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App Marketing Strategies – Using TikTok to Boost User Acquisition and Retention

As a leading TikTok marketing agency, we at House of Marketers have been at the forefront of helping businesses, both big and small, navigate the TikTok landscape. Our work is focused on helping businesses not only find and acquire users but also retain and convert them into loyal customers.

We understand that TikTok, with its unique blend of short-form video content and highly engaged user base, is a goldmine for innovative marketing strategies, especially Mobile apps.

Take Duolingo, for example. The language learning app has been in the market for a while, but it found its groove when it started posting content on TikTok. Even though the app is educational, it utilised the power of TikTok and its young audience to boost its user acquisition.

Duolingo’s story is not just a success story; it’s a case study to see in real-time how TikTok can act as a vehicle for app marketing. The strategies we are discussing are simple but when implemented well can help you scale your app marketing strategies for maximum ROI.

In this guide, we’ll delve into the app marketing strategies that have worked for apps in all industries and niches and how you can apply them to your app. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Understanding TikTok’s User Demographics and finding the perfect overlap between your app and TikTok’s user base.
  • Creating Engaging Content that is true to your Brand’s identity.
  • Learning the various ways you can use TikTok to boost your user-acquisition strategies.

We Promise that by the end of this, you will know how to market an app successfully. Ready to dive in and take your app marketing to the next level? Let’s get started!

TikTok Sales Funnel for Conversions: How to market an app successfully

Did you know that TikTok boasts over 1 billion active users worldwide? Or that 63% of its users have followed a brand on the platform, and 50% have made a purchase after seeing a product on TikTok? These impressive numbers showcase the platform’s capacity to drive user acquisition and conversions.

Let’s take a quick look at how TikTok can help you build a sales funnel that positions your app for marketing success and how you can use it for your app marketing strategies.

A sales funnel usually takes your existing and potential customers on a journey – from the first interaction with your brand to the final purchase or conversion.

It’s typically divided into three stages:

  • Awareness (This is the stage where you move your consumer from the stage of unaware to Problem aware)
  • Consideration (This is the stage where your customer moves from solution aware to product-aware stage)
  • Decision (Finally, this is the stage where they are most aware and ready to make a decision leading to conversion)

TikTok Sales Funnel in Action

When you start making content on TikTok about your app, users will start becoming aware of the existence of your app (Product-aware).

As users become more familiar with your app, you can provide more detailed information about its features and benefits, helping them understand why it’s the right choice for them (Product-Aware stage).

Once they continue getting familiar, you can drive conversions with strong calls to action and compelling offers (Most Aware stage).

For example, the fitness app 30 Day Fitness used TikTok to create awareness about their app through a hashtag challenge (#30dfchallenge), effectively moving users from the Unaware to the Problem-Aware stage.

They then showcased the features and benefits of their app in their TikTok videos, moving users into the Solution-Aware and Product-Aware stages.

Finally, they drove conversions by offering a free trial to TikTok users, effectively moving them to the Most Aware stage and boosting their user acquisition.

Now, let’s look at some specific strategies you can use on TikTok to move users through the stages of awareness and boost your user acquisition and retention.

How to Boost User Acquisition through TikTok

To learn how to market an app successfully using TikTok, you will need to know how to acquire users. This step is simple but requires some strategy in place for content creation.

What sets TikTok apart is its unique algorithm that prioritizes user engagement over follower count, making it a fair game for marketers of all sizes.

To leverage TikTok for marketing your app, you will need to answer some of these questions.

  • Who is your target audience on TikTok?
  • What are their interests and preferences?
  • What TikTok trends align with your app’s features or values?
  • How can you make your content engaging and shareable?
  • How can you incorporate a call-to-action (like downloading your app) in a natural, non-intrusive way?

Let’s delve into each of these and more in detail.

Get to Know Your Audience

Understanding who your audience is the first step in creating a successful marketing strategy. TikTok is home to a diverse range of users, with Gen Z and Millennials making up a significant portion. These digital natives are always looking for new mobile apps and experiences. By understanding their preferences and behaviours, you can tailor your content and marketing strategies accordingly.

TikTok is a platform that celebrates creativity and authenticity. Trends and challenges often drive the most engagement.

