Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in 2013 and has been completely revamped and updated to ensure accuracy with mobile marketing today.
As of January 2017, there were over 2.2 million apps in the App Store and over 2.5 million in Google Play Store. Those numbers are pretty staggering, and only increasing by the day. So if you’re sitting around hoping app users will magically migrate to your app, think again. Competition is fierce. That’s why we highly recommend having an app user acquisition strategy in place prior to launch and to treat it as you would any traditional product launch.
If you haven't done that, have no fear. We've been in the mobile app marketing game long enough to know what works in terms of app promotion. Below are the 8 most effective ways to promote your app:
You need an online presence for your app. Why? Legitimacy. People want to know your app is the real-deal, and that you’re truly invested in it as a business.
For enterprise brands, your app needs to be prominently featured across your site. It shouldn’t be an afterthought or a small logo on the footer. Instead, it should have a presence throughout, wherever it makes sense to. A good example of a brand doing this well? SweetGreen:
Social media is pretty much a must for app promotion. There are two ways to connect with your audience via social- paid and organic. Below is a quick breakdown of both:
They say there’s no such thing as bad press unless of course your press is non-existent. Media and influencer mentions go a long way in terms of creating buzz and credibility. There are many ways to go about doing this, but below are just a few to consider:
App Store optimization, or ASO, is the SEO of the mobile app world. It’s imperative for discoverability in an oversaturated market. So how do you accomplish solid ASO? Pay attention to the following:
This one is pretty straight forward. With the launch of iOS 10, Apple also introduced Search Ads, which is basically paid advertisement within the App Store. Basically, you’re able to bid for relevant keywords so that when a user is searching for apps using a particular term, your app appears first.
While search ads are fairly new, early findings from AdWeek prove their incredibly effective, with 50% of consumers click on the ads they see.
Want to learn more about ASO + Search Ads? Check this out.
If the Kardashians have taught us anything (hard to believe, right?) , it’s the power of a celebrity endorsement. And while odds are you don’t have a few hundred grand kicking around to pay an A list celebrity to promote your app, there are plenty of opportunities here on a smaller scale.
Do you have any connections in the tech world or within your respected industry that you can reach out to? Are there any location or industry-specific influencers you can connect with? Having them promote your app via their social channels and blog is a surefire way to attract users to your app.
A bit of advice - make sure the influencer aligns with your app’s target audience, or risk paying for a bunch of new app users who will undoubtedly churn.
Where do you start your influencer search? Apptamin breaks down how to find them here.
Treat your app like a traditional product launch. How do would you promote it? It’s not uncommon to see app ads on TV or while streaming content online.
If you are a retail brand with a physical location, it’s really important to to advertise your app throughout your store. Consider running a promotion to get users to download it. Recently, Shake Shack offered customers a free burger for downloading their app and it was wildly successful, garnering national attention:
Last but certainly not least? Make sure your app doesn’t suck. Seriously. Word of mouth is still worth its weight in gold. So if you build an app, it better be good. Competition is fierce, and app users have become spoiled by these world-class apps. That's why before you invest in obtaining app users, you should invest in a mobile marketing platform that gives you the insights necessary to engage and retain your users or you'll risk a high rate of user churn.
“If you build it, they will come” doesn’t work anymore for the app world. Users expect a highly personalized experience which comes to apps, and if you want to keep users around and realize their true lifetime value, your mobile app marketing better be on point.
As you can see, the sky is the limit in terms of app promotion. Treat it like any traditional product launch and spend time putting together a solid app user acquisition strategy. Remember that the quality of app users you attract to your app is more important than the quantity. Make sure that you understand your target audience, and craft your advertisements accordingly.
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