12 Mobile Marketing Channels for mobile app acquisition [2020]

eCommerce app development guide

Posted on August 13, 2020 by Apeksha Khanna | Blog | Total Hits:

No matter how awesome your app is, it will fail if nobody knows about it. Imagine, You’ve put great features in your app, have made the app responsive for customers to make it a megahit on App stores. A month passed, but you have not received a single app download. Reason? The users you are targeting are not aware that there is an app to solve their existing problem. And when you are running an App-based business, you need a large user base to be successful.

So, how do you stand out from the millions of Apps on App stores willing to acquire a large user base? This is where app user acquisition comes into play. User acquisition marketing channels are sure-shot ways to strike gold.

In this article, We’ll cover the most popular acquisition channels, and examples of how these channels helped mobile apps to hit big.

What is App Acquisition?

App User acquisition is the process through which new users and customers are acquired for a mobile app business, using marketing-driven activities. These marketing activities on different acquisition channels help to gain large potential app users. Not only these channels help in user acquisition but also help businesses in implementing user retention strategies of their app. Retaining app users is as important as acquiring them. App Acquisition gets you app installs, and App retention reduces app uninstalls.

Top 12 Mobile Acquisition Channels

Let’s have a look at Mobile Acquisition strategies

1. App Store Optimization

App store optimization is just like Search Engine Optimization which helps your app appear on top of search results. The well-optimized app can get high visibility on the app stores. Higher visibility of the app gets you a high number of clicks and downloads. Optimizing the app stores also display app recommendation against similar apps. App store optimization is an organic way to get downloads naturally. Here are some valuable tips to help you improve your ASO:

Focus on Keywords

Just like in SEO, User-generated search terms i.e Keywords are used to optimise the app. You use keywords in title, name, description and app images to increase your app visibility for a better search presence across the app stores.

Clear App Description

Your app’s description and page within the app store should be viewed as an important part of your App Store Optimization Strategy. Keep your app description clear and concise that explain all the benefits of the app. Keep it under 4000 characters. Put only the most important keywords in the description.

Optimize for Local Searches

Use local keywords and location targeting to make it accessible for users in your origin. It is advisable to start local. If the app is successful in your demographic, you can plan to expand it.

Off-Page App Store Optimization

Ask your users to write reviews and ratings on your app page. Show the download statistic of your app. Searchers make downloads of a new app based on the ratings and the app popularity by its downloads. Ask writers to publish blogs on your app to get backlinks.

Examples of App Store Optimization

Dark Sky Weather is known app for best store optimization. Dark sky changed their title from “Dark Sky” to “Dark Sky – Weather Radar, Hyperlocal Forecasts, and Storm Alerts” to rank better on search results. Including the right keywords in the title skyrocketed its app downloads.

2. Organic User Acquisition

Marketing your app can cost you big. Organic channels save those marketing costs and drive app user acquisition naturally. Building your web and App page, optimizing it to rank better, promoting and listing it on free yet community platforms are tactics to drive traffic to your app.

The organic acquisition is more effective as users who are genuinely interested go through your app. Organic promotion also supports paid remarketing your app to those who visited it in the first place.

Tips for Organic Acquisition

Use banners

Visuals are always more engaging than texts. Use creative banners that are self-descriptive and engaging to get visitors straight to your app page on the app store.

Create Engaging content

Create unique and engaging content in the form of blog posts, infographics, videos and ebooks that interest your users and serve their purpose for which they came searching in.

Target Right Traffic

Developing engaging content is of no use if it does not reach the right audience. Target the audience set who are looking for information on the topic you just wrote.

Get Backlinks

Developed an engaging content which is loved by readers. Next what? Add an external link on the posts to get traffic to your app. You can add links to your app on your social profiles.

Examples of Organic Acquisition

Evernote a personal notepad now has over 225 million app users. Evernote generates traffic through feature articles and videos on topics like productivity, goal setting, going paperless, and app usage tips for users. Its topics are educational, engaging and visually appealing that solves customers’ problem and drive them to the app.

3. Paid Advertising

Paid Advertising boost your post and help it reach in eyes where organically you couldn’t. It is a great platform to put your app in front of a large audience base. Paid advertising has a lot of platforms through which you can reach your niche. It includes social media ads, search engine ads, blogs and web pages ads, cross-platform apps for advertising.

