The job doesn’t end at building an app. You need to monetize it, too. But with over 80,000 apps released monthly on Google Play Store and almost 31,500 on Apple App Store, how can you ensure that users discover and download your app?
You’ll need a mobile app marketing strategy. Marketing your app requires careful planning and the proper techniques to appeal to users. We've compiled a step-by-step guide to a results-driven mobile app marketing strategy, with explanations and crucial actions.
Table of Contents
What Is Mobile App Marketing?
Mobile app marketing is a marketing approach used to promote an app, engage users, and boost the number of app downloads. It refers to the strategies utilized to attract users and generate interest in your app.
In other words, mobile app marketing guides the users through the conversion funnel from the moment they first hear about your app until they download it. But the journey doesn’t end when users hit the download button. Once they become your customers, you must nurture your relationship to increase retention and turn them into brand advocates.
A marketing strategy for a mobile app enables you to do exactly that: promote your app, get people to download it, and increase your app’s value.
Mobile app marketing shares many techniques with traditional marketing, except being explicitly directed toward mobile app users. It also requires knowledge of the latest mobile app design trends to ensure your strategy is fruitful.
How to Effectively Promote Your Mobile App
- Conduct Market Research
- Create User Personas
- Build a Website
- Create a Landing Page
- Start a Blog
- Establish a Social Media Presence
- Utilize Email Marketing
- Create Video Content
- Use Paid Ads
- Optimize for App Stores
- Define Key Metrics To Track
Creating and implementing a successful marketing strategy for mobile apps requires in-depth research and preparation. Follow these steps to achieve your goals:
1. Conduct Market Research
Mobile app development involves marketing research and competitor analysis. These steps provide valuable data that facilitates both the development and the promotion stages.
Conducting market research helps you answer the following questions:
- Who is your target audience?
- Why would they be interested in your app?
- What are their pain points? Does your app address these?
- Who are your top competitors?
- How would your app be different/offer more value to users?
Answering these questions will help you define your app’s key value proposition and its purpose to users. At this stage, you will realize whether your app has a real chance to make a breakthrough or needs more work before it’s ready for the app market.
The research will help you create your mobile app marketing strategy; you’ll define your target market, determine how to differentiate your app, and ensure that your investment is viable.
2. Create User Personas
Creating user personas involves classifying your audience into various groups depending on their interests, age, mobility habits, and other considerations. Then, using this information, create fictional characters to help you better understand your audience. User personas will ensure you address the needs and problems of your target audience and provide the information they’re looking for.
To create user personas, follow these steps:
- Gather data about your target audience
- Identify patterns in behavior based on the data collected
- Identify common pain points for your audience
- Discover what kind of content resonates well with your audience
- Define the social media platforms they prefer
- Define whether they prefer Android or iOS
The answers to the questions above will help you tailor promotion to the needs and interests of your target market and increase chances for success of your mobile app marketing strategy.
3. Build a Website
Having a website is essential when considering how to advertise an app. Ideally, you should build it before developing the app, so your marketing strategy can begin before the app launch. Use your website to promote your brand and create excitement about your app release.
Build a visually appealing, optimized, engaging website that provides useful information to your target audience and presents your app’s features and benefits. Use captivating visuals, high-quality, concise copy, and videos to grab users’ attention. Slow websites with unattractive design and poor UX have high bounce rates; therefore, follow web design best practices to create a website that engages and converts.
4. Create a Landing Page
A landing page represents your app and should provide users with information about your product. Your app’s landing page should be informative and visually appealing to give users a glimpse of the app experience. Avoid long paragraphs and ensure the copy is skimmable by using short sentences and bullet points to organize information.
Ensure the landing page includes links to your app in the App Store and Google Store. Include screenshots of the app and CTAs that link directly to a download option. Most importantly, optimize your app’s landing page for search engines to rank higher in SERP and gain visibility.
5. Start a Blog
Blog about your app as soon as possible to build authority in your domain. Research keywords and relevant topics your visitors would be interested in reading and provide answers to their questions.
High-quality, educational blogs will help you increase brand awareness, build trust with your audience, and position as an expert in your niche. You can share your blog content via email or social media to generate more interest in your app.
Publish new blog posts regularly and invest in quality writers. Establish a blogging schedule, for example, one weekly blog, and stick to it to ensure consistency.
6. Establish a Social Media Presence
Being present and visible on social media will help you get to know your audience better and boost your app’s visibility. Find out which social media platforms your target customers prefer and create business accounts on these networks.
Start real conversations with your audience, engage with them in the comments, see what they post, and re-share user-generated content. Make sure to post regularly to keep followers interested and engaged.
7. Utilize Email Marketing
Compile an email list with contacts interested in your app and send subscribers updates. Use a newsletter to share what’s new with your app, present your product benefits, and update users about promotional offers.
