How to set up an app marketing strategy
According to The New York Times, more than two million apps are available on the App Store. Many of them can be downloaded for free, and without a deliberate strategy it can be challenging to stand out.
Thousands of apps are released through AppStore and Google Play every day, and there is no doubt that the competition for consumers’ attention is increasing. So how can apps be promoted in the best possible way?
Choose the right channels for app marketing
An important first step is to define a suitable target audience and pick the right marketing channels to reach them.
Do keyword research to discover relevant search terms for your audience. Be creative, think of different angles that can describe what the app can offer the user, and try to uncover how the audience will search for the app.
Use the Keyword Planner in Google Ads to review search volumes for the listed keywords. Base the decision of which keywords to use on search volumes and competitive intensity.
In Google Ads it is possible to set up the campaign as an ‘app campaign’. This functionality allows apps to be promoted across Google Search, Google Play, YouTube, Gmail and within other apps and mobile websites.
Google Ads further allows users to be sent directly to an app store where the app can be downloaded. This saves the user an extra step in the customer journey and makes the app more accessible, which can help increase conversion rates.
Facebook and Instagram
Social media marketing can be a versatile, cost-effective and powerful tool. For many businesses, Facebook and Instagram serve as prominent marketing channels.
Similar to Google Ads, campaigns in Business Manager can be optimised towards app installation. This function will make sure that individuals in your target audience who are most likely to download apps via ads will be exposed to your ad. This facilitates an increased number of app downloads.
Be specific when defining the app’s target audience and use the available variables for what they are worth.
If it’s a B2B app, LinkedIn could be an interesting platform to consider. LinkedIn makes it possible to target ads based on the recipient's title, which can be extremely efficient for certain types of apps.
Benefit from the potential in app stores
Another way to get more downloads is to optimise the app for visibility in app stores. Just as websites work with SEO to be visible in search engines, a similar approach can be taken to optimise apps for stores such as AppStore and Google Play. This can help your app to be listed when a user searches for related keywords.
For Uber it can, for instance, be useful to rank on the term ‘taxi’ in an app store. If you followed the above recommendation of conducting keyword research, the same keywords can be applied in the app store optimisation. The keywords with high volumes in Google are likely to have high volumes also in app stores.
Keep the following in mind when optimising for app stores:
Use the most important keyword in the title of the app. One title will be visible in the app store (Uber – Taxi) and another one will be visible once the app is downloaded and visible on the user’s phone (Uber).
It is possible to add a number of keywords that will be linked to the app – all relevant keywords should be added.
Make sure to choose the right categories for the app in order for it to be available in the right place when users search for it.
Pay for visibility
In addition to getting organic visibility, you can also pay for visibility when potential users search for competitors or given keywords. Both AppStore and Google Play allow you to buy ads which will help display your app for chosen keywords. This can be effective to expose a higher number of relevant users to your app and gain immediate effect, rather than having to wait for organic exposure in the app store.
Use owned media for app marketing purposes
Another channel that is natural to utilise is owned media.
Unless you already have a website for the app, it's important to create one.
A website can help acquire visitors from search engines by ranking on relevant keywords. The previous keyword research can be reused for such matters.
Setting up a Facebook page or an Instagram profile for the app is necessary to access Business Manager, the advertising platform provided by Facebook.
In addition to conducting paid advertisements, you can share posts organically.
Another idea is to create competitions to increase reach. However, it’s important to make sure to follow all guidelines for Facebook competitions before publishing a competition.
Partner with influencers to build brand awareness
If you have an app that is relevant for a broader audience, it can be beneficial to use influencers to increase brand recognition.
For example, spend some time to find influencers that are a good match to your app by producing content within the same category as your app.
Once you have found an influencer, you can either send them a direct message at Instagram, or use the email address in their profile.
You should always ask for insights to the influencer’s follower statistics in order to review audience demographics. A lot of influencers have been criticised for buying fake followers, and it is, therefore, important to ensure that you pay for quality rather than attracting an irrelevant audience.
If you operate with budget limitations, it can be valuable to use micro influencers with 5-10.000 followers rather than influencers that are bigger and more well known.
Tip: if you get an agreement with an influencer that has more than 10.000 followers on Instagram, he or she will be able to use the swipe up functionality in stories to add the URL to your app in AppStore. This might help increase the conversion rate as it eases the download process for the users.
Generate app downloads through affiliate marketing
Another method that can be used to market the app is affiliate marketing.
With affiliate marketing, you pay for performance when an affiliate contributes with a conversion. If you want to make sure your budget isn’t spent on inefficient activities, this can be a strategy worth looking into.
Affiliate marketing can allow you to get reviews on blogs and homepages that are relevant for your app. If you are uncertain about the effectiveness of an influencer, it can also be a valuable payment model rather than operating with fixed fees.
You can either choose to pay a price for the download of your app, or you can pay for an account that has been created if your app requires a user and a monthly subscription.
Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested to hear more about affiliate marketing with apps.