Over the past two decades, man has made incredible progress in the field of technology and innovation. Gone are the days when we needed to rely on landline phones to communicate with each other. Nowadays, most of our tasks can be completed with help of our mobile phones that can easily fit in our pockets. The launch and evolution of mobile applications have played a huge role in this regard. Today we use mobile apps for multiple purposes like communicating, navigating, shopping, ordering food, booking tickets, etc. Mobile apps are now responsible for more than 50% of the world’s web traffic.
Imagine you decided to develop a new app for a specific purpose, like online shopping. You made sure that the app is easier to navigate, runs smoothly without any issues, and manage to get it on the app store. How are you going to make sure that your app stands out among the many others already present in the app store? Statistics have shown that there are currently more than 3 million apps present on the Google Play Store and more than 2 million apps on the Apple App Store. The spread of globalization has resulted in increased competition from all over the world, as products are no longer restricted to their native countries. In this scenario, mobile app marketing helps you in standing out among your competitors. Marketing allows you to get more eyes on your app and can aid in better targeting your intended audience. This article will go through various steps or stages involved in a successful mobile app marketing strategy. Let’s begin!
The Pre-launch stage
This stage deals with the time when your application is still in its development phase. Nowadays, it is extremely important that you begin the marketing campaign for your app a couple of months before its release. This tactic has several advantages that might give you an edge over your competitors. These include:
- Pre-launch marketing allows you to create buzz for your app even before it is released. It helps you to build brand awareness and visibility so that come to the launch date your app doesn’t flow under the radar.
- It helps you build an audience for your app even before it is launched. A built-in audience will ensure that your app won’t be an all-out failure.
- It allows you to run tests and obtain audience feedback. This data can then be used to introduce new features or improve existing ones.
Overall, the Pre-launch stage should include the following stages:
1. Understanding your users
Mobile app marketing is an excellent way for developers to understand their target audience and their demands. What kind of people use your app? Which features of your app are your main selling point that people find appealing? What features can you implement to make your app stand out from similar apps? Also, understanding your audience helps you in determining the monetization strategy for your app. You can also take advantage of early access strategies to make the necessary changes required by your target audience to increase your app’s appeal. The more engagement you have with your audience, the better.
2. Understanding your competition
Mobile app marketing also gives you an excellent opportunity to better analyze your competition. You can check your competitor’s ads and see what they are offering to their audiences. What is their main selling point, and what is their monetization model? What are their pros and cons? Going to the app product page of your competitor can also inform you of things that people have negatively reviewed. This can help you in planning a better marketing campaign that focuses on things that your target audience prefers while avoiding the cons of your competitors.
3. Create a website or landing page
In the current climate, having a business website is almost a necessity. Studies have shown that more than 70% of customers research a business or brand online before giving their products a try. Thus, creating a website to promote your app is a no-brainer. You can create a website on your own if it falls in your area of expertise. Otherwise, you can hire a professional to do the job for you. You can create a general website, or you can give it the shape of a blog depending on your preferences.
Once your website is up and running, it is now time to start marketing your app. Make sure that your website has detailed explanations of your app and its features. You can write and publish blogs on your website regarding the importance of your app and how it will be beneficial to the users. You can upload promotional videos or demos on your website to show your app’s features and capabilities. Also, make sure to create a landing page so that interested users can quickly navigate to your app in the app store.
4. Social media marketing
With the amount of fierce competition, a newly developed app has to face nowadays, creating your own website/blog is not going to be enough. People need to know about your app’s existence before they can look it up online. This means promoting your app website through other channels. One of the best ways one can do this is by leveraging social media. Social media has become a big part of our daily lives. Most people spend most of their daily time on social media. Facebook alone has almost 3 billion users around the world.
Thus, promoting your app and website on social media platforms is important. It can help you reach a global audience and bring more eyes to your app before the launch date. Create an account on all major platforms and make sure that your account is active and engaging. Post new content or short demo videos to promote and build hype for your app launch. Include a link to your website page so that people can learn more about your app by visiting it. Use relevant keywords in your website and social media posts, as this increases their availability through search.
Of course, social media has also become one of the most prolific channels for paid app discovery and user acquisition marketing. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok are bringing millions of users to apps that advertise on these channels. If you would like to start spending your app’s advertising budget on social media, reach out to our experts at Admiral Media.
The Post-launch stage
This stage deals with the period after your app has been launched. Your app is now available for download and can now be used and reviewed by your customers. The following steps should be taken during this phase:
1. App reviews
Ratings and reviews are one of the most important factors that play a big role in the overall ranking of your app. App ratings and reviews both influence the app store algorithm. As an app developer, your number one priority should be to get your app a rating of at least 4.4. This is considered to be the most optimal rating. Ratings play a big role in influencing a user’s decision. People usually tend to avoid apps that have a rating below 4. Thus, your app must at least have a rating of 4 or higher.
