In today’s competitive environment, you need a powerful and robust app marketing strategy if you want your app to be noticed and downloaded.
To capture the attention of prospective users, your strategy should include interactions from the time they first get to know about your app, to the time they become faithful and frequent users.
Here are 33 actionable pointers that will have a measurable impact and help you to stand out from the crowd.
We’ve put them in four buckets: Email, Social Media, the Mobile App itself, and the Landing Page.
They’re not meant to be in order, and of course, the categories aren’t clear-cut. Look at them as effective pathways to successful strategies.
1. Market research: Before the launch, it’s essential to research the competitive app environment as well as consumer behavior for a powerfully crafted email campaign. Marketing automation tools are invaluable for this. (Here’s how to boost app monetization and engagement with mobile marketing automation.)
2. User personas: With research, you can also create user personas or specific profiles to segment consumers. Emails can then be separately crafted for even more relevance. This can push up engagement and attention levels. Here, for example, is an approach to user segments by FilterMe, a health and fitness app.
3. Retention and retargeting: After launch, retention and retargeting are important activities to keep the app’s momentum going. In your emails, you can remind consumers of your app’s special features and how they’ll be losing out if they don’t use it.
4. Effective CTA: However powerful the content of your email, it’s useless if the consumer doesn’t act on it. It’s important to have an unmissable call-to-action button that clearly spells out what you would like the consumer to do. Here’s a compelling example by Lyft.
5. Personalize: The more personal the email, the better. Using names, as well as birthdays and anniversaries, are some ways to do this. Specific behavioral triggers and building on past actions are also powerful methods of personalization.
6. Set objectives: You should be clear about what you want your email campaign to do for your app. Is it to inform, attract, engage or convert? Once you set these down in a measurable way, you will know what’s working, what’s not, and what needs to be calibrated.
7. Offers and deals: Emails are a great way to promote offers and deals relating to your app. Whether you’re offering a launch discount, or simply a special promotion for the first people to sign up, make sure this is mentioned prominently. Adding a deadline can also be a powerful motivator. Look, for example, at how eBay makes it crystal clear.
8. Link to content: Naturally, you should have a content strategy, after which social media becomes a powerful way to boost engagement. Remember to regularly link to your blogs and other pieces of content. Consumers will share what they find compelling, which has a multiplier effect.
9. Spark conversations: To use social media to its full potential, engage in conversations with consumers about your app. Respond to replies courteously, give feedback and assistance, and thank people for their messages.
10. Use contests: A tried-and-tested way to generate interest is to come up with fun contests and prizes. When promoted on social media, remember to make it relevant to your app’s benefits. Announcing winners online is also a means of creating further loyalty. For example, this enter-to-win sweepstakes competition by a restaurant chain received nearly half a million entries.
11. Topical posts: Topical subjects are always a big draw. Make sure your posts are non-controversial. Always make the topic relevant to the nature of your app and consumer needs – research shows that 45% of consumers unfollow a brand because of irrelevance.
12. Create videos: Videos are a great way to amplify your social media traffic. More than half of consumers in one survey said that they want to see more video content from a brand or business that they support. Your videos can show app demos, satisfied consumers, and new features, for example. Further, using unusual formats, such as square videos, will make them stand out. Here are some examples:
13. User-generated content: Encouraging consumers to use text, images, or videos about your app is a tool to increase engagement. Not only does this boost authenticity, but it is also an inexpensive way of sustaining relationships. Here are some other ways that startups can reduce mobile app development costs.
14. Influencer marketing: The use of influencers, especially on sites such as Instagram, has ballooned. The industry is poised to touch USD 10 billion. For your app, you should reach out to influencers that are relevant to your category – a sportsperson for health, a model for beauty, and so on. Setting measurable standards will help you decide whether you’re getting a satisfactory ROI or not. What’s more, you can also use influencers for online events and tournaments to promote your app. For example, YouTube and Twitch streamer Cupquake took part in a special event to promote Disney Emoji Blitz, a mobile game developed by Jam City, Inc.
15. Create communities: Getting together app users in an online forum creates trust and long-term loyalty. It can also be a great way to receive feedback about which features are popular, which ones are not, and which ones are expected in the future.
