Just imagine, the average person speaks on their smartphone for 20 minutes everyday and uses mobile apps 4 hours daily. Now not only people employ them to entertain but also companies that want to address some internal problems or make a service available for customers worldwide.
Aiming to boost sales and increase revenue, businesses create software solutions and then launch mobile app marketing campaigns in order to attract a large audience.
As of today, consumers and organizations strongly rely on mobile devices in almost all kinds of activities that include team communications, video conferencing, reporting, file sharing, data search and analysis, etc. At the same time, each firm has some industry-specific needs.
Therefore, the innovation of your idea is not as important as having a quality product and developing an effective application marketing strategy.
The creation of a mobile solution requires significant investment. So, what is the very success formula for raising income and engaging thousands and millions of users? Take a look:
- The product must comply with the needs and preferences of the target audience.
- It should add some value to users, which is missed in applications of your competitors.
- You should constantly monitor user feedback and make improvements accordingly.
- Think about mobile app marketing from the very project development.
- Launch a mobile application marketing strategy to attract numerous customers.
We all know the importance of advertising that reaches us across all channels possible: websites, social networks, TV, magazines, etc. However, how to market a mobile application, attract the target audience, and generate revenue? In this article, we will answer this question. Let’s get started!
A step-by-step guide on how to market a mobile app
Stage 1: Laying a powerful foundation from the start
While your Software Development Team is still building the application, you should make sure that your software product has as many fans as possible (read potential users).
Try to make your future product popular and trending even before the release. Highlight the benefits, make a great unique value proposition and create discussions around it.
Increase presence in social networks to market a mobile app
In general, social networks are one of the most reliable assistants in mobile application marketing. Their indisputable advantage is in the high number of users and different audiences. Then, social media groups are not about paid advertising (except for PPC marketing) as you can make various publications totally for free.
Start with posting announcements on your own corporate company’s page, create a separate product page completely dedicated to your app, or create a separate community in which you will entice your target audience with useful and interesting content.
Here is another technique that you should use in your mobile application marketing strategy:
- Join groups and communities on social network platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Reddit where your target audience “lives”. For instance, if you need to market a mobile app for home workouts, participate in groups associated with sports, fitness, and healthy lifestyle.
- Check these communities. Identify what publications and topics are of the most interest to your audience. You can measure user reaction by likes and comments.
- Make a list of popular groups, discussions, queries.
- Write constructive and interesting answers to those commonly asked questions in your community or blog. You can also use websites like Quora.
- Answer questions in the community and offer to link them to the post or article that you’ve written on this subject.
Make sure your content is really helpful and write messages that will attract users to the discussion. The higher the involvement, the higher the resulting virality coefficient.
2. Make yourself known in the media
When preparing a mobile application marketing strategy, write a nice pitch and distribute it on various social media channels. This will enable you to inform your potential customers about your product, demonstrate the interface, features, functions, as well as help you to get pre-orders.
Having a professional PR manager would help but it's not obligatory. You can do it yourself or delegate to one of your specialists. Just follow these steps:
- Create a database of publications that may be interested for the target audience before and after the product release.
- Find social media contacts. You can try using Google search, see the answers on Quora, look at the lists of media that wrote reviews on similar projects, and check out AngelList. It’s worthwhile to look at personal profiles of journalists on LinkedIn or Twitter which can help you compose more effective, personalized messages.
- Write a cool press release to market your mobile application. Describe what is unique about your product, how it resolves user tasks and/or entertains them.
- Make a personalized newsletter. Using templates for your email mobile app marketing is less effective than individual messages.
So, create a personalized newsletter for each and every media or journalist.
Take into account the interests and specifics of each publication to achieve the best results. For this purpose, you can use an email marketing automation platform such as MailChimp.
Following this mobile application marketing strategy, you can engage users via social networks even before the release. Thanks to this approach, you will form customer loyalty and interest in your digital product, which will help you attract app installs once it is published on app stores.
3. Take Advantage of Relevant Forums and Communities
You know what they say - if there is a problem, then there are people who will talk about it. Be active on forums and specialized online communities.
For example, you can start with IndieHackers, Hacker News, and Product Hunt where you can talk about your product, invite users with high ratings for beta tests, and get professional feedback from developers.
New Startups is another good platform, where you can introduce the future application and Prefundia, where there is even a chance to get funding for your business tasks if you can arouse the interest of readers.
