Driving growth for a new consumer app

Micro Audio is a brand-new iOS app that packages news articles into short, personalized audio briefings that summarize key facts from multiple sources and filter out bias and opinion. Micro Audio engaged D2 to help them launch the app by updating brand assets, creating ads for multiple channels, building a network of influencers and ambassadors, and optimizing their App Store profile. They needed to encourage rapid download rates to prove viability to investors.

Branding

D2 worked collaboratively with Micro Audio to introduce an updated logo and branding package for the iOS App Store, social media, and digital media. We created new graphical and thematic assets including a sound wave background to serve as the cornerstone graphic across multiple channels. The new brand identity served as an even better interpretation of their traits: approachable, trustworthy, audible, and high-tech.

The Micro Audio logo

The challenge

Micro Audio had extremely limited resources for advertising, having only completed a friends-and-family seed round of investment. D2's three-pronged strategy helped them maximize the reach of their app launch and demonstrated potential to their investors.

Strategy

D2 knows that app success is measured in downloads. Downloads start in the App Store, so step one was to ensure a top-notch App Store presence for Micro Audio through App Store Optimization. We enhanced organic downloads with paid downloads through App Store ads on iTunes as well as app install ads on Facebook. Every download we didn’t pay for meant more money to leverage additional reach.

We sponsored several content creators to become brand ambassadors and talk about their usage of the app to their audiences. D2 set up an affiliate link for viewers to try the app for free and support their favorite content creator.

iOS App Store optimization

D2 developed the listing on Apple's iOS App Store and extended the brand elements to offer an engaging first impression and stand out against the nearly 40,000 news apps available in the store.

To maximize our reach, we used keyword tools across both the ASO and SEO worlds because people search organically regardless of platform, so data from one tool may skew results.

D2 worked with Micro Audio to develop a feeder list of friends and family who would download the app and leave reviews on a schedule to increase download counts and improve download velocity.

Review on app store by Big-Thunda: This is exactly what I was looking for in a news app. No longer do I feel guilty about passing off headlines as knowledge on a subject. I love how Micro Audio gives you context on the biggest stories in less than a minute and then links to articles for further reading. It's really given time and the comfort of being in the know back into my days.

Install ads

Using relevant keywords and search terms, D2 ran search ads in the App Store so Micro Audio could more readily be surfaced in the sea of news apps. D2 launched install ads on the Apple App Store and on Facebook based on the targeting capabilities of both platforms. Apple SearchAds runs remarkably similar to Google Ads with keywords and ad groups, but no ad copy. Because content is tied to the App Store profile, we invested considerable time into refining the store page copy and imagery.

D2 optimized bids and keywords, added negatives, and excluded audience groups to reduce the initial average cost per install by 20% compared to campaign launch. As additional performance data came in, we rebalanced budgets across platforms to ensure that we drove maximum download volume.

For Instagram, D2 created a row post to announce the name change to their current followers and a 9-tile grid display to announce the launch of the app. We also created a 30-second Spotify radio spot, promoted posts, and placed ads on Facebook.

Social influencers

Coinciding with App Store optimizations, D2 built a database of over 1,000 potential influencers on YouTube based on their fit with the topic categories covered by the app as well as their audience demographics, subscriber count, video count, subscriber engagement, and potential future popularity. Compared to Instagram, TikTok, or Twitter, YouTube offered the ideal combination of personality, content, and sponsorship opportunity for engagement. YouTubers' followers tend to support their creators while Instagram followers often only follow.

Results

The client could not have been happier about the launch. The app broke 1,000 downloads within 5 days and doubled in another 10. Starting from zero installs, Micro Audio catapulted to the top 250 news apps in the first two weeks. While the work is ongoing, we anticipate it's only a matter of time before it breaks the top 100 and gets considered for an editor’s pick.

Chart showing daily downloads
Daily downloads immediately after launch

The seed downloads from friends and family started a flywheel effect by allowing the app to start showing in organic app searches more quickly, helping it accelerate into the top 250 news apps in a short amount of time, which generated more reviews and more downloads.