Category Archives: App Marketing & PR

The Power of The Collective


The Collective

In the age of digital world big changes happen every day. But only some of them can really shake the market and set up the new rules of old game.

For this time such turning point in advertising industry was an announcement of first data-driven project called Collective. It’s was created by the initiative of a mobile ad attribution company Kochava that teamed up with four mobile ad networks including AdXcel, Altrooz, Appia and Liquid. The main questions are whether this association will bring Kochava a competitive advantage and how it will affect the current leaders such as Appsflyer, Tune and Adjust. It’s only a matter of time when a redistribution of market players’ forces will start.



Just imagine the scale: the participants of this joint project develop the largest Mobile Graph™ which helps advertisers precisely detect the needed custom audience and target it by multiple parameters seriously increasing the value of an ad impression. At the heart of this idea lays an audience API layer for the exchange of information between advertisers, publishers,  measurement partners and the Audience Manager. 

The Collective


But what about the data safety? Managing such amount of the information requires strong security system. Kochava affirms that to keep clients and measurement data secure and independent Audience API Layer technology, personally-identifiable information (PII) is closed for being shared by the Advertisers using the Collective.


The Device IDs doesn’t passed to the advertisers in any form, it rather uses its network connections for the recommendation of an ideal network to reach targeted audience members. With changing target criteria the recommendation will also changes.


Charles Manning, CEO, Kochava, explains: “Asking an advertiser to hand over their unique user data is akin to asking a professional sports team to hand over their playbook, along with notes on what’s working and what’s not, to their competitors. The Collective believes that the advertiser’s data is their data and we adhere to how the advertiser wants their data to be treated. At the same time, publishers want to make their audience data available to advertisers to enable better targeting, filtering and ad buying – at scale. We achieve both with the Collective.”


How it affects the other market players? Basically there are Facebook and Google and many other independent players.Talking about Facebook there are chances it may interpret the emerging of Collective as a competitive step from Kochava’s side and go on the offensive, crushing the foe as it has happened before with exclusion of Tune from its tracking partners.


VB reports that “the Collective has access to a massive network of ad networks and publishers — 1,400 of them — that Kochava has already integrated into its platform. This means there should be plenty of supply and a lot of demand”. So joining this network independent players receive a chance to target and acquire mobile users at scale and with a level of precision they’ve only dreamed of. 


But the question of price is still open and requires seeing the Mobile Graph™ in action to measure its effectiveness and understand the correlation between cost of acquisition and ad campaign scaling.   

ComboApp professionals will continue monitoring the mobile advertising market in order to keep abreast of this issue to recommend the best decisions for our clients. Stay tuned!

Anna Grabovska, Content Manager

Android App Developer? Benefit from Facebook App Install Ads!


Facebook App Installs Ad Campaign

Business Insider has recently shared amazing data on app-install ad market`s growth: according to BI Intelligence study, US mobile app install advertising revenue will reach $4.6 billion this year and grow to $6.8 billion by the end of 2019. 

App install ads, which accounted for about 30% of mobile ad revenue last year, gains popularity among all kind of app developers. With its 700 million daily users on mobile, Facebook proved to be an efficient app install ad platform with great targeting options and helpful analytic tools. 

Whether your Android app is a niche local online store, or wide-audience social network, Facebook app install ads (FAIA) can provide you with app installs, valuable usage data and user engagement. FAIA will genuinely convert social media traffic into app downloads by showing app`s ads in user newsfeed. In this article, we take a closer look at FAIA benefits for Android app developers.

1) Be as specific as you need with targeting

Everyone knows that Facebook owns the most comprehensive user data, which provides a new level of efficiency into targeting. Apart from standard (yet very accurate) targeting, like location, age, gender, Facebook collects information on user`s phone type, activities, installed apps, visited websites, social connections. FAIA has a unique targeting feature, called Lookalike Audiences, used for finding users with same parameters as your existing audience.

