With so many people using smartphones these days, building an Application Software (or commonly called “Apps”) has become a must for most businesses. So is marketing the App.
Building a high quality app is definitely a must for any business. But with millions of apps out there, how can your app stand out? And not to mention the fact that it takes time before a user becomes a loyal user of the app.
Only the right strategies and tactics can help your app stand out from the crowd and make it a must-use tool for any user. Apply the right strategies at the right time and you can turn your app into a much loved product. App Marketing can help you.
In this blog, you are going to know all about marketing your App (i.e. App Marketing). You will learn the different stages users go through in the App Marketing process, the appropriate strategies involved, and key metrics you must track for improving your app marketing efforts.
What is App Marketing?
Mobile App Marketing is about user interaction from the moment they hear about the app to the time they become a loyal user. Effective app marketing involves defining the target users, choosing media to reach them, crafting messages for them, and understanding their usage behavior in order to make frequent improvements.
The ultimate goal of app marketing will be to acquire users for the app who will remain loyal to it and use it on a regular basis.
Creating an App Marketing Strategy
A typical mobile app usage consists of a series of stages or “funnel.” Each stage of the funnel requires different strategies for your overall app marketing to succeed.
In reality, though, app users can go forth and back between different stages at different times. Whatever the path a user takes, he/she undergoes some similar cases like other app users.
In this section, we go through some common stages and strategies required for each of the stages.
1) Awareness Stage Strategy
As the name suggests, the Awareness Stage is where the users get to know the app exists. This stage can occur even before the app is launched in the market. The more people know your app exists, the more chances of the app being downloaded.
In this stage, it is important that you design your branding and messaging statements carefully. As every marketer knows, people buy a product because it brings them benefits. So try to position your app in a way that will highlight the benefits of your product to your potential users.
Some common awareness stage strategies include:
Feature The App in Your Emails
Do you know the ROI from email marketing? 4400 percent! This means you get a return of 44 dollars for every 1 dollar you invest in email marketing. Compared to other channels, email marketing gives you the highest return.
Leverage the power of email marketing for raising awareness for your app. Promote your app in your email newsletter or update post. Call to download, install, and use the app.
Provide app updates on emails as well. Maybe the added features will entice them to finally download the app.
Use Guest Blogging to Promote Your App
Guest blog on sites that cater to the same target audience as your apps. Guest blogging helps to create backlinks that help in ranking your website in the Search Engine Result Page (SERP). It also helps to create backlinks for your app listing and app website.
Perhaps the most important benefit of guest blogging is that it will create awareness of your app to an extended audience. More people will get to know about your app and the more awareness, the more chances for downloads!
Do write blog posts that are engaging in the blog owner’s audience. Create value through the guest blog. The owner of the blog will definitely want some benefit from your blog. So do exert some effort in creating the guest blog.
Maintain The Hype: Get a Steady Stream of Review Websites to Cover Your App
Even after you launch your app, you need to keep the hype around your app. And to make people keep talking about your app is through reviews.
Work to have good reviews on review sites. App users, before downloading the app, will definitely check reviews. Review sites are credible sources for reviews. Therefore, a huge proportion of your potential users will refer to such review sites.
At the same time, good rating reviews will help improve organic search rankings.
Since your app is brand new, such reviews from such sites will definitely give a boost to your app’s exposure online.
One Month Before Your App Launch, Build a Teaser Website
Mobile websites are the biggest source of app installs. So one month before your app launch, create a website that will be the launching page for your app. The website can only contain a teaser video for your app, a brief description of the soon-to-be-launched app, and a form where users enter their email address.
The teaser video can then be used as a content for your app store listing or for social media and paid content. The email addresses collected from the form can be used to send subscribers with information about the app launch and updates.
In addition to the awareness generated, a teaser website can also help you to build domain authority- something that will come handy for your app’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Presence on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter
Ads on social media networks like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have become a must for any sort of marketing. It is also true for app marketing.
Advertising on social media not only gives you exposure to a huge audience but you can target audiences based on your desired parameters like demographics, interests, and location. This means you can pinpoint ads to people you think are the most likely to use your app.
Combine paid ads with content marketing on social media. Post content that will engage with your audience. It can be user-generated content or screenshots of how the app works. Once people engage with your content, traction can be built which will help you gain more visibility.
2) Acquisition Stage Strategy
The acquisition stage is the first time a user interacts with the app- he/she downloads and installs it. It is also a very important stage. If people do not download your app, it is useless. And a useless app is an unsuccessful app. You don’t want that to happen, do you?
Your goal at this stage is to convince people to download your app. To achieve this, you can employ a wide variety of methods and channels. The aim is to get as many people to download your app within the first week of its release. Some common methods for the acquisition stage include:
Do App Store Optimization to Get More Downloads
Similar to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), App Store Optimization is all about optimizing your app’s listing so that it ranks on the top of search results in app stores. App Store Optimization is important as more than 60% of app users find an app through search in the App Store directly. Moreover, once you appear on top of results, you can expect to stay there for some months.
Like SEO, your primary task for App Store Optimization will be to rank highly for specific keywords. Use the keywords strategically on the App title, description, and tags so that when users search using the keywords, they can find you.
For the best result, include the main keyword in the app title. For example, if you want your mobile app to rank highly for the keyword “food delivery,” then your app’s title can be one of the following:
- Food Delivery App
- Quick Food Delivery
- Fast Food Delivery
Use QR codes
Quick Response (QR) code can be used as a powerful technology for app marketing. It has become more powerful now as most smartphones have QR code readers installed in them already.
So how will QR codes help your app marketing efforts? A QR code reader, once installed, enables the smartphone to read the QR code. The QR code can contain links for downloads, promotions, or for buying a product.