16. Press kit: Before you launch, a well-put-together press kit is a fundamental marketing tool. Include relevant screenshots, app benefits, any earlier press mentions, a company profile, and full contact details.
17. App store optimization: If you can make your app rank higher in app store search results, the chances of downloads are greater. In fact, Apple indicates that 65% of apps are discovered from a search in their App Store. An appropriate name and the right keywords in the description and subtitle go a long way. Ratings and reviews, as well as the total number of downloads, are other ranking factors. “App store optimization is vital to any app,” says Paul McCallum, Director of Customer Acquisition at Babylon Health, a leading UK health services provider. Applying ASO techniques to the Babylon Health app, the team managed to achieve a Top 3 ranking for 56 new keywords on the iOS App Store and 24 on the Google Play store.
18. Local and specialized news sources: For your app, any press coverage is welcome. Reach out to local news channels, for example, and also to specialized publications that would be interested in carrying app details and interviews.
19. Feedback mechanism: The right feedback mechanism built into your app will create the image of responsive service. It can also alert you to potential bugs and possibilities for improvement. You can request ratings, conduct surveys, and provide users with other ways to reach you.
20. Push notifications: These are great calls to action. They stimulate engagement and can go a long way in retention, as well as longer app usage time. The use of emojis, rich formats, appropriate send times, and personalization can improve reaction rates. Here’s a primer on getting it right.
21. In-app messages: You can target users who are online by sending these notifications at just the right time. These help in onboarding, communicating product updates, support, or even promoting offers.
22. Reviews and ratings: As mentioned, reviews and ratings help in pushing up rankings in app stores. Asking users for reviews also encourages downloads and builds a sense of loyalty. One study shows that online consumer reviews are among the most trusted sources of brand information and messaging.
23. Integrate social sharing: Adding social media sharing functionality in your mobile app makes it easy for users to comment on and spread the news of your app. It also provides ease of access, as well as introducing your app to new users.
24. Set goals: Tracking app metrics during the acquisition, engagement, conversion, and retention stages of the user journey is important. It helps to understand how well your mobile app marketing strategy is working. You can increase, enhance and calibrate activities accordingly.
25. App awards: Social media, app store, or other awards add a huge amount of credibility and entice new users to download your app. Check out winners in related categories to see what they’ve done to impress the jury, and promote your app to them.
26. Eye-catching icon: Often, an app icon is the first point of engagement for potential consumers. Aim for a simple, elegant design that is distinctive and captures the spirit of your app. Visuals work better than text, and the right colors go a long way. When CashQuizz, a quiz app that lets users win prizes, changed their icon, they managed to increase the total number of application downloads by over 150%.
27. Cross-promotion: You can also promote discoverability by hosting ads and links to other apps, and having others do the same. This is cost-effective and works well in some categories, such as games.
28. Standards and guidelines: App stores have different guidelines: check the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store, for example. Adjust the app according to the platform from the start to avoid last-minute changes and even disqualification.
29. Use SEO: It’s necessary to have a landing page that carries the full details of your app, along with a download link. The right keywords and tags will help more consumers to discover your page and app.
An example of a distinctive landing page
30. Optimize for mobile: Data shows that well over half of Internet traffic comes from mobile phones nowadays. It’s essential for a page promoting an app to be optimized for mobile. Quick loading times, the right screen size, and browser compatibility are some key elements.
31. Use visuals and video: The impact of a landing page for an app can be greatly enhanced with the right visual formats. App screenshots and animated demos are two ways to achieve this.
32. Use testimonials: Your landing page could be the potential user’s first introduction to your mobile app. Testimonials from existing users or glowing press reports can increase trust and authenticity. Combining video with a testimonial can also lead to compelling results, such as in this example from the landing page of Vend, an inventory software app.
33. Announce updates and news: A landing page is also a good way to announce new and forthcoming features and other information such as awards and download milestones. Regular updates create an image of a buzzworthy app worth downloading.
With a fine-tuned strategy and these 33 pointers, you, too, can successfully launch your app and then exponentially grow its user base. Get your servers ready for downloads!
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