Let’s face it! Mobile market continues to grow rapidly and it’s the market where you need to use all the tools available to stand out. Having a responsive website is no longer enough, you should establish your presence in the app stores also. The Instagram’s sale to Facebook in April of 2012 for 1 billion dollars established the notion that billion dollar businesses can be built around mobile-only products. But how you do that?
There are over 5 million apps available in the Apple’s App Store and Google Play app store and in order to reach the top of their Top Charts you need to acquire tens of thousands new users every day. This means you need to come up with a lot of unique features and to have a lot of selling points so you get noticed out there.
For that, you will need a strong mobile user acquisition campaign. Let’s start with the things that you need to consider in order to be ahead of your competitors.
Create a true and clear message
First, you need to capture attention of your users by convincing them your app is what they need to download now. This means to persuade them with a strong targeted message about the benefits of your product and establish your unique value proposition, that will show why your app is special and different from the rest.
Pre-launch Marketing and PR strategies
Create a media list of people that have a word to say in your domain and convince them to write about your launch or invite them at your event, if you plan to do one. Also, create a list with potential users and gather feedback from them to see if they share your vision about your app. And change or improve features of your app to meet your target audience needs. Plus, you should try to develop a mutually beneficial partnership with big brands.
Teasers, media kits, product tests
People are always willing to try new and exclusive things. Create awareness about your app’s launch by suggesting people to sign up for a closed beta list to get early access. Take the uniqueness of your app and transform it into press releases, interviews or teaser trailers. This means you should have a press kit and they are essential. That press kit may include tutorials, review guides, promotional videos and a lot more. If you want to have a bigger view about the impact that your app will have on people, you can use curation site where people can upvote / downvote or write reviews. Just make sure you are ready with a least a minimum viable product when this kind of rating system is in place.
Use Organic Channels
It’s important to know that with a good strategy you don’t need a large budget in order to acquire users. The main organic tools that you can use are: an App Store Optimization, a support website, established social media channels, producing a great content for your app, increasing the number of positive reviews and ratings.
App Store Optimization
It’s similar to SEO, but instead of making your website more visible on Google, it’s about making your mobile app more visible in app stores. The majority of users are still discovering apps by browsing the app stores, according to various estimates 63% of iOS apps and 58% of Android apps to be precise. To do a quality ASO for your app, you should know what kind of keywords to use to describe your app, have a great title and optimized description, have an eye-catching icon and screenshots. All these techniques will help your app to appeal to more users and be positioned higher on search results for specific keywords on the app stores.
Have a great website to support your app
The number one source of an app installs generation is still a mobile website. A common perception is that a great app should have a great support website. By actually branding your app, you will increase your app credibility.
At this point, the importance of social media for promoting your business is really a common sense. Your website and app – should be presented on social media, because this is where your users spend a major part of a time they spend with their smartphones and tables. Keep in mind that it’s the number one marketing tool for a large number of app marketers. Anything can go viral with a blazing speed and your app can become a trend. First, you should know what platform is the best for your country or for users you want to reach. Then, try to communicate directly to your targeted audience, but don’t forget that users on social media don’t like when companies talk only about themselves. If your app was developed for youth, avoid using academic language or boring pictures, but in the same time try to keep your message professional. Also posting in social groups, with rich hashtags, is helping to reach specific audience. Actually, there are tools that will help you with finding the perfect hashtag, one example would be hashtagify.me.
Creating a great content
We already discussed the importance of having quality content, through the message that you want to send to your users. Use content marketing to help people to become more familiar with your brand, write interesting blog posts, answer people’s questions on forums, post video content related to your app on your app’s support website and your social media channels, register on social media groups and, finally, you can use social content platforms like Buzzfeed to hunt for interesting content to share.
Increase number of positive reviews and ratings
People care about what others say, so if you have a bad rating you will have problems in convincing other users your app is great. To increase the number of positive ratings and reviews, be creative and use notifications or in-app messages to ask for ratings, reward people to rate your app in social media, give a small gift in return for a feedback.
