Mobile apps are a hot commodity. They’re the latest craze sweeping the digital landscape.
As smartphone & tablet penetration continues to increase , it is inevitable that users are turning to mobile apps to manage important stuff like appointments, shopping, expenses, dining, travel and more.
So if your business is looking at joining the bandwagon and offering a mobile app to your customers, how do you make sure that your app does not get ignored in a market teeming with mobile apps?
Even if you produce a unique & awesome app, it’s not enough just to let it sit silently on the app store & then expect people to download it. Remember, there are more than a million apps in the market today and this figure is rapidly growing. Having an awesome app means nothing if your app is lost in sea of apps.
Even if you have a specially selected group of people whom you built the app for, they need to be aware of its existence. That’s why, you also need to embark on a well-planned & effective marketing campaign that will put the spotlight on your app and help spread the word about it.
So how do you go about promoting your mobile application?
We recommend a strategic, across-the-board and well-rounded campaign that includes pre & post launch activities using organic & paid marketing platforms.
Of course, in order for the campaign to be effective long-term, you will need to have a superstar app that your market would really clamor for. Your goals would be:
- to make sure your app gets noticed on the app store
- your app gets downloaded
- your app gets appreciated by the users
- to have your app help rake in profits.
Here are 10 ways on how to market your mobile app:
1. Come up with a unique & memorable app – If your app is the first in its category, then good for you. But if this is not the case, then see to it that you integrate something unique into your app or make your app do things better than the competition. Otherwise, it would be like offering something like a “me to”. It should be useful and/or entertaining, user-friendly and relevant to your business.
Also, choose an original name for your app that is memorable but one that users will understand at a glance. Your icon should also be catchy and attractive as this is the initial contact users will have with your app. And don’t forget to take exciting and informative screenshots that will capture attention, show how your app works and how user-friendly it is.
2. Use the right keywords – Identifying strong and relevant keywords for your mobile app will significantly contribute to the success of your entire marketing campaign. These are the words that will help users determine what your app is for. These are the words that people use to search for your app, whether it’s within the App Store or in Google.
The process of identifying the right keywords is called App Optimisation (ASO) . Fortunately there are keyword tools available that allow you to check out your competitor’s keywords & determine how often your keywords are being used as search terms in the application stores. You can use the Google Keyword Tool or the App Store Optimisation Tool or even trial AppCod.es to pick the right keywords. Once you pick the keywords, you need to optimize the name and keywords of your app.
3. Get to know the competition – Depending on your app type, there could either be a handful or a bucketful of competitors that offer apps just like yours. Do your homework so you can determine the following: the apps on top of the search results using your keywords, other keywords they’re targeting, if their target audience is local, nation-wide or international. Then, choose the top five highest rated competitors and pay attention. You want your app to be in those positions.
4. Identify the best category for your app – You may get confused between “medical” and “health” or “reference” and “education” or “social” and “lifestyle”. So make sure to study the most relevant categories first and look at the types of apps in there before you make a decision.
5. Embark in organic marketing strategies
- Get featured in review sites by reaching out to authors and pitching your app to them.
- Use social media (Facebook, Twitter, Path, Google+, email, Pinterest, etc.) to promote your app via word of mouth. Additionally, this will allow users to easily share your app. Easy sharing methods can motivate users to share more.
- Encourage users to give reviews and ratings. The better the reviews and the higher the ratings are, the better the ranking of your app.
- Make sure you reduce the likelihood of negative reviews by letting unhappy users contact you directly. You can do this by including contact details at the end of the app description and put a link to an “App” page on your site which also contains your contact information.
- Have an awesome website and landing page because at the end of the day your website still matters very much.
- Register for an analytics application such as App Annie and MobileDevHQ to help you track your app as well as that of your competitors.
6. Invest in paid advertising – PPC advertising, such as Google AdWords, Facebook Ads and LinkedIn Advertising, if managed effectively, can lead your target audience to your app download page. Google AdWords allows you to extend your regular Google AdWords ad with an extension to help you market your mobile app. With this extension, users can download your app straight from your Google Ad. Users can be directed to different page depending on whether they already have your app or if they don’t.
You can also set up Google AdWords to target users by specific interests and advertise your mobile app within other relevant apps. What’s great about this is that you are advertising to people who are interested in a topic and who are already using mobile apps.
If your target audience is on Facebook, you can also advertise on Facebook to help drive installs to mobile apps. However, in order to do this you need to place your app on the Facebook App Centre. Once your app is placed on the centre, you can then navigate to the app page and click “promote” to start the process of promoting your app.
Like Google Adwords, Facebook app advertising works by directing a user to the App Store or Google Play to download an app if they click on an ad and don’t have the app already.
7. Advertise your app in advance – Tap into where your target market usually hangs out, such as forums, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc and let them know that an app is coming. Whether you use paid or organic advertising, this initiative will enable you to get feedback & suggestions, build a database of potential users and collect contact information.
8. Run promos and contests on your website – Create a special landing page that is an extension of your app & from there, create hype. Place links and banners on your main page to announce your app. You can also give out promo codes on Facebook & Twitter and come up with relevant raffles and contests. Have a webinar to show how your app works during the launch or you can distribute a few giveaways to the first few downloaders. The possibilities are endless when you think outside the box.
9. Create compelling messages – Identify the strongest features of your app and always come up with an awesome copy – whether for Twitter, your app’s landing page or in describing what your app is all about. Imagine yourself as your target audience and ask yourself why you should use the app. And don’t forget to have a brilliant and unforgettable tagline that describes what your app is all about.
10. Don't forget offline - if you have a retail front or shop that gets a lot of foot traffic consider promoting using signage and point of sale to promote your app. You can have brochures or signs on counters, freestanding stands, and even stickers on any of your promotional material.