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Friday, February 12, 2016

How to Market Your App to the Masses

Friday, February 12, 2016

Developing and releasing a mobile app can be an expensive and time-consuming project. But the work does not end once the programmers figure out how to start an application and finish it. Without a well-done launch, all that time and effort will go to waste. With millions of apps now on the most popular marketplaces, it can be difficult to get attention and market the app to the right user base. Once there, it can be even harder to get consistent users. In fact, 1 in 5 apps never get used more than once after download. The key is proper marketing. 

Define Your Goals
Before you begin the actual marketing, you need to have a realistic measurement of how you define a successful launch. The exact metric you use depends on the type of app that you have made. The metric could be how many people install the app, how often people use it, the retention rate of those who install and do not uninstall, the number and quality of ratings received, or in-app purchases made. Keep in mind that this goal should focus on sustainable returns. Expect installation to be highest during the first month.

Use Social Media
Make sure to claim all the relevant social media accounts for your app prior to launch. This should go side-by-side with creating a website for the app. With registration so easy there is no need to be scrambling after the fact. Claim the accounts on all the most popular social media sites and apps, even if you do not plan to use them all. It is better to have your name already reserved in Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, and everywhere else rather than finding them unavailable when you need them. Consider Go Far, a company which launched a driving optimization app, they set up a Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin, and even a Podcast to promote their app launch.

Use these social media accounts to advertise the app even while in development. Showing features in progress can build a community before that crucial first week in the wild. It also shows good interaction with potential customers, something that people find comforting and that can be essential in getting the app shared naturally between people. Make sure that all bios get switched over on launch day to include a link to where the app can be downloaded. 

Create the Narrative
Instead of waiting for the buzz to build on its own, give it a push. For many, app downloads are spur of the moment decisions so you need to put out interesting content to draw them in for just long enough. Make press releases and send them to websites that cover your industry, as well as websites that write about apps on the marketplaces you use. Write blog posts about what the app can do and how to use it and post these on a number of blogs, not just on the company website. 

Video serves an even more important role than text these days. Use a program like Camtasia to capture footage of the app being used. Add voice over to make a slick demo that can be posted to YouTube and Facebook. Make sure to detail what the app is used for, and more importantly what problems it can solve for a user. You will be surprised how quickly just a glimpse can lead to clicks. Do not stop at a simple demo. Make more videos that showcase different problems being solved by the app; title these videos after the problems primarily to draw in those searching for the solutions. Those who already need answers are easy to sell the answer to. 

Consider inviting early followers to a closed beta that makes them feel exclusive and appreciated. These people are your front line evangelists; make them happy. 

Supplement with Paid Advertising
Know your demographic and where they go. Use available tools like targeted Facebook ads, Google ads, and ads within other apps to grab that demographic. While this does not attract as many users as individualized and organic marketing, it brings in additional users that you need for launch. 

Respond to Customers
Use those accounts you set up. Keep customers informed and respond to their issues. Nothing makes a company look better than providing personal service. Use social media and the app itself to encourage those who love your app to review. Those reviews increase your visibility.


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