This is Part IV of the series – MAKING YOUR APP CROSS 1 BILLION DOWNLOADS and it talks about how you can market your product story the right way. Here, we share with you proven unconventional approaches to create steady excitement and buzz around your app. The following is the full list of blogs in this series:
Part I: Building Habit-forming Products
Part II: Pushing the Envelope on UI & UX
Part IV: Marketing Your Product Story the Right Way
Let’s get started.
Part IV: Marketing Your Product Story the Right Way
First things first – your app won’t get launched twice. This is a one-time that needs extra care and attention. Creating steady excitement around your app launch is indispensable. From using the right social media hashtags, blasting pitch-perfect email campaigns to posting attractive video teasers, and partnering with influencers, get your app that much-awaited aura of suspense and buzz right before its launch!
Even if you missed the launch window – it’s never too late to craft a compelling story for your product and get the word out. Your efforts at branding, promoting, and advertising your product are seminal. Tell a captivating story around your app’s problem-solving ability. Use compelling brand messaging to show users why they should download and use your app.
1. Drive inbound leads using App Store Optimization (ASO)
ASO is the process of making your app more visible and search-friendly within the app stores. This is important because potential users tend to scroll through the first 5 or so app results while browsing the app store for a search term. Without effective App Store Optimization, you run the risk of missing out on the largest source of users.
Successful ASO helps you to rank higher in user search results in the app stores, improved click rates (i.e. people clicking on your app), and increased Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) (i.e. users installing your app or making a purchase).
The major app stores are Apple Store for iOS and Google Play for Android. Other app stores include Amazon App Store, Samsung App Store, SlideME, GetJar, Mobango, Mevvy, and more. Here are a few of our expert tips for a successful ASO.
a. Optimize your app name, app title, app icon, and app screenshots
Make your app name easy to read, spell, pronounce, and remember. Make it unique to avoid getting your users confused with other similar apps out there. App names can be to 50 characters long on Google Play, and up to 30 characters long on the Apple App Store.
The next element is the app description. Keep your description within 4000 characters in both the stores. Informative descriptions that convey the benefits in an easy-to-understand and structured format, and cover the most relevant keywords are more successful than generic descriptions that can’t be easily understood or categorized.
Tip: Screenshots and videos do not directly impact your app store ranking. However, they help increase user downloads by building confidence and credibility, thereby enhancing your ASO ranking.
b. Focus on keyword research and optimization
The first step is to identify the right keywords associated with your app. To do this, study the target keywords of your competitors and the keywords that are most searched by your target audience. Technically speaking, keywords are important for successful ASO in both Google Play and Apple App stores. However, the way the keywords are indexed is a bit different.
Essentially, Google Play works like Google Search, where choosing the right keywords and repeating them 3-5 times enables the app to reach the optimum keyword density in the app store. In the Apple App Store, there is a specific field for keywords, hence, repeating keywords is not necessary.
Tip: Track your keyword rankings to make sure that they are improving. Stay alert and proactive to prevent sustained drops in rankings. Use A/B testing to stay on top of your keyword strategy. Read our blog on how to make the most of ASO and how we did it for one of our leading products – Cricheroes.
2. Acquire app traffic and downloads from outside the app-store
a. Social media marketing
Apart from the app store, the single biggest source to pull the crowd into your app is to target users with specific interests, age-groups, and demographics on social media. Adding social-proof like testimonials or statistics to your social media campaign is a great way to ensure user signups as they help to build user trust and confidence in your product.
Social media is largely a visual platform. Capture your target audience’s attention by creating pitch-perfect audiovisual campaigns highlighting the strengths of your app. Create a community around your app by posting attractive, informative, and meaningful content in groups, forums, and chat rooms.
Tip: Request your existing users to leave comments, reviews, and ratings on social media to keep your social proof as recent as possible.
b. Contextual deep linking
Contextual deep links collect and interlink information about the user intent, user’s clickstream data, link share data, and other data about a user’s interaction with app content. Use this reservoir of invaluable data to offer personalized experiences to your app users, from welcome pages to referral programs that perform through micro-targeting and micro-marketing.
Example: Facebook and LinkedIn create highly personalized app experiences and ads by using contextual deep linking, thereby improving user experience, increasing the revenue of their business users, and improving their ad targeting accuracy.
c. Influencer marketing
Beyond a threshold, there are only so many people that you can reach using organic methods. To get unstuck on your growth path, create and nurture relationships with influencers in your field like Youtubers, Instagrammers, popular bloggers, micro-influencers, and so on. Write about your amazing product to the top bloggers in your niche and get them to review and feature your product on their blog. Incentivize them at par industry rates to stay ahead of the curve and gain a boost in inbound traffic and leads.
d. Invest in Public Relations (PR)
Did you know? Publications like Scoopwhoop, Hubpages, POPxo, and Storypick are all the rage right now. Take out the time to submit an interesting story about your app and the problem it solves to these popular channels. This will help in building high-quality back-links that go a long way in magnifying your app’s user-base. Let bloggers and vloggers check out or even use your app for free in exchange for a great review or a quality back-link, or simply incentivize them to run a sponsored post on your product. You can also use affiliate marketing that helps them to get paid every time their followers download your app using their affiliate link.
e. In-app & online ads
If you are tired of wasting money on traffic without seeing any significant improvement in the lead conversion factor, go for a CPI (cost-per-install) campaign instead. Effectively, this format allows you to pay only when there’s an install of your app. Partner with mobile app acquisition channels that can embed your app CPI campaigns in other apps and websites. Lastly, get your app listed on app communities like Product Hunt to augment the ROI of your CPI campaigns.
f. Reviews and ratings
Early adopters and loyal customers are the lifelines of your app. Create an exclusive community of your app’s most ardent supporters and fans. Create engaging conversations around your app and give them access to new updates, features, and offers early on. This will create an opportunity for you to ask for their reviews on your product and use them to create credibility in the market. Personalize your review requests and don’t scare them with too many messages!
Tip: Try pitching your app to App Store curators to have it featured. Great user experience, elegant design, and a compelling story go a long way in tilting the scales in your favor.
It doesn’t matter whether you are just starting out or already have decent traction for your app. Increasing your app downloads to the coveted 1 Billion mark takes much more than quick-fixes and band-aid solutions. A deep understanding of your user needs, building a product that fulfills those needs most effectively and efficiently, making the product a part and parcel of the users’ habits, and investing in smart and focused marketing tactics right from day one is the secret recipe behind scoring a home run. Remember, your customers are the biggest champions of your product – backed by their precious word-of-mouth, you can convert curious readers into loyal users in no time!