How to successfully market an app

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We love our apps. There are over 2 million of them on the iTunes App Store alone. Application commerce reports that the average US smartphone owner spends 2 hours and 57 minutes using their apps every day, with around 20.1 apps used on a monthly basis.

Needless to say, apps have become an integral part of our daily life. There are apps for just about every niche imaginable, whether you need help managing your finances or want to spend some time gaming.

All of this presents a significant opportunity for application developers. But it also poses a legitimate challenge. After all, with so many apps on the market, how do you make yours stand out?

Successfully market an application can be difficult, but it is far from impossible. Here are some of the tactics I’ve seen driving real results that will help you grow your app audience in 2019 and years to come.

Find your unique selling point.

It doesn’t matter whether you are developing a standalone app or launching an app that serves as an extension to your website, you need to find the unique value proposition that you can deliver to your target audience. All the marketing in the world will be of no use to you if people don’t feel like they have a legitimate reason to adopt your app.

Think critically. What is the problem you are trying to solve? I have found that doing in-depth research on your perceived target market and analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of potential competitors goes a long way in helping you identify areas where you can address an unmet market need.

Whatever your idea, there’s a good chance that other apps are already trying to meet a similar need. Doing your research early on will make sure you don’t become another imitator who gets lost in the clutter.

However, you should also take this opportunity to identify ways to more transparently meet user expectations for design and interface, but don’t try to become so unique that you will alienate your audience.

Optimize your list of apps.

One of the main ways to find smartphone apps is through online app stores. Unfortunately, far too many developers are neglecting the marketing basics necessary to ensure that people can actually find their newly launched app. Just like websites need SEO to stand out, you will need to use App Store optimization techniques to increase exposure and engagement.

Even if your app is listed on your own website, you should optimize your app store listings. Forrester research indicates that a full 63% of app downloads come directly from app stores.

Like in SEO, keywords matter. Your app’s title, description, and even screenshots should be optimized for your target keywords. This will help you appear in relevant searches. App stores also review reviews and ratings to determine an app’s overall engagement levels. Encourage your first users to leave reviews for better rankings.

As engagement and impressions continue to grow, so will your number of downloads. This will continue to fuel the ranking algorithm so you can keep climbing.

Increase your income with retargeting campaigns.

It’s a common marketing mantra that it is cheaper to retain an existing customer than to acquire a new one. I have learned from my own start-up experiences that this is true and also applies in the app market.

A recent study from app user acquisition analytics provider AppsFlyer found that retargeting gives a 50% more revenue increase only acquisition campaigns that do not involve retargeting. This was especially true for shopping apps where app retargeting resulted in an impressive 62% conversion rate. Across industries, apps that used retargeting campaigns saw revenue increase 63% year-over-year from 2018 to 2019.

The most effective retargeting campaigns use dynamic ads, which offer more relevance and personalization compared to a standard ad. By leveraging data from a user’s previous interactions with your app, you can customize your retargeting campaign on an individual basis to identify the content that will have the greatest impact.

Leverage industry influencers.

Although the term “influencer“Has partnered extensively with celebrities on Instagram, this is far from the only platform where you can find people with lots of followers who can help market your new app.

Find bloggers, podcasters, or social media influencers who work in a niche similar to your app, then send a pitch to encourage them to try and review your app. Obviously, you want your UI to be up and running at this point so that you can get a great rating. Even a brief mention in a tweet will have a bigger influence on a larger portion of your target audience than any paid marketing you would do yourself.

You can also increase your coverage potential by sending out press releases or making appearances in podcasts or other interviews to discuss your new app. Bloggers and the media are always on the lookout for new content, and launching your app can easily be considered a newsworthy event.

Whether you’re reaching out to an influencer or hosting an interview opportunity, you need to clearly communicate your unique value proposition in your pitch. Publishers and influencers also want to bring value to their audience. Try to focus the story on how the app is helping their target audience, rather than the app itself.

Social media has seen its ups and downs, but it continues to be a powerful engine for downloading apps. In fact, Google research has found that social media ads influence 49% of all app downloads.

As organic reach continues to decline, app developers must invest in paid social media content if they are to take advantage of these highly targeted advertising platforms. However, savvy marketers know that News Feed ads aren’t the only way to promote their app.

As Digiday reports, many brands have recently found success in use Instagram Stories to promote their apps. However, that doesn’t mean you should neglect organic content entirely. Your app’s social media profiles are a great platform for running contests or running special offers that encourage new users to download your app. Social media also allows you to use your current audience to find new app users, especially when running contests that require tagging friends or sharing a branded hashtag.

Update and maintain your app constantly.

It’s nice to imagine that the actual development work is done once you launch your app. But this is simply not the case. Like any other business venture, you should continue to tweak and improve your app after the initial launch.

Whether you discover new bugs or receive feedback from your customers on something that needs to change, the ongoing maintenance of the application plays a vital role in retaining your current users. This indicates that you are fully invested in your app and its content and that you care about the experience of those who downloaded your app.

Quite often you will need to update your app to respond to changes in the market as a whole. Whether you need to ensure compatibility with a new set of devices or want to add a new feature to meet a new competing app, the new updates will ensure you stay relevant.

A / B testing can also prove to be a valuable resource once you have a large enough user base, especially when planning to implement new ideas. Getting customer feedback before implementing a large-scale change will help you avoid the backlash that applications face. like Snapchat.

Continuous updates will not only make your app more user-friendly. It can also improve your ranking in app stores. Regular app updates are part of Apple’s and Google’s ranking algorithm. Online app stores will reward you for keeping your app up to date, even if you only make a minor change.

Does marketing your app take a lot of work? Absoutely. You need to consider the marketing needs of your app from the start of development until months and years after launch.

Marketing an app is never a single item on your checklist. This is an essential part of your ongoing branding efforts. By using these tactics to make sure your app reaches your target audience, you’ll get the growth you need.


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