The mobile app market is like a crowded Moroccan bazaar, with an overwhelming number of vendors vying for attention. Apple’s App Store had just over 2.2 million apps as of March 2017, and the Google Play store currently has approximately 2.8 million.
With millions of apps vying for attention, it’s crucial to consider how to market an app against its competition. The challenge is clear: How can developers help users find their apps? Here are five app marketing strategies to consider.
1. Take Advantage of App-Store Optimization (ASO)
The title of your app is the single most important meta-data factor influencing how your app will rank in Apple’s App Store, Google Play, and Amazon’s App Store. Keywords in an app’s title help increase its ranking and 65% of downloads come directly from a search on the App Store. This is why you often see long app titles with descriptive keywords, such as Clear – Tasks, Reminders & To-Do Lists.
Apple’s App Store also ranks apps based on their keyword field, which provides about 100 characters. Instead of a keyword field, Google Play uses an app’s description for ranking purposes.
The number of downloads and reviews, as well as user star ratings, also play a role in ranking.
2. Use Advertising to Acquire Users
Effective, targeted ads can help you get new users quickly. For instance, Facebook enables businesses to affordably amplify their profile, status updates and ads, and to target users by age, geographic location, interests and other demographics. You can create different ads to appeal to different target audiences.
Google AdWords Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads are another option, and Google offers mobile ads to target users while they’re on their mobile device.
Also, performance-based advertising campaigns can help you increase installs. For example, in a Cost-Per-Install (CPI) campaign, you place digital ads throughout a variety of media. You’re only charged when your application is installed.
For more about CPI and other forms of advertising to drive app installations, see What is Cost-Per-Install Advertising?
3. Put Out a Press Release
Alerting the press can help raise awareness of your app during its crucial launch period. Create a compelling press release that clearly and succinctly explains the benefits of your app and how it differs from others.
Tell a story. What will your app enable users to do that they couldn’t do before? Provide an informative executive quote journalists and bloggers will want to use. Avoid overused jargon such as “game-changing.” Post your release using paid services such as PRWeb and Business Wire, which provide wide distribution and analytics.
4. Drive Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is key to app marketing, so you might consider offering users an incentive to spread the word about you. For example, the cloud syncing and storage service Dropbox ran a campaign that rewarded existing users with additional free storage space when they shared the service on Facebook and Twitter. New users who accepted the referrals were also rewarded with extra space. The campaign increased Dropbox signups by 60 percent, according to the company’s CEO, Drew Houston.
5. Add Social Media Hooks to Your App
Many users like to share what they’re doing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social networks. Fitness apps make it easy to show friends the stats from your recent run, for instance. When users share what they’ve done with your app on social media, they’re spreading the word about your app to more people.
For more user acquisition tips and tricks, download our eBook, App Marketing 101: 12 Ways to Help Users Discover Your Mobile App.