So you’ve created an app — well done! But the job isn’t over yet. Now you need to monetize it.
It is estimated that over 80 thousand mobile apps are released on Google Play Store every month. The Apple App Store has over 3.4 million apps in total.
To say that the competition is fierce would be an understatement.
So how do you ensure that users discover and download your app when you’re up against such a big crowd? By creating a mobile app marketing strategy.
Marketing your app requires careful planning and the use of the right techniques and methods to appeal to users.
We have put together a guide to building a results-driven marketing strategy for your app with key steps and explanations.
Table of Contents
What Is Mobile App Marketing?
Mobile app marketing is a marketing strategy used to promote an app, engage users and increase the number of app downloads. It refers to the tactics used to attract users and build an interest in your app.
In other words, it means guiding the users through the conversion funnel from the moment they first hear about your app to the moment they download it.
But the journey doesn’t end when users download your app. Once they become your customers, you must nurture your relationship with them to increase retention and turn them to brand advocates.
A mobile app marketing strategy enables you to do exactly that: promote your app, get people to download it and increase your app’s value in the meantime.
Mobile app marketing shares a lot of techniques with traditional marketing, with the exception that it is directed specifically toward mobile app users. It also requires knowledge of the latest app trends to ensure your strategy is fruitful.
Why Is Marketing An App Important?
From startups to large enterprises, it seems that nearly every business has developed an app (for more on that, read our article on how to create a mobile app).
In fact, the global app development market hit $154 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow exponentially in upcoming years.
With such a densely popular app market, you have to invest in promoting your app if you want to reach users and get them to download your app out of the many others available.
- Mobile app promotion strategies bring:
- Increased awareness and recognition
- Increased revenue
- Higher customer engagement
- Greater customer retention
Part of an 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.
How Can You Promote Your Mobile App Effectively?
So, how can you market an app and meet your targets?
Creating and implementing a successful mobile app marketing strategy requires in-depth research and preparation. When developing your app marketing plan, follow the nine steps below to achieve your goals:
1. Conduct Market Research
Market research and competitor analysis play a key role in app development as well as mobile app promotion campaigns. This research provides invaluable data that helps guide both the development and the promotion stages.
Before you start investing your money in developing an app, you need to research your target market.
Conducting market research helps you define the following:
- Who is your target audience?
- Why would they be interested in your app? What are their pain points? Does your app address these points?
- Who are your top competitors? How would your app be different/offer more value to users?
Answering the questions above will help you define your app’s key value proposition and what purpose it will serve to users.
The purpose of your app and the value it provides should be clear to users who download it. At this stage, you will realize one of the two things: your app either has a real chance to make a breakthrough or that your idea isn’t ready for the app market.
You can then create your strategy according to the insights gathered in the market research phase.
This step helps you define your target market, determine how you can position your app differently than your competitors, and ensure that your investment is viable.
2. Create User Personas
Now that you know who your target audience is and what their problems and interests are, the next step is to create user personas.
Creating user personas means segmenting your audience into several groups based on their interests, age, mobile preferences and other factors. Then, you create fictional characters based on the information you have to help you better understand your audience.
These fictional characters represent each target group of customers.
This data is crucial to ensuring 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 guide your mobile app marketing strategy by helping you tailor promotion to the needs and interests of your target market.
3. Build A Website
Building a website should be at the top of your priority list when thinking about how to market an app. Ideally, you should start building a website even before you begin developing your app.
Because this gives users a chance to get to hear about your app. Your marketing strategy can begin before your app is even ready to be downloaded.
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 from the get-go.
Slow websites with unattractive design and poor UX have high bounce rates so be sure to follow web design best practices to create a website that engages and converts.
Use your website to spread the word about your brand and create excitement for your app launch.
4. Create A Landing Page
A landing page is a representation of your app and should provide users with information about your product. Your app’s landing page should be informative and visually appealing so it can 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.
Make sure 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
Start blogging 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.
If possible, start working on your website even before you create the app.
You can build brand awareness through blogging and share info about the app’s features. High-quality, educational blogs will help you build trust with your audience and be seen as an expert in your niche. You can share your blog content via email or social media as well.
It is important to blog regularly and invest in quality writers. Establish a blogging schedule, for example, one blog per week, and stick to it to ensure consistency.
6. Establish A Social Media Presence
Being present and visible on social media should be an integral part of your mobile app marketing strategy. You can use your social media presence to get to know your audience better and boost your app’s visibility.
Find out which social media platforms your target market prefers, and create accounts on each one.
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 who are interested in your app and start sending subscribers updates. You can use a newsletter to share what’s new with your app, present the benefits of your product and update users about promotional offers.
An email marketing campaign can help you increase your customer retention rate and it’s also a great way to build a connection 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.
You can re-share video content on your social media accounts such as Facebook and Instagram.
9. Use Paid Ads
When you launch your app, consider the preferred social media platforms of your target audience for paid ads.
This might be LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook, depending on your audience. Paid ads target users based on their preferences and interests so it’s a good way to reach potential customers.
10. Optimize For App Stores
Your website is not the only thing that requires optimization to rank higher in search results. You should also optimize your app for app stores since it will be featured in the two largest app stores in the world: Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
App store optimization serves to increase your app’s visibility in the app stores so your app appears higher in search results. Just like with websites and SERP, app store optimization will help your app stand out among millions of other apps that might be similar.
11. Define Key Metrics To Track
Finally, when all the other steps for setting up your mobile app marketing strategy are ready, you need to define key metrics to track to measure the success of your campaign.
Key performance indicators (KPI), such as the number of daily users, number of downloads or retention rate will tell you how your app is performing. These insights will enable you to identify areas of improvement so you can focus your time and effort toward polishing your strategy and meeting your targets.
The Most Important Mobile App Marketing Metrics
Knowing which performance metrics to track is key to a successful app marketing plan. Data-driven campaigns achieve greater engagement and perform better in general.
Here are the key mobile app marketing metrics you should follow:
1. Daily And Monthly Active Users
Knowing how many people engage with your app on a daily and monthly basis shows how useful and interesting your app is to users. Depending on your industry, this could be the most important metric to follow.
If users download but do not engage with your app often, this is a red flag that should be addressed.
2. Average Session Length
Average session length is a metric that tells you how much time users spend using your app during each session.
This metric is quite valuable as it tells you how useful your app and its content are to users. But 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, for example.
3. Retention Rate
Retention rate is one of the most important mobile marketing metrics for an app, as it 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.
ROI can be calculated differently depending on what you value as a return and what your investment costs were.
Mobile App Marketing Takeaways
As you can see, there are many factors to building and implementing a successful mobile app marketing strategy. It is important to consider all the factors to create a detailed, data-driven campaign that generates revenue:
- Market research
- User personas
- Landing page
- Social media presence
- Email marketing
- Video content
- Paid ads
- App store optimization
Most importantly, you need to 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.