So you have just created a new mobile app that you think has the potential to be the next big thing. You put it out there on App Store or Google Play, wishfully thinking that users will start downloading your app and using it. However, reality hits you when those download rates do not go up nearly as much as you had hoped in the beginning. It is high time we introduce you to what is called mobile app marketing. If you want your application to be successful, you ought to market it to the right audience, at the right places and at the right time.
Most of what app marketing consists of mobile marketing. In some cases, when the budget allows, you can use traditional marketing methods to take your marketