The Ultimate App Marketing Strategy: From Ideation to Promotion
Guest blogger post by Jonha Revesencio, Business Strategist
Businesses are always looking for new ways to connect with today’s tech-connected customers. From mobile-ready websites to social media, there always seems to be something brands need to do in order to make sure they’re reaching the largest audience possible.
Considering the challenge, mobile apps are a great way for businesses to increase brand awareness as well as better engage with their target audience. However, just like every other avenue for reaching customers, app marketing can be quite challenging especially when it involves marketing. For most app developers, it feels like a whole new language to learn and there’s not just one ultimate guideline to take care of them all.
Since there are so many different app developers vying for attention, businesses can find that it can be difficult to be heard over all the noise especially with the ever-increasing cost of production as well as promotions. In fact, according to a 2015 study released by Business Insider, “the cost-per-install on iOS soared 59 percent year over year in October, while the cost to retain a loyal user — defined as a user who opens the app at least three times in a two-week period — is even higher than acquiring a new one, and was up 33 percent year over year.”
From the initial concept to post-rollout, this guide will help you develop a marketing strategy that wins.
A Winning Concept
A business’s marketing strategy ideally begins long before a product is in production. A similar strategy applies when it comes to app development and promotions, which must be conceived with the customer at the center. When coming up with an idea, one should take the time to consider how customers will react to it and have a plan to keep them engaged. Identify what problems it aims to solve. What will the connection be between the app and actual product sales?
The ideation or conception phase is also a great time to conduct research into the existing app market. Professionals should search the app store for similar items, identify existing competitors and what sort of features are missing, and finding ways to set your app apart from the existing ones on the market. This is also a great time to research apps that do well in the app store and try to incorporate similar strategies into your own plans.
The Development Phase
Throughout the development phase, it is important to consistently conduct usability testing and market research. Identify possible beta testers in the form of influencers, friends or family members to test the app and help identify bugs. It is one of the most crucial steps in developing and constantly improving the app as it is through the initial tests when most of the possible issues could be identified and addressed before moving to more critical stages of development. You can also run elements like your app title, icon design, and app description by users and gather their thoughts on how your app is perceived. That way, you will prevent your company from incurring unnecessary expenses on marketing by identifying the best messaging early on.
As you create your app name and description, consider marketability as a top factor. What search terms will customers enter to lead them to you in the app store? Once they’ve arrived at a group of search results, what can you do to make your app stand out so that people download it?
Sometimes even a simple thing like an eye-catching icon can make the difference. Also consider that once the user has downloaded the app, that same icon will stand out on overcrowded smartphone screens and help prevent it from getting lost among all of the other apps a user has downloaded.
Before and After Rollout
The major marketing work begins weeks before an app’s debut in the app store. You will need to try to spread the word on your social media sites and have your press release ready to be sent to relevant media outlets, provide them with exclusive an peak at insights about the app, and offer exclusive interviews. If you have connections with any online publications, write content surrounding your app and provide it for free in order to gather buzz around your app without spending on paid media. Through it, you may get extra press and potentially reach customers who might not be trolling the app store for apps to download. This increases the chances of attracting targeted and loyal users.
Word of mouth is the best way to increase downloads, but how do you encourage your users to tell their friends and online followers about your app? The first step is to create an app that’s worthy of sharing, and follow that by making it sharable. Top it off by making it easy to share from within the app. Check the messaging, and highlight the strategically placed sharing options within the app.
More importantly, consistently track results and adjust your app settings and messaging accordingly. The app promotion and improvement doesn’t just end on the launch, though. It is essential that you make it easy for users to report bugs and have your team repair any issues immediately, before they can scare away customers.
App developers have a great deal of competition for customer attention. By creating a winning app and having your marketing strategy ready early on in the process, you will be able to increase your chances of success. Lastly, making a sharable app is not complicated at all as long as you have a great idea that matches your target audience’s needs and make it easy for your users to tell others.
Jonha Richman is a Business Strategist with over 8 years of experience developing real-time and digital media strategies for FMCG and tech companies such as IKEA, Dove, RebelMouse, among others. She’s a regular contributor on The Huffington Post, Business Insider, Lifehack, and Fast Company. You may connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.