How To Grow Product Awareness And Subscriptions In One Campaign

By Ran Milo

Your Fintech app needs to get on people’s radar, and it needs people to start using it. While these are two different goals, both can be accomplished using the same tactics. Sound impossible? And yet, this is a strategy other mobile app companies have been using for years.

Mobile game publishers were the pioneers in using a single campaign to achieve multiple performance objectives, and now you can apply the lessons they’ve learned to make an efficient-yet-productive debut on the social advertising scene for your app. Even though you’re marketing very different products, the playbook is remarkably similar.

Remember, game publishers need repeat usage over extended periods of time to generate revenue from their users, just like your app’s long-term value needs adoption and retention to meet its goals. The terminology may be a bit different, but the same dynamics are in play.

Ongoing deposits required

In the gaming industry, we’re talking about pay-to-play, where users need to keep making in-app purchases to “level up” or extend their playing time. For Fintech, you need your users to keep paying fees for the transactions and services you’re providing.

This steady stream of revenue is critical. Both types of apps can allow a limited amount of “free play”—such as providing limited financial advice, curated content or some free initial usage—but they can only survive and achieve profitability when a large chunk of users begin paying for premium services on a regular basis.

Build loyalty in a competitive marketplace

Search the app store, and a gamer will find thousands of options in every category, with many games seeming nearly identical to each other at first glance. In today’s marketplace, there are simply too many similar and copycat products out there. Too much competition make it a challenge to get paying app users organically.

That’s why the most successful app brands are investing in paid marketing that scales and helps them get through the noise of organic results.

Paid marketing raises your brand above the noise and gets it on a customer’s radar. And if done right, return a positive ROI based on a user LTV, while you are at. It also gives you a chance to highlight the key differentiators your product has to offer, separating you from the rest.

But the battle for brand awareness doesn’t end when you convince someone to tap the download button. Successful games and Fintech apps require their customers to keep opening it on a regular basis, and marketing campaigns that reinforce the value your app offers are critical to staying on top of mind.

A picture tells a thousand words, so use more than one

For a campaign that is trying to achieve more than one objective (building awareness to drive downloads and maintaining mindshare to reinforce usage), an ad format that provides multiple visuals is key to leveraging the same campaign for several purposes. Facebook’s carousel format is the perfect fit for this type of campaign.

In the carousel format, social media users will see one image and the accompanying text, as well as the hint of additional images inviting them to swipe and see more. This horizontal scrolling experience through up to five images lets them engage with the ad and learn more, while your campaign gets to tell a story right within a single ad slot.

Gaming mobile marketers love this format and usually show a title, some examples of gameplay experience and alluring rewards. Fintech app marketers can tell a story of their app use case by showing what others do (contemplating a loan, getting a subscription to be ahead in decision making) and closing with an outcome otherwise impossible without an app.

Such outcomes could vary from a big purchase with smart savings or a change in how the end user does his or her job. Fun examples include buying a car or refinancing their house for renovations—with the app featured prominently, of course—or highlighting multiple satisfied customers. These mini-narratives give potential users and recent adopters a peek at the full experience in a practical and real-world setting.

Other carousel ad format techniques focus on literally spelling out the value proposition with multiple static image creatives since it’s nearly impossible to fit everything into a single frame of a static Facebook ad.

And Facebook’s carousel format isn’t just a gimmick. Studies have shown that they are ten times as effective as regular ad formats when it comes to driving clicks and that they’re lowering the cost of conversion by 30-50%.

These are not metrics you are looking for

When you’re buying advertising, more eyeballs is generally a good thing—that’s why it costs more to advertise during the Super Bowl than during a preseason game. But to build sustained usage from high-lifetime-value customers, it’s really about getting in front of the right app users.

That’s why you need to set KPIs that lead to the continuous usage you’re craving and target and measure your ad buys accordingly. For example, GetStocks used Bidalgo to drive usage of their platform, which is specifically targeting heavy social media users to engage in the stock market by following high-performance investors.

Therefore they were limiting their ad buys to adventurous, ambitious and motivated young people, which is a more expensive subset of users to reach. But the quality of that ad buy is worth the premium since it’s reaching the right target audience.

Beyond simply targeting the right folks, the objectives of ad buys for sustained usage goes beyond just clicks. In fact, if you’re trying to drive usage from existing customers, a click can be a worthless metric. That’s why you need to measure what you do value, whether it’s brand awareness, increased transactions or longer app usage time.

Diving into AEO

AEO—App Event Optimization—isn’t just another TLA (Three Letter Acronym), it’s how to marry your advertising to your objectives after you’ve gotten users past the initial hurdle of downloading your app. With this feature of the Facebook advertising suite, campaigns can now target a specific desired behavior within their app!

Facebook ads can now be targeted to reach people that are most likely to register a credit card, make a transaction, sign up for a subscription… whatever action you’re looking for that drives real revenue and gets customers hooked on your app.

