I’m working with a client on developing a mobile app – well, they’re doing the developing, I’m doing the marketing (I know as much about programming & app-building as a rock).
Anyway, my partner in this was originally worried their unique idea wouldn’t be able to break into (and gain traction in) the market and all of their work would be for naught.
He’s worried about how we will compete with existing apps in our market, how we’ll differentiate ourselves, what will make users choose our app, etc.
Tons of worries.
So, I told him there are 2 keys to mobile app success
1) Getting users to download your app, and 2) Getting users to keep using your app.
If you focus on those two goals and make those to your objectives in marketing, everything else (the revenue, the awareness, the branding, etc.) will fall in place.
So, while I can’t share with you what the app is for confidentiality reasons, I do want to share with you the cheap & easy marketing ideas I outlined for him to soothe his nerves – and they’re applicable to your app, even if it’s in the developmental phase.
Please note that these tips don’t take the actual development and content of the app into consideration – these strategies assume you’ve already done your job in the development to make it a clean, fun, easy, and useful app.
Marketing Pre User Download
1) Build a teaser website with mockups & cool features of the app, and start collecting emails of people who would like to know when this free app launches.
2) Create a product video on this teaser website. Make it cool, hip, fun, relevant, new & useful.
5) Get your app reviewed by some big bloggers on the app market.
6) Use other social media platforms to talk about your app, such as Vine (6-second #HowTo videos), Facebook, & Twitter. Don’t just post about it – interact with people. Be social.
7) Look for social media pages or business with a big online reach that are related to your app and collaborate with them to mention your app.
8) Use great App Store Optimization (ASO) with the right keywords, good copywriting and catchy phrases.
9) Generate leads & downloads through PAID social media advertising and pixel-based retargeting on popular platforms like Google Ad Words, Twitter & Facebook.
10) Integrate with Facebook so that users’ information is automatically populated into the app once they sign up. A big deterrent in new apps is having to enter all of your info all over again. Yes, Facebook is king today, so we have to play by their rules.
Marketing Post User Download
After a new user has download the app, the name of the game is virality & consistent app us – how do we get this new user to use the app frequently, and to pay this cool, new app forward to their friends? We must plan for app virality – rarely does it “just happen.” You must design virality into your app.
1) If your app involves some type of monetary exchange (like Uber), give users a free $10 when they pay it forward & share the app with their friends through their social media platforms, email addresses and text messaging. Users can use this $10 within your app.
2) Constantly solicit user reviews & ratings. You can do this through in-app pop-ups, email marketing or push notifications. Apps with more reviews get more views.
3) Reward positive behaviors. Again, if you have an app like Uber, for every 10th ride someone takes, send them a free $5 token – just to say thanks & encourage them to keep using your app.
4) Create monthly challenges users can partake in. “Most new people met,” “Most bars visited,” “Most rides taken,” “Highest score,” …something to get users excited to compete and use your app.
5) Use consistent email marketing to: Ask for reviews, offer deals, share great news about your app, follow up with users who haven’t used in a while.
Monetizing Your App
Unless your app already has some great buzz around it, I’m going to assume your app will be free for users to download (unless your marketing & buzz is pristine, good luck putting a price tag on your app and getting users to download).
So, after your free app is on the market, there are 4 ways you can make money through it.
1) Paid advertising. If you have an app like Uber, you can all businesses to geo-target users in their area to offer them special deals. Local bars, hotels, restaurants – anything someone riding a cheap cab might be interested in.
2) A percentage of a purchase a user makes through your app. Again with the Uber example – if a user jumps on one of the advertisements within the app and makes a purchase, your app gets a 20% cut (or something along those lines).
3) A premium version of the app that offers more features than the free version. This needs to be flushed out more, but there needs to be a gateway that offers more features than the standard app features that will entice existing users to perhaps pay $4.99 for an upgraded account.
4) In-App advertising. This will be the easiest to make revenue from once our user base has grown. Other apps and websites will advertise on our app, either on small bars at the bottom of the app, or full-screen ads after the user commits to some sort of action.
How have you marketed apps in the past? Or how would you market your future app? Let me know in the comments below!
[button font_size=”20″ color=”#00a6b9″ text_color=”#ffffff” icon=”twitter” url=”http://ctt.ec/AERV2″ target=”_blank”]Tweet This Article[/button].