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  2. / How to Promote Utility Apps in 2024: Traffic Sources, Offers, GEO, and Approaches

How to Promote Utility Apps in 2024: Traffic Sources, Offers, GEO, and Approaches

3 July 2024

The number of smartphones in use around the world continues to grow each year. Experts predict that by 2027, there will be around 7.69 billion mobile devices globally.

 

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Today, about 5.35 billion people are using smartphones. This means roughly 68% of the world's population can be targeted with mobile app offers and advertising.


In this article, we're going to focus on one specific offer category – utility apps. We'll cover the best traffic sources to use, the types of utility app offers that are most relevant, and strategies for how to profitably promote them.


Top advertising formats for utilities 


According to internal data from the MyBid advertising network, push notifications and In-Page Push notifications work really well for promoting utility apps. Here's why these traffic sources tend to perform well:

  • They can be easily styled to match the look and feel of standard system notifications on users' devices. People generally trust notifications that seem to come directly from their phone or computer, especially ones about things like data security, device memory status, or virus alerts. This leads to better conversion rates.
  • These ad formats can bring in very affordable traffic, even from wealthier Tier-1 countries. On MyBid for example, the CPCs for push notifications start as low as $0.0169. This makes it easier for affiliate marketers to test out different approaches and ad creatives in order to generate a profit.
  • Push notifications are a good fit for both beginner and experienced affiliate marketers. To run these campaigns, you'll need a tracker, domains, ad creatives, and an advertising network. However, the ad creatives can often be viewed and replicated from spy tools that show current integrations in this format. This allows newbies to quickly set up their first push notification campaigns while giving more experienced affiliates a way to achieve their desired profit levels faster.


Why is it profitable to promote utilities? 


Our managers have identified three reasons why promoting utilities in 2024 is profitable:

  • Growing mobile device market: In 2024, the market is estimated to be worth $802.1 billion. The ratio of Android to Apple devices varies by region. For example, in Tier-1 countries, there are more Apple devices, leading to higher payments for leads. In less developed Tier-2 and Tier-3 regions, there are more Android devices. Payments might be lower, but advertising is easier to set up, and more audience segments are available for ad campaigns.
  • There is more mobile traffic than desktop traffic: Statistics show that users access the internet more often through their phones. People use their smartphones at school, work, during lunch, and even in the toilet, which means longer usage times compared to PCs. For instance, in the United States, 46% of residents spend 4 to 5 hours a day on their mobile devices.
     
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  • Poorly protected user data: In the U.S., user databases aren't as protected as they could be. Only 50% of organizations actively use powerful antivirus software, hire professional cryptographers, and prioritize client information security. As a result, people are seeking alternative ways to protect their personal information.


What devices to target


According to statistics, two platforms are leading in the world: iOS and Android. Therefore, we will consider popular geos and approaches specifically for them.


Android


If we look at global statistics, there are more Android users than Apple users.
 

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But the ratio varies in different countries. For example, in the US, the number of users for both platforms is pretty close.

 

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There are also more highly-rated apps available on the Android app store (Google Play).

 

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We've identified three categories of Android offers that are consistently popular: device cleaners, VPNs, and ad blockers.


Cleaners


Smartphones are getting more expensive each year due to inflation, especially high-quality branded Android phones. This has led to more companies making cheaper copies of popular smartphone models. But these cheaper phones can be slower than the originals.


Users of these budget Android devices are looking for apps that can speed up their phones.


Geo: All geos in the world apply to these offers. At first, it's recommended to focus on Tier-3 countries, where not everyone can afford the branded Android products.


Promotional approaches: Depending on the advertiser, there are two options to promote the offer – an aggressive approach or a less aggressive one.


In the aggressive approach, the affiliate indicates possible viruses, the phone will stop working, or other threats. This forces the user to click on the ad, but not every advertiser will appreciate this tactic.


In the less aggressive approach, the affiliate simply suggests the promoted utility can easily improve the device's performance. The conversion rate of this type of advertising is lower, but advertisers tend to prefer this approach over the aggressive one.

 

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VPN


VPN offers are popular because they help people bypass internet blocks and restrictions. This is especially true in countries with a lot of government censorship.


Geos: China, Indonesia, and India.


In China, almost all the major global social media platforms are banned – Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Google services, WhatsApp, Telegram, Reddit, and more. China ranks 5th globally in Google searches for a good VPN.
In India and Indonesia, over 85% of the population uses smartphones. These geos also show a good percentage of VPN usage.