You can select the audience by demographic, geographic, and interest who you want to display your ad. Paid ads filter your user base which organic mediums cannot do.

Tips for Paid Advertising

Tailor your Ads for Marketing Funnel

Create different ads and CTAs for users putting different keywords on Search engines, web pages and social media.

Create Multiple Ads

Create personalized ads for your cluster base. Categorize your audience as per their demographic, geographics and interests to show personalized ads to them. The relevant ad shown to the relevant user set brings more ad conversions.

Examples of Paid Advertising

Hopper, a flight-tracking and travel booking app made use of Instagram stories to reach as many as 7.5 million people across the US and Canada. The app targeted young travellers who plan their trips early and are looking for the best deals. The ad resulted in a 67% higher rate of app installs, a 50% rise in new users’ flight searches, and an 80% increase in the booking rate of the app by new users.

4. Influencer Marketing

A good way to grab the attention of potential customers is by connecting with people they admire and look up to. Influencers are social media personalities, bloggers who have influence in their niche. They have a wide following that you can reach out to leverage your brand. When an influencer promotes your app, it has a positive influence on the user base you are trying to build a relationship with.

As per a report by Mediamix 2020, Influencers are found highly on Instagram and Youtube. Quality of content of influencers make user base believe in them and try your product.

Influencer marketing statistics

In fact, When Businesses were asked, nearly 89% of marketers believe that influencer marketing generates more ROI than any other marketing platform. Here’s a little insight:

Marketers believe influencer marketing gives better ROI

Tips for Influencer Marketing

Pick Influencers of your niche

Choose influencers of your niche who have an influence on them. Don’t solely go by their user base size. Consider engagement on their posts, quality of content and comments on the profile to shortlist the right influencer.

Pick the right platform

Pick the platform where your influencers and target audience spend the time most.

Examples of Influencer Marketing

Headspace started in 2012, is a popular meditation app, has been largely benefitted from influencer marketing. The app was able to reach an audience in no time.

5. Email Marketing

The first thing you do when you start off the day is to check your mailbox. Thus, email has become a great source to get in touch with your audience. This is a great way to let people discover your app. Use email marketing to promote your brand’s content, share product updates, offer discounts, and send customised offers to your users.

Tips for Email Marketing

Add Personalization

Send personalised emails to users to avoid your mails to be marked as spam. Add opt-out option to support audiences who are not interested in receiving your mails.

Optimize Content

Make your content rich for the audience to take desired actions. Use engaging images and text, use ideal subject lines, and CTAs in your emails. Use actionable email marketing methods to boost your results.

Use Links

Add links in the email of your app store page. Including links will direct users to try your app, and eliminate steps in searching your page on the app store.

Example of Email Marketing

Amazon is an established ecommerce company who strategically used email marketing to influence its user base in installing an app for better services. They added recommended products based on last searches in their emails and added a CTA button to purchase products on the app. This gained immense popularity, resulting in high app installs.

6. Social Media Marketing

A famous quote “When you make a customer happy in the offline world, they will tell 5 friends. If you make a customer happy in the online world, They will tell 500 friends”. Utilizing social media platforms right will gain your user base for your app. Social media offers organic and paid reach to customers. You can run display ads on social media to showcase your services of an app. Or you can create a page and optimize it for discovery. You can further share your services on social communities and groups.

Optimise social profile

Similar to the way you optimize your website for SEO, your business’ social media account should be optimized to be visible to your target audience who are looking for services like yours.

Offer rich content

Create rich eye-catching images and content to make the audience take action on your social page.

App install buttons

Put app install buttons on your social page for visitors to directly download your app from there.

Customise Ads

Customise ads as per user interests to show your ad only to the niche segment.

Opt for Popular platform

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest are the popular social platforms which provide profitable avenues for app acquisition marketing. Choose a social platform where your audience is widely available. Run cross-platform ads to remarket your app to your audience.

Examples of Social Media marketing

Travello app is a social community for travellers where travellers can discover and connect with fellow travellers. Travello uses its social media place to boost app downloads. They use CTA buttons on social media to drive traffic to the app store page. They have built over 6.27k community.