Keep in mind that positive reviews and ratings depend upon the quality of your developed app. If the app has issues like some bugs and other problems, users will leave a negative review, which will further damage your app’s ranking. It is important to sift through comments and see if users are having any issues with the app. Make sure to reply to your customers when an issue pops up and assure them that it’s being worked upon. Use the reviews to improve your app to further strengthen its standing.
2. App Store Optimization
It should be one of your top priorities after your app has been listed in the app store. App Store Optimization (ASO) involves all the activities you do for the optimization of your app. This in turn leads to your app being ranked higher on an app store (increased visibility) which is a must to increase conversion rates and app downloads. ASO also includes the click-through rate or CTR.
App store optimization works similarly to search engine optimization. There are multiple ways to increase your app optimization. You can optimize your keywords in the app description by using the most relevant search terms through a keyword search tool. While submitting your app, you should always select the most relevant and less crowded category related to your app. Also, make sure to tailor your app to regions and areas where your target audience is located. In addition, stuff like a number of app downloads and positive reviews will also affect the ranking of your app in search results.
3. Outreach initiatives
A brilliant way to market your app post-launch is by contacting influencers, publications, and bloggers for promotion. Posting your apps on the app directory sites can also help you gain more potential customers. Getting your app reviewed by different sites or blogs will also convince users to download and try your app. You can send out your app to bloggers and reviewers before your launch date so that reviews could be published early. Make sure to provide reviewers links to your website and app page so that regular blog readers can access them if they are interested.
4. Influencer marketing
Affiliate or influencer marketing involves affiliating yourself with well-known influencers or a social network to promote your products. In turn, the affiliates receive a commission for every click or sale made. Affiliate marketing can be highly advantageous as the influencers have an already in-built audience and can use their social media reach to build brand awareness. This can then translate into new leads or customers. You can also receive information from your affiliates regarding the behavior of their audience to construct ads that can deliver the most optimal results. Statistics show that about 60% of initial app users come through influencer channels, making it an excellent marketing tactic for app growth.
Channels like TikTok make it especially easy to use influencers, as the platform handles the technical part of tracking and optimization very well. Download the Admiral Media TikTok Handbook to learn more.
Customer Retention stage
While persuading users to download your app has its challenges, convincing them to keep utilizing your app is the biggest hurdle to its success. Statistics show that 25% of users abandon an app after using it for the first time. On the other hand, 71% of users uninstall an app after approximately three months of use. Most apps fail to engage their customers in the long run and are abandoned as a result. The customer retention stage deals with finding ways to retain your acquired users and make sure that your app is being used regularly. This could involve:
1. Keep it engaging
User retention is one of the biggest problems most app developers face. Gaining a user is one thing, retaining that user is a completely different story. That is why it is important to keep your app engaging. For example, if your app is a racing video game, then try introducing new content like new cars, new courses, soundtracks, etc. You can also introduce exclusive features or offers to spike interest in your application. Depending upon the monetization model of your app, running discount campaigns can attract more customers and persuade existing ones to spend money on in-app purchases. As long as your audience is engaged with your app, you will keep generating revenue.
2. Implement a user feedback/customer support system
No app is perfect the first time around. Even some of the most popular apps keep introducing new features and changes. This is why a user feedback system is highly important for the success of an app. Such systems allow you to constantly monitor the performance and public reception of your app. If users are complaining about a certain bug, introduce fixes to solve the problem. If there is an increased demand for a certain feature, add it in a future update. A feedback system is also a great way of engaging with your customers and letting them know that their feedback is being acknowledged.
3. Push notifications
Another great way to ensure user retention is through the use of push notifications. Push notifications can be used to inform users about app updates, purchases, offers, coupons, special promotions, etc. Research has shown that push notifications increase user retention, ranging with up to 180% improvement in some cases. Statistics also show that people who receive push notifications show an 88% higher app engagement than other users.
As you can see, mobile app marketing is pretty much a necessity to increase brand awareness, reach a bigger audience and stand out from your competitors. It also helps you understand the needs of your customers to make some much-needed changes to your app. It is important to create an app marketing strategy that spans all the stages of the app’s life. In an age where the app market is crowded as it is, a good mobile app marketing strategy could be the difference between success and failure.
The wrong app marketing approach can also be costly and highly ineffective: high CPMs, using the wrong creatives, tracking problems, ad-fraud… are just a few of the issues that plague advertisers. To get started, it’s strongly recommended to work with a trusted partner who has a proven track record in mobile marketing and experience with the specific channels and tactics in this complex field.