Ever seen the movie “Field of Dreams”? It’s debated by many whether or not it’s a great movie but one part of that movie sticks out. The saying, “If you build it they will come”. In the movie that worked out just fine. Ray played by Kevin Costner put his blood, sweat, tears and money into building a field that brought players back to life to play the great game of baseball. The user acquisition model he put together worked and was effective in bringing users in to use his product.
In the app and product development world the saying “If you build it they will come” is a very dangerous statement. In any industry beyond a movie just building something without users knowing about it generally ends up in failure. Many apps and products are built daily across the world that will never have users come and discover what a company, team or individual has built. To truly make sure an app or product that has a chance it needs users otherwise it’s another product that will end up being a Field of Dreams without the same results as the movie.
We’ve assembled 5 simple and effective ways to acquire early users and set your app or product up for success. The list is labeled based on acquiring users before or after a product is developed. Although this list isn’t exhaustive, it will give you a starting point to begin acquiring users.
Tips Before or After a Product is Developed or Created:
Pre-Product or App Is Developed: If you’re launching a press strategy before the product is done make sure to have a landing page built to describe the idea and collect user emails.
After Product or App is Developed: If you’re launching after the product or app is built using the earlier days of the product to speak with your new users. If your product has a trial setup a call with the user, if you product is a physical product make sure to grab their email to communicate with them and if it’s a free product with no trial ask to speak with them in whichever ways is easier for them.
5 Simple and Effective Ways To Acquire Users:
- Content Marketing and SEO
Writing content that brings value to users is something that will help you establish a relationship with search engines and have your content found by early and future users. Content marketing and SEO can be competitive so after content is written it’s best to share it on your social media accounts and with your networks so it gets shared.
When a new product or app is being launched it’s a great opportunity to pitch the idea to press both local and national. The key way to get coverage is to create a unique spin on why your product or app is different from others already in the market.
- Personal + Professional Network
This is the simplest and most direct method on this list. Using your network or friends networks will allow for an app or product to reach a wide range of people. Ask your personal network via phone or text to get the highest rate of commitment while asking your friends if they could invite the people they think would be the best fit for the product you’re launching.
- Paid Advertising
Paid advertising via Google adwords, Bing ads, Instagram ads, Facebook ads, Reddit ads or Linkedin ads is a powerful way to reach users who are a fit for product or app. Paid ads cost can vary by how targeted your campaign to acquire users is but can be as cheap as $5 a day depending on the platform.
- Influencer Marketing
Although influencer marketing gets a bad rap it has a lot of power to reach your target users. Influencers on different social media platforms can be hired with followings as small as a few thousand up to several million. When hiring an influencer it’s key to learn more about their followers to see if their a fit for your product or app. An easy way to confirm this is by requesting a media kit and browsing their likes and follows to see who interacts with their page.
Pre-Product or App Is Developed: If you’re launching a press strategy
After Product or App is Developed:
Acquiring users doesn’t have to be complex. By deciding if you want to acquire users before or after your product design and product development cycle will ensure you take the right approach. User acquisition starts with action, so begin writing down a strategy for your app or product to start today.
At Vault we have the Learn, Build and Grow model that helps companies of any size from startups to Fortune 500 conduct product design, product development and user acquisition through using proven tactics from our years of experience. Want some assistance or have questions about how to conduct a User Interview? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free call.