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Five Ways Brands Can Dominate the App Store in the Privacy Era

In April 2021, Apple dramatically limited how app marketers could track users, to better protect their privacy. This was a huge blow to app marketing because this tracking data was used to target and personalize ads, measure performance, and optimize campaigns.

Previously, iOS users were automatically opted into being tracked once they installed an app. iPhone users may have noticed that now they’re asked in a pop-up window if they want to allow tracking. While the numbers vary by study, some say just 4% of users choose to opt in while others show as high as 38%.

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With limited tracking, some app marketing best practices just don’t work anymore. With iPhones representing nearly half of all smartphones in the U.S., app store marketers have to find new ways to drive installs and dominate the App Store in the privacy era.

Entice users to opt-in 

One of the best ways to encourage users to opt-in is to give them a good reason, such as explaining how tracking helps deliver the app’s full value. While Apple requires app developers to ask users to allow tracking, marketers can customize some of the messages in the pop-up.

A broader messaging strategy for App Store

When app marketers could target very granularly, they could use laser-focused strategies.

For example, they could target ex-installers with strong calls to action to reinstall the app or target existing app users with promotions for in-app purchases. But, today, app marketers should use broader language in their ads that can appeal to both new and current users because they may not know who their ads are reaching.

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Build up the brand

Brand building has been proven over decades of studies to increase awareness, trust, loyalty, and other benefits. Before Apple’s shift, app marketers focused on direct response advertising, but without deep user tracking, they don’t work as well. Building your brand with consumers can lift the rest of your ad response and conversion rates in a privacy-centric world.

Use Apple Search Ads

Apple Search Ads continue to be one of the top-performing channels available to mobile advertisers. Marketers bid on relevant terms so their app shows up at the top of the App Store search listings. This is a highly effective and efficient way to drive installs while users are most likely to be influenced to install an app.

Test and learn

Ultimately, one of the best approaches to navigate tough times is to run many small programs to gather results before investing larger budgets. Marketers can prove assumptions, try out new channels, and assess bids and messaging to figure out what works.

In this new privacy-first world, app marketers must get savvier and more sophisticated than ever to dominate the app stores.

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