What is the halo effect in mobile marketing?

What is the halo effect ?

The halo effect is the principle of using paid traffic to generate additional organic traffic and get more free app installs. This effect only exists for mobile marketing in application stores. For desktop traffic, the Halo effect does not exist : paid online campaigns have no impact on organic traffic. Never.


Why is the halo effect possible in mobile marketing but not on desktop?

This Halo effect can not be used for desktop as people use Internet for many different reasons (searching for information, watching movies, reading blogs or buying clothes, etc.) whereas in App Store and in the Play Store, there is a unique goal: download applications.

App stores have to promote the best apps in order to keep on attracting new users. To do so, they use rankings: it helps to push good apps to the top of the stores and  bad apps further down.

Why has the halo effect been made possible in application stores?

It is mostly a side effect of having an algorithm based on rankings: top applications have better visibility and therefore more installs, which lead to higher rankings.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the ranking algorithm doesn’t do new applications any favors. Applications just coming onto the market face two major issues:

  1. Being discovered among the myriad apps already in the stores is mission impossible. There are 1,200,000 iOS apps in the App Store and 1,500,000+ Android apps in the Google Play Store.
  2. Beating longstanding top-ranked apps can seem like fighting a losing battle.


To help new apps be discovered, stores came up with a solution: allow advertisers to pay and promote their apps on the stores to generate some traffic, and as halo effect, increase their rankings according to app installs generated.

How much extra downloads can we expect from the halo effect?

Being in a category’s top 10 can generate on average 30% more downloads (source Ad4screen).  This is why many companies that understood this recipe are often focused on their rankings. Few positions can lead to big impact in term of downloads.

Halo Effect



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