User Acquisition

How to Boost Growth Through Organic User Acquisition

Doug Borghese
Mar 16, 2023
organic user acquisition

Mobile apps have become an integral part of our daily lives, from managing our everyday tasks through schedules to ordering our favorite foods and watching our favorite movies and TV shows. As the app market continues to grow, developers face increased competition for user attention and retention. And with paid user acquisition becoming more expensive, integrating an effective organic user acquisition strategy alongside it is becoming a must for mobile app developers and a powerful accompaniment to your paid efforts.

Organic user acquisition is quite simply the process of acquiring new users through non-paid channels. This approach focuses on building a loyal user base and driving organic growth through word-of-mouth, social media, app store optimization, and other tactics. Paired with paid, this approach creates a zero-cost way to create explosive growth for your apps.

Here are some ways to implement organic user acquisition to help drive growth alongside paid UA for your mobile app and business.

Ensure app quality

The first step to growing your app organically is ensuring its high quality. Users are more likely to stick around and recommend your app to others if it meets their expectations. Focus on creating a user-friendly interface, optimizing loading times, and offering as seamless of an overall user experience as possible.

Optimize for app store searches

App store optimization (ASO) involves optimizing your app’s listing in an app store to improve its visibility and attract more organic downloads. To optimize your store listing, use relevant keywords in your app title, description, and tags. Ensure that the app icon and any images uploaded to the store are eye-catching and accurately represent your app’s functionality. Incorporating a strong creative strategy for your store listing goes a long way with attracting new users.

Custom product pages and ASO are great examples of combining paid and organic UA. Learn more here.

Encourage reviews and ratings

One of the best ways to build organic user acquisition is to amass positive reviews and ratings. These can significantly impact your app’s visibility and ranking in app stores. Try encouraging your users to rate and review by prompting them somewhere within your app. However, do not overly pester them with review and rating requests, and don’t pay for positive reviews, as both of these could lead to negative and/or fake reviews that could harm your app’s reputation.

Leverage social media

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be valuable channels for promoting your app and driving organic traffic. If you know your target audience, you can create engaging organic content and build real rapport with your ideal users, making them more likely to give your app a try. You can also collaborate with influencers for free if you offer them something valuable in return without necessarily having to spend any money, like promotions on your app’s social media accounts, or inclusion in some way within your app. Combined with a paid social strategy, this will expand your reach, and more importantly, your organic audience is sure to be very targeted.

Implement referral and other reward programs

Referral and reward programs can be an effective way to encourage your users to invite more people to use your app. Incentivize users to refer their friends by offering rewards such as discounts, credits, exclusive in-app items, or special features. This can not only drive organic user acquisition, but also user retention. 

Use email marketing

Email marketing can be an effective way to communicate with your existing users and promote your app to potential users. Collect email addresses through your app, a website form, or social media, and create personalized email campaigns that provide real value and intrigue to your new and existing subscribers. 

The reiterating of “existing users” is important throughout this article, as organic user acquisition is significantly impacted by user retention. Giving your existing users a consistent, intuitive, and enjoyable user experience will make them more likely to stick around and recommend your app to others.

Participate in online communities

Online communities found on sites and apps like Reddit, Quora, and Discord can be great places to promote your app and engage with potential users. Participate in discussions, ask questions, and share your expertise where your target audience lives and interacts. However, be very careful to avoid spamming or overt self-promotion, as this could quickly erode trust or incur bans and harm your reputation.

Organic + Paid UA = more avenues for more users

Growing your mobile app with organic user acquisition requires a strategic approach that focuses on building a loyal user base through non-paid channels. By following these tips, you can attract more organic downloads, improve user retention, and ultimately grow your app. Additionally, you can level up your paid UA approach with a solution like AppDiscovery, which uses machine learning to find your ideal users in the right place at the right time, with a dedicated team to help you test and set parameters tailored to your user acquisition goals.

Find out how AppLovin is helping developers acquire valuable new users.

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