Developers

User Acquisition Strategy for Small Teams

by AppLovin on Oct 4, 2022

In the mobile app industry, the process of user acquisition strategy is often done by small teams with very particular expertise. It’s a lot of work, but even one or two people can do amazing things with the right balance of skills. The secret is to create an environment where everyone is constantly learning new things and advancing their skill set.

Since many app developers have a small UA team (or a single UA person), we’ve compiled some practical tips for a successful and efficient user acquisition process. In a nutshell:

  • Play to your team’s strengths, but rotate responsibilities periodically to build skills
  • Prioritize what you really need when hiring highly specialized candidates
  • Make professional development part of the employee experience

Here’s a more in-depth look at these key strategies.

Build and train a team of user acquisition strategy all stars

If you have a small team, consider splitting tasks based on strengths. Some refer to this as the “aces in places” concept. Everyone will have their specific expertise within app marketing, so allow them to focus on those areas (for example, video networks, social media channels, working with agencies, or DSPs). But don’t let your team members become too siloed – make sure they communicate, stay informed, and learn from each other.

In many organizations, user acquisition team members manage specific channels but share the responsibilities of data reporting, analysis, and campaign management. In smaller teams, this can create an endless backlog of work. By figuring out patterns among various tasks and seeing how the team can standardize them in a template across all or some of the channels, small teams can move more efficiently in an already fast-moving environment.

Our friends at Space Ape Games put this approach in action: About twice a year they’d rotate the responsibilities of buying channel ownership, leading creative, ASO approaches, and general testing to expand the skill sets of their already excellent team members.

This strategy helped Space Ape perfect their day-to-day work experiences and improve their user acquisition efforts. Everyone got to work within their sweet spot, but by swapping responsibilities from time to time, team members gained additional knowledge about different aspects of the entire UA process. 

Prioritize “must-haves” when hiring

Finding candidates who are truly specialized in mobile UA and have relevant experience is rare. Consider making a list of core “must-haves.” These might include a passion for working with data and its analysis, making data-driven decisions, a hunger for creative research and innovative ideas, and a natural tendency toward taking initiative when it comes to new products and testing.

When posting a job, you may want to make a list of other industry knowledge or skills that are at least relevant to data-driven user acquisition. This can be helpful for hiring data analysts and other roles. By relying on your network and well-connected recruiters, as well as participating in industry events that get people excited about your company, you can assemble the perfect team of UA professionals to grow your apps.

Encourage professional development

With a small team, it’s easy to get so caught up in the day-to-day that you lose sight of the big picture. But your team is more than just a small part of the user acquisition process, and there is a lot more to business growth than just, well, growing the business. It’s also about growing the careers of your employees and encouraging them to expand their skill sets and stay up on the latest trends and technologies.

Here’s a benefit to consider that will not only help hire new staff but also improve the expertise of the team you have: Offer a personal training budget that allows each employee to take a course or attend a training conference in something that advances their knowledge.

From the Pocket Gamer events to the Mobile World Congress and more, there are live and virtual sessions and classes that can help your user acquisition team stay at the top of their game. When their skills improve, not only are they happier and more confident, they’re also better at what they do. Additionally, attending these conferences is an opportunity to meet a new candidate who may help grow and improve your UA team even further.

Creating and executing user acquisition strategies can be challenging with a small team. With smart marketing strategies, some out-of-the-box thinking, and the right people (or person), you can effectively grow your app business– and grow your own expertise at the same time.

Help your small team build and optimize your user acquisition strategy with AppDiscovery.

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