Develop a solid content marketing strategy to build awareness and trust with your target audience months before the product’s launch. Write a blog (you can use the blog posts in your email marketing and social media campaigns as well), show screenshots and videos of your app, talk about its best features and the problems it solves, etc.
App Marketing Strategy: Nine methods every marketer must know
Understanding the many ways you can market your app is essential to developing your overall strategy. This results in a comprehensive understanding of how these methods can be combined for a successful app marketing strategy. This is true for all app marketers, regardless of app vertical, budget and target audience. This article covers the nine essential app marketing strategies you need to know and how they can be used to reach your most ambitious targets.
Before we dive into what is available to you, it is critical to understand the benefits of market research. According to International Business Times, the App Store receives over 1,000 app submissions every day. Competition is fierce for all verticals and understanding your competitors is needed when developing your overall strategy.
Market research will help you develop a greater understanding of how to use the app marketing methods covered in this guide. You need to be able to answer the following questions early in the development process to enable a journey of discovery through extensive market research:
User personas are a smart way to develop a mobile marketing strategy for your targeted audience groups. Each persona represents a group of users that are expected to have a particular user journey. It’s your job as an app marketer to cater for their needs and streamline this process. A user persona is developed by segmenting demographics, mobile preferences and other unique identifiers relevant to your app vertical. Having a complete understanding of that will be instrumental to your app’s success, will help you further down the line and ensure you make research-driven decisions.
How to market an app: Nine essential app marketing strategies
1. Your app’s landing page and blog
Having a landing page is a critical mobile marketing strategy that allows users to learn more about your app on mobile web and desktop. This is a cost effective method where SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can be used to attract new users. When setting up your app’s landing page, it’s important to offer a visualization of what users can expect if they install. Your landing page should include links to your app in the App Store and Google Play Store with a clear call to action. Your app vertical will dictate other needs, such as gameplay trailers for mobile games. However, displaying user reviews and including screenshots of your app’s user experience are critical.
You will also want to keep your blog updated on your website. This is another way you can use SEO to find new users and reach your target audience. Your blog needs to be strategically shared across your social media channels, using analytics to uncover the type of content that is most beneficial to your overall strategy.
2. App Store Optimization
App Store Optimization (ASO) is the process of improving your app’s visibility in the App Store and Google Play Store. This is critical to your user journey because even if your campaign directs a large number of potential users to the App Store, your app still needs to be well-presented to complete the install. ASO can also attract organic users without cost.
Just like SEO, ASO requires you to identify and utilize keywords that will help your app rank high in the App Store. It is also essential to include screenshots of your app and a video of in-app use. You can also make use of secondary app categories so users have more than one way to find your app. If possible, you should also localize your app story entry. Read our ebook devoted to helping you rank high in the App Store for a complete guide to ASO.
3. Social media marketing
As an app marketer, you can’t afford to miss out on social media activity. Users will spend an hour and 22 minutes with social networks every day in 2020. It’s smart to post regularly across your social media channels and use it for more than just raising awareness of your product. For example, social media is a great way to build a community and get feedback from users who wouldn’t be incentivized to contact you in-app or through your website.
Content for your social media channels can include blog entries, competitions, discussion threads and user-generated content. This will vary depending on app vertical – you can discover how through market research – but the right channels can be particularly useful for apps that have social elements, such as fitness and gaming. You can also integrate social media into your app and enable users to easily share content from your app on their social media channels.
4. Influencer marketing
90% of shoppers say authenticity is an important part of their decision to support a brand. Influencer marketing is the use of influencers to reach new users and promote your brand. This app marketing strategy has taken the industry by storm in recent years, with a 65 percent increase for influencer marketing budgets this year.
There are many ways in which influencers can be used to achieve your marketing goals. You can give an influencer ‘freebies’ that they can share with their audience or you can have paid product placement. The benefit to a paid ad is that you will have more creative control, while simply offering your goods to the right influencer is a cost-effective way to reach an audience.
Verticals such as fashion apps will have unique ways to work with influencers. For example, influencers can use your app to create lookbooks, which can then be featured across your app and shared across their social media channels. This is a great way to introduce users to the functionality of your app and give them a unique reason to install based on their interest in an influencer.
