How one creative reduced CPI three-fold for Bend

Written by
Heba Berti Guirguis
Head of Growth
Published on
August 30, 2023

In our fast-growing mobile app market, finding ways for your app to stand out in a sea of apps can be challenging. Today, there are 8.93 million smartphone apps worldwide, which is why determining the right app marketing strategy and channels is crucial to your app’s success.

The power and reach of TikTok is undeniable in 2023. Whether you’re promoting an app, a shoe brand, a new face cream, or pretty much whatever you can think of, you need to leverage TikTok as a fundamental part of any marketing campaign. So today, we’re going to look at how we found the right recipe for success on TikTok with our partner app Bend.

A spotlight on Bend

Bend is an app dedicated to making stretching a part of everyone’s daily routine. Created by NYC-based company Bowery Digital, the app showcases the importance of stretching for the long-term health and quality of life of its users. With a focus on stretching, the app improves flexibility and range of motion through consistent, daily stretching that integrates seamlessly into anyone’s everyday life.

To learn more about how Kovalee works with Bend, check out our portfolio page.

Why is TikTok such an important platform for your mobile app marketing strategy?

Put simply, not all social media platforms are made equal. Some platforms might appeal to your potential users better than others, or you might have more experience with app promotion on particular platforms. Whatever the reason you weren’t on TikTok yet, now is the time to consider it. Why?

  1. Data suggests that of all the social media channels, TikTok users are the most active and engaged in the apps and games they download, adding value to advertisers through higher conversion rates and, ultimately, a great ROI.
  2. It’s a platform that needs to be embraced on a native level, and it rewards creativity with more engagement. It’s not just about how much cash you throw at it, it’s also about how inventive your marketing efforts actually are. That’s great for small businesses or teams with an innovative mindset!
  3. TikTok has incredible reach, with one billion monthly active users, more than $2.5 billion in consumer spending. That’s a huge pool of potential customers and if you combine that with an actually affordable ad inventory, it becomes an attractive option for your user acquisition strategy.

The case of Bend & TikTok

The challenge: low SoV combined with high CPI

When we started developing our growth strategy with the team at Bowery Digital, we discovered a few key challenges with our social media marketing strategy on TikTok. Initially our share of voice (SoV) on TikTok was fairly low in comparison to our media mix that also included Facebook and Snapchat. After analysing what the root cause could have been, we identified that we needed to change the way we presented our content on this platform.

The key issue that we uncovered was that we weren’t “making TikToks”. We were utilising existing videos we had created for other network, without investing time in trend analysis to make sure we produced videos that spoke to the audience on this platform. TikTok for Business’s mantra is “Don't Make Ads. Make TikToks.” - and that’s exactly what we weren’t doing at the time. We were relying more heavily on advertising-style videos and older influencers, who simply weren’t connecting with our target audience on TikTok. You can see a few examples of the type of creative we were using below:

Example 1:

Example 2:

What’s more, our cost-per-install (CPI) was too high as a result of the creatives we were using. We can attribute this to the low click-through-rate (CTR) our videos were getting - put simply, the videos weren’t attractive to the audience on TikTok.

So, we knew we had to do something to change the game entirely…

The solution: shifting away from traditional ads towards interview-style videos

After conducting a thorough trend analysis and benchmarking of the types of videos that appealed to TikTok users, we decided to completely change the creatives we were using before and opt for interview-style video ads. This decision was made based on the fact that these were the types of videos that TikTok users responded to the most among a pool of videos in a similar content category.

Here are a few examples of the new video creatives we introduced:

Example 1:
Example 2:

Example 3:

The positive effects of this change were almost instant. By making our videos more native to TikTok, we made them more attractive to the platform’s users. We shifted our focus and started making TikToks, not ads. Ultimately, this improved our click-through-rate, which in turn lowered our cost-per-install and boosted our share of voice. It just goes to show that sometimes, even the smallest of changes can have the biggest impact!

How we used our tool Krome to help us with this change

Our tech team has designed a tool specifically aimed at making user acquisition as easy and smart as possible. Krome fully automates marketing campaigns and calculates the future return on ad spend (ROAS) using lifetime value forecasts of any activity. That’s exactly how we used it to make our campaigns a success on TikTok. We relied on Krome to check the forecasted ROAS of this creative change. The tool anticipated a significant increase in ROAS as a result of this change, and as a result we were able to increase our ad spend and deliver results quicker.

The outcome: a reduction in CPI enabled us to triple our spending on TikTok

By implementing these two simple solutions, we were able to reduce our cost-per-install three-fold. This, in turn, allowed us to triple our spending on TikTok.

What’s more, we found that our target audience was slowly diversifying! Bend started out as an app that appealed to a slightly older demographic of individuals looking to introduce flexibility as part of their health and fitness routines. As time went on, we realised that Bend was also starting to appeal to a younger age group as well, meaning that we now had a much broader pool of potential users to work with.

Today, Bend is consistently a chart-topping health & fitness app in a range of markets. It is consistently in the Top 10 in its category, and TikTok remains one of our most profitable app marketing platforms.

Learn more about what working with an app publisher can do for your app

Whether you have an app for iOS or Android, we’d love hear from you. Here’s a little about us - our team has over 10 years of experience working with mobile app developers on Apple and Android apps, and we’ve helped several apps crack the global top 10 in their respective categories. While creators work on their content and code, we take care of everything else, including user acquisition, app store optimization (ASO), monetization, and UX/UI creative design. We invest in the apps we believe in, and forge a strong and lasting partnership with them.

So, if you have the ambition, the drive, and the determination to take your app to #1, give us a call. We’re always willing to take on new apps, and in typical startup fashion, we give our all to everything we do.

Learn more about app publishing here, or reach out by filling in this form below and we’ll get in touch with you as soon as we can! Or, if you'd like to become a Kovalee Kreator and build some awesome UGC for our partner apps, reach out to us here!