When you’re approaching the finishing touches of your latest app, you’re entitled to feel a sense of accomplishment, but in a way, the real work is just beginning. If you want the app to be successful (however you define success), you’ll need to get more people buying and/or downloading it, and unless you’ve already got legions of fans, that means investing in marketing strategies.
Marketing is going to take time, money, or both, but it’s almost always worth the investment; in fact, it may be downright essential if you want any hope of reaching the top of the download charts.
The Best Strategies for App Marketing
These are some of the best strategies for marketing your app:
1. App store listing optimization. You’ll need to list your app in multiple online app stores, then optimize those app pages to appeal to your target audience. There are several ways to do this, and the strategies you choose will depend on the requirements of your specific store. For example, you’ll want to optimize the name of your app, its subtitle, and its description with keywords that make sense to your target demographics. You’ll also want to include lots of screenshots and videos of how your app works, showing off its best features. Your goal is to make it more likely for your app to show up in app store searches, and make a better first impression when they find it.
2. Landing page optimization. It’s also a good idea to build a separate, mobile-optimized landing page for your app. That way, people researching your app can learn more about it, and you can make your brand visible in traditional search engines in addition to the app store. Again, you’ll want to include as much descriptive content as possible, optimizing for keyword phrases relevant to your app and target demographics. You’ll also want to include videos and screenshots—just make sure you give them proper titles and alt tags.
3. Link building. Link building is one of the most effective overall marketing strategies due to its versatility and sheer impact, and it’s possible to learn on your own (though it’s usually more effective to work with an agency). The idea is to build contextually relevant links embedded in high-quality offsite content. With those links, you’ll earn more referral traffic, get more brand exposure, and build more authority for your landing page so you can rank higher in search engines more consistently. Each industry will have its own unique considerations; for example, if you’re building an app for your law firm, you’ll want to use different offsite sources and a different high-level linking strategy than you would if you were developing a mobile game.
4. Content marketing. If you have a web domain, it’s valuable to engage in onsite content marketing as well. Write articles or produce videos that answer common questions your target demographics might have, or provide entertainment to your audience. Either way, every new piece of content you create is a new opportunity to earn search engine rankings, and a new opportunity for discovery by your ideal app users. Best of all, creating content can be ridiculously inexpensive.
5. Social media marketing. App popularity is self-sustaining; if you can generate a significant following of people obsessed with your app, they’ll spread the word to their friends, family members, and other social contacts. This makes social media one of the best platforms on which to market your app, if you’re able to use it effectively. Circulate viral content, facilitate discussions, and encourage participation with contests; if you create a positive environment for your users, you’ll earn the benefits.
6. Review optimization. The number and quality of reviews you get from your app users has an enormous impact on how your app appears in app store searches. It can be hard to generate these reviews naturally, especially if you’re just starting out, so consider adding more prompts asking for consumer reviews, and incentivizing reviews (ethically). Then, learn from both positive and negative reviews, and optimize your app to look even better to your future users.
7. Targeted advertising. Using pay-per-click (PPC) advertising will guarantee hits to your app landing page or download page. From there, it’s a matter of closing the deal. You just need to make sure you’re targeting the right demographics, so you know you spend the money on your most profitable potential users.
Of course, these strategies rely on your knowledge and commitment to sound marketing fundamentals. For example, you’ll need to research your target demographics, and commit to best practices in graphic design, copywriting, and overall branding.
Trial and Error
You can study your competitors to learn which specific strategies tend to be best for your industry or your specific niche. However, much of your results will depend on trial and error. You’ll need to experiment with different strategies, measuring their effectiveness and filtering out the tactics that aren’t generating a positive return on investment (ROI). Only through experimentation and gradual improvement will you be able to see your true potential.