How To Perfect Your Mobile App User Acquisition Strategy

By Sydney Wess / 05 October 2021

Mobile app user acquisition requires a well-planned strategy to be effective at the time of a new product launch. Companies looking to jumpstart their app downloads and engagement should follow tried and tested acquisition approaches.

Marketing and user acquisition may not be top of mind after months of development work into building a new mobile application. After all, you just built your vision from scratch. 

However, mobile app user acquisition is necessary to bring users onto your app and scale your growth properly. For that reason, a tactical strategy for marketing your new app is essential for sustained success. 

This guide will define mobile app user acquisition before highlighting 3 recommendations for addressing your current acquisition strategy holistically.  

What Is Mobile App User Acquisition?

Mobile app user acquisition is the process in which tech companies market and promote their mobile app products intending to attain new downloads and users. 

This stage of the app development process typically comes toward the end of development because many user acquisition strategies rely on final visuals and videos of the completed app to build your brand effectively. 


Mobile app user acquisition comes after the validation and testing part of the development process, marking the end of the app development process. It’s also the only phase that is triggered by the launch of the product. 

Because of this, some aspects of mobile app user acquisition are pretty different from a regular product marketing campaign. You’re celebrating a product launch, but you also have to build up some brand recognition to interest new users. 

This can be challenging, but there are plenty of ways to get the word out about your app before and after its launch.    

Maximize App Store Optimization

App Store Optimization (ASO) involves taking measures within application marketplaces to increase visibility. 

This involves making your App Store content accessible, skimmable, and full of essential information about your product. Much like SEO, ASO requires keyword research and a specific execution for the App Store to prioritize the visibility of your app.

Experts recommend that app marketers prioritize the following aspects of ASO for peak visibility: 

  • Leverage relevant keywords
  • Use images and video content 
  • Craft a simple, creative title and description 
  • Link to your App Store listing on other platforms


For instance, the photo editing app Adobe Lightroom follows ASO best practices on its App Store page. Under its accurate, optimized title is a short yet practical explanation of what the app provides for users. It reads, “Edit, manage and store photos.”  

Adobe Lightroom ASO example

Source: App Store

Adobe didn’t need to reinvent the wheel to write this description. It’s simple. However, they made sure to include photo-editing verbs and the word photos to ensure that there was no confusion about what the app was for. 

Further, the company includes eye-catching images of what the editing platform looks like alongside some beautiful photos that have been edited on the platform. 

Not only are these visual elements appealing to users, but Apple will reward the page with visibility for including multimedia components that offer valuable information to users. It’s no wonder that Lightroom secured the #2 spot in the photo and video category! 

ASO is critical in the mobile user acquisition process. The better your ASO, the more organic traffic, discoveries, and downloads your app will receive.  

Experiment with Paid Advertising 

ASO and other forms of organic user acquisition are essential to any mobile app user acquisition strategy. However, by also incorporating paid advertising, you can grow your app’s reach and user base exponentially.

Digital platforms offer a variety of options for you to connect with potential users of your app.

Banner ads on websites and app pages offer increased visibility. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising allows you to tie your ad spend to the interaction your ad generates. Geotagged ads let you segment your campaign via regional targeting.

Regardless of which sort of ads you employ, optimization is key to successful paid advertising within a user acquisition strategy. Your team should be monitoring metrics and analyzing trends related to your paid advertising efforts to ensure that your ad spend is being made as effectively as possible.

Retargeting efforts are another avenue to effectively leverage paid advertising.

Retargeting involves re-engaging users who previously interacted with you but may not have become active users of your new product. These efforts can be up to 14 times more successful than attempting to acquire a user completely unacquainted with your app.

Paid advertising allows you to effectively retarget users through ads that utilize their browser’s cookies to follow them to other websites.

With so many advertising opportunities, it can be difficult to figure out which method best fits your company’s needs. Experimenting with the different forms of paid advertising will help you decide how to put your advertising budget to the best possible use. If your team is lost, a top digital marketing firm can help guide you in the right direction.

Leverage Social Media Early

Sitting firmly in between the organic and paid user acquisition categories, social media offers a wealth of opportunities to grow your app’s user base.

Social media platforms can be helpful in your user acquisition strategy throughout your app’s useful life. Early on, you can employ a combination of paid advertisements and scheduled posts across platforms to expand the reach of your app.

As your app grows, you can narrow down the platforms that work best for you and utilize the most effective hashtags to reach your target audience. Once you have a stable user base, the interactive customer service side of social media will allow you to keep existing users satisfied while organically attracting new ones.

Regardless of the overall social media strategy you employ, you should begin to build your presence early on in your user acquisition process. The earlier you can make a name for yourself in the various social media channels, the earlier you will return value from these channels.

Mobile App User Acquisition Is a Tactical Process

By necessity, mobile app user acquisition requires strategy to be most effective. However, with a metered, level-headed approach, it doesn’t have to be a difficult process.

If you and your team balance ASO efforts, paid advertising campaigns, and social media expeditions, you’ll be sure to reach an ideal market and grow your app’s user base.

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