 

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Promotional approaches:
For China, creatives that offer access to prohibited websites tend to work well.

 

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In other geos, ads that focus on solving a specific problem (like slow internet speeds) or honestly promote the benefits of the VPN service tend to perform better.


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Ad blockers


People see advertisements everywhere these days – on websites, in search engines, and even inside mobile apps. Many people get fed up with all the ads and start using ad-blocking tools, which smart affiliate marketers can promote quite well.


Geos: The best geos to target are Tier-1 and Tier-2 countries. Many affiliate marketers focus on these more developed regions because the payouts are higher. But these areas also tend to have a lot of traffic.


Promotional approaches: Your ads should have a clear "call to action" button that makes it obvious what the user should do to get the ad blocker. This removes any uncertainty or extra steps in the process.


The ad should also explain what types of ads the blocker can stop. This helps people understand the specific benefits they'll get by using the product. Being upfront about the ad-blocking capabilities can go a long way in convincing potential customers.


Some affiliates even use the well-known "Adblock" brand name to advertise completely different ad-blocking products. This can be a bit misleading, but it often works well because people recognize the Adblock name and know what it does. Tapping into an established brand can be an effective tactic, even if the actual product isn't exactly what it seems.

 

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iOS


There are fewer Apple device users worldwide compared to Android users. However, in wealthier countries, the percentage of iOS devices is higher. This audience brings in higher payouts for affiliates. To target iOS users, affiliates use In-Page Push notifications to promote offers since regular push notifications don't work on iPhones.


Among iOS utilities, users most often choose antivirus software and VPNs.


Antiviruses


Antivirus software subscriptions are cheap, but they help save money by protecting against scammers who frequently target people in developed countries. It's clear that the damage caused by cybercriminals is increasing and will continue to rise.

 

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Geos: USA, UAE, Singapore, Canada, and Japan. These countries have high wages, making it easier to motivate people to protect their data and money.

 

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Promotional approaches: Affiliates often add icons to creatives that look like system icons in the iOS interface. Another popular tactic is to offer a quick solution to the problem, such as adding a CTA button to the push image.

 

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VPN


The main reason people use VPNs in wealthy countries is to protect their data. Therefore, affiliates can effectively promote these services in Tier-1 and Tier-2 countries, as VPNs are great for ensuring privacy.


Geos:  Japan, USA. These regions have high competition and high payouts, up to $20 per install. Target these countries because they have a higher share of Apple products compared to other platforms.

 

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Targeting approaches: Create ads that quickly show the benefits of the offer. People in wealthier countries are bombarded with ads, so they only look at push notifications for 1-2 seconds before moving on if they don’t understand the product.

 

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Ad creatives that highlight a specific reason for using a VPN in a particular country also convert well. For example, in Asian countries, ads that claim to offer access to Netflix work well, as people often download VPNs to watch TV series or anime.

 

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Where to find ad creatives


There are a few popular ways to get ad creatives:

  • Search manually: Set up a proxy or VPN, look for relevant websites, and study the ads they show. It can be long and boring, but it's a great way to learn about current trends quickly.
  • Use spy tools: There are many free tools that collect ad creatives. However, these often show ads that are no longer effective. Spy services are mainly good for learning and observing.
  • Get help from a personal manager: The MyBid network assigns each affiliate a personal manager. They can help you choose and test creatives for your offer.


Conclusion 


If you're using Android or Apple logos, you need to modify them slightly, as they are protected by copyright. You can add horns to the Android mascot or change its color.

Experienced affiliates add specific symbols to their creatives to help users quickly understand the type of utility being promoted. Here are some examples:

  • VPN: Shield, key on the shield, locks

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  • Antivirus: Words like "Attention," "Warning," exclamation marks, red color

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  • Cleaners: Gears, broom, bugs, magnifying glass

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  • Ad blockers: Adblock logo, "Prohibited" sign

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Some elements can't be directly included in the ad image, but you can add them as emojis in the ad text.


If you plan to use an aggressive approach, make sure to get your ad creatives approved by the advertiser or affiliate network. This will help you avoid issues with payments. At MyBid, a personal manager can help you choose the right ad creatives, saving you time to focus on more important tasks.


The utility niche is growing along with the mobile device market, so it's not going away anytime soon. Affiliates can continue to make a steady profit from it.

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