2) Control each step of your ad campaign

Facebook Ads dashboard provides you great visibility of ad campaign metrics and makes it possible to evaluate each funnel step even on the small budget level. There are several helpful metrics, apart from CPI: “Reach” (number of people who actually saw the ad, helps customize ad targeting), “CTR” (shows the efficiency of each ad type), “Frequency” (how often ad is shown to same user, 1-1.5 is a norm).

3) Find the best performing ad for your app

It`s always a good idea to test different creatives and copy when launching app install ad campaign – the difference in CTR can be as high as 20-40%. Facebook ads platform let advertisers segment their target audience and show specific ad for each segment, to find the best performing ad for each audience segment, like male-female or age groups.

4) Use advanced in-app activity analytics

Once FAIA generates an install, all user behavior inside your app can be traced back to a specific ad. Such insight, called App Events, is a part of Facebook SDK for Android and it’s incredibly valuable for understanding retention and lifetime value of each user. You’ll be able to find out data like average time between install and conversion and what kind of users makes more purchases. 

5) Consider App Engagement instead of Push Notifications

If you want to retain existing users in a more delicate manner than sending them push notifications, FAIA has a great tool to do this. With Engagement ad format, you can show your ad for users who have installed your app, have joined your page or attending one of your events. Facebook also provide deep linking option, when you can choose the specific app area to send users to, which is ideal for engagement of existing users.

Although mobile app-install ads cost more than standard Facebook ad units, they pay off with great performance and high ROI metrics. If you need professional advice to launch your first Facebook app install ad, or you want to develop a full-stack app marketing strategycontact ComboApp professionals.

ComboApp Team

The Ultimate App Promotion Source for Start-ups is Re-Shaped


New ComboStore Suggests Free App TestGood news for creative mobile app developers, indies and start-ups – they can promote apps with enhanced effectivity and convenience with the new ComboStore marketing solutions supermarket by ComboApp Group.
Apart of user-friendly redesign, the whole product was changed with a developer needs in mind. Focused mostly on start-ups, indie developers and small teams that are willing to get expertise and optimize their promotional budgets, ComboStore now includes ComboApp’s 5+ year experience in product consulting and promotion along with enhanced customizable toolset. Developers get both consultancy and guaranteed result for moderate budgets (around $500).
Customizability is one of the key features of the new ComboStore. Now it works as a personal promotion assistant with tailor-made approach to each and every app. Developers can choose and customize promotional channels, geolocations, social networks for best value for money match.
There is one great bonus for those developers who hesitate if they choose the right ways to promote their apps. It’s a simple testing tool called AppTester. After the developer answers a set of questions providing basic information on application, the testing tool suggests the optimal practical marketing tools to use. The recommendations are based on ComboApp vast app marketing experience, also free and could be used together with ComboStore solutions or independently.
The solutions include and are not limited to:


  • App store optimization tools
  • Media outreach solutions
  • Social media
  • Launch pack

How does it work in real life? Let us show!
There is a creative app developer that has up to 5 people in the team. They have combined designer and technical professionals in a start-up that aims to launch and promote a successful app to numerous targeted audience and spend the marketing funds wisely. Developer team knows what are their goals (installs, awareness, user acquisition, in-app monetization). But they are not sure what to do first.

The first step to take is to test the App by answering several important questions about it:


Then the professional recommendations appear as a Step number Two.


The developer can use it independently or proceed to the Third Step in order to choose services and fine-tune them to match their goals the best.


After services are chosen and the payment is completed, ComboStore starts working. In case the developer has an important question or there is a need to confirm terms or app details, a dedicated manager will contact the team in order to exceed expectations in delivering the result.
Re-shaped ComboStore is a win-win solution for growing ambitious app developers who make their first steps on the market and want to promote applications smoothly within chosen channels and geos.

ComboStore Team

A Competitive App Starts With Competitive Research


Competitive Analysis for Mobile AppsHow to be a Competitive App?
Start with Competitive Research!

We will show you the tools and tactics to analyze competitive environment to start your App marketing, understand your Apps advantages and fill the market with relevant messaging. Competitive analysis is an important step towards your App promotion success – and we will guide you through the actions leading to it.

