summer.

Don’t Stop at The Burst

Although burst campaigns are an effective method to market apps in highly competitive categories, it can’t be your only app promotion tool. It’s important to combine a long term user acquisition and retention strategies, along with app store optimization (ASO) efforts as well as a result-oriented media buying plan. And of course – optimize and refine your app and marketing strategy for the highest ROI.

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