How to combine ASO with paid acquisition

By Buse Kanal August 15, 2022

Millions of mobile apps are available today, so having a great app alone is not enough. In this industry, competition is fierce. For people to discover your app, you need the right plan and strategy. It doesn’t matter how good your app is if no one knows it exists.

The playing field of the app industry means it is imperative to improve your app’s discoverability. Experienced app marketers know that the best way to do this is through ASO and paid acquisition.

Both ASO and paid acquisition have their benefits. That’s why, if you want to get the best of both worlds, you need to combine them. But how?

That’s precisely what we’ll cover in this post. Learn more about how to combine ASO and paid acquisition and see a dramatic increase in your app’s visibility, installs, and revenue.

What is ASO?

App Store Optimization, or simply ASO, is the process of developing your app store page so that more people will find your app. ASO focuses on improving your app’s visibility on app stores such as the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, which remain the two giants of app stores today.

How to do ASO?

There are different ways to perform ASO. Here are the most effective methods:

  • Using the right keywords
  • Optimizing app title/name, subtitle, and description
  • Choosing the best screenshots and app videos
  • Improving ratings and gathering positive reviews
  • Topping charts
  • Getting featured on app stores

The ultimate goal of all these ASO techniques is to help users find your app quicker and easier.

What are the benefits of ASO?

You can’t possibly grow your app without ASO. That’s why ASO is a must, and by doing so, you’ll reap the following benefits:

  • Improve visibility in the app store
  • ASO leads to sustainable growth
  • Getting discovered by highly engaged and relevant users
  • Could potentially lower your user acquisition costs
  • Improved conversion rates
  • Increased revenue
  • Reach more people on a global scale

What is paid acquisition?

Paid acquisition, paid app user acquisition, or simply UA, is the process of paying advertising platforms to promote your app.

How to perform paid acquisition?

Paid acquisition is made by choosing a user acquisition (UA) channel, paying for the advertising fees, and driving traffic to your app store page. 

There are different UA channels, and each could have different specific approaches to making a paid acquisition. Some of the most popular UA channels include the following:

What are the benefits of paid acquisition?

While ASO is necessary for your app growth, paid acquisition can dramatically boost and support app growth through the following benefits:

  • Reach the target audience when they are most engaged
  • Specifically describe the exact people you want to reach
  • Different UA channels offer various opportunities for app growth
  • It serves as a shortcut to reaching more people
  • Paid acquisition leads to more installs, which could help your ASO effort

Why should you combine ASO with Paid Acquisition?

Combining ASO with paid acquisition could help you achieve success in the quickest way possible. What’s great is that ASO benefits from paid acquisition and paid acquisition benefits from ASO. In other words, you can address the limitations of ASO with paid acquisition and vice versa.

To give you a better insight, here’s a list of the reasons why you should combine ASO with paid acquisition:

  • ASO is focused on app stores. Paid acquisition can be used to get users from other UA platforms.
  • ASO allows you to reach users organically while paid acquisition reaches users through paid advertisement.  Both organic and paid acquisition plays a significant role in your app growth.
  • ASO lays the foundation for your marketing strategies. Paid acquisition is there to improve your marketing efforts further. ASO can only do so much; paid acquisition can push your app to better rankings. With the paid acquisition, you get more installs, which signals app stores to rank your app higher.

Using both ASO and paid acquisition could give you consistent traffic and engagement.

How to combine ASO and Paid Acquisition?

As we have already discussed, ASO and paid acquisition work hand in hand. Blending the elements of ASO and paid acquisition could lead to increased visibility, downloads, and revenue.

Here are the basic steps to combine paid acquisition and ASO.

Step 1: Perform ASO

Before you can do a paid acquisition campaign, you must first perform ASO. As mentioned above, ASO lays the foundation of your marketing strategies. Some UA channels make use of your ASO elements. For example, Apple Search Ads uses your app store metadata to create ads.

Here’s how you can do ASO advertising:

  • Do keyword research. Insert keywords in your app name, title, subtitle, and description.
  • Choose a memorable, short, and descriptive app name or title.
  • Use an app icon that immediately introduces your app.
  • Use screenshots that will give your users an idea of what your app is all about.
  • Add app previews or videos to increase engagement and persuade users to use your app.
  • Compose the right description, which gives them compelling reasons to download your app.
  • Check your competition. Learn their best practices and try to emulate them in your app store listing.
  • Evaluate your app performance and identify areas of improvement

Step 2: Perform paid acquisition

Once you have all the essential elements, it’s time to reach more people through paid acquisition. What’s excellent about paid acquisition is you can specifically define your target audience, helping you to focus your resources on reaching the right people at the right time.

The exact step to executing a paid acquisition campaign depends on your chosen UA channel.

Let’s have a quick look at the most common UA channels for app marketing:

Google Ads

With Google Ads, you can create app campaigns. This allows you to promote your app across the vast advertising networks of Google. With app campaigns, you can advertise your app on Google Search, YouTube, Google Play, Gmail, and Google Display Network.

