Smartphones are the most common device in today’s world, but app developers still need to develop a systematic app marketing strategy to get the attention of smartphone owners. With nearly half of the global population owning a smartphone, it is clear that apps are the future of mobile marketing. For this reason, developers who can successfully build and launch an app are well-positioned to profit from smartphone owners.
These devices allow people worldwide to do more than just communicate efficiently; they also enable them to shop online, pay bills, shop, and even control other devices remotely.
When mobile technology ignited in the last decade, apps that were developed to endorse branded products became mainstream.
On the other hand, ease-of-use is also the reason for increased competition among app developers. So much so that nearly 6 million apps are available on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, with 80% of them being used once and then deleted. As more apps enter the market, persuading users to try a new app and stick with it can become a Herculean task.
With over four million apps users downloading apps on the world’s biggest app stores, most developers know that standing out in today’s app market requires a precise marketing plan. While focusing on mobile app development and producing a functional app is critical, your efforts will be vain if people are unaware that the app exists.
Mobile app marketing involves all user interactions from the moment a user first learns about a product to when they become a committed user. Effectively marketing a mobile app involves defining a target audience, learning how to reach them, communicating, and analyzing dynamic in-app behavior to make continuous improvements as users progress through the acquisition funnel. Finally, you should create a dynamic marketing strategy aimed at users who will engage frequently and become committed product supporters.
What is mobile app marketing?
When you’re developing a marketing strategy for your mobile app, you’re essentially guiding app users through the five main stages of the mobile app marketing funnel:
- Exposure/Discovery: At this stage, you will introduce your application to potential users.
- Consideration: Here, you need to engage your target audience by crafting engaging marketing messages, providing information about the application, emphasizing its value, and highlighting its competitive advantages.
- Conversion: This stage calls for tactics aimed at convincing prospects to download your app and nurturing them through the onboarding process.
- Customer Relationship Management: This stage requires you to listen to and respond to your customers.
- Retention: At this stage, you need to ensure that your users are satisfied with the application and the user experience. Give them reasons to keep using your app, such as new content, features, and a seamless user experience.
As you can see, mobile app marketing is an ongoing activity that guides new users through the marketing funnel to produce downloads, transactions, and long-term engagement. Experts in mobile app marketing frequently refer to this process as the mobile engagement loop.
Why is mobile app marketing important?
Creating an excellent mobile product for your company is only half the battle.
It’s true that more than 87% of Americans own a smartphone, and mobile apps are unquestionably the future of marketing.
On the other hand: more than 65% of small businesses and nearly all major brand companies have developed a mobile application. Global app development spending reached $28.1 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach almost $35 billion in 2022.
Depending on your product’s niche, you will face stiff competition from hundreds of thousands of similar apps. As if that weren’t bad enough, you only have 8 seconds to capture an online user’s attention and persuade them to download your product. That’s a lot of competition in a market that’s becoming increasingly crowded.
How to create a mobile app marketing strategy in 2022
The awareness or pre-launch stage
The awareness stage of your mobile app occurs before you launch the product. This stage is designed to increase brand awareness and product visibility. How will you make sure that target users find your mobile app? Before embarking on the awareness stage, it is critical to grasp your brand’s messaging and positioning. Customers are drawn to a brand by its values and purpose rather than individual product features. Defining a brand position allows users to connect with your product on a more personal level.
At this stage, you need to follow these steps:
1) Determine the release date
In comparison to Google, Apple has a strict review process that may cause your release to be delayed, or you may encounter an unexpected setback. Planning ahead of time will give you enough time to prepare for your product’s hard launch and allow you to anticipate and plan for any contingencies that may arise.
2) Conduct market research
One of the most common pre-launch failures is failing to conduct adequate market research. It matters little how thorough your marketing is. If your app does not address a user pain-point or addresses a pain-point for which there is already a thriving app solution in the market, your product will fail. Before starting any development work, you must first identify the key players in your app category.
