It’s easy to look at the incredible success of the world’s most downloaded apps (Candy Crush, Words with Friends, and Facebook, anyone) and envision achieving similar financial happiness and fame, but the road to a frequently downloaded app is paved with far more mistakes – and discarded failures – than wins. To realise your mobile app dreams, you need to know how to market and distribute your creation. There are dozens of ways to promote your app for free; here are 5 great ones just to get you started:
1. Build Buzz
Selling your app starts long before there’s actually a finished app to sell. Ninety percent of smartphone shoppers use their devices to prep for a purchase by reading online reviews, scouring social media, check out price comparisons and more, and that gives you an opening. You need to build momentum, and you can do so by:
> Posting screenshots of the app on social media, even (especially) when it’s still in development
> Offering fans a chance to influence key features by voting on options through surveys and polls
> Releasing preview copies to key influencers with large social followings.
2. Understand Your End User
Unless you’re endlessly wealthy with an army of assistances, you simply can’t market your app to the entire world, and even if you could it would be a colossal waste of time. No matter how wonderful your app is, there will be certain people for whom it just isn’t relevant. Narrow your focus and build a more efficient distribution and marketing campaign by asking yourself these 5 questions:
> WHO will get the most benefit from your app?
> WHY should they download your app instead of your competitors’.
> WHAT makes you different?
> WHERE can you find those users?
> HOW can you reach the people for whom you app is most relevant?
3. Make Word of Mouth Easy
Some 74 percent of consumers consult social media before they commit to a purchase, and when they scroll through their feed they need to read about your app. Word of mouth can be a remarkably powerful thing; after all, how often do you consult friends and ask about their own shopping experiences before you lay down cash for that new car, washer and dryer, or home. Even switching hair stylists or trying out that new burger/taco hybrid at the local fast food joint requires a full-fledged consultation with your nearest and dearest. M-commerce, including mobile app purchases, are pretty much the same. You want current app users to tell their friends how much fun they’re having, how much money they’ve saved, or how much easier their life has become, all thanks to your app.
4. Update, Rinse, and Repeat
In the world of mobile apps, there is no such thing as perfection. Even the most meticulously engineered app will have bugs, and there will be design features consumers just don’t like. Achieving customer satisfaction requires that you tweak, rework, and even overhaul your app as needed, and every time you release a new and improved version, you need to let everyone in the world know about it. Apple’s “Best New Updates” section will get you started, but you can further increase invisibility by repeating every marketing step you took leading up to your initial launch. It’s hard to have too much exposure, especially when you’re working so hard to polish a consumer-friendly product.
Today more than 80 percent of consumers own a mobile device and that means a lot of people potentially ready to download your app, but there are a lot of other developers fighting for the same slice of customer attention and loyalty that you are. How are you going to stand out? While there are a lot of smart ways to sell with mobile marketing, mobile apps require special attention. Try the strategies above and see firsthand how a top-notch marketing and distribution plan can help your mobile app succeed.
What do you think of what I’ve covered so far? Have you successfully launched an app before? What was your go to strategy? I would love to read your comments below.