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App statistics

The competition in the web and especially mobile app market is fierce. According to Statista , in the second quarter of 2020, there were staggering 2.7 million apps on Google Play, 1.82 million available for download on the Apple App Store, and 450,000 on Amazon Appstore. Apparently, some of the low-quality apps are constantly removed by these platforms, but the overall number will be only growing in the foreseeable future. There are a few models of revenue generation for applications: pay per download, paid premium features and selling ad space. The average app price is slightly over a dollar in the App Store. In the third quarter of 2020, consumers all over the world spent $ 19 billion on mobile apps there, so this provider outperformed Google Play with its 10.3 billion revenue. On average, people are using more than 30 apps on their smartphone per month, which constitutes from 30 to 50 % of the apps they have installed. The rest are gathering dust like uncomfortable clothes you get but wear only once.

What is app marketing?

With this huge variety of options, market success is only possible if you present your product as a great source of fun, a life-changing tool, or a potential it faster and more seamlessly than the competition. Fun, as the statistics below show, and a positive distraction is what people need most now.

We have already written about the Discovery Phase as a great way to make sure your product will be commercially viable even before the development process starts.

App marketing encompasses a variety of activities aimed at increasing the number of downloads, engaging new users and retaining those who have already downloaded the software.  In this article, we will look at basic ways to promote your amazing app once it is ready to conquer the world.

app-marketing-basics

Most popular Apple App Store categories in August 2020, by share of available apps (Statista)

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1. App store optimization

Most apps (63% according to the research company Forrester ) are found through searching in an app store, not with a web browser. The aim of ASO is to get high ranking to ensure the software visibility for your target audience. Overall, it is based on the same principles as SEO. According to Neil Patel, you should start by identifying what language your target audience can use for searching and including the relevant intent-related keywords into the app title and description. As the number of characters is limited, make sure the title contains the essence of what your app does, and the description reveals what useful features it has. The following factors also matter for successful ASO, although some cannot be fully controlled:

  • Keyword metadata
  • Subtitle
  • User reviews and ratings (people often search in the "most popular" or "top rated" category)
  • Clear and informative screenshots
  • Number of downloads
  • User retention rate

Clear and informative screenshots and demo videos work well for convincing users to download the app, increasing conversion.

2. User feedback

Positive reviews are often a decisive factor and improve the product credibility and consequently your app store rating. Ask your clients to provide feedback and evaluate their experience. And it should be a no brainer, without prior registration, etc. Turn-key plugins within your app will make it effortless. Make sure pop-up windows offering to give a star rating and a review appear at the right time and don't interrupt the normal user flow. The rule of thumb to win the client's heart is to provide exceptional service. Integrating a chatbot or an instant messaging tool into your app to address any issues immediately and adding the "Send an email" button is very likely to pay off. To encourage feedback on social media and review sites like Capterra, you can run contests and giveaways. Also, respond to criticism and express gratitude for praise - it is the sign of respect.

3. Website or landing page

It doesn't have to be a fully-fledged one - a landing page can also do a good job raising your app awareness and building brand identity. What can you place there? Testimonials, articles and videos on new features and updates, blog with useful content related to your business area. Start a marketing campaign even before your product is released, so consider starting a blog a few months prior.  As general browsing is still a popular way to discover apps, you can start building your domain authority, optimizing it for search engines, and generating leads for your product. If a website is not an option right now, you may publish content to promote your app on such platforms as Medium, which will also drive traffic.

4. Guest posts and forums

Take a proactive approach: find trusted blogs in your business area and try to get the content published. This is also a good way to get backlinks for your website and improve SEO ranking. Leaving comments - opinions and valuable insights - under relevant blog articles is how you can also get noticed. Participating in discussions and answering questions linked to your industry on forums will also increase brand visibility. For instance, Quora is a great Q&A platform with more than 300 million users.

5. Social media presence

Social media may be a fertile source of publicity for your product. First thing, make sure you integrate social features into your app so users can like, share, and review your product. Define what your potential users might be interested in, and develop unique and useful content for SM platforms they prefer - Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Ticktock, etc. The tone of voice - the presentation and the impression of your brand matters and should be consistent with your product. Using popular hashtags can also enhance user engagement. To find powerful and successful ones, you can utilize generators, such as All Hashtag and Photerloo . And finally, Facebook & LinkedIn groups offer growth potential for your app fanbase - you just need the right audience and communicate the value of your product to them.

6. Referrals

Almost half of consumers in the US learned about a brand from their friends and family - people who they trust. If your app sparks joy and simplifies users' life, they will gladly spread the news about it to their inner circle and colleagues. However, a little incentive will considerably accelerate the process. Adding a "Refer a friend" button and integrating services that allow sending the app download link through text messages and messengers like WhatsApp will make it easy for people to recommend a product and get a reward, for instance, access to free premium features, discounts, etc. It's a win-win approach that makes existing users your loyal advocates and helps to exponentially grow user base.

Conclusion

The most important channels of app promotion are word of mouth recommendations of the users, social media, and app store search. Therefore, it is crucial to choose the right ASO strategy, establish a SM presence, and most importantly, know your Users and create fuss-free and fun experience that will keep people talking about your app. 

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Blackthorn vision

Since 2009, we've been assisting technology companies to build and improve their software products. We help to scale tech teams, deliver projects on time and within a budget, develop ideas from initial concepts to a final product.

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