Developing a good mobile app is not enough. It's not great until users are big on using it. This post will help you understand the basics of User Acquisition for mobile app. Here in CloudGeometry we use all these techniques and many others on the daily basis.
In 2017 you should carefully plan your strategy of user acquisition because no matter how good your app can be there are always lots of competitors both big and small that can be better than you at user acquisition techniques. People also became a lot more cautious. It’s all about value now – users love to spend time with apps that give them either joy or convenience.
According to the ComScore’s 2016 Mobile App Report, people spend more than 3 hours per month on the Top 1000 apps.
It is really challenging to build a large audience for your app. ComScore’s report also states that in 2016 nearly half of smartphone users don’t download any apps in a month, and the average user downloads only 2. In order to become one of those two downloads, you need to put a lot effort into your user acquisition strategy. To gain long term success you should start developing this strategy before launching your app.
Tailoring your strategy for everyone will yield small results for your app. You should focus on a specific audience that wull have interest in those features provided by your app. It’s not that easy to narrow down your audience and understand it, especially for small developers and app owners. Where do you begin with user segmentation?
- Read your app reviews from existing users: how do they use your app, what do they want, what do they need your app for?
- Research gender, age, geography of your users.
- Build at least three different segments and create different goals for each of them. Don’t go to far into making a lot of segments or you will have to deal with defocus and desaturation.
- Test your segments! Spend some time with them. Change the attributes or the segments themselves if needed.
Improve Your App
Don’t forget that user acquisition techniques isn’t panacea. Because new users will deal with your app that has to be valuable for them.
Not to mention that your app should have all the modern tools to support your user acquisition strategy:
- well-thought sharing options,
- dee linking implemented to show different parts of your app in different campaigns,
- in-app messaging and personalized push notifications that cater to specific user groups (don’t forget that in iOS10 you can now use rich push notifications with images, GIF, video or audio).
These channels require expertise, knowledge and lots of time though they are not heavy on budget. They effectively allow your app to be visible on the market as much as possible. A good idea is to try all the organic channels available. Engage your potential users and offer them insights of your app while acquiring new qualified users.
ASO (App Store Optimization)
Maintaining discoverability of your app and explaining it to new users is very crucial. This is why optimizing your app’s title, description, keywords, icon, screenshots, video and other features in Apple App Store and Google Play Store is very important. We wrote a guide to App Store Optimization (https://cloudgeometry.io/blog/aso-uplifting-discoverability-of-your-app/) which can help you get some helpful insights while optimizing your app’s details.
Don’t forget that your app description should definitely be localized if you want it to be successful in different markets. One of the major complaints in Europe, Asia, Latin America and other regions is that descriptions of apps and apps itself are not translated to local languages.
Build a Website
Creating a simple yet representative and descriptive website is crucial to tell your users, media and bloggers about your app. In 2017 you don’t have to be a professional web designer to make a simple website. There are a lot of different services and content management systems which allow you to create a website (from WordPress to Squarespaces).
Describe your app’s main features, upload some screenshots highlighting those features, put some contact links and social media accounts, publish blog posts about your app milestones and that’s a required minimum. For better experience you can make a video to explain your users how to use your app and to increase the onboarding flow.
Don’t forget to include a link for the app in the App Store to make it easier for potential users to download your app. And vice versa don’t forget to add a website link to your app store pages in order to direct your users to your website. The main advantage of having the website is about your brand perception. If you have a website, it will increase the trustworthiness of your app. It will also help you to increase your visibility across digital channels.
Engage in Social Media
Social media channels are needed to increase the interest in your application and generate a steady flow of curious users. Try to connect with influencers in and learn from them what are the best methods to engage with your users.
First thing to begin with is finding the most suitable social media platforms for your app. You can do this by analyzing your users’ behavior on social media.
The second step is to prepare a content plan with the posts you want to create on different social media channels. Be careful, people don’t like egocentric pages that only talk about themselves. Imagine yourself on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram – would you be interested in lots of enterprise news from some apps you hear for the first time in your life? Try to cover different casual topics that are at least relevant to your app. And don’t forget to constantly engage with your audience: gather feedback, help your users, encourage sharing and creating content.
Third step is to list the related groups, chats and forums where your users hang out and which you can join and promote your app in a really subtle and discreet way.
Use Content Marketing
Nowadays it is not that hard to promote a product if you stay in touch with people from your area of work. Give them details about your app and convince them that you have a valuable piece to share with them. Content marketing is what you need to reach them.
There are a great number of social platforms where you can share information about your app but you will be rejected if you just show – up and start talking about your app. Those are important channels to communicate with your potential users. Sign in and participate on these sites when you start developing your app, not when you need new users. Engage the people who comment on these platforms and convince them that it’s worth downloading your app. After that, check their opinions related to your app. It is a good way to improve your app without having bad reviews or bug reports.
