Mobile App Installs

Mobile App Installs

What You Need to Know About User Acquisition

The near ubiquity of mobile apps means a user acquisition strategy is now a necessary part of any marketer’s toolkit. This report provides an overview of paid and organic app user acquisition strategies, as well as some problems related to attribution and ad fraud.

  • We forecast that there will be more than 221 million smartphone app users in the US alone this year. Mobile internet users are expected to spend an average of more than 3 hours per day with apps, making app users a segment simply too big to ignore.
  • The first step in driving user acquisition is to build out solid assets for apps on both the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store. Well-chosen app icons, titles, descriptions, screenshots and videos can all help drive organic installs.
  • Search ads served within the Play Store and the App Store present the best way to capture bottom-funnel consumers with high intent. Marketers can use Google’s Universal App Campaigns (UACs) and Apple’s Search Ads to reach these users.
  • Video has been shown to deliver high return on investment (ROI), according to several sources. And Facebook’s app install ad offerings and targeting capabilities provide a tantalizing prospect for increasing downloads.
  • Most marketers are still stuck measuring downloads rather than using more sophisticated metrics that give a sense of post-install engagement. And attribution remains mired in the last-click model, instead of multitouch.
  • Ad fraud presents a real threat, and it’s not going away anytime soon.


Rahul Chadha


Tricia Carr
Managing Editor, Interviews
Sean Creamer
Chris Keating
Research Director