ASO for holidays - winter season

The holidays are a busy time for ASO optimization, especially when discussing the winter season. After all, after the shopping rush on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, our users are happy to begin preparing for Christmas, and we are with them.

Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, and Christmas are the most famous holidays in the US market (handy as a marker for global trends). According to Statista, for 2023, Thanksgiving's popularity rating was 79 percent, followed by Memorial Day and Christmas at 78 percent. But don’t forget about other significant holidays of the winter season. Today, we will turn our attention to the following:

  1. Christmas
  2. New Year
  3. Chinese New Year
  4. Valentine's Day

The winter holiday calendar opens on December 25, but we will prepare beforehand. Why is it so important to not miss our users these days? A festive atmosphere can play into our hands - people spend money more easily, buy gifts, and relax a little because Christmas and the New Year are coming. It is a new stage with new habits and approaches to life, but for now, you can install some mobile game, Sudoku or puzzle, and relax.

We will prepare, and one might even say, create a festive mood for our users in advance. Preparing the page for our application or game, advertising plans, and creatives - everything must be harmoniously designed and presented to users immediately. So we prepared snowflakes, confetti, and gingerbread men, and off we go!

App categories and winter season

Winter holidays are global - there is a difference in priority. In some countries, Christmas is a more critical occasion and significantly impacts users; they celebrate the New Year somewhere, but Christmas is treated more coolly. But since these two events are close, we can take common approaches to prepare. Chinese New Year has already gained worldwide fame - globalization is doing its job and is now celebrated not only in the region of the same name. And it is not worth discussing Valentine’s Day - a massive romantic mood is guaranteed, even if you and I don’t celebrate it.

Our seasonal ASO optimization efforts aim to show users that we are on the same page - our games and apps also support the holiday spirit. They are updated and specially prepared for installation.

What is the relationship between app categories and holidays?

  • Christmas and New Year

These two holidays influence the Games, Lifestyle, Entertainment, and Education categories most. It’s clear why, either during this period, we, as users, are preoccupied with gifts, or we have a little more free time and allow ourselves to immerse ourselves in games. Also, we remember New Year's resolutions and vows - to lead a healthy lifestyle, play sports in the new year, eat well, and drink water regularly. What else will only come to a person’s mind in the new year?

  • Chinese New Year

Here, the Games category significantly influences and affects other categories. The holiday has become popular due to its colorful traditions, festivals, and symbolism.

  • Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day must be celebrated in the Lifestyle, Games, and Entertainment categories. Dating apps are rubbing their hands in anticipation of a surge in installs because no one wants to be alone on this day.

Elements for seasonal optimization

Dig the well before you're thirsty - this is practically the motto of the winter season, and optimization has not been spared. We prepare in advance, but not much - after all, the main goal is to enter the pre-holiday rush with fully prepared optimization elements. Now we will talk about:

Christmas and New Year

We will prepare for these big holidays immediately after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Characteristics of the elements of this season:

  1. Bright colors - of course, red, gold, and green. You can also actively replace the use of blue because snowflakes look so beautiful against their background.
  2. Festive elements - snow, balls and garlands. Santa with all his company of elves and reindeer. Even attaching Rudolph's red nose to our game character on the icon can become the very Christmas miracle that will attract users.
  3. 2024 - marking the new year on the icon clarifies to users that we are actively working and improving our application. We are entirely ready for the new season of use. Also, such changes can attract users to return to the app if it is already installed - after all, something has changed, right?
  4. Glasses of champagne, fireworks, dials, and calendars will be relevant for the New Year.

New Year is just a continuation of Christmas, but if we want to increase the emphasis on specific regions, we have personalized marketing from app stores. Custom Store Listing can help us with a target geo or audience, and a Custom Product Page (even though it can change only previews and screenshots) is an excellent approach to target positioning of our app page.

