In an increasingly mobile-focused world, developing a branded mobile app has become standard for many businesses. But creating a branded app is merely the beginning. Installs need to be generated, active users won, and lifetime users bred.
So how do you go about marketing your mobile app - and is it more effective to promote your app online or in the app store? Get the answers below.
1. Marketing Your App Online
Above all differences between online and app store marketing, online offers marketers more channel diversity. Between a website homepage, blog, social media accounts, and third-party websites, there are too many ways to market your app online: You can pitch tech blogs to cover your app.
Create a video intro to your app that can be shared via social media. Post about your app on relevant subreddits. Answer questions on Quora. Pin compelling images on Pinterest. Ask app sites for a review.
Develop an engaging content-first email campaign to build your email list. Guest blog on high-authority sites. Offer users a free trial. Run a photo-sharing contest on Instagram for a product or service giveaway. And so on and so forth.
Then there are paid avenues to leverage. While you should aim to lean toward organic efforts when promoting your app, incorporate a healthy balance of paid strategies as well. Because ultimately, how to promote an app boils down to the most effective marketing strategy with the greatest potential to scale.
Sure, you could organically scale if you create the next Dollar Shave Club video, but chances are your organic efforts will be a complement to your app installs and not the sole driver.
Programmatic advertising — which has gained steam in recent years for its AI-driven ad placements and A-B performance testing — is getting better at bringing not only installs but active installs.
Additionally, leveraging programmatic advertising through a demand-side platform (DSP) allows brands to monitor multiple ad exchanges through one interface.
2. Marketing Your App in the App Store
Unlike online, marketers are quite limited in marketing their app in each respective app store. Of course, a lack of promotion options doesn’t mean you should ignore app store optimization (ASO).
After all, if you can rise to the top of Google Play and the App Store, good things will come. Per Statista, Google Play carried 3.3 million apps as of June 2018 while Apple’s App store offered just under 2.5 million.
The number of apps makes it difficult to be found, but for apps that can get featured, install numbers can skyrocket.
This is why app marketers still need to put time and energy into their app listings. Just like SEO, app store optimization (ASO) means configuring every element of your app so users have an easier time finding it — but via Google Play or the App Store instead of a search engine.
Include pertinent keywords around your industry and what your app does. Include high-resolution screenshots that accurately depict the experience of your app and the user experience flow. Write a straightforward and engaging app description.
Make your app available in as many countries as possible. And don’t forget to build a robust section of user reviews; a high star rating and favorable words from users will go a long way in convincing other users to give your app a try.
These reviews likely won’t happen on their own, though. Instruct users who’ve used your app for a while to leave a review via an in-app prompt.
Lastly, as foundational as ASO is to increase your app’s chances of being ranked, you’ll also need to gain install momentum if you want Google Play or the App Store to feature your app.
Many marketers try to get around this by boosting their installs artificially, thinking that if they can make enough noise, their app will be featured and legitimate installs will pour in. But this isn’t guaranteed to succeed.
You might have an easier time getting your app featured if you can generate substantial online buzz and ride your install growth from there. If you need help with your ASO, platforms like SearchMan or Appnique clarify and streamline the ASO process.
However you choose to market your app, don’t measure your efforts on installs. Instead, aim for installs that become active users. Mobile apps have a huge retention problem; across all industries, only 20 percent of users are active 90 days after install.
Don’t assume users will come back just because they chose to tap “install” once. Users need a reason to return. Give them a recurring one by creating an app that fulfills a legitimate need or provides unique entertainment.
Krishna Patel is a Digital Marketing Executive at Acquire and Jagat Media. She is also a blogger and writing about Digital Marketing and its new updates. She believes and always keeps trying to do something new. When Krishna steps out of office, she loves to spend time with loved ones. Feel free to follow Krishna on Twitter and LinkedIn.