Marketing an app is a heck of a lot more difficult than just running a few ads to download the app. Just ask Bumble. They run ads on every platform you can think of, including Adwords, Facebook, Snapchat, Apple Search, and more.
At the same time, they’re also focused on growing organic traffic by creating 10x content, Search Engine Optimization, and App Store Optimization.
That’s a lot to handle. So how do they manage it all? We invited Bumble’s Senior Manager of Digital Marketing, Morry Mitrani, to join our podcast and break it all down for us.
Among other things, Morry talks about Bumble’s approach to Facebook advertising, why they almost never sell themselves, and why brand awareness is the starting point for all of their campaigns.
You’re not going to want to miss this one!
Nick Comanici: (00:05) Welcome to the Carnage Podcast. We interview some of today’s most savvy marketers, creatives, and founders, to find out what’s working and what’s not. We discover the tools and tactics they’re using every day to get results, all in an effort to help you become the sharpest marketer in the room.
Nick Comanici: (00:22) I’m your host, Nick Comanici. I’m an entrepreneur, creative marketer, and obsessed with the process. Our guest today is Morry Mitrani, senior manager of digital marketing for Bumble. Bumble’s a brand that’s become much more than just a dating app, and today Morry gives us insights into the importance of team collaboration, how to acquire, engage users, and why it’s so important to put out valuable content for free.
Nick Comanici: (00:51) So without further ado, let’s give our attention to Morry.
Morry Mitrani: (00:56) Cool. Yeah, so my name is Morry Mitrani. I am the senior manager of digital marketing at Bumble, and I guess that’s just a fancy term for I run all the digital marketing. So within that bucket of digital marketing, that includes both all the paid ads you probably see everywhere on the web, so basically like AdWords, Snapchat, Apple Search. There’s a ton of stuff we’re doing in that arena, and then it also includes the organic digital stuff. So my background was originally in SEO, so that’s where I have the most years of experience with. And then from that I’ve also kind of brought on the ASO, which means App Store Optimization. I brought on that program to Bumble. And yeah, that’s just kind of like the overarching umbrella of what I do.
Morry Mitrani: (01:54) And then a little, I guess a little info about Bumble, if you’re not familiar with it, Bumble is a social networking app. We were originally a dating app, but we’ve kind of morphed that into just an app where you find people that you don’t know already. So that is dating, it’s finding friends with our Bumble BFF vertical, and then as of a few months ago, it’s also Bumble Bizz, which is now you can find professional connections in your area.
Morry Mitrani: (02:25) So each of those verticals has a different type of audience, but then there are a lot of users that use all of them at the same time. So it’s just, yeah, it’s a really exciting time to be at Bumble because of expansion that we’ve been going through over the past year or so.
Morry Mitrani: (02:42) And then I guess I’ve been at Bumble for over a year now, so last April, Tessa, my manager, she was looking for someone to run primarily Facebook ads, which I had some experience with, so I obviously jumped at the opportunity. And then from there I kind of built out the digital marketing program much more than Facebook ads. So Facebook is a big part of what we do, but then, like I mentioned, I started running AdWords ads. Apple Search has become very important for us. We are exploring a lot of different other acquisition platforms that we can go into a little later. And then also the SEO and ASO side.
Nick Comanici: (03:26) Cool. You know, recently we had the pleasure of having Tessa speak at our Yearly Carnage conference, and she gave us some insights into kind of the early days of Bumble and how the growth has happened over time.
Nick Comanici: (03:44) You had mentioned something in there, too, which I think … a lot of people are familiar with running Facebook ads and AdWords, but you mentioned about the App Store Optimization. Can you speak on that a little bit for those of our listeners who are either producing an app or currently have launched one, the importance of that aspect?
Morry Mitrani: (04:04) Yeah, for sure. So I’m sure more people are familiar with SEO over ASO, App Store Optimization. So for those that don’t understand, though, so SEO is Search Engine Optimization. That is primarily optimizing for Google, making sure that you’re organically coming up in relevant search terms for Google. So ASO, App Store Optimization, is very similar to that, but it is in the app store, both Google Play and iOS app stores. So a very basic example is if people are typing the word “dating app”, a dating app would want to be at the top of that list.
