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Nov 28, 2017

Zorka.Mobi Case Study: Promoting Smart Search Mobile Browser with Influencer Marketing

Maksim Ivin, Business Development Director at Zorka.Mobi, shares his experience on how to pick the right influencers and get the best performance with a $10,000 budget.

1. Why influencers?

In 2017, almost all Russian mobile marketers learned the term “influencer marketing”. It means advertising with influencers like video bloggers and bloggers and promoting on platforms with various content formats: YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Twitch etc.

Influencer marketing is a relatively new way to acquire new users, which can be very powerful, when traditional CPI/CPA traffic sources like myTarget, Facebook, or Google show low performance or just burn out.

The main advantage of influencer marketing is that influencers present a product, app, or game to already loyal audiences. People are more likely to trust this information, as they tend to follow recommendations from the people they know. Additionally, this format makes it easier to tell users about products with complex features or unique gameplay.

For example, here is YouTube usage statistics in Russia:

2. Challenge and budget

Smart Search is a mobile browser, where you can search for information in various sources like Google, Yandex, YouTube, Wikipedia, etc., and quickly switch between search engines to compare results.

At first glance, this is a highly competitive market with many big players like Chrome, Yandex.Browser, and Opera. We needed to use a creative approach to reach the target audience to convey the app’s USP, get the highest amount of quality installs with a high target action conversion and keep a reasonable CPI rate.

Here is our input data:

  • Geography — Russia and CIS
  • Budget — $10 355
  • Platforms — iOS and Android
  • Campaign period — from October, 27 to November, 3

3. Marketing campaign

Using the database with over 1,000 influencers, our in-house influencer marketing team developed a media plan taking into account all of the project’s specifics. At the core of it – popular channels with a lot of views (>200,000) in some particular topics: TOP ratings (TOP 5 movies of 2017, TOP 10 best pranks, etc.), DIY, lifehacks, movies, experiments and tech.

We follow our professional ethics and can’t mention the channels, but we can tell you how much it cost us to advertise with influencers:


When the advertiser approved our media plan, the main stage of our campaign began. We contacted influencers, approved creatives, controlled production and tracked deadlines. Finally, Smart Search integrations went live in influencers’ videos.

Here are the examples from various YouTubers:

Jgeek, J&Greg channel, SokoL[off] TV, Andro-news.com

4. Campaign results

Paid traffic

Number of installs generated via tracking links:

Each Android user, who installed this app, did 9 key actions (searches). According to the advertiser, users that came from AdWords did just 5 actions. At the same time, each new iOS user made 6.57 searches on average.

The share of loyal users who opened the app more than 3 times was 66.7% and 49.4% for Android and iOS correspondingly.

Organic traffic

Analysis of inbound traffic in influencer marketing campaigns is quite a challenging thing, because some installs go past tracking links placed below the YouTube videos and mix with organic traffic.

To mitigate this factor, we counted results with this formula:

Here’s what we got:

When evaluating CPI, we summed up the traffic that came via tracking links and traffic that went past them and turned into organic. Then, we evaluated the number of organic and paid installs and calculated the final CPI rate. Here are the results:

Additional data

User retention rate on Android devices showed inspiring 50.90% on the 1st day and 22% on the 7thday. This trend continued for iOS devices as well.

App’s retention rate of Android users, days 1 to 7, screenshot from AppMetrica dashboard

When the campaign was launched (October, 27), the app ranked 66th among other free apps in the Communication category in Google Play. As we see, it reached TOP-15 in two days, because there was a boost in organic traffic.

App’s ranking in Google Play from 22.10 to 11.11, screenshot from AppFollow dashboard

In App Store, Smart Search got from position 24 to 4 among free apps in the Reference category.

App’s ranks in App Store from 22.10 to 11.11, screenshot from AppFollow dashboard

5. What we learned

Despite the growing trend of automated advertising with influencers, not all challenges can be solved through buying platforms. Finding an optimal balance between spending money on many micro-influencers and a couple celebrities is a hard task and requires professional approach.

Many influencers look at their successful colleagues and start acting like real media and increase prices. The best way here is to find popular influencers with an optimal number of views, and who are not spoiled with too many advertising integrations.

If you are looking for a fresh source of high quality traffic in mobile segment, then influencers is what you need. With influencers, you acquire motivated and loyal audience, who is already aware of your product. The flip side here is that the process of selecting influencers and communicating with them requires huge efforts and it is quite easy to waste even $50,000 and get result below average, if you lack experience.

Influencer marketing is not a silver bullet. However, a balanced media campaign with the right understanding of the product and target audience can bring unexpectedly positive results.

Happy influencing!

Linkedin

Maksim Ivin

Business Development Director

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