Download Competitive Analysis for Mobile Apps presentation now! 
ComboApp Team



Top 5 tips to choosing a PR agency

 So you’ve decided that you need public relations,  but how do you get started? Below  we’ve created  a short list of how to choose the right PR agency  for your brand. Best of luck!



If you are going to read one thing in this article,  this is by far the most important tip. Many  companies fall for the names and prestige of large agencies without realizing the most  important thing is the people on your team. Large agencies will send their “All Star” team to win your account, especially for larger budgets, but you may find out after you give them your business that these people are nowhere to be found. Many will simply assign an intern or two and an account executive. Don’t be afraid to ask who will actually be your day-to-day contact and actually staffing your account. Don’t fall for the bait-and-switch that companies utilize to win your account, make sure the expert that is selling to you is the same one that is servicing your account.



There are many specialty PR agencies out there. For example, my agency, ComboApp, exclusively represents mobile apps. If you do construction, you’ve likely come to the wrong place. Find out what your choice agency does best. After years of working with multiple PR companies, I’ve found that agencies will claim that they are an expert in your business category and if they win your business, they will scramble to hire someone that backs their expert claims. This is not what you want. If you’ve come to the right agency with the right experience, they will already have the media contacts and tested strategies that have worked for similar clients. Not only will this benefit your results, it will also allow your new PR team to efficiently utilize your budget by utilizing their existing network.



If you are shopping around at a lot of agencies and receive one response that seems too good to be true. It is. At the end of the day any good agency will tell you exactly what you will receive depending on your budget. This is generally depending on the number of hours estimated to service your account. Going back to finding the right agency, when I’m setting budgets for app clients I’m able to offer a lot of service for very little cost because my team already has all the right established contacts. If the agency you use is starting from scratch with your account in an industry that they are not familiar with, expect less results for the same amount of money.



We are constantly approached with clients that have a budget to launch a campaign, but not one for sustainable growth. Beyond launching a product or service, you need to set a budget to keep your brand relevant. There are always journalists that may include your brand in a round-up article or even for a standalone beyond launch day. You want a team to keep pushing your brand beyond launch. Consider either dividing your budget for an ongoing campaign beyond launch day or setting up a budget to be on retainer. Most agencies are able to come up with creative ways to keep your brand in the news whether that involves reputation, thought leadership, milestone updates and the like.



Working for many different sized PR agencies, one thing I’ve noticed is that when there is a check dangling in front of an executive’s face, some will never say no. You want an agency to give you constructive criticism to ensure that you get the best results. When working with different apps, we are not afraid to tell an app creator that their product is not ready. Remember that our success is judged by your success and look at your agency as a business partner and not just someone that is pushing your product or service. I like to think of every one of my clients as if I am in their marketing department (and sometimes we are their marketing department). We want to be successful, but will not sacrifice transparency and honesty to make a buck, we’ll always be willing to work with the team to put out the best product and service possible.


I could go on-and-on, but these are the top-line tips for choosing an agency. Feel free to reach out with any questions. I can be reached directly at

Happy agency hunting!


Joseph W. Doran,

PR Manager at ComboApp


App Growth Metrics


Wearables Change Our Lives

Can you think of one universal aspect of every single app in the store? The answer to that question would be one word, growth. Whenever an app developer conceives an app idea he begins (or really should) to think about how the idea is going to grow and how to measure that growth.
I recently stumbled across John Egan’s post about how the Pinterest team measures its growth and I thought that this may be of interest to app developers as a good model to approximate their app. John has worked on the Pinterest growth team since 2013 and is responsible for the platform growth and engagement level increase. According to John, Pinterest has 27 metrics to measure its growth. Let’s take a look at these metrics below.




MAU stands for Monthly Active Users. These are the people who use your app regularly. These are the people you have created your app for. You aren’t in the mobile app business to get a minimal amount of downloads for your app and be happy with that number, you need regular users for your app. For Pinterest MAU, the metric splits into 6 different versions including general, forecast, by app, by gender, by country and accounting. The latest version is an extremely important one. It shows how different factors contribute to overall MAU growth. Essentially this metric will show what specific features help your app to grow and get more and more regular users.



