By April Tayson
Crypto and digital assets became one of the hottest tech topics in 2021, and have only continued to gain momentum in 2022 so far. Within this fast-paced ecosystem, it’s crypto apps in particular that are seeing massive user growth.
Adoption of crypto apps skyrocketed in 2021. Compared to 2020, installs grew by over 400%, and sessions increased by over 567%. These are promising statistics that point to the emergence of cryptocurrency exchanges as a dominant force in the world of fintech and mobile apps in general.
But explosive growth like this comes with its own challenges, not the least of which is sustaining this growth and engaging users. So let’s explore what’s behind the crypto explosion and the growth opportunities that lie ahead for crypto apps in 2022.
Our research finds that crypto app install and session activity maps to cryptocurrency market performance, with most metrics peaking in Q1 in 2021, rising again with prices in the fall, and slowing down at the end of the year. Despite the peaks, the year has seen steady growth for crypto apps in most respects.
We also found that crypto apps beat stock trading apps when it comes to user engagement, which is particularly impressive considering that stock trading apps are typically the standout for engagement metrics within the broader fintech vertical. We compared crypto apps to stock trading apps in 2021, and the former outperformed the latter on everything from session lengths and sessions per user per day to retention rates and stickiness. This indicates an engaged and high-retention user base for crypto apps.
So how can crypto app marketers capitalize on this pattern? Here are a few tips:
- Pay attention to advertising compliance requirements: With scams very prevalent in space in 2018, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all banned cryptocurrency-related advertising. While some of these regulations have eased, crypto ads may still be regulated on a jurisdictional basis and marketers must get to know the compliance requirements in any market they wish to enter.
- Experiment with creatives: When running ads for your crypto app, be sure to iterate, A / B test, and focus on the best-performing creatives. Feel free to experiment with different creatives for different audiences. Money can be a sensitive topic, and crypto is a new and complex space. While some users may respond well to bold messaging, others may prefer a safer and more conservative tone – especially as you wear out the supply of early adopters and start looking for new audiences, which brings me to my next point.
- Consider video and OTT / CTV ads – The 2022 Super Bowl was dubbed by some as the “Crypto Bowl”, with ads from Coinbase, FTX, eToro, and Crypto.com dominating airwaves and leading to a 279% jump in downloads for the apps.
- Build on user loyalty and retention: Trading apps naturally lend to habitual usage, which is confirmed in the high session and retention rates we reported. To become the crypto or finance platform of choice for users in the long term, apps need to continue to cultivate this user engagement through the ups and downs of market performance by adding utility for users (such as new features, network integrations, asset listings, or educational materials) and retargeting inactive users. And all of this requires in-depth user data to draw on.
With such exponential growth and an exceptionally engaged user base offering high lifetime value, crypto mobile apps have become a key gateway to the crypto economy. As competition for users heats up, crypto and fintech apps will need to maximize their user acquisition efforts, optimize their ad spend, and accurately measure every stage of the user journey. Armed with good data and a solid strategy to find and engage the right users, crypto apps are poised for even more explosive growth in 2022.
The author is the regional VP, INSEA