Morry Mitrani: (04:50) So there are a lot of things that go into ASO. It’s becoming more and more complex. It used to just be do you have the word “dating app” in your app title or something, just like SEO used to kind of be like that. But now it’s becoming much more “are users engaging with your app after they install?” … I mean, are they installing after they click on your product page? Something like that. Do you do a good job at convincing the user to install, but then not only that, are they actually engaging with the app further along the funnel?
Nick Comanici: (05:27) So it’s kind of incorporating, or at least is giving some feedback that then helps with the user experience, I would imagine, as well?
Morry Mitrani: (05:36) Yeah. User experience is a huge piece of ASO. And then, yeah, I mean, it also kind of has to do with your basic SEO tactics, like putting relevant keywords in your app title and your app description. Yeah, I mean, that’s always kind of like the basic level, but then after that, it’s user experience for sure.
Nick Comanici: (05:55) That kind of brings me to a point. When I initially reached out to you to be on this podcast, I asked, “What was the most valuable thing that you’ve learned since you’ve been at Bumble?” I believe your response was something to the likes of being able to collaborate with multiple teams or departments within Bumble, whether that be design or product, and that is I think a really interesting point. We were just talking about UX, but at the same time talking about SEO. I think historically agencies and client side, often departments kind of take a siloed approach, where the design team will create something beautiful, they’ll hand it off to the development team, they’ll do what they think is best for the project. It ends up in marketing’s hands and then marketing complains they don’t have what they need to make the project a success. So tell me a little bit about that, why your experience at Bumble is maybe different in that regard, and why you appreciate it so much.
Morry Mitrani: (06:57) Yeah. Oh, my goodness. I cannot talk more about the importance of collaboration. I mean, my team is extremely analytical. We can optimize anything, test everything. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that we are not creatives, we are not designers. One really specific example is I showed an ad to our head of brand, Alex, and I think I just … It was like my first few weeks at Bumble, and this is kind of what I was used to doing before, and I pulled a stock photo of just like a couple and wanted to run that as an ad. And she goes, “Absolutely not. This is not on brand. This is not who Bumble is.” And ever since then I think we have gotten much better at communicating to every single team, not in a way that is a bottleneck at all to us, but just making sure that we are getting input from everyone.
Morry Mitrani: (07:53) So I guess a good example of something we do now is whenever we have a new product feature released, my team will meet with our product marketing manager, our designer, our brand team, our content team, and we will all just sync and collaborate on the best way to digitally spread the word about a new feature or digitally spread the word about maybe a new success story that we’ve received. So collaboration is just like so crazy important.
Morry Mitrani: (08:25) And I guess I can also go into the importance of collaboration for different teams across the globe, so I mean, we’re a global brand, and then we house all of the digital ads globally on my team in Austin, Texas. So very lucky for us, we have different teams on the ground in Germany and Australia and the UK, and they … I mean, it’s much more than just translating stuff for ads for content for website copy; it’s localizing it.
Morry Mitrani: (09:04) So a really funny example is we received some copy from Julia, our head of Germany, and we were just really curious what it said, so we put it just straight into Google Translate, which, unfortunately I think a lot of digital marketers use, and it translated to, “Bumble is all about women empowering each other. This has made Julia, our head of Germany, especially angry.” So that’s what it translated to, and we sent that to Julia. And she was like, “It might translate straight to that, but it actually means, “Bumble is all about empowering each other, empowering women. This is especially appealing to Julia.” So for some reason, “appealing” and “angry”, Google got them confused or something in translate. So that was just a really, really funny example.
Nick Comanici: (10:01) So something else is … We talked about Facebook ads, obviously paid is a huge part of your strategy. You’re in some ways responsible for both new user acquisition and retention. How much time would you say you devote to either one of those things? Is it a 50/50 split, is it more complex than that?
