Case Study: Increasing App Installs and Boosting ROMI During Performance Campaign for RIA Portals

MixDigital Team
11 January, 2022 4 min.

DOM.RIA is a website of verified advertisements for buying, selling, and renting real estate. On the AUTO.RIA website, you can buy new and pre-owned cars, as well as all car parts. The best offers are found instantly, which means it’s easier and faster to view ads from a smartphone. Our client has mobile applications which we promote.

The Website’s competitors are ad aggregators in the auto and real estate sectors, as well as developers who are actively running advertising campaigns.

We’re about to tell you the RIA applications performance campaign: How we increase the client’s ROMI, and what makes performance-based advertising so special.

Advertising campaign goals: to increase installs and to achieve ROMI indicators

Considering the campaign’s active period: September 2020 – February 2021. The main goal for both portals was to increase the number of installations of DOM.RIA (the audience is interested in buying, selling, and renting real estate) and AUTO.RIA (the audience is interested in buying and selling cars) applications. Also was needed to achieve ROMI (Return on Marketing Investment) indicators and to increase the return on advertising costs.

The client independently promotes applications in Google / Facebook Ads. Promotion using Apple Search Ads is a source of additional high-quality traffic that converts into leads.

Ihor Skvortsov, Performance Director MixDigital explains why additional promotion tools are needed: “In addition to traffic, it is also a source of valuable information. We can get the conversion data of search queries for App Store Optimization (ASO), that helps optimize the application’s description and the organic search results in the App Store. Additionally, there’s an opportunity to protect the brand: it always appears in the first position for brand queries, so customers do not go to competitors”.

Implementation: brand search protection and competitors campaign

The performance approach helps to set up tracking, regularly measuring key performance indicators (ROAS, CPO, CR, CPA, CPL, and others), and to work on their improvement. “We need to test different channels and traffic sources to determine the most efficient and cost-effective ones,” comments Igor Skvortsov. “ It’s also important to analyze and optimize the Customer Journey – to understand at what stage and for what reason the user leaves the application without completing the targeted action”.

For this task, we have chosen an Apple Search Ads (ASA) tool. It promotes apps in the App Store by keywords (user requests).

The approach and campaign structure:

  1. Brand campaign protects the client’s brand in the App Store search results. The application stays in the first position for brand queries DOM.RIA and AUTO.RIA, so customers do not go to competitors. Ads are also shown for brand queries in different spelling interpretations: “dom ria”, “domria”, “auto ria”, “ria auto”, and others.
  2. Campaign on competitors – allows getting the competitors traffic and target on keywords related to competitor’s brands.
  3. A categorical campaign focuses on queries related to an app category. For example: “apartment rent”, “buy a car”.

We use the brand, category, and competitive keywords in our campaigns in exact matches. Working this way with the most effective conversion requests.

  1. Not to miss out on additional relevant traffic, and to expand the semantic core, we set up a campaign with broad match keywords and Search Match. The last one automatically selects keywords based on machine algorithms following the application context. In Broad Match Keyword Campaign and Search Match, we also added negative keywords from Brand, Category, and Competitive Campaigns. It allows us to evaluate the effectiveness of each group of requests more accurately. After analyzing collected data we add effective keywords as exact matches and ineffective ones as negative keywords.

In IOS 14.5, released in spring 2021, users can forbid any tracking in apps. We continue to work with Apple Search Ads, implementing all platform recommendations to avoid reducing the efficiency of advertising campaigns.

Advertising Campaign Results Reducing Installation Costs and Increasing ROMI


  • 30,000 installations;
  • $ 0.12 CPI (cost per install);
  • 73% CR (conversion rate) in install.

For 6 months, CPI decreased by 20%


  • 20,000 installations;
  • $ 0.17 – CPI;
  • 73% – CR in install.

For 6 months, CPI decreased by 26%

ROMI indicators for February:

  • Auto.ria 445%
  • Dom.ria 17%

ROMI shows the return on marketing investment and the profitability of a traffic source. It allows us to analyze better and more in detail the effectiveness of advertising campaigns.

Any investment in marketing and advertising must bring a payback for the business, comments Ihor Skvortsov: “In most cases, it is hard to analyze the direct impact of display campaigns on sales growth. Their main aim is to form knowledge and demand of products. To understand how a user converts into a customer, you need to attribute properly and analyze the received data. By setting up the performance campaigns, you can almost always compare the investment to its result”. 

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