Mobile App Growth Strategy: The Dos and Don’ts of Paid User Acquisition

Mobile App Growth Strategy

Mick Rigby speaking here, I’m the CEO of Yodel Mobile! Acquiring new users should be an essential part of your mobile app growth strategy. If you are not bringing new users into your app then you are at best standing still and at worst reducing your user base. While this is common knowledge for most app growth specialists, navigating the acquisition labyrinth can come with many complexities that may be daunting, especially given the range of strategies, metrics and channels to consider.

With my years of hands-on experience, I’ve weathered the storms of the mobile app growth evolution over the last 17 years. Watch below as I share useful insights from my years of experience, condensed into 3 minutes.

Whether you’re new in the app marketing space or a seasoned app growth specialist, these expert tips will help elevate your paid user acquisition efforts.

Here is my top list of Dos and Don’ts for Paid User Acquisition.

Do Know Your Target Audience

Knowing and understanding your target audience can be the cornerstone of your success. For example, you could be unsure of whether to target your audience using either Snapchat or TikTok Ads or any other channel. Taking the time to research, know and understand your audience will give you a clearer understanding of which channels to use to reach your audience, and importantly, who your core audiences are for each channel.

When defining your target audience, consider your demographics. Think about their age, gender, location and income. It may seem old school but this approach still rings true. Also consider other influencing factors like your target audience’s interests, values and lifestyle. You can go one step further and use analytics tools like MixPanel to gather data on user behaviour, preferences and pain points.

A data-driven approach will allow you to generate a more personalised experience for the users you are targeting, driving higher engagement rates. This is a sure way to supercharge your mobile app growth strategy.

Mobile App Growth Strategy
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Do Track Your Success with In-App Analytics

In-app analytics complement the data provided by MMPs by offering deeper insights into user behaviour within your app. These analytics help you track key metrics such as user engagement, session length, retention rates, and in-app purchases. By analysing this data, you can identify trends, pinpoint areas for improvement, and optimise the user experience.

MMPs and in-app analytics provide an essential holistic view of your acquisition efforts and user behaviour. They enable you to:

  • Make data-driven decisions,
  • Refine your marketing strategies
  • Maximize your return on investment (ROI)

Tracking the success of your user acquisition efforts is crucial and Mobile Measurement Partners (MMPs) like AppsFlyer or Adjust along with in-app analytics tools like Firebase are essential to this process.

MMPs are third-party platforms that provide comprehensive tracking solutions, designed for the app ecosystem, that allow you to measure the performance of your marketing campaigns across multiple channels and platforms.

In-app analytics is your key to in-app behaviour data. You should see how often, and where, they are dropping off, plus loads of other important data points.

It is important to remember that downloads are not users! There is no value in a download unless the user is engaged, using the app and ultimately providing value to you. This will then allow you to make data-driven decisions and optimise accordingly.

Mobile App Growth Strategy
Source: AppsFlyer

Do Craft Compelling Messaging

Impactful messaging is vital. Spend time ideating on ways to create engaging messaging for your user.

The strategy that you apply to your messaging can be critical to your mobile user acquisition efforts. Your messaging should resonate with your target audience and clearly communicate the value proposition of your app. Start by understanding the pain points and desires of your users, using any analytics data that you have gathered so far. See if you can use the data to create messages that directly address any pain points your users may deal with.

Think about the kinds of hooks you could add.

Effective messaging should be:

  1. Concise
  2. Engaging
  3. Personalised

Whether through ad copy, social media posts, push notifications, or in-app prompts, your message should be consistent in tone and aligned with your brand’s voice. Highlight unique features, benefits, and any competitive advantages that set your app apart.

Mobile App Growth Strategy
Source: Giphy

Do Continuously Test your Campaigns

One crucial area of mobile app growth strategy is testing. By systematically testing your channels, messaging, creative and ad formats, you can gain invaluable insights into what works and what doesn’t; there is value in understanding both areas equally.

This approach will allow you to refine your strategy, ensuring that you are effectively reaching your target audience and engaging with them most compellingly. Ensure you observe the difference in your performance both on a weekly and then, every month.

Testing various channels helps to identify where potential app users are most active. Doing this while also experimenting with different messages and creatives allows us a more accurate view of the content that resonates best.

