Definitive Guide to Launching an App Marketing Strategy

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Launching an app. For a lot of organizations, a successful app is now an essential element of success. For others, the app is the lifeblood of an organization in itself. Very few people predicted that the app would catch on like it has. When the App Store was new, I doubt anybody suspected that in less than a decade there would be over 4 million apps and that the App Store itself would be generating upwards of $10 billion in revenue on a yearly basis. Between the App Store, Google Play, iTunes, Blackberry World, and a handful of alternative app stores, apps have stimulated an impressive amount of surrounding infrastructure, and become an industry in themselves.

For the new, independent app creator, the current market is a bit of a paradox: the market is more saturated with competition than ever, but if you are not competitive, it is important to join the race and do your best to catch up. For every successful app that is launched, there are multitudes of failures. Although there is no formula for success, it is absolutely possible to examine the most successful apps (and the least successful) and take away some important lessons from the experience; and we’ve done just that.

Learning from the glory and failure of a wide range of apps, we have put together a guide that will absolutely give you a push in the right direction if you are planning on launching an app and creating an effective marketing strategy.

1. Invest In Market Research

There are an incredible amount of tools that can help you with this aspect of your operation. Apps like SearchMan, MetricsCat, AppAnnie, and a lot of others. Not only will using these apps supply you with the right kind of Keywords for your app, which is essential knowledge for creating a name for your app, but it will also be invaluable information in writing a description of your app that can hook your potential users and help your app show up as high as possible in search rankings. These tools allow you to check the statistics of apps that will be considered your competition, and most of them allow you to have access to this information for no monetary cost whatsoever.  By spending a little bit of money and investing in app store optimization assistance, you can give yourself a major head start and potentially start your operation with serious visibility momentum.

These statistics, provided by ASO analytics and other informational data, will give you a clear idea of what is working for your competitors, which provides you with an opportunity to bring this perspective to your operation and apply it to the construction of your own marketing strategy.

Using these statistics, your app’s name, description, associated images, and other details should be refined. In this searching, you should not miss the opportunity to take a look at the reviews of other apps in the same categories as yours. Often, these user comments will be packed with hidden gems that can give you a lot of insight as to what your target demographic is actually desiring.

2. Make Sure Your Marketing Is Ready Earlier Than Early

This is covered in point #1 to an extent, but it is worth mentioning that you should absolutely be considering marketing from an early point in the development process. Often, there is so much attention focused on finishing the software and ensuring that it is coming along at an expedient rate, but if your marketing is in check, there is a good chance that your efforts may be wasted.

The launch of your app should be the tip of the iceberg, as pre-release promotions have a lot of potential in making your app arrive on the scene with a splash. How you do this is up to you, but there are a lot of recommended methods that have worked for tons of apps in the past, including:

  • A brief promotional trailer video which effectively explains what makes your app unique and exciting
  • A name that is relevant to users, which can be decided on by thorough keyword research
  • Descriptions, paragraphs, and press releases which are also packed with exciting keywords
  • A beta test planned in advance which allows you enough time to implement some of the practical feedback
  • A press kit featuring your images, paragraphs, and other promotional content
  • A plan for the immediate actions you will take post-launch
  • Plan the release date in advance, and make the release itself a splash

This may seem like a lot, but forming a productive, coherent, and actionable marketing strategy is an investment that nobody has ever regretted.

3. Ask Yourself The Tough Questions

There are some key questions that you need to answer before you kick off. For example, will you develop your marketing strategy internally, or will you outsource this responsibility to an organization of specialists? One is not necessarily better than the other, and a lot of people hire a marketing specialist for at least the inception and launch of their organization’s product. Both options have their upsides and downsides, and it is worth considering. Hiring an outside specialist is sometimes more expensive, but the time that can be saved within the organization can then be spent elsewhere; so, this really depends on the resources you have available to you, and how value is defined within your situation.

It may seem obvious, but ask yourself and your collaborators: what exactly does this app do? What is it that sets it apart and makes it different than other apps? What makes it appealing? Does your app offer a specific service to a defined niche, or is it offering something broad that may interest a wide variety of people– or does it manage to do both? Discuss, debate, and ponder on these questions for some time; even if it seems time-consuming, this is a major investment. The benefits from asking these questions extend beyond the fact that they will get your team on the same page; these answers should not only inform your marketing strategy, but actually provide the foundation for creatively advertising your product.

4. Pay Attention To The Consumer!

This is vital! We mentioned that you should check the comment sections and ratings & reviews of competitive apps before you launch your own, but how you deal with your own ratings, reviews, and user feedback can also play an important role in refining a top-notch marketing strategy. Obviously, when negative feedback is published, it becomes clear for the world to see. Even the best apps get low reviews from the wrong customer. Of course, if possible, you should prevent this by dealing diplomatically and patiently from any user who reaches out to you, before leaving a review, that seems to be expressing some kind of dissatisfaction with the app. But, hypothetically, if a bad review is left in your ratings on an important app store, it is possible to respond in a way that garners respect from anybody who may be seeing it, as well as the disgruntled user who left the comment. First, breathe deeply. Do not respond with anger, as is often the impulsive response. By showing patience, compassion, and understanding in an articulate, sincere response (specifically if the reply is left under the name of the app/company), you can create a favorable impression. If certain complaints seem to be coming up with relatively high frequency, the best thing that you can do is to find a creative way to amend the situation, whether it be by dealing with the issue (if that is at all possible) or forewarning your users that it is part of the app, and not an unplanned glitch.

5. Consider How The Users Can Share The App

For example, apps that are games, or have game-like elements, will often offer the opportunity for their scores to be shared on other social media platforms. If your app is not a game, there are still inventive ways to put the power of advertising into the hands of the satisfied user– you can’t do all the work! By finding inventive methods of inspiring word-of-mouth marketing that is user-perpetuated, you are creating the possibility for advertisement that is not only free and profitable, but also unparalleled in its effectiveness. It’s an old adage that word of mouth is the best endorsement that a product can receive, and it may be true; the words will almost definitely mean more from a trusted friend than a paid advertisement. Many apps offer incentives for their users to share the app with their friends, including discount codes and other such perks. Can this be applied to your app marketing strategy?

Conclusion

There are an incredible amount of steps involved with creating an app, and the odds of becoming the next Candy Crush, Uber, or Tinder may be a little unrealistic. Still, it is definitely possible to profit off of creating a useful or engaging app, but the best idea in the world has a significantly lower chance of succeeding if it isn’t supported by virtuosic, sensible promotional support.

We strongly suggest that you consider applying these thoughts, tips, and techniques when forming your marketing strategy.

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