There’s a lot that goes into building a mobile app: Coming up with a great app idea, planning out the features, creating a brand around the app, wireframes, UX design, and then finally developing the app and uploading it onto the app store.
But what comes next? The challenge is then getting people to discover your app and install it. Remember, your mobile app isn’t going to sell itself – regardless of how well designed and creative it is.
This is why mobile app marketing is key to your app’s success. In today’s blog, we’re exploring the basics of marketing your mobile app. But first:
What is mobile app marketing?
Mobile app marketing helps you get people to install your app, keep using it, and engage with the key offerings – e.g. content subscriptions, eCommerce, premium features, etc. You need to market your app when you launch to get your first users, but you also need to keep marketing so that you get new users, and can keep your current users active and engaged.
So let’s dive into how you can market your mobile app!
Step 1: Find Your Target Audience
Unless you are Facebook or Google where your apps make up 8 out of the top 10 list, it’s likely that your mobile app will suit a specific group of people, and not the general population. This could be a niche audience, like residents of a specific city looking for activities in the area, or a broader target group, like an eCommerce clothing app. Getting to know your target audience, where to find them, and how to appeal to them is the first stop in the mobile marketing journey. We’ve covered user research in a previous blog, it’ll give you some easy, practical steps to discover who your target audience is, and how to appeal to them.
Step 2: Assess Your App’s Existing Market
While you’re in the process of building an app, research the app landscape by reading about your competitors and the industry. Search for apps in your category, download them, and see what they’re like. Find out what they do well, and what you could improve on. Read what people are saying about similar apps, check out app reviews, and look through social media. You can also subscribe to blogs that talk about the problem your app is aiming to solve.
Step 3: Create a Landing Page or a Website
To help build some excitement before your app launch, and to make your app stand out, you should have a dynamic, well-designed website that drives people to the app store. Persuasive copy and calls to action, a blog, special offers, and newsletter subscriptions – all of these are great ways to drive app installs. There are plenty of no-code tools to build a landing page or a website in just an hour or two; check out Carrd, Webflow, or Wix.
Step 4: App Store Optimization (ASO)
With so many apps on the market, it can be hard to get the right visibility for your app. But just like maximizing your SEO efforts to improve organic traffic to your app’s website (if you’ve made one!), you can do the same for your app.
These simple steps can help your mobile app stand out in an already crowded app store. First, think about the name of your app. It’s one of the defining features of your product, and perhaps the first thing your potential users will notice. You only get space for a short description of your app, so make every word count. Focus on designing excellent visuals, like the thumbnail image, screenshots, etc. Lastly, make sure you choose the right category for your app so potential users on the lookout will find you in the right place.
Step 5: Work Out a Content Marketing Strategy
A well thought out content strategy can help you get the most out of your app, the website for it, and the app store listing.The idea is to create awareness and engagement around your app. It can be as simple as discussing related subjects to what your app’s focus is, or figuring out what problems your target users may have, and attempting to solve it for them.
If you want your content marketing to work, there are two key things to remember:
First, excellent content marketing never takes a break (sadly!) You need to consistently create and promote content – in fact the more reliable and predictable you are with creating content, the better!
Second, your content needs to be high quality, and it must provide value to the audience. We’re talking helpful, entertaining, educational, and everything in between.
What to do if you’re not a content expert
Content isn’t just blogging, or social media. In fact, there are tons of great content options to choose from, just remember, it needs to appeal to your target audience. That’s the only goal worth pursuing.
Here are other types of content to choose from: Demo videos, influencer posts, reviews and testimonials, interviews, talks, promotions and contests, giveaways, quizzes etc.
Step 6: Paid Campaigns
Sadly, in the world of content marketing, even with the best organic traction, you won’t gain as much of an exposure without spending on advertising. Luckily there are a lot of affordable and effective ways to advertise your mobile app online.
Many platforms even provide advanced targeting tools so you can focus your budget on the most apt audience. Generally, a combination of these types of ads and platforms works best:
In-app ads: Promote your app with ads that appear on other apps. It’s one of the most popular forms of mobile advertising, likely due to the ability to target people that already use mobile apps rather than the mobile internet.
Ads on social media: Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin provide pretty advanced targeting options for sponsored or paid ads.
Search ads: You can have your app listed at the top of search engine results pages by paying for advertising on search engines. For niche markets, it can be a very efficient way to get your app on the front page.
Step 7: Time to Optimize
Once you’ve got things up and running with your mobile app marketing plan, it’s time to optimize! This is the process of refining your marketing activities over and over to continually achieve the best results.
To optimize your marketing efforts, you should track campaign performance closely and tweak the future campaigns based on what works best. You can do this with Google Analytics or other software such as Kissmetrics.
Marketing Your App Is Worth It!
Building an app may feel like the finish line, but it’s far from it. If you’re familiar with marketing in general, some aspects of how to market your mobile app will be the same as with marketing any other product. These seven steps should have you on the right track to building an app that is successful and marketing it so that it can make an impact in the lives of those that need to use it.