An email marketing campaign can increase your customer retention rate. It’s also a great way to connect with your audience and reward loyal customers with discounts or other benefits.
8. Create Video Content
Video content is a very effective way to grab your audience’s attention. Short, engaging videos where you showcase your app and its features can help users get acquainted with your brand.
Re-share video content on your social media accounts to engage followers and generate more interest in your app.
9. Use Paid Ads
Before including paid advertising campaigns in your marketing strategy, consider your target audience’s preferred social media platforms. It might be LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook, depending on the demographic group. Paid ads target users based on their preferences and interests, so it’s a good way to reach potential customers. If you need help with running your paid advertising campaigns, you can consider reaching out to one of the PPC agencies from our listings, who specialize in optimizing and managing successful PPC campaigns.
10. Optimize for App Stores
Just as your website requires optimization to rank higher in search results, you should also optimize your app for Google Play and Apple App Store. Optimization increases your app’s visibility and rankings in the app stores search results. Like with websites and SERP, app store optimization (ASO) will help your app stand out among millions of similar apps.
11. Define Key Metrics To Track
Key performance indicators (KPI), such as the number of daily users, number of downloads, or retention rate, will tell you how your app performs. These insights will enable you to identify areas of improvement so you can focus your time and effort on polishing your strategy and meeting your targets.
Why Is Marketing an App Important?
From startups to large enterprises, nearly every business has developed an app (for more on that, read on how to create a mobile app).
The global app development market reached $228.98 billion in 2023 and exponentially grow in upcoming years. With such a dense offer in the app market, you have to promote your app to get users to download it from the many other options available.
Mobile app promotion strategies bring:
- Increased visibility and awareness
- Enhanced brand recognition
- Increased revenue
- Higher customer engagement
- Greater customer retention
- Better target audience insights
Part of the mobile app marketing plan is researching your competition to gain insights into their marketing strategy and see what techniques worked for them. You can use this knowledge to devise an effective marketing plan for your own mobile app.
The Most Important Mobile App Marketing Metrics
Tracking performance metrics will help you manage data-driven campaigns and achieve greater success in your marketing efforts.
Here are the essential mobile app marketing metrics you should follow:
1. Daily and Monthly Active Users
Understanding how many users interact with your app on a daily and monthly basis demonstrates how entertaining and valuable your app is to users. Depending on your industry, this can be the most important metric. If users download your app but do not engage with it, this is a red flag you should address.
2. Average Session Length
A metric that tells you how much time users spend using your app during each session is valuable because it tells you how useful your app is. The importance of average session length depends on your industry. For example, for Instagram, the more time users spend using the app, the better, but it might not be the same for a healthcare app.
3. Retention Rate
The retention rate tells you how many customers you manage to keep. It refers to the number of users who return to your app within a certain timeframe. The retention rate can be measured monthly or yearly, depending on your strategy.
4. Churn Rate
The churn rate is the opposite of the retention rate and tells you how many customers you’re losing. It is the rate at which users stop engaging with or using your app. This might be the moment users uninstall your app or cancel subscriptions.
Return on investment (ROI) tells you how much value your marketing campaign has generated compared to what you invested. You can calculate ROI differently depending on your return value and investment costs.
Mobile App Marketing Takeaways
There are many factors to consider when creating a detailed, data-driven mobile app marketing strategy that generates revenue. For best results, you shouldn’t skip any of the above steps; being proactive and engaged will increase your app’s breakthrough chances.
Most importantly, you must tailor your marketing strategy to your app, industry, and target audience because not all mobile app strategies will work for your business. Conduct thorough research and build your marketing campaign on real data to generate results.
If you need help building a mobile app or crafting a marketing strategy, contact top mobile app development companies. Their technical expertise and experience will position you on the right path to success.
Mobile App Marketing FAQs
1. How much does it cost to market an app?
The cost of marketing an app can vary depending on the marketing channels you advertise on and the level of competition in the app's market.
Some costs might include:
- Marketing research: from $5,000 to $15,000.
- App store optimization: from $1,000 to $25,000 per app.
- App PR outreach: from $100 to $300 per hour.
- Influencer marketing: from $10,000 to $15,000 per month.
2. How do I market my app with a low budget?
Here is how to market an app with a low budget:
- Build a visually appealing and functional website and optimize it for all the keywords related to your app.
- Develop a strong social media presence; be (pro)active on all social media platforms your target audience uses.
- Create viral content to increase your visibility and boost word-of-mouth marketing.
- Collaborate with colleagues from your niche - even if you cannot afford influencer marketing, you can still guest post, contact local media representatives and use other traditional marketing strategies (for example, flyers and billboards).
- Work on ASO.