November 23, 2018

How to Market an App to Skyrocket Downloads

November 23, 2018

How to Market an App to Skyrocket Downloads

Marketing Strategy

Marketing a new app in today’s crowded marketplace can be tricky. But when you play your cards right, you can get it in front of the right audience and convert mere viewers to active users.

Insight: Oftentimes, companies focus on developing a brilliant app but often leave marketing as an afterthought.

Data: Gartner predicts that this year, only 0.01% of consumer mobile apps will succeed. (Gartner)

Key Action Point: Convert viewers to users by following the actionable tips outlined below.

Almost half of today’s global internet usage can be attributed to apps. It seems only yesterday when we equated mobile apps to purely online games — but not anymore.

Nowadays, millions of people rely on apps to start and plan their day, to order food, to stick to a fitness routine, to monitor their health, and to get from one place to another. When anything and everything is now online, apps are your gateway to the mobile lifestyle.

For app developers, thriving in an ecosystem controlled by giants such as Apple, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft can be both empowering and limiting at the same time.

With so many new developers launching different versions of an idea for an app every day, it seems like developing the app itself, no matter how great it is, does not necessarily equate to downloads.

So how do you market your app so people actually download it?

In this post, I’ll walk you through actionable steps you can do to market your app from pre-launch, launch day, and post-launch.


Marketing Your App Pre-Launch

Set Up a Dashboard for Metrics that Matter

You can’t manage what you can’t measure. So before anything else, have the means to measure success. Keep a scoreboard or a dashboard that outlines all the metrics that matter to you.

Some mobile app metrics that you should be tracking are the following:

  • App usage
  • User retention
  • Average revenue per user
  • User acquisition cost
  • Customer lifetime value


Set up a Feedback Cycle

To keep track of how well your app is performing, set up a feedback system that focuses on the app’s functionality and a system that allows you to cycle back to backlogs.

This should allow you to embed customer feedback and track whether this has been addressed or not.


Enable an Easy Way to Download Your App across All Touchpoints

Make sure everything is on track for a seamless way to download the app. You can do this by setting up one easy link or a QR code to simplify the download process for your app on any platform that is available for use on different devices.  

You can also create a landing page to direct users once they’ve downloaded the app so you can easily measure engagement and your conversions as well.


Owned Audit

Find out if your existing resources hit the mark with the message you want to send out with your app.

Examine the performance and effectiveness of your website, business cards, and email signatures to make sure everything is updated and optimised to offer the most value to the launch of your app.


Update Messaging across All Key Touchpoints

Stick to one message that you want your audience to remember when they hear about your app.  


Expanded Distribution

Don’t limit yourself to the giant app platforms like Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. Leverage the use of expanded distribution partners to give your app the best visibility.

Here are some other platforms to consider:


Marketing Your App on the Day of the Launch

Though it helps to get your reach-outs weeks before the launch, there are a few things you can still do on the day of the launch.


Explainer Video

To draw attention and get more people to engage, create a 30- to 60-second explainer video that highlights your app’s best features and plainly explains how to use it in quick and easy steps.


Social Amplification

More people discover apps outside the app store. In fact, according to Think with Google, 52% of apps are discovered through family, friends, and colleagues whilst only 40% are discovered through the app store.

With this data, it’s only appropriate to take a good look at your social assets and leverage them before, during, and even after your app’s launch date.

Take the time to identify the angles that you’re going for and how your app translates across the different social platforms and where it is most effective. Do this so you can be sure that your messaging stays consistent throughout all your social channels.


Leverage Influencers and Ambassadors

Another key step to getting news of your app launch to as many people as possible is by leveraging the use of internal and external ambassadors, advocates, and influencers.

They can help spread the word to their own networks and give you more visibility to as many people as possible. Word-of-mouth marketing is alive and well and will help get you noticed.  

Getting referrals and recommendations from influencers and people they actually know and trust will help you get more downloads faster.

Recommended article: Learn proven ways to launch your product online in this blog post.


Marketing Your App Post-Launch

Pop Up with Value

Mobile app push notifications and alerts are a fantastic way to engage with your audience. They are a great way to send real-time updates at certain touchpoints and allow you to communicate with your audience.

Whether it’s pushing new promotions, features, rewards, and other special offers, make the best use of push notifications for your app so you can pop up with value to your audience when it matters.


App Store Optimisation (ASO)

Since 40% of apps are discovered through searches in app stores, and since app store searches continue to be the top method most people use in finding and downloading new apps, ranking higher in app store search results through ASO is crucial to helping you increase your downloads.

Fortunately, there’s a way for you to optimise your apps to appear and rank higher in app search results. This can lead to more traffic and better visibility, which will help increase downloads significantly.

Some factors to consider in app store optimisation include:

  • Using the right keywords on your app title. Knowing relevant words and the keywords your competition is ranking for will get you right where your target audience is
  • App store impressions. Users continue to value what other users think and put a great deal of trust in other people’s recommendations, so aim for more positive ratings and user reviews for your app to rank higher. This means connecting and engaging with your app users and creating a means for them to reach out to developers with issues and concerns.
  • Higher download rates help you rank higher. So market your app to improve awareness and make the best use of your social media channels to reach more people so as to increase downloads


Increase App Exposure through Industry App Awards

There’s a reason why Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube, Google Maps have made it to the most popular apps of all time list.

Getting in line with the best apps not only gets you noticed, but it also gets you recognised, increases your marketability, and improves your download rate.

Be on the lookout for mobile app contests that you can join and nominate your app to and identify what categories your app can enter. Nominating your app for an award can help you increase your downloads by 25% and gets you visibility in more press releases thereby increasing your app page traffic as well.

Some mobile app industry words you can consider are:

Recommended article: Growth Hacking Tactics for Challenger Businesses


Your App, Front and Centre

There’s an old saying that says, “Advertising and marketing are the tax you have to pay for a product that’s not quite good enough.” As the mobile app landscape becomes increasingly saturated, getting your app discovered and recognised can be a big challenge.

So always look to track and amplify the virility factor of your product. How are you promoting your product? To whom? And, most importantly, why should they care about your app? How can you accelerate and encourage that behaviour?

Through these mobile app marketing tips, you can put your best foot forward so you can position your business in a way that allows you to offer the best value to your users while differentiating yourself from everyone else.

App store optimisation and understanding the right marketing tactics not only helps you get to where you need to be, but it can also effectively drive downloads for you at the most critical touchpoints for your app.


Download the Principles for Web Usability ebook




    Related posts

    Recent posts

    To get to know you better, please fill in the field below.