Apple Search Ads

Apple operates its advertising program within the App Store. You can choose between Basic or Advanced. Each of these advertising plans comes with its benefits. With Search Ads, you can place your ads on search results.


Anyone can advertise on Facebook, whether you are techy or not. There are more than 2 billion active users on Facebook, offering a massive audience for your products and services.

With Facebook, you can run campaigns to promote your mobile app. They offer simple and intuitive self-serve tools to set your mobile app ad. You can then track the performance of your ad with easy-to-analyze reports.


Facebook owns Instagram. Thus, you can enjoy the same advertising capabilities on Instagram you’ll get from Facebook.

The best thing about Instagram is that it offers actionable insights and precise targeting of your potential customers. You can post on Instagram and instantly turn it into an ad.

Getting started is easy. First, create your mobile app ad. Next, specify your target audience. Set your budget. Track your performance.


Run Snapchat Ads and create Public Profiles to reach the people who matter most to your business quickly. They offer full-screen digital ads that drive conversion rate and revenue.

As a camera and messaging app, the advertising potential of Snapchat is excellent. You can reach a global audience, which is critical to your app’s expansion.


TikTok might be a relatively new app, but there’s no secret that it has taken the world by storm. It has gathered more than a billion users already.

The playful and exciting vibe of TikTok makes it a great platform to advertise your mobile app. Of course, you must be genuinely creative on TikTok to make your ad more engaging and viral. 

There are different ad templates and formats to choose from. The user-friendly tools allow you to turn videos and images into beautiful ads quickly. You can target your audience by age, gender, location, interests, and other variables.


You need to create an ads account first before you can use Twitter. Once you have an account, you can set up, run, and evaluate Promoted Ads campaigns.

What’s different with Twitter is that their ads are objective based. This means that you set the objective for your ads, and then Twitter would automatically optimize it based on your objective.

Objectives may include Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion. These objectives would help increase your app’s visibility and user engagement.


Tapjoy is a design studio that creates custom ads, especially for mobile apps. They allow you to promote your apps and only pay for the ads that deliver results.


Vungle is among the best mobile growth platforms you can use to improve your app’s revenue. Its main goal is to remove dull ads and replace them with engaging and interesting ads that get watched and clicked.

Vungle offers its extensive ad network to app developers. They allow you to tap into specific audiences that you probably don’t have access to right now. You’ll get more engagement and visibility for your app with a team of creative designers and professionals.


AppLovin’s tagline succinctly summarizes what they do: “Grow your apps. Accelerate your business.”

AppLovin offers cutting-edge technologies and services that allow you to make data-driven marketing decisions, optimize monetization, and create effective user-acquisition campaigns.

There are various tools you can choose from. Depending on your goal, AppLovin offers Max for monetization, SparkLabs to attract the right users, AppDiscovery for app growth, and Adjust for measuring performance.

Step 3: Combine ASO and paid acquisition

You can run ASO and paid acquisition simultaneously. You can gather data from your ASO and paid acquisition campaigns. Compare these data, and you’ll soon discover a better way to perform your marketing effort.

For example, you can identify the sources of your traffic and downloads. From there, you can determine which traffic source offers the highest return on investment. You can then redirect your efforts and resources accordingly. 

Another great way to combine ASO and paid acquisition is through keyword research. With ASO, you can determine which keywords give you better visibility. UA channels have their keyword research tools, which you can also use. You will then discover new keywords that you can use in your ASO.

Moreover, ASO helps you identify the best marketing approach. For example, ASO enables you to know what message you should use. Once you have proven that it converts people, then you can also do that on your paid acquisition. 

As you can see, both ASO and paid acquisition allow you to discover best practices. What works best in ASO is what you can apply in paid acquisition. The best practices you discover in paid acquisition can also be applied to ASO.

Similarly, you can identify what might not work well in ASO and not repeat it on paid acquisition and vice versa.

Overall, don’t forget to analyze ASO and paid acquisition results. This allows you to perform data-driven decisions that should further improve your app’s performance.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you create an ASO strategy?

To create an ASO strategy, you need to define your goals and metrics to measure your ASO performance. You determine the steps you should take to achieve those goals. Gather data to evaluate your ASO strategy and see how you can further improve it.

Which is better, ASO or paid acquisition?

Generally speaking, ASO is better than paid acquisition because it is more sustainable and lays the foundation for your marketing campaigns. However, this doesn’t mean you should ignore paid acquisition because it can dramatically boost your ASO performance.

What is the difference between ASO and SEO?

App Store Optimization (ASO) is optimizing your app listing page on app stores. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is optimizing your website in search engines.

Level up your ASO and paid acquisition campaigns

You have read a quick overview of the complicated steps to combining ASO and paid acquisition. If you want to increase your chance of success in your marketing, you need the professional help of ShyftUp.

ShyftUp is among the leading user acquisition agencies with the knowledge, technology, and experience to deliver positive results. They work with you to create the best marketing solutions and help you get more downloads, a better conversion rate, and increased revenue.

Give them a call today!

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