3) Create buyer personas
During the awareness stage, one of the most important goals is to figure out who your target user is, what they value, and what pain point of theirs your solution will solve. A mobile app can have multiple user groups, and each buyer persona will have its own buyer journey.
A buyer persona is a made-up profile of your ideal customer. These personas take into consideration the customer’s demographics, background, mobility preferences, interests, and unique identifiers. Buyer personas also cover the user’s significant goals and highlight the issues they are currently facing. In-depth buyer personas serve as the foundation for the buyer journey, allowing you to tailor every aspect of your mobile product to the preferences and needs of each of your users.
In order for users to install and keep using your app, your target audience must be pleased with everything.
This includes the branding and in-app content to the functionality, features, platform choices, and monetization strategy. By thoroughly outlining your target audience using buyer personas, you can answer critical questions that guide your entire marketing strategy.
4) Conduct competitive analysis
Your app will face stiff competition. Consider making a list of your brand’s top five competitors, including their current price, monetization plan, app store rating, UX strengths and cons, and notable reviews. You could even create a competitive matrix to see how your app stacks up against the competition. Ensure that the mobile app does not repeat any poorly designed features or UX elements that have received negative feedback from users. These are critical considerations that should guide your entire app marketing strategy.
5) Create a landing page
Mobile websites are the most prevalent source of app downloads. It has become industry standard to create a pre-launch landing page or, at the very least, a teaser video for your product. You can repurpose a video you made for your website by uploading it to app stores, social networking sites, or even paid commercials. A pre-launch landing page or website is a great way to do some early search engine optimization (SEO). In addition to building your domain authority, designing a landing page or website is a good way to create a buzz around your app.
Once you’ve set this website or landing page up, encourage people to give you their email addresses. This way, you can add them to your mailing list for email marketing. You can use email newsletters to keep your subscribers updated and let them know when the mobile app launches as well as when you have new updates and features. It is also beneficial to display 5-star reviews on the site; however, make sure the reviews are genuine, or your brand will appear insincere.
6) Outreach initiatives
Outreach is among the most overlooked aspects of marketing a new mobile app. Some effective outreach initiatives include contacting influencers, publications, and bloggers to secure backlinks and provide honest reviews. To do outreach successfully, you need to make a list of contacts in your industry or niche who may be interested in writing about and reviewing your app. Send each of these people a pitch introducing your app. Keep your pitch brief and include a link to your press kit or landing page. That way, if they want to write about your app, they’ll have all of the information they need.
7) Develop a content marketing strategy
You should begin writing content for your blog months before you plan to launch. Begin with a simple launch post in which you boast about the app’s features and display screenshots and videos. When the time comes to fine-tune your approach, you’ll already be a recognized expert in your field, with a large following.
Do you need help creating content that’ll help your mobile app to stand out? The PR experts at Pressfarm can help you do that! The PR specialists, expert writers, and certified designers at Pressfarm can develop professional press releases, compelling guest posts, and creative media kits that will help your brand to make a splash in its industry.
In addition to creating quality content for your brand, Pressfarm also has what it takes to distribute this content widely. By submitting your content to the right media outlets and startup directories, the team at Pressfarm can boost your online visibility and ensure that you feature in relevant search results across different search engines.
With a media database populated by over 1 million media contacts across industries, the Pressfarm team also ensures that you can continue doing media outreach for your brand long after they’ve wrapped up your campaign. With Pressfarm, you can not only get quality content but also win more clients over.
The acquisition stage
When someone is ready to download your app, you know they’ve reached the acquisition stage. The possibilities with a user acquisition strategy are limitless. It is crucial to experiment with various methods, be creative, and constantly refine your approach. In the first week after launch, try to get as many downloads as possible. The faster your app is downloaded, the higher it will rank in the App Store search results. As users begin to download your app, it is critical that you track where the downloads are coming from. This allows you to concentrate on the most profitable channels while improving the others.
