8 User Acquisition Tactics for Mobile App Marketing

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Maria Colgan

Our lead UX designer, Orla, who has many years experience in designing mobile app user experiences, has spoken about the myth of ‘build it and they will come’. If this was true, marketers and business owners would live happily ever after. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.

You can’t simply build your app and hope they will come. You’ve put a lot of effort, resources, and finances into developing your app. It’s only right that you invest the same effort into marketing it.

Only a small percentage of apps go viral, yet many app owners rely on their app going viral as their marketing strategy. But the reality is that the majority of apps will go unnoticed unless they have an effective marketing strategy in place.

Below are eight tactics that can help with your mobile app marketing strategy. These all focus on the first part of the mobile app marketing funnel; user acquisition.

8 Tactics for User Acquisition

1. App Store Listing 

Your app store listing is where you place your app in the app store. This is how your app is found. Your developer can do this for you but you should take responsibility for maximising the opportunities within the stores.

Make sure to use keywords. If you don’t have keywords you won’t be found unless somebody is searching directly for your app. And don’t forget to specify the right category and subcategory.

Invest in your marketing collateral. Your marketing collateral is made up of your description, promotional text, graphics such as screenshots, your icon, and video. These will all appear in your listing.

2. Your Own Website & Blog

Having an existing website and blog is a great opportunity to promote your app. Particularly if you have an existing audience for your blog. 

Many companies have their latest blog posts linked to their email signup list. This simply means that every time you do a new blog post, your email list is notified of the latest update. If your company doesn’t do this currently, we highly recommended you make this an option. It’s also a great way to notify users of new content and in particular, to tell them about your app.

You can also have a landing page within your current website or a purpose-built site for your app. Use keywords throughout all content on the landing page, purpose-built site, and blog posts. These pages should also feature your apps marketing collateral.

3. Existing Client Base/Email List

Your mailing list is another great resource to inform your clients about your app.

Use your list as part of your launch strategy. Tell them about the launch, the benefits of the app, and why they should download it.

You may already have some brand advocates on your mailing list. If so, contact them and offer them early access. Solicit their feedback during the beta programme and thank them for their efforts after release.

4. Video

We often think of video as high-end production that involves teams of people and the best technology. This generally equates to expense. But it doesn’t have to be. 

A simple video showing the main features of your app and how it works is more beneficial than a high-end video, that takes away from the basic message of your app. 

The trick with video is to keep it simple. Show your user what they will experience within your app.

There are many basic videos in the app stores that have been shot on an iPhone or Android. A common mistake we see is that they go through the apps screens really quickly and try to give as much content as possible. This can be confusing and overwhelming.

Remember the KISS formula. Keep it simple, stupid! Keep the same screen in focus when discussing a feature. Only move to the next screen when appropriate. 

5. Social

Do you have a large following on social media? If so, great. If not, don’t worry. There are other ways to reach your audience on social. Using your own social channels in conjunction with paid media is probably the best approach. 

The beauty of having your own following on social media is that you get to your target audience directly.  These people want to hear from you. Particularly if you have an app that’s going to solve a problem for them.

6. Influencers

Influencer marketing is important. Check out these stats from Influencer Marketing Hub to see just how important.

  • 81% of US online consumers trust information and advice from a blog
  • 61% of US online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations from a blog

Before you jump right into paying an influencer to collaborate, you should understand the basics of what influencer marketing is. 

It begins by marketing to influencers. Then, it’s about collaborating with them. Unless you are a well established and trusted brand, this may not happen. You’ve got to earn your influencers trust and respect. They have painstakingly built up their brand. Their reputation is at stake when they align with a brand, so they need to trust it.

7. App Cross-Promotion

App cross-promotion can be used if you have ads built into your app. Not all apps have ads as part of their strategy but if you do it’s worth looking into. 

Admob is a widely used platform for cross-promotion campaigns. With Admob you can either cross-promote your own app or third party apps. Cross-promotion campaigns are a great way of promoting app installs.

Showcasing third-party ads within your app will provide you with credit to advertise your app on other platforms. There may be a risk with unknown brand campaigns being rejected by the bigger players, so if using Admob, make sure to select blind exchange.  This gives your ads a better opportunity of being seen by your target market.

Cross-promotion within apps is still a relatively new phenomenon amongst developers. It’s mainly aimed at commercial apps.

8. Paid Search

Both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store offer in-store advertising. These paid advertising platforms allow your app to be found in the app stores. And what better place to appear than at the top of the app store.

Apple Paid Search indicates that 65% of searches come directly from the app store. 

Conclusion

Building an app is no easy feat. A lot goes into the development of it. But you shouldn’t underestimate the marketing of it. Remember the myth at the start, ‘build it and they will come’?

Instead, adopt a sophisticated and smart marketing strategy to ensure your success with user acquisition. 

60% of apps in the Google Play Store have never been downloaded. Source

Don’t be part of this statistic.

This post is part two of our mobile app marketing series. You can read our first post here. Part three will be published next week. This will look at activating new users once they have downloaded your app.

Maria Colgan

Digital Marketing Manager