There are over four million apps in the App Store and Google Play, and that number is only growing.
So how do you get your app in users’ hands?
While the app development process is loaded with obstacles, like refining your app idea, hiring the right people, analysis and planning, UX/UI design, and finding funding, the work doesn’t stop once your app is published.
In fact, how you plan on marketing your newly published mobile app is something you need to think about and plan for right from the beginning.
In this article, you’ll learn how your app can succeed in an increasingly saturated mobile app industry.
It’s crucial for your team to put in strong marketing efforts not only once your app is published, but in the pre-launch phase, while you’re still in the midst of building your app.
This is also known as the “awareness” phase.
The idea is to build awareness and anticipation of your brand and product. It brings visibility to your nascent app before it’s even available to use.
Let’s look at some strategies you can incorporate during this phase of your app development journey.
Conducting market research on your target audience is something that should be done even before you begin developing your app.
Everything about your app, including your branding, messaging, features—it all revolves around your users and what they care about.
Conduct research and leverage market data to truly understand your audience and what they value in an app.
If your app isn’t addressing their pain points, then it won’t be successful.
Find out what blogs, forums, websites, and even social media influencers your audience care about. Identifying and researching these various channels will help you better understand and acquire users.
Creating user personas is another helpful way to discover and understand your target audience as well as their pain points.
A user persona is a fictional character you create to represent your target user.
It includes important information about them, like their demographics, interests, preferences, and other unique identifiers.
The goal in creating these personas is to help identify the objectives and challenges your users face, and it’ll help you customize your app so it better resonates with them.
Conduct research to find out who your top competitors are.
Here is what you should be paying attention to:
Remember, the idea isn’t to copy the competition or to validate that your app is better.
The idea in carefully analyzing your competition is to identify what they’re doing right, what they’re doing wrong, and where there’s room for improvement.
If app store reviews reveal that customers love the app’s features but hate the UX/UI, there’s an opportunity there to avoid that pitfall.
Don’t keep your app a secret. Let people see what you’re up to and get excited about your product.
One way to tease your app is through a website or landing page, which is standard practice.
Having a pre-launch website is also great when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO) and collecting potential user information through emails from followers.
By collecting emails on your landing page, you can even send your followers updates on your app, features, and release date info.
When creating a landing page for your app, keep in mind that imagery is key. Think about how Apple creates their landing pages.
They’re heavy on imagery and graphics, with a very minimal amount of text.
Another popular way to build hype for your upcoming app release is through social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other platforms your target audience uses.
This will help expand your online presence while also letting you communicate directly with potential users
Create blogs about your new mobile app.
This content should highlight your app’s features, app release news, and it should include plenty of screenshots and videos of your app in action.
Having a content marketing strategy in place can help your app in several ways:
Once your app is out into the world, you’ll need to get creative with how you continue with your marketing efforts.
Post-launch means you’re now in the acquisition phase, so you’ll need to adjust your strategy so that it focuses on acquiring as many new users to download your app as possible.
The more downloads your app gets, the higher it’ll rank in the app store.
Here are a few strategies to help you bring in users once your app is published.
This is a paid strategy that involves spending advertising dollars where it’ll be most effective in bringing in users.
You can advertise your new app on social media platforms your audience uses, which is a very effective way to acquire users.
When buying social media ads, it’s important to think carefully about the ad that will be presented to potential users.
If you’re using a video ad, it should be short and convey the value of your product in the first few seconds.
Having a good understanding of your users also means knowing what social media platforms they use most. The last thing you want is to waste money posting ads on platforms your audience doesn’t use.
Influencer marketing has become an incredibly powerful way to promote a product.
It involves partnering with popular social media users and bloggers who have a large and engaged audience to promote your mobile app.
Doing so can help you reach a wider audience, build trust for your brand, expand your social following, get more leads, and ultimately, drive sales.
Building up your following on your own is a very difficult endeavor that takes a considerable amount of time.
This is why big companies like Facebook and YouTube are paying celebrities top dollar—because these influencers already have large and organic audiences.
With that said, you can spend as much or as little as you want on influencer marketing, and you don’t necessarily need to partner with a huge celebrity.
The key is to find influencers with a loyal following and a high engagement rate.
So if an influencer has a million followers but only a few hundred likes on their posts, that tells you that they’re following isn’t very engaged, and that influencer likely isn’t worth partnering with.
Understanding app store optimization (ASO) is crucial in getting your app noticed.
ASO is the process of optimizing your mobile app so that it ranks higher in app store search results—making it more visible to potential users.
This process, much like most of the marketing strategies listed in this article, involve a deep understanding of your target audience, including keywords they use to find apps like yours.
Here are some important factors to consider when it comes to ASO:
Include a keyword in your app name or app title that users are most likely to search for in app stores.
For example, Duolingo is an app that teaches users how to speak different languages.
Their app name is Duolingo but their app title is: Duolingo – Language Lessons.
When users are searching for an app that can teach them another language, what keyword or keywords do you think they’ll search for?
That’s right — “Language lessons”.
Take time to research what your app name and title should be.
Below the app title is the subtitle, which can be used as another opportunity to improve ASO by utilizing descriptive keywords.
Improve your ASO by including relevant and used keywords not only in your app title but also in your app description.
Additionally, Apple allows you to use 100 characters worth of keywords to add to your app listing which can help improve your ASO.
While the App Store technically ignores the app description when it comes to ASO, users don’t.
Craft an app description that captures users by conveying the value and benefits of your app, like what features it offers.
Just remember that this description will be truncated on the product page and only a snippet will be seen unless users click to read more.
Make the best first impression in the first few sentences.
While it’s not quite something you can control, it’s important to understand that having higher ratings will rank your app higher in app store search results.
Conversely, too many negative reviews can hurt your ASO.
Downloads are the biggest factor that determine your app’s placement in an app store’s search results.
Ensure you’re delivering the best app preview video, screenshots, title, and description to help convince more users to download your app.
Once you have your users, however, how do you keep them?
This brings us to our next chapter on user retention.
While it makes perfect sense to put a considerable amount of effort into getting users to download your app, it’s just as important to keep them.
The final phase in your mobile app marketing strategy is the retention phase which puts work into converting new users to lifelong users.
Let’s look at some strategies.
Now that you have people using your app, use various channels to communicate with them.
This involves the use of in-app messaging and push notifications to communicate directly with your users about new features or updates, special offerings, reminders, and other notifications you’d like them to take action on.
Segmenting your audience can help ensure you’re sending the most relevant messages.
A major factor in user retention is ensuring the happiness of your users.
If people are using your app, it means they’ve made some kind of connection to the product.
Use this as an opportunity for them to offer their opinion about your app.
Doing so could not only boost your ASO (if reviews are positive), but these insights can help you further improve your app.
One way apps ask users for feedback is through pop-up message invitations.
Just be careful about how and when you prompt these pop-up messages to ensure they don’t interrupt the user experience or frustrate your users.
Offer some type of incentive to get your users to refer your app to others.
This can come in the form of in-app currency, like coins or points, or some other benefit that makes sense for your app.
Remember, people are much more likely to trust recommendations coming from their friends and family rather than from a company.
See what referral programs your competition is using and how you can do something similar or even better to get your users to spread the good word about your mobile app.
Getting a mobile app noticed in a sea of millions of other apps is no easy feat.
With our Simple Starter package, we create a detailed and technical plan for your app idea, including wireframe sketching and target user analysis, so you’re ready for every stage of your app’s development.
Get started now on your app’s marketing plan and use what you’ve learned in this post to grow your brand.
Strategy Planning, App Development,
3 min read