If you only read one sentence of this eBook, it should be this one: In order to have a successful app, you need to become your target audience. Understanding your target audience is essential to not only your app user acquisition plan, but to your app’s success in general. 

An important note about app audiences: It’s possible (and common) to have more than one. For example a streaming app like Netflix is going to have many different audiences. But how they go about targeting and acquiring new users varies depending on their personal interests - think: comic book buff versus documentary lover. 


So how do you go about not only deciding who your audience is, but fully understanding them? Consider the below your personal guide to doing just that.

Start by asking yourself the following:

  • What value does your app provide?
  • WHO are the users who will most benefit from your app?

When you think about who your audience is, make sure you get granular with it.

What to avoid: Males age 23-39 who love cars.

That’s a great start, but you’re just scratching the surface. Use the below as a sample of questions you need to know about your target audience in order to make a complete profile:


Target Audience Profile Questions
For New Apps (just launching): 

  • Age: It’s very possible your app may have multiple age-groups associated with it. If so, narrow in on the different scenarios or popular features for each to ensure you’re appealing to them in the right way. 

  • Location: Are you targeting city dwellers, suburbanites or does it not matter? Keep in mind that a young working professional from NYC is going to have a very different day-to-day than someone upstate. Also, you might have different marketing strategies or offers for different locations based on your business plan.

  • Day-to-day behavior: Speaking of day-to-days, what does your target audience’s day look like? Are they students or working professionals? Do they have a car or rely on public transportation? Are they into fitness or are they foodies?

  • Interests: How does your target audience like to pass their time? Concerts? Gym? Bar-hopping?

  • How your app benefits them: What value does your app add to their lives? Does it help them complete a task? Entertain them? Keep them organized? Make sure you understand exactly how your app adds value to your target audience’s life.

For Existing Apps:

Use all of the above plus the following:

  • Current User’s Profile information: If your app captures profile information about users (which is should be), start there to understand the basics.
  • Current User’s Behavioral information: Knowing your current users’ frequent in app behavior is a fantastic way to build out ad strategies to  target like-minded audiences.  
  • Competitor’s Target Audience: Take a look at your competitor landscape and identify their audience as well as who they’re targeting with their ads. There are tools you can use to accomplish this that we’ll discuss below. 

Understanding the ins and outs of your target audience is critical to the success of your acquisition plan. Once you've figured out your target audiences, the next question is, how do you get them to download your app? The mobile app industry is highly saturated, so you need to be able to hone in on your potential app users with your ads.

Casting a wide net with your ads and hoping for the best is a bad strategy to have. Thanks to advances in technology, companies have gotten much smarter about their ad strategies and making them highly targeted. People now expect to see targeted advertisements that are relevant to them.



Clinique targeted me on instagram with the above app ad after I searched for their moisturizer.

Most importantly, advertising to a highly-targeted audience will help make your app “stickier” through stronger retention rates and lifetime values. Your acquisition plan shouldn’t be focused around just acquiring new users, but acquiring quality users who will find long term value in your app.