5 Ways to Optimize Your User Acquisition Budget

user acquisition budget

With all the disruptions in 2020, you’ve had to cut ad spend. Covid-19’s dramatic impact on the economy, budgets, and user behaviors means you need to rethink how you allocate your dollars for the biggest bang. Your user acquisition budget may be smaller, but you can still optimize your strategies to drive quality users to your app.

To guide mobile app marketers revisiting their user acquisition (UA) budgets, our experts have some tips you’ll want to consider. Let’s explore how to budget smart and lean for app user acquisition. 

Execute Focused Burst Campaigns

Burst campaigns involve boosting your app within search results on a specific keyword or within a category for a short amount of time. They can provide benefits in several ways:

  • Capture users that are searching the keywords or categories that you’re “boosting.” You’ll position your app in the results of these searches much higher than just the organic results.
  • Climb in ranking once installs grow from your campaign, leading to more visibility within the app store. Greater visibility results in additional organic user installs.

If you planned to do multiple low-scale burst campaigns for the balance of the year, you should probably consolidate to one or two larger, focused ones during key time periods for your app. 

For example, the next three months will probably see a boost in searches around gift-giving, holiday travel, and the continued need to work, collaborate, and connect virtually. Capture the sentiment of users searching for these kinds of apps. To align with your burst campaign, you should also revisit your App Store Optimization (ASO) elements.

Post-burst, maintain the momentum with smaller scale paid advertising. Retain your new users with a retention plan that drives engagement.   

Refresh Your App Store Profile

Whether you’re doing a burst campaign or not, your app store profile could probably use a refresh so that it’s more pertinent to the current climate. Your ASO best practices should center around:

App titles and subtitles that provide context. One idea is to update the subtitle with keywords from a burst campaign, if applicable, or to better fit search intent. For instance, VPN apps can focus on terms around working securely from anywhere. 

Changing up keywords to align with events that are universal: holiday shopping, sports, or “new year, new you” improve your health campaigns. 

Visuals that instantly capture attention and provide value to the prospective user. If that user can see quickly how the app will help them tackle problems, they’ll want to learn more. Scheduling apps that use workflow visuals tell a story to the viewer about how it works and why it delivers on its description. 

Try Out Performance-Based Social Media Influencer Marketing

user acquisition budget social media

One of the great things about performance-based social media influencer marketing is that you don’t pay per post. Instead, you only pay for installs directly driven by the influencer’s posts. It’s a low risk, high reward tactic that can resonate with your market when you partner with the right influencer.

Collaborate with a performance-based marketing provider that can pair you with appropriate influencers and control the message. You can also set up cap guidelines for this type of campaign, so you don’t overspend.

You’ll be able to expand your reach within the group of users you find most valuable. Additionally, you’ll receive a brand awareness boost in the form of free impressions of your app to social media audiences. You’re only paying for the installs, not the views, so it’s an added bonus. If these audiences like what they see, they’ll install your app, which could increase your app store rank

Gain More Value by Switching to CPE Campaigns

You may currently be using multiple pay per model campaigns. If your UA budget is looking thinner, you should consider switching to CPE (cost per engagement). CPE campaigns typically create deeper engagement with in-product events. They have more specific and actional downstream events that a user must complete before you pay.  

Talk with your reward platform partner to discuss restructuring your cost per campaigns to ensure you get the most out of every dollar. 

Look to Organic, Non-Paid Strategies to Increase App User Acquisition

Not every part of your UA strategy should rely on paid tactics. There are several things brands can do with their owned media channels to drive traffic to their app. These changes aren’t “free,” but they don’t require ad spend, just using internal resources. Here are a few tips:

Create attention-grabbing prompts for users when they are using your mobile website to download your app instead. Be precise wording on why they should use the app, making the case for a better user experience or added features on the app.

Leverage content marketing to position your app. Develop relevant, interesting stories, posts, and visuals that describe how your app solves your target market’s challenges. 

Revisit key messaging for your buyer personas, considering how that’s evolving. If you find that your persona profiles need a refresh, make sure you carry that new copy to any relative areas where you’re pitching them. 

How Will You Optimize Your Revised User Acquisition Budget?

Your budget may be smaller, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still have a substantial impact. Reallocating funds and opting for lower risk strategies could pay huge dividends for your UA goals. No matter what your UA spend is, we can help. Talk to our UA strategy experts today to determine the best way to optimize your budget.