You have an app idea, maybe you’ve started designing it, maybe even developing it, but how can you get the word out so those who may want your app can download it? How can your app get more exposure and stand out from all the noise?
According to the dictionary, marketing is the process of promoting, and selling a product or service. As someone who is creating an application, you have to find a market niche or need, and fill it with something that people either need or want. In part 1 of developing a successful android or iphone app, we discussed this and outlined the steps to create a plan that would serveas the foundation for your new app. In this post, we’ll discuss what strategies you can use to promote your app and grow your audience.
Strategy 1 : Build an Online Presence
There are plenty of people who think that one can put a website online, set up some social media accounts, and floods of clients will flow. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Similar to a physical store, in order to get people to come to your website you need to entice them. You need to be targeted and have a plan. A way to do this is through Inbound Marketing. While it is not easy and can be quite time consuming to keep up, it is in my own opinion the most honest and helpful way to market and build an audience. It’s not enough to put a website up and hope people will show up. You need to attract visitors by creating or linking to content that your target audience will find interesting, and will solve a problem they might have. Social media can help expand your reach giving you another channel to drive the conversation further.
Strategy 2: Direct Advertisement
Direct advertisement can be a quick way to get traffic to your app if you can afford it. You can create campaigns to advertise your app within social networks like Facebook, Google or Twitter. You can also bid on keywords to show up on search results in Google, Yahoo or Bing. Lastly, mobile ads are popular mediums to advertise your app on both iOS and Android. You can use iAds for example to advertise your app across Apple’s App Network based on target demographics.
Strategy 3: Build Excitement
A great way to generate a buzz and excitement about your app is to have other people talk about it. In particular, Influencers (individuals that have influence over potential buyers) can give marketers the ability to reach huge audiences they wouldn’t otherwise have been able to. It is important to identify these and try to connect with them and get them excited about your product or content piece.
Other ways to build a buzz is to have public relations (PR) pieces published about your app or reviews on popular blogs your target market frequents. Tech and gadget writers are always looking for a scoop. For best results, you want to send a reviewer a complimentary copy of the application so that he or she can experience it fully. You should keep in mind that in tech there is always something to report on so don’t be surprised if he or she is too busy at first. Lastly, contests or giveaways can be easy ways to build excitement around your company.
Strategy 4: App Growth
The last strategy is to promote growth using your app’s design and business model. You can spread the word by having your users compete with friends, rewarding them for referrals (i.e. dropbox giving free space), or allow for social media sharing. You need a community of followers who are so pleased with your product that they share about your application without even realizing it.
Another way to generate growth is to integrate/partner with existing applications. Provide additional value to the clients of these apps. In return, you will gain a new channel to acquire customers. Lastly, creating a Lite or Freemium version, will reduce the friction of paying for a product without trying it first. Once you have these users, you can work to see how you can get them to become pay users keeping in mind though probably most users will not become paid users. Even if they stay free users they can become advocates for your brand and let you reach a wider audience.
We have outlined four strategies that your app may be able to benefit from. Depending on your target audience, some may be irrelevant, but our main intention was to briefly highlight various options to be used as a starting point for creating your own marketing plan. I would love to hear what other strategies people have tried in the past. Let me know below!