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Seven tips for a successful mobile burst campaign that you can't afford to ignore

Stanislava Todorova shares her experience

Seven tips for a successful mobile burst campaign that you can't afford to ignore

Stanislava Todorova is Associate Director at glispa's gBoost mobile marketing service.

What do The Beatles, The Black Eyed Peas and Trivia Crack all have in common?

They’ve each spent 60 consecutive days in the number one spot on their respective charts

We’ve often heard the phrase “It’s a marathon, not a sprint”. But for an app launch a sprint can be a powerful tool.

Burst campaigns are a key mobile advertising tool. They help drive app discovery by catapulting apps into the top charts, and this momentum can spark a surge in organic growth that’s more valuable than a campaign executed over a longer period of time.

Gain eyeballs

With over 3 million apps in mobile app stores, getting your app noticed is a huge challenge. Recent studies show that over 65% of users discover new apps by browsing the app stores.

A high-ranking app will be discovered much more easily - and burst campaigns are carefully designed marketing ad spend plans tailor made for this purpose.

If executed successfully, such campaigns lead to exponential userbase growth and a cost-reducing, organic uplift.

They can spur the growth of a new app or rejuvenate the user base of an existing one to prolong its life cycle.

Is a burst marketing a solution that can be successful for every app?’

The truth is that there is no one-size-fits-all advertising strategy. That said, following these seven rules can help make your burst campaign successful.

If you're considering a burst campaign in 2015, get in touch with us via to find out how we can guide you through the process.

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  • 1 Know Your Audience

    What type of users are you targeting - shopaholics, hard-core gamers, or just the average Joe who's trying to kill some time on the way to work?

    Usually the more mass appeal an app has, the easier it is to attract new users, which in turn makes climbing to the top of app store rankings easier.

    It’s no wonder that in 2014, casual games and messaging apps were at the top of the app store charts around the world.

    Naturally, not every app can be the next Flappy Bird or Facebook Messenger.

    If your app is more niche, make sure you have the right scale of burst activity; instead of targeting overall ranks, try bursting in your specific category.

  • 2 Aim for the Stars

    Quality is a key factor for bursts since the ranking algorithms of both Google Play and Apple’s App Store take reviews and ratings into account.

    Make sure that your app has at least 3.5 stars before starting any burst activity.

    A burst presents your app to the population of a whole country. If your app is not up to par, you might suffer from a wave of negative reviews when you expose it to a significant number of people.

    For very new apps that don’t have any reviews and ratings, you can start with a small-scale test campaign to understand the conversion rate and general appeal of the app.

    Take users’ feedback into account and make sure all bugs are fixed before launching on a larger scale.

  • 3 Know Your App Stores

    Apple’s App Store ranking algorithm is completely different from that of the Google Play store, which means that burst strategies will work differently in each.

    Bursts for Android apps are a lot more temperamental - they require on average much higher daily volumes than for iOS and they need to last longer (7-14 days vs 2-3 days) to affect rankings.

    Consider these differences as you develop your budget for a burst campaign.

    Additionally, these algorithms are constantly in flux. Apple changed the way apps are featured in the App Store in May 2015 and it is important to understand how this impacts a burst campaign.

  • 4 Know Your App Market

    It is important to consider several factors when deciding on a burst strategy for a specific country.

    • Smartphone penetration - the higher the penetration in a market, the more installs are needed to reach a particular rank.
    • Market size - think US vs Belgium. Targeting a top rank in a large market like the US will require far more installs than a smaller market like Belgium.
    • Competition - research the number of similar apps that already exist in a country. Examine those launches to discover what worked and what didn’t.
    • Cultural Appeal - users in different markets often show an affinity for specific types of apps.

    Image credit: Mobile Gaming Market 2014: Adventure Games More Popular, Americans Prefer Puzzle Games, Bhavya Srivastava, DazeInfo

  • 5 Set Realistic Targets

    A top 5 overall ranking or #1 in your app category might seem like obvious targets, but they’re not always realistic for every app or every budget.

    These rankings are usually occupied by big brands like Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, or Snapchat.

    But you don’t need to be number one to have a successful campaign.

  • 6 Don’t Try to Fake It to Make It

    Stick to legitimate traffic sources.

    The ecosystem of mobile marketing encompasses a huge number of channels, and with them come plenty of pitfalls you’ll want to avoid when choosing which sources to use for a burst campaign.

    There is no shortage of scammers trying to make an easy buck by selling bot traffic or passing incentivized traffic as legitimate.

    These are fraudulent activities and their purveyors promise the world for the cheapest price you can imagine.

    Do not be tempted. Fake installs do not contribute to your rank.

    Do diligent research to identify established and reputable sources of incent, non-incent and app discovery traffic.

    Otherwise you’re just throwing away your money.

  • 7 Timing is Everything

    The timing of your burst campaign should be informed by the lifecycle of your app. Picking the right strategy at the right stage of your app's growth is crucial.

    Are you launching a completely new app or reintroducing an app with new functionality? Are you introducing a mature app to a new market or region, where you can leverage an existing user base?

    In addition to lifecycle timing, you need to consider your burst campaign in the context of seasonality. For instance Christmas, back-to-school season or a major movie premiere can all determine the focus of user acquisition for a campaign.

    Even days of the week matter for specific app genres and strategies. When it comes to a burst campaign, one size, or one time, certainly doesn't fit all.

    A well-planned burst campaign can deliver high direct ROI by reaching a massive volume of users, as well as making the application easier to discover in cluttered app stores.

    With thousands of apps launching every day, a well planned and executed burst campaign can be the best strategy to stand out from the crowd.

    A burst promotion can be a tricky prospect, so it makes sense to get guidance from an expert - at least in the initial stages.

    glispa takes a consultative approach and prepares a tailor-made plan for each client's app to ensure the best outcome.

    We want to help our clients get the best value for their money and ensure that their targets are met.

    If you're considering a burst campaign in 2015, get in touch with us at to find out how we can guide you through the process. regularly posts content from a variety of guest writers across the games industry. These encompass a wide range of topics and people from different backgrounds and diversities, sharing their opinion on the hottest trending topics, undiscovered gems and what the future of the business holds.