ASA + ASO = ♥️. Capitalizing on Valentine’s Day and the Holiday Season

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Olivia Doboaca
ASA + ASO = ♥️. Capitalizing on Valentine’s Day and the Holiday Season

Table of Content:

  1. Holiday Seasons and Valentine’s Day
  2. Strategies for seasonal ASO Success
    • Keyword optimization
    • In-app events
    • Utilizing Apple Search Ads
  3. ASO & ASA synergy
    • Apple Search Ads bids & keywords
  4. Afterword
  5. FAQ
    • How can I boost my app's visibility during the holiday season?
    • What are the best ASO strategies for Valentine's Day?
    • Can Apple Search Ads improve app downloads during holidays?

During our webinar produced in collaboration with Asapty, Yodel Mobile, and our team at AppFollow, we explored top ASO and ASA strategies for the holiday seasons. This is the bread and butter of any business looking to get more engagement, more sales, and more loyal customers.

This article recaps top insights shared during the webinar, as well as practical advice on how to make the most out of the festive season, Valentine’s Day, and other celebratory occasions.

Holiday Seasons and Valentine’s Day

The 'holiday season' is basically the last quarter of the year, post-Halloween to New Year's Eve. It's when app marketers get busy because everyone's glued to their phones more than usual, looking to spend money. To a smaller extent, that applies to Valentine’s Day, which is somewhat of an unofficial occasion, yet popular nonetheless.

Shopping and e-commerce apps get the most action. Thanks to Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the gifting frenzy, these apps saw a 37% jump in spending last year. During the Holiday Season, Gaming apps get a boost too, since families need to kill time together somehow.

Valentine's Day love in the UK is still strong, and so is the spending. People shelled out £300 million more since 2017, with a whopping £1.37 billion in 2022. This year, it's not just about romantic dinners or nights in; there's more to the story.

Mobile apps get a big boost around Valentine's. Restaurant booking apps saw about a 20-25% jump in use on the day compared to February's norm. Leading up to the day, recipe apps also got busier, with a 12% increase in activity. It's quite fascinating.


Last season, using Christmas themes on product listings and running holiday deals meant a 20% better chance of getting downloads. Even without trying hard, you could see a 5 to 10% download bump during the holidays. Get creative with your app's look, and you'll do even better.

Take the fashion app PrettyLittleThing. No holiday spirit in October, but come November and December, they threw in Black Friday and Christmas-themed icons and images. Smart move—it grabs users looking for holiday bargains and makes you stand out. Even just a new icon can get old users to take a second look. PLT called their sale "Pink Friday" and stuck a festive hat on their logo. Easy.

Case in point: B&Q. They're like the Home Depot of the UK but went all-black for Black Friday and showcased their deals. Their Android installs shot up 80%, and iOS installs went up 58%. Shows you what hitting the right creative notes can do when the shopping craze hits.

Strategies for seasonal ASO Success

Let’s take a look at some battle-tested strategies guaranteed to yield a boost to your sales and engagement, starting with this little gem:

Change your app's creative elements often, at least every six months. Quarterly is best, especially when traffic peaks in Q1 and then majorily Q4—or should we say, "season Q5." It keeps the algorithms happy and your app relevant.

Keyword optimization

Update them every month, no excuses. When it's go-time for big sale days like Christmas or Black Friday, you need to be quick with your metadata. Last year, 'Black Friday' searches went through the roof. If those hot seasonal keywords fit your app, use them. Even if your app isn't about the holidays, these keywords can still give you a leg up during the rush.

Do you have a hot-selling product for New Year's? Show it off in your screenshots. That's what will make people stop and download. But don't just ride the wave of the moment—think bigger. What's trending over time, not just right now, should shape your strategy.

In-app events

Use in-app events to boost engagement when the season's right. In-app events are those cards you see on the App Store and Play Store that tell users about special things happening in your app—like limited-time deals or new stuff to do. They're effective marketing tricks—no cash needed, just some snappy visuals and the right words. You can keep them up for a whole month.

In-app events are good for any category. Competitions, seasonal updates—they all keep users coming back.

