There are a lot of really creative apps being produced and the app stores are flooded with new ones daily. The question on everyone's mind... if I build it, who will come? It's no surprise that the success of your app downloads directly correlates with how good a job you are doing promoting it. UBM Tech’s app team recently got together to discuss what works and what can be done to market apps, increase download rates, and improve user ratings.
We structured our discussion around questions asked during a Forrester Research webinar:
Here are our findings for best practices to market and promote your apps:
Your app must be EXTRAORDINARY, unusual, and a design mecca. Think of intuitive ways to interact with users through navigational items as well as through other standard app features. For example, don't just make a button, make the whole page swipe and drag (see Youtube app for an example). The #2 reason why people feel the need to download an app is based on cool factor alone. Make your app distinctive and unique.
INVEST in the promotion on your App Store page. Point out your apps distinctive qualities that make it a worthwhile experience. Talk about your story, the inspiration and how you brought it to life. Once you've decided on that story, share it through marketing on the website, social media networks, and email campaigns. Design a series of images that prove your app has what it takes to be someone's next download. Click here for an example.
Spend time building MOMENTUM before your app launches. Promote it with banners that run on websites that are attracting your target market. Use Google ads, Youtube ads, Facebook ads and other social media mediums already available to you. Create rising star ads to show all of the new and interesting features that will come with the app. Post videos of testimonials (people love to watch video) within ads and social networking sites. And last, but not least, push out responsive eblasts that announce the app launch and its details. Botton line . . . Blog, Tweet, and Post!
Build a MARKETING WEBSITE that will showcase your new app. You can make the most impact here by going into depth about the features and story of your app and generate excitement. The site should be simple, well designed and responsive. This will be your home base with direct links right into the app stores for downloads. Click here for an example.
TAKE ADVANTAGE of your existing website. Use it to promote the app with drop downs or shadow boxes or anything that can grab attention.
Entice INFLUENCERS to blog about your app. Don't be afraid to share your analytics of how well it is doing, but let them tell your audience why they love your app.
Increase your APP RATING. Invite users who are already fans to post ratings in the app stores. Provide a pop-up in the app to push users to the app store to rate it. Research has shown that word-of-mouth and user ratings are key factors in which apps get downloaded. Having a 5-star rating will make you a stand-out.
SLASH ANY COSTS. You will have a much higher download rate if your app is free, eliminate any barriers or second-thoughts for your audience.
INCREASE SEO through the app store by using proper meta data and key words (63% of apps are found through general browsing in the app store). Also increase SEO on Google and other browsers to ensure your app rises above the others.
Make your app COMPATIBLE on multiple devices. Create one for iOS, Android, and Kindle tablets/readers. However, your smartphone app should also be customized so the experience is differentiated from the tablet and provide the best engagement on this device.
If you're about to launch an app, or already have one out in the market that isn't performing as well as you'd anticipated, please use our discussion as a checklist to improve your marketing strategy.