Google App Campaigns, paid social, and TikTok
How Kurve helped Sweatcoin become the fastest-growing health and fitness app in history
Ultimately, business growth comes from product traction, market appeal, and further growth potential. That’s the trifecta Sweatcoin achieved in early 2022, working with Kurve to make it the number 1 health and fitness app in the UK and fastest-growing health and fitness app in history.
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“We’re a 7 year-old business, but we still run like a start-up,” said Bogdana Orzu, Sweatcoin’s Growth Campaign Manager. “This means we still have very ambitious goals, and for these campaigns it was to acquire more users and to expand into several new markets.”
To first create the campaign, but then also to scale it and monitor the quality of its users to ensure we have a positive LTV:CAC ratio, Kurve helped Sweatcoin by integrating Google App Campaigns (ACi), App Store Optimisation (ASO), Paid App Store Install Campaigns, Paid Social on TikTok, Snapchat and Facebook channels, resulting in a 10x increase in media spend keeping within LTV targets seeing a 10x growth in Monthly user growth via paid campaigns.
Structuring the approach to build in greater transparency
“When you hear about start-ups,” said Bogdana, “one of the first things people look at from a business perspective is the growth model and for Sweatcoin, this model was mainly based on influencers, referrals, and viral loops.”
On the back of this model, Sweatcoin already boasts an impressive 60 million registered users. For all of its success, however, there was room for improvement in terms of making the mechanics of growth more predictable and scalable. As a first step, Sweatcoin and Kurve developed a tailored growth and campaign structure that gave them much more visibility on targets. It also uncovered the channels the company could leverage to add greater cohesion to its growth.
Paid advertising as the key integrator
The first of those new channels were Google App Campaigns and Paid Social, which allowed Sweatcoin to both fuel and combine growth loops across platforms. Specifically, Sweatcoin considered these as growth channels, meaning that they were more focused on reaching new audiences at scale with the core Sweatcoin value proposition: “It pays to walk”.
The key, here, was that paid advertising allowed the team to control campaign volume and CPI. It also meant that they could run low-level experiments to see which ads worked and which didn’t and later scale their campaigns much more effectively.
Using TikTok and micro-influencers to reach target demographic
With its paid advertising in place, Sweatcoin and Kurve then turned their focus to social media. Since 2019, the number of health and fitness app downloads has increased by more than 25% to over 2.48 billion at the end of 2021. The largest demographic behind this increase has been Gen Z, who are also the largest audience on TikTok.
Prior to restructuring the growth campaigns, Sweatcoin had already been creating their own social media videos. However, over the course of the experimentation phase, the team quickly discovered that the creative content didn’t align with the platform.
There is a general mindset for TikTok that advertisers should “create TikToks, not ads”. With that in mind, the team went back to its influencer-based model – this time reaching out to micro-influencers – who created their own highly-visual, ‘user-generated’ videos that saw an immediate increase in engagement.
TikTok and the power of viral loops
The first benefit of letting TikTok users generate their own content was that it drove down Sweatcoin’s creative costs. The second advantage was that it helped create viral advertising loops.
An important point to remember about TikTok is that it’s built on an unconnected distribution model. This means that the content goes to everyone – not just someone’s followers – and can therefore lead to exponential growth as more and more people share that content.
For Sweatcoin, this meant:
- Reduced CPI
- Reduced advertising costs
- Greater visibility in target expansion markets (and worldwide)
And perhaps more importantly, these viral loops helped Sweatcoin rank 1st in the UK within just a few weeks and make the top 5 Health and Fitness chart in App Stores globally.
Training Google to target ideal users
On the other side of the integrated campaign was Google Ads. Google ACi campaigns, however, doesn’t allow for targeting based on audience, interests, or demographics and, as Bogdana said, “It’s important for us to monitor user quality, essentially to see whether they’re engaged and become high-value users in the long term. And one of the main ideas behind paid ads was to control that quality.”
Combined, targeted strategy
TikTok and Facebook native ads to appear organic, for word-of-mouth spreading
ACi (Google App Campaigns) and ASA (Apple Search Ads) to place ads on the app stores
With audience targeting off the table, Kurve reverse engineered their audience research – by defining a conversion as the number of steps a user takes – to help train Google’s algorithm to identify and target Sweatcoin’s ideal users.
A well-researched, well-structured, and integrated approach to growth – combined with a top-notch product – will almost always deliver results that speak for themselves. For Sweatcoin, that success was in the traction, market appeal, and growth potential they had set out to achieve.
As a startup-minded business, though, the next success will always be the greatest. New markets mean new goals and new challenges, but it’s the energy and momentum between Sweatcoin and Kurve that make those challenges achievable – that’s the real power of expert collaboration.
“The testing and scaling we did with Kurve really validated our channels,” said Bogdana, “and we’re really looking forward to accelerating this going forward.”
“The testing and scaling we did with Kurve really validated our channels, and we’re really looking forward to accelerating this going forward.”