5. Paid user acquisition campaigns
Paid user acquisition is the practice of bringing new users to your app through paid ads. This strategy requires you to set up campaigns and adjust your ad spend over time for best results. It’s important to know the users you want to attract and the in-app actions you want them to complete.
When analyzing the success of your campaigns and adjusting your spend for better results in the future, you will have to observe data and spot trends in customer behavior. Your attribution provider will help you measure these results by tracking how many users performed each action. You will then receive reports that show the best performing channels. If you have more than one app, you can play the role of publisher and advertiser by cross-promoting your apps.
6. Set your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
The success of your app marketing strategy should be tied to KPIs. Used to measure the performance of your app, KPIs factor in campaign and in-app activity that matters most to your goals. Measuring performance with these KPIs will provide a clear view of where your app is performing well and areas for improvement.
Why Do You Need a Well-Thought-Out Marketing Plan for Your Mobile App?
Competition is tough in this neck of the woods. You will need to stand out among thousands of apps in order to succeed. It won’t happen overnight, but with a proper mobile app marketing plan, it is possible.
Mobile app marketing takes the user through every stage of the marketing funnel – from the moment they first hear of your app to being a loyal user. Sometimes, the user will go back and forth from one stage to another, which is why the whole process is also referred to as the mobile engagement loop.
Long story short, your goal is to increase the number of your app’s downloads and, ultimately, of loyal users, who might then recommend your app to others. Loyal users are the foundation of your product’s success.
Meet Image Optimization, Addy Osmani’s brand new practical guide to optimizing and delivering high-quality images on the web. From formats and compression to delivery and maintenance: everything in one single 528-pages book.
1. Awareness Stage
This is the prelaunch stage when the main focus is on building awareness and visibility of your brand. At this point, you will already need clear brand messaging and positioning — the who, when, why, where, and how of your brand’s identity. Having these points defined will help you connect with potential customers on a deeper level — where you’re offering them actual value and meaningful relationships.
Decide on a Launch Date
This is crucial if you want to avoid unexpected issues that may arise when your product is ready for release. For example, Apple typically reviews apps under stricter rules than Google. This could delay the release unless you plan it in advance. Also, remember to check all events that will take place around the time of your launch. If there are events that could possibly outshine your product’s release, consider changing the date.
Thoroughly Research the Market
Your app should solve a problem that other apps in the same category don’t. Don’t offer a solution for a pain point that has already been successfully addressed by other apps. Thoroughly research the market to understand your customer’s needs and market drivers in general.
Go through the most prominent blogs, forums, groups, and websites that your potential customers follow. Check the influencers who focus on your niche as well. This way, you can connect with your users and guide them to your product.
The ultimate goal of your market research should be to find out who your ideal customer is. One of our clients wanted to build a prescription-filling app for Canadian citizens, and before applying to us they already knew the ins and outs of their target market. In their case, the competition was not that high, which made things much easier for them when reaching out to their audience.
It goes without saying that a high-quality app should be built with an eye-catching and user-friendly design. But worry not: Things are not as complex as they sound. Nowadays, you don’t need to hire a large development team to achieve this. Outsourcing has long been the go-to tactic in such cases. Companies hire outsourcing teams to cut costs, boost productivity, and have a team of tech specialists on hand without having to “provide” for them in-house.
Another reason why I mention outsourcing is that outsourcing companies will help save your project if you have built a prototype and are unable to take any further steps. If the project needs to be transitioned to something else, your outsourcer will provide you with business analysts to help you make the right decision.
Coming back to market research, this can be done either by you or by a third party that specializes in it. If you already have a great marketing department, then it will handle the task. Otherwise, a lot of highly qualified specialists are out there.
Market research is a time-consuming task. Be prepared to invest a lot of effort and energy if you are doing it on your own. Here are a few tips I would like to give, based on my and my colleagues’ experience:
- Ask yourself, “Do people need my product?” “What will it change in their lives?” “Does it address a specific need?” “What age group are my potential customers?”
- Check out the market for similar products. Compare them with your product: Does anything make yours stand out? Will your product provide something new? Something better?
- Do both primary and secondary market research. The former entails connecting directly with your customers. This way, you will know, for example, when your customers usually do their shopping and then be able to determine your business hours. Surveys can help you gather demographic information. The above-listed tools will help you find out this and other types of data you may need.
- Conduct personal interviews, but be brief.
