App Marketing Strategies

Top 10 App Marketing Strategies and Ideas for Consumer App Startup

From being a standalone platform to becoming an integrated part of marketing, mobile phone applications are now the quintessential part of every business’ marketing strategy.

Just one problem. How do you get people to install and use your mobile app when there is an ocean of mobile phone applications? The solution: Modern app marketing strategies that will give your application a much-required boost.

It goes without saying that the competition is stern and traditional methods of marketing are becoming passé. Considering that you are serious contenders who are willing to invest their resources on app marketing, we bring you X actionable advice that will work wonders.

10 Creative Ways Which You (Probably) Don’t Know To Promote Your App

1. Marketing the App Before the Launch

Undoubtedly the first thing to focus on before the actual launch of the application on the App Store is to strategize the marketing. Why, you ask us? Well, a few reasons are:

  • World’s best applications follow a marketing-centered approach that enables them to serve their customers better.
  • Building-up exposure through marketing is a tedious and lengthy process; having a head-start is always advisable.

Modern strategies should focus on paid advertisements on Facebook, Instagram, and Search ads that should be focused on the demography and target audience. For example, if you’re looking to create an app for traveling partners, promoting on websites like trivago, TripAdvisor, etc. can make a world of difference.

2. Building Virality (Ability to go Viral) Into the App.

This strategy requires you to adopt the literal meaning of viral to make sure that your app spreads like one. A person using your app shares it with another friend, who shares it with another, and your app spreads exponentially. This is still considered the perfect strategy to go viral.

Let your application have the X-factor to go viral by:

  • Drafting a strategy to spread it: The fact that humans are visual creatures, video content will give you more responses and app downloads than you could imagine. Video commercial ads on online games in exchange for playing time and YouTube ads are some strategies that work like a charm.
  • The Network Effect: Include a network effect on your app, like a meet and match feature or online interactive features. A network of users that use your application can make it go viral. Learn this strategy from the mobile game PUBG, an application that has defined how to use the network effect perfectly through their app.

3. Remember the UI/UX Testing

UI/UX Testing

If you haven’t yet read Steve Krug’s ‘Don’t Make Me Think,’ you might want to read it now!

Customers and users can make or break your application. After all, it’s them you are serving and to do it in the right way is to make sure that your application sits well with them. The User Interface over User Experience test results intimate you about what features really matter to the user.

To understand the users’ needs, and to help them discover the best features of your app, perform a user experience test. How?

  • Understand that your app may have weaknesses, and meaningful data will be obtained as a result.
  • Create a list for your test takers about the tasks that you want them to perform. Be suggestive, but not directive. For example, tell them to do a task but don’t tell them exactly how.
  • Record individuals in the testing area and request them to narrate when they use the app.
  • Use the test results and recordings to divide the results into two categories – low-hanging fruit (changes that are very easy to implement) and no-brainers (bug-fixes and general fixes that have to be fixed).

4. Reaching Out to the Local Media

Local Media reachout

Agreed that your app is supposed to be global, and you would be compelled to focus on the global audience. But not exclusively on global audiences as reaching out to the local media can be more cost-effective and have higher RoI.

True, Facebook ads are more laser-focused, but the message spreads thin through the broad social media platforms. Appearing on local newspapers, radio channels, organizational meet-ups, podcasts, etc. can make deeper and genuine connections with the customers.

Local outreach through these platforms gives you a wider opportunity to show that you care about the people and the community and how your application is here to make a change by making lives easier. Focus more towards interactive outreach through newspapers, radio, and podcasts where your physical presence is felt.

5. A/B Testing for Better Conversion Rates

The A/B testing or the multivariate analysis as it is called is the testing of two variants of the change and confirming which one out of the two has a better outcome. A/B Testing can be used for minute details like a design change, a marketing strategy, search keywords, screenshots, a different app icon, and calls-to-action.

Although, a prerequisite for a successful A/B testing is having a total of 1000 conversions in order to reach a statistical significance. Unless and until you have 1000 app installs and users, you may not get the clearer result.

Let’s look at a few ideas for A/B testing:

  • The segment that shows the screenshots of your app on the App Store should have 3-5 word caption that portrays the benefits to the potential customer.
  • A proper sequence for the description of the app is blurbs and awards, main benefit, user testimonials, call to action, longer explanation text, followed by another call to action.
  • A high-contrast and flat design icon logo is memorable for your app, but it is not to be designed in pastel shades. Use vibrant colors with illustrative vector graphics wherever possible to blend in with the recent trends.

6. Using The Social Media Accounts To Their Full Potential

Social media is an exceptional platform for getting in touch with potential customers, and the early you start with registering the social media accounts of your app. If your potential customers are active on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, focus your resources on promotion through the same platforms.

Start by choosing a unique name for your app and using a domain name that is exclusive to it. The chances are that .com is already taken, so you can use .co, .io, and .app, which are equally popular domains. Next, without uploading your app’s binary, reserve your app’s name.

Favorable account names are quickly taken and in order to avoid ‘hoarding’ usernames that you don’t plan on using, be quick to register app names and domain names for accounts on social media. Check domain availability in bulk, within seconds, using this cool tool.

