7 minutes

What is user acquisition (UA)?

User acquisition, or commonly referred to as UA is the act of acquiring new users for an app, game, platform or service. User acquisition is building an audience through marketing-driven activity.

Slavica Grgić

March 15, 2019

User acquisition, or commonly referred to as UA is the act of acquiring new users for an app, game, platform or service. User acquisition is building an audience through marketing-driven activity.

This method of acquiring users must be data-driven and constantly optimized to look for patterns that work. User acquisition is important because without it can be very difficult for businesses to find and convert new users. Competition is increasing, as well as the number of apps in both app stores. In the third quarter of 2018, there was 2.1 million apps in the Google Play store and over 2 million apps in the Apple Play Store.

What is user acquisition?
What is user acquisition?

There are several main types of UA activity that can be broken down by paid and owned media:

1) Paid media marketing involves using media channels to display ads that will encourage users to download the app. Recipe for successful user acquisition through paid media is taking the right supply channels, target the right users with the right creative assets. Paid user acquisition will include targeted posts, banners or ads published on social media networks such as Facebook or Instagram.

2) Owned media marketing involves the channels you already own to obtain new users. It can be through email messages, SMS or rewarded user invite communications. With your existing channels, you can convert existing web users to app users through email targeting. Imagine you have an already successful webshop with a decent amount of users, but you recently developed an app to make the shopping experience easier and more enjoyable for your users. You could invite the existing users to download the app through your newsletter or even reward them for downloading the app with a discount or a special offer.

If your product is a game, and you have multiple games with a significant user base when launching a new game you can run ads through your existing network of games.

3) App Store Optimization (ASO) is a crucial activity that can have a high impact on your games’ success in the long run. It is the process of optimizing the apps’ page in the App Store or Google Play Store. The aim is to rank higher in the search results of the App Store, similar to how SEO’s goal is to be on the first page of Google.

The process of App Store Optimization (ASO) is ongoing, it never stops. ASO should start by researching the target market. After that think about keywords your users will enter when searching for your app. Choose the right name, it should be a short and catchy name, but close to the keywords, you’re aiming for. Optimize the keywords specifically for App Store or Google Play Store – they have different approaches toward ASO keywords. Each part of the app listing in the app store should be optimized.

Why is user acquisition important?

Are you looking for growth of your app/game?
Have you seen a decline of the organic installs?
Do you want to boost your app in the App store?

If you’re facing any of these questions, you need to come up with a user acquisition strategy. Majority of apps are free to download and use. If you increase the app scale, you’ll also increase the minority of users (roughly 5% – AppsFlyer) who will contribute to your in-app purchase revenue.

Essentially, user acquisition never stops since there will always be users who downloaded your app and never started using it, some stop using it after some time or uninstall it completely. Retargeting and re-engagement campaigns play a large role in keeping the existing users, and a strong user acquisition strategy will constantly bring you new, fresh and high-quality users. The number of paid installs will continue to grow, with revenue growing faster than the number of installs. Non-organic app installs will be the fastest growing category among with attributed installs. The decline of the organic installs has been constant, and achieving organic user acquisition at scale has never been more difficult.

However, the overall install volume of your app that can be driven by non-organic installs can still be very useful in raising the app’s ranking in the App Store or Google Play Store. As a result, there is a greater opportunity for an increase in the number of organic installs. More high-quality organic users mean your app will stay profitable for a longer period of time.

Well executed and well-planned user acquisition strategy could drive your user numbers as well as the revenue of your company.

Data-driven optimization for high user acquisition

How to successfully optimize user acquisition? Test, test and test more. Nowadays, it is crucial to be data-driven. Knowing all about your user will be possible with the implementation of an app analytic platform. You’ll be running test and readjusting the campaigns as the time passes. You’ll figure out what works the best for your app, game or audience.

It is essential to be data-driven and performance-oriented. Being data-driven is being focused on analytics for ad optimization and reporting. Your user & customer acquisition process would start with creative production. Creative production is creating an ad banner and videos that will later be distributed through media buying.

Media buying part of the user acquisition process is aimed at campaign creation & management. For example, Udonis is able to acquire new users or customers for your business through the following channels:

Social (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest & Snapchat)
Video (Youtube, AdMob Video ads)
Display (Google Display, AdMob Display & Yahoo Gemini)
Search (Google Search, Bing Search, Google Play Search ads & Apple Search ads)

After the campaigns are made, they are again analyzed and optimized. The goal is to learn what works the best.

Even if you have a limited budget, spending more time with your attribution data will help you scale both organic and non-organic traffic. That’s how you ensure your marketing investment consistently comes back… and stays.

Read more about:

10 Google Tools you should start using today

Top 11 Mobile App Analytics Platforms (Pricing Included)

Facebook Ads Manager updates in 2019 you need to know

About Udonis:

We are an award-winning marketing agency specialized in mobile apps & games. We help scale products that people love, keeping the attention on data and results. Have questions, need help? 🤗 Email us at hello@udonis.co!

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