Customer Acquisition Strategy: 5 Tactics That Win in the Mobile Era

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When was the last time you updated your customer acquisition strategy? Facebook and Google were once sure-fire conduits to consumer attention, but competition is fierce and customer acquisition costs for those channels are through the roof. It’s not impossible for marketers to have an impact on those platforms, but it’s also not easy on the budget. 

Consumers are overwhelmingly using their phones for their shopping needs, which is why mobile needs to be core to modern acquisition strategies. Pouring ad spend into mobile marketplaces will yield results, but there are smarter, more cost-efficient ways to meet your acquisition goals. The smart money is in diversification, moving to new channels where consumers are, but the competition isn’t. But what does that look like? Let’s get into it.

In this post, we’ll cover the following:

What is customer acquisition strategy?

How has customer acquisition strategy changed?

What new customer acquisition strategies hold the most promise?

What is customer acquisition strategy?

Customer acquisition strategy is an umbrella term for a company’s plan to bring in new customers. It covers every step of the funnel from first attracting the interest of a consumer, through the process of lead generation, and then the conversion into a fully bought-in (and hopefully loyal and happy) customer.

CAS is more than just advertising, however. It’s also web optimization, social media, referrals, etc. If it any way aids in getting customers in the metaphorical door, it’s part of a customer acquisition strategy. CAS should a fundamental pillar of any company’s business strategy. As such, it needs to be frequently monitored, updated, and even completely rewritten as the market changes and the wills of customers shift.

How has customer acquisition strategy changed?

Historically, the two largest players in the CAS sphere have been Meta (née Facebook) and Google. The combination of ads on both platforms captured audiences across social (for the former) and search (for the latter). However, while both of these platforms have gargantuan reach, they also have mammoth levels of ad competition. Competition along with other factors — notably, privacy changes on iOS — drive CACs ever higher on the “big two.”

Just how bad is it? Here are some numbers for context:

Google Monthly Average Users: 4 billion

Google AdMob Average Cost Per Action: $90.80

Google Average Conversion Rate: 0.72%

Facebook Monthly Average Users: 2.74 billion

Facebook Average Cost Per Action: $18.68

Facebook Average Conversion Rate: 9.21%

Creating any sort of significant customer base on either network means a major financial investment, a low ROAS, and the potential to not even gather the number of customers your company needs to stay in business. What then, is the alternative? You go where the competition isn’t — but the people are.

What new customer acquisition strategies hold the most promise?

Moving to new, less crowded platforms, demands new approaches — just because a method worked well for Google Ads doesn’t mean that the same will hold true if you move elsewhere. Fundamentally, each different market not only has a different user base, but also a different level and style of interaction, and assuming they’re identical will lead to underinflated results. Here are some customer acquisition strategy examples.

Create ads that people want to interact with

Advertising needs to be a carrot, not a stick — customers should feel enticed to interact with an ad to make that first leap into an action, and hopefully into a purchase. Rewarded ads including video, offers, and playables are one way to gently incentivize engagement. Tapjoy’s Offerwall directly rewards people playing mobile games with in-app currency for interacting with ads. This leads to a significant rate of initial interaction, which in turn feeds to a substantially above average rate of conversion.

Compared to those numbers for Facebook and Google, we’ve found with Tapjoy that:

Tapjoy Monthly Average Users: 1.5 billion

Tapjoy Average Cost Per Action: $4.23

Tapjoy Average Conversion Rate: 19.87%

Which is a significantly higher conversion rate for far less outlay, and a dramatic increase on ROAS.

Don’t bait-and-switch

Mobile advertising — especially advertising for games — has garnered a reputation for bait-and-switch advertising. Notoriously, many mobile games have ads that show gameplay entirely removed from what the game itself looks like, which leads to a high click through (and potentially high install) rate but also high churn and low ROAS for the publisher. The same patterns hold true whether you’re marketing mobile games or a new pair of sneakers. No one likes misleading advertising. While it’s tempting to chase these low effort actions, they generate customers with a much lower customer lifetime value (LTV), and don’t pay for themselves in the long run. 

Meet them on their home turf

Know what audience you’re looking for, and where those consumers spend their time and money.  The demographics of your target audience are a fundamental part of a customer acquisition strategy, and part of that includes understanding what the various breakdowns of platforms are. For example, different social media platforms tend to skew differently by age group, with TikTok leaning Gen Z, Instagram Millennial, and Facebook comparatively Gen X and Boomer. This also holds true for different demographics of shopping sites, video game genres, and productivity apps. And while Facebook and Google may offer a low ROAS, other search and social networks may do much better if you understand who is using those platforms — such as that younger TikTok audience, or a more tech-savvy and privacy concerned user of DuckDuckGo.

Work the algorithms

Mastering the mighty algorithm — and the impact it can have on potential customers — is key to your CAS success. App store optimization (ASO), for example, is a significant part of helping a potential lead to make that last step from viewing your listing to installing your app. For the search part of the equation, it should be treated like any other search-based advertising campaign, but based within an app store. That means capturing user’s intent for key search terms, as well as knowing who your competitors are, and knowing how to direct users to your listing instead.

You may already have a paid search plan in place, but don’t neglect the massive potential benefit organic search traffic provides. Producing quality, optimized content that’s ripe for backlinking is a highly effective way to feed the consumer acquisition machine. As a bonus, the research that goes into developing keywords will give you insight into what your customers are looking for and what their possible pain points might be — setting you up to speak directly to them about their needs.

Get those stars

You can tell people you’re great all day long, but they won’t believe it until they hear it from somebody else. Testimonials and user reviews are a powerful lever to pull when it comes to your CAS — even the less than sterling ones. Less positive reviews give you the opportunity to show how responsive you are to feedback, which is often a key differentiator for would-be customers. Five-star reviews, meanwhile, give readers an evaluation of your business that feels authentic to readers. Ttestimonials can provide insight into your customer experience that you’d struggle to otherwise obtain, so create ample opportunity for clients to leave them. 

Don’t be too shy to seek out influencers, either, as they have social cache that resonates strongly with their followers. Favor high engagement over follower count; not only will that be more gentle on your budget, it’s also far more likely to yield the kind of results you want. 
The world of customer acquisition strategy moves fast, and the wise move with it. Adjusting your strategy to work with new platforms that can provide a better ROAS, and more effective conversions, makes sense for every step of the marketing process. To help expand your business onto these new platforms contact Tapjoy to launch a test campaign.

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