Morry Mitrani: (10:25) I think it’s probably a little more complex than that. Our product marketing manager, who I talk to like every hour of the day, Jessica, she helps tremendously on the retention side. She’s the one managing all of our push notifications, all of our emails that go out. I do assist in that, but I mean, she’s the one running the show there.
Morry Mitrani: (10:49) So a lot of what we do is acquisition, but we are trying more and more to find different ways to utilize our acquisition platforms into retention platforms. So Facebook is probably the best example of that, just because they have a good … It’s a little technical, but have a good optimization tool called … where you optimize for app events, not installs, so I mean, I could tell Facebook, “Hey, go find users, either new or current users, that will match any app or that will chat in the app.” Facebook will go find users like that. Or I could also say, “Hey, Facebook, go find people who will match and chat in the app that haven’t been active for 30 days.” There’s a lot of stuff we can do there.
Nick Comanici: (11:39) What does your Ads Manager look like? Are you able to accomplish new user acquisition with a handful of campaigns or are we talking like hundreds of campaigns running at any given time?
Morry Mitrani: (11:54) We’ve got hundreds of campaigns running. There’s a lot going on in our Ads Manager. We have things spit out by many accounts, and then within each account we have tons and tons of campaigns running. So I’m lucky enough that on my team we’ve hired an amazing guy named Kenny to completely run the show for Facebook, for Instagram, for Instagram Stories. And after we hired him, we have been able to scale Facebook like crazy. So with that is hundreds of campaigns, and within those hundreds of campaigns tons of different audiences. So there’s a lot going on in there.
Nick Comanici: (12:35) Are you setting your budgets on a campaign level or on ad set level?
Morry Mitrani: (12:39) We set it on ad set level. When you’re marketing apps, you have to use some kind of mobile measurement partner, and we use AppsFlyer. So AppsFlyer helps attribution through any paid platform you’re using. So we use AppsFlyer and then actually turn that into a more robust internal tool, and then that’s where we analyze basically every ad set we’re running, and we are figuring out how much are these users acquired on these ad sets, but also are they active users, are they engaged users. There’s a ton of things that go into analyzing different ad sets we’re running. The most important thing for us is just are they engaged and are they using the app.
Nick Comanici: (13:27) So we’re talking primarily here about the paid strategy. Let’s talk a little more about the organic side of things. In some ways people, you hear talking about organic being dead, or maybe they’ve kind of abandoned their organic strategy. How has Bumble found a way to keep that growing simultaneously alongside the paid?
Morry Mitrani: (13:52) Yeah. So I think this definitely goes back to the collaboration conversation. So Bumble is very lucky to have an amazing editorial team. If you go to the beehive.bumble.com, you can see just the amazing content that we put out there. All of this, we optimize for SEO very heavily. We make sure that the content being read is very useful for the user, because we’re actually seeing that when people are interacting with content on either our regular website or the BeeHive subdomain, we’re finding that these are really high-quality users. And we assume it’s because we’re … they’re really engaged before they even install the app. So we put so much great content out there.
Morry Mitrani: (14:47) And then I work obviously with the content team to make sure it’s optimized for SEO. I’m really close with our PR manager, and we make sure that a lot of our content is getting sent out, because it’s amazing, and we think it’s very useful for a lot of things that external sites are writing about, so we will receive links from that kind of stuff.
Morry Mitrani: (15:11) But overall, I think the content we’re putting out there is really, really engaging, and Google loves that. Google loves to see content that users find useful and that they’re not what’s called pogo-sticking. On the search results page they’re not going to one page, going back, going to another page, going back, going to another page. They want to see people stay on what they’re showing in the search results pages.
Nick Comanici: (15:42) So can you give me an example of maybe a simple funnel that you’re using that’s incorporating kind of that organic content you’re creating and then leveraging it into the paid side? I know there’s many audiences that you’re serving it to, but what does that simple top of funnel, middle of funnel, bottom of funnel look like for Bumble, if you can share that?