You can use QR code to encourage people to directly download your app without needing to go to the App Store. If you run advertisements in print media, add a QR code so that viewers can scan the QR code to download your app. You can run the same ads on billboards and posters as well.
Consider Offering Incentives
Incentives, as its name suggests, can encourage users to download and use your app. Look at what ride-sharing services like Uber and Pathao did when they started. They provided discounts and other promotions for users who downloaded their apps. The incentive helped the services get users for their apps in a very quick time.
You can do the same for your app as well. Consider providing incentives like promotional discounts or giveaways for users downloading your app. You might burn a bit of cash in the beginning but the acquisition gained will be worth it. Customers are more likely to download the app upon knowing about the promotion.
Just make sure your app provides benefits to your users even after the promotions are ended. Otherwise, you will end up having a lot of people uninstalling your app.
Run App Store Ads
If App Store Optimization is not working for you properly, consider running App Store Ads. App Store Ad is a paid strategy and is much like pay-per-click campaigns found in other channels.
By running ads for your app on the App Store, your app can appear on search results at the right place- mainly on the top.
Take Advantage of SEO
The power of SEO remains the same even for app marketing. People will use search engines to know more about your app. So follow the well-established rules for SEO for your app so that your app appears on top of search engine results as well.
Use good SEO practices for your articles, videos, websites, and other identifiers so that your app and your company website can be easily found. When writing app reviews, use long-tail keywords for better conversions. But do not overstuff it.
3) Activation Stage Strategy
While there is no clear definition, the Activation Stage is the first action users to take after opening the app for the first time. The actions may be users entering their email addresses, linking their smartphone to the app, or filling out the profile.
As the saying goes, “The first impression lasts forever.” So try to give the best experience to your users when they first open your app. Some of the best experiences include:
Welcome Message and tutorial
Upon opening the app for the first time, users can be welcomed with a message thanking them for installing the app. You can also ask them to register their email address and contact information at this stage for a better experience.
You can take the welcome a step ahead with an onboarding process. Provide a tutorial on how to use the app. This will help eliminate any confusion your users may face when they first use the app.
Leverage Push Notifications Marketing
Push Notifications are messages that appear on the user’s phone screen or status bar even if the app is not being used at the moment. They are highly effective- having a 97% opening rate and an 85% engagement rate! So you do not want to miss out on leveraging it.
How do you leverage push notifications marketing? Send messages regarding offers, giveaways, or access to specialized content. Just do not get overboard with it. Too many notifications and the user might delete your app!
In-app messages are similar to push notifications except the former are delivered when users use the app. While not as effective as push notifications, in-app messages can help keep users engaged with your app and encourage them to keep using it.
4) Retention Stage Strategy
In the retention stage, your customers become regular and long-time users of your app. You might think that your job is done after the acquisition and activation stages. But that is far from the truth. Moreover, studies have shown that user acquisition costs 7 times more than user retention. So it makes more sense to retain your app users rather than acquire new ones.
Here are some of the best retention stage strategies:
Offer Free Trials, Contests, and Giveaways
Help your users by giving out free trials, promo codes, or giveaways. Chances will be that they will respond by engaging with your app.
Take the engagement one step ahead by hosting a contest. The contest can be collecting certain amounts of points for transactions in the app or sharing posts or referring the app to others. And the prize can be those free trials, promo codes, or giveaways.
Ask Users For Feedback
If users are regularly using your app, it is a sign of success. But you can always improve. So ask users for honest feedback. It will help you make necessary changes that your in-house team did not identify.
Send a popup in-app message inviting your users to review the app and give feedback. Of course, be strategic about it. Frequent invitation can be seen as irritating. So make sure the invitation is consistent with the user experience so that users do not feel irritated and ignore the message.
Resolve Negative Reviews Promptly
Your customers are king. And you should treat your app users the same way. For any problems faced by them, try to resolve it. This includes any negative feedback as well.
As seen earlier, potential users often check reviews before downloading the app. So if they find a lot of unresolved negative reviews, they will not download your app. Therefore, try to solve all negative reviews as quickly as possible.
Studies have shown that when users’ complaints are resolved, the users are more likely to return using the service and make purchases. So don’t forget that when you want to keep a negative review of your user in hanging.
Prove Your Expertise by Starting a Blog
By showing your company as an expert on a field, users are going to trust you more. And so start building your expertise by starting a blog. Create blog posts on topics related to your industry.
When people engage with your blog and find it useful, they are going to trust the quality of your offerings. So they will be inclined to use your app more as well.
If you can create blog posts that connect to your app, people are going to download and engage with your app more!
Key metrics to follow for App Marketing
Don’t just implement your strategies and be done with them. Evaluate your app marketing strategies using key performance metrics.
Tracking metrics is the only way to know whether your app marketing efforts are working or not. For each stage of the app marketing process, there are different metrics to track.
Some of the metrics that you might want to track are:
- Daily/ Monthly Active Users: Number of users who are actively using the app
- Time in App: The amount of time spent daily by users on the app
- Retention Rate: The number of users who use the app again after first visit
- Session Length: The amount of time spent by an user in a session
- Acquisition: Source-wise number of downloads (e.g. number of downloads from App Store, Play Store, QR codes, etc.)
- Cost per acquisition: Cost incurred for acquiring a user
- Screen Flow: The path users take when using the app
- Lifetime Value (LTV): Total value given by users by using your app
Even if your app is ground breaking in idea, you will still need App Marketing. This is because, no users means the app does not exist. And only marketing can help you win and retain customers.
Follow the above mentioned strategies. You can incorporate them for better results. Experiment the strategies before you can come with optimal results.