Chinese New Year

A very colorful holiday, originating from the Asian region with a deep historical, religious, and cultural background. Its spread worldwide occurred due to globalization, integration, and labor migration of people. Now, Chinese New Year is known far beyond the borders of its homeland, and even though not such a large part of our target audience celebrates it, it definitely won’t hurt to use it to optimize the page. Moreover, this is a beautiful holiday, which provides room for optimizing the visual elements of our game or application.

Seasonal optimization for this holiday includes:

  1. The traditional Chinese New Year celebration colors are bright colors - all shades of red and gold.
  2. Add fireworks and dragons, paper lanterns, and traditional gift envelopes. Fortunately, hieroglyphs allow you to put an entire phrase into a couple of characters, so we will take the opportunity to write congratulations and wishes to our users. But Eastern cunning can take us by surprise here - we will definitely check the spelling and placement of hieroglyphs in our visual elements.

Valentine's Day

Seasonal optimization for Valentine's Day:

  1. We are not afraid to overdo it with pink hearts and Cupids. We create and follow the romantic moods of our users. Of course, if we have a zombie-themed shooter, there's little to romanticize. But coloring by numbers gives a lot of scope for imagination. Don't forget about banners, push-up notifications, and special events for the holiday.
  2. Romantic icons are easy to achieve by adding unique Valentine's Day costumes to our characters.

And even if this is not as significant a holiday as Christmas, we will follow the phrase - love conquers all and style our app page to match the festive atmosphere.

Promoting apps and games during the holidays

Advertising campaigns from Apple Search Ads and Google Ads are also subject to seasonal optimization, and in addition to visual elements, we will work with:

  • Seasonal keywords.

Tracking and selecting keywords for ASA in Search Ads Spy from ASOMobile is convenient.

  • CPT rates.

The holiday season can increase competition because everyone is trying to ensure that the best is yet to come. So it’s time to reconsider our advertising budgets to avoid overtaking competitors in the fight for first place in the display.

  • Return of old users.

New users are great, but the holiday season is an excellent time to remind those who might become returning users. When setting up your target audience, don’t forget about retargeting.

What else to prepare for the winter holidays?

In-app purchases

Preparing special offers for the winter holidays can significantly help the seasonal monetization of our game or application. Additionally, in-app purchases are a great way to communicate special updates to existing users or users who have uninstalled our app.

App Events

This is a great way to promote events in apps and games. And a holiday is an event. This means we can easily use In-app Events tools from the App Store and advertising content from Google Play (offering bonuses and rewards, events and competitions, and special offers).

Promotional Text for iOS apps.

A field that is often overlooked or underappreciated. And it can be optimized for seasonal changes - quickly and effectively. The field is not indexed; its update does not require the release of a new build of an application or game. Therefore, we will remind users of the holiday spirit in just two sentences.

We remember that no matter what our holiday optimization touches - purchases, events, or special offers. We change all elements according to what is written above, using festive decor, special symbols, and moods.

Basic rules of ASO optimization for the holiday season:

  1. We plan and start early. All creatives and ideas must pass A/B tests and be fully prepared not for the holiday itself but for its preparation.
  2. We clearly indicate which holidays and events we will respond to with seasonal changes in users' lives. Since everything we wrote takes a lot of effort and budget, we must prioritize. For the winter season, these four holidays are ASO optimization favorites. Let's reserve St. Barbara's Day or Martin Luther King Day in our seasonal strategy.
  3. We optimize everything, but not too much. We will cover only those elements whose changes will bring us maximum benefit. There is no point in creating a memorable Christmas video to preview our app if users in our category do not hold the video in high esteem. But there is no need to forget about what is worth optimizing. In-app purchases or seasonal notifications will strengthen connections with our users and create loyalty to our games and applications.

Don’t forget the most important thing: in the seasonal optimization race, don’t forget to enjoy the holidays yourself. Until the next release of ASO optimization - spring season.

Optimize and achieve your goals💙❄️

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