We have been working on this case study for a couple of months and we are happy that we are finally able to publish it. You see, we are big fans of what Runtastic has been able to build over the last few years and we are excited to share their story.
Runtastic is a great example of how apps can solve a problem and also connect people around the world, with similar interests.
When it’s all said and done, that is what it is all about: creating apps that make a difference in people’s lives.
We interviewed Lotta Weigeldt, Head of Acquisition & Retention at Runtastic, to learn more about the company. So here’s the story of how Runtastic was started, the challenges they have faced and some great insights into how they market their portfolio of successful apps.
Can you tell us a little about Runtastic and how the company got started?
Runtastic is a world leader in mobile health and fitness. We are based in Linz, Austria and are best known for our flagship running and fitness apps. However, Runtastic offers a wide variety of apps, services and content within the Runtastic Portfolio.
In August 2015, the company was acquired by the Adidas Group. The main goal of the young, international team is to make everyone live a more conscious, active and therefore healthier, longer life with Runtastic.
The idea for Runtastic was born in 2009 during a college project and developed into a running app for leisure athletes by the four co-founders, René Giretzlehner, Florian Gschwandtner, Christian Kaar and Alfred Luger.
Over the last 7 years, a comprehensive portfolio has evolved to help users get out of their comfort zone, connect with other fitness-minded folks and reach their goals. The world really comes together through fitness and activity, and Runtastic’s worldwide community of over 100 million continues to empower every day.
In your opinion, what has been the biggest reason that Runtastic has been so successful?
One of the most critical components, especially in the beginning, is the team of founders. These guys really honed in on their vision.
On top of that, you definitely need patience and persistence because there are always things that don’t go according to plan. If you believe in your idea – pursue it no matter what!
Our apps are for anyone and everyone. No matter if you’re a beginner, passionate runner or just searching for something new to mix it up, Runtastic is here to help and guide you.
With our portfolio of different apps, services and content, we’re offering our users multiple possibilities to live a more active, healthier and longer life.
What are the biggest challenges that the marketing team has faced when marketing the Runtastic apps?
We offer dozens of products and content in up to 15 languages. It is sometimes a challenge to address all of our target groups, as well as keep up with the fast changing trends in the digital health and fitness space.
However, this also means various communication channels and possibilities to market our own products. A positive challenge, so to say!
What are the best results that you have seen with App Store Optimization alone?
When we first started doing ASO, it was all guesswork. Then we started to read up on ASO and used primitive ASO tools (this was 2013 after all).
For the Runtastic Running & Fitness app on iOS, we jumped from ranking in the 70s to the 20s, in the Health & Fitness category.
This took three months and brought in over a thousand more downloads a day in the US alone.
What has been your biggest “ah-ha” moment when it comes to ASO?
Our ‘ah-ha’ moment was learning that it’s a process and not a one-time shot or update of title and keywords! Our ASO team sees each app update (especially on iOS) as an opportunity to build off of what they’ve done or tried out in the past.
Whether it’s building better keyword combinations between the title and keywords, or removing words that no longer have as much organic volume or reach, there are always optimizations to be done.
Is there a common mistake that you see people making with ASO?
Number one is a poorly written title and screenshots that just feature dump. Users want to understand what the app does and what the potential benefits are.
It’s important for companies to be very user-focused during this first impression and not just try and “brag” about how cool and innovative they are… we’ve got to get out of our own way here!
It’s easy to see where many app developers make mistakes on their App Store Marketing. In addition to that, I’ve seen numerous app developers duplicate keywords in the title and keywords fields, which drives me crazy!
How does your team use Mobile Action to optimize the Runtastic fitness brand apps?
Runtastic has country managers who are experts in both their country (geo-area) and their language. They are all well-trained on how to use Mobile Action platform and other app marketing tools to help them decide on what the most important keywords and keyword combinations are.
We then entrust them to figure out what combinations between title and keywords on iOS work and then adding in the short and long description on Android to help get the greatest amount of organic discovery for Runtastic apps.
Which Mobile Action modules have you found the most useful and why?
The ASO team uses the ASO Intelligence module on a regular basis. The keyword tracking page is an easy-to-use dashboard to get a quick view of how we are doing on respective apps and a given country each day.
For research purposes, Keyword Intelligence & Keyword Suggestions are the two most widely used. Keeping on your competitors and new apps jumping up in your category is also important. With Mobile Action, you can get an idea whether it’s from ad spending, keyword jumps, or other app marketing tactics.
What are some other marketing channels that work well for Runtastic?
Social media has been a major marketing channel that has worked well for us. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram we find touchpoints and content that is meaningful to both our current and potential users.
For example, our Fitness Channel on YouTube has had millions of views and covers everything from how to avoid injuries to easy-to-make recipes for health.
In addition to all of our social media efforts, we also maintain a very informative blog that has new posts regularly and attracts millions of unique visitors every month!
We would like to thank Lotta and the Runtastic team for helping us with this case study and wish them continued success. Their continued commitment to their core user base has transformed a college idea, to one of the most recognized fitness brands in the world.
So study what they have done, implement their ASO tips and learn what they are doing to engage and help their audience outside of the app stores.
Start with a free Mobile Action account here.
About the Author
Lotta Weigeldt is an active member of the Berlin start-up scene and international business community for numerous years. Lotta was previously employed by Rocket Internet and Team Europe companies. She now oversees Acquisition, CRM and Monetization at Runtastic, including all ASO efforts.
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