The world of mobile apps is highly competitive. There are thousands of apps hitting app stores every day. Many of these apps fail to strike a chord with their intended audiences; while some fail because they are just not good enough, there are others that fail due to bad marketing. In many cases, the app’s target audience is not even aware that the app actually exists.

One of many reasons for an app’s success is its discoverability.

So, how do you market your app in a way that it gets noticed?

Here are 5 marketing strategies that can help get your app discovered, thereby helping you boost your app’s download:

1. Optimize for App Stores

App store optimization is closely related to search engine optimization. It is the process of ranking high in an app store’s search results. The higher your app ranks in an app store’s search results, the more visible it is to potential customers. This will drive more traffic to your app’s page in the app store; these visitors will go through the app information and if they like what your app brings to the table, they will download it.

Optimizing your app for Google Play and the Apple Store will require you to adopt different tactics as Apple does not have access to Google’s search indexes. The Apple Store relies mostly on user reviews, ratings, downloads and general on-page optimization techniques. Ensure you include relevant keywords pertaining to your app and industry in your app’s title and description to improve search rankings in both app stores.

However, be cautious with keyword usage. For Android apps, Google clearly states that any “Repetitive and/or irrelevant use of keywords in the app title, description or promotional description can create an unpleasant user experience and can result in an app suspension.”

2. Get Featured on App Review Sites and News Media Outlets

Getting app review sites to review your app is one of the most important marketing steps for any new app. Since these review sites receive huge traffic, large number of people will learn about your app from such sites, thereby, boosting your app downloads. Moreover, getting reviewed by a highly ranked app review site yields SEO benefits for your app’s website.

Another tactic app developers can implement to top the app store sales chart is to get strong media coverage for their app.

Identify the blogs, tech authors and journalists who are writing about your competitors and other apps related to the one you are launching. Reach out to them and pitch them your app. Reviews from industry influencers will give your mobile app a much needed credibility boost, as well as, enhance its exposure.

Ensure you receive positive feedback from them as App Store editors search for reviews about the app in authority portals and media outlets (mainstream media or niche related press) to help them with their selection of apps for the ‘feature’ section in App Stores.

3. Encourage Users to Review and Rate Your App

The opinions of others play a major role in people’s purchasing decision, whether the opinions are about electronic products, smartphones, restaurants or apps. For apps, opinions and reviews also affect the app store rankings and the chances of the app getting featured on the app store’s ‘feature list’. So, if your users love your app, get them to spread the word about it!

One of the ways to encourage your users to review and rate your app is by sending push notifications when they are already engaged with your app. However, some users find in-app requests or push notifications for reviews invasive and frustrating. Annoying them by asking for reviews repeatedly could result in uninstalls or negative feedback. Negative reviews can badly hurt your download metrics.

Other effective ways to help your mobile app get more app reviews from users is to offer them incentives for reviewing your app and running a contest.

4. Promote the App through Social Media Channels

One of the most effective ways of boosting app downloads is to have your app appear on App Stores ‘featured list’, but since there is no sure-fire way to make that happen, it’s probably unwise to depend on it.

What you can actually depend on is the use of social media to promote your app.

Use social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. to interact with users and attract potential users. The best way to acquire a social media following is to integrate Facebook and Twitter directly into your app. Collective promotional strength of these platforms can help rival any big mobile app advertising campaign.

5. Use Promo Codes

Promo codes allow iOS developers to give away copies of their app ahead of release to friends, bloggers or influencers for promoting their app. You can even post a bunch of codes on Twitter or give them away weekly to fans who answer app-related questions correctly. These tactics can create a buzz around your app on social media. Apple gives you the option of using 100 promo codes per release.

Apple now permits iOS developers to issue promo codes for in-app purchases. This change will make it easier for developers to give early app testers, reviewers, and other users’ access to the full content available within free apps.

If you have an Android app, you can send out a link to your application’s APK so people can download the app for free. When a promo code is redeemed, your app will give the user complete access to all features of the app. Promo code expires after a few weeks and can only be used once; also those who use promo codes to download your app cannot review it. So make sure you use your promo codes wisely.

Bonus Strategy: Continuously Promote Retention

Many businesses or app providers consider download stats as a measure of their success. But download rates to an extent are misleading as many users may download the app, use it once and then delete it forever.

So, an app developer’s job does not end once the app has been created and marketed effectively before the launch. In fact that is only half the battle; continuously promoting app to their follower base and potential users is the other half. So, once you start, don’t stop or slow down. If your users have uninstalled the app, you should implement mobile app retargeting or re-engagement campaigns to bring them back.

The mobile app marketplace has become increasingly crowded. Use the above mentioned marketing strategies to create a buzz around your app, improve its visibility on app stores, and ultimately increase user downloads.


Pete Peranzo

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