Your company came up with a genius idea for a mobile app and started to develop it. The finished product is going to provide real value for mobile users everywhere, but before finalizing the app; it’s critical to create a robust app marketing strategy to promote it effectively.
In 2013, Gartner predicted that 102 billion apps would be downloaded globally by the end of the year – highlighting how important it is to have a solid marketing strategy drafted to promote your app so it doesn’t get lost amongst the millions of the apps being launched everyday just like it. By developing a marketing strategy before your app launches, it’ll help your team better prepare for the app’s launch, ongoing promotion and competitive positioning from the very beginning.
Identify a Target Audience
When launching a mobile app it’s important to understand what audience the app is intended for. This audience will shape much of the way the app is built, packaged and marketed.
From the beginning, all of your marketing will be crafted around the demographics of this audience affecting if it’s a free or paid app, what category the app will fall under in the app store, what operating system it’s developed on and what type of advertising campaigns your team decides to execute. By understanding your target audience you’ll also be able to conduct competitive research on the other apps your demographic is already using to best inform your ongoing strategy.
From data collected from Rovio’s Angry Birds, males are 35 percent more likely to buy an Angry Birds game than females and 18-24 year old males are 76 percent more likely to buy an Angry Birds game as compared to females 25 and older.
If your app is also a game and you’re targeting a similar demographic, take this data into consideration when planning your marketing strategy for the future. Competitive insights can provide direction for how to best package your apps for mobile users, as well as a recommendation on what strategies haven’t worked in the past.
Set Ongoing Goals
Once you’ve identified an audience, it’s time to define specific goals that you’d like to achieve with the marketing of your mobile app to these mobile users. Ask yourself what is your app marketing strategy going to achieve to best reach your target audience on an ongoing basis.
These goals can change overtime to best suit your needs, but from the beginning it’s important that they are specific, measurable, realistic, attainable, relevant and timely in order to affect your bottom-line. Some important goals to consider striving for with your mobile app marketing are:
- Growing your social media presence: Building a steady social media following on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr or which ever social media platforms where your audience is active, is important means of creating an on-going dialogue between your app and its users. These channels also allow your company to share relevant content with your audience on a regular basis to keep them engaged wherever they are online.
- Driving engagement across the app: Since 22 percent of downloaded apps are only used once, it’s really important to focus your efforts on encouraging ongoing engagement with your app to prevent users from losing interest in your app and to ensure they’re making regular use of all the app’s unique features.
- Increasing app store ratings: The more quality reviews and ratings your app receives, the more visible it will become in the app marketplace for download. There are many tactics used to increase the amount of review left about an app, but one of the most effective approaches is having a valuable product to begin with.
- A steady rise in app downloads: More downloads of your app equals more revenue, engagement, visibility or other types of conversions for your company, which is often one of the most important goals to achieve for an app. Many of your other goals for your mobile app aim to increase the amount of downloads your app receives.
Focus on Select Channels
From here it’s important to decide what channels online are best suited to achieve the goals of your mobile app. Effective app marketing research entails exploring the many channels at your disposal and understanding which goals would most likely be achieved on these platforms.
For instance, using Facebook or Twitter to encourage the download of your mobile app is one way of using social media to achieve your goal of increasing downloads overtime.
Increasing app downloads through app store SEO (ASO) is an often overlooked channel as well, but highly effective, since 63 percent of people find applications through organic search.
To help encourage continued engagement, use email as a platform to sparingly remind users who have downloaded your app of its latest content, features and updates. This can come in the form of a formal email newsletter or simply by having a one-liner about your mobile app in your email signature.
There are many tactics that can be executed across social media to achieve your goals; it’s just a matter of experimenting with different tactics to see what works best for your business to drive results.
Match Tactics to Benchmarks
Now that you’ve identified potential channels to begin marketing your app, it’s time to outline what tactics on each platform will best help you reach your goals. Referring back to the example of driving further downloads of your app with Facebook or Twitter, one tactic to explore using is Twitter’s app card to best represent your mobile applications on the messaging channel and drive further installs.
Since Twitter app cards are part of paid advertising on the social network, these ads can be targeted to specific members of Twitter’s audience and best match your advertising with the user’s you’re trying to reach.
Again, conducting thorough research of each channel will help inform the various tactics that can be employed to reach your goals. In order to succeed, your company must be willing to consistently experiment with different tactics to identify what works and what doesn’t.
There isn’t one right way to market your mobile app, but there are many effective channels for reaching the right audience. It’s all about discovering the correct marketing mix of channels and tactics to help your organization achieve its goal of making your app successful.
What app marketing strategies have worked for your business? Share your app marketing stories and tips in the comments below!