Any app user goes through this first stage. The Pinterest team measures total sign ups, sign ups per app (iOS vs. Android), by referrals and several others that deal with the social sharing including invitations sent, unique invite senders, invite sign ups. As you can see, all these metrics show how well the system grows in terms of number of users. In regards to your app the analogs can be a number of new users, sign ups for a service you may offer inside your app for people to sign up, or any other actions you’re expecting your app users to take.



Pinterest is a big visual discovery, collection, and storage tool with more than 70 million users. Because of its scale there are some metrics that are specific to Pinterest but can still be applied to a broad range of mobile apps as well. Pinterest engineers measure a number of users who come back to Pinterest after a one week period, splitting this number by gender, site vs. mobile app, and the number of people who become MAU after being WAU (weekly active users).



To measure Pinterest engagement levels John suggests calculating ratios between DAU, WAU and MAU. All these ratios will give you a good picture of how well you manage to keep your app users engaged. If after several months of having your app on the market you see that the bulk of people who are active daily continue to be active weekly and then monthly, it means that you’re hitting a sweet spot with your app users but that is not a reason to relax and just enjoy the ride. People get bored, even with the most engaging apps. It’s human nature to crave for novelty. It was said many times before but I’m going to repeat it – having a roadmap of features for your app is a must. Keep delighting your app users in order to keep them constantly engaged.



This is an interesting word choice on behalf of Pinterest but it simply means that they measure how many people come back onto Pinterest after abandoning it for a while. I think this metric is universal and can be applied to any app category so you need to measure it.
All of the metrics listed above require user behavior SDK installation inside your app. Otherwise it is a blind-fly. To measure these crucial metrics for your app growth we suggest solutions like MixpanelLocalytics and GameAnalytics. If you have any questions about this topic, here at ComboApp we are always open to help. Send us a message via the contact form at httpss://

Build great apps and measure their growth intelligently!


Art Dogtiev,
Head of Branded Content

Twitter Expands Targeting Options with Apps


Twitter Expands Targeting Options with Apps

Twitter is now collecting data on apps that users have on their mobile devices in order to better target and tailor advertising and other content to them. Twitter is not the only player in this game. Facebook recently started to collect similar data, although only from apps that have its SDK.


Along with gaining appeal from its customers, Twitter is also striving to make advertisers more loyal, introducing new targeting options to meet their ever-growing granularity targeting appetites. Twitter is now letting app advertisers reach users based on the categories of apps already installed on their mobile devices. Advertisers can also combine the new feature with other targeting types such as keywords setting and choosing language and location of the targeted audience.


“One of the biggest priorities for mobile app marketers is to reach the people who are most likely to use and love their apps,” said Deepak Rao, product manager of revenue at Twitter, in a recent blog post. “With installed app category targeting, you can identify new audiences of high-quality users to target within your existing app category and in related app categories.”


For example, an advertiser that wants to drive installs for a cooking recipe app can select the Food & Drinks category to reach users who have recently installed similar apps. That same advertiser may know that the Food & Drinks app users also tend to use restaurant apps, so they can target the Travel category to connect with new people who are likely to be interested in their app. It is not always obvious to identify audiences more eager to use your app, but these hints may be useful in some cases.


Within the advertiser dashboard, Twitter is also releasing new reporting and analytics for installed app categories. The reports are available for all types of mobile app promotion campaigns, whether or not those campaigns used the new installed app category targeting feature.


The tracking program that consumers have on their mobile devices, Twitter started last year. Users who are not eager to take part in such a “tailored experience”, as Twitter calls it, can opt out of this feature. Twitter has promised not to keep records on user app data if they have previously opted out of “interest-based” ads.


Twitter said it only collects and updates the list of apps that users have installed, it does not collect in-app data. Besides optimizing its ad-targeting, Twitter uses collected data to improve “who to follow” suggestions on its service and to add Twitter accounts and other content to user timelines.


Oles Dzyub,
Branded Content Manager at ComboApp

The App Store’s Another Fight Against User Acquisition Black-Hat Strategies


Снимок экрана 2015-06-22 в 15.59.32

Apple recently made a number of changes to the way it features and organizes mobile apps in the iTunes App Store particularly aimed at the mobile game community.


This created significant buzz among industry insiders. Opinions from industry insiders, such as Oliver Kern, predict the close end of burst campaigns like Top 25, Top 5, etc. Is it an attempt for Apple to kill User Acquisition by removing burst campaigns or just a normal cleaning session from the App Store?


Apple has removed the possibility for games to surface among the featuring slots of a category page based only on data. Lists such as New, What’s Hot and All iPhone (Free & Paid) were changed by featured lists curated by Apple’s editorial team rather than algorithms in the same fashion as the main page.


These pages now have their own banner art at the top to better highlight the best new games within those sections. Within each subcategory page, consumers can browse editorial collections including Best New Games, All Time Greats, etc. Top charts such as Top Paid, Top Free and Top Grossing are still available.


This significant update is showing that Apple is moving from algorithmically generated sections increasing its focus on editorial content. This means that a fast rise in installs generated by burst campaigns or other user acquisition techniques will no longer automatically land your game on one of the featured categories as it would have in the past. If Apple staff judges the quality or relevance of your game to be lacking, based on their undisclosed internal list of criteria, your game will be weeded out of the selection no matter how many times it was downloaded today.


Essentially burst campaigns still work in the sense that their primary objective had been reaching Top charts. This is where burst campaigns can be sustained and scaled as an ingredient in a good marketing mix. What has disappeared is only the one-off effect of maybe getting featured in a category, which should always have been a secondary target given that there is a bit of luck involved. More importantly because this added bonus element has little impact on a sound, long-tail plan.


A burst campaign consists of acquiring cheap and low-quality users often from incentivized traffic sources in sufficient amounts within a short time frame (less than a day) so that the app will rise up on the App Store charts. When surfacing in the Top 10 or reaching the top of a category, the app will see an organic uplift that offsets the cost of buying poor traffic.


The best detailed resource about how such burst campaigns are executed in the app world is included in Eric Seufert’s “Trampoline Launch” slide deck. Although he is quoting that, there is no need for User Acquisition at all. “I don’t need to run mobile user acquisition. If I make a great game, it will grow on its own”. As a technique, User Acquisition has grown due to persistently rising competition, especially in the gaming category where the number of certain clones can reach hundreds. When Apple is clearly aiming to increase the quality of content, games and apps distributed on the App Store, cleaning out clones and artificially boosted apps, the User Acquisition technique will clearly decline.


Why is it only happening right now? Apple is searching to maintain its loyal end users. With more than 1 million apps on board it becomes a complex issue for end users to discern a worthy app from a clone app. Users have to dig through over dozens of referrals, review sites and social pages to gather user feedback in order to find the right app solving a particular issue. The App Store changed the algorithm to clear the ground from “weeds” and increase potential for high-quality apps to prosper.


It’s also a chance for smaller mobile app development companies publishing high-quality content to get noticed by Apple rather than compete in terms of budgets on burst campaigns with bigger publishers, which would be winners by default.


Here at ComboApp we are fully welcoming the fact that Apple is cleaning out “black hat techniques” and transitioning to transparency, measurability, scalability and productivity for developers while leaving behind costly and inefficient burst campaigns. This policy update is showcasing market development and maturity, which could not please us more.


The decline in using burst campaigns would probably be compensated by the growing demand for PR and Community building tools. ASO tools, including an icon, app description and keywords optimization, would probably attract more attention of developers. High quality design of promo screenshots, video previews media-kits and press releases would be the right assets to put more efforts on in order to get a featured position on the App Store.


The ComboApp team will help you to liaise effectively with the right media outlets and get you the right connections. The most important thing, however, is to build an app that is top quality. It doesn’t matter how much buzz there is or who you know at Apple, if your app is not an efficient, well-designed product that serves a genuine purpose it won’t get featured. If your startup has something that consumers will want or need and if you have designed it with love and care, then you stand a better chance of being recognized.


Oles Dzyub,

Branded Content Manager at ComboApp


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