It’s that time of the year – “cuffing season”. A term often tossed around by Gen Zer’s referring to the comedown of summer flings to something more committed, hence the “cuff”. Surprisingly though, dating app usage and revenue peak during the summer months but this also varies on the targeted demographic. Here, the dating app developer faces a dilemma.
Through App Store Optimization (ASO), an app developer could effectively navigate their unique place in the market, identify what language yields most effective in driving conversion on a seasonal basis, and more. We’ll discuss the intricacies of app store marketing for dating apps more in detail, but first, let’s explore the unique challenges facing both enterprise and indie dating app developers.
DATING APPS & APP STORE MARKETING - IT’S COMPLICATED
FINDING "THE ONE" PERFECT VALUE PROPOSITION
Shining light on a dating app’s unique value proposition could be difficult, with some of the biggest names in the game like Hinge, Bumble, and Tindr having a stronghold on younger demographics – the most predominant generations being millennials and Gen Z’ers. Not to mention, positioning often takes on a life of its own.
Each of the major players in the dating app category has its own connotations and associations – Tinder is a great example. Tinder’s app store marketing strategy tried to highlight their intent on helping users “find love” but the public sentiment is undoubtedly different. Even with the introduction of their Tinder Select tier which promises a more exclusive dating experience, it’s hard to shake the established perception users may have of the service already.
DATING APP COMPETITION - TAKING ON THE GIANTS
Ask any person on the street to name a dating app, they’ll probably give you a rundown of the biggest players named above. However, there are thousands of dating apps on the app stores, with some more akin to the actual needs of certain users that often fly under the radar.
Smaller-scale dating app developers often have to run through difficult hoops to stand out. This includes massive organic and paid marketing campaigns both on and off the app stores. Even then, few users actually go out and try a different one out, even it if their current one has “failed” them before.
MOBILE DATING USER RETENTION & DISCOVERABILITY
Yes, mobile app retention rates can be complicated among dating apps, to say the least. In essence, these apps exist to eventually be deleted, so retention may be difficult to attain. For big players like Tinder, with massive troughs of new users and those leaving because the app served a purpose or switching to a big competitor, retention is less of a worry. Subscription revenue for competitors is high, and lots of them are now expanding into categories like networking – Bumble is especially prominent in this type of feature expansion.
Bumble’s approach to expanding the services provided increases customer lifetime value (CLV), positively impacting retention, and finally, signaling to app store algorithms of a quality user experience. This strategy is a perfect example of how dating apps can look for alternatives to their core offering to improve retention.
APP STORE MARKETING BEST PRACTICES FOR DATING APPS
These challenges are really just scratching the surface. For indie developers, the major hurdle facing app marketing operations is differentiation and strong value propositions. However, every successful marketing thereafter requires an organic backbone on the app stores. User search patterns for dating apps vary across different demographics so how can you capture them right off the bat? Through ASO, of course. Here are some best practices to follow:
UNDERSTANDING THE DATING APP MARKET & YOUR NICHE
Finding your target audience largely depends on demographics. After all, dating apps are largely demographic-oriented. If they aren’t, there’s a better chance of being able to set your app up to be differentiated. Painting with a broad demographic brush isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and some very unique value propositions can actually come out of them.
Understand what your app offers, and what your users are looking for. Something casual? Politically driven? Find your niche that speaks to your audience most effectively to later polish the first area of your ASO strategy to attract users – your app store metadata.
APP STORE METADATA - DATING APP KEYWORDS
We can’t talk about dating app marketing without the discussion of competitors, regardless of size and sub-category. ASO tools and technology like DATACUBE can help developers figure out what keywords their users search for. Additionally, ASO technology like this can also help see what your competitors rank for in the app stores.
This is invaluable information when putting together your app marketing strategy both on and off the app store. Arming yourself with a strong app store metadata strategy can make a massive difference in your ability to get discovered on the app store organically and in paid campaigns.
Carefully choosing terms that are of a proportional keyword search volume can also help to position your app favorably. You should prioritize hyper-relevant words and phrases in your metadata optimization efforts for an efficient approach to keyword targeting. This way you can gradually begin to establish your app as a contender in the dating app category.
BOOSTING APP STORE ENGAGEMENT
Getting the right message at the right time is crucial in ASO. Even with seasonal dips in the fall, incorporating the right messaging in your screenshots and metadata is essential. This not only helps you drive conversions to your app but also carries relevancy when user search behaviors change or require some repositioning. As summer flings transfer to “cuffing season”, it might be time to highlight more commitment-focused language to combat dips in usage.
Resources like iOS In-App Events and Google Promotional Content help target existing and lapsed users by helping them discover content they may find useful during seasonal shifts, special events, or relevant holidays. You can also use these tools to highlight major updates, promotions, new features, and much more.
DATING APP MARKETING - THE RIGHT APPROACH
Marketing on the app stores is no easy feat. Dating apps are notoriously difficult to penetrate in the organic app marketing space, but through ASO you can better spearhead an effective mobile app marketing strategy that chips away at market share – regardless of its “saturation”.
Need help with App Store Optimization for your dating app? Contact our ASO experts and we’ll help get your strategy started!
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