Building application is one thing, making people use it or at least know it is completely different. There are thousands of applications being released daily, but only some of them (and the number is really small) get any attention or appreciation. For reaching success, promotion is such an important thing that it should sit next to coding in your high priority to-do list.
Some people believe that promotion is simply an advertising campaign that should be started upon the launch of the product. However, such approach leads to the most fatal failures. Actually, promotion has to start long before the launch, and definitely before the advertising campaign of a done-and-ready product. Most startups that are now successful began working hard to create hype at the earliest stages.
In case you don’t have a marketing team, it’s time to consider hiring one. If there is no chance to hire such a team, you can try and make an iphone app marketing strategy from scratch by yourself. Want to know how it’s done? Not too easy, but with some effort you sure can manage. Here we will provide you with some actionable tips that might come handy or at least give you a proper direction to move.
1.Start early (really early, we mean it!)
There are many different app marketing strategies, but all of them need to begin as early as about 6 month before a planned launch of an application. It does not matter what application you are working on, it can be entertainment, real estate or banking, but the first rule of the app promotion sounds as “Start early!”.
First of all, planning an application, you define your target audience. These are the potential users that should know about your app long before it is actually ready to be used. Make some of these users participate in the process of development. They will bring you valuable feedback at the same time spreading the word about you.
One of the ways (and probably the easiest one) to reach this audience is through social networks. Twitter or Facebook are great for sharing; thus, more people can hear the news and hopefully create some hype around your company and product.
Tip: Find your potential users, make them care and let them spread the word.
2. Press releases and sneak-peeks
Social networks are great, but there are also media portals that should not be left out. Pre-launch press releases are mostly concentrated on the reasons and motives, not the application itself. You articulate the problem and suggest the possibility of solution. The more people relate to it, the better. Let them know that you are already working on making their lives better. It is likely that they will remember you, or at least your company name will ring the bell next time they heat it (which is a good thing as people tend to trust familiar names).
The second part is about sneak-peeks and trailers. Some well-designed materials can warm up the market towards your application. Work on a short video explaining how you are going to solve a problem. Create a landing page describing the UX/UI of your app and the reasons why it is to be amazing. Or go bigger and build a whole site aggregating all the details about the future application. Make it look good and suggest potential users to subscribe to the news. There might be not much actual news (so don’t be scared that you’ll have to write newsletters too often), but you will see how many users are actually hooked right away. By the way, it’s also one of the ways of checking the whole idea for sustainability.
Tip: Create press-releases to tell what problem you are solving and share some sneak-peek trailers. Keep in mind to be careful and not open too much to your competitors!
3. Work on image again and again
Marketing strategies for mobile apps should be developed with no weekends. Business identity is important enough to invest time in it. Seriously, company style should be thought through up to the smallest details. Get yourself a memorable name, spend some time on creating logo, find some catchy words to describe the solution or add mystery or address warm memories or whatever else might be suitable in your particular case.
Also, pay attention to the app store marketing as it’s often mistakenly underestimated. App description should also be ready long before the app is on the app store. As well as all the keywords that will bring your potential customers to you. Don’t hesitate to research paying attention to already successful competitors.
Tip: Think about all the details that help to sell: name, logo, description, keywords, etc.
4. Let people know the dates and announce a giveaway campaign
When you say that application will be released some time by the end of the year means something only to those who are really interested. Most people have other concerns to think about and to wait for. Be more specific. Set the date (at least approximate) and fortify it with the giveaway announcement. This is something to remember! If you set a banner on your website and suggest people to leave their e-mails for updates about a giveaway, they are most likely to fill in the forms (if they are at least somewhat interested in the app, of course).
Tip: Warm up the interest by announcing dates and a giveaway to make people follow your progress.
5. Make good first impression
In the world where hundreds of apps get launched daily, the first impression is often the last one. You will have no second chances here, so delight your users from the first touch. It doesn’t matter whether they have high expectation or just download to check it out, the first interaction should be outstanding and exciting. This is where it’s good to have a logo that you’ve been promoting for months in advance, or a catchy phrase that can make users feel like they are home.
Think through all the details. You can make users feel appreciated by being polite and using phrases like “welcome back” and “we will miss you”. Suggest guidelines or help of support team, but don’t push it. Keep the balance to be helpful but not annoying.
