Mobile Growth Basics: Organic User Acquisition

organic user acquisition

Mobile app downloads showed a 63.4% increase over the past five years, growing from 140.6 billion downloads in 2016 to 230 billion in 2021. This growth isn’t projected to slow down anytime soon — in-app spending alone is projected to reach $270 billion by 2025. Marketers should prioritize user acquisition (UA) strategies to ensure their apps stand out from the masses.

Organic vs. Paid UA

While most marketers rely on paid ads, successful apps use a combination of organic and paid UA to recruit users. While paid UA allows more precision in targeting a select audience, it gets expensive fast

Organic UA, on the other hand, is evergreen in nature. Simply put, it is any marketing effort aside from paid ads. Here are five organic UA strategies to consider when developing UA strategy:

1. App Store Optimization (ASO)

ASO can make or break an app’s success; Apple reports that 65% of app downloads occur directly from App Store searches. Researching keywords by volume and including relevant ones in an app’s description, subtitle, and app name increases an app’s ranking, improving conversions and downloads. Updating an app’s metadata to align with search trends and implementing good creative are also critical. Good ASO decreases CPI while improving ROAS.

2. Content Marketing

Content marketing can increase brand visibility, leads, and conversions. It demonstrates a brand’s subject matter expertise and grows a loyal fan base. Of the 1,500 businesses surveyed by Semrush, 97% reported that content marketing shaped a significant part of their overall marketing strategy. 

Good content marketing isn’t easy, though. It requires dedication, a clear strategy, and compelling messaging on why a brand or app is the solution to consumers’ problems. 

3. Social Media Promotion

Though technically under the branch of content marketing, social media promotion is worthy of its own category. Marketers should first identify what social media is relevant to their app. Facebook is a powerhouse, but it isn’t the best choice for an app targeting Gen-Z. 

Once selected, an app’s social media page, or pages, should reflect both the app itself and content relevant to it. When Roe vs. Wade was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2022, CLUE, a period-tracking app, announced to consumers via Instagram that as a European brand, users’ data is protected via the data privacy law. 

4. User Referral Programs

Word of mouth is excellent free advertising, but it isn’t reliable. Improving UX and incorporating genuinely useful features will increase the likelihood of users recommending an app to others. Many apps incentivize users with discounts on in-app purchases if they share the app on social media. 

5. Giveaways, Promo Codes, or Contests

On average, 34% of new fans are acquired through campaigns like contests or giveaways. Many campaigns require social media users to follow or subscribe to a brand’s page, like its content, and share the campaign post to their own social media, increasing brand awareness and engagement. 

Offering promo codes for in-app purchases or access to exclusive features can encourage more downloads and increase user retention.

Looking for more strategies to improve your user acquisition? Learn to leverage strategies mobile growth strategies by joining us at a Mobile Growth Summit event.