Paid User Acquisition Strategy: 5 Ways to Become an App Store Rockstar


You’ve made a great app and now you want to get some users, and also a little revenue would be nice, too. But that can be a tall order, with the app store becoming even more cluttered with an ever increasing number of apps competing for downloads. Independent app developers can bring a decent amount of revenue from the App Store with a quality app and effective marketing strategy. Here we’re going to introduce you to five tips for paid user acquisition that you can use to successfully market your app and drive user acquisition: Media Reviews, Cross Promotional Marketing, Video Ads, Rewards Based Marketing, and last, but certainly not least, Social Media Marketing.

Media Reviews

Getting positive media reviews is one of the best methods for creating public awareness about your app and getting downloads. For example, if you’ve got a hot business app, getting a review or promotion from a prominent business magazine or blog can be a huge event for building publicity and attracting potential users. A review request can be somewhat like a needle in a haystack. The high volume that journalists receive for this sort of thing along with putting yourself out there a way that will be more welcomed tends to put you in a better position. This can be done with brief relevant email submissions and social media interactions.

Cross Promotional Marketing

Here’s the idea – borrow someone else’s platform. You can position an in-app promotional ad for your app inside of the ad rotation of a related audience. For example, if your app is all about video editing, maybe it would be a good idea to advertise with a photography or photo editing app that features a decent sized audience, and that doesn’t provide competitive functionality. Here you are taking advantage of a related interest and hopefully providing more value to end users. This is a win-win strategy for both the app who’s providing you a platform and for your own app, all while boosting your own user acquisition numbers.

Video Ads

Video ads have ballooned in volume over the course of the past several years and revenue devoted to them is currently approaching $10 billion. Nine out of ten marketers incorporate video ads into their overall marketing strategy. It also happens to be one of the most significant ways to gain customer views and downloads. As a way to get your message across, video ads allow you to tell your story more than just through text or audio.It evokes more emotional responses as the viewer is able to see, hear, and relate to the individual who’s sharing that story.

Additionally, users who come across your app through a video ad tend to have higher retention figures than those who followed a different advertising channel to find you.

Rewards Based Marketing

Users who see an opportunity to try something that usually comes at a cost see themselves as getting in on something special. Because it doesn’t happen every day, and they get something for (seemingly) nothing. So here, providing a temporarily free download experience, offered with a sense of urgency, is a way to stimulate users to view and download your app. The proverbial bait on the hook so to say. Providing rewards for referring others to use the app, like additional features, or a discount or free pass to use another related or paid version of your app can also be a way to drive user acquisition. These are the things that people tend to enjoy taking advantage of and are likely to share.

Social Media Marketing

From an SEO perspective, with Google providing ever higher prerogatives to social media profiles in search results, having multiple social media profiles provides higher visibility in search results. As the second biggest search engine, Youtube is a powerful avenue that simply can’t be ignored. Facebook and Twitter can’t be underestimated either, with both of them boasting over 2 billion searches daily. Instagram also is well worth considering in the quest to gain visibility, with its 3.5 billion daily photo likes and 400 million monthly users. When used in the right way, it can be a key to viral success. The potential audience and ROI that can be generated by active and effective social media participation make it one of the most important aspects of a successful advertising campaign, especially in the world of mobile user acquisition, with mobile devices being the point of access for the majority of web users.

While having more social media profiles about your app increases your visibility, just having the profiles filled out isn’t entirely enough. This is a method that requires active participation to drive activity to your app by promoting it across each venue. In addition to your own efforts, well targeted social media advertising can be a way to boost your results even quicker and more effectively. Paid advertising on platforms like Facebook, for example, is a great way to send your message to a targeted audience that is likely to show interest and take action.  

Of course, there is a vast variety of ways to promote your app. These are only five of them. An app launch is like any other product in the sense that it has to be of high quality, useful, unique, and have a solid promotional campaign to get your message out there to the right audience. There is no silver bullet for app marketing and it’s your responsibility to know your audience and find ways to tailor that campaign by using a combination of methods and tools to capture success on the App Store.

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