You know your app and what makes your users tick, which also means you might be aware that, for example, once a user enables location-based notifications their usage increases 60%. Now you can target campaigns specifically for that behavior, so they reach the ideal users at the times when they are most likely to respond to that feature.

Committing your ad budget to achieve these goals means you can draw a direct line from making an ad buy to the LTV-increasing activity. And while this might feel like an overwhelming technical challenge, it’s built right into the Bidalgo platform to make it an easy when creating your campaigns.

If at first, you don’t succeed, try again

We live in a distracting world, and it’s all too easy for someone using an app to receive a call, reach their subway stop or realize they’re late for a meeting. These abandonments of your app have nothing to do with user experience. Given the out-of-sight, out-of-mind world we live in, it is very common that your potential power user might forget to pick up where they left off anytime soon.

That’s where retargeting comes in. It can remind your users to complete that task, use your app again and become a dedicated frequent user. A ComScore study showed that 26% of users completed a transaction after seeing a retargeting ad.

With retargeting, your ads will reach users that have already performed a specific action but haven’t completed another. So whether it’s adding something to their cart but not checking out or requesting a credit score but not applying for a loan, you know there was an interest, but they haven’t pulled the desired trigger you’re looking for.

Now you have the opportunity to deliver an additional message, specifically tailored to the stage where they left off. Identifying the key abandonment points in your user experience and tailoring optimal re-engagement messaging (from special offers to reassuring case studies) can take your best prospects and push them over the line into regular users.

Fintech is an especially good use case for retargeting, as there is often a lot of education required to get users comfortable with apps that touch their money. They might have gotten scared off or confused by something, so retargeting ads based on such abandonment points are an opportunity to provide more information and address their fears.

And since retargeting is personalized (you already know who they are and what they were doing), you can make ad creative easy to relate and respond to. Use demographic info combined with the context of user last actions in your app to deliver creative that connects to each persona.

Sometimes it takes multiple views for your retargeting ads to see a return to your service, so you don’t want to be on the stingy side and only allocate an impression or two per user. At the same time, you want to be sure your retargeting campaign stops being delivered to users once they complete the targeted task, so you’re not throwing away unneeded impressions.

Do it right or don’t do it at all

Social media advertising for Fintech apps requires a level of professionalism and sophistication that some other verticals can ignore.

While a video game or photo app doesn’t cost a user much more than the time they spend in it, with personal finance or fintech apps you’re asking users to trust you with their money.

When apps are connecting their credit cards, bank accounts, trading portfolios or mediate consumer loans, users are a lot more discerning in who they trust, and your creative must match their expectations.


Here are seven tips for crafting a Fintech app campaign that wins users over:


1  Invest in high-quality images

Don’t just Google Image search and grab a random shot, purchase a professional, high-resolution image you can edit and perfect. It might sound time-consuming, but the right shot should capture your brand’s aesthetics and values. If you’ve got the budget, you can even commission your own photo shoots.


2 Create a recurring character

If your campaign is going to tell a story visually, you need the same person in every chapter. It doesn’t have to be a spokesperson (or “spokescreature” like a gnome or gecko), but rather a relatable customer stand-in that appears throughout the campaign.


3 Come up with a sticky slogan

Every app developer thinks their app is awesome for twelve different reasons, but you don’t have enough room on the screen (or attention from potential users) to tell them a dozen things in one go.

Find a short, punchy statement that applies to everything you do and isn’t out of place in any particular ad or value proposition. Take Visa’s examples of “It’s everywhere you want to be” or Capital One’s “What’s in your wallet. If you are in the US, you know you’ve seen those ads and can recognize the brand.


4 Make them laugh

Even though finances are serious business, there’s no reason to shy away from humor (if it’s legitimately funny). TransferWise has generated a lot of buzz (and probably made a few enemies) with their series of campaigns attacking the traditional banking industry’s fee-heavy ways.


5 Do your data homework

AEO is a huge opportunity for Fintech apps, but you shouldn’t just use hunches and guesses to identify which actions are key to converting a trier to a repeat buyer. Set your big data nerd army loose and let them figure out which actions are truly the moments of truth for your different customer personas.


6 Invest in swift execution

You’ve got an arsenal at your disposal when it comes to AEO and retargeting for which the marketers of a decade ago would have killed to have. See a few tips on the media strategy here. Tweak your campaign delivery timing to deliver those follow-on ads while your users are still primed to be open to your app.


7  Spend money to make money

There’s nothing that gets someone to try something than an incentive. In most cases, that means a free trial or some other offer to get them over the hump (make them use the key features of your app that lead to prolonged use). Test and experiment different offer values and messaging to see which campaigns drive trial and adoption.

So, while Fintech may not be all fun and games, mobile marketers for such apps can learn a lot from gaming peers, who tested a number of ways to build addictive behaviors for players to play and play.

Published on February 23, 2017
Written by
Ran Milo

VP Marketing @ Bidalgo.

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