With the competition getting tougher on both Google Play Store and Apple App Store, it is becoming increasingly challenging to convince users to download a new app. Especially for developers with stringent budgets, it can be a daunting task to make a mark in the overcrowded app market.
Marketing your mobile app or software is quite challenging in the typhoon of overwhelming competition. By looking at the power law and how only a specific number of apps dominate the market, the barriers to new apps growth seem to increase further in 2020.
It is no longer sufficient for developers to focus solely on app store placement or a single marketing channel to drive growth. Marketers need to combine different strategies and leverage every marketing channel – free or paid – to attract users.
Top Marketing Channels
App developers and businesses can increase the probability of their app growth by exploring the tried-and-tested marketing channels used by leading brands to drive growth.
Here is an in-depth analysis of all the channels that will help you stand out and drive continuous downloads.
1. Improve Your SEO Performance (ASO)
Mobile App SEO, also called ASO, is the first step to improve your chances of growth.
App Store Optimization is a marketing technique that increases your app visibility for a better search presence across the web and app stores. ASO is a surefire way to get your app in front of users by improving the ranking on relevant keywords.
ASO aims to make an app more visible in app stores and make it easy for users to discover it. The number of downloads will surge naturally as more users find it in the app store.
The best part of ASO is that it costs nothing if you know how it works. Here are some valuable tips to help you improve your ASO game.
Every time a user performs a keyword search, the app store search algorithms scan apps and prioritize them based on the user input.
So, it’s a good idea to integrate relevant keywords in the app title and the description as an ASO practice. By doing so, you can enhance your search ranking by as much as 10.3 percent.
Several tools help you conduct keyword research for free. Some of these are:
App Name – pattern and length
A few things need to be kept in mind when coming up with an app name.
- Choose a short and sweet name for the app. Google Play Store limits the app name to 50 characteristics, while the App Store allows only 30 characters in the app title.
- Append the title with relevant keywords to boost search exposure. Use the pattern: ‘App Name – Keywords’ or ‘App Name: Keywords’ to integrate keywords in the title.
- Use URL-friendly characters in the title because it will be used to create your app URL.
Google Play Store provides a short (max. 80 characters) and long description field (max. 4,000 characters) to describe your app.
It also indexes words in both the fields for relevant keywords. So, make sure you use the most important keywords in the description fields more than once.
While the iOS app store does not search the description for keywords, it is still a good practice to use it to make the most of the description. Make sure you write a clear and concise description that explains all the benefits of the app and the pain points it solves.
A catchy icon can also contribute to the success of an app. Keep it simple and attractive so that users can remember it after the first expression.
Use contrasting colors, frames, and shapes, and make sure that it is different from your competitor’s icon. Analyze the top-rated apps in your category to get design inspiration.
App Reviews and Ratings
Positive reviews and ratings play a vital role in the apps’ ranking. You need to get an average 4-star rating and a majority of positive reviews to convince users to download your app.
Politely ask the users to rate your app and provide a review after a few interactions. Don’t forget to reply to users’ feedback to let them know that you care about them.
2. Leverage Social Media
Social media has become an indispensable marketing channel for brands to communicate with their customers. You can use social media platforms to inform users about promotions and updates concerning your app.
You can also engage with users in the comment section to enhance their relationship with the brand. This will consequently increase word-of-mouth praise and app downloads.
Some of the popular social media platforms used by apps to get user attention are:
Posting regularly on these platforms is the best way to attract a wider audience and maximize conversions.
A case in point is the Instagram page of Lush Cosmetics that has garnered over 4.5 million followers through user-generated content campaigns. Through the hashtag “#Lushlife,” they encouraged thousands of their fans to submit their content directly to Lush Cosmetics.
These channels also provide a great way to promote your app with paid advertisements. Facebook’s ads, Pinterest’s Pins, and Twitter’s Cards allow you to reach your audience through targeted ads.
Each platform, however, has its own terms of service; make sure you comply with them when building loyalty for your product.
3. Website and Blog
Promoting your app with a website and blog site is a tested method to increase your app downloads.
With the help of a website and blog, you can establish yourself as an authority in the industry and spread the word about your product. They will also allow you to reach new markets and boost your traffic through SEO.
Additionally, you can promote your app with paid advertisements and guest posts on relevant websites and blogs in the same niche. According to Think With Google, half of all app downloads were driven by search ads.
4. App Video
Another effective way to market your app is by video. By visually showcasing the benefits of your app, you can convert your followers and subscribers into app users.
A high-quality video and app demo effectively communicate the value of your app and help the users make a purchase decision.
5. Influencer Marketing
A good way to grab the attention of potential customers is by reaching out to top social media personalities, bloggers, and key influencers in your industry.
These people already have a personal brand and a wide fan following that you can leverage to promote your app. It is a widely used tactic to get your product in front of users, especially during the initial launch.
Start viral campaigns and share content that resonates with users so much that they can’t resist liking, commenting, or retweeting it in their feeds.
6. App Directory Listings
Getting featured in one of the app directory listings is one of the best ways to acquire new users. Sites like AppShopper and AppBrain provide app reviews and list them based on their performance and user experience.
Users are more likely to download your app if it is featured in a top app directory listing. It lends credibility to your app and gives you an edge over your competitors.
Users can download the app either from the platform or through a link that takes them to the app store. The directory listing companies, however, may charge based on the number of downloads generated.
Mobile app marketing is something that every developer should invest in to increase app downloads. There is no magic formula to top app store charts, but with proper user research, market awareness, and the right knowledge of these marketing channels, you can position yourself for sustainable growth.
Mehul Rajput is a CEO and co-founder of Mindinventory, a mobile app development company that provides web and mobile app solutions from startup to enterprise level company. His role involves heading the operations related to business and delivery with strategic planning and defining road-map for the future.
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