Simply developing an app for iPhone or Android is not enough. Marketing your app effectively is one of the main ingredients to success and longevity. It’s about understanding why marketing is so important. There have now been 50 billion apps downloaded via Apple’s app store, so it’s important you consider how prospective customers are likely to discover your cherished creation. Whether big or small, when it comes to marketing your iPhone or Android app, you have to be prepared to use every trick, technique and channel in the book.
1.) Start At The Start
App development projects take time. Most projects can roughly be segmented into pre-production, production and post-production. Depending on the complexity of the requirements, apps can take a long time to develop. If you’re serious about your business and your serious about developing your app, you should give the same level of attention to marketing. Marketing is not just something you design of the back of your napkin after your app has been launched. If that’s your approach, chances are your business won’t survive for long. You can mitigate these risks by planning your marketing well in advance of pre-production. Build a Twitter following, post development screenshots, start a Facebook or write some content. Do anything, but do something and do it early in the day.
2.) Get Web Savvy
The Internet is now mobile. Desktop is dwindling but here’s where the app developers with web technology experience have a serious advantage. When you launch your app, the aim is simple, you want people to download it and hopefully purchase your products or services at some stage, be they virtual or otherwise. Your job, in the context of marketing, is to enable people to discover and download the app. One of the best ways to do this is create a mobile responsive landing page or microsite. This differs from a regular website in many ways and is designed as a ‘funnel filler’ for your app and focuses almost entirely on conversions (the number of people that hit your site divided by the number of people that successfully download the app). You can remove unnecessary navigation and create a stripped back version of your main site that’s designed purely to direct people to the app store. How do you direct people to your mobile responsive landing page? That’s another issue…
3.) Use Blogs & Social Media
With blogging and social media, you have so many channels at your disposal. In order to effectively market your app, you will need a blog. Why? Because your prospective customers will be interested and it’s amazing for SEO (search engine optimisation). Talk about your app, talk about how you made it, post videos and screenshots of the development and work expeditiously to engage your fans and followers. Develop a mantra or manifesto that enables people to connect emotionally with your project and use all the social media channels like Facebook and Twitter that are at your disposal. A good, well thought out social media and content strategy will work hard to engage users and cut through meaningless competitive noise.
4.) Design A Press Release
You cannot push water uphill. This is what I was told in relation to marketing. So in other words, if you suck, your ideas sucks and everyone thinks you generally suck, your app is doomed and using blogs and social media is just a waste of time. Think about your project in great detail and identify what is likely to engage your customers. Understand the difference between a feature and a benefit and convey the latter to your customers. Be absolutely meticulous and make every word count. Once you’re happy you can send it to local and national press and online publications.
5.) App Release Marketing & ASO (App Store Optimisation)
If you’re developing a paid app for iOS and looking to break into the top 25 free paid apps in the charts, you’re going to need to hit about 40k downloads per day. That’s some serious traction and few developers reach this level of success. Apple considers the number of installs your app receives and the first few days post-launch are absolutely critical to success. Most apps and games that make money, tend to make lots very quickly before sales fade out into the long-tail. You must be ready to capitalise on that early buzz and make sure you’ve done your keyword analysis for the app store. The latter is essential in terms of discovery once your app is live. There are a whole bunch of assets required before you launch your app such as screenshots, app icons and descriptions so it’s best to have these ready well in advance of your planned app submission date.
So we’ve covered 5 tips in terms of how to successfully market your app. The problem is that developers tend to be focused on the technical elements of the project. Making features work better often takes priority and this can be detrimental to marketing and the overall success of the project. Make sure you have an even balance in both and dont discredit one for the other. Marketing needs technical development and vice versa – it’s a wholly symbiotic relationship and requires bags of mutual respect. Some other tips we havent had time to cover in detail include the creation of a newsletter and mailing list and using PPC (Pay-Per-Click) online marketing to drive traffic at your website and landing page.