Just imagine, the average person speaks on their mobile for 20 minutes a day, and uses apps 4 hours daily.
That is why understanding business owners are always in search of new ideas for creating such mobile applications that will expand their business and bring it to a new, more advanced level.
The realities of life are such that the mobile application justifies the money invested in it only in such a scenario:
- it meets the interests / solves the problems of its target audience
- it is adequately represented in the application market
- it is constantly being improved
Achieving these results is the task of marketing mobile applications.
For whom the article will be useful:
- those who have a mobile application and now are preoccupied with finding new users
- those who are planning to develop their mobile application and are already worried about customers
- novice marketers who are in search of the best solutions for promoting their application on the market
I must say right away that it is necessary to start promoting your application during the development stage, or even earlier.
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 application popular and trending even before the release. Highlight the benefits, make great unique value proposition and create discussions around it.
1. Increase your presence on social networks
In general, social networks are the most reliable assistants in marketing in general, and in mobile app marketing in particular. Their indisputable advantage is in the number and variety of users.
This is not about paid advertising, however, we will address this a bit later.
Start with posting announcements on your own corporate page, create a separate page completely dedicated to the mobile application, or create a separate community in which you will entice your target audience with useful and interesting content.
Another great method:
- Join the theme groups and communities where your target audience “lives”.
- Audit these communities. Identify which publications and topics are of the most interest to your audience.
- Make a list of popular queries.
- Write constructive and interesting answers to those commonly asked questions in your community or blog.
- Answer questions in the community and offer to link them to an article that you’ve written on this subject.
Make sure your content is interesting 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
Write nice marketing pitch and distribute it on various media channels. Media will help you to inform your potential 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 in the release.
- Find media contacts. You can try using a 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 focusing on the utility and what is unique about your product, rather than self-promotion.
- Make a personalized newsletter. Using template for your email marketing is less effective than personalised one, so create personalised newsletter for each and every media or journalist. It is best to take into account the interests and specifics of each publication to get the most out of it.
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 test and get professional feedback from developers. New Startups is another good choice, 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 have strict guidelines about advertising 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
Gather your potential users in a 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 with similar interests. These communities are very popular among players and have proven to be an excellent 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 integrating with other applications
- regularly respond to all reviews in the store, especially the negative ones!
Of course, the community will gain momentum after the application is released, but it’s still worth taking care of it now.
5. Keep a prototype in mind
Even at the proof of concept stage, you may already have loyal customers interested in using the software product on the market. Why loyal? Because they themselves directly (testing) or indirectly (polls) are already participating in the creation of the application. This means that there is an almost 100% chance they will want to be among the first to try it in action.
6. Plan ASO
Even in the stages of developing your application, you must clearly understand how your application will be presented in stores. The better the application’s page in the store is optimized, the more organic traffic you can attract.
This topic is quite voluminous, so I will focus only on the basic principles of optimization.
- 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 the 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 page optimization as early as possible, since in the near future this could be key to getting into the sections of the “recommended” applications, which we will elaborate more on later.
Stage 2: Life After Release
Finally, you present your creation to the world. If you have correctly launched the marketing campaign in the first stage, the rest should be much easier. You already have a good base, now it just needs to be worked out and expanded.
1. Optimize Your Channels
First of all, review your site, and make sure there is a page or section dedicated to the application if it is not there already. The same goes for profiles and groups on social networks.
Make sure that:
- the account or group is dedicated to the application
- 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 marketing researches show that video will replace most other types of content very soon. Youtube already is the 2nd largest search engine.
Key attributes of 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 to read 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
This is, of course, where most of your potential customers are located. I have already mentioned social media advertising.
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and the growing popularity of TikTok are wide venues for advertising.
Most people use social networks from their mobile devices, which means the conversion rate will be quite high.
The biggest drawback of advertising is its price. But when done properly, the ROI far exceeds the costs.
Partners and reviewers
Send letters to relevant sites with a request to review your application. This works especially well for gaming apps. Do a press kit - it's kind of like a pitch, but without information about monetization, and include some game resources. This can bring a lot of traffic. The main takeaway is not to limit yourself and be creative.
Take advantage of universal app campaigns. This is a great tool that can provide additional installations. The main advantages are:
- Easy to create and manage a company
- Automatic optimization within a given budget and targeting
- Reach all channels available on Google at once
- Minimum costs and resources
CPI / CPA
Do not be afraid to use CPI / CPA. Make a good offer with clearly defined requirements and payment models. Provide creatives that webmasters can use in their campaigns. Clearly write down the requirements and describe in detail your target audience starting with GEO, gender, age, and even up to the device.
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 installations.
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 current priorities.
Write to the App Store and Google Play in advance. Often a month is adequate for this. Here you will need a pitch.
Links to the featured request form:
If you are lucky enough to become one of the selected, then your application 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 statistics, the recommended applications 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 dictated by Apple / Google (quality, uniqueness, usefulness, exclusivity, relevance)
- It must be manually selected by the editors of the App Store / Google Play (remember ASO and deliver as much imagination and ingenuity as possible so that they will be remembered)
If you succeed with this task and can enlist the support of the reputable Apple and Google, you will find new users and enter new markets. Everything else becomes quite simple.
4. Use influencer 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. Of course, top bloggers will ask for impressive sums for their integration, 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 Performance and Results
Sadly, statistics say that more than half of applications “die” during the first half-year of their launch. The problem is that marketing activities after the successful release of a mobile application are often underestimated.
That is why you should: Monitor application performance
You cannot improve what you do not measure. This includes the success of your mobile application.
In the process of promoting you definitely need to monitor the effectiveness of your application marketing strategy and its activities.
Key metrics of in-app marketing
1. Attracting users
- total 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)
You can use the following services to collect and track this data:
I consider analytical systems to be one of the primary marketing tools since they help determine the most effective promotion channels, as well as assess the needs of users and aid in the direction of the development of a software product.
Considering all of these, I want to say that when building a marketing strategy for your mobile application, the key is an integrated approach. It’s best to work on several channels at the same time, always keeping the target audience in focus, tracking key metrics, and responding to problems in a timely manner.