We’re living in the age of mobile devices. From children to the elderly, nearly everyone relies very heavily on their mobile devices for everything from booking airline tickets to buying groceries. With hand-held devices becoming nearly as powerful as desktop PCs, the multimedia experience on these devices is unsurpassable.
This has sparked a rise in the sales of mobile devices, with many people finding no use for a personal computer at all. Mobile devices have technically conquered the internet. The popularity of mobile devices gave rise to the war of the apps.
Today, there is an app for nearly everything that you can think of. This has also spurred the scramble for companies to launch an app for every service they offer, as apps provide a much better user experience compared to responsive websites that were earlier optimized for much larger screens.
According to a survey by Gartner, they expect to see a continued high level of interest in apps. This reflects in the fact that large companies like Amazon and Facebook now continually seek to improve their app user experience at a faster pace compared to their browser-based instances.
However, with the staggering number of apps available today, how does one ensure that their customers are able to find their app when they want? Even if your idea is ground-breaking and has just the right functionality for the purpose, app marketing, and app development should go hand in hand in the race to the market.
This handy guide can help you formulate an app marketing strategy while or even before you develop it. An app is only as successful as the planning for it is. With things being thought through before the app reaches the development stage, you can spend the time you save to create an engaging launch event. Here’s the ABCDEF of how to market your app better.
Researching the market
Knowing your market, your target audience, and your competition better than your own product is crucial before your development cycle begins. Early exposure to what your end-users like and dislike, the challenges they face with the apps that they currently use will give you a clearer picture of their expectations.
Collecting information about your competitors as a habit is an amazing idea. If you do not keep track of what your competition is up to, you will not be able to rake in newer users and continue innovation.
How to research your market and competitors:
Create a customer profile that includes their gender, age, location, nationality, education, religion, occupation, and financials.
Conduct marketing research that includes user interests and hobbies, values, habits, worldviews, and lifestyles.
Research what your competitors offer, understand why they’re popular, try to improve on their advantages, do not copy their idea but get inspired by what they do right.
Ensure that your app is visible and easy to find everywhere. This can be done in many ways. You can promote your app on websites and on search results. Google presented a report in Think with Google that over 70% of users search for mobile apps on Google.
Using search ads is extremely efficient as it enhances app awareness and drives downloads because these apps are shown when people are looking for mobile apps. As Google enhances its search results to include mobile app content, apps have become even easier to find in searches.
Selecting proper keywords and ensuring common verbiage for both your website and your app enhance visibility and boost users. A proper SEO tactic along with content marketing can go a long way in advertising and generating organic results for your website. Podcasts, YouTube videos, and blogs are other important ways to market your app.
Blogging about your development process builds interest around your app and provides enhanced search visibility. Linking to influencers, selecting target keywords and creating impeccable content can highly improve your blog’s search engine rankings.
YouTube is a great way to visually spread the word. Going with market trends, playing on memes and using famous characters can help increase engagement and drive downloads. With YouTube’s massive user base, it becomes an important tool for app marketing.
The intent should be to reach your target audience where you find them the most, whether it is using podcasts, forums, and blogs. With the correct approach and effort, you can boost your app to be at the top.
Creating an effective landing page
The landing page of a mobile app is as important as any other form of marketing or promotion. It helps to create buzz around your app and motivates individuals to engage with your product and finally install it when available. The more creative a landing page is, the more users it will drive towards your app.
An effective landing page should be able to answer the following questions at a glance:
- Which company created the app?
- What does the app do?
- How is it different from the other apps?
- What do I do next?
If your landing page is able to resolve these queries within the first five seconds of the user checking out the page, you’re all set.
App Store Optimization
The app store is where people decide whether they should download and install the app or not. If your app store page is unimpressive, people will just move on. Take care of the following while optimizing the app for the app store:
The name of the app
Keep it short, as anything beyond 25 characters gets cut off. The app name should be creative, original and explain the app. As the name of the app will affect its raking, remember that the name should ideally contain a keyword, but do not try to use a keyword for a name.
Finding a middle path that fills the gap between a keyword and your branding is ideal. Using services like App Annie and Sensor Tower can help you find the right keywords.
The description of the app
The first two to three sentences of your app brief should describe the app and help users understand what the intent of the app is. Tell people what problems your app solves in the brief. Use keywords to make the description more effective.