Remember the viral ‘Renegade’ dance challenge? Brands big and small jumped on this trend, creating their own renditions of the dance to promote their products. The result? A surge in brand visibility and engagement.

TikTok’s user base is predominantly Gen Z, a demographic known for its high digital engagement and openness to trying new products. This makes TikTok an ideal platform for app marketers.

Take ‘Subway Surfers’, for example. This gaming app leveraged TikTok to target Gen Z users, leading to a significant boost in downloads.

Create Content That Engage and Connect

TikTok is a platform that thrives on creativity, authenticity, and entertainment. Your content should reflect these values to truly resonate with the TikTok audience.

Take the example of the meditation app, Headspace. They launched a campaign called the #MeditationChallenge, encouraging users to share their meditation journey. The challenge was a massive hit, with millions of views on the hashtag. This not only increased their brand visibility but also drove a significant number of app downloads.

The key takeaway here is that Headspace didn’t just promote their app; they created a community around it. They encouraged user participation and made their audience a part of their brand story. This strategy not only boosts user acquisition but also fosters a sense of loyalty and connection with the brand.

Success on TikTok isn’t just about creating content; it’s about creating the right content. Understanding your audience and tailoring your content to their preferences is crucial.

For instance, educational content is a big hit on TikTok, with the hashtag #LearnOnTikTok racking up billions of views. If your app offers educational services, this is a trend you can tap into.

Expand Your Reach with TikTok Influencer Partnerships

Influencer marketing is a powerful tool on TikTok. Influencers have a ready audience that trusts their recommendations, making them ideal partners for promoting your app.

Consider the example of the dating app, Hily. They launched a successful influencer marketing campaign on TikTok that reached over 4 million people and generated almost 14,000 clicks.

By partnering with influencers who resonated with their target audience, Hily was able to significantly boost their user acquisition.

When choosing influencers to collaborate with, it’s important to consider not just their follower count, but also their audience demographics and engagement rates. The right influencer can help you reach your target audience and drive them to download your app.
Learn more about influencer marketing here.

“Could a hashtag challenge be the next big move for your app? What kind of challenge would resonate with your audience and encourage them to interact with your brand?”

Jump on the Hashtag Challenge Bandwagon

One of the unique features of TikTok is its culture of hashtag challenges. These are user-generated campaigns where TikTokers create content around a specific theme or task, marked by a unifying hashtag. For app marketers, launching a relevant hashtag challenge can be a powerful way to increase brand visibility and drive app downloads.

Take the example of the fitness app, 30 Day Fitness. They launched a successful TikTok hashtag campaign #30dfchallenge that generated more than 18.5 million views and over 17,800 comments and a significant boost in user acquisition.

The challenge encouraged users to share their fitness journey using the app, creating a sense of community and driving significant user acquisition.

The key to a successful hashtag challenge is to make it fun, engaging, and relevant to your app. It should encourage users to interact with your brand and create user-generated content, which not only boosts visibility but also builds trust and authenticity.

Maximize Visibility with TikTok Advertising

While organic strategies are crucial, TikTok’s advertising platform offers additional tools to reach a larger audience. TikTok For Business allows you to create targeted ad campaigns to promote your app.

In-feed ads, branded hashtag challenges, and branded effects are some of the ad formats you can use. These ads can be targeted based on user demographics, interests, and behaviour, ensuring they reach your ideal audience.

For instance, the language learning app Babbel used in-feed ads to showcase how their app makes learning a new language easy and fun. The ads targeted users interested in language learning, driving a significant increase in app downloads.

TikTok advertising requires careful planning and optimization. It’s crucial to monitor your ad performance and adjust your strategy based on the data to ensure the best return on investment.

Retaining and Converting Users through TikTok

Acquiring users is just the first step in your app’s TikTok marketing journey. The real challenge lies in retaining these users and converting them into loyal customers. In this section, we’ll explore strategies to keep your users engaged, deliver continuous value, retarget existing users, and optimize your content for conversions.

How can I keep my users engaged on TikTok? What kind of content would they find valuable and engaging? How can I turn my users into advocates for my app?