Morry Mitrani: (16:07) A lot of users land on our content, whether it’s on our website, subdomain, our regular subdomain, or the high subdomain. And then from there, we definitely love remarketing to those users that are reading it through Facebook’s remarketing pixel and showing them other amazing content. I want to prevent us from trying to sell Bumble too early in the process, because we are a very strong brand, and there’s a lot of content out there that I think even if you’re not interested in downloading Bumble for any reason, you’ll just find really, really helpful and useful stuff that is about professional networking, is about dating, and then just about our overall brand, which is ending misogyny and empowering everyone to do what they want and love.
Morry Mitrani: (16:59) So again, I’m just really lucky to have a really amazing editorial team, because we’re writing amazing content. So we’ll remarket people who read, interact with certain content and kind of give them more content as ads to read. And then from there, we will try to start seeing if they’re interested in downloading Bumble. So a lot of times … We definitely have certain articles that we’ll see actually converts users a lot higher than others, and obviously, that’s the more down-the-funnel, not as brand awareness type of content.
Nick Comanici: (17:39) The other thing I’m thinking about now, just jumping back to the content side, how have you been able to scale that process? Are these in-house writers? Are you leveraging outside talent? Maybe anything you can speak on that for brands out there that maybe started writing the content themself and now they’re seeing the value, the benefit of it, and they’re trying to scale up with quality but more frequency?
Morry Mitrani: (18:09) Okay. So we have a really great editorial director, and then under her umbrella, we have some really cool writers. So we have one writer who helps us out with growth type of content, so educating users on actually how to use Bumble, but in an actual engaging way. And then from my understanding, we also freelance a lot of really good writers to help with the more brand awareness type of content.
Morry Mitrani: (18:37) So on our blog, you’ll never see just straight, “Hey, go download Bumble” type of content. You’ll see a very broad array of different types of things. I think most of it actually is brand awareness.
Nick Comanici: (18:54) Yeah, absolutely. And I think that there’s a really good takeaway here, and it’s something that we’ve learned firsthand with The Daily Carnage newsletter. We always use the line, “Do the hard thing.” And the hard thing is just putting out really valuable content that people want, they need, and just holding back from the sell, as you mentioned before. And in the initial part of that, most companies and brands will back out when they don’t see ROI, but we’re seeing the value of that just a little over a year.
Morry Mitrani: (19:33) Yeah, it takes a long time.
Nick Comanici: (19:34) Yes. I think that’s what people need to hear. It takes a long time.
Nick Comanici: (19:38) Here’s a question. Don’t you think, though, going the short route of just hammering people with sales ads or just trying to get conversions immediately, don’t you think in the long run that ends up not getting you where you want to be?
Morry Mitrani: (19:53) Oh, absolutely. I mean, that can hurt your brand so badly if their first impression of you is, “Hey, go download my app. Hey, go buy my thing.” We’re just in a world where there’s so much stuff going on across the web that if you want to have a successful company, if you want to do it right, you need to build your brand and you need to stand out.
Morry Mitrani: (20:21) There are a ton of brands that I can think of that they build amazing content, and that’s how I ended up in selling their app. That’s how I ended up becoming a subscribed user. So I just think that is … It’s so important.
Morry Mitrani: (20:38) But yeah, to your point, I think it’s a fine line between quantity and quality of content. If you’re starting right out, it’s probably hard to justify spending like six months on building the best piece of content out there. So if I were that person, I would probably start building some things that you can get out the door somewhat quickly. But in today’s landscape, in today’s SEO, Google world, if you don’t have the … I mean, it’s hard to say, but if you don’t have the very, very best piece of content for that searcher’s intent, then you’re just not going to rank, because it’s become more and more important for Google to choose websites and to choose articles and blog posts and everything that give the user the very, very best experience.
Morry Mitrani: (21:37) Once a company gets going, you’ll see them spend sometimes six months on one piece of content just because they are that passionate about it. They’ve done that much research about it. And I mean, that’s the stuff that gets links. That’s the stuff that gets social shares.
Nick Comanici: (21:58) Yeah. So you’re basically saying if you had to choose, it would be less frequency but maybe longer form, higher quality content, if you’re going to invest some time or money into it?
