When Users Discover Apps on Their Own
Organic installs are app downloads that occur without any direct effort by an advertiser to acquire users via paid or owned campaigns. Organic users discover apps by themselves through word-of-mouth or an app store keyword search. No user journey has been tracked or attributed. Organic users are usually considered the highest quality users in terms of ROI and LTV (lifetime value).
An install can also be considered organic if a user views or clicks an ad but downloads after the attribution window has closed. If the download happens outside the attributable time frame, there is no way of knowing for sure if it resulted from an engagement with an ad.
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 Apple App Store each have between 3-4 million apps. And these numbers grow all the time.
The organic multiplier (i.e., the ability of non-organic campaigns to drive organic installs) has decreased significantly in the past few years. This means your ability to use paid campaigns to scale organically has become very limited.
Scaling non-organic traffic is a different story. The good news is that by working with a reliable attribution and analytics provider, you can use data to optimize your spend and ROI, drive more scale and increase the quality of your non-organic users.