Piecing together a mobile app marketing plan for the pre-launch and launch of your app is one of the most important stages in your app’s life cycle, and if you haven’t already started thinking of how best to go about this process… well, there’s really no time like the present.
As with most aspects of mobile app development, there are dozens of different strategies and approaches you can utilize, in order to get your app noticed on your chosen platforms and stores, ranging from bog-standard optimization techniques, to social media marketing, to wily hacks that’ll put your app front and center amid your selected target audience.
While we don’t have the time and space to go into the absolute minute details of mobile app marketing techniques in this blog, we do have the ability to lay out the most important do’s and don’ts for you to look through and learn from, and the absolute must-dos you’ll need to undertake in order to gain greater exposure. After all, app marketing is all about making a buzz, getting people talking, and fostering some real excitement about what your app does and what it can offer. By taking note of the tips below, you’ll be able to promote your app in workable, effective, and proven ways, while also creating a successful marketing strategy you can return to time after time.
So, one question remains: are you ready to learn the best app marketing strategies, that’ll boost your app’s exposure and increase excitement? Of course you are! Read on to find out more…
Research the App Store
For all apps – and indeed, all businesses – research is undeniably crucial. Hopefully, you’ve already spent plenty of time researching your target audience criteria, and understanding exactly who your app is for and how best to attract their attention (and if you haven’t, well, you need to take a few steps back and get the basics sorted before you start even thinking about marketing your app), and now the time has come to take a closer look at the marketplace, and see what trends are hot, and which apps are most performative.
The App Store allows you to analyze the top charts, and also take a closer look at your niche (for example, shopping apps, banking apps, cafe apps etc), to see what’s happening in that particular field. Take careful notes on anything that particularly grabs your attention: are any specific buzzwords jumping out at you, or which are being used repeatedly? Does an artwork style or color seem to fit particularly well? If you can, download the most competitive apps, and see first-hand what they do well, and what needs to be improved upon, and be sure to read any reviews to gain an insight into their audience’s likes and dislikes.
Use your findings to tweak your own app design, and highlight points in your marketing material that will address any issues. So many developers skip this crucial step, but taking the time to check out what’s going on with the App Store will give you a competitive edge with minimal effort.
Be Inspired By Other Successful Strategies
Successful strategies in marketing always leave a paper trail of clues, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with picking up on those clues and utilizing what works for your own marketing campaign. After all, if anyone else can do it, there’s no reason why you can’t, too. Take a look at the top three apps within your particular category, and dig a little deeper into the app’s history and who the developer is.
Make notes of whatever stands out, and be sure to read reviews and look at the developer’s site and objectives. You could even look at their successful social media platforms, or look through press releases and forum activity. Use these pointers as guides for your mobile app marketing strategy, and streamline their efforts to fit your own requirements.
Social Media is Your Best Friend
Trust us, all of your potential customers are out there on social media. They have Facebook profiles, Twitter feeds, Instagram accounts, YouTube channels… the list goes on and on. To not tap into that massive, interactive, and dynamic resource to promote your app would be more than foolish – it would render your efforts completely obsolete. Set up social media accounts specifically for your upcoming app, and use them to generate buzz by consistently dropping teasers, delivering value-laden content, demo trailers, tips, announcements, and more. Stick a link and a call-to-action in your bio, encouraging your audience to download and get involved, and when you’re ready, make use of the paid advertising features to really galvanize your efforts and reach a wider customer base.
Consider Starting a Blog
Marketing has always been about storytelling, and providing ‘behind the scenes’ information to your core customer base is a fantastic way of drumming up excitement and getting a buzz going. Documenting the development of your app in a blog is a great method for building up a following – your audience members, and indeed other app developers, love seeing the ‘making’ of something they will eventually benefit from, and it’s also a useful technique for establishing that all-important sense of trust between you and your customers or audience members.
Make a Great Landing Page or Microsite
One of the most effective (and simplest) app marketing tactics is to launch an eye-catching landing page or microsite for your app. Gather together some appealing screenshots and trailers, or a quick demo video, and post them on your page along with the relevant logos and snappy marketing messages, and make sure all of your social media pages and other marketing material leads to this site. You can add a countdown timer for added buzz, or supply a box for people to sign up for newsletters. Make sure you create a URL with your app’s name, in order to boost your Google visibility, too.
Put Together a Press Kit
Press kits and press releases are going to help spread your message far and wide, and target your desired audience more effectively. You might not land all of the press publicity that you want (app developers rarely do), but even a small handful of mentions in online magazines, printed press, and more traditional news outlets can make a big difference. Spend some time working on your message, and create a press release story which grabs the attention and makes your app appear thoroughly news-worthy… so when you get a bite from an interested party, you have the material ready to go.
Connect with Other Developers
The app development scene is a vibrant, dynamic, and overall highly helpful and friendly one, and other app developers will doubtlessly be keen to get involved, see what you’re working on, and provide valuable feedback on your app. Offer the opportunity for other developers to have a go on your app, and gain some insight from them into what works, where your message is hitting the right notes, and what you’ve overlooked. At the end of the day, many app developers benefit from a second professional opinion, so hit the forums and find some interested parties who can provide advice, tips on marketing, and opinions on your app prior to launch.
Reach out to Influencers
Influencer marketing is still a powerful force when it comes to spreading messages, boosting interesting, and creating a buzz, and no matter what type of app you’re developing and want to promote, influencers in your field can be a highly valuable resource.
Certain influencers have a reach that spreads to thousands, or even millions, of dedicated and interested followers, and many require relatively little financial motivation to tweet about your app, or create a post demonstrating how it works. Some might even be happy to do it in return for a free trial or a tit-for-tat promotion, so take a look at who would work with your brand and your app, and reach out to see if they’re interested.
Create Buzz with Video Content
Nothing captures the attention or the imagination quite like video content, and audiences love to see your app being used, or to watch tutorials which take them through all of the app’s features and unique plus points. It’s quite literally never been easier to create vlogs or video clips showing off your app, and with tools like YouTube being at your disposal, the potential for such material to hit viral viewing rates has never been more accessible.
App Store Optimization
Last, but by no means least, is App Store optimization. You want your app to be easy to find, easy to discover, and easy to access with the simplest of searches. ASO (or App Store Optimisation) is a way of making sure your app visuals, keywords, description, and name gain maximum exposure on the App Store… which is, as we all know, a bit of a jungle at times.
There are many, many different approaches for achieving better optimization, and the most effective of these are also the most common sense. Ensure your app icon is as eye-catching as possible, and that your screenshots have been carefully selected to display your app in the best possible light. It’s a good idea to link in some kind of video content, too, showing off exactly what you app does best.
Make use of the tools available, such as keyword.io, to check out which keywords your main competitors are making use of. Once you’ve done this, it should be relatively simple to select the most effective keywords for your app, and then to include them in your description content.
Though a lawyer by trade, Vasily Malyshev found his passion in mobile tech, self-taught design and development. He is the founder of Messapps, one of the top New York app development companies. Today, in addition to working with Messapps, Vasily is also teaching app development and marketing at New York University and regularly invests in other tech startups.