Morry Mitrani: (22:12) A really good example is a guy named Brian Dean, and he writes for Backlinko, which is, it’s an SEO, digital marketing website. And I think he only has like 30 blog posts total or something on his website, but he spends months and months creating each one. And it has paid off tremendously, because he ranks number one for a crazy amount of keywords that have very strong intent. And he actually does the same for his YouTube videos, too. He only has a few YouTube videos, but they’re all 10-plus minutes. They’re all very, very tactical and thought out.
Nick Comanici: (22:50) I think the SEO part of this is very interesting, for some people maybe because of their limited bandwidth have put all their eggs in the paid side, and they realize, “Okay, we need to devote some energy to SEO.” What’s one focal point you could give them to go back to the drawing board with?
Morry Mitrani: (23:12) I think a healthy acquisition play will always include both organic and paid. If you spend too much on paid, you’re going to run out of your money, and then you’re going to find that you’re spending too much on users. And if you spend too much on organic, then obviously that takes a long, long, long time to get things going. But you can start mixing the two, which I think Bumble has done really well.
Morry Mitrani: (23:42) So if you’re just starting out, I would definitely look into … I guess we can talk about if you’re just starting out with organic, I would definitely look into what are some keywords that have traffic, but not only have traffic, but actually will give you users that have the intent to do what you want.
Morry Mitrani: (24:02) So let’s say I have a succulent building class that I’m trying to promote or something. And if I’m just trying to rank for the word “succulents”, then that could just mean people who want to buy succulents, not that necessarily want to take a class on building succulents. So you need to find that keyword that is not too long tail but that has some traffic, but it has the right amount of intent for you. And then once you find that keyword, or maybe a few different keywords that are similar in traffic size and intent, then look at what competitors are doing for that type of content. Look at what to top 10, maybe even 20, 30 results for those type of keywords are, and see how you can build something that’s even better than what exists there. So a lot of … I know internet companies I’ve been looking at, these tiny maybe one- and two-person shops, have been building really cool pieces of content and giving away for free. I mean, you want to give someone the amount of quantity and quality content that they would get from paying for something. You want to give that to them for free. And then from there, you can kind of earn a trust. You can do things like remarket them with either ad pixels, maybe you can get them to sign up for an email list, stuff like that. But it’s really about just building something that people want. And that I think is really hard to do, and people are trying to do it, but you can easily tell when this is just not helpful. Google can tell that, too.
Nick Comanici: (25:51) I think we’ve already talked about this, but it comes back to the same thing. It’s put out amazing content that people feel like they should be paying for, as if they’re getting away with something, and do it for free and do it for a long time. I think that’s hard for a lot of people to take, but the reality is that’s what it takes to build a solid brand.
Morry Mitrani: (26:11) Absolutely. I mean, Rand Fishkin from Moz, who I assume a lot of people know, he calls it 10x content. So you have to build something that’s literally 10 times better than anything else out there. So that right there is just weeding out so many different competitors who aren’t willing to spend the time and resources on something like that.
Nick Comanici: (26:35) Morry, it’s been awesome having you here. Before we go, can you maybe tell people where to go to, one, find out about Bumble, and then also about maybe you, your social channels and what you’re up to?
Morry Mitrani: (26:49) Yeah. You can definitely go to bumble.com. I would suggest going to the beehive.bumble.com. That’s where you can check out all of our really cool content. And then myself, you can find me at Morry, M-O-R-R-Y, on Instagram, at Morry, and then on Twitter, at Morry Mitrani, so that’s M-O-R-R-Y, M-I-T-R-A-N-I.
Nick Comanici: (27:14) Thank you so much, Morry, for coming on and imparting value to our listeners. I’m sure they’ll have some solid takeaways to apply to their brands, their business, and their career, so we can’t thank you enough.
Morry Mitrani: (27:27) Cool. I appreciate you for having me. This is awesome.
Speaker 3: (27:34) This podcast was brought to you by Carney, the full-service digital agency behind The Daily Carnage newsletter. If you’re not already hip to it, you can sign up today at carney.co. That’s C-A-R-N-E-Y.co. It may just be the best thing to hit your inbox. Stay sharp.