In an increasingly competitive apps ecosystem, diversifying user acquisition channels is key in order to maximize your revenue and mitigate losses in the event of one-off problems with any of them.
There are a number of user acquisition channels to choose from: search, ad networks, social media, cross-promotion communities, on-device…To evaluate each of them in the best way and choose the best ones for your app, there are five critical questions you should ask yourself.
1. Does this channel match my business objectives or is it just a fad?
It depends on your objectives and, consequently, on your KPIs, which can range from a number of installs to a certain quantity of quality users with a specific profitable lifetime value in the medium-long term, or the first payment made by new users on your app. The number of active users, the quantity of in-app purchases, or the churn rate can also be relevant KPIs. You should evaluate them according to your situation and select the most important ones.
With this in mind, even if a channel is working for your competition and no matter how trendy it is, this doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for your app. Another less trendy channel may yield better results. The clearest example are short videos on social media that are so on-trend at the moment and may only work well in certain cases. Being such creative channels, you should come up with a very specific type of advertising which is aligned with the trends and formats of each moment. If, in your case, you don’t have enough resources to reach this creative standard, it will be extremely difficult to achieve the expected results.
2. Is it where my target audience is?
No matter how much potential a channel might appear to have, the question you need to ask yourself is: Is it where my target audience is? If the answer is yes, then go ahead. Otherwise, keep looking.
To find the perfect fit between the user acquisition channel and your app, we recommend you don’t just evaluate the audience’s demographic variables (such as gender, age, and country of origin), but also include other qualitative factors in terms of the target audience’s interests.
You should evaluate not only the audience’s demographic variables but also the interests of the target.
When it comes to impacting and connecting with your target audience, also bear in mind the need for inclusive creativities that represent the audience’s diversity. Avoid replicating gender patterns that associate certain colors or roles of behavior with men and women or that discriminate on grounds of culture, beliefs, or religion.
Once you have passed the audience test, the next thing you should ask yourself is:
3. Do I know how best to perform there? If not, find a partner who does
Uploading an advertisement to a user acquisition channel can be relatively simple. The truly complicated part is capturing quality users, scaling that acquisition, and doing it with a reasonable CPI, which is precisely what adds value. In order to take this leap, you need the help of a professional partner like the performance team from Tappx with the experience, know-how, and tools required to do the work for you.
Here at Tappx, we optimize and scale your app’s activity in the following way:
- We place ads on the in-app display & video inventory of our SSP traffic and other trusted DSPs and exchanges we are connected with according to your needs and a customized strategy that fits your objectives.
- We have a strong focus, not only on driving installs, but also on post-install events like CPA, ROAS, retention, or whichever event you may be aiming at. This enables us to appropriately measure the results and perform continuous optimization. Here is some more information on this point in another article about six must-known user acquisition practices in iGaming apps.
- We take on the risk of conversions, as we buy on CPM, but you ultimately pay based on CPI results. Moreover, our technology and dedicated team will strive to help you, not only in obtaining installs, but also with the post-install KPIs you may ultimately want to achieve.
- We use internal data and insights from our already-engaged audiences to replicate the success with apps in similar categories.
- We care about creativity and ad iteration to prevent user fatigue. To find the most suitable creativity, we use your banners and help you to create new ones with our in-house design team.
- We provide you with a dedicated Account Manager from the initial setup to the ongoing optimizations and the post-install goals you may have. In addition to the personalized dedication, knowledge, and experience, our human team also takes into account the socio-economic context when it comes to launching a user acquisition campaign to achieve the best results in terms of the campaign’s relevance and profitability, in addition to the availability of the audience according to the context.
- We work with different formats beyond the classic banners. These include in-app display, video, rewarded video and push notifications with the best results in terms of conversion ratio and return on advertising investment.
4. Do I have a large enough budget for this user acquisition channel?
The issue of budget is also another fundamental point when it comes to a new user acquisition channel. Here, you should assess the relationship between the amount you can invest in user acquisition and the return the new channel you want to try out can give you.
That is the only way you can get a true picture of whether the number of users you forecast acquiring with a paid user acquisition strategy is worth the investment you plan to make.
And, finally, ask yourself this question:
5. Do I have enough time to make the most of this channel?
Trying out a new user acquisition channel involves taking on a certain amount of risk and having a certain amount of time for the strategy to gain traction and start to generate results. Do you have that time? If not, even if the channel has lots of potential, you won’t have the scope to see it.
It is also worth taking seasonality into account with regard to your user acquisition strategy. For example, if you have a sports app, it may be worth coinciding the bulk of your strategy with a related competition.
Trying a new user acquisition channel takes some time. You should also evaluate the seasonality of the channel itself and the context.
The same applies to the seasonality of the channel itself. If it is a new channel or in the middle of an expansion, it is worth waiting for it to be tested sufficiently in the geolocations you are interested in. You should also evaluate whether it is a saturated or emerging channel. If your competitors have got there first, making yourself visible will be more expensive.
And, above all, remember that a channel doesn’t automatically yield users from the moment you start to advertise on it. Creating, optimizing, and launching creativities takes time and the channel’s own algorithm can also have its own timings for displaying your advertising to the appropriate target audience. Some channels may need an average of between 4 and 7 days to start to yield realistic results.
Bonus track: test, measure and make quick decisions based on data
Finally, to find out whether a new user acquisition channel is giving you, or has the capacity to give you, the results you expect in the time you have available, it is vital that you test and measure results.
In the same vein, it is key that this channel is integrated with trusted Mobile Measurement Partners (MMPs) that guarantee the authenticity and transparency of the data and enable you to measure the quality of users by cohort or clusters.
Also bear in mind that, thanks to testing, as well as gaining new users, it is also an excellent way of getting to know your target audience better and optimizing your product in line with the users’ needs.
Also, make sure you don’t miss out on the enormous quantity of metrics that a channel can provide and only focus on those that are relevant to your objectives and your business.
Finally, remember that user acquisition is a never-ending task. There will always be someone that downloads your app but never starts using it, who stops opening it after a certain amount of time, or even deletes it permanently from their devices. This is where retargeting and re-engagement campaigns come into play to retain users’ interest throughout the lifecycle.