As a mobile developer you should be hearing this kind of vibrant stats each day:
- Mobile internet has now overtaken fixed internet access!
- Mobile ad spending accounts for almost half of total digital ad spending in 2015!
- Consumers spend 89% of the total mobile media access time on mobile apps!
If you are a mobile app development agency then these stats are a treat for sore eyes.
Given the massive penetration of mobile into our everyday lives, certainly, there has to be a method to this madness of crazy revenue generation opportunities presented by mobility in general and smartphones in particular.
We call this ‘method’ – Mobile App Marketing. OR Marketing your Mobile app or with the popular term App Store Optimization.
Is Mobile App Marketing needed?
You believe your app deserves users. Users would love your app. But you should make it visible to the audience. There’s a coordinated and uniform omnichannel effort needed before and after you have successfully developed your app.
How else will you ensure that millions of smartphone users know that you have come up with a new app?
How else will you ensure that you stand apart from a million other apps all vying for the users’ attention?
Mobile app Marketing helps you ensure this. Got you hooked? Well, read on.
Step by step strategy
The below outlines the various stages of app development and deployment and what works well at that stage.
Many might not know, but the mobile app marketing process starts well before your app is released on the app store i.e. during the development stage itself. Getting to know your intended audience, knowing how they can discover you, is the first step that lays a strong foundation for the success of your app. The below are a few steps that help you out here
- App store optimization (ASO)
- Your app either has to be a pioneer or re-hash an existing app but with solid new features/ functionalizes that appeal to the users to download it. In the absence of either of these, it is very difficult to catch the user’s short attention span.
- Pick and select the right keywords with the help of tools such as this one from MobileDevHQ. This helps the user understand what your app does and thus have a greater chance of connecting with the right type of users.
- Get a good name finalized for the app.
- Finalize which category of the app store your app will feature in, and make sure you get it right.
- Do a competitor analysis to know what makes the successful ones (lots of 5-star ratings and lots of positive reviews) tick on the app store. Know about what keywords or feature sets appeal to the target audience.
- Your app icon matters. Don’t just get it designed as an afterthought but put effort to ensure that the icon resonates with the app’s feature/ functionality or theme.
- Put up enthralling screenshots that users simply can’t get their eyes off.
2. User-oriented strategy
- Create a buzz in the social media with a ‘coming soon’ experience within a landing page, peppered with trivia about why the app just cannot be ignored.
- Collect a beta test group to do a meticulous testing before its release.
- Ensure a smooth and seamless UI/UX experience for the user.
- Social media integration is essential so that users can share it once they start using it.
Appolicious Advisor Alex Ahlund says that the average app development cost comes to $6400+. Imagine if you don’t make sufficient provision beforehand for enhancing the app’s visibility. What you will have is a great app, but no takers for it. Thus, it becomes important to take time out in the development phase itself to focus on marketing.
Congratulations! Months of labor has finally paid off with the release of your much-beloved app.
But wait… there’s still much to be done for its marketing, as shown below.
Here we divide our energies into two phases – organic marketing and paid marketing.
- 1. Organic Marketing – Get free traction on your promotional efforts with these tips –
- First of all sign up for an app analysis tool such as MobileDevHQ (our favorite) or AppAnnie. This helps you to monitor your app’s performance on the app store across multiple parameters.
- Reach out to influential media channels (tech site, review sites, online news media). Their coverage will drive a significant amount of traffic to the app store comprising of visitors curious about your app.
- Going viral on social media is one of the easiest ways to gain a burst of traffic to your app. Two ways to drive this are
- Provide social sharing buttons prominently to allow users to share the app
- Increase the shareability of the content within the app
- Ask for users to review and provide ratings. The more 4 or 5-star ratings, the more are the chances of further downloads. However, the trick here is to be subtle without being overbearing. Take the example of Move the Box app. When you run out of tokens in this game, you need to rate the app in order to gain more tokens, a pretty neat way of getting ratings!
- Optimize the app based on reviews, opinions, thoughts, and feedback from the initial set of users.
2. Paid Marketing – Put in efforts to get bursts of paid traffic with the help of paid marketing. Some steps are as below –
- Get your app marketing performance monitoring up and running with the help of Tune. This lets you know the revenue performance of different marketing platforms such as TapJoy and Millennial Media.
- Run bursts of a paid ad campaign to move quickly to ‘Top’ of the charts. Here you will see an increase in the volume of downloads, reviews, and ratings which will propel it higher to the charts. Now cool down on the ad spend and let organic marketing do its trick. This tip not only helps you optimize your overall ad spend but also helps continue the cycle of organic growth of the app.
3. General marketing tips
- Set up a professional review mechanism by signing up on app review websites to receive unbiased feedback from critics. Ensure that the feedback comes directly to you rather than being published on the App Store.
- Have a strong plan in place to respond in near real time to optimize the app based on their reviews and feedback.
- Set up a chain of motion on the social media to build buzz around your intended audience. Keeping users engaged daily helps keep the interest level higher for longer.
- Keep an eye on app monetization and aim to optimize it periodically. Read here on how to choose the right app monetization gameplan
- Whatever you do, read warning from Apple for developers who try to game the ranking systems. Once you have read, it steers clear of all the ways and means that can negatively impact your app ranking.
To wrap up
Mobile and mobile apps have provided the definitive watershed moment in the technology ecosystem. As an app developer, you need to use all the channels as possible while executing a consistent and coherent marketing campaign. This guide will serve you well to get the max out of your mobile app marketing efforts and ensure greater visibility for your app in the saturated app store of today’s times.
Write to us and let us know a bit about your mobile marketing strategy.