There are a lot of exciting mobile applications that have yet to be realized. The innovators that are conceptualizing their ideas into relevant and impactful mobile apps are creating new ways to crunch data and engage consumers. That said, building a mobile app and successfully marketing a mobile app are two completely different animals, and they should be treated as such. Yes, you’ve built a game changing mobile application, but now you have to break through the clamor so your audience can find and champion your product.
Therefore, I want to offer some insights into key marketing strategies companies use to successfully market their mobile apps to their intended audiences. Generally speaking there are two measurements of success for a mobile marketing campaign. The first measurement considers the total number of app downloads. This measurement is a broad indicator of app’s relevance in the marketplace because it demonstrates the perceived consumer value — how many people were compelled to install your app on their device.
The second measurement of success considers the monthly average users (MAUs), and this measurement provides a framework through which a company can measure how sticky an application is. Both measurements are important, however for the purposes of this blog, let’s focus on increasing the total downloads of your app.
1. Seeding for Mobile Apps
Seeding is an age old technique that still provides value for smart marketers in the digital economy. The best way to leverage a seeding campaign is to create a coming soon webpage of Facebook page that captures key user data (e.g. email, name, etc). To increase the effectiveness of your seeding campaign offer an incentive, or special promotion to motivate users to leave their contact information. When you app is ready to launch engage these customers to install your app.
2. Website Marketing
Use your existing website to promote your application. Be sure to include a mobile icon for each mobile application (iOS, Android, Windows, etc) you have built in the header and/or footer of your website. These strategically placed visual cues will alert your audience and indicate your company offers mobile apps as an extension of its brand. Bonus tip: If you have a mobile ready site you may want to consider building some intelligence into your mobile site that will redirect the users to install your mobile application.
3. Content Creation for Mobile Apps
Content has and always will be king. In terms of your mobile application, the key is to create relevant content that create awareness and drives downloads of your application. For example, create a case study, or a white paper that describes the value proposition of your mobile application. Upon completion, you should create a blog post that references the case study. Finally, market your case study by posting links to your blog where you most active members are (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Tumblr) to garner eyeballs and increase awareness. To dramatically increase eyeballs think about investing in sponsored “Social Ads” on your most relevant social network(s). You may also want to boost the visibility of your content by promoting it through services like Outbrain and Taboola.
4. Social Media Marketing for Mobile Apps
The only thing better than advertising a new product or service is not having to pay for it. Social media marketing allows an individual or company to market and promote a product with little to no costs. Moreover, if your product has perceived value, your social audience may share and retweet your post with their friends. To create immediate value, start a conversation around your post by including a unique hashtag and engage your fans to participate in the conversation #youseewhatImean Bonus tip: Facebook and Twitter both offer advertising campaigns to drive app installs. However, these campaign can be expensive so proper planning is highly recommended.
5. Email Marketing for Mobile Apps
Email is still the most effective means to market your application Therefore, an existing email list of a pre-qualified group of users should place high value on your new mobile product. Second, reading email is the single most common action smartphone users perform (More email is read on Mobile than on a desktop email client. Stats say 47% of email is now opened on a mobile device Litmus –”Email Analytics” April 2014). Therefore, conversion ratios from mobile email promotions to mobile app installs will skew higher because your audience is consuming your promotion on their mobile device. If you have an email list, leverage it. It will yield the biggest bang for your dollar spent. That said, avoid purchasing email lists and spamming unqualified leads. This will likely flag you a spammer, and possibly lead to search engines de-indexing your site.