Additionally, testing ad formats helps us understand the most effective ways to deliver your content for mobile devices. Continually analysing and optimising your approach in this area will allow you to become more efficient mobile app growth strategy experts. This will maximise ROI and ultimately drive increased user acquisition rates for mobile apps.

Mobile App Growth Strategy
Source: (Agile CRM)

Don’t Become Complacent

The digital landscape is constantly evolving, so it is crucial not to become complacent. Just because it worked last month, doesn’t mean it’ll work this month. For example, the App Store and Google’s search algorithm changes 500-600 times annually. Any mobile app growth strategy made today could be outdated two weeks later.  Stay aware and stay vigilant; every week, there could be algorithm changes or rule changes to your preferred acquisition channel. These factors could impact your ad performance, user preferences and user behaviours.

In this time your competitors could also be innovating in ways you’re not yet aware of. Not staying up to date with these changes could have adverse effects on your mobile app growth strategy and damage your paid acquisition efforts. By maintaining agility and staying responsive, you can ensure your strategies remain effective and help you maintain your edge over your competitors.

Mobile App Growth Strategy
Source: Medium

Don’t Ignore Your Analytics

Always use your data to make an impact on your decision-making process. Ignoring your analytics will almost certainly cause you to fall behind. Your data provides you with insights on what’s working and what isn’t, highlighting trends and shifts in user behaviour, which you can use to inform your mobile app growth strategy.

App growth strategists can leverage data to continuously optimise acquisition campaigns, adapt for new or sudden challenges and seize emerging opportunities, all in the most efficient way possible.  

This will help you stay savvy and maintain the most cutting-edge mobile app growth strategy. Read our blog on data-led mobile app growth strategy for more information.

Source: BigCommerce

Don’t Rely Solely on Paid Media

Paid media works best with organic discoverability and other awareness generators. For example, ASO will improve your conversions and PR and brand awareness will make your paid ads more compelling. Paid campaigns pose the benefit of offering quick and measurable outputs, but they can require ample investment, which in some cases can outweigh your returns.

A comprehensive mobile app growth strategy should include organic acquisition, such as App Store Optimisation. Monitor your ASO approach, potentially leverage social media platforms, e.g. LinkedIn, build a following and create an engaged community. Ensure the methods you use to generate users organically are cost-effective and sustainable. Combininf organic and paid mobile app growth strategy will ensure that your app growth is resilient, diversified and less susceptible to the volatility that can come with paid acquisition channels. Read more about the intersection of Paid UA and ASO from our blog.

Mobile App Growth Strategy
Source: (Sprout Social)

Don’t Just Press Go

Just because you’ve launched your campaign doesn’t mean you’re done. You’re just getting started.

Constant optimisation is essential; the harder you work, the more successful your campaign efforts will be. Reiterating what we’ve mentioned earlier, the digital landscape is dynamic and ever-changing. User behaviours, market trends and platform algorithms are constantly evolving. The same techniques used for your mobile app growth strategy last month may not be so successful this month.

Regularly analysing the performance of your paid efforts and adjusting your strategies based on data-driven insights ensures that your efforts will remain effective and efficient. You may need to optimise ad creatives, refine your audience targeting, or even re-evaluate the channel mix you’re leveraging to target your users. Consistent optimisation is a key component of a solid mobile app growth strategy and the key to your success.

Final Thoughts on the Dos and Don’ts for your Mobile App Growth Strategy

While challenges can arise while manoeuvring paid user acquisition campaigns, these acquisition methods can be quite lucrative for you through effective strategies. By leveraging the tips listed above, you can optimise your efforts to attract high-quality users and achieve sustainable results for your app.

Remember, the key to successful user acquisition lies in knowing your audience, tracking your success, using your data and optimising accordingly. It is also important to use this information to craft compelling messaging for your audiences and diversify your efforts, so you don’t fall prey to the volatility of using a single channel.

Whether you’re targeting new audiences or strategising on ways to improve your reach with your existing target audience, make sure to always take a data-driven approach.

Applying these expert insights will surely supercharge your mobile app growth strategy going forward. For more insights on ways to do this, feel free to have a look through the bank of knowledge we’ve shared, here!

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