Learn the ASO-UA choreography to grow your app

Author: Steffen Meyer, Mobile Marketing Content Specialist

Even the best app in the world will achieve nothing if no one downloads it. You need to show users that your product exists and convince them to install it. 

The best way to do so, is by stepping up your game in App Store Optimization (ASO) and Paid User Acquisition (UA) which are the basics when it comes to making your app visible: 

  • With ASO, you basically optimize your product pages and place the right keywords, so that people find and install your app, resulting in high organic reach and conversions.
  • With UA, you place ads to get people to look at your product, resulting in paid reach and conversions.

Though each of them is powerful on its own already, by combining them you unlock a potential that is greater than the sum of its parts.

To let this idea stick to your head, think of the rather nerdy concept within the anime classic Dragonball Z, where two already strong fighters fuse together to form an even stronger fighter that represents far more than double their individual strengths. For this to happen, they have to perform a choreography that looks like this:

While this looks silly (I am aware of that), the choreography to make the fusion of ASO and UA work, is serious business and encompasses a wide range of necessary knowledge. As the Dragonball character Piccolo says: “I see potential here, but there’s a long, long road ahead.”

Step 1: ASO builds the foundation

Before paying for ads, you should do everything you can to optimize all organic possibilities. For example, you want your product page to look really appealing to users: Format your description in a smart and enticing way, place sharp visuals and – in the best case – have some good reviews on your site already.

For a deep dive, have a look at this blogpost for a write-down of a webinar we gave on ASO and download our eBook on the matter.

Step 2: UA gets on top

When you are satisfied with your product page, it’s time to get the masses to see it. It’s time for advertisements. 

Setting up an advertising campaign to acquire new users is no easy task though: Apple and others increase privacy rules making it harder for marketers to track user behavior, fraudsters think of new ways to milk your ad budget and mastering mobile programmatic advertising is an art of its own.

Once you get the hang of it – for the basics, download our eBook –, you will be rewarded highly: Since more people will install your app and see your brand, it will affect your overall performance. To some calculations, paid app downloads increase organic downloads by 1,5 times on average, up to 17 times in some categories.

However, you should meet the user’s expectations you raised in your ads and refrain from the practice of some gaming apps that display fake footage of other games or advertise content that has (almost) nothing to do with the actual gameplay. 

Instead, you should create a consistent user experience from the first ad till the first start of your app. Apple’s App Store actually allows you to set-up custom product pages for your different ads which lets you highlight certain features. 

Step 3: Keep the balance and adjust

When all is set and running, pay close attention to your campaigns, your competitors and to general changes in the marketing world. 

Maybe your UA campaigns give you insights on keywords you want to implement in your ASO strategy? A user review lets you better understand what your (future) customers are actually looking for? A compelling ASO method on another product page makes you want to try out new A/B testing?

Don’t be afraid to implement these new strategies or methods. In a digital world, you should always be flexible and adjust to new insights, while at the same time maintaining your cool, since sometimes it takes a while for your campaigns to produce reliable data.

Practice and learn

Performing this choreography needs a lot of practice, and the more experience you get, the more you will find the right balance and discover how UA and ASO are influencing each other. 
If you are curious to learn more, get our Marketing Master Map for a general overview of your marketing strategy and contact our consultants who are very happy to help you with your first steps performing this choreography.

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