Keep in mind that most forums and sites have strict guidelines about mobile application marketing and you can easily get banned. Make your posts as useful and relevant as possible for your audience. Remember that you want to build presence and awareness. You want people to fall in love with your product and use it, but not being forced to do so.
4. Create your own community for mobile app marketing
Gather your potential users in your own community. Such as the Telegram users or World of Tanks players have. The army of fans of these applications is growing, largely due to the desire to exchange views with people who have similar interests. These groups are very popular among users and have proven to be an excellent mobile application marketing tool.
To succeed in building your community you need to:
- create in-product chats
- allow comments on social networks
- set up direct contact between users and developers (for example, via a Facebook page)
- consider the issue of integrating with other communities
- regularly respond to all reviews in the app store, especially the negative ones!
Certainly, the community will gain momentum after the application is released but it’s still worth taking care of it before launch to attract more users.
5. Create a prototype and engage users to test it
Even at the Proof of Concept stage, you may already have loyal customers interested in using your smartphone solution. Why loyal? Because they themselves directly (testing) or indirectly (polls) have participated in building your product.
This means that there is an almost 100% chance they will want to be among the first to try it in action.
Collect user feedback and improve the app accordingly to meet their expectations. This is a really effective part of a mobile application marketing strategy that will help you engage early customers and succeed on the market.
6. Plan App Store Optimization (ASO)
Even during mobile application development, you should clearly understand how it will be presented in stores.
The better the product page is optimized (keywords, screens, titles, etc.), the more organic traffic you will attract.
As this category of mobile app marketing is quite voluminous, I will focus only on the primary ASO principles that you should follow:
- A catchy title that will highlight the benefits of the product. On Google Play, the optimal title length is up to 50 characters. On Apple, it is up to 23.
- Icon and its name. This is what the user will see after downloading the application to his device. The text limit is 12 characters. The main considerations for the icon are simplicity and recognition.
- Description. Explain the main features of the application and what challenges the product solves. Do not overdo it with the keywords, because you write for people, not for robots. Your goal is to provide as much useful information as possible in a concise manner.
- Choosing the right category. The category should correspond to the purpose and semantic content of the application. To choose an available niche, you need to analyze your competitors.
- Quality screenshots and videos. Add only those that best demonstrate your application and its functionality. Better yet, make a high-quality video.
I highly recommend that you address ASO as early as possible, since in the near future this could be the key to getting into the sections of the “recommended” applications, which we will elaborate more on later.
Stage 2: Mobile App Marketing After Release
Finally, you present your product to the world. If you have prepared a successful mobile application marketing strategy in the first stage, the rest should be easier. You already have a good base, now it just needs to be worked out and expanded.
1. Optimize Your Mobile App Marketing Channels
First of all, review your website and make sure there is a page or section dedicated to the application. The same goes for profiles and groups on social networks.
Make sure that:
- the account or group is dedicated your mobile app
- the essence of the product is stated clearly
- proper links are posted
Remember that search robots do rank social networks. When writing your publications, keep SEO in mind.
2. Advertise, Measure, Repeat
In my opinion, this channel deserves special attention. Most application marketing researches show that video will replace most other types of content very soon. YouTube already is the 2nd largest search engine in the world.
The key attributes of making a winning commercial video:
- conciseness (on average 3 minutes is enough)
- highly relevant call to action. It is recommended to include this in the first 15-30 seconds of the video
- product unique value proposition
- brief overview of your company, team, and goals
I agree with the analysts and the opinion that it is better to listen for 3 minutes than spend 15 minutes reading about something. It’s faster, more accessible, and if the speaker is charismatic and enthusiastic, it can be even more interesting.
One more time about social networks for mobile app marketing
This is the place where most of your potential customers are located. Although I have already mentioned social media advertising, let’s take a look at several important points:
- Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok, which has gained high popularity lately, are wide venues for advertising.
- Most people use social networks from their mobile devices, which means that the conversion rate will be high.
- The biggest drawback of mobile app marketing on these channels is its price. But when done properly, the ROI far exceeds the costs.
Partners and reviewers
Partners and reviews may become one of the most useful mobile app marketing channels. Send letters to relevant sites with a request to review a new digital solution. This works especially well for gaming applications.
Create a beautiful press kit that will contain the most important information about your product. This can bring you a lot of traffic. The main takeaway is not to limit yourself and be creative.
Take advantage of universal mobile application marketing campaigns. Google AdWords is a great tool that can help you attract numerous product installs.
