App Marketing – How to Market Apps Effectively
There is no question that releasing an app is an exciting, even exhilarating thing to do. You have been slaving away, spending long nights at the keyboard, and battling some of the worst carpal tunnel you have ever had. But guess what, you have developed a killer app that is sure to be a hit. Millions of people will download your app, and you’ll be rich! It was all worth it.
Hold on, not so fast! You still have the most important, and arguably the most dreaded part of releasing a successful app left… MARKETING. I don’t like that word either, but it’s a crucial part of making your app a success. As the saying goes, “you could have the best product in the world, but if nobody knows about it, what good is it?” The same holds especially true for apps since our app marketplaces are becoming increasingly crowded. So what should you do to stand out of the crowd, and make your app a success? Since a large number of Applits’ user base are app developers themselves, we thought we’d share a few quick tips on how your can increase the likeliness that your own apps will reach success.
Before You Launch:
Probably the most important thing you can do to help your app become a runaway success is to make sure it is of both high quality, and has built in sharing features. What I mean by this is to make your app so that it has a “share with friends” button, or similar way for app users to quickly tell a friend about the app they have been using. If someone is using an app and likes it, chances are they will share it. Make this easy for them! Just think about an app like SnapChat and how easy it is to share with its “invite friends” screen.
Name and Keywords
Everyone knows that a good name is important in have a successful product. Be sure to pick a name for your app that not only clearly portrays what your app does, but also helps with ASO (SEO for the App Store, nicknamed “App Store Optimization”) in your app market of choice. Keywords are important as well. Make sure you brainstorm what you think users will search when looking for your app. As far as App Store SEO is concerned, companies like MobileDevHQ can help give you the tools you need for name and keyword research. Also, check out the Google Keyword Research Tool which will show you how many times per month a given keyword is searched on Google.
Which category you place your app in can also make a difference. Maybe you have an app that you think should belong in the Lifestyle category of the App Store since it relates to eating healthy, working out, and daily mediation. Unfortunately, the Lifestyle category is one of the most popular categories in the App Store, so you might have much better luck reaching the Top 100 charts placing your app in the Health Care and Fitness category since it has a lot less popular apps. Be sure to check out this site when deciding which category to pick!
During and after Launch:
We already talked about some things to think about well before the launch of your app, but what about right as you launch your app? How much should you spend on app marketing, or what do you do when you don’t have a marketing budget at all?
If your app is doing something new and cool in the app world, chances are you will be able to get some kind of news coverage from the media. You should direct your attention to contacting blogs and news sites whose readerships would find your app interesting. If your app deals with sports, find some blogs that talk about sports news and see if they are interested in covering you — getting covered in blogs that are specific to your niche is often much easier than targeting tech blogs as a whole. However, sites such as Betakit love covering new tech start-ups, and they might be interested in covering your app’s launch. When contacting the press, be sure to keep your messages concise, and to the point. Journalists and bloggers tend to get hundreds of emails a day, so try to make your subject enticing, and your email leaving them curious to know more. Remember to attach a press kit in your email with some more detailed information and screenshots of your app in action. If you have an animated video to send, that’s great too! Applits has had a lot of success with our animated video, and videos work great for apps as well.
Paid ads can be great, that is, if you have the money for them. Many app developers put all of their time and money into developing their app and don’t save any for marketing. While there are plenty of free options as far as app marketing is concerned, paid advertising can definitely help. For paid advertising, you are going to want to target your app’s demographic as much as you can. Advertising on a high fashion blog isn’t likely going to be a good use of your money if you’re trying to sell your fart button app. Think about who you are trying to sell your app to, and target markets you think will click on those ads. The more targeted the ads are to smaller groups of people, the higher the click through rates you’ll have. If you target a small niche website, it’s oftentimes cheaper too. However, it’s important to note that if you go with an advertising behemoth like Facebook, they’ll sometimes charge big bucks to target down to more specific levels…so try to find those niche-specific sites first.
In app advertisements can be effective as well. Apple has a fantastic ad network called iAd that you should check out if you’re an iOS developer. If you’re developing for Android, AdMob is a good service to check out. If possible, use this paid advertising to your advantage to try and get into the top charts in the App Store or on Google Play. Burst marketing campaigns are particularly effective if you can get your app into the top charts because you will get plenty of organic downloads once your app has all that viability.
A great portion of developers will only be able to do free advertising. Unlike companies like Zenga that spend millions of dollars to market one app, most indie developers are going to do a majority of their advertising on a very low budget. Don’t worry though, there are plenty of free advertising routes to take. Below are a few of many ways to get some “free” advertising.
One thing that you can do is to help your app succeed is make it easy to share. As mentioned earlier, word of mouth can be the best form of advertising, so make your app as easy to share as you can. You should also make is so users can easily rate your app. An app with a lot of positive ratings will go a long way to helping you market your app. (Hint: have a pop up in your app asking the user to rate it on the app store).
Another free path you should take is to submit your app to app review sites. A lot of people use these sites to find out what the best new apps are out there, so get your app in front of all those eyeballs. When submitting your app to a review site, be sure to pitch in a way that will make the review site want to review your app. Offering them a promo code so they can review your app for free is always a good start.
Having a webpage and preforming web-oriented SEO on the keywords you think people will search when looking for an app like yours is helpful as well. A lot of developers forget about trying to boost their organic search traffic to increase app downloads, but don’t neglect it. With more people in the world surfing the internet on their phones than their on computers, this is something you don’t want to miss out on.
Go Get ‘Em!
So that’s all for now. Just remember, developing your app is only the first stage in having an app success story. There are many, many hours that go into getting your apps into the top charts of Google Play and the App Store, but it’s well worth it. Best of luck to all you developers and app marketers out there, and – just for the sake of having our own shameless marketing plug – stay tuned as Applits releases RememberTogether and BetterHalf in the next couple of weeks.
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