In this Slideshare presentation, our CEO Ian Sefferman (@iseff) discusses how to use competitive intelligence to drive more downloads for your mobile application. App store optimization is a critical part of driving organic downloads, and competitive intelligence is a big part of improving your ASO.
Although everything he talks about can be done manually, he also references tools which you can use to expedite the process. The tools can be found here:
Ian SeffermanCEO, MobileDevHQWorked in mobile for 4.5 yearsApp Store Optimization startup, started over a year and a half ago. First one, learned lots, lots of competitive intelligence tools
What does CI tell us? How can we use competitor’s to make US better?CI drives downloads. It does so by making your marketing strategies better and making your product betterWe’ll discuss:Marketing: both organic and paid; figuring out the strategies they are using, and how to beat them. Reverse engineering.Product Development: finding the things you need the most, and the things you need the leastHow to find new competitorsI want to stress that CI is not the only way to come up with strategies or test or so on. It’s one strategy, a very good strategy, but of course you have to also think about your users, etc
First we’ll talk about organicOrganic is my wheelhouse, so this is where we’ll spend most of our timeOrganic is any of the free channels: app store optimization, social, etc.How does CI drive downloads via organic?
Let’s start with a quick background of ASO
Time and again, studies have shown that about 65% of consumers find apps through app store searchNielsen did a studyForrester did a studyThis is the single largest channel for app distribution, doesn’t count Top Charts, doesn’t count social, doesn’t count web search. This is within the app store.And, of course, just like web SEO, these are, by far, the most valuable users.
FYI: screenshots are from our product, no need to use itSo, how do we use CI to influence ASOReverse engineeringFirst, baseline – how are your competitors doing in important keywords?Remember: choose lots of keywords, but make them important; check in frequently to see changes; view lots of different regions to see where in the world they are being successful
How do you find new keywords?Search terms => keywordsHuge universe of search terms: what do they rank for?Where do they rank?Then split into words, build a model of the most frequent keywordsYou can then use these keywords to determine their strategy; and if you want to compete or avoid
Reviews are unique to the app storeCan not overstate their importance in CIIf you compile all the reviews of a competitor, you can start to decipher really great trends about the keywords and messaging that their users love to useYou can then use these keywords to beat your competitionStart by getting all the reviewsBreak them down by star rating. For good keywords, focus on 5 star; for bad, focus on 1 starThen start counting all the similar phrases: in this case ‘never run without’Great indication that ‘run’ should be a primary keyword
Release cycles tells you a lot about their strategy, especially as it relates to keywordsAre they releasing consistently? If not, probably not testing much. If they are, perhaps they’re testing keywords. Great way to see if you can find those changes, what they are, what they’re testing, how frequently they test. All great indications of how seriously they take ASO
Ban the word screenshots from your vocabulary; promotional graphicsAgain, great way to reverse engineer how seriously they take this and where you can beat themHow serious: are they just throwing random junk into their screenshots with an hour’s worth of thought? Or do they care lots?What messaging do they use when talking about features?
That’s a big overview of how CI drives downloads from organic.. What about paid?
You can often use performance in top charts to see paid Here you can see candy crush launched with some fanfare, but then quickly droppedThen, all of a sudden, it took offLikely this was the huge push for paid UA that King does: TV, video, text, bannerIn the trough, they figured out things like LTV, how much they could afford to spendThen they spent it
You can really begin to compare this to their Top Grossing performanceAre they “beating” their top charts performance? Here Candy Crush is 6 or so in top charts, but 1 in top grossing, so we know they’ve done a great job figuring ut monetization
Those are some ways CI drives downlaods through marketingHow can CI drive downloads through product strategy?
One of the best ways is to find features that users will loveEarlier we talked about review sleuthing your competitors for common messaging, and using that for your keywordsCan also learn a lot through review messaging for product strategyWhat are the common features people love? Again, separate star ratings, look for common messaging, but this time for features“Plan my day”Also, incredibly useful for finding features NOT to build with 1 star reviews
Lastly, how can we find new competitors in the app store to continue to refine our process and learn as much as possible?
First and foremost, it’s all about choosing the right section of the app store that you want to know if someone is aroundChoose the right top charts, choose the right search rankingsBuild a big list of these keywords and reports, and make sure you’re following them frequentlyYou want to know who is ranking for any of these terms, and when someone new comes aboutHere we can see Asphalt 8 came out on the 17th or so, and just skyrocketed. That’s a new competitor you might want to watch, and you might want to start doing the exact same CI on them that you’re doing for your other competitors
Of course, that’s a hugely time consuming process, so if you can come up with a way to be alerted to these new competitors, that’d be greatOne way is to try to automate it with some thresholds. In our product, that means having a “low rank”, meaning where did they start from, a “high rank” or where did they go to, and a report.When we see someone start below the low rank and end up above the high rank, we email you, and then you an check out that competitor.
So, the point I want to drive home is that Competitive Intelligence Drives DownloadsYou can use great competitive intelligence to your advantage for organic marketing, paid marketing, product strategy, and so onIt’s great for benchmarking your performance, great for helping to build strategy, and ultimately great for making the best app, the happiest customers, and the most revenue