When trying to grow your startup it’s crucial that you don’t just go about expanding for the sake of it. It needs to be done smartly and strategically, focusing on where your efforts will make the most impact with the resources at hand. With fierce competition in nearly every new sector (especially within apps) identifying new avenues for growth can be a real challenge.
It is often the case that startups are so focused on getting their product out there for people to use; they overlook the fact that some of the best growth opportunities lay in some of the most basic customer acquisition channels. This isn’t to say that improving your app’s functionality or user experience isn’t important, but more that you shouldn’t underestimate traditional marketing techniques either.
So with this in mind we decided to put together 5 customer acquisition strategies (that your competitors are using right now) that can be implemented relatively easily and will make all the difference when it comes to growing your business!
1. Get featured on other apps!
Typically, applications built on similar technologies tend to help each other out by featuring or linking to one another. This is a great way of getting your app out there because it means you don’t have to rely on customers finding you, they are being brought directly to you!
A prime example of this in action would be the hugely popular dating app Tinder, which recently featured the photo-sharing app Pinterest in its ‘Tinder Stacks’ feature. What’re more, apps that are part of the same family tend to help each other out even further by featuring “Related Apps” which can increase your visibility exponentially!
2. Leverage social media/networking sites for promotion
According to Peter DeCaprio today’s digital landscape offers up plenty of opportunities for startups looking to expand their business. Social networking has become pretty much ubiquitous and any company with a digital presence is now expected to have a LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter account as standard.
As such it’s important that you’re taking advantage of these channels as much as possible, particularly if your product or service is targeted at the younger generation (who by and large are on social media all day long). Just having a presence isn’t enough though – social media accounts need constant attention and there needs to be activity happening within them continually. This could involve anything from writing updates about developments in your business to running online competitions offering discounts/rewards for those interested in promoting you further. It may seem time-consuming but every post, comment, and like contributes towards increasing both brand awareness and customer loyalty!
3. Utilize cross-promotion within other apps!
If you have an app that’s part of a series or is similar to another, one great strategy for acquiring new users would be to offer cross-promotions. This works by essentially offering one product/app in exchange for another so both apps get the chance to grow their audiences through each other. It’s pretty much like bartering but instead of trading your stuff with somebody else directly, you trade your services with them indirectly using another service as a middleman.
This can mean anything from partnering up and cross-promoting within related apps, feature stacking (whereby apps with different focuses are featured alongside each other) or simply just offering ‘Pay With A Tweet’ campaigns where customers can give you a shout out on social media in exchange for receiving your services for free.
4. Work with affiliate marketers
This is a strategy that can be utilized by any business but one that isn’t done enough! It’s essentially the art of getting other businesses/individuals to promote your business for you, normally in return for some kind of commission or reward.
There are plenty of ways this can be achieved and it doesn’t necessarily need to involve large organisations either – local shops/businesses often have their own mailing lists they can send offers out on, while websites like Group on and Living Social offer cheap deals on everything from fitness classes through to restaurant meals so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get involved!
5. Utilize patience marketing
As we all know, the longer you spend building customer loyalty, the harder it is for your competition to steal your customers. People are far more likely to go with a business that they’ve been with for some time rather than one they’ve never heard of.
The easiest way to achieve this is through offering ongoing rewards and deals – this will encourage people to stick with you as opposed to taking their custom elsewhere! For example, if your app offers ongoing subscriptions then every month you’ll be able to adapt these offerings slightly so they remain fresh/unique/exciting.
Conclusion by Peter DeCaprio:
As you can see there are many different strategies and techniques you can use to acquire new customers for your app and help it grow. Of course, we could go on forever about this stuff but we’d be here all day so we’ll stop and allow you to digest what we’ve covered so far.