Strategies to Organically Grow Your App

In 2020, we saw the use of organic channels to drive growth increase as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent advertising budget cuts.

The best thing about this trend is that owned/organic channels are statistically more effective than paid ads at driving value to your business. Branch research has found that organic channels (such as email, smart banners, and referrals) are up to 4.4X more effective at driving purchases than paid acquisition channels. This is because users who organically find and interact with your brand are more likely to have higher intent, and therefore are more likely to become a loyal app user.

Strategies to organically grow your app:

1. Utilize User Intent in SEO

SEO is a core tenet of any organic growth plan. High-intent users, searching for keywords related to your app or product, are more likely to move from search to your content if you build it around those words. However, choosing keywords is a strategy in itself. Instead of basing your entire SEO strategy around the keywords themselves, base your strategy around funneling user intent, from the user experience to the content you create. Think of the user's ultimate goal. If you're a makeup company, for example, narrow down your keyword phrases by the distinct actions you think users would take when learning about or looking for a hero product. Are they looking to learn about a product? Do they intend to buy the product? Understanding these nuances will help tailor the user's experience with your brand and the SEO-based content you create to help get them to achieve their goal.

2. Web-to-App Smart Banners

Your existing mobile website is an often-overlooked resource to turn existing mobile visitors into loyal app users. In fact, doing so is 82% less expensive than running paid app install ads. Smart banners, like Branch’s are the best way to persuade users from your mobile website to move their brand relationship into your app. Smart banners exploded in the early days of the pandemic likely correlated with a time of market uncertainty when many paid marketing budgets were frozen or cut, putting a spotlight on their value as a low-cost acquisition strategy.

3. QR Codes

QR codes are a savvy way to bring traditionally offline users online, whether they’re incorporated into a mailer, closing out an in-store brochure, printed on product packaging, or even on display in a store window. The unique circumstances of the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have functionally required people to become more aware of and use QR codes as social distancing drove interactions like ordering a coffee, looking at a menu, or scheduling a time to workout online. These unique circumstances mean that now is the perfect time to start or expand your usage of QR codes to scale user acquisition and educate your customers on how the app fits into their daily life.