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App Marketing
10 min

A 2021 Step by Step Guide for Android App Marketing

Apple may be OS royalty, but Android is the OS king of the masses. According to Statista, Android continues to be the leading mobile operating system worldwide (January 2021), with a 71.93% mobile market share.

Clearly, understanding how to market to this wide and varied target audience is well worth the time and investment. If you have a killer android app that can create a buzz in this gigantic market, we have all the right tricks up our sleeve to get your app into the right hands.

In this blog, we will decode everything you need to know about android app marketing–from what it means to top strategies you can use across user stages to get the maximum number of downloads and retain users, with every single download.

But first, let’s understand:

What is android app marketing, anyway?

Google defines mobile app marketing as:

“An advertising medium that can complement a brand’s offline experience, drive e-commerce, or simply help connect a brand with its loyal customers.”

So Android app marketing would basically entail marketing your app for Android OS users across the various stages of the user journey–from the moment they discover your app to becoming a loyal user.

This brings us to the next important question:

What are the three stages of android app marketing?

Glad you asked.

Similar to mobile app marketing, android app marketing can be broken down into three stages–each with its own set of strategies and hacks that can maximize your ROI and keep users engaged, all at the same time.

Stage 1 – Awareness or The Pre-Launch Stage

In application lingo, this stage would refer to all the activities and tasks you would engage in before the launch of your app. 

The Ultimate Goals of this Stage Include:

  • Building brand awareness and product visibility in alignment with the target audience’s needs.
  • Mapping out who your target users are and how will they discover your android app. 
  • Defining a brand position that gives users the chance to connect with your product on a deeper level.

Steps to Take During this Stage

1. Do your market research to understand who your ideal customer is. You can go through influential blogs, social media channels, community groups, forums, and websites that your audience routinely visits.

2. Once you’ve gathered the user data, create an in-depth and accurate user persona. Make sure to include factors such as user’s demographics, background, challenges and pain-points, mobile preferences, interests, and unique identifiers. You should also understand if the audience prefers paying for apps or making in-app purchases? Here’s an example of a user persona for a mobile app:

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Pro Tip: Remember that you can always segment your target audience further and chart out a unique and customized user journey for every persona segmented based on their needs and requirements.

3. Identify the top-5 key players that are active in your specific app category and do a comprehensive competitive analysis.

(i) You can include the following factors when doing the analysis:

  • Current price strategy
  • Monetization model
  • App store ranking
  • User experience (UX) pros and cons
  • Notable reviews

App Competitive-analysis

App Competitive-analysis

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(ii) You can use ASO tools available such as App Annie, SensorTower, or App-Mind to understand who your competitors are, what kind of advanced features are they requesting, and which are the best apps in your chosen category. For best results, create a competitive matrix to see how your app compares.

4. Prior to the app development process, think about whether your app addresses your customer’s key pain point(s) and what will make it stand out against the competitors. 

Pro Tip: Make sure that your app’s name is unique and uses rich keywords (if possible). Also, focus on creating an eye-catching app icon to reel the viewer in.

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5. Figure out a launch date that factors in key elements such as the app’s review process, unpredictable delays/setbacks, contingency plans, and other events that may coincide with your app’s launch.

Top Strategies to Supercharge the “Awareness” Stage

1. Before you launch your product, get a thorough understanding of the following focus areas:

  • Brand messaging and positioning
  • The tone and style of your in-app content
  • List of useful functionality and app features
  • Platform choice of users
  • Monetization strategy

2. Extensively focus on your brand’s intrinsic values and purpose (and not just product features), as Starbucks demonstrates below:

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3. Define your brand positioning in such a way that your users can connect with your user’s product on a deeper level, as Airbnb demonstrates below through its “Home, experiences, and places” tagline.


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4. Build a website or a landing page that contains a teaser video of your product and includes snippets about your app UI and describes its unique features.

Here’s another landing page example by Tapster, which takes landing page marketing one step further by encouraging users to get early access to their app and get a chance to win $100:

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This will help create hype around the product. You can repurpose the content and use it across the app store, social media platforms, and paid ads. Plus, you can use the website to drive SEO and collect user emails, which can further be used in your content marketing campaign to inform users about product launches, etc.

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5. Engage in outreach initiatives by partnering with influencers, publications, app-editors, and bloggers to get backlinks and encourage the display of honest reviews.

Example of App Influencer Marketing


As a thumb rule, always keep your pitch concise and include a link to your press kit (which should include press releases, pictures, bio of the founders, screenshots of the app, logo, etc.) or landing page so that the reviewers can easily find all the information they will need.

6. Build a fool-proof social media campaign to create a buzz around the app launch. Think about the platforms you will use depending on your target audience–from Facebook and Instagram to Twitter and LinkedIn; the options are aplenty.

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Pro Tip: Don’t forget to market on other unique channels such as Pinterest, Reddit, Quora, Tumblr, and Tech Podcasts on Spotify–if your target audience actively uses these platforms:

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7. Make sure to include a CTA across your social media posts (such as “Click here,” “Download now,” “Install now,” “Visit website,” etc.) and create a dedicated hashtag to use across all the posts.

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8. In addition to talking about your android app, make sure to drive engaging and entertaining content on your social media pages, as this can build a thriving community of like-minded users.

