Mobile apps are constantly changing. As apps shift away from being independent channels, getting incorporated into comprehensive mobile strategies instead, developers have had to adapt to stay competitive.
All industries have recognized the enormous influence of mobile gadgets and mobile apps. More specifically, companies have started to evaluate it as a critical part of their business strategy. It is no longer acceptable to merely have an app for the sake of having one. This is why businesses must also rethink how they market their apps. In the past, most companies developed their app by hiring mobile developers, using simple DIY app makers, or learning how to build an app internally and then using traditional marketing channels to promote it. Now that the trend of using mobile apps has exploded across all industries, companies with the most successful apps are the ones that dedicate serious time and resources to marketing their apps to get them into the hands of their customers.
Between 2014 and 2015 alone, studies showed that the number of people using mobile apps surpassed those using desktop by approximately 200,000, coining 2015 the “Year of Mobile.” However, since mobile has evolved into the dominant channel that customers use to connect with their favourite companies and brands, many mobile experts determine that the “Age of Mobile” is upon us. No matter what title we call this new age, it is vital for companies that want to stay relevant to create a mobile environment where their customers can both shop and engage with the brand.
12 Strategies to Market Your Mobile App in 2021
Let us begin this strategy list under the premise that you have created an app to meet a need in the market. You have spent much time and effort to not only satisfy a consumer need and profit from it. Alternatively, you may have created it as part of your overall marketing strategy to gain compelling, actionable user data and put it towards more effective market research. Whatever reason you have decided to create your mobile app, the one thing that remains constant is that it needs to be used to succeed.
Even for an experienced marketer, it is essential to remember that app marketing is a whole new game, and it needs different strategies and approaches. Effective mobile app marketing should cover every user interaction from the moment that customers first learn about the app to the moment when they become loyal users. It involves defining a target audience, learning how to reach them, communicating with them, and analyzing their in-app behaviour to make continuous improvements so that users move through the acquisition funnel. The ultimate goal of a mobile app marketing strategy should be to drive repeat engagement and make users become loyal advocates for an app. To create a strategy that will be successful, the process should be divided into three stages; the awareness or pre-launch phase, the acquisition stage, and the retention stage.
The awareness stage of a mobile app marketing strategy happens before the product is even launched. It is meant to build brand awareness and product visibility. Before a company can even reach the awareness stage, they need to have a complete understanding of their brand messaging and positioning. Your brand story and messaging will resonate more with customers than individual product features. Though intangible, your brand story reflects your values and encourages customers to connect with you on a deeper level.
Ultimately, by defining a brand position, companies give their users a chance to connect with their product on a deeper level. After building brand awareness, the next stage is acquisition. With a user acquisition strategy, it is essential to use different methods, be creative, and continually refine the strategy. The aim is to get as many downloads as possible in the first week after launch to rank higher in app store search results. In this stage, companies must track where app downloads originate from the moment that users begin to download the app to focus on the most profitable channels and improve on the others. Finally, the retention stage is meant to turn acquired users into lifelong ones because if no one is using the app, it is not yielding business.
Let us now look at some strategies which can effectively market a mobile app in all three stages.
1) Determine a release date
While people have different opinions of what should be step one of a mobile app marketing strategy, the first step is determining the release date of a mobile app because planning far in advance gives companies adequate time to prepare for a hard launch and gives them a clear picture of any problems that may occur as well as the contingency plans that might need to be put in place. Additionally, since different app stores have other review processes that may delay a release, companies need to plan for any issues.
2) Conduct Market Research/ User Persona/Competitive Analysis
Before a company begins any development work, they need to identify the key people in their specific app category. After all, it does not matter how thorough their marketing efforts are if their app does not address a user pain-point or addresses a pain-point. Customers who feel their pain points aren’t being met can easily move to a competitor who has built a solution that addresses these pain points.
The goal of this process is to discover who their target user is, what they value, and the central pain point that their app should address. To get this information, app developers need to understand the multiple user groups that would potentially use their product and acknowledge that each user persona has a unique user journey.
The concept of user personas is designed outline a target audience and help companies coordinate design, business, and marketing decisions to attract the right audience to the product. User personas include everything about a potential user’s demographic, background, mobile preferences, interests, and unique identifiers. Once you understand your user personas, then you can develop a product which solves their problems. In-depth user personas also create the foundation for user journey design and help you to customize every aspect of your mobile product to your users’ preferences and needs. Companies need to know that everything from branding and in-app content to functionality, features, platform choice, and monetization strategy needs to resonate with target users.
During this time, it is also important to remember that a company’s app will have competition. So, they need to do a competitive analysis of their top competitors by making a list of their current prices, monetization model, app store ranking, user experience pros and cons, and notable reviews. They need to think about what would make their app stand out from the competitors and make sure that their app does not replicate any poorly-made features or UX elements that users have previously negatively reviewed.
3) Market early
It might seem like a waste of money, but marketing your app before you launch is very important. Many app developers only start promoting their app when it has been published in the app store. Successful companies know that app marketing begins long before the hard launch. These companies understand that an approach focused on marketing will help them to build exposure beforehand. Even though they may not have an app yet, they can provide value to potential users and nurture that relationship. While it is still in the development process, marketing an app helps companies to adapt their messaging and create a brand story which appeals to the public.