Travello social page

7. Digital Video Marketing

Videos content have a great impact on app user acquisition. 71% of mobile marketers say their video content perform better than other types of user acquisition content. A 30-second video communicates your message faster and is a great way to gain the attention of the audience who are busy in their work. Youtube being a dominant video platform target a large audience, your apps video ads being displayed on Youtube can generate a great user base for you. Not only YouTube, but multiple video streaming platforms like TikTok allow video ads, which target a diverse set of audiences.

Short and Descriptive videos

Audiences feel interrupted when they see long video ads and often skip it. So create short yet descriptive ads that communicate your message and does not turn down your user base.

Include video on your mobile landing pages

Optimize your app page with videos to improve conversions by up to 80%. Video optimized page communicates the message faster and gains attention.

Examples of Digital Video Marketing

Netflix, a video streaming app did a pre-release promotional campaign of The Stranger Things season 3. The streaming giant came up with a creative and ground-breaking idea of releasing a video ad that teases the return to Hawkins. The video received nearly 2 million views and dramatically boosted the series views.

8. Traditional Marketing

You may think traditional marketing channels - TV, radio and print ads are outdated, but it still has access to a wider audience. TV spots can generate 50-70% app installs. 84% of TV viewers watch these shows on their mobile device in hand. It is an ideal place to capture your audience and market your app.

Choose traditional mediums strategically for audience targeting

TV and print consumers are selective about the content they watch or read, So, choose channels and shows which are most watched or most read to market your app in niche audiences.

Examples of Traditional Marketing

One example is Liam Neeson’s Clash of Clans app, which was the most-viewed ad of the 2015 Superbowl on YouTube that received more than 30 million views. The app invested $9 million in the ad and generated great revenue with their app on most-downloaded App Store charts from #39 to #24.

9. Press Releases

Press releases on valuable journalist and partnerships sites can be really valuable to reach your audiences. Like, the audience often uses news apps or read blogs on partnering sites. Advertising or submitting press releases there can actually create your brand awareness and can drive traffic to your app.

Make sure you choose the right partner

There are many publishing sites, make sure you choose the right PR site of your category to submit information of your app.

Tailor your pitches

Submit information in a way which the users will be interested in reading. Find out how your app fits in the category and write close content to it.

Examples of Press Releases

Indian travel brand Make my trip often does press releases to inform users about their app updates and changes on traffic and readers rich publishing sites.

10. Referral Invites

Referral Invites is a popular medium to drive traffic. Here, companies tie-up with individuals to promote and influence their niche to try the app, and in return, they get rewarded for it. When a new user sign up with a referral code, the referring person gets a cashback or offer. It is commonly used by brands as people who are already using can better promote your app better.

Keep the information clear

Keep the steps and procedures to participate in referrals clear. Keep users updated of when and how they will get a bonus on referring the app.

Decide Bonus

Decide bonus or amount you want to give to people on refers. Offer something valuable that makes them try and share the app more with their friends.

Examples of Referral Invites

Hike, an instant messaging app offered “ earn cash” scheme but letting their current users refer and earn on each new install. This method helped them drive 1m downloads.

11. App Directory Listing

App Directory Listing is a great way to acquire new users. Sites like AppShopper and AppBrain provide app reviews and list them based on their performance and user experience. If such sites feature your app, you are likely to get a good user base to download your app. It lends credibility to your app and gives you an edge over your competitors. Users can download the app from their platform through the link of the app store.

12. Demo and Free Trials

If your app follows freemium or premium business models, then the best way to draw your users is to offer demo and free trials for a limited period on your app. Let users demo your app on their phones for free before paying for it. Highlight key features of your app during the trial period and notify users which features will no longer be available once their trial ends. Allow them to have personalised experience of the app. This acquisition method lets have valuable customers who liked your services and are willing to pay.

Examples of Demo and Free trials

App developer Stuart Hall built 7-minute workout, a fitness app launched it as a paid app. However, after conducting research on marketing ways, he made the app available for free.

Closing Note

An effective user acquisition strategy is essential to grow your mobile app and get valuable userbase. Make sure you optimise your app well and make use of these platforms to harness downloads.

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