- Gather focus groups of 8 to 10 people, and connect with them regularly to learn how your product is used, what they like about it, what they dislike, and how you can improve.
- Take advantage of secondary market research that’s been gathered by others and is available for public use. This is an affordable and fast way to get some useful information about your target market. However, don’t make the common mistake of using secondary research only.
Mobile App Retention
Keeping your users engaged is a long-term proposition; retention is especially important because it’s a key factor in calculating the lifetime value of a customer, and therefore whether your efforts have been profitable or not.
User Retention Strategies
- Send users discounts or coupons for items that they’re interested in. These are most effective for retail, travel and local apps. Use your knowledge of what the user has expressed interest in before — perhaps even what’s in their cart — to get them back into the app.
- Special content. For a sports app, can you provide an exclusive guide to building the perfect bracket, available only through the app?
- Feature messages. Let users know about an update or enhancement you’ve made recently, and help them use it. For example, if you just added the ability to share playlists from your music app on Facebook, let users know.
- Better personalization. Once your users have used your app for a while, you’ve probably learned a lot about them. Can you use that knowledge to increase the utility of your app? For example, if you just relaunched your recommendation engine, send users a push notification inviting them to see their new picks.
- Updates on friends and family who have joined. One way that LinkedIn and Facebook got so popular is that they let users search for people they know on the service. And they keep them coming back by sending updates. Tell your users how many of their friends have joined since they left.
… in a seamless and slightly repetitive way on multiple channels to enable a surround sound marketing effect that drives more impact than one kind of message, in one way, via one channel, at one time can ever accomplish.
Top App Marketing Companies (2022)
We help app platforms and services to reach new customers, generate sales leads and build their brands. To get your service listed in our marketplace and promoted across email, blog, and social media leave us a message below.
Mobile app marketing is becoming more important, with a boost in app usage worldwide, making the need for app marketing companies and agencies more stronger than ever before. Find out about the top platforms that know how to promote your app best from our carefully selected list of only the best in the industry.
Top App Marketing Companies
Don’t just hit your goals, over-achieve them!
Promoting and marketing an app is as tough as developing it. One way of mastering this challenge is to hire a mobile app marketing agency that helps marketing apps via multiple channels, and has the expertise in reaching your target app users.
But this is barely scratching the surface of what an app marketing agency can do for you. So, in this guide, let us first talk about what app marketing is in the first place, and introduce you to the top app marketing companies.
Step #2: Validate Your Distribution Channels
If you’re obsessed with a vision for transforming markets, helping your ideal customers, making real impact in a troubled world with your application software, and you’ve the insights and courage to make your idea a reality, you can’t fail.
“Distribution refers to the process of getting your product into the hands of your target customer, whether that is an individual consumer or a business user. Entrepreneurs need to identify effective distribution channel(s) to reach their target customer.”
All these distribution channels may not be ideal for your app marketing. You see, if your app is business-related, then I’m sure LinkedIn will play a big role – because there are more business people on the platform.
What about Facebook? Well, if I’m wrong, correct me. But I don’t think Mark Zuckerberg developed the social site for the purpose of PPC advertising. He wanted to create a portal where people can connect with other people. Simple.
Step #3: Choose Your Revenue Model
I’m particularly intrigued with the “Free + in-app purchases” revenue model. This month alone, I’ve spent $85 already to buy upgrades for my favorite action games. And I’m not compelled to do it – it seems necessary that I do it.
Customers are obligated to visit your website to know what you’ve in store for them. Application software (i.e., mobile apps) are not like that – there’s no need to visit the business website. The app provides all the answers.
17) Recognize that retention is the new acquisition
I noticed the other day that MAU Las Vegas, always the mobile user acquisition show — I mean, check the acronym — is now the “world’s leading mobile acquisition and retention summit.” Getting new people to try your app and use it is hard and expensive.
“Bottom of funnel users are actually the proof of the business case that engineers and product managers worked sucy long hours to build … you can do like a lot of things by just analyzing the bottom of funnel: you can create different data science models to target the right users, so you spend your dollars more effectively and acquire the right users and so your UA funnel is less leaky, which is a dream for any mobile marketer.”
– Miray Alanlar, Senior Product Marketing Manager, FOX Bet and PokerStars
18) Remember it’s a growth stack, not a growth smack
I’m a tool geek just as much as anyone else, but when you have literally dozens of tools at your disposal it’s a full-time job just to check each one. Then fitting together all the morsels of insight from each?