Do you need help creating a buzz for your upcoming app? With Pressfarm, you can reach a wide audience with your news and build a memorable brand image. We specialize in creating quality content which makes heads turn, as well as building a media outreach strategy to put this content in front of the right eyes. With a professional press release, some engaging guest posts and a creative media kit, you can create the right amount of anticipation for the launch of your new app. Once our professional writers and formidable design team has created this content for you, an account executive will also build custom media lists which you can use to connect with the best journalists in your niche. In addition, as a client, you will also have access to our media database of over 75,000 journalists across different industries for up to a year. The best part is that all these services come wrapped in affordable packages. With Pressfarm, you can finally boost your online visibility and appear in more relevant search results across different search engines.
4) Create a website or landing page
A strong landing page or website for an app is essential because they are often the first impression users have of a business. Since they can act as the display for an app, the ideal landing page should be clean, attractive, user-friendly, and work well across all browsers. It has become a standard practice to create a pre-launch landing page or at least a teaser video for a product. Once the landing page is done, companies can recycle the content by putting it in the app store, on social media platforms, or even use it in paid ads. In addition to building hype around an app, having a pre-launch website is a great way to do early SEO by starting to build domain authority. Once you’ve set up your website, you should collect emails to keep their followers updated and let them know when your mobile app launches and when you have new updates and features.
5) Prepare your press kit & other materials
Depending on your level of marketing, you need to make sure that they have both physical press kits and electronic press kits available for relevant press and promotion groups. You also need to compile a media list of potential media professionals and bloggers who you would like to target and make sure that your content covers all the essential points about the app. You also need to make sure that you have a system to send out your information to the relevant parties to maximize media coverage.
6) Promote on social media
While a social media post may not be as in-depth as an article or written blog post, social media has a tremendous effect on a company’s fortune and the popularity of its app. A targeted advertising strategy on various social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter combines digital marketing with more traditional “word of mouth” methods, such as promoting and reposting people who use the app. Once people start talking about an app, the app itself will begin to gain traction as it gains more followers. Companies that gain enough traction will also achieve success.
The key to using social media properly is to go where your target audience is. For example, let’s assume your app targets specific age groups. In that case, you would need to identify the social platforms that are the most popular with the people in your target demographic and focus on them.
7) Create a content marketing strategy
Along with having a website and promoting on social media, companies need to create a content marketing strategy to establish authority in their niche with followers. There are many benefits to having a content marketing strategy, some include; driving traffic, conversions, and brand awareness; creating a brand around the app by being an expert in your niche; building trust with users through content; using blog content for email marketing to re-engage contacts or for social media.
8) Optimize your app store page
App Store Optimization involves a company optimizing their App Store page to rank higher in search results and convert at a higher rate. Reports have shown that 65% of apps are discovered from a direct search in the App Store. The higher an app ranks, the more visible it is to potential users. The increased visibility will lead to more downloads, which will help get the app noticed by editors. Optimizing effectively depends on a few factors, which include title and choice of keywords.
A great title should hook users in and get them to click on the app to discover more information and features. Keywords should also be strategically placed in the title for best results and should also be included through the listing so that the company shows up when users search for keywords.
9) Establish two-way communication/ Push Notifications
Once the app has been launched, the brand needs to establish two-way communication. This is because the more aligned the app experience is with a user’s needs and preferences, the more likely it is that a user will continue using the product. Studies have shown that brands that use in-app messages to communicate with users will see higher user retention. In-app messages don’t require a lot of effort on the part of the app developers. These are notifications that do not require immediate action but do provide a call-to-action at some stage. They can include warnings about app issues, payment failures, or version upgrades.
Another way to increase user retention is through push notifications. Statistics have shown that companies using push notifications have boosted user retention from 56% to 180%. Also, giving users an incentive to use an app can go a long way. Using mobile-specific rewards, specialized content access, coupons, special promotions, and other offers will help drive conversions and encourage engagement.
10) Ask users for feedback/ Get reviews
When people use your app consistently, this is a sign that they have made a connection with the product. As the app developer, you should allow them to express their opinions with a popup invitation to leave a review. Even so, you should remember that this tactic should not sacrifice user experience. App developers need to think about when and how they want to ask for a review and make sure it flows well with the user experience. The more strategically the popup is placed, the better the chances are for positive reviews.
11) Use influencers
Influencers, also referred to as key opinion leaders, are the newest version of the traditional celebrity endorsement. However, instead of convincing celebrities to use and talk about a product, companies can get social media influencers to promote their product on their pages. At the moment, the only thing that carries more word-of-mouth influence than a positive referral from someone a customer knows is a positive endorsement from someone well-known and admired. For a brand, collaborating with influencers is often much cheaper than securing a celebrity endorsement and can be a lot more effective when done correctly.
12) Monitor Results
Finally, once the app is on, and the marketing is underway; this does not mean that marketing efforts are over. Companies need to keep a close eye on their key performance indicators as the launch moves ahead. By closely monitoring how people use an app, reviewing the user feedback they obtain, and being attentive and responsive to the input, companies can quickly address any bugs and keep building meaningful features.
In order to monitor your growth effectively as an app developer, you should also monitor analytics coming from your marketing efforts to see what strategies are yielding more traction and adjust the less effective ones.
A mobile app is now an essential thing for companies that want to remain relevant in the digital landscape. Nevertheless, it is not enough to just build an amazing app. On the contrary, your success as an app developer relies more heavily on you having an effective mobile app marketing strategy to help you differentiate yourself from the competition. Whether you choose to do this on your own or with the help of professionals, it is essential to develop a clear picture of every stage of the process so that you know what to do if problems arise.