The term “organic installs” refers to app downloads that take place without any direct marketing efforts to attract users through paid or owned media campaigns.
Organic installs are downloads made by users who independently learn about apps through word-of-mouth or through a keyword search in the app store, as opposed to non-organic installs, which use a variety of tactics to try and convince a user to download an app.
It’s important to note that in the context of measurement, it defines a situation where no user journey was attributed to a specific marketing effort.
In addition, if a user sees or clicks an advertisement but downloads the app after the attribution window has expired, the install is also regarded as organic. Or, to put it another way, if the download occurs outside the attributable time frame, it is impossible to determine for sure whether it was the result of an interaction with an advertisement and the installation is regarded as organic.
Why do organic installs matter?
In terms of ROI and LTV (lifetime value), organic users are typically regarded as being of the highest quality.
However, driving organic users at scale is no longer feasible for most apps.
Organic app discovery is largely broken, in large part due to the sheer number of apps in the stores. This makes it nearly impossible for users to find your app.
The top two stores, Google Play and the Apple App Store, each have between 3-4 million apps. And these numbers grow all the time.
In the past few years, the organic multiplier—the capacity of non-organic campaigns to promote organic installs—has significantly decreased. This implies that you have very limited options for using paid campaigns to drive organic growth.
Scaling non-organic traffic is a different matter altogether. The good news is that by collaborating with a trustworthy attribution and analytics provider, you can use data to maximize your spend and ROI, achieve greater scale, and raise the caliber of your non-organic users.