How to market your app
There were about 130 billion app downloads in 2020.

In August 2020, about 111,000 new apps were added to Google Play Store alone!

To put the fierce competition on the app market in perspective with its size, let’s dwell on the fact that during the course of 2020 global app downloads hit 130 billion.

In this article, we will learn how to market an app by discussing 5 highly-effective mobile app marketing strategies to better position your app and boost its visibility.

We will also touch upon:

  • The most common challenges in mobile app marketing
  • 5 versatile app marketing platforms to use in 2022
  • Several app marketing finetuning strategies that will further expand your reach and boost your app’s success in download stores

Let’s get right to it!

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What Are Common Mobile App Marketing Challenges And How To Overcome Them?

Before looking into how to market an app and before we review the best platforms for app marketing, let us briefly touch upon a few reappearing challenges with app marketing and assess their solutions.

  • Not having a mobile app marketing strategy: Handling app marketing yourself can get in the way of your other business activities. Due to time limitations, many entrepreneurs execute marketing strategies without fully developing them - which can come at great cost in missed opportunities and excessive expenditures. Your business can overcome this challenge by considering how going for in-house marketing or outsourcing to an app marketing agency will affect your budget and your time. It is best to outsource marketing services if there is no expertise and sufficient time for it in-house. App marketing strategy should be developed by setting realistic and measurable goals even before the app itself is fully developed.
  • Lack of focus on user engagement and retention: Coming up with an app idea, developing it and getting users to download it is one thing - but it’s even more challenging to retain those users. In the sea of competition and with mobile devices’ limited memories, users will be very picky when it comes to choosing and keeping apps. Ways to deal with this is through:
    • Integrating app with social channels: Give users an opportunity to share their achievements, creations and views in your app on their social network pages.
    • Focusing on providing value: Whatever your app is about - education, health, fitness tracking, entertainment or cooking - strive to provide amazing content and functionalities and provide it in abundance. Try to regularly survey your audience to provide exactly what they look for.
    • Retargeting: Retarget your potential users who have looked at your app already through personalized messages and ads. 
  • Huge competition makes app discovery difficult: The sheer size of the app market makes it almost a mission impossible not to disappear in a multitude of apps. Ranking high for given keywords to be discovered within the first several search results pages is a difficult feat. Solutions to this are to optimize for better discoverability in app stores, to employ paid ad tactics, to ask for app reviews and to reach out to influencers - all of which we will discuss in more depth right now!
Mobile app marketing
App market will grow at a rate of 18.5% by 2026.

How To Market An App: 5 Best Ways To Promote Your Mobile App

From app store optimization to endorsing influencers, these app marketing strategies are sure to boost your app’s visibility and the total number of downloads.

1. Maximize Your App Visibility By Performing Thorough App Store Optimization

App Store Optimization (ASO) is for mobile apps what Search Engine Optimization is for websites. 

App market is oversaturated and projected to grow at a rate of 18.5% between 2019 and 2026. 

ASO is the most effective app marketing strategy that can help your app be more discoverable and is an effective way of reaching prospective users on App Store and Google Play.

Some of the benefits of ASO are

  • Improved visibility
  • Increase in organic downloads
  • Reach of relevant users
  • Cutting down of user acquisition costs
  • Increase in revenue and conversion rate

The following factors affect ASO the most and are an integral part of mobile app marketing best practices:

  • App name: Must be unique in order to position the app in the store so that it is visible to the majority of users. Once you decide on the name, resist the urge to change it at any point as that can create problems by dropping out of users’ sight. 
  • Keywords: Without “keyword stuffing”, include all the relevant keywords and key phrases in your app description that users will type in to look for apps to download. You can obtain useful clues in this area by researching competitors who were successful in this area.
  • App description: It should very clearly and without any ambiguity describe what your app is about, what its functionalities are and point out the app’s value over similar products.
  • Screenshots and videos: Having several in-app screenshots that showcase the layout, visuals and UI, as well as video of the app, is important - research has shown that a better version of your first two screenshots increases conversions by 25%.
  • App ratings and user reviews: The higher the rating an app has, the higher its conversion rates and the higher its position in app stores’ search results will be. In-app messaging, call to action techniques and push notifications can encourage users to leave a comment and rate the app, while implementing a bug report system or a contact form can minimize the amount of negative feedback.

2. Target Specific Audiences For Higher Returns Through Social Media Advertising

Social media is unavoidable as a mobile app marketing strategy. It allows for targeting potential users by specific interests and various demographics.

If you do your target audience and market research right, you can have a very good idea what kind of users to target on social media - and make sure they are the only ones who see and click on your ads, to minimize advertising cost and boost app downloads.

There are two ways you can use social media for app marketing purposes:

  • Organic: This comes from simply being present on social media by having Facebook and Instagram pages or a YouTube channel. Your app business can gain organic reach by following people in your industry and target audience and connecting with them by posting relevant, meaningful content about your app and encouraging conversation.
  • Paid: Combining organic social media efforts with paid ad campaigns will boost your brand’s visibility and discoverability. Facebook and Instagram, in particular, have a great audience segmentation abilities when advertising, which will lead more people to your app.

