Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • App Store Optimization (ASO)
  • Organic Mobile User Acquisition
    • Use smart banners
    • Do content marketing
    • Target the right traffic
  • Paid Advertising
    • Tailor ads for different funnel stages
    • Use audience targeting
    • Create a series of mobile app landing pages
  • Influencer Marketing
    • Choose influencers carefully
    • Pick the right platform
    • Focus on storytelling
  • PR & Press Coverage
    • Tailor your PR pitches
    • Target early adopters
    • Build a media kit
  • Digital Video
    • Consider rewarded videos
    • Include video on your mobile landing pages
    • Feature user-generated content
  • Overcoming Challenges in Mobile User Acquisition
    • Rising competition
    • Evolving platforms and technologies
    • Adapting to changes in user behavior
  • Metrics and Analytics for User Acquisition
    • Customer acquisition cost (CAC)
    • Lifetime value (LTV)
    • Return on ad spend (ROAS)
  • Conclusion

Introduction

In today’s hyper-competitive mobile app industry, having a great app is not enough to ensure success. To stand out from the millions of apps available, you need a strategic and effective user acquisition strategy. This guide will provide you with the tools and insights you need to achieve hyper-growth in mobile app user acquisition.

Mobile app user acquisition is the process of attracting and acquiring new users for your app. It involves a variety of strategies and channels, including app store optimization (ASO), organic growth, paid advertising, influencer marketing, PR, and digital video. By implementing a comprehensive and targeted approach, you can maximize your app’s visibility, attract high-quality users, and drive sustainable growth.

Throughout this guide, we will explore each of these user acquisition strategies in detail, providing practical tips, examples, and industry insights. We will also discuss the challenges faced in mobile user acquisition and the importance of metrics and analytics in measuring success.

So, let’s dive in and discover how you can leverage these strategies to achieve hyper-growth in mobile app user acquisition.

App Store Optimization (ASO)

App store optimization (ASO) is a crucial component of any successful user acquisition strategy. With millions of apps available in app stores, standing out and attracting users can be challenging. ASO is the practice of optimizing various elements of your app’s store listing to improve visibility and increase downloads.

Focus on key page elements

To optimize your app store listing, you need to focus on key page elements that influence visibility and conversions. These elements include the title, keywords, screenshots, app icon, and app description.

  • Title: The title should include relevant keywords that reflect the purpose and features of your app. Incorporating keywords in the title can significantly improve your app’s visibility within app store rankings.
  • Keywords: Research and select relevant keywords that users are likely to search for when looking for apps like yours. Incorporate these keywords in your app’s metadata, including the title, subtitle, and keyword field. Regularly review and update your keyword strategy based on search trends and user behavior.
  • Screenshots: Use eye-catching screenshots that showcase the key features and benefits of your app. Highlight the unique value proposition and demonstrate how users can benefit from downloading and using your app.
  • App Icon: Create a visually appealing and recognizable app icon that stands out among other icons in the app store. The app icon should accurately represent your app’s brand and purpose.
  • App Description: Craft a compelling and engaging app description that clearly communicates the value proposition of your app. Focus on the benefits and features that set your app apart from competitors. Use persuasive language and storytelling techniques to captivate potential users.

Localize app store pages

Localization plays a critical role in reaching a global audience and increasing app downloads. Tailor your app store pages for each target market, including search keywords and localized descriptions. Consider cultural nuances and preferences when adapting your app store pages for different regions.

Research shows that localizing your app store pages can result in significantly higher downloads. By incorporating localized search keywords and welcome pages, you can increase downloads by up to 767%*.

Optimize for search discoverability and conversions

App store optimization involves optimizing for both search discoverability and conversions. To improve search discoverability, you need to incorporate relevant keywords in your app’s metadata, including the title, subtitle, and keyword field. Regularly review and update your keyword strategy based on search trends and user behavior.

To optimize for conversions, conduct A/B testing of different page elements to identify what entices visitors to download and launch your app. Test different variations of your app’s title, screenshots, app icon, and app description to determine the most effective combination.

By continuously refining and optimizing your app store listing, you can improve your app’s visibility, attract high-quality traffic, and increase downloads.

ASO Example: Dark Sky Weather

An excellent example of effective ASO is the Dark Sky Weather app. By optimizing their app store page, they were able to skyrocket their rankings and increase their visibility.

Initially, the app’s title was simply “Dark Sky.” However, they changed it to “Dark Sky – Weather Radar, Hyperlocal Forecasts, and Storm Alerts” to incorporate relevant keywords. This simple change had a tremendous impact on their rankings and visibility within the app store search results.

Dark Sky Weather’s app store page is packed with keywords like weather, forecasts, radar, hyperlocal, and weather alerts. They also feature eye-catching screenshots, an engaging app description, high user ratings, and an Editor’s Choice award. As a result of their ASO efforts, Dark Sky Weather is currently ranked #1 in the Weather category and in the Top 50 overall.

