Developing an App isn’t Enough – Use Mobile App Marketing to Help it Stand Out

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Is app marketing a part of your larger mobile app development strategy? If yes, you are on the right track; if no, then you need to put a plan in place to market your app as soon as possible. The reason why you need an app marketing plan is because just developing a cutting edge and highly engaging app isn’t going to cut it for you. Of course, it’s a prerequisite for ensuring app popularity, but your app bandwagon cannot move ahead without proper marketing. You will need to make your app more visible to its target audience, if you want it to stand out from the crowd.

There are new apps released on the iTunes and Google Play almost on a daily basis. Both are going to touch a million apps soon enough, so you can imagine the competition on these stores. Just developing an app, and submitting it to these stores is not going to be enough. Most of the popular apps on these stores are not just popular because they are great to use, but also because they have been marketed successfully.

The Importance of Creating a Buzz

Everybody wants their apps to make money.  But monetizing your app isn’t easy, because it’s going to face some stiff competition. You might believe that your app is amazing but that doesn’t means its target audience will feel the same way. With the cut-throat levels of competition in the world of mobile apps, you first need to make your app visible to as many people as possible; and you must make people want to download your app when they come across it.  And, for this to happen, you need to surround your app with the right amount of buzz. You need to start people talking about the app, even before it’s released in the market; this buzz must be so strong that they cannot wait to download your app. This is why app marketing is all about. It helps you hype up your app.

If there is no hype surrounding your app, why would anyone bother to download it, in the first place? They know nothing about your app; on the other hand they might know everything about your competitor’s app that has marketed itself well. In an era where you need to cover all your bases in order to be competitive, you simply cannot say no to an app marketing plan.

Now, that we know why it’s important, let’s take a look at some of the ways and means of marketing your app:

Use Social Media

mobile social media

If you want your app to go viral, even before its launched, why not promote it through your business’s social media profile? You can give a brief description of the app and how it will help its intended users on Facebook and Twitter. Every month, through the app’s development cycle, share interesting tidbits about your app, you could even share development stories and anything and everything that will help you keep you app in the news. You could even create a social media profile for your app and keep adding to its network of fans and followers. While doing so, make sure that you add only those people who belong to your app’s target audience.

Once your app, is ready, you can share the news with your audience. The idea is to make its intended audience draw a personal connect with the app, so by the time the app is released on the app store, it already has a readymade audience that can’t wait to get its hands on your app.

App Store Optimization

We have talked about the fact that the number of apps on Google Play and the iTunes store are increasingly day by day, and very soon they will touch the mammoth figure of a million or more apps in each of these stores. So, one of the key aspects of app marketing is helping your app get discovered on these stores. Like website optimization, which plays a critical role in online marketing, app store optimization (ASO) also is a vital part of app marketing.

App store optimization involves optimizing your mobile app so that it ranks higher in the app store’s SERPs. The reasoning behind app store optimization is similar to search engine optimization – the higher your app ranks in the store’s results page, the more chances of potential users coming to your app’s page on the store.

So, find out who your target audience is and the keywords it is using to search for apps that are similar to yours. Once you have a better idea of the kind of keywords the potential users of app are using, you will need to start optimizing your mobile app for the keywords for which you want your app to rank.

This can be done in two ways:

  • Place the keyword with the heaviest search traffic in the app title; use keywords in your app’s description as well.
  • Try and get as many positive ratings and reviews on your app page.

The more the number of downloads of your app, the better it is for your ASO.

Making use of ASO will help you cut through the crowd and attract more traffic to your app’s page, thus increasing its chances of getting downloaded.

Submit the App for Review

user reviews

We aren’t talking about submitting your iOS app for review to the iTunes store. Here, we mean submitting your app to various app review sites. Submitting your app on such sites is a really good idea because there are a number of app users, who learn about new apps from such sites. You could even think about creating a video for your app, that takes reviewers through app functionality and its benefits. This is a better way of telling what your app is all about and the target audience it is meant for.  You will need to pick the right review sites to submit to, because there is a proliferation of such sites. You must pick sites that have a reputed name and are trusted by people to give an unbiased opinion of a particular app.

Create a One Page App Website

While marketing an app, you will need to go the whole hog. Don’t limit your marketing activities. One of the better ways of creating the right kind of buzz about your app is having a well-crafted app page to back up your marketing activity. Do this after your app has been submitted and accepted by the concerned store.  Make sure that you give all the information about your app on the website, in the most engaging manner possible. Don’t leave anything out. Also, make sure to market this page. The way you will market this page is similar to how you would go about marketing a website. You can use the same kind of on-page and off-page optimization techniques.

Press Release

press release

Make the release of your app a big event and make sure you create and submit a press release on all the popular sites. It’s one of the better ways of announcing and publicizing a big event and it doesn’t get bigger than your app being available for download on iTunes or Google Play. A nice, professionally written press release is an integral part of all app marketing campaigns.

Don’t Forget the App Description

Some people make the cardinal mistake of not giving enough importance to the description of the app on app stores. They don’t make the effort to write engaging content that will generate interest about the app, after the users go through the description. They purely use it for ASO purpose, but forget all about writing it in a way that captures reader attention and improves the interest quotient of the app. Don’t do that. A well-written app description is also an important marketing element.

App marketing should run side by side with the development of your app. As you go about building an app with a particular target audience in mind, you must start taking steps to make them aware about what you are doing. One of the often ignored benefits of marketing an app when it’s in the development stage is that you get crucial feedback that gives you an idea about what the market is thinking about the app. If your initial marketing gets a cold response from the target audience, there might be something wrong with your app. You can take the necessary steps to rework the concept to make sure that it falls well within the people’s expectations from it.

All in all, your app won’t be able to survive if cutting edge development isn’t backed by astute marketing. You need to stoke interest in your app, otherwise it just won’t work. If you want it to generate satisfying returns on investment you will need to market it. You can ask your in-house marketing team to handle its marketing, if they have experience in online marketing; or you could hire the services of a mobile development company specializing in app marketing. But if you choose the latter option, make sure that the company has prior experience in app marketing and has a successful track record.

Posted by : Abhishek Agarwal Date : August 23, 2013

Abhishek Agarwal is Co-founder and CEO of Rightway Solution and Leads Business Development and Marketing Initiatives.

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