As per July 2015 there were over 1.5 million downloadable applications in App Store and the number is expected to increase incredibly in 2016. Imagine a world where there are only 500 applications to compete with, sounds fascinating? Well this was the case back in 2009 when App Store was launched. But if you are considering launching your mobile app in 2016 there are numerous marketing challenges in your way that you are just getting started with.
We often see some astounding overnight successes, but that’s not the case when odds aren’t in your favor. But if you have a proper marketing plan and app strategy in place you can make every app a success. With cutthroat competition and plenty of clowns trying to steal away your app idea you have to have a streamlined marketing plan in order to improve your chances of success, and this is what I’m going to discuss in this article.
Industry & Competitor Research
Do a little research for your app category and identify key players to analyze what they are doing, like how are they branding their app? What categories and keywords they are targeting? How is the target audience they are promoting their app to? Answering questions like these will give you a clearer picture of what others are doing and how should you go about marketing your app. A good practice is to create a comparison chart to analyze your category, price and features to that of your competitors. Marketers often overlook customer reviews on competing app which offer insights of what they actually value and what they are troubled with.
Create an Efficient App Marketing Strategy
When working on an app design and development seems to be the most crucial part and most businesses do not pay much emphasis on marketing. However, making sure that your app is apparently noticeable and easily discovered is equally important, which is where app store optimization comes into play. Few things to consider when optimizing your app include name, description and keywords which works the same way as search engine optimization.
Alternatively, your app marketing plan should include a preview trailer, a blog about the development process, a list of channels to promote your app, forum visits to trigger engagement with target audience, an outreach action plan, a press kit that includes app icons, screenshots and general information and finally a timeline of your marketing activities to make sure you are well prepared before app launch.
Paid User Acquisitions
There’s nothing wrong in investing some money to get initial app downloads. In fact paid user acquisitions should be a part of your overall marketing plan, as if till payoff in the long run. It is however important to consider which channels you will be focusing on and then moving on with what works for you. You can opt for press releases, online ads, app recommendation programs, promoted tweets, directory listing, giveaways and referrals. Paid acquisitions will create the initial buzz to get you started and once you have a good number of downloads you can cash your app by minimal time, money and effort.
Using App Update Description for Marketing
A great idea is to use your app update description space for marketing. An average user has approximately 40 to 50 apps on their smartphones and update notifications normally go unnoticed by users if they say “bug fixes”. Markets can use this space to promote their app by listing new added features and details about the new app version. PC game magazines does a great job in marketing their game features with update description space, offering free trial versions, online patches, new characters/ features/ levels and providing details on customer support.
User Centric Approach for Quality Customer Support
App stores allow users to post reviews, comments or feedbacks, which appear directly below your app descriptions. Word-of-mouth marketing is a great way to spread your message to the masses and when you have users in hundreds and thousands, you can imagine the level of engagement these reviews can get. Unlike Apple’s app store, Google play store allow app developers to respond to such comments and provide timely support to users. Each user worth a great deal to your business and in this competitive market every user must treated with care.
Using Social Media to Build Engagement
Remember the time when people used to post their high scores on Facebook, but the trend slowly died down, however, social media still servers as an effective way to grow audience. A marketer should never ignore this potential of social media, adding a like, share or tweet button on your app would do the trick. Giving your users an incentive to share, like or post about your app is another great way to build social media engagement. Most game applications unlock features or characters when users like or share their app on Facebook. Similarly, you can come up with new incentive to encourage your users to spread the word.
Redefine your App Success Standards
Of course you are delighted when your app brings in a good some of money, and who wouldn’t, app marketers take the pain to get something in return. But do not set your revenue as a measure of app success there are number of other factors that determine whether your app is a hit or a flop. Answering questions like what features are drawing people’s attention, how often people are using your app, and why people are dropping are important parameters to constantly improve you app. Measures like daily or monthly active users, rate of retention, average revenue per user and life time value will provide a clearer picture of your app success. However, you do not require measuring everything and confusing yourself in number, just focus on stats important for your business.