By following ASO best practices, you can significantly improve your app’s visibility, attract high-quality users, and increase downloads.

Organic Mobile User Acquisition

Organic channels can be a cost-effective and efficient way to drive app user acquisition. By leveraging organic growth strategies, you can build brand awareness, attract high-quality users, and drive sustainable growth for your app. Here are some effective organic user acquisition strategies:

Use smart banners

Smart banners are a powerful tool to drive organic user acquisition. Incorporate smart banners on your mobile website to encourage users to download your app. These banners can include deep links that take users directly to a specific page within your app or to your app store page for installation.

Smart banners provide a seamless transition from your mobile website to your app, allowing users to easily access your app’s features and benefits. By leveraging the traffic on your mobile website, you can drive app downloads and increase user acquisition.

Do content marketing

Content marketing is a valuable strategy for organic user acquisition. Create high-quality content, such as blog posts, infographics, videos, and ebooks, that addresses topics your target audience is interested in. Provide unique value and insights in your content to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.

By creating valuable and engaging content, you can attract organic traffic to your website and app store page. Focus on providing solutions to your target audience’s pain points and positioning your app as the ideal solution. Content marketing can drive brand awareness, increase app downloads, and foster long-term user engagement.

Target the right traffic

Quality should always be prioritized over quantity when it comes to organic user acquisition. Instead of casting a wide net, focus on targeting the right audience for your app. Develop marketing personas that include details such as age, gender, income, educational background, location, job title, and interests. This will allow you to tailor your efforts and messaging to the specific needs and preferences of your target audience.

By targeting the right traffic, you can attract users who are more likely to engage with your app and become loyal customers. This targeted approach can lead to higher conversion rates, increased user retention, and improved overall user acquisition metrics.

Organic Mobile User Acquisition Example: Evernote

Evernote, a popular note-taking app, has successfully leveraged content marketing as part of its organic user acquisition strategy. Since its inception, Evernote has focused on education and content marketing to attract and retain users.

Evernote’s content campaigns include blog posts, infographics, videos, and ebooks on topics related to productivity, goal setting, going paperless, and app usage tips. Their content is both educational and engaging, providing value to both current and potential users. By addressing their target audience’s pain points and providing solutions, Evernote has been able to attract a large user base and position itself as a leader in the note-taking app market.

By creating high-quality content that resonates with their target audience, Evernote has been able to drive organic growth, increase app downloads, and foster long-term user engagement.

Paid Advertising

Paid advertising is a highly effective strategy for driving app user acquisition. By leveraging various advertising channels, you can reach a large audience, increase brand visibility, and attract high-quality users to your app. Here are some key tactics for successful paid advertising:

Tailor ads for different funnel stages

To maximize the effectiveness of your paid advertising campaigns, create different ads and calls-to-action (CTAs) that target potential users at each stage of the user acquisition funnel. By nurturing users from awareness to download or purchase, you can drive higher conversion rates and improve the overall efficiency of your campaigns.

For example, create awareness ads that highlight the unique features and benefits of your app to attract potential users. Follow up with consideration ads that provide more detailed information and encourage users to take action. Finally, use conversion ads with strong CTAs to drive downloads or purchases.

By tailoring your ads to different funnel stages, you can guide users through the user acquisition journey and increase the likelihood of conversion.

Use audience targeting

Audience targeting is a powerful strategy for paid advertising. By leveraging the wealth of demographic, interest, and behavioral data available on various advertising platforms, you can create more personalized and targeted ads.

Define your target audience based on factors such as age, gender, location, interests, and device type. Use this information to create ads that resonate with your target audience and drive higher engagement and conversion rates. However, be careful not to narrow your audience too much, as a small audience size may limit the effectiveness of your campaigns.

By targeting the right audience, you can maximize the impact of your paid advertising campaigns and attract high-quality users to your app.

Create a series of mobile app landing pages

Mobile app landing pages are essential for driving conversions from your paid advertising campaigns. These landing pages should provide detailed information about your app’s features, benefits, and value proposition. Use persuasive language and compelling visuals to entice visitors to download and launch your app.

By creating a series of mobile app landing pages, you can optimize your campaigns for different target audiences and ad variations. Each landing page should be tailored to a specific audience segment or ad variation, providing a personalized and relevant experience for users.

By directing paid traffic to dedicated landing pages, you can improve conversion rates, increase app downloads, and optimize the overall performance of your paid advertising campaigns.

Paid Ads Example: Hopper

Hopper, a flight tracking and travel booking app, used Instagram Stories to reach millions of millennials across the US and Canada. By targeting young people who plan their trips in advance and are interested in monitoring fares, Hopper was able to increase app installs and drive engagement.

