With millions of apps across the app stores, it’s difficult to get noticed. Your future users are waiting to discover you through the App Store, paid ads, or even through friend recommendations. So we listed 7 ways to attract new users and grow your mobile user acquisition.
1. App Store Optimization (ASO)
App Store Optimization is the process of improving mobile app discoverability to rank higher in app store search results. The key of ASO is to make your app more visible to your potential users. Ranking high in the app store search results is like being on the first page of Google – you’re more likely to be noticed.
ASO is the most important part of organic user acquisition.
This will often be the user’s first interaction with the app. Every element of the app page in Google Play or App Store has the power to drive app downloads. This is a place to showcase the app. Keep in mind App Store Optimization process never stops. Many of the categories below will require constant A/B testing to figure out what works the best.
- App Name – How well does the name of the app describe what is the app about? The name should be simple, but memorable, it should be easy to spell and not too similar to any of the existing apps. Furthermore, you can include some descriptive keywords.
- App Description – What’s the app’s story? How well it describes the main features of the app? App Description should be engaging, it should highlight the features and the functionalities of the app. You should tell the users why is your app unique, what are the benefits of using it. Additionally, the tone should convey the tone of the brand and app experience.
- App Logo – How well does the logo describe your app? Will it intrigue the potential user? App Logo is one of the first graphic elements that users see and it can make a strong impression. It should be simple, but easily recognizable. A useful tip for coming with an icon design is to check out the icons of other apps in your category. Oftentimes, there are certain icon style trends that are worth exploring.
- App Screenshots – How many app screenshots are there? Do the screenshots demonstrate the main functionalities of the app? Screenshots should be handpicked to communicate the app’s features. Furthermore, the screenshots should be nicely designed. For example, you could add some captions, and other design elements to make it more interesting.
- App Ratings and Reviews – How many app ratings and reviews are there? Are they positive? How well is the overall score of the app? Reviews certainly have an impact on anybody looking at the app’s page as well as your ranking – but it’s not only about the summary rating. This feature should be used for directly addressing users’ feedback, questions, and concerns. It’s the best way to find out what users really think about your app.
How well the app ranks compared to the competitors?
Can you copy some of the strategies your competitors are using?
What is the Keyword Quality Score?
- Localization – Think about the localization of the app store page for each target market – including keywords. It can drive up to 767% more downloads and increase revenue.
- App Category – In the App Store, there are 2 categories you can assign to the app – primary and secondary. The primary category is particularly important to the app’s discoverability in the App Store.
- App Keyword Fields – Choosing the right keywords is a part of long-term ASO strategy. Researching the keywords should be done before you publish the app. Keywords can be anything that comes to the mind that is relevant for the app, like the tasks the app performs or the main features.
2. Paid User Acquisition
Right influencers – Influencers are an extension of your brand. Think about it more as a long-term partnership, not a onetime-thing. Revolut – the banking app grew to a user base of over 4+ million users thanks to the social proof and working with influencers like Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Right platform and story – On which platforms your audience spends time?
Tracking – Results can be harder to track – set up a custom URL for tracking the campaign. Someone could download the app from the app store after watching a YouTube video.
Paid User Acquisition will consist of choosing a network for acquiring app users that fits your needs, budget, and goals the best. This approach will bring results much faster, proportional to the budget you have. If you’re aiming for high visibility in a short time, it can be quite expensive.
Start with choosing the ad network. Not all ad networks will work for both platforms (like Apple Search Ads). Depending on your app type you can focus on advertising on social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat), Google, or via specific mobile ad networks (Applovin, ironSource, etc.).
Most of these platforms come with similar targeting options. The audience targeting is possible by age or region, the device they’re using or based on their gaming history.
After the campaigns have finally rolled out, you have to track the most important metrics: the number of installs and conversion rate (install rate). In order to know if your campaigns are profitable, you will also have to measure the most important cost-related metrics. This includes cost per install, cost per action, and ROI. Knowing this will help you further optimize your app campaigns for the best results.
- Results will be faster – While organic growth takes time, investing in advertising brings results faster.
- High visibility – Depending on the budget, you can introduce the app to a huge audience in a short time.
- Controlled – Choose how you target the audience and where you show the ads.
- Can be scaled – Start small and expand as you grow. This is one thing we’re great at – check out our work.
The thing that will make or break your advertising strategy are the creatives. For mobile apps, and especially games, video ads tend to have the highest conversion rates. Plus, it’s the best medium for showcasing all of the features and benefits of an app/game. When coming up with ad creatives, first think about which app functionalities you want to demonstrate. We recommend that you focus on just one or two per ad. That way, you speak to the very specific interests of the target audience.
For mobile games, we recommend that you include gameplay scenes – it’s the most truthful way of showcasing a game.
Always finish off an ad with a call-to-action – this is where you invite users to download your app or game.
3. Influencer Marketing
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, an influencer is someone who affects or changes the way that other people behave, for example through their use of social media. When looking for an influencer for the app, it should be somebody who already has an established relationship with the target users.
Influencers will expect a reimbursement depending on how big their reach is. The price of a single post can go up to $250,000. Okay, this is if you really want to work with the “big ones”. In reality, about 90% of influencers keep their prices up to $250 per post.
Whatever you pay, it should pay off. According to Mediakix, 89% of marketers say ROI from influencer marketing is equally good or better than with other marketing types. It all depends on your goals, strategy, and the choices you make.
