With nearly 4 million apps available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, users have plenty of options for mobile shopping, entertainment, health, productivity, finances, and other services. As more and more apps become available on the market, it’s more important than ever for small business owners and marketers to create marketing strategies specific to their mobile apps.
All it takes is a bit of traction for your app to gain visibility and for more people to find and use it. So, how can you set your app apart in an increasingly crowded marketplace?
Here are 12 tips you can use to increase your downloads and boost engagement with your mobile app.
1. Choose a well-designed app icon
Consumers are driven by visual cues. That means your app icon should be more than an afterthought. Your app’s icon is the first thing that a potential customer sees in an app store, so make sure you invest in creating one that’s visually appealing.
The icon you choose should be both recognizable and eye-catching. It needs to be a clear representation of both your brand and the function of your app. In other words, your icon should give users a strong idea of what they’re going to get once they download and open your app.
2. Prioritize app store optimization
Most marketers know about search engine optimization (SEO), but app creators who want more downloads need to get up to speed on app store optimization (ASO).
The two are similar, but ASO is specifically tailored to increase the visibility of your app in the marketplace.
- Keyword relevance: One of the most important things you can do is optimize the keywords you use in your app’s title and description. Use Google’s AdWords keyword tool or a keyword tracker like Sensor Tower or App Radar to identify the most relevant search terms.
- Categories: When you submit your app to an app store, choose your categories wisely and strategically. Make sure you select a category that’s relevant to your app but not overly saturated.
- App downloads: The number of people who download your app is going to affect your overall rankings.
- Positive reviews: As you get more positive feedback about your app, it will be ranked more highly, which will naturally improve download numbers. Prompting in-app reviews at key moments can help boost those reviews.
- Location: Consider where your target audience is located and tailor your app description for those areas. That might mean translating your app store description into another language or selecting images that are relevant to and appropriate for that region.
- App use: Your app ranking is impacted by how many people use your app, as well as the percentage of people who download it and then uninstall it. So make sure you’re engaging with your app users on a regular basis.
- Social proof: The popularity of your app on social media can affect its ranking. Build a new social media account for your app or incorporate it into your company’s posts.
3. Launch a website and blog
Effective mobile app marketing requires more than just creating a good app—you also need to make sure it’s easy to find. According to marketing expert Neil Patel, you can expand the reach of your app and better target your potential customers by linking it to a website and blog.
The web is usually the first place people go to search for solutions to their problems. Whether they’re looking for help with shopping, scheduling, productivity, or entertainment, you’re missing a large portion of your audience if you don’t have visibility on search engines.
You can set up an SEO-optimized website that expands on the information you provide in your app store listing. Consider including a blog on your site so that you can showcase different uses for your app and help you get the attention of users searching for topics related to your services.
4. Create a demo video
Not everyone will understand all the benefits of your app just from reading a simple description or viewing a few screenshots. Another way you can showcase your app and increase downloads is to create a demo video.
Make a simple, 30-second video that illustrates the what, how, and why of your app. Place extra emphasis on usability and the most popular features of your product. Once you’ve produced your video, share it on your website and social media channels, and don’t forget to add it to your app store listing.
5. Measure with attribution tools and analytics
You can make the most of your marketing efforts by measuring and attributing downloads so you can learn and invest in the channels that are most effective and make the necessary adjustments to the ones not working as well.
A mobile attribution tool helps you tie the installation of your app to a single ad type, target audience, or platform so that you can optimize your marketing efforts. Some examples of widely used mobile attribution platforms are Adjust, AppsFlyer, and Kochava.
6. Use mobile communication channels
Another technique you can use is connecting with your existing users directly on mobile. Whether it’s in-app messaging or push notifications, mobile-specific channels allow you to reach your users at just the right time with a targeted message.
Consider pointing them to a new feature you’ve released or prompting them with tips in a part of the app that may be hard to navigate. You can also have current users help you market your app by using in-app messaging and push notifications that encourage them to share on social media, refer a friend, or leave feedback in the app store. These are great ways to continue engaging users and promote your app, giving it the boost it needs to go viral.
7. Leverage in-app tracking
The data you collect from your current users can help you improve your product and your marketing tactics to increase the downloads of and engagement with your app.
With in-app tracking, you can better understand your users’ behavior and preferences. Are they uninstalling your app at a certain point? How often does the average user log in, and for how long? Are there some features that seem to get more use than others? Are there any common usability issues that you need to address?
There are a variety of in-app tracking tools you can use, and most begin with the installation of a software development kit (SDK) that allows you to connect to your app data. Many have features like custom tagging and behavior tracking to give you the information you need to improve the user experience and increase downloads.
8. Create deep links to your app
Another way you can substantially increase the downloads of your app is to create deep links into your app that allow users to easily drop into the mobile experience. Companies like Branch and Kochava offer this service, which allows for a more seamless experience of moving from web to app. This makes your mobile app both more visible and more accessible to users no matter which platform they find you on. They can also help you track the analytics behind it, allowing you to understand where and how users are encountering your app.
9. Promote on social media
There are more than 3.5 billion social media users worldwide, so it’s important to promote your app on one or more of these platforms. According to Mobile App Daily, over 70% of online businesses use social media for their mobile app marketing. But where do you begin?
Your first step should be to identify your audience. If your target is other businesses or industry professionals, you might want to promote your app on LinkedIn or Twitter. Facebook and Instagram, on the other hand, are great for attracting individual consumers who have shown interest in products or services similar to yours.
Then, you can create hashtagged social media campaigns to generate a prelaunch buzz, grow brand awareness, or promote new and improved features.
- Use a combination of sponsored stories and promoted posts targeted to mobile news feeds via Facebook.
- Use promoted tweets on Twitter to drive mobile app downloads.
- Explore influencer marketing, particularly on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.
- Run contests to get people to try your app.
- Encourage user-generated content to illustrate the value of your app.
- Use platforms like Quora and Reddit to position yourself as a niche authority.
10. Consider ad retargeting
One of the many benefits of having a dedicated website for your app is that you can use retargeting to run ads geared toward people who have paid you a visit but not yet committed to a download. Those on-the-fence visitors will begin seeing ads reminding them about your app on Google, Facebook, and other websites that support Google Ads.
According to ReadyCloud, people who see retargeting ads are up to 70% more likely to convert, and these types of ads have a click-through rate that’s about 10 times higher than display ads.
11. Encourage reviews and testimonials
Once a potential user finds your app, they might need some convincing that your service is reliable and valuable enough to download. This is where reviews can be useful.
More positive user feedback will raise the visibility of your app and improve its rankings. According to Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising Survey, consumers trust word-of-mouth recommendations, such as user reviews, over other types of advertising. Encourage user reviews through in-app messages or follow-up emails when users have a moment of success in your app like completing a task or making a purchase.
12. Don’t forget about email marketing
While there are many ways to promote a digital product or service, email marketing remains the most efficient form of digital marketing. One recent study found that for every $1 spent, email marketing has an average return on investment of about $51.
Once you’ve created a website and blog dedicated to your app, you can create an embedded sign-up form or use a landing page to collect the emails of interested prospects. You can share content from your blog or relevant articles to continue engaging those prospects until they convert and then onboard them properly with a welcome email series. When you approach email marketing strategically, you can expect a promising conversion rate.
Set your app up for success
Whether consumers need help completing a particular task or are just looking to pass the time, they’ll find plenty of apps to help them get what they want. Make sure your app is the one they turn to. Use a combination of these mobile app marketing tips to put your brand at the front of the pack and increase your downloads.