Here are some things you can try to do to maximize conversions and boost user engagement at this stage:
1) Paid strategy
As soon as you’ve launched your app, you should also launch advertisements such as ads on social media networks like LinkedIn, which are incredibly efficient for user acquisition. You should also consider using other sites, like Instagram and Twitter, depending on your target audience. These platforms have a limited reach but are nonetheless helpful, especially if you’re targeting millennials. LinkedIn’s ad platform is excellent for allowing businesses to target specific audiences based on their interests, location, and other factors. If you’re targeting your audience with social ads, keep in mind that people’s attention spans are short, so your ads should convey the purpose of the product in a few seconds. If you’re offering your users a solution to a common problem, Google Search ads could be a good option. Your ad should then pop up when people search for a solution on Google.
2) App store optimization (ASO)
App Store Optimization involves optimizing your App Store page to appear higher in search results and convert more frequently. Over 65% of apps are discovered through a direct search in the App Store. When your app ranks high in search for a specific keyword, it will continue to rank for months. The higher the app ranks in the search results, the more visible it is to potential users. Finally, increased visibility should result in more downloads, which will help editors notice your app. A variety of factors, including title and keyword selection, contribute to effective app store optimization. A great title is an opportunity to pique users’ interest and entice them to download your app to learn more.
The retention stage
To maximize your impact at this stage, you should create a retention marketing strategy to convert your new customers into long-term customers. If no one uses the app after first downloading it, the app won’t generate revenue. The following are some strategies for increasing retention:
1) Establish two-way communication
The more closely your app experience matches a user’s needs and preferences, the more likely the user is to keep using it. Brands that use in-app messages to communicate with users generally increase user retention by 10-15% within 28 days of receiving a message.
In-app messages usually come in the form of push notifications that do not require immediate action but are still essential. These can include app-related warnings, payment failures, or version upgrades. Not every message you send will interest every user. By segmenting your audience, you can ensure that the information they receive is relevant to them.
You should also make it easy for users to contact you if they run into a problem. If possible, put a support team in place to deal with complaints and technical issues. By creating this channel of communication, you can act on bugs and glitches in the app before people get really frustrated and go looking for an alternative app to meet their needs.
2) Enable push notifications
Push notifications have been shown to increase user retention, with success rates ranging from a 56% to a 180%. This is good news for you because the higher your retention rate, the higher your app store ranking. App developers who have enabled push notifications have 88% higher app engagement than those who have not.
Giving users a reason to use your app can also be beneficial. Mobile-specific rewards, specialized exclusive content access, coupons, special promotions, and other offers will aid in conversions and engagement.
Since push notifications have the highest open rate of any messaging medium, you should capitalize on using them as a marketing tactic. In fact, according to an E-goi study, 90% of push notifications are opened, compared to only 68.9% of emails opened by users.
Your app can use push notifications to notify users of new product updates, events, posts, and more, even if the currently active user is not using the app. For this reason, when you launch your app or you release new updates, you should use this strategy – you might even re-engage dormant users!
Overselling is a critical component of any marketing strategy. By far, the most effective method for marketing any mobile app is word of mouth. However, if you want to leverage the power of word of mouth, then you can’t make false claims or overpromise because – if you do – people will be sure to tell each other about it.
You must also ensure that your messaging is consistent, otherwise, you will end up with frustrated users and a high uninstall rate. It is critical to diversify your marketing strategy when developing a mobile app marketing strategy so that you can connect with a wide audience. After all, some people will connect with video, while others will connect with images or text. Create a variety of content and ensure that app reviewers have easy access to it at all times.
Remember that your strategy should be iterative and that continuous optimization will be the key to finding the perfect balance between different approaches. Defining KPIs is one of the most vital things to do when considering marketing an app. Tracking the proper metrics at each stage of the user journey will help you to identify potential bottlenecks that prevent users from progressing from the first to the final step. While evaluating your approach, it is critical to always focus on real-time data and use it to analyze and optimize your app’s performance.