App developers are always looking for the best user acquisition methods and traffic sources for their apps, but as the app market evolves, different traffic sources come into play, and others that may have been successful in the past lose out to newer sources that came in to take the top spot.

In this post, we delve into some of the best traffic sources for app user acquisition in 2014, and explain how and why they have proven to be so successful for app developers and marketers this year.

Facebook

In a new report by Fiksu, Facebook has been shown to be one of the best traffic sources, capable of bringing in new app users that will actually offer a decent ROI. In fact, Fiksu’s new 11-page paper, named “A Comparison of Media Sources for Mobile App User Acquisition,” almost completely focuses on Facebook, suggesting that there aren’t any other traffic sources out there that handle user acquisition quite like Facebook can.

Firstly, Facebook has an absolutely huge reach; around 1 billion users are
currently on Facebook, and with Facebook’s ad platform, developers have the potential to reach out to a large audience.

Due to the nature of Facebook, it’s also quite easy to send out targeted ads that truly get targeted to the kind of audience that would be interested in your new application. Thanks to Facebook ‘likes’ and other information, targeted ads on Facebook typically are a lot more valuable to developers than many other targeted ads.

Facebook’s CPC (cost-per-click) was proven to be much higher than many other traffic sources, but as a payoff, the conversion rate for Facebook was also considerably much higher than typical banner or video ads.

Finally, the average cost per install for Facebook was shown to be around $1.20, whilst banner ads showed a CPI of $1.00, and video ads had a CPI of $1.16.

The extra cost of Facebook’s network is easily made up by the fact that users from Facebook ads are typically a lot more valuable than other traffic sources because of Facebook’s great user insight and targeting potential.

Ad Networks

app-users

Banner and video ads are still worth investing into if you aren’t too happy with Facebook though, and in fact, many ad networks offer a decent CPC, allowing developers to reach out to a larger number of individuals at a lower price.

The CPC for banner ads were shown to be almost 10x cheaper than Facebook ads, whilst video ads were also more than 50% cheaper.

The conversion rates for both banner ads and video ads was a fair amount smaller than that of Facebook, but overall, both banner and video ads proved to be the cheaper choice overall.

App Store Optimization

App store optimization is still going to be one of the most important marketing techniques and traffic sources that developers can profit off of. Tweaking your app store listing and information can help to potentially bring in hundreds to thousands of new downloads, without truly costing anything to the developer.

Investing time into app store optimization is definitely still a worthwhile tactic for app developers and marketers in 2014, and it shouldn’t be neglected, even if your development team is putting money into other traffic sources.

Facebook has shown to be one of the most valuable traffic sources in 2014, however typical ad networks still do bring in app users, albeit ones that may offer a lower ROI, at a slightly cheaper price.