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January 09, 2024
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Mobile Ads: TikTok, Apple Search Ads, Facebook: Which channel to choose for your subscription app promotion

In this guide, we will talk about the importance of user acquisition and the channels you can choose for your subscription app promotion. So, without wasting another minute, let’s start!

Mobile Ads: TikTok, Apple Search Ads, Facebook: Which channel to choose for your subscription app promotion

Need an app for any services? Search the store, and the number of apps shows up, flooding down your screen. Now, imagine yourself on the other end, the one who has launched the app. Does your user know why they should choose your app? If not, you lack a user acquisition strategy. 

Since 2017, a lot has changed due to subscription-based businesses and app innovation. Getting the user's attention only through organic marketing tactics is impossible, especially in the beginning. It shows us that you need paid advertising. 

Once it is clear, you want to know where to drive more traffic. Which channel is suitable for your subscription app promotion? TikTok, Meta Ads, ASA, or something else? If you are unsure about the answer, we can help you through this article.

Importance of the User Acquisition strategy for subscription apps

Any app focuses on growth and not profits and aims for customer satisfaction. So, product managers need to understand that customer efficacy comes from the number of attracted users. The more users trust you, the more your business grows with time - creating a referral cycle. To keep this cycle running, you need active engagement and quality of communication. It will bring you insights to help you understand the needs of your users and lead the way for you to earn their loyalty. 

Remember, a loyal customer is not someone who comes and goes. It is someone who pulls more active users to your app, as we said, “creating a referral cycle.” You need a solid User Acquisition (UA) strategy for subscription apps to keep it going. A well-planned strategy is a significant reason for the successful subscription app promotion.

Suitable channels to use for subscription app promotion:

If you are unsure about the suitable channel for your app, we have compiled the benefits of each so you can choose wisely.

Meta Ads (Facebook/Instagram)

If you have been in marketing for some time, you probably know that postings can go on both platforms at a time with a single click. So, you can optimize the campaign for both platforms and specify app installs as a goal of this very campaign. But is it a suitable channel to choose? You can find your answer through its advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of Meta Ads

Meta stated in their recent survey during the quarter of 2023 that the active users of their collective platforms are 3.96 billion. Of course, it is a collective number, but we can assume that most of them are on all of their core products. So, you have a lot of users to target. 

You can set your targets from these users and reach out to the customers who follow your competitor brand. Design your campaigns based on their life event and online behaviors. It also allows you to retarget the users who downloaded your app but are still a long way from being paid subscribers.

  • It is easy to target ad creative
  • You can run multiple tests (use images and copy alongside).
  • Meta Ads give you a handful of data through the campaigns, helping you with a better marketing strategy. 

Apple Search Ads

It is one of the effective methods of app promotions. Developers can promote their subscription apps on the store considering the queries written by users in a search bar. Advitsirs bid to appear on the page against the specific keyword. It connects the app to the right customer at the right time and increases the chances of conversion.

Advantages of Apple Search Ads

Users who find your app through Ad Searches are your potential users and intend to use your product or services. So, it is likely to have higher conversion rates than any other channel. Moreover, using this channel means you can track all your iOS campaigns. So, you can get a report on the number of downloads for your investment.

Yes, it might have a limitation of audience targeting, but you can use the right keyword to enhance the spectrum of interested audiences. Moreover, you can also leverage this channel to create different landing pages for your User Acquisition campaigns. It means you can gather data on your audience's responses, which will, in turn, help you widen your ASO strategy

TikTok Ads

TikTok has 1.677 billion users worldwide, with 1.1 billion being monthly active users. It means the app is beyond just lip-syncing and grooving videos as the user's reach has increased. So, the new audience is also interested in Coining niches.

Advantages of TikTok

According to the report, 21% of users think that the ads on TikTok tend to be more trending than the ones on other channels. So, if you want to be the head of the competition, this might be the channel to choose. It is also a great way of targeting the younger demographics aged 10 to 19 years or 20 to 29. 

You can target by demographics, age, gender, location, and users' interests. Interest means you can always find the audience interested in your product or services, even though the categories are broader than the Meta platform. Judge the behavior pattern of how these users use the platform, and you will find their interests. You can also target Android or iOS users only.

How do you choose the right channel for your subscription app?

Consider reach, relevance, and engagement when choosing the best app marketing channel for your target audience. Consider the cost, effort, return on investment, and compatibility with your app's value proposition and message. Compare different channels based on these criteria and pick those that best meet the needs of your app. 

Testing and monitoring your app marketing channels is also critical, as well as making adjustments as needed. For example, you could choose app store optimization, social media, and paid ads as your primary channels for any of your subscription apps and optimize them based on performance and feedback.


You can have various kinds of subscription apps and still may not know anything about user acquisition. So, if you are in a place where you are in dire need of boosting subscription app promotion, make sure you understand the channels. You have a strategy to promote the app through the given features. 

Most importantly, focus on the channel appropriate to your type of app. Look closely at your demographics and their online activities; you will learn patterns to define them into the best app promotion strategy. Finally, offer value-driven pricing, compelling free trials, personalized experiences, upselling opportunities, smooth onboarding, and transparent cancellation processes to succeed with subscription-based apps — and don't forget to optimize the experience using key metrics.

Head of Marketing at Apphud
7+ years in product marketing. Nataly is responsible for marketing strategy development and execution. Committed adherent of the agile methodology.

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