Ensure that your description also includes any bugs, new additions to the app and more. Your keywords should ideally follow the formula Key=T/Kol, where T is the query traffic, Kol is the number of apps that appear for a given search query. You should strive to maximize T and minimize Kol.
App screenshots and visuals
Most users get drawn to an app when they see its icon. They might decide if they wish to read further about the app by the icon itself. A vivid icon will increase the number of views, if not the number of downloads.
Keys to designing a great icon
Simplicity: Focus on the element that reflects the essence of your app and gives it a unique shape. Do not use words. That is the job of the app’s name.
Size: Ensure that it looks good at each size
Contrast: Test the app against various backgrounds, both dark and light. Try all options to see how your icon looks.
Screenshots of an app go a long way in helping users decide. As they show up in the first 8 seconds, they ensure that users get attracted to the screenshot. Show the home screen and use the screenshots to explain how your app works.
Localize: Using screenshots of the local language helps!
App KPIs and analysis
Analyzing your apps KPIs regularly will help you gain deep insights into your ideation and you can easily figure out how well your app is doing.
The number of downloads:
These indicate how your app is performing on the app store. If the number of downloads is low versus the competition, you might want to reconsider your marketing strategy.
The stickiness of an app is determined by the number of active users it has. Active users are divided into two broad categories, DAU and MAU. DAUs are daily active users. MAUs are monthly active users. The Stickiness of an app is determined by dividing the DAU by the MAU. This rate measures the potential to turn an MAU to a DAU.
Dividing the number of daily sessions with the number of daily users can give you a rough estimate of the number of daily sessions per daily user. Short session lengths mean that your app might have poor usability or poor quality of content. It may also mean that users are just not interested. If this is true, maybe it is time to go back to the role drawing board.
The number of users who returned to your app after using it for the first time is the retention rate. To find a retention rate for a set period of time, say a month, compare the number of users who used the app this month versus the number of users who used it last month. Dividing the two will give you the retention rate of your app.
The percentage of users who stop using your app is the churn rate of your app. To calculate the churn rate, use the following formula:
1 – Retention Rate = Churn Rate. As an example, if .40 out of every 1 user that installs your app leave, you have a 60% churn rate.
High churn rates may be caused by an incorrect marketing strategy that is not effective enough. The wrong users and poor app performance can also hit the churn rate.
Ensure that you do not over track your app. By measuring the KPIs described above, you can optimize your app effectively and bring It high up in the download charts.
Being the most talked-about app in the market is important. Narrate the story of your app to your audience, the idea behind the app and the design so that users get interested in knowing more about it. An engaging, yet creative description can go a long way in ensuring that users queue up for downloading the app.
Humans love visual descriptions, hence the high usage of multimedia-rich mobile phones. In the age of short attention spans, ensure that your app’s video describes the app in the first five seconds.
That is all the time a user will give to a video to see if it interests them. Focus on the unique features and not all of them. Keep the video short, crisp and to the point. To check if your video makes sense, watch it on mute, If it does, you’ve hit the spot.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is as important as the app itself. With the massive amount of data that social networks process, they are able to place your advertisement to the people who are most likely to search for those apps, ensuring that the advertisements are targeted and precise. With over two billion active users for the most popular social networks, they contain the potential to make or break an app.
Your social media presence should contain relevant content that is updated regularly. Generating viral content and getting people involved is equally important.
Communities must be encouraged to download the app by promoting them on community pages. Like-minded people are twice as likely to try a new app.
Thought leaders have a strong social standing. Their recommendations can make users flock to your app in droves.
Targeted advertising by using social networks can ensure that the right people see the right advertisement. Comparative descriptions that include screenshots and user reviews are important to help people decide whether they should download your app. With the core information available at a glance, users make their minds up quickly.
There is no real secret recipe for the perfect marketing strategy. Your tactics may appear to work in the beginning but might vane at the end. There is no tool or mantra that might help you stay at the top. You need to stay relevant, alert and change according to user inputs to ensure stickiness.
Mix and match various promotion methods. As an example, mix ASO with Facebook ads. This can ensure that you cover all your bases.
With all the information that you may need and armed with a strategy that you think may work, you should be all set to conquer the world of mobile apps and be the app that everyone is talking about today!