Acquisition Channel Opportunities: Search Ads, TikTok, Audio reach

This week I've done the hard work for you, analyzing over 1500 tech/marketing news from last week and identifying 3 opportunities that can help you acquire more users from new/existing acquisition channels. Here they are:

1. Use Apple's New Ad Slot to Get More App Installs

In my research on user acquisition channels that work consistently for founders, I found that app stores were the second most mentioned channel for getting new users. Here's a major, recent opportunity for one of the biggest app stores in the world:

The news: Apple just released a new ad slot to help your app reach a wider audience.

Where does it appear: Right on the search tab "which sees millions of visits from Apple device owners every month". According to Apple:


The opportunity: When a major network releases a new ad slot, there's a temporary period where first movers are able to get lower cost per clicks (CPCs). And if you're one of the first people to make things work, you'll also get the Matthew Effect to work for you. The Matthew Effect, for those unaware, is sometimes summarized by the adage "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer".

Easy to get started: It's pretty easy to test the waters with this new ad placement. There's no minimum spend, and you don't have to make any new images/text. This ad slot takes your app title/description/images and uses it for the ad. The ad listing then appears like a regular search listing.

Tracking installs: Unlike with Facebook, here you can use Apple's proprietary tracking to see how many users came from your search campaign. This comes handy after the ATT update, where Apple made it harder for third-party networks (like Facebook) to attribute mobile app installs to ad campaigns.

A "bonus" opportunity: Apple has also announced search suggestions, hoping people who type broad keywords into their app store will narrow down their search options. Expect organic search traffic on the app store to increase if this works out.

2. Doing Local Targeting? TikTok Might Be Your Next Big Acquisition Channel

The stats: TikTok is now the most downloaded app on all major app stores for a second month in a row.

Two engagement options: You can get exposure on TikTok by either creating organic, viral videos (which are unpredictable) or running ads(more predictable). Unfortunately, you don't have much control over who sees your post in terms of specific location. You can, however, choose a specific country or a state, but not a city.

Fortunately, last week, TikTok made it possible to do targeting by a city for the US. You can now target all 210 DMA regions separately, meaning you could show your ad to a small city like "San Angelo" up to a larger city like Philadelphia.

The opportunity: If you're an agency with local clients, this update just made TikTok a viable channel for you.

For SaaS/app founders, ask yourself: Do you have a separate feature in your SaaS/app that's relevant to a specific US region? Local marketing can be powerful and if you can find a way to integrate it in your startup, you could unlock a whole new growth channel.

3. Twitter Promises You More Reach if You Use Spaces

There's been 2 major updates in the live audio space this week: Twitter rolled out Spaces to anyone with over 600 followers, and Clubhouse has just made its app available to Android users in the US.


What this means for you: A lot more people will be exposed to the 'live audio' concept which allows people to broadcast radio-like shows. Expect Facebook to also roll out live audio rooms for Facebook Groups in June or July.

More reach: Twitter has also pointed they'll feature live rooms as stories and will also add a border around a person's profile indicating the are currently live. In other words, Twitter wants to make it VERY noticeable to your followers if you're running rooms.

The opportunity: If you ever wanted to reach more of your Twitter followers, try using Spaces. The overall reach on Twitter is really low and using Spaces will give you: a) higher overall reach among your followers b) higher visibility for your ordinary tweets if those followers engage.

  1. 3

    I ALWAYS look forward to your posts @zerotousers because you focus specifically on the more guerrilla / scrappy marketing helping people get that elusive initial traction, which IMO is the hardest. Thanks for doing what you do!

  2. 2

    Very interesting. Going to investigate the Apple ad slot some more. Thanks for sharing!

  3. 2

    Thanks for sharing 👍

  4. 2

    My expectations for Twitter Spaces becoming the next big channel are pretty high.
    On the other hand, I still don't know what to think of Tik Tok. It is no doubt a great way to get visibility, but is it the general mindset open to commercial promotions?

    1. 1

      From what I can see, the crowd there is also hanging out on Instagram. the IG crowd is generally open to promotions, so I don't see a reason why the TikTok crowd wouldn't be. It's usually the dev/high tech crowd that hates ads (like on Twitter/Hacker News).

  5. 1

    Interesting. Keen to try out TikTok as a key marketing channel but need to get the style of the content right!

  6. 1

    I'm trying Apple's new search tab ads right now and it doesn't seem so good. At least not for Petty Cash.

    My CPM is about $35 and I haven't gotten a single install from it yet. Unlike the regular ads that get shown for keyword searches, this one is just shown on the search tab page. Placement is not as relevant and I suspect people aren't going to the search tab to download random suggested apps.

    1. 1

      Personally, I've always noticed that app campaigns set for any other goal except app installs tend to give shitty/very average results unless your app has thousands of downloads and really great reviews.

  7. 1

    Thanks for the great post!

  8. 1

    The thing that pisses me off about Twitter (and other social media) is reach. The tweet reach stats are abysmal. On the other hand, with email, you can't get your message seen by other people. It's really a hard choice to make...

    1. 1

      When I drive people, I first drive them to my email list and them also tell them 'check me out on social media'. That's been the sweet spot for me.

  9. 1

    I'm also following tech news and there's a lot of news lately about TikTok. They're perfecting their targeting, adding new features (related to shops, e-commerce) and so on. If I'd have to guess, I'd guess that TikTok would be the next major (3rd) ad network after FB/IG and Google/YouTube.

    1. 1

      I think 3rd place is between them and Twitter.

  10. 1

    Great news about Twitter. Facebook seems to be next.

    1. 1

      And Instagram probably.

      1. 1

        IG live audio rooms?

  11. 1

    Isn't Apple doing this gonna result in anti-trust lawsuits?

    1. 1

      Seeing a few of them already.

      1. 1

        Germany also sued Facebook yesterday for the recent Whatsapp changes. Interesting.

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