7. Adding The App To The Curated Lists

Curated Lists

Why is curated content essential for users to discover new products and tools? A curator, as we know, filters and hand-picks content as per their preference and after watching the content, we assume to be having a similar preference.

There is a humongous range of options for the curated content platforms like the community for discovering and sharing new tools and products, ProductHunt. When the product (your app, in this case) is hunted (or searched), it tends to climb to the top in the category after getting upvotes.

Another great platform for curated content is the website AppAdvice, which relies on app reviews from developers, editors, and contributors. The apps are rated, tracked, reviewed, and placed in the weekly, monthly, and yearly top lists. A few other options are:

  • Promoting the app to the start-up minded businessmen through BetaList.
  • Adding the app to ZEEF lists
  • Adding it to more lists, such as Chipmunk, Lystof etc.

Using 2-3 platforms can work wonders for marketing to a laser-focused target audience and forming partnerships with these websites to promote your app.

8. Using App Analytics To Track Purchased And Installs

Peter Drucker once famously said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it,” and this holds true in every aspect for mobile applications. To plan the marketing strategies more meticulously, measuring the data, and getting insights from it, is a driving factor. Including analytics, the app is as easy as A,B,C, and usually is as trivial as one line of coding. Your app reviews are also one of the important factor when it comes to organic growth of your app on app stores. You can buy app reviews and get some initial push to break the top charts of app stores.

The foundation of CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) and ASO (App Store Optimization) is formed by app analytics. App analytics is the life and soul of ASO. Popular automation tools include Apple’s App Analytics, Firebase, Flurry, Localytics, MixPanel, and Google Analytics that are precise for app data analytics.

If you don’t know how to track your app downloads, then I recommend you reading this blogpost about app tracking.

Some out-of-the-box metrics that you can expect from these automated tools are:

  • A number of user sessions that the app has given in a timeframe and the number of apps installs in a given time period.
  • Customer LTV and average Monthly Active Users (MAU) that your app has.
  • Average screen-time spent on using your applications and the type of actions that they take.

Specific in-app user actions, app-crash reports, users’ device, phone models, languages, and ANR (App Not Responsive) logs can be discovered from app-data analytics. A large number of metrics can be measured to make the app serve better. A few metrics that should be measured are:

  • Opening a UI (User Interface) screen, actions & triggers, and completing a task.
  • By measuring the conversion rate of the user segment, you can find out the type of users that are making the purchases through your app.
  • By using the attribution feature find out the region where your maximum purchases and best conversion rates come from.

9. Creating A Landing Page For Your App

 App Landing Page

What about the users that are not active on the App Store, how do you reach out to them regarding your app? Building a landing page next to your App Store page is considered as a smart move as it attracts users from outside the App Store.

An app marketing strategy is given wings by using a landing page that can be created through template-based tools (like Strikingly, Unbounce, and LeadPages) and CMS-based tools (like ThemeX, Dimim, and WordPress).

A proper format for creating content for a landing page is:

  • To outline the app’s primary benefit: A Title, a description, and a headline.
  • A concise and crisp description of the functionality of the app.
  • A short video (about 30 seconds) and screenshots of your app’s usability.
  • Call-to-action buttons, like ‘Sign Up’ or ‘Install App Now.’

Bonus ideas for our readers:

  • Creating a blog section that revolves around the main theme idea of the app, mostly by quality content creation.
  • Mentioning the story on the landing page about how your app came into being.
  • Putting user testimonials and User-Created Content to provide social proof.

10. Promoting the App With the Help Of Paid Advertisements

app install ads

There are other ways of advertising instead of just renting out space on Facebook to display the ad to a target audience. Modern ads revolve around the methodology of one-click install, which means that if a user likes your app, they can install it by clicking one action button.

Looking for interesting marketing ideas for paid advertisements? Here they are:

  • In-app Purchase (IAP) Install ads: With the help of deep-linking, convert your ordinary app users to paid customers by an ad that directly leads to an IAP page.
  • Lead Advertisements: For great e-mail, onboarding and marketing, lead ads ask users for their email addresses that can be used for promotion and advertisements.
  • App Install Advertisements: The idea of one-click install can be used to install the application directly from the ads.
  • Content-based ads: To filter a cold and broader audience, use a piece of content instead of directly directing users to the application installation page. This turns users more warm and narrow groups that are more interested.

What to Consider?

  • Calculating the RoI (Return on Investment) and CPI (Cost Per Install) and keeping them under constant regulation.
  • Targeting a laser-focused audience to reach the right customers in the right way.
  • Using call-to-action buttons, imagery, and messaging to make the advertisement look attractive.

Parting Thoughts

We’ve given you a handful of strategies, but you have to choose the one that resonates with your working the most. Most of the strategies may not look like they’re working, especially the UI/UX and A/B testing techniques that consume a lot of time and resources, but they’ll reap result usually after 48 hours. All you have to do is take the aim, consider it to be true and wait for the desired results.

Suumit Shah

My name is Suumit and I am the founder of Rankz, a toolset for SEO professionals. I've been helping corporates like McDonald's, Sony, Viacom18 to scale their user-base digitally since last 5 years.

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