When it comes to your goals, you need to ask yourself a few questions:
- Who is your target audience and where do they spend their time?
- What is your budget?
- Do you want to increase brand awareness, reach new audiences or generate sales?
- Which KPIs do you want to track and how?
Once you have the answers to these questions, you need to find a relevant, authentic and trustworthy influencer. This is anything but easy.
Some of the things you need to pay attention to are the influencers’ niche, audience, content, and post engagement.
For example, if your app is a game, you can put your focus on influencers who post content about a certain game niche.
Keep in mind that having a big number of followers isn’t necessarily a success formula. In fact, more and more brands are starting to collaborate with so-called micro-influencers. Even though they have fewer followers, these influencers tend to have the highest engagement rates.
4. PR & Press Coverage
PR’s goal would be to generate buzz in the days and weeks prior to the launch of the app. This strategy would include different partnerships, working with journalists, bloggers, and different websites. Your app is great and you’ve put a lot of effort into it – but you need to spread the word.
- Choosing the right PR pitch
Think about what is unique about the app and what appeals to the audience of media outlets you’re planning to work with.
- Target early adopters
Tell the media outlets about your new product. Find the media outlets that are excited about new apps. But have in mind that early adopters don’t necessarily represent your ideal user.
- Creating a media kit
A simple press release just won’t do it – take time to make creative screenshots and videos that describe the app. Share the interesting data like the number of downloads, app ranking, size of the user base, previous successes…
- Can be expensive
It can be expensive depending on the media outlet you’re aiming for.
5. Referrals & Invites
If you already have a certain user base – why not utilize it? According to a study by Nielsen, more than eight-in-10 global respondents (83%) say that they completely or somewhat trust the recommendations of friends and family. When it comes to apps specifically, 33% of users say they have installed an app based on a recommendation by someone (Clevertap).
The word-of-mouth effect can’t be denied. Your current user will provide incentives to download the app, but he will also introduce it to future customers in a trustworthy way.
- Rewarding the users
Offer the users access to exclusive content or features. Referrals and social proof can fuel growth – Revolut and Airbnb are great examples.
- Making it easy to share
- Encouraging sharing
In-app content should encourage users to share the app with their friends – with perks and referral codes.
6. Social Media
Organize the social media content around the topics that interest the customers, engage them with creative posts or rewards. Social media networks give users the opportunity to get to know the app, communicate and connect with other users. With active social media channels, you’ll drive more traffic to the app page.
- This is a long term user acquisition strategy that takes time to see the results
- Targeting the right users – What social media networks do they use? Where do they live? What kind of content do they like (video, graphics)?
- Content marketing – Create engaging and quality content that will encourage everybody who comes to a social media page to check out the app and download it.
7. Review Sites
One option for acquiring new users is submitting the app to app review sites. These sites typically get big amounts of relevant traffic. If you submit your app to several app review sites, this should bring you a nice amount of traffic.
It will increase the app viewability and the review will help future users to determine if the app is right for their needs. You’ll need to submit the app for review. Include the details like app description, App Store/Play Store URL, screenshots of the app, videos of the user experience…
App review sites for mobile user acquisition:
- Pricing: the campaign is starting from $100
- Submission form
- Pricing: $80 – $12
- Pricing: N/A
- Pricing: $1.90 – Standard submission, $9.00 – Express Submission, $49.00 – Express Submission + Guaranteed Review
- Submission form
- You’ll need to write an informative post related to the app and contact the Mashable editorial team to get featured.
- Pricing: N/A
- Contact form
- TechCrunch is popular among tech geeks and you can get a super boost of the app. It can be easy if the app stands out, otherwise, it will be hard to pitch.
- Pricing: N/A
On Organic/Paid Mobile User Acquisition
Some of the strategies listed above we consider as organic channels for mobile user acquisition, while some are paid. Optimal would be using more than one strategy, if not all. Even though we listed 7 categories, there is always an overlapping of the methods and outputs. For example, when working with Influencers, you’ll want to use Social Media to expand the reach of the campaign.
The most effective mobile user acquisition strategy is a hybrid one. Combining paid user acquisition with organic efforts will help you get the most out of your ad spend.
For instance, combining paid campaigns with content marketing is a great way to find users and provide them value. Consequently, this will help you build industry authority. ASO is yet another strategy that should be developed parallelly with paid user acquisition. The thing here is that paid downloads will improve your app’s visibility, which positively impacts your app store category rankings.
With this kind of holistic approach, you will be able to reach the most valuable and engaged app users for the lowest user acquisition cost possible.
Our Thoughts on Mobile User Acquisition
An effective strategy to acquire new users for the app will go beyond simply uploading it to the Google Play or App Store. Optimization must be ongoing. Strategies like App Store Optimization (ASO) never stop. Depending on the goals, budget, and time you have, you’ll use one or more of the strategies listed.
Paid user acquisition will bring the results in the shortest time. You can turn to influencer marketing for reaching the target audience or pay for a review of the app on some of the review sites we listed. Using the power of social media can drive your growth – apps like Revolut combined it with referral programs to grow their user base.
And if you’re launching a new app – think about creating a press release.
But it is not only about user acquisition – you’re aiming for them to stay. That’s why you should think about app analytics platforms even before you launch the app. With over 4.5 million apps in 2 leading app stores – it is not easy to stand out. And the best way of knowing and understanding the users is to use a user mobile app analytics.