The challenge was to test & find a new way to stimulate organic visibility for possible future scaling. Why was it important?
Locals is a social networking app to meet like-minded people with a mission to make a real positive impact in the world.
Thus, when joining an event the app will suggest making a donation and supporting a verified cause dedicated to making this planet a better place.
Locals.org entrusted all activities related to user acquisition to SplitMetrics Agency. To deliver the best results, its experts continuously test and implement new ideas for acquiring users.
These two factors were a key part of the challenge:
Take a glance at this chart (taken from Asodesk’s report: ASO index 2022: Which apps need ASO):
Over 58% of searches for the Social Networking category are branded. A quick look at data from Apptweak confirms the competitiveness of generic keywords:
Considering these factors, the winning strategy was to sync app store optimization efforts with Apple Search Ads campaigns for branded keywords.
Apple Search Ads can influence organic results. The important question is: can it be used and how can it be used in practice by a particular app from a specific category? Our path to finding the right solution shows that in each case it requires some testing and experimentation and careful keyword analysis.
Adding branded keywords to the apps metadata proved to be insufficient to bring meaningful results.
In an attempt to boost these newly added keywords, the team decided to use Apple Search Ads. In particular, bids on these keywords were increased in two test markets: US and the UK. This was the breakthrough the team was looking for.
This is what’s been accomplished:
Now, let’s show some data to illustrate it:
Below is an example of a branded keyword lmk (for the app LMK: Make New Friends). We can see how the metrics changed in the US after we doubled the bid for it:
We also observed great results in the UK market:
Syncing of Apple Search Ads and ASO proved to be a viable strategy for Locals. Those interested in replicating it should keep in mind that it requires careful keyword & category analysis.