A Complete Guide for Promoting Your Mobile App
According to a recent survey by ComScore, the number of mobile-only internet users has already surpassed the number of desktop-only web surfers. As percentage of both tech-savvy and “normal” mobile phone users who prefer spending their digital time on apps instead of a computer continues to rise (and currently, it has reached 50%), and the industry is expected to become even more profitable. However fierce so far, the competition will only turn more combative, which is why impeccable mobile app marketing strategies are already in high demand.
Supposing you already have the ingenious idea for your own app and enough financial and creative resources to realize it, you will also need a marketing campaign to help you stand out from the crowd, get you noticed and pitch your product to the wide audience. Here’s our complete guide for developing an effective advertising strategy before and after the eventual launch of your app.
Pre-Launch App Marketing Strategy
Although every app developer’s wish is to reach the peak of download numbers immediately after launch, it happens so rarely that even those with flawless post-launch marketing strategies often experience a disappointing start. Indeed, the app market is overly saturated, but what really makes the biggest difference here is the negligence of a pre-launch advertising effort. Here’s how to create buzz around your app long before it’s available for the public, and ensure to grow sales from day one.
Establish an Early Timeline
Your first day of app building should simultaneously be the first day of your marketing campaign as well – the sooner you generate excitement, the more time your app’s public image will have to ripe. Even if you don’t start the media push right away, this early phase will help you determine your marketing direction and set the ground for a more aggressive advertising investment in the future. In App Savvy, Ken Yarmosh defines this process as a gradual marketing progress that starts soft at the beginning, continues to build, and eventually peaks with the app’s arrival in stores.
Proceed with Market Analysis
As always with marketing strategies of any kind, a market analysis is the unavoidable step to success. In your particular case, it suggests defining your target audience and conducting a competitive analysis. Although these techniques come in many variants, the simplest of the sort is to track your competition on social media and hence determine in which way their products are comparable to yours, as well as what kind of audience is attracted to apps similar to yours. By following customer behaviour, you’ll learn more about the specific needs and preferences of your future buyers.
Promote & Engage
The third step of getting both your app and the market prepared for the big launch is creating the hype. Here’s how to accomplish the much-needed pre-launch media exposure across all channels.
Now that you know who your audience is, it’s time to start approaching them on social media. And while all popular networks make a fine platform for doing so, Twitter seems to be a best tool for making an initial contact, simply because it’s packed with tech-savvy people your industry benefits the most from.
The way you prioritize your social media presence will depend on the very nature of your app and your target audience – LinkedIn, for instance, is perhaps the best choice if your app is business-related, while the new buzz-maker Snapchat is most suitable for targeting young, mobile phone-addicted millennials.
All the same, try spreading the word and sharing exclusive sneak peeks, teasers and promo videos of the app across all available networks and develop your marketing campaigns according to the feedback you gather.
The word around campus is that email marketing is making a huge comeback. For your specific purpose, this strategy is essential since it attracts the other part of your audience. While tech-savvy adopters will spontaneously come through your social media campaigns, the email route will lure in those unenthused about the app industry, but still eager to purchase something that will offer a practical solution to their problems. That way, the email list does a great job of widening your initial target audience.
In addition to being a great traffic booster, social media campaigns are a great method of engaging real app users with a lot of experience in the industry and leveraging their feedbacks for potential modifications and further improvement. This may be just the most important part of the pre-launch marketing strategy – instead of simply promoting, try engaging your future buyers in the very process of building and development.
The same part of your target audience can serve as a high quality group of beta testers. Thanks to their input, you’ll learn how to make your app a better fit for your audience’s problems and needs, but not only that; by creating a note of exclusivity, such campaigns can increase the excitement even further.
Take Things Into Your Own Hands.
Although potentially the most effective tactic for promoting your app, social media presence should not be your only marketing strategy. In the online world run by Google, searchability and SEO-friendliness bare a significant part, which is why you should certainly take things in your own hands and start generating quality content. If you haven’t already, start working on your website and put some effort into building your own blog.
Post-Launch App Marketing Plan
Once your pre-launch campaign is solid enough, the marketing crescendo Yarmosh refers to in his book will coincide with the app launch date. That way, you can only continue the progress that’s already been started and additionally boost it with press releases, app store optimization tactics and further promotional methods. Here’s how.
Although your pre-launch marketing efforts – email lists, social media presence, influencer campaigns, website and blogging in the first place – will serve as a stable base for some free post-launch app promotion, there’s plenty of creative methods for making those efforts even more effective. Contest-driven social media campaigns may be the most successful way of doing so. Take Glu Mobile as an example – in order to increase app installations of their new game, Diner Dash 2016, the company created smart photo ads displaying a real chef and added some Diner Dash food items from the game to the ad image and shared it on Instagram, thus increasing their sales for 39%. And, if these don’t up your download numbers the way you need them to, try with giveaways.
Being a social proof of your app’s quality, these numbers are initially more important than the profits you make; if anything else fails, sacrificing a small portion of your early profits may be a worthy way of engaging more people with your product.
Paid mobile ads are a brilliant way of boosting your promotion for a reasonable price. Special social media features like Facebook App Install Ads, Twitter Ads, Instagram Sponsored Posts and Google Universal App Campaigns function as the advertising platforms with improved targeting capabilities and re-marketing tools, which makes them a hyper-effective option in comparison to organic advertising.
App Store Optimization
ASO, or App Store Optimization, is a special strategy that requires much more than writing a great description on your App Store page. In general, it revolves around SEO-friendly keywords, which can improve your app’s search ranking by an average of 10.3%.
The same applies to the app description that, in addition to being searchable, needs to be original, compelling, and professionally written, all the while providing valuable information. Screenshots, as you might know, are crucial for showcasing your app’s key features, but a complementary video that highlights the app’s USP (unique selling proposition) and serves as a user guide at the same time will certainly increase your download numbers and consequently rank your app higher in the Store.
Consistency & Other Tactics
No matter how successful your overall marketing campaign, the engagement of new customers, as well as clever customer retention, should not diminish for some time after the launch. The previously started SEO-friendly blogging campaign should continue as well. In the meantime, start looking at customer comments and reviews so you can pinpoint potential weak points and understand in which direction to take the post-launch update phase.
The same valuable info comes from analytics and stats, particularly the DAU and MAU (Daily and Monthly Active Users), App Retention Rate (for how long the users use your app before uninstalling), and ARPU (Average Revenue per User). As mentioned earlier, these pieces of information will help you learn more about your update urgencies and point out the overlooked bugs that need to be promptly fixed.
Only by covering all channels, enticing an audience that goes beyond your targeted group and providing high quality promotional material, your app might stand the chance in the saturated market. To increase your chances, stay unique, sharp and proactive – in the digital times, mobile apps are a lifestyle choice, and you should always treat and recommend yours as such.