Look, we all love the Mobile Growth Stack and Andy Carvell, but if you got one tool out of each box on that chart, you’d probably be paying about $7 million/month in SaaS fees, and you’d need to hire a team of 40 just to manage them all. (It’s possible that I’m exaggerating, slightly).
“Focus on quality over quantity. So like, really, are you getting the whole juice of your mobile retention stack? Are you really leveraging the power of emails, push, personalization? Are you testing your middle banner, top banner? Are you testing? Are you using rich notifications, like songs, like rich images, GIPHYs, like video? So really, like get all the juice of your life cycle/retention stack.”
– Miray Alanlar, Senior Product Marketing Manager, FOX Bet and PokerStars
Viral loops are great tools to increase the number of users for your mobile app. Create something worth sharing — such as high scores or shared experiences — and make it easy for users to spread the word about how great your app is.
17 App Marketing Strategies That Still Work in 2022
Here’s an important fact: more than 70 percent of people from all over the world have a smartphone, and the humongous presence of mobile apps these days hold the future of marketing. But pay more attention to this: the global app development spend reached over $25 billion last year, and this amount is projected to further increase by as much as $30 billion in the years to come.
These figures are enough to indicate that competition in the app development industry is only getting bigger. So if you’re looking for the most definitive tips that will boost your app marketing’s success in this big and wide ocean of app choices, then here’s a list of strategies that will effectively promote your app in the best way possible:
Steps for App Marketing: Pre-Launch
1. Conduct market research before you promote your app
- Use ASO tools to find out which keywords bring the most searches. There are many tools out there ranging in price, such as AppTweak, AppFollow and MobileAction. They’re all upwards of $10,000 a year, which can be costly for your business, especially without the knowledge of how to navigate them to achieve optimum results. Enlisting the help of a mobile marketing agency can work in your favor.
- Analyze your competitors for keyword ideas, conversion rate strategies and marketing strategies. What keywords are they ranking for? Perhaps they’re targeting ones you hadn’t even considered, but should. What color scheme have they opted for in their screenshots? This could indicate what theme generates the most conversions among your target audience. Generally speaking, an app competitor analysis is always advised.
- Analyze reviews to better understand how users are describing an app. This can give you clues as to what they may search for.
- Brainstorm keyword ideas based on your app’s features . What will appeal most to potential users?
Also, conducting a competitive analysis is not only limited to keywords. It’s important to understand the market in which you’re operating to know what performs best with your potential users. Always keep your eyes on your competitors’ games to stay in the running.
2. Define your branding and messaging
One of the most important aspects of marketing is communication with the customer. The tone, message, and ideas you communicate are part of your brand and will influence the user’s decision to install your app or not.
For example, social media apps communicate in a personal and cheerful way with users. In their marketing copy, it’s all about the user. Everything the app does is to enrich the user’s experience and allow them to share it with others.
In 2022, it’s wise to bear in mind important political conversations when establishing your branding and messaging. In 2020, for example, global Black Lives Matter protests brought critical conversations to the forefront of nearly every brand’s identity and future strategy. Showing empathy and a willingness to do better is now more important than ever.
Defining your branding and messaging is also important for your CRO strategy. Both should be geared towards garnering conversions, which you can establish through both competitive analysis and A/B testing.
3. Tweak your app promotion budgets
4. Define your overall app marketing strategy
If it’s not scalable, chances are you’re doing it wrong. Your goal is to get millions of downloads. Because of this, your ads need to first reach tens of millions of people, which requires a scalable strategy.
Let’s say you have a “health and fitness” app. A user can search on Google for “how to lose weight” and reach your guide. They can read it and leave. Fear not, they are still not lost! You can use Facebook Remarketing to get them back. Guide them to a landing page and convince them to download the free version of the app.
After that, you can start integrating push notifications and emails into your “fitness app”. Use their data to remind them that they forgot to go to the gym or that they managed to achieve their goal in order to boost their motivation.
App store optimization is going to take an even more vital role in 2021 given the dramatic changes facing the mobile attribution world. With IDFA and Cookie changes coming from both Apple and Google, the world of paid mobile advertising is rerouting, and while marketers navigate those changes, ASO needs to step up to promote apps.