9. Create a content marketing strategy.

  • As a best practice, consider creating thought-leadership, informative blogs months in advance of the launch. Why? As this can help build your brand as an authority in the space and boost user engagement right from the start.
  • To start with, blog about your app’s features and make sure to include screenshots and videos, and make it as visual as possible, as Vine demonstrates below:

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  • You can also include ebooks, white papers, reports, infographics, videos, case studies, quizzes and polls, etc., in your content marketing strategy.

Pro Tip: Align your content marketing strategy with your social media strategy to make the most of the resources and assets being used, and deliver coherent messaging across platforms, both online and offline.

10. Apply for established and credible app awards such as BMA to get added exposure, authority, and downloads. 

Moving on, let’s look at the next stage of the android app marketing process.

Stage 2 – Acquisition

The second stage is all about refining your marketing strategy to see what’s sticking (and what’s not).

The Ultimate Goals of this Stage Include: 

  • Getting as many downloads as you can within the first week of the launch
  • Ensuring that your app ranks higher in the Google Play store search results organically
  • Understanding the source of the user app downloads so that you can focus on the revenue-generating channels and improve others

Steps to Take During this Stage

1. Engage in paid advertising by rolling out ads on social platforms (think: Facebook mobile app ads, Twitter app cards, etc.) and use Google Search ads to your advantage.

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2. Engage in app store optimization to rank higher in search results and convert at a higher rate. Make sure to choose the correct category–one where there’s less competition and greater chances for you to climb up the search rankings. You can also run app store ads to ensure top-of-mind recall:


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3. Pitch creatively to the Google Playstore’s team and get featured by professionals to boost visibility and downloads.

Top Strategies to Supercharge the “Acquisition” Stage

Some best practices to embrace include:

1. Using a catchy and actionable title with the relevant long-tail keywords as Calm demonstrates below:

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2. Make sure to choose keywords with respect to relevancy, search volume, and competition level. Additionally, use ones that can accurately describe your app’s main functional area and make use of the more humane long-tail keywords. Finally, you should also place the keywords strategically in your description and listing, and ensure that the content is crisp.

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3. You can also include positive reviews to build user trust and confidence.

Pro Tip: Make sure to resolve the negative reviews politely and promptly.

4. Highlight your app’s features and benefits in addition to showcasing real screenshots and short videos about how to use the app, as Adidas and Venmo do. These will help users to convert faster.

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5. Ensure that your app is localized for different countries and offers multi-lingual support to reach a more global audience. 

Stage 3 – Retention

You may have got the maximum number of downloads in the first week. But your work is far from done. It is equally important to keep your users engaged and encourage them to keep using the app–both of which are the primary goals of the final Retention stage.

The Ultimate Goal of this Stage Includes: 

  • Creating a plan of action for retaining your new customers and transforming them into lifelong users

Steps to Take During this Stage:

1. Use in-app messages to communicate with users within 28 days of them downloading the app–an effort that can boost user retention from 61% to 74%. Talk about how your app aligns with their needs and makes their life easier. Other talking points can be centered around warnings about app issues, version upgrades, new feature rollouts, upcoming deals, and so on. 

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2. Track your power users based on how they’re using your app and gather real-time feedback as to what they’re liking and not liking about the app.

Bonus Material: Here’s a helpful video on how you can maximize mobile marketing ROI with data.

Top Strategies to Supercharge the “Retention” Stage 

1. Make sure to segment your audience when sending in-app messages so that they receive personalized and contextual content.

2. Use push notifications to boost user engagement and customer outreach as Gaana did in this case study to drive app engagement.


Bonus Material: Take this useful quiz on how the common mistakes that could be negatively impacting your push notification delivery.

3. Incentivize the app use at every step possible by including mobile-specific rewards, access to customized content, in-app contests, app-only coupons, and special promotions, etc.

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  • You can also drive downloads by incentivizing the app install process.


Finally, let’s look at some android app marketing best practices that have stood the test of time and continue to provide 360-degree benefits.

Top-6 Android App Marketing Best Practices to Embrace

1. Encourage your highly engaged, power users to provide authentic and honest feedback.

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You can use a strategically placed pop-up ad as Baby Center demonstrates below:


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2. If you want to increase the volume of quality organic installs, engage in a “burst campaign”–which involves aggressively promoting your app through paid media exposure over a short period of time – usually between 24 and 72 hours. 

3. Go the Dropbox way and draft a killer referral campaign that offers users rewards/benefits in exchange for every referral they bring in. In the beginning, provide your app for free to boost user engagement.

4. Make sure to track your app’s performance, traffic, and downloads by defining key KPIs such as daily active users (DAUs), churn rate, time in-app, session interval and length, and cost per acquisition, to name a few.

5. Don’t over-promise or falsely advertise your app’s capabilities, and ensure that your messaging remains consistent.

6. Ensure that your app’s user interface is original and unique. Plus, make sure that your app is discoverable across search engines–a big advantage according to Google, search ads, and channels such as YouTube, etc. You can set up a dedicated YouTube channel to effectively publicize your app.

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Wrapping Up

The ultimate goal of your android app marketing campaign should be to encourage repeat engagement and, more importantly, convert your app users into lifelong, self-confessed brand advocates. This where knowing how to correctly market your android app can pay off huge dividends.

Plus, remember that your marketing strategy should begin long before you launch the app. So follow these hacks and strategies mentioned above to bring to life your app–one that is well marketed, user-friendly, and “sticky” in the truest sense of the terms.

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