3. Use Official Website As A Landing Page And Focal Point For Your App Marketing

In the age of social media, most business managers make the mistake of believing that official websites are redundant and obsolete. This is wrong for many reasons. 

Having a website for your business - and that can also be a promotion of your app - is still very important as it provides these benefits:

  • Legitimacy and credibility: Having a website for your app sends a message of trust and your own level of investment in the app to your prospective users.
  • Constant online presence: A website is like a store that is open non-stop. Your customers can find key info on your app anywhere, anytime.
  • Organic visibility and other SEO perks: With a website that is well optimized for search engines, your app can get to the top of search results and be much more visible to an audience looking for app solutions you provide.
  • Reduced advertising costs: Having a website for an app business reduces the cost of paid advertising significantly since you have a reliable online spot of your own where your app is being constantly advertised - free of charge. 

Having a pre-launch website for your app is great for building domain authority, which is also a good SEO practice.

A website might act as a pre-launch landing page for the app - ideally, with a video that can be re-used by placing it in the app store and on social platforms. 

A website with a call-to-action that entices visitors to leave their emails can be useful for letting them know about your app launch, updates, new features and incoming positive reviews.

4. Create A Buzz Through PRs And Guest Blogging

Using press releases and guest blogging are two great ways to market your app’s release and create buzz and the authority’s credibility around it. 

Press releases such as interviews with relevant media and tech bloggers and guest blogging build an audience.

You can post on a variety of blogs when it comes to marketing your mobile app, such as ones related to your target audience’s niche and blogs about mobile devices - any whose audience would be most likely to download an app. 

Since you shouldn’t use guest blogging to self-promote your business and app, it is advisable to write guest blog posts in a way to steer the topic towards the finale in which you mention your mobile app. 

The reader would be ready to check it out by that point, so make sure you link to app pages on your website, Google Play, App Store, iTunes or any other vendor where your app exists. 

5. Endorse Influencers To Find Unexplored Demographics And Generate Authority

Research shows that eight out of ten consumers make a purchase after they see a recommendation by an influencer.

With that in mind, think about any possible connections in the tech world within your niche you can reach out to or any industry-specific influencer you can contact that would be interested in reviewing your app.

A powerful way to promote your app would be through their blogs and social media channels where droves of new, unexplored potential users await. 

It is important, however, that these influencers align with your app’s target audience to be sure you will actually gain and retain new users.

Also, your pitch to them should be professional and concise and contain a link to your press kit and app landing pages so they have access to all the information they would need for writing an article or a post about your app.

Interested in how to maximize your ROI on your mobile app?
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5 Mobile App Marketing Platforms To Gain More Downloads With In 2021

The online platforms that follow contain plenty of functionalities for app marketing and keeping track of your app’s performance. They are all suited for apps of any niche and size.

1. Betalist Enhances Your App Marketing Strategy With Daily Newsletters 

Betalist home page screenshot
[Source: Betalist]

Betalist is an app marketing platform that is ideal for startups and small businesses that wish to get noticed in a sea of well-established competition. 

This platforms most useful features for mobile app marketers are:

  • Apps displayed in trending and daily columns
  • Easy one-click submit startup option
  • Regional overview of mobile apps and startups
  • Daily digest newsletters with all the newest apps sent directly to users’ inbox

Its community members can find apps according to specific markets and categories, such as Entertainment, Accounting, Email and others, and by browsing the home page for popular and newly added products.

2. Product Hunt’s Mobile App Marketing Strategy Relies On Expert Podcasts

ProductHunt home page screenshot
[Source: ProductHunt]

A platform for sharing and discovering new apps and other types of tech products, with new ones added daily.

Product Hunt makes a large number of individual developers and startups available, as well as:

  • Sending daily emails on top tech products from the day before to subscribers
  • Featured collection of apps
  • A Product Hunt Radio with expert podcasts on how to market and sell app products
  • A listing of makers and deals that is updated regularly

Product Hunt really works as a big market for app developers and marketers to display their products in the most immediate fashion to this platform’s growing community.

3. MixPanel Lets You Create Audience Segments By Following Their Behavior

Mixpanel home page screenshot
[Source: Mixpanel]

A visitor analytics tool that is great for marketing consumer tech such as mobile apps. They provide actionable insights through a very user-friendly interface and analytics services of great capacity.

MixPanel’s marketing features include

  • Sending push notifications, emails and in-app messages to specific user segments
  • Creating said customizable segments by following in-app behavior patterns
  • A/B testing app’s visuals with a simple drag and drop builder tool
  • Create detailed reports by writing javascript code to sort through data

This app marketing platform also lets users get data on any metric or user behavior, get reports on strange spikes in any metric and create simple funnels from any app event.