6. Don’t wait too long to release an update
It’s always better to start early and add more features or updates on the way. First of all, there is always a risk that competitors come up with something similar and steal your portion of glory. Secondly, your potential users are looking forward to the solution you develop (hopefully), so don’t make them wait too long.
Another reason for keeping some features for later is that if you pack all at once, users will have nothing to expect from you. More to that, they might not even notice everything if you add too much. The level of excitement will fade away, and you will have nothing to continue with.
To avoid such problem, release sooner and upgrade more regularly. It might keep the level of excitement for a while (at least until people get used to using your app). Also, users will look forward to interesting updates and keep their hands on the pulse of your company, which is always a plus.
Tip: Don’t make users wait for the applications, better make them look forward uploading regular updates (not bugs fixing, but useful features updates).
7. Invite the king (meaning the content)
Smart marketing strategies for mobile apps include the content strategies. Don’t underestimate the necessity of a good blog dedicated to your product. It serves many purposes, such as growing fan base, helping people find you through search systems, generating interest towards our updates, building the authority in the industry, representing the ideas of your company and many more. If you add the possibility to comment, you can even start discussing hot topics with your customers right there, on your blog.
No matter what your first priority motives are, good content strategy has never harmed a business. Once your blog becomes popular, you can even set the trends and influence the market. However, this is not something to start with. To initiate good blog, think about value it can bring to your potential clients. Once you find it, the rest will be just a question of some time and effort.
Tip: Make a blog and keep your content interesting, useful and up-to-date.
8. Pay attention to speed
Asking how to create effective app marketing strategy, some people keep in mind only promotional activities that do not even require communication with the developer or the application itself, for that matter. This is wrong as development and marketing usually go hand in hand. Here is the example.
Everyone likes fast apps, and nobody will ever use those apps that work slowly. They are likely to be deleted right away no matter how great the logo or blog is. If for some reasons there are some problems with speed, you (as a marketing specialist) need to explain it to users and somehow underline the most persuasive motive for this fact. Make sure you know all the technical issues, do what you can to get rid of them, and communicate any problems timely.
Tip: Pay attention to technical details and communicate with developers in order to solve all the issues early.
9. Work on hype some more
We have already discussed building hype before the app is even launched. But none of the stages of app marketing strategies can be thrown away with the marked checkbox. Creating hype is a continuous task (or at least it should be). The first wave is long gone, so it is time to work on more. Keep getting in touch with tech platforms that can introduce you to new people or excite somebody new with your ideas. Never give up on this task as people often rely on recommendations online before actually downloading something. The recommendations should better be recent and truthful.
Tip: Make them talk about you and never stop it. People prefer using apps that are used and discussed by others.
11. Get support of opinion leaders or celebrities
This advice logically comes from the previous one. Imagine how many new users you can get if Beyoncé twits something about your app? However, it depends on your sphere and its heroes. Sometimes it’s easier to find interested celebrities, sometimes it’s harder, but anyway, it’s always worth trying.
Opinion leaders are also great. They usually have tons of followers, so you can basically reach millions by contacting just one. The best option is to make opinion leaders really like your application. It is the strategy that Nike uses, for example. And this strategy really works.
Tip: Credibility is something that can be earned by contacting right people.
11. Pay attention to feedback
Mobile app marketing plan should be also flexible enough to somewhat depend on customers’ feedback. And consider this feedback important. As you know, the higher rate your app has, the more likely it will be downloaded. So, don’t forget to ask your customers rate the app. It will give you the chance to catch any issues early and unhappy users to the happy ones.
Also, you can catch a moment when advertising gets too annoying or anything like that to improve the situation before losing any more people. Invest your time in analysis of feedback, and you will get benefit out of it.
Tip: Listen to your customers and adapt your strategy.
You can combine techniques in order to make your app marketing strategy more effective and actionable, but make sure not to use all at once. Simply concentrate on caring about your customers and their needs as people tend to feel such things.
The most important thing is not a number of downloads, but a number of happy users whose problems are solved by your application. Retain your users by adding value to their lives, by great user experience and by 100% convenience. Effective marketing strategy can add to these factors, help them reach wider audience and increase the number of downloads.
So, before planning a marketing strategy, learn more about iOS and Android interface guidelines to base your application on the solid ground. Make it really appealing, and smart marketing strategy will take you straight to success.
If you need help building and promoting your app, consider contacting Lunapps. The team of professionals can provide you with consultation on how to start, how to continue and – most importantly – how to make it work for your benefit.