The results of their paid advertising campaign were impressive. Hopper saw a 67% higher rate of app installs, 50% more flight searches from new users, and an 80% higher booking rate from new users*. As of October 2018, Hopper has surpassed 30 million installs and is on track to make nearly $1 billion in sales this year.

By leveraging paid advertising channels like Instagram Stories, Hopper was able to reach a massive audience, increase brand visibility, and drive app installs. Paid advertising can be a highly effective strategy for user acquisition, especially when targeting the right audience and leveraging engaging ad formats.

5. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing has become a popular and effective strategy for driving app user acquisition. By partnering with influencers who have an established relationship with your target audience, you can increase brand awareness, build credibility, and attract high-quality users to your app. Here are some key tactics for successful influencer marketing:

Choose influencers carefully

When implementing an influencer marketing strategy, it’s important to choose influencers who align with your brand and have a genuine connection with your target audience. Look for influencers who have a strong following and regularly engage with their audience. Collaborate with influencers who are willing to authentically represent your app and share their genuine experiences.

By selecting the right influencers, you can tap into their existing audience and leverage their credibility to drive app downloads and user acquisition.

Pick the right platform

Different influencers have different platforms where they have a strong presence. When implementing an influencer marketing strategy, consider where your target audience spends their time and which platforms are most effective for reaching them.

For example, if your target audience is active on Instagram, collaborate with influencers who have a significant following on that platform. If your audience is more engaged on YouTube, partner with influencers who create video content.

By selecting the right platform, you can maximize the reach and impact of your influencer marketing campaigns.

Focus on storytelling

Influencer marketing is all about storytelling. Work with influencers to tell the story of how your app fits into their lives and impacts the things they (and their audience) care about. Encourage influencers to share their genuine experiences and highlight the unique features and benefits of your app.

By focusing on storytelling, you can create a compelling narrative around your app and build an emotional connection with your target audience. This can drive engagement, increase brand loyalty, and ultimately lead to app downloads and user acquisition.

Influencer Marketing Example: Headspace

Headspace, a popular meditation app, has successfully leveraged influencer marketing to drive user acquisition. They have partnered with influencers from various fitness communities, such as running experts and professional dancers, to promote mindfulness as a way to improve athletic performance.

By collaborating with influencers who have a strong following in their respective communities, Headspace was able to increase brand visibility, build credibility, and attract high-quality users to their app. Their influencer marketing campaigns have positioned them as a leader in the meditation app market and have contributed to their overall user acquisition strategy.

PR & Press Coverage

PR and press coverage can play a significant role in driving app user acquisition. By leveraging partnerships, journalists, bloggers, and media outlets, you can generate buzz, increase brand visibility, and attract high-quality users to your app. Here are some key tactics for successful PR and press coverage:

Tailor your PR pitches

Before reaching out to journalists and bloggers, research their areas of interest and the topics they cover. Tailor your PR pitches to align with their interests and the preferences of their audience. Provide a unique angle or story that sets your app apart from competitors and captures the attention of journalists.

By personalizing your PR pitches, you can increase the likelihood of media coverage and generate buzz around your app.

Target early adopters

Identify media outlets and reporters who are likely to reach early adopters and influencers in your target market. Early adopters are often more open to trying new apps and sharing their experiences with others, making them valuable for driving user acquisition.

By targeting media outlets that reach early adopters, you can generate word-of-mouth buzz, increase brand awareness, and attract users who are more likely to engage with your app.

Build a media kit

In addition to traditional press releases, create a media kit that provides journalists and bloggers with more information about your app. This can include details about your app’s features, value proposition, past success, and any relevant statistics or achievements.

A media kit allows reporters and bloggers to quickly access the information they need to write about your app and can increase the likelihood of media coverage. Include screenshots, videos, and other visuals to enhance the storytelling and showcase the unique features of your app.

By leveraging PR and press coverage, you can generate buzz, increase brand visibility, and attract high-quality users to your app.

PR & Press Coverage Example: Mint

Mint, a personal finance app, focused heavily on PR from the start and invested a significant amount of time in press tours. The founder, Aaron Patzer, completed around 550 interviews with various media outlets, ranging from ABC to Yahoo!.

Mint’s PR campaigns were highly effective in driving user acquisition. The campaigns resulted in a 255% increase in coverage and generated significant traffic to their app. At its peak, Mint was signing up around 20,000 users per day. The success of their PR efforts contributed to their low cost of user acquisition, which was under $1.

By prioritizing PR and press coverage, Mint was able to generate media buzz, increase brand visibility, and drive app downloads. PR can be a powerful tool for user acquisition, especially when targeting the right media outlets and leveraging engaging storytelling.