Use Paid Channels
Paid advertising can bring huge amounts of organic traffic because you have many opportunities to gain the confidence of your potential users. It’s important to diversify your efforts and explore different options. You can boost campaigns, use social media ads, retargeting the users that saw your app, but for some reason they didn’t download it and use Ad & Performance Networks. Through these networks you can use platforms that generate user acquisition campaigns. There are also different ad formats like banner ads, video ads, and interstitial ads. BitterStrawberry.com has a free platform where you can log in and search the perfect offers to get best results.
Track and measure
Two of the most important metrics for user acquisition are number of installs and install rate, so you need to focus to make these high so people will see how valuable your product is. Other metrics that are important to consider from the marketer point of view are the ones that deal with cost.
The main 5 categories of ads are: CPM (Cost per Mile), CPC (Cost Per Click), CPI (Cost Per Install), CPA (Cost Per Action) and CPV (Cost Per View). Among these is important to measure the ROI (Return on Investment). With ROI you can measure if the users you acquired are making you money, if they make in-app purchases.
There are a lot of guides online that explain how t measure the success of an app. Unfortunately, most of the apps fail every day because they are not tracked correctly. You need to realize that by lunching a poorly prepared ad campaign, your app will not get the fame it deserves.
Some important KPI for a mobile app performance that you should know are: Acquisition, Retention, Engagement, Session Length & Intervals, Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), Average Revenue Per User (ARPU), Life Time Value (LTV).
All these KPIs are important and they will help you find more about your target user. For example, 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. LTV (User’s lifetime value) can be one of the most important metric to track. Even if a user doesn’t spend a lot into your app, he can bring value by recommended you to others that will do and so they will increase the number of downloads.
What NOT TO DO in your Mobile User Acquisition Strategy
Now that we know what things we should consider in order to plan our Mobile User Acquisition strategy is good to talk about some things you shouldn’t do.
Don’t ignore the soft launching
It means that you should always test your app performance, prior launching it in a big way. A soft launch implies launching your app on an app store on a market similar to your target one but on a smaller scale. It’s very important because it will give you certain benchmarks for your app monetization potential, retention rate and other metrics that we discussed above. Like for instance, you will acquire data about your most engaged users and it will help you to improve your app’s monetization strategy. Having a higher monetization rate, will be helpful in the process of acquiring new users.
Don’t forget to set goals on every step
Without having a goal for each step, you won’t able to execute efficiently on your general marketing strategy. You need to know from the day one what are your expectations for the app and do whatever is possible to reach that level.
Be sure you know your Average Revenue Per User
ARPU represents the actual cost to acquire each new user versus his overall lifetime value. You need to always keep in mind how much you can spend in order to remain app business profitable.
Don’t advertise on a single network only
Diversification keeps your CPI lower and allows you to test several sources and you can reduce the risk to saturate one network. Saturation means that as your app is shown to more users, the conversion rate gradually declines.
Don’t rely on incentivized users
They only provide value for a chart ranking and can be efficient if a publisher app offers a similar demographic to your target. Otherwise, these users have almost no interest in your app and their ARPU/LTV and retention will be lower than users acquired with no incentive.
Don’t overestimate the organic downloads
Don’t expect people will just download your app and they will tell their friends how amazing it is. You need to work on your app downloads increase and its ranking. Use all the tools that is your disposal.
Don’t forget to segment your users
Measure the data from every user so you always know what sources and tactics are working for your campaign. Segmenting users and analyzing their monetization and retention will help you know what content and sources are working for generating profitable users.
Don’t forget that there is no single formula that fits all scenarios and that each app is different. You need to understand your user’s behavior and use the right tools to acquire them.
According to the 2016 Mobile App Report of ComScore, people spend more than 3 hours per month on the top 1000 apps, but 20x less on mobile websites. This trend for sure attracts a lot of business developers and that’s why a challenge for an app to success gets bigger all the time, but if you take your time to master all these skills, you will succeed.
If you would like to talk more about it, get in touch, we will be more than happy to help!