Even the best-designed app in the world is nothing without a user base. It’s like the age-old philosophical conundrum: If a tree falls in a forest with no one around to hear it, does it make a sound? If you create a great app, does it really exist if nobody installs it or engages with it?
The importance of mobile app installs runs deep, especially since so many apps nowadays generate no revenue from installs alone. “Freemium” apps depend instead on post-install events for monetization, so how you approach mobile app user acquisition up front affects your post-install conversion rate down the line.
Track these factors to better understand mobile app user acquisition so you can market your app most effectively in today’s competitive marketplace.
App Store Optimization
Mobile app marketers today are up against a challenge—namely the saturation of the app market over time. By the end of 2017, there were 2.1 million apps available in the App Store alone. So, the first hurdle marketers must clear to earn installs is simply getting an app noticed. One way to do so is by optimizing your App Store listing for maximum clarity and appeal.
Above all, app store optimization (ASO) aims to boost the visibility of your app by earning it higher rankings in search results. Here are the factors that affect ranking:
Not only does optimizing these factors boost search rankings, but a well-crafted listing can also boost mobile user trust. For example, an app with an informative description and plenty of five-star reviews looks more trustworthy than one without.
Target Audience and Messaging
The foundation of driving quality installs begins with understanding your target audience. Only then can you launch campaigns that reach the right users with relevant messaging viaeffective acquisition channels. To make the most of your ad spend, you must aim to acquire the types of mobile users most likely to actually engage with your app as opposed to anyone willing to download it.
Here’s another way to think of your target audience from Technovation MN: “The group of people who need the app and will reap the largest reward.” Understanding who derives genuine value from your app will help you direct your marketing efforts at attracting a lookalike audience—that is, mobile users with demographics and mobile behaviors in common. These people have a higher likelihood of not only installing your app, but returning over time to engage in post-install events.
Last but not least, it’s important to ensure your app works well and does all it can to engage your user base. Your acquisition metric alone may not reveal any red flags in this department, but your retention metrics certainly will.
If people are installing your app only to delete it or go dormant shortly thereafter, it’s time to reconsider who you’re targeting and how your app functions. Losing a certain number of users after installation is normal, but high churn can point to a bigger problem with your acquisition efforts or your app’s fundamental design.