Digital Video

Digital video has become an increasingly popular and effective strategy for driving app user acquisition. With the rise of video platforms like YouTube and the popularity of video ads on social media, leveraging digital video can help you reach a large audience and increase app downloads. Here are some key tactics for successful digital video campaigns:

Consider rewarded videos

Rewarded videos are an effective way to engage users and incentivize them to watch ads. In exchange for watching a video ad, users can receive rewards such as extra in-app currency, additional streaming time, or virtual items.

Research shows that approximately 80% of users opt-in to watch rewarded videos, resulting in high customer loyalty and engagement rates*. By incorporating rewarded videos into your user acquisition strategy, you can increase user engagement and drive higher-quality installs.

Include video on your mobile landing pages

Video content on mobile landing pages can significantly improve user engagement and conversion rates. By showcasing your app’s features and value proposition in a video format, you can provide a more immersive and engaging experience for visitors.

Studies have shown that video content can increase conversions by up to 80%*. By integrating video content into your mobile landing pages, you can effectively communicate the unique benefits of your app and drive higher-quality installs.

Feature user-generated content

User-generated content (UGC) is a powerful tool for driving user acquisition. By incorporating UGC into your video ads, you can leverage the influence and credibility of your existing users to attract new users.

Research has shown that 85% of consumers find UGC to be more influential than brand-generated videos*. By featuring UGC in your video ads, you can build trust and authenticity, which can lead to higher engagement and increased app downloads.

By leveraging digital video in your user acquisition strategy, you can reach a large audience, increase brand visibility, and drive high-quality installs for your app.

Overcoming Challenges in Mobile User Acquisition

Mobile user acquisition is not without its challenges. As the app market becomes increasingly crowded, it’s important to overcome these challenges to drive sustainable growth. Here are some common challenges in mobile user acquisition and strategies to overcome them:

Rising competition

With millions of apps available in app stores, competition for user attention is fierce. To overcome rising competition, focus on differentiating your app through unique features, a compelling value proposition, and a strong brand identity. Leverage user feedback and data to continuously improve your app and attract users who are looking for something new and innovative.

Evolving platforms and technologies

Platforms and technologies in the mobile app industry are constantly evolving. Stay up to date with the latest trends and changes in the industry. Embrace new technologies and platforms that can help you reach and engage your target audience more effectively. Be agile and adaptable in your user acquisition strategies to stay ahead of the competition.

Adapting to changes in user behavior

User behavior and preferences can change over time. Stay informed about your target audience and their evolving needs and preferences. Conduct user research and gather feedback to understand how your app can better meet their needs. Regularly update and optimize your user acquisition strategies to align with changing user behavior.

By proactively addressing these challenges and staying ahead of industry trends, you can drive sustainable growth and success in mobile user acquisition.

Metrics and Analytics for User Acquisition

Metrics and analytics play a crucial role in measuring the success of your user acquisition efforts. By tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) and analyzing data, you can gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of your strategies and make data-driven decisions. Here are some important metrics and analytics to consider for user acquisition:

Customer acquisition cost (CAC)

CAC measures the cost of acquiring a new customer. It includes all the marketing and advertising expenses incurred to acquire a new user. By calculating CAC, you can assess the efficiency and effectiveness of your user acquisition strategies. Lowering your CAC can lead to higher profitability and improved return on investment (ROI).

Lifetime value (LTV)

LTV measures the value a customer generates over their lifetime as a user of your app. By calculating LTV, you can determine the long-term revenue potential of your user base. Comparing LTV to CAC can help you assess the profitability of your user acquisition strategies. A higher LTV relative to CAC indicates a more sustainable and profitable user acquisition strategy.

Return on ad spend (ROAS)

ROAS measures the return on investment from your advertising campaigns. It is calculated by dividing the revenue generated from your ads by the cost of those ads. ROAS helps you assess the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns and optimize your ad spend. A higher ROAS indicates a more efficient and successful user acquisition strategy.

By regularly monitoring these and other relevant metrics, you can identify areas for improvement, optimize your user acquisition strategies, and drive sustainable growth for your app.

Conclusion

Acquiring users for your mobile app is a complex and dynamic process. By leveraging a combination of strategies, including app store optimization, organic growth, paid advertising, influencer marketing, PR, and digital video, you can drive hyper-growth in user acquisition.

Remember to tailor your strategies to your target audience, measure key metrics to assess performance, and continuously optimize and refine your efforts. By staying up to date with industry trends, adapting to changes in user behavior, and overcoming challenges, you can drive sustainable growth and success in mobile app user acquisition.

Implement the strategies outlined in this guide, leverage data and analytics, and stay focused on delivering value to your users. With a comprehensive and targeted approach, you can achieve hyper-growth in mobile app user acquisition and position your app for success in the competitive app market.