The Ins & Outs of Rewarded Campaigns

After having successfully run countless rewarded campaigns for clients around the globe, our team realised that the idea of rewarded campaigns is yet to be general knowledge amongst app owners and advertisers. Our team has put together and answered some of the most pressing queries that our clients have had for your benefit. The following is your go-to content for all things related to rewarded campaigns:

What exactly is a rewarded campaign?

Rewarded campaigns are designed to reward users for installing your mobile app as a part of an incentive scheme. Many apps make use of a monetization system, known as an ‘offerwall’, where they direct their users to download their advertised apps & give them a form of in-app currency as compensation for doing so; this is prevalent in hyper casual games where one can ‘gain’ extra lives to complete a game by simply viewing a rewarded video advertisement or downloading an advertised app. Some loyalty apps have created huge communities around their rewarding schemes where they advertise apps and provide rewards (paypal credit, video-game currencies, Starbucks cards etc.) to their users in return.

This campaign can run with almost any cost model, cost per installs, cost per sign ups, even cost per in-app purchases. However, the true value of this campaign is experienced when one plays to its strengths, since rewarded campaigns focus on driving high visibility through volume, it is best to focus on installs or in-app events that immediately precede installs.

Does a rewarded ad campaign have the same results as a rewarded ad video campaign?

While both campaigns have the same general principle of incentivizing a user to view your app, there is a stark difference in the outcome of both campaign types. While a rewarded campaign directly compensates a user for “installing” your app, a rewarded video only incentivizes a user to watch the advertisement. The key difference noted here is that a rewarded campaign will bring you more installs/users but a rewarded video campaign will focus on bringing you targeted users who are intrinsically motivated to install your app after being convinced by the video they were rewarded for watching.

Preparing for a rewarded video campaign can be cumbersome as it requires making a 15-30 second long video creative that will need to convince end users to download the app.

What is the difference between a rewarded campaign & a performance campaign?

Campaigns of a boost or incentivized nature always drive high installs in a short span of time due to the inclusion of a reward scheme. Naturally, these campaigns will always gain a higher number of users than performance-based user acquisition campaigns & will take fewer impressions and clicks to do so as well. While this means a larger user base in a shorter span of time, it does not always promise the same results in terms of loyal users as performance campaigns do because rewarded campaigns do not have the same targeting mechanisms.

The higher ratio of click to install for rewarded campaigns means not as many clicks are required to gain an install; whereas a performance campaign might have a click-to-install ratio of 0.01%, a rewarded campaign can have a ratio of anywhere between 30%-50%

The need for fewer clicks also results in rewarded campaigns being more economical than performance campaigns & they tend to have more affordable campaign bids as well. While a performance based campaign has a CPI bid of $1.5 USD for a game app in the US, a rewarded campaign may cost just shy of $0.8 USD per install.

Why & when should I consider running a rewarded campaign?

It always does feel great when running a performance campaign to bring in users who then go on to make in-app purchases. However, there does come a point when your Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) is close to null, which means that you are paying rather heavily for each in-app purchase. Usually this means that there is a need for more organic users & user-base expansion; this is the perfect time to consider launching a rewarded campaign as this will drive a high number of conversions in a short time which will lead to an increase in your app rank. When your app rank increases within an OS store, you gain higher visibility as you are exposed to a larger audience (especially when in the top 10 of a category).

With great visibility comes an organic uplift as non-paid users download your app to see what the buzz is all about, and interested users will stick around for the long haul; you can see how rewarded campaigns have their own way of bringing quality users to your app.

This also comes handy for new apps in the market as they would need a user-base to build on; one of the first things a user looks at when viewing an app on the store is the number of users and reviews, and if there aren’t many users, they may not feel confident in downloading it. Rewarded campaigns can fix that issue with their high conversion rates, users can also be incentivized to give their review of the app as well (the result of this will depend on how good your user experience is).

How do I make a good rewarded campaign?

Luckily for you, these campaigns are incredibly easier to prepare for and launch than standard mobile marketing campaigns. Rewarded campaigns only require your app icon, name and in some situations, app description, the rest is all taken care of by the publisher. It is important to mention what action rewards the end-users as this “user instruction” is the essence of your campaign; is your campaign designated as a cost per install (CPI) model or perhaps a cost per registration (CPR)? The end user needs to know this, because an incorrectly entered user instruction will lead to the ultimate downfall of your marketing strategy, if a user installs a campaign that is designated (but not mentioned) as a CPR, they will not interact with the ad again and lose confidence in its ability to offer returns.

Consider the location of where you plan to run your campaign, you can offer the user instruction in multiple languages to avoid confusion or miscommunication. Furthermore, if you have multiple apps that are region-locked, be sure to provide a tracking link for the relevant app as you don’t want to redirect users to an app that “is not available in their location”, in the future, it can be hard to convince end-users even after this issue is resolved.

When can I expect organic uplifts when running rewarded campaigns?

In the right circumstances, you should see an organic lift in traffic during & after a rewarded campaign. This can be because of the increased visibility benefits of user acquisition or ‘virality’ as users learn about your app from peers who converted via an ad. Maintaining this momentum is vital, because the longer your app stays on the top, the longer you get to reap the rewards of high visibility in the app store.

Would my app be suitable for this type of campaign?

While any app can see results from rewarded campaigns, it may not necessarily be optimal for all apps. When determining if your app will perform well with a rewarded campaign, you might consider your strategy, ASO status as well as your budget. Rewarded campaigns are best suited to apps that appeal to wide markets; niche apps aren’t going to benefit from viral tactics. Your app should also already have a solid ASO status in place, otherwise the benefits of a rewarded campaign will not last very long. You also need to ensure you have the budget to sustain the rewarded campaign and the post-campaign impacts.

Rewarded campaign models make for a huge pillar in the pantheon of mobile marketing and should never be disregarded when creating a marketing strategy for one’s app. It is worth knowing that by opting out of this campaign model, one can easily fall behind in the market where competitors may decide to opt-in to boost their visibility and organic traffic. For more information on rewarded campaigns and other mobile marketing strategies for your mobile app, reach out to us at AppSamurai here!

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