For media and magazines, in-app events can spotlight new articles. More events, more eyes on your content. The same goes for gamers—they live for leaderboards, challenges, and other activities that put their name on a scoreboard. Use in-app events to reel both new and old players back into the game.

That way, you're stealing the spotlight from your rivals. Do it right, and you'll see the difference. Don't sit around waiting for users to find you. Plan ahead, and mark your calendar for the best times to drop these elements forward.

Utilizing Apple Search Ads

Apple Search Ads don't care about IDFA restrictions. You get immediate updates on installs and in-app shenanigans, making it a breeze to see if your ads are actually working. Sure, ads pop up in search results, but Apple doesn't stop there. They also stick your ads on the Search tab, Today tab, and Product page.

Your app needs to look the part for Apple Search Ads to really work. That means your app's headline, icon, and screenshots must be well-made. Get beautiful visuals, and your app's journey from being seen to being downloaded soars.

You can also boost your app's visibility with in-app events that way. A smart headline for your event can get you a load of new eyes on your app. Don't forget to echo the keywords you use for Apple Search Ads in your App Store Connect metadata. This tightens up your campaign and makes every ad dollar count.

ASO & ASA synergy

Go with single keyword ad groups, aka SKAGs. They let you bid with laser precision and track every penny spent and earned per keyword. Apple Search Ads won't give you this clarity by default.

Then there are the custom product pages in App Store Connect. Play with different visuals, throw them out on special days like Halloween or Black Friday, and keep the winner. It's a no-brainer for better results.

Also, Europe's now got an ad library. Peek at the competition's custom pages and ads, see what they're up to, and plan your next move. With Apple opening up on data, you can even get a sneak peek at your rivals' basic campaign stats and test runs.

ASO's got ASA's back, too. It makes your ads more visible and can cut your costs by zeroing in on in-app events and smart keyword plays. Use ASA's search metrics—medium or niche keywords can be your golden ticket. Test, learn, and then tweak your app's metadata with your findings.

No shortcuts, however. Using the "restaurant" keyword on a travel app won’t do much. But if you're stuck, a metadata makeover could be the key.

Festive seasons are all about the right keywords. Use Apple Search Ads' popularity scores to spot the winners. Tools can help pick seasonal keywords that'll get you seen. Tack on "Halloween," and you might spook your current keyword standings. Make sure it fits, like adding Halloween-themed content to a game so it clicks without killing your regular traffic.

Apple Search Ads bids & keywords

In Apple's Search Ads, how much you bid can swing your costs from dirt-cheap to sky-high for the same keyword. Find the sweet spot where raising your bid stops making sense because it won't get you more installs.

Stick to one keyword per ad group to nail your cost-per-tap and cost-per-acquisition. Clump keywords together and you risk missing out on pricier installs that could be winners.

After all, Apple's ad game is fair play; even the big fish like Revolut can't hog all the ad space. Mastering Apple Search Ads takes grit—it's a maze of countries, keywords, and bids.

And when the holidays roll around, make sure your app's screenshots flaunt your best deals upfront.


Remember, it's showtime from Halloween to New Year's. This is when your app needs to shine brightest.

Fine-tune your ASO and ASA with precision—refresh those keywords, make in-app events your engagement ace, and optimize those Apple Search Ads. It's all about strategic spending and sharp creatives. That’s how you can stay competitive and make the most out of the holiday season, no matter the geography.


How can I boost my app's visibility during the holiday season?

Start by refreshing your app's creative elements, screenshots, to match the vibe of the occasion. Optimize keywords for seasonal trends and utilize in-app events to engage users. Apple Search Ads can also increase visibility without being affected by IDFA restrictions.

What are the best ASO strategies for Valentine's Day?

For Valentine's Day, focus on keyword optimization related to love, gifts, and celebrations. Update your app visuals to reflect the occasion and consider special in-app events to attract users looking for Valentine's Day ideas.

Can Apple Search Ads improve app downloads during holidays?

Absolutely. Apple Search Ads allow for precise targeting and immediate feedback on installs. Match your ads with festive keywords and visuals to boost your app's download rates during the holiday season.


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