The Four Seasons: How Seasonality Impacts Mobile Apps

Is your app suffering from Seasonal App Disorder? If your app has elevated installs during certain times of the year and you’re looking for a way to take advantage of seasonal category rankings – we’re here to help. Read on to learn how seasonality impacts mobile apps and our trusted remedies to cure SAD and grow your installs all year long.

 

A Winter’s Tale

Everyone just unwrapped their new devices, and so begins the download frenzy of December. Mobile app marketers are battling it out to get on these new devices – but are the high CPIs worth it? The key is to look at your category’s download data and see if your app is influenced by SAD favorably during this time.

For example, fitness apps see a decrease in downloads in November and December as winter weight becomes an acceptable fate of binging on delectable treats. However, we see that “Running for Weight Loss” from Red Rock Apps doubled its daily installs from December to January 2015/2016. By doubling-down on January, a time when 12% of people sign-up for gym memberships, they were able save money by skipping the December rush and investing in growth after everyone else had spent their budgets.

We see similar trends in finance, healthy recipe, and lifestyle apps as well. However, mobile games tend to experience a different pattern – as installs spike during the week of Christmas and into the New Year and then drop off dramatically around January 7th.

The conclusion: how your app fits in with users’ lives has a major influence on strategy during this crazy season. If your app increases a healthy lifestyle and increased productivity, bet on January with the News Years resolution stampede. However, if it’s a game or entertainment app, we suggest planning for Spring.

 

Spring Breakers

We aren’t talking about the 2013 movie featuring Selena Gomez – we’re talking about the increase of installs between March and April due to spring break. Everyone is out of school and they’re looking to be entertained. As seen below, the app installs for Trivia Crack increased dramatically in these months as families sought entertainment.

                                

Trivia Crack demonstrates how seasonality impacts mobile app installs.

 

The app categories we saw increasing the most during this time are family, kids, entertainment, games, and education. If your apps fall into these categories you can beat SAD by planning advertising campaigns that cater to the season.

 

All Summer Long

School really isn’t out forever, but for mobile advertisers, that would be pretty sweet! Running summer campaigns is a great way to gain installs for all categories. Fitness apps see an increase as people want to get in shape, entertainment and game apps see growth as kids want to be entertained easily, and education apps are popular with parents wanting to maintain a learning environment all year long.

How will your marketing campaign stand out during the summer? We suggest brightening up your advertisements with summer themed creative and sales or trying a new advertising platform. We’ve observed recent success among clients running influencer campaigns, particularly in a category like lifestyle.

 

Fall’s Fizzle

A minor jump occurs around back to school time at the end of August with sports, education, and productivity apps. Sports fans are happy to have football back on the screens, parents want their children to succeed in school, and college students are trying to be productive adults – which all result in higher installs for these categories. Take this time to really hone in on your holiday mobile app strategy to make sure your app isn’t inflicted with the symptoms of SAD by creating strategies to engage and retain users.

 

All apps are impacted by SAD – but knowing how the seasons impact installs and when to ramp up advertising and engagement efforts can help your app succeed.

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