By Alba Fraile, on 9 June 2016
2016 is the year apps takeover. As Google begins to include information located inside application in their search engine results, more and more brands begin to join the movement and create their own mobile apps. For your brand to be able to benefit from this trend you not only have to create the best app ever, but you also have to know how to attract you target audience to convert them into loyal users. This is why I would like to share with you today this basic guide to creating an app marketing strategy.
Why Do You Need an App Marketing Strategy?
If you develop an absolutely fantastic app, users will come flooding in of their own accord, right? Wrong! Although word of mouth marketing is a great channel, you cannot rely on it alone. The mobile application sector is extremely competitive and, just like you, there are a huge amount of developers launching apps every day. Without a good app marketing strategy, the most likely outcome is for your app to go unnoticed among the other million apps in the Google Play Store for pretty much every category.
Recently, Apple introduced a “Best New Updates” section, which increases the chances of users discovering an app after its initial launch. Although this is in fact good news for developers, it is still extremely important to have a solid marketing and distribution strategy for your app to reach your consumers, and for it to be sustainable in the long-term. It is vital to find a balance between the resources you dedicate to the development process, and to your app’s marketing.
Before the Launch: How to Build Expectations
An effective app marketing strategy starts long before the launch of the app itself… in fact, you can begin even 6 to 8 months in advance. In this phase, the goal is to build expectations and begin developing a base of users who are interested in your mobile app. Here are some ideas to achieve just that:
- Create a landing page. You don’t need to design an entire website for your app before its launch, but have at least a “Base of operations” that explains what exactly your app is, grab their interest and convince them to give you’re their contact information for you to keep them up to date with what’s going on. I other words, you need a landing page. Use visual elements to make it as attractive as possible.
- Create profiles for your app on the main social media channels. You can add Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram buttons on the landing page itself. Use these social networks to create suspense and anticipation, organize small contests and offer promotions in advance. You need to be strategic with your content here, in order to keep interest and attention going during the months before your launch.
- Involve your users in the development. Tell your potential users about the existence of your app as soon as possible and get them involved in the development process from the very beginning. The idea is to, step by step, create you own community of beta testers. Not only with they give you invaluable feedback, but they will also become your biggest and most loyal fans.
- Launch a prelaunch press release. Press releases continue to be an extremely effective way to attract the attention of the media. To stand out from the competition, try writing out a prelaunch press release that focuses not on what your app is, but on why it exists.
- Publish trailers and sneak peeks. Videos are pretty much the most viral content out there, and for a very good reason. Awaken interest in your app with videos that give users an idea of how it works, the concept and the user interface.
After the Launch: How to Keep Interest
Your app is already out there on the market: congratulations! If you followed the previous step, the user database you will have created before the launch will have served as an excellent headstart. The next challenge for your app marketing strategy is maintaining and growing your user database over time.
- Take care of your first impression. An app’s retention rate depends on many things, but your first impression is vital. Getting a user to install your app is just half the battle. The first seconds after they open it for the first time will decide whether they become a fan or delete it and search for another alternative.
- Communicate with your users. According to one of Google’s recent studies, the main reasons users delete apps are due to lack of interest, changes in user habits or that they simply no longer find it useful. To avoid any of these from happening, keep in touch with your users to get to know them and their preferences.
- Consistently launch new features. When you launch your app for the first time, limit yourself to the basic version. Keep a number of already developed features up your sleeve and launch them one by one with each update. Like this, you will always have something new to offer your users.
- Speed is essential. A slow app that doesn’t load quickly is a sure way to bore and annoy your users. The average app user dedicates no more than one minute to an app that experiences this kind of issue. Rather than overloading you app with content, concentrate on making it fast.
- Use the in-app analytics. In-app analytics tell you know everything you need to know about your users and how they behave. Who is downloading your app? How long do they use it for and how often? Are they purchasing within your app? All this information is crucial, so be sure to keep an eye on it with tools like Flurry Analytics, Google Mobile App, Analytics, Appsee and Mixpanel.
- Make the most of social media. Last of all, continue using the social media profiles you created before your launch to keep up interest in your app and inform your users about any new features.
Advertising on social networks is also an excellent choice: Twitter Ads, for example, offers solutions designed specifically to promote mobile apps. Good luck!