Mobile apps are a great tool in today’s society; Apps provide businesses with new and exciting marketing methods, internal and external assistance, brand awareness, brand loyalty, promotions, increasing user accessibility, user engagement and much more. On the opposite hand, apps provide users with entertainment and education that make every day living easier and more enjoyable. But how do we make people aware of our apps, how do we make them want to download it, how do we keep them using it month after month?
There are over 700,000+ apps currently in the app store and you wouldn’t be surprised to see this figure get close to the one million mark by this time next year. How on earth are you able to make a successful app with that much competition? It’s not as simple as uploading it to the app store anymore. You have to implement certain marketing tools, not only for pre-app release but ongoing as well. With this in mind, will the app still be successful?
Let’s take a step back for a second, back to the development. When developing your app, regardless whether it’s for yourself or for your company, make sure you know who’s developing, designing and testing your app. Staying local is always a safe option, often the initial quote may be more expensive than off shoring, but over the complete project it’s often cheaper and of a higher standard. It’s crucial to have clear communication with the development company; miss communication can result in the longest game of Chinese whispers you’ve ever played. Not only will it be frustrating but it will be time consuming, a waste of money and at the end of the day the app most likely won’t be what you had in mind. Finding a company that will be able to provide constructive criticism towards you’re app, demonstrates passion for success. If you take onboard the advice given to you by your developer the more likely the app will be successful. It’s very easy to say yes sir and develop this crazy app, which the client has in mind but realistically it won’t flow, resulting in a huge mess.
Your app has been designed, developed and is currently in the testing stage. It’s now time to implement these marketing tools. So what are they? There is no right or wrong way to market your app, this is still a very new process within this industry. First question should be, what’s my budget? If you have money to market, great, if you don’t, that’s okay. I will be focusing more on those with little to no budget. Next question, who’s your audience? Don’t market to the world if that’s not your audience, it’s a waste of your time. Have a catchy, relevant and straightforward name, don’t be alternative.
Provide a clear description of what the app does, what features it has, who’s it targeted at, possibly some testimonials if you have them. The description should implement key words related to your app, this will allow your app to be displayed in more searches both via Google and the app store. This increases your app awareness and SEO. The description should be supported with a tutorial video and screen shots, 9 out of 10 times users will skip to the screen shots so make them demonstrate the app clearly.
Set up a social platform for promotion. Twitter or Facebook are most common, this will be used for marketing pre-release and support post release, keeping users informed on any movements within the app. Get your users involved sharing high scores, pictures, posts, reviews or whatever it is relevant to your app, user engagement will increase your monthly users while also increasing your market reach. Micro sites are often used for a similar purpose, focusing on the support side.
Form partnerships, who with? The more people you know, the more people you potentially have using and talking about your app. Form strong partnerships with journalists, bloggers and app reviewers. These partnerships will allow your app to be widely discussed across the net, resulting in app enthusiasts reading and potentially using your app. An app without reviews or ratings looks terrible and usually reflects on the standard of the app; ensure you don’t fall into that category.
Develop a solid press release with relevant pictures, description, the story behind the app, who’s your target audience, why your app is better than competitors, a link to the app and correct contact info, distribute this to relevant publishers. Don’t limit yourself to the large publishers, focus on specific regional newspapers and newsletter; these are free to get involved with and often a lot easier to get published in.
There are plenty of other marketing tools to be mentioned, such plenty of other offline and online methods. Regardless of all the marketing your willing to implement, it comes down to the development of the app, make a quality, well written, good looking, user-friendly app. Don’t let it crash! Preferable keep the project (design, developed and testing) internal.