Engage Users with Consistent Interaction

Once you’ve successfully acquired users, the next challenge is to keep them engaged and ensure they continue to use your app. TikTok, with its highly interactive platform, provides ample opportunities for maintaining user engagement.

Calm, a meditation and sleep app, has done a fantastic job of engaging with its audience on TikTok. They regularly post relaxing videos and mindfulness tips, providing value to their users and encouraging them to use the app. They also interact with their fans by responding to comments, fostering a sense of community and connection.

By maintaining a regular posting schedule and interacting with your users, you can keep them engaged and invested in your app. This not only boosts user retention but also encourages users to become advocates for your app, promoting it within their networks.

Deliver Continuous Value to Retain Users

At the heart of user retention is value. Users will continue to use your app if they find it valuable and beneficial. Therefore, it’s crucial to continuously provide value to your users, both within your app and through your TikTok content.

Duolingo, a language learning app, does this exceptionally well. They use their TikTok account to share language learning tips and success stories from their users. This not only provides value to their users but also encourages continued use of their app. Their engaging and educational content has resulted in high engagement rates on their TikTok posts and increased use of their app.

By showcasing the value and benefits of your app through your TikTok content, you can encourage users to continue using your app and even upgrade to premium features or make in-app purchases.

Retarget Existing Users

Retargeting is a powerful strategy for boosting user retention and conversion. By targeting users who have already shown interest in your app, you can encourage them to continue using your app and make in-app purchases.

TikTok’s advertising platform allows you to create retargeting campaigns based on user behaviour. For example, you can target users who have installed your app but haven’t used it in a while, or users who have used certain features of your app. By showing these users targeted ads, you can remind them of the value your app provides and encourage them to start using it again.

The key to successful retargeting is to provide a clear call to action and an incentive for users to return to your app. This could be a new feature, a limited-time offer, or a personalized recommendation based on their previous activity.

You can also use TikTok retargeting ads to deliver social media ads to people who have already visited your website or engaged with your TikTok content. This can help you show your audience relevant content that is likely to further engage or convert them into new or returning customers.

Turn Engagement into Conversions with Optimization Strategies

Yes, user acquisition and retention matter, but let’s not forget the end game of your TikTok marketing strategy – conversions! Be it app downloads, in-app purchases, or upgrades to premium tiers, conversions are your win.

To make it happen, keep an eye on your TikTok analytics. Understand what’s leading to conversions – is it a specific video style, a particular call-to-action, or a certain ad format? Now that you know, it’s time to capitalize on it!

For instance, Canva, a graphic design app, regularly posts TikTok videos showcasing how easy it is to create professional-looking designs using their app. These videos not only drive app downloads but also encourage users to upgrade to Canva Pro to access more features.

By continuously monitoring and optimizing your TikTok content and ads for conversions, you can ensure that your TikTok marketing strategy not only boosts user acquisition and retention but also drives revenue growth.

Remember, each stage requires a different approach and type of content. For example, the awareness stage might involve more general, brand-focused content, while the conversion stage will require more direct, action-oriented content.

The Final Word

The key to learning how to market an app successfully is learning how to leverage TikTok as a user-acquisition platform. With its unique blend of short-form video content and highly engaged user base, presents a fertile ground for app marketing. The platform offers strategies to not only acquire new users but also retain them and convert them into loyal customers.

TikTok can play a crucial role in each stage of this funnel. With its vast user base and engaging content, it’s an excellent platform for

  • raising awareness about your app (engaging content)
  • move users into the consideration stage (using targeted content and ads)
  • and drive conversions (with strong calls to action and compelling offers)

Remember, every app is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Therefore, it’s crucial to continuously monitor your performance, test different strategies, and adjust your approach based on your results.

Ready for Some TikTok Marketing Magic to Market Your App?

At House of Marketers, we’ve mastered the art of using TikTok for app marketing, user acquisition and retention. We create strategies tailor-made for your app’s unique goals and target audience.

Let us guide you through the TikTok landscape to ramp up your user acquisition, retention, and conversion.

So, are you ready to boost your app marketing? Get in touch today for a free consultation and campaign proposal, and let’s make your app the talk of TikTok!

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