After creating your amazing piece of content, find the best places to share it. You can use social content platforms like Buzzfeed, Quora, Product Hunt, and StumbleUpon.
It is very handy to keep a blog and develop a great community in your domain. It helps you with user acquisition too, because your readers can spread the word about your amazing app. As well, you can receive feedback about it and you can use this channel to improve your app.
With a budget for marketing you have many opportunities to gain the confidence of your potential users. Here are the most effective paid ways to acquire new users.
Boost campaign is an amazing solution for increasing the visibility of your app on the market, in order to gain organic users after the campaign. Because the chances to be found in app stores is decreasing, it is very hard to increase the downloads with only organic ways. Boost campaigns aims to increase the category ranking in order to increase the visibility of your app and increase the organic downloads accordingly. If your app is good enough for your potential users, you have a big chance to be stick in the rank you reached after the burst campaign.
Social Media Ads
This is one of the most effective ways to attract users because social media is part of our lives now. We don’t even eat if we don’t check our accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Facebook is the biggest social network in the world and this is the main argument to consider it for your campaign. While Twitter has a limit of 140 characters which make your message to be short and concise without forgetting a link of the app in app store, Instagram provides us a different solution to promote the app through images.
Here is how retargeting works: A person visits your website and leaves it without downloading your app. Thanks to a cookie in the visitors browser, your retargeting ad is viewed in order to persuade the person to download your app. Even if it is very easy to launch a retargeting ad, you need to be careful to get the best results for your app. Here are some best practices for mobile retargeting:
- Deep linking increases the chance of downloading. Make it easy to download your app with deep linking.
- Compelling visuals and convincing texts.
- Exclude the existing users who already downloaded your app.
- Frequency is important. Work on it and don’t over do.
- Do A/B testing to find the best options.
Research and Use Ad Networks
Mobile ad network provides a platform for marketers to generate user acquisition campaigns. We are talking about 5 main categories of ads: CPM (Cost Per Mile), CPC (Cost Per Click), CPI (Cost Per Install), CPA (Cost Per Action) and CPV (Cost Per View). There are also different ad formats like banner ads, video ads, and interstitial ads. You can segment the users to increase the chance of downloads and get the best results.
When you test these strategies and methods to drive users into your app it is necessary to follow the results. Measure the most important metrics in this process and act according to the results.
The most important metrics for user acquisition are number of installs and install rate. These two metrics are by far the easiest way to tell if your app is something that people find valuable, and therefore has a shot to be successful. However, from the perspective of a marketer, it is also important to consider other metrics that deal with cost. These include:
- Cost per install (CPI) – This is becoming increasingly expensive, not an efficient way to gain valuable users.
- Cost per action (CPA) – The cost of getting a customer (old or new) to convert.
- ROI (Return on Investment) – Are the users you acquired making you money? Making purchases in-app?
- Cost per 1000 impressions (CPM)
- Conversion rate – How fast you convert new users?
- Customer acquisition cost (CAC) – Total acquisition costs divided by total new customers
As we said before, it is imperative to acquire users but it is equally essential to observe what makes them coming back to your app after the first installation. A successful app persuades the user to use it over and over again and attract his friends in using it.
LTV (Lifetime Value)
User’s lifetime value is the most important metric that you have to track in this process. Although a user doesn’t spend into your app, he can bring other users that will spend money using your app. Those users are highly valuable because they will increase the number of downloads which is the reason of your strategy.
CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost)
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) represents the actual money that you pay to acquire a user versus his lifetime value. The key solution is to acquire users with the highest lifetime value and with the lowest customer acquisition cost.
Analyze the Results & Improve Your Strategy According to Your App Category
After you experiment all these technique and see what is working for your app and what is not, you can go with the best strategy for increasing the number of users that download your app. You can follow your competitors to observe what they are doing to make the difference.
It is crucial for a development team or a mobile marketer to attract users from all directions, but you need to do that in a clever way. You can’t just throw your money (even if you have it) and hope for the best because it is not working that way. This is an on – going process to improve both your app and your approach regarding your users, to target the right audience and to drive smart campaigns.
CloudGeometry can help
Our company has a big team of dedicated professionals with major experience in developing and maintaining all possible user acquisition channels for your app. There are lots of things that can be done by yourself, but big results require outstanding expertise and lots of resources. Starting with SMM and Ads management to web development and App Store Optimization – all of these areas of expertise are covered here in CloudGeometry. We have access and subscriptions to the best analytic tools on the market and our team has been using them for ages. Feel free to contact us and we're gonna help your app become popular in no time.