How to market app
App marketing is a relatively unexplored area and as such, can often present a bit of a speed bump for developers. It can be argued that a good marketing campaign is as essential to app creation as bug fixes and user testing, however it often gets overlooked.
We recommend that you start thinking about your marketing plan as early as possible to ensure you get the most out of your app and to ensure your download figures represent all the hard work you put into making it. If you have no experience of marketing, just reading a few books around the subject can help you get a grasp of the basics.
However, we know that when you’re short on time, money and manpower (or all of the above!) getting a fully comprehensive marketing campaign into action can be difficult. That’s why we have chosen 7 simple things you can do to market your app and increase your download figures.
1. Supporting Websites and Webpages
Ideally your app should have it’s own website or a single page on a website. Even a single page, good looking website is enough to create a professional image, reinforce your brand and therefore give your app credibility.
Example: The TwoDots app has a simple website that has a brief description of the app, a link to download it, some screen shots and some bonus material such as downloadable wallpapers etc.
2. Create a Twitter Account
If your app is a game or something that stands alone, people generally expect them to have their own twitter pages. If your app is related to a business or an organisation, then people will expect the organisation to have their own twitter pages. Having a twitter page allows you to advertise for free, grow your audience and most importantly – collect user feedback and provide user help and information.
3. Get to Know the App Store & Google Play
Take the time to research the App Store and/or Google Play. Ultimately, no matter what marketing activities you do, your audience will always end up here and how your app looks to a prospective downloader is of utmost importance. Look at other apps you like and apps that you hate. What do they have in common? What information do they include? Use as much visual stimulus from your app as you can; screenshots and videos are an excellent medium. Write a good description and name your app appropriately. Tools such as AppTweak can analyse your app store data and advise you on the things you should change.
4. Have a Launch Party
Not only is this step really important for getting the word out about your app, it’s also important for you to celebrate all the work you have done in creating it. If you can, invite journalists, bloggers and a good cross sample of your target audience. Structure your evening, keep speeches short and sweet and provide some food and drink for your guests. If you can, send them away with a goodie bag or treat which has something fun and useful that’s relevant to your app – some touch screen gloves and a print out with a QR code on, for example.
5. Be where your audience is
Use your common sense and select your marketing avenues according to your target audience. It’s great having a twitter account to advertise, but not if your app is aimed at toddlers. Conduct some audience research and find out where they go, what they read and what they listen to. It may just be that a well placed advertisment in a local magazine would generate more interest than a blog post on your Facebook page.
6. Think outside the box
We know it’s cliche but a good bit of lateral thinking can do wonders for a marketing campaign. Is your app aimed at cyclists? Why not get out on the streets and attach flyers to peoples handlebars? Hire a street artist and have a mural or graffiti piece done in the city centre. Hold a flashmob whilst someone hands out information. This is the time you can have some fun with your marketing and inject the same creativity and enthusiasm into it as you did creating your app.
7. Keep it up!
There’s no point firing on all cannons for a couple of weeks over your launch period and then going quiet. Start drip feeding information about your app before you launch (remember, most Journalists receive press releases 8,6,4,2 and 1 week before launch and their diaries fill up many months in advance!) Build interest and build your audience, that way when you launch you already have a dedicate section of people engaging with your content. Don’t be afraid to ask public questions during the build. Can’t decide whether to include a certain function or not? Ask and find out! This way, you’re giving your audience what they want as well showing that you’re prepared to listen and respond.
After your launch you can then keep up to date with your users, run competitions and inform people about bugs and fixes. Also, should you ever decide to make another app you already have a good following of people to help you promote it.