The key advantages are:
- Easy to create and manage an advertising campaign
- Automatic optimization within a given mobile app marketing budget and targeting
- Reach all channels available on Google at once
CPI / CPA
Do not be afraid to use CPI / CPA in your application marketing strategy. Make a good offer with clearly defined requirements and payment models.
Provide creatives that webmasters can use in their campaigns. Write down clear requirements and describe in detail your target audience starting with agem gender, devices and platforms, etc.
Mobile CPI / CPA partners
Important! Before using various CPI / CPA affiliate programs, make sure that you have a well-configured tracking system and protection against fraud.
This will ensure you can see the real results of webmasters and pay only for high-quality mobile app installs.
3. The main goal is "Recommended"
Featuring is an excellent, and most importantly, completely free technique, in which Apple or Google themselves choose applications that match their priorities.
Write to the App Store and Google Play in advance. Often a month is adequate for this. Here you will need a pitch to effectively market your mobile application.
Links to the featured request form:
If you are lucky enough to become one of the selected, then your smartphone solution will either go to the banner on the main page of the App Store/Google Play, or it will be placed in a thematic collection in a visible place.
According to mobile app marketing statistics, the recommended products receive an increase in organic installs up to 300%.
What do you need to know to become featured?
- Your application must meet a number of requirements imposed by Apple or Google depending on the app platform (quality, uniqueness, usefulness, exclusivity, relevance).
- It must be manually selected by the editors of the App Store/Google Play (take care of ASO and deliver as much imagination and ingenuity as possible, so that they will be remembered).
If you succeed with this task and enlist the support of the reputable Apple and Google, you will find new users and enter new markets. So, make it an important part of your mobile application marketing strategy.
4. Turn to influencers for mobile app marketing
Few will argue that the opinion of an influential person can sometimes radically affect the public. Attracting opinion leaders is not as difficult as it seems.
Especially if your project really deserves attention.
Surely, top bloggers will ask for impressive sums for marketing your application, but you can also collaborate with the mid-tier influencers, right?
Vozni or SocialBlade can be excellent sources to help find suitable influencers.
Stage 3: Track Results of Your Mobile App Marketing Campaign
Sadly, statistics say that more than half of smartphone solutions “die” during the first half-year of their launch. The problem is that mobile app marketing activities after the product release are often underestimated.
That is why you should to do the following things: Monitor application performance
You cannot improve what you do not measure. This includes the success of your mobile service. When promoting it, you definitely need to monitor the effectiveness of your application marketing strategy including each small activity.
Key metrics of in-app marketing
1. Attracting users
- total mobile app installs
- new users
- total users
- CPI (cost per install)
- CAC (cost per acquisition)
- CR (conversion rate)
2. Retention rate (RR)
- Churn rate (Attrition Rate)
- Uninstall rate
3. User activity
- Active users (opens an app 1 per day/week/month)
- Loyal users (minimum 3 sessions after install)
- Average session length
- Lifetime (sessions per lifecycle, average lifecycle or 1/churn rate)
- Tutorial (completing the first tutorial level)
- Redemption rate (bonuses received, used bonuses/amount of received bonuses)
- DAU/WAU/MAU (daily, weekly, and monthly average users)
- Stickiness, Sticky factor (DAU/MAU correlation, the higher the better)
- Peak Concurrent User (maximum amount of users using an app at the same time)
- Average Concurrent User (the average amount of users using an app at the same time
- Paying users (amount of unique paying users)
- Paying share (the ratio of the number of unique users who made payments to the number of all active users for the period)
- CPA (Cost Per Action = Ad spend / number of actions)
- CPO (Cost Per Order = ad spend / number of orders)
- eCPM (effective Cost Per Mile = total ad revenue / impressions * 1000)
- ARPU (Average Revenue Per User)
- ARPPU (Average Revenue Per Paying User = app revenue / total number of users made a transaction)
- ROI, ROMI (Return On Marketing Investments = revenue - ad spend / ad spend * 100%)
- CRR (Cost Revenue Ratio = 1/ROMI)
- LTV (LifeTime Value, a fundamental metric that shows how much revenue you receive for the entire user lifecycle or some specific period. Make sure your LTV is always higher than your CAC)
Use the following services to collect and track mobile app marketing data:
I consider these analytical systems to be one of the primary mobile app marketing tools since they help determine the most effective promotion channels, define the needs of the current and potential customers, and use the obtained data in improving software.
Then, I’d like to add that when building a mobile application marketing strategy, the most important thing is an integrated approach. Employ several channels at the same time, measure user reaction and behavior, collect feedback, and track the key analytics metrics.