Strategic marketing is the most important factor in determining your app’s success after its concept and implementation. We’ve put together tips categorized into three stages; pre-launch, launch and post-launch. This is not exhaustive; always consider other tools to bolster market penetration as you navigate to launch and beyond.
Pre-Launch – Immediate Steps
Who are Your Target Users and What Do You Offer Them?
Your marketing strategy starts here:
- Who will use your app?
- How does it help them?
- Why is it better than your competition?
All your marketing implementation should answer this question; How does your app help your target users better than your competition?
Build a Landing Page Immediately
Registering your domain and building a landing page describing your app is job one. You can build a respectable landing page for marginal cost using free SaaS platforms such as WordPress. Once live, you can collect leads, repurpose press releases, communicate with early adopters and engage Google Analytics to track A/B testing – i.e. running two or more pages simultaneously to see which performs better.
Leverage Social Media Popular with Target Users
Identify social networks used by your target users. If you’re targeting an age demographic, then focus on the platforms they use. Repurpose across all platforms whenever you create meaningful content.
Make a Promotional Video and Repurpose
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a well-structured and brief video is worth millions. App promotional videos bring your app to life in an effortless format anyone can digest in seconds. The ideal promo video is less than 3 minutes in length, describes essential functions/benefits and shows your app in action.
Once built, repurpose it everywhere – embed your video in your social media accounts, your landing page and your app-store product page. There are numerous providers out there who can build your video.
Join Your Target Users’ Online Communities
Google is your friend. Research and join the niche blogs, message boards and reddits used by target users. Participating in these communities provides invaluable market information and free marketing where you can foster the supplier relationships you will need to prepopulate your app.
Target Key Content Generators and Journalists
Search for leading bloggers, journalists or other content providers in your app space. Connect with these influencers on social media, initiate exchanges, nurture a relationship and seek exposure. Build connections and rapport with App Store and Google Play editorial team members who can feature your app in “Staff Picks”.
Learn App-Store Submission Processes and Requirements
Do not wait until launch to know whether you are ready to comply with the App Store’s and Google Play’s submission guidelines.
Conduct a Beta Test
Beta tests work out bugs in a real-world environment. You need to secure a group of beta-testers who are willing to use your Beta version and give feedback.
Create an Online Promotional Package
Make it as easy as possible for content providers to cover your app by compiling what they need into an online package displayed on your landing page.
Pull the Trigger
Now is the time to reap what you have sown and invite all targeted influencers to check out your app.
App Store Optimization
Search Optimize Your App’s Product Page. Half of all apps are discovered through app-store searches. You need to speak the language of your target users to show up in their searches. Figure out what terms they use and make sure your description and messaging reflect them.
Submit your app to the App Store and Google Play
You’ve already read up on the submission guidelines to secure approval. Now submit your app a week ahead of launch so you can address any issues with Apple or Google.
Put Your Launch on Blast
Send an email blast to everyone in your network including all new contacts and influencers secured through pre-launch marketing. Ask them to download your app and thank them. Use your App to promote itself by making it sharable at the push of a button.
Start Analyzing and Recording Your App’s Metrics
Put a system in place to record your Key Performance Indicators reported from the Apple Store and Google Play. Their performance dashboards lay out all your metrics in one place. We would be happy to walk you through which KPIs to track including engagement, monetization, general data and competitor tracking.
Assess User Satisfaction
Monitoring your feedback early and often will allow you to identify bugs and release a version 1.1 with fixes while your app is still hot. Customers typically decide whether to use an app within the first 30 seconds, so eliminate bugs early.
Early post-launch is the key time for user acquisition and it is crucial to ensure users have a positive experience and keep coming back. Message them, engage them and show you value them.
Encourage Ratings and Reviews
When a potential user decides whether to download your app, one the first things they consider are your ratings and reviews. Increasing your average rating from 3 to 4 stars can double conversion and downloads. Needless to say, negative reviews and ratings can be fatal.
Balance User Requests with Your Vision
Organize user feedback by frequency and priority to guide future development and updates. It’s also important to stay true to your original vision. Build an outline of the work required for your highest priority features, while remaining flexible enough to work on regular quality assurance and user-feedback fixes.
Once the launch buzz fades, give users a reason to re-launch your app every day by engaging them with fresh content at each launch, loyalty systems and personalized experiences and reporting. Retention is easier than acquisition.
Do Not Spam
Annoying notifications are the number one reason people uninstall apps. Use promotional notifications sparingly.
This will get you started, but your journey has just begun. Marketing your app is an ongoing process, which always requires continued engagement, analysis and innovation.