5. Focus on more traditional marketing methods too
Even when you promote an app, you still need a website. You can showcase a better presentation on a web page than an app store page, and it’s a reliable form of app marketing for generating brand awareness and loyalty.
Steps for App Marketing: Post-Launch
1. Optimize your app for the app stores
App store optimization (ASO) is the process of improving the information present on the app stores and tweaking the marketing campaigns in order to push an app higher in the search results.
Don’t forget to talk with your app developers to continue updating your app with new features and improved UI (app freshness and updates are ranking factors) and with your marketing agency to tweak your app description and screenshots. There are always new keywords worth targeting or design trends to take into account, it’s a dynamic process.
We have a complete guide on what app store optimization is. Feel free to check it out in order to learn more about this topic. Also, if you don’t know where to start, we can help you out. ASO is one of our main breadwinners here at Moburst.
2. Work on your PPC campaign
One ad set can use black and white images, while another can use brightly colored ones. Leave them to run for a week and eliminate the bad ones. Rinse and repeat until you find the best ad format and channel for your app.
A trend for paid campaigns in 2021 is definitely programmatic advertising. The introduction of automated ads has come from the likes of key platforms such as Pinterest and Facebook. The purpose of automating the paid ad process is to reduce the time and effort marketers need to input, while improving the results and insights. You can read more about Pinterest’s automated creatives here.
3. Promote your app on social media
If you have an awesome recipe app, ask users to photograph their foods and share them via a special # you created for your brand. This is the cheapest and most effective marketing you can do on social media.
Not quite an app, but employing the same method of social media user interaction to grow the brand, UK famous food company Ottolenghi began the hashtag #icookedottolenghi that now has over 30,000 posts and a dedicated following.
Netflix does this really well. If you have a social media campaign in a certain country, they can link your content and app to the main events, customs and social norms specific to that country, resulting in increased conversions and better brand awareness.
TikTok in 2022
2020 was the year that saw TikTok become the most downloaded (non-gaming) app out there, with 2021 being the year that saw it maintain the number one most downloaded app spot. With around one billion monthly users globally in 2022, and 100 million of those hailing from the US alone, it’s a huge platform for marketing your app.
It’s estimated that 18% of global internet users aged 16-64 use TikTok. If it’s appropriate to your brand and your target users might be hanging out there, you simply can’t ignore the value TikTok marketing can bring to your app promotion.
4. Mobile marketing channels that you shouldn’t forget about
Podcasts have risen in popularity over the past few years with no signs of stopping. In 2021, if you can find podcasts with listeners who overlap with your target userbase – sponsor them! That way you’re targeting potential users where their attention is already, and your ROI is sure to be higher.
Mix (previously StumbleUpon) discovery platform is also a great tool to promote your app, as they have a paid package. Yet, this is only recommended for apps that have a really wide user persona. Games work great here.
Talking about influencers, you can also go a little bigger. Influencers exist across a whole spectrum in terms of followers. At the top end, you could find famous athletes, celebrities or scientists and ask them to promote your app, or go for macro-influencers with a few hundred thousand followers. You can read all about influencer marketing here.
5. How to Market An App for Mobile Users’ Limited Attention Span
The mobile world moves fast. It seems like every time we blink a new app is either born or gone. App marketing pros know how tough it is to get users to install a product and actually use it, and even after achieving this goal – it still has to compete with at least one more screen.
Get to the Point
Make sure to include a strong call to action to let users know exactly what you need them to do, and be your own harshest critic with every word you choose to include. Does it truly add value? Luckily, the character limit on most content forms will keep you in check.
Flex your industry expertise, improve your visibility on search engine results pages, and drive traffic to landing pages by blogging regularly. In fact, businesses that blog regularly receive 126% more leads than those that don’t. Blog content can also be distributed in email newsletters, repurposed on social media, or featured as an ebook or downloadable resource on a landing page.
Teach your audience about your development process to build interest around your app. Carefully research which keywords to target, start writing quality blog posts about those topics, and get links to improve your search visibility.
More Ways to Market an App
It goes without saying, but not every strategy we’ve listed here will apply to your app. However, a well thought out strategy that incorporates a couple of them could prove to be very effective in encouraging users to download and start using your app.
Once they’ve got your app in their hands, be sure to keep users coming back day after day. For a foolproof user retention strategy, download our whitepaper Preventing Mobile App Churn.