4. Firebase Uses Retargeting And Push Notifications To Reach Potential Users

[Source: Firebase]

As a Google service, Firebase favors Android apps, but this unified mobile development platform contains marketing and analytics features that you can use to grow your app.

While being a little more technical at its core than the rest of the entries on this list, it does contain useful functionalities such as

  • Sending push notifications to any audience segment
  • Customization of in-app content for specific user profiles
  • Exporting all data to Google’s cloud
  • Creation of retargeted user segments and displaying ads to them

Also, Firebase can create custom app events for tracking user actions, demographic reports, attribution reports for establishing which ad campaigns perform best and bring the most valuable users.

It also contains behavioral reports that let marketers know how users utilize their app.

5. Heap Analyzes Conversion Rates And Provides Funnel Reports

Heap home page screenshot
[Source: Heap]

Heap is a very useful platform for app marketers and developers because it records all actions users take in web and iOS apps and captures all interactions they have with the app.

Some of its most distinctive marketing features are

  • Event visualizer, which adds key events to the app’s analytics
  • Users’ behavioral data and the ability to look into it for each individual user
  • Funnel reports and the ability to analyze conversion rates by simulating funnels based on app events in order to establish where users drop off

Moreover, Heap lets you capture data by tracking clicks, tap, page views and more. It lets you create graphs and charts for any metric or event to keep track of app’s performance over longer periods.

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Bonus App Marketing Strategies To Further Boost Your App’s Reach

To truly make most of your mobile app marketing tactics and provide maximum discoverability to your app, consider taking these additional steps. They might make all the difference between you and your competitors.

Carefully Plan Your App’s Release Date With Potential Obstacles In Mind

Google and, in particular, Apple have both very strict app review processes that may slow down your app’s release or, worse, provide an even bigger hurdle in case your app is rejected.

It is, therefore, very important to create a very detailed release schedule - as far in advance as possible - that will give you adequate time and space for maneuvers in case something doesn’t go as planned.

An important thing to bear in mind when scheduling your app’s release date are potential bigger events in your app’s niche that may overshadow your app launch. This may impact the total reach of your customers very badly.

To cushion this blow, make sure you release your app when there are no such highly competitive events on the horizon. 

Conduct A Thorough Analysis Of Your Competition

Consider creating a list of your top competitors and their general traits, such as the price of their app, monetization model, UX characteristics, reviews, store ratings - and, of course, their app marketing tactics.

Identify their weak points and make sure your app product - or app marketing strategy - doesn’t repeat them.

Think hard in terms of what makes your app stand out from your competitors and focus your app marketing strategy on these advantages. 

Create Your Audience’s User Personas

A user persona is an archetypal depiction of your entire target audience’s main characteristics as a fictive ideal customer.

User personas contain the most common traits found in your target audience, such as educational background, preferences and interests, mobile device brand usage, age, location, gender and other identifiers.

Defining a user persona is a vital part of any marketing effort, especially at the brand awareness stage. This defines not only who your average user is, but what their value is and what are their pain points that your app can solve.

User personas are the basis of every user journey. Knowing them can help you fine-tune every aspect of your marketing strategy and conversion funnel, as well as your app’s content, functionality, features and platform choice.

Defining your user persona will help you coordinate app development and marketing decisions and answer these questions that will drive your marketing strategy:

  • What type of content does my audience engage with and expect from my app?
  • What is their main pain point?
  • What tone of voice in messaging works the best for my audience?
  • What platforms are they engaged at the most?
  • What devices and operating systems do they use the most?

Do Not Neglect Blogging As A Mobile App Marketing Strategy

No matter what your app’s niche may be, starting a blog way ahead of app’s launch is a masterful mobile app marketing strategy.

Content marketing - specifically, blogging - establishes you as an authority in your field, provided that you come up with relevant, well-written posts backed by facts.

Sprinkling these blog articles with information on your upcoming app and the ways it can help the readers will create a stir with your audience who may already be compelled to download it when it’s out.

You can write blog posts that focus on the app’s features and functionalities, as long as your blog content focuses on your audience’s pain points and ways you can help soothe them.

Some of the benefits of blogging as an app marketing strategy are:

  • Your content will drive traffic, boost brand awareness and conversion rates
  • It can position you as an expert in your niche
  • It can create a brand around your app
  • It builds trust with users

Mobile App Marketing Takeaways

App developers and marketers should take marketing efforts very seriously.

When thinking about how to market an app successfully, you should:

  • Optimize your app for app stores with keywords, descriptions, images and app name
  • Resort to blogging and influencer marketing for generating industry authority
  • Create user personas and research specific target audience so you maximize the efficiency of marketing campaigns
  • Research your competition’s successes and failures and plan app release carefully

This can provide great benefits, such as

  • Greater app visibility in app stores
  • Higher rate of finding the right users for your app
  • Higher user retention
  • Big revenue boost
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