Digital marketing news and resources

Weekly Roundup #69 – ASO, Chatbots and Fake Advertising


Didn’t read our last roundup on the price of data, brand loyalty and VR? Well then read it here. If not, let’s get into this week’s, featuring:


SEO? I say ASO!

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Search Engine Optimisation has quickly become integral to online success, but SEO has a new rival – or should I say, companion – in ASO, App Store Optimisation. ASO works in much the same way as SEO, but it aims to drive users to your app rather than website. Surprisingly the aim is not simply to increase the total number of app downloads, but instead it is about having an effective app store page that maximises conversions, and achieves the highest possible app store rankings.

The two parts of increasing your ASO are closely linked, but the top priority is to ensure that people who see your app will download it. On average the install rate for apps is around 20-25%, which means that the majority of potential app users are lost. As your conversion rate increases, you will get more users and as a direct result of this, your ranking will also improve.

To improve conversion rates, Andreas Hassellof, founder and CEO of Ombori Group, suggests several things that companies can do:

Needless to say, the layout of your app store page is incredibly influential in achieving downloads and converting potential users to real users. Improvements of between 18% and 26% can be achieved by having the correct images, descriptions, videos and icons. Experimenting with different combinations is the useful suggestion from SplitMetrics, who point out that what works best on one site isn’t necessarily the most effective on another, so give each app store individual attention.

Having a well-informed customer who knows what to expect from the app before they have even reached the store means that they are much more likely to download. Deciding whether to install an app, or not, is typically done within 3-6 seconds, so the first two or three screenshots need to effectively and efficiently describe what the app does – select your images carefully, as this is prime screen estate. The same applies with the descriptive text – make sure that the first sentence contains all of the most important information as very few customers will read the entire text.

It is important to customers that each app that they download looks current and well maintained; so make sure to update your app every few months. Additionally, ratings and reviews from your customers are very important in obtaining more downloads, so don’t be shy about asking your users for reviews. Generally speaking, the higher the conversion rate – and the more users who review and rate the app – the higher up the app will appear in search, so your conversion rate and your ranking are closely linked.

Further suggestions for improving ASO also include fundamental issues, such as ensuring that your app is designed to be both engaging and useful, this is key as app stores give greater prominence to apps that people actually use. It is recommended that you make the most of your web users by using your website to drive app installs, as app users will typically be people who already use your website.

A strong online presence is also a key factor in your app’s success. This is true on many levels, but mostly because app stores tend to recommend apps from brands that people know, so a popular website and strong social media presence will help your app ranking. The success of your website and SEO helps your app and your ASO in turn. As your SEO and ASO are inextricably interlinked, make sure to tend to them both for optimum, all-round performance.

The Rise of Chatbots

According to MarketsandMarkets, Chatbots and Smart Advisors are set to increase in value by 35% between 2016 and 2021. Currently valued at $703 million in 2016, the Chatbot market will be worth an estimated $3,172 million by 2021. Driving this increase (aside from the growing penetration of websites and mobile applications, and the widespread adoption of cloud-based technology), is the greater demand for intelligent customer engagement and the desire to better understand consumer behaviour.

Developing the technology to allow for natural language processors, multilingual interfaces, mobile platform capability and multichannel capabilities will increase the number of possible applications for the Chatbot.

Chatbot software will take the largest market share of the Chatbot market, however smart advisors will see large growth in the smartphone space also, as this technology provides detailed insight into customer behaviour, location and interactions in real-time, which further enables targeted communication with the customer.

IAB Tech Lab’s New Initiative to Combat Fake Advertising

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Alanna Gombert, Senior Vice President, Technology and Ad Operations is intent on, “removing the fake Rolexes” that can be found in online ads.

The black market for counterfeit and unauthorized ad impressions – a type of fraud that is often transacted in automated buying via domain spoofing – is being fought with the introduction of a tool called ads.txt. The tool is a pre-formatted index of authorised sellers that legitimate publishers can use to register their official partners, whilst programmatic buyers can use the tool to find the fake or misrepresented inventory.

Andrew Casale, Chief Executive Officer of Index Exchange, noted the similarities between Ads.txt and the latest initiative in the search sector of the industry, stating that it works in, “much in the same way robots.txt is used to declare instructions for search engines.” Casale added, “this will fundamentally change the game in the supply chain of programmatic, and will eradicate spoofing, and other unsavoury and unauthorised activities that happen far too easily today.”

Ads.txt is part of the trade body’s OpenRTB Initiative and it is believed that it will lead to a noticeable reduction in ad fraud via domain-spoofing. The danger of ad fraud is well illustrated by Dr Neal Richter, a data science consultant who helped devise the new tool,

“Imagine you just got a great deal on a new pair of shoes from a brand you have always admired, but unknowingly they were a great deal because they were actually counterfeit. The first day you wear them they completely fall apart and you blame the bad experience on the brand and vow to never buy that brand again.”

Dr Richter points out that the counterfeiter uses the power of the well-established brand to make a sale, but their low-quality fake product actually harms the brand in the long term – all while the brand has no knowledge of, or involvement in this activity.

Having better security around fraudulent adverts will impact positively on advertisers’ willingness to invest in automated media trading, whilst also ensuring that consumers receive legitimate products that do not harm the brand’s reputation.

As Ads.txt is set to increase the security of online advertising, the Dynamic Content Ad Standard was also released. The IAB describes the Dynamic Content Ad Standard as a structured system of metadata for defining creative components and their asset variations in an ad unit. This means that the content of an advert can be personalised by using metadata, which the IAB hopes will allow form more fluidity in ad formats.

Diaz Nesamoney, Chief Executive of Jivox, and co-chair of the IAB Tech Lab Dynamic Content Ad Standards Committee stated that, “It will serve as a foundation to a new era of dynamic ads, which have quickly become a big game-changing innovation in the advertising and digital marketing worlds.”

Twitter Wants to Know You Better

In an effort to ‘further improved and personalise’ its advertising, Twitter’s latest update will identify and collect internet browsing data from its users. The information will be collected when users visit websites that either have a Twitter feed embedded in them, or a Tweet button, and the information will be kept for a period of thirty days.

In an attempt to ascertain each user’s age range, gender, language, location and contact details, along with more personal preferences such as interests and hobbies, Twitter will track all the devices and browsers that are logged in to by users. Information will also be gleaned from tracking shopping decisions and behaviours.

The changes that are a part of Twitter’s updated Privacy Policy can be opted-out of, so should you not wish to let Twitter know you more personally, then fear not – users can quickly and easily manage what information Twitter can access and share from their account.

Santander UK to Grow its Social Media Presence, but it’s not About ‘Fan Growth’

According to Keith Moor, Santander UK’s Chief Marketing Officer, a successful social media presence for a bank is about understanding the experience that people have with each platform, and, “much less about fan growth.” As people spend more and more time on social media platforms – with teens now spending up to nine hours a day on various platforms, and a full 30% of all online time being allocated to social media interactions.

Understanding the prevalence of social media in their customers’ lives, Santander UK wants to incorporate this into their online strategy – “we need to be part of that ecosystem” states Moor. Continuing to explain Santander UK’s strategy, Moor says that people are, “living their lives through [these] platforms and so we need to be in those places too”, and that it, “really won’t be just about social channels being places where people go to do ‘social stuff'”.

The details of their strategy is still being worked on, but Moor sees their focus being on chatbots, social banking and other services that work within people’s existing social media behaviours. Whilst moving towards ‘social’ banking, it is clear that the focus still has to be on security and privacy. Creating interactions that are efficient and easy whilst also ensuring the safety of people’s money is a fine balance.

“People are very conscious of being secure with their money. It’s a fundamental part of what people like to keep private so we have to weigh that up against people’s desire to do things in a more convenient manner.”

Questions of how to measure the success of social media campaigns and interactions have become paramount also. Although social media allows companies to track consumer engagement better than more traditional advertising, it cannot yet track whether it affects brand loyalty or overall happiness with the brand. Moor is interested in finding ways of tracking the success of their social media activity, which is complex because in banking sales do not act as an indicator as banks, “are never going to see a massive growth in sales directly off channels.”

Having strong relationships with the customer is particularly important at the moment as the idea of ‘Open Banking’ means that banks will have to share data that they have historically held. The Open Banking Standard is set to improve the customer experience as better applications and resources can be designed thanks to the new glut of shared data.

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Sebastian Paszek

Marketing manager

Controlling the chaos of the digital landscape, Sebastian is a multiplatform executive, project manager and photographer.