This is a guest opinion article written by Kobi Edelstein, VP of Advertising for Appnext.
Apps have come a long way in the last ten years. There is almost literally an app for every imaginable task or function, all accessible at the touch of an icon on our smartphone or computer home screen. From healthcare to shopping, food recipes to fitness regimes, we have apps that cater to all of our wishes and needs.
One of the fastest growing app markets is the dating market. The UK alone is said to have 1,400 dating apps and sites, and that number continues to rise. According to the Online Dating Association, between 25 and 40% of new relationships today start online. Tinder also claims that 91m people worldwide have downloaded the app hoping to swipe their way to true love. With these sort of numbers, it is no surprise that more developers are trying to get involved, but it’s very much easier said than done.
One of the main reasons many dating apps do not succeed is because they are created for money making rather than enhancing customer engagement and the user experience. Developers need to focus on who their core audience is — age, gender, online behaviour pattern and lifestyle. This will enable better communication and will also help with shaping which message should be conveyed. Addressing users with a carefully thought out message can have a great effect on conversion rates and the user experience. Without focussing on users and what they want, app developers and publishers will almost definitely be setting themselves up for disappointment.
Time targeting can also be very useful for driving engagement and downloads. Statistics suggest that most of the apps are downloaded in the evening — Android users are most active between 7pm and 10pm and iOS users from 6pm to 11.30pm. Most apps installed at this time belong to the lifestyle, shopping, strategy and casual gaming categories. This suggests that dating apps should be advertised around the times highlighted above, as they would be reaching the widest audience as well as fitting well with existing habits.
Developers should also invest some time in getting to know their competition. With the ever increasing range of options, it is easy for users to be confused about the differences of various apps. If developers can get a good understanding of what the competition offers, they can then focus on what differentiates their app from others and create messaging to highlight that. For example, eHarmony has been running a few ads highlighting the efficiency of their search algorithm over other platforms. This will give users with particular preferences a confidence in the app’s ability to match them with a suitable option.
Video ads are fast becoming an essential part of the app promotion and marketing package. Research from Trusted Media Trends suggests that video advertising is set to become planned for use in 2016. Research by VentureBeat also suggest that video ads deliver up to seven times the number of conversations than other ad formats. With these sort of numbers, developers would be doing themselves a favour by exploring the options available.
In an increasingly crowded market, developers of dating apps need to capitalise on the growing appetite for their product. This will only happen when emphasis is placed on getting to know the customer base and the wider market. This strategy will undoubtedly result in improved user retention, increased revenue and high engagement rates which will be a great reward for all the effort that goes into creating a great dating app.
By Kobi Edelstein
Edelstein is the VP of Advertising for Appnext. Appnext is a leading monetisation and app distribution platform, exclusively dedicated to building great mobile businesses by promoting apps.