Editor's Note: The following is a guest post from Mark Loranger, co-founder of Braavo Capital.
As we transition from summer to fall, this is a good time for marketers to consider whether an app is suffering from "seasonal app disorder" or SAD. If your app has elevated installs during certain times of the year and you're looking for ways to leverage seasonal category rankings, read on to learn how seasonality impacts mobile apps and the trusted remedies you can leverage to cure SAD and grow your installs all year long.
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 or trying a new advertising platform. We've observed recent success among clients running influencer campaigns, particularly in a category-like lifestyle.
A minor jump occurs around back-to-school at the end of August with sports, education and productivity apps. Sports fans are happy to have football back on screens, parents want their children to succeed in school and college students are trying to become 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 ensure your app isn't inflicted with the symptoms of SAD by creating strategies to engage and retain users.
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 holiday treats. However, we see that Running for Weight Loss from Red Rock Apps doubled its daily installs last December to January. By doubling down in January, a time when 12% of people sign up for gym memberships, they were able to 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 recipes 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, they drop off dramatically around January 7.
The conclusion: how your app fits in with users' lives has a major influence on strategy during this crazy season. If your app promotes a healthy lifestyle and increased productivity, bet on January with the New Year's resolution stampede. However, if it's a game or entertainment app, we suggest planning for spring.
Spring break's shine
We see a marked increase of installs between March and April due to spring break. Everyone is out of school and looking to be entertained. App installs for Trivia Crack increased dramatically in these months as families sought out entertainment.
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.
It's clear to see that all apps are impacted by "seasonal app disorder"in one way or another. But knowing how the different times of year impact your installs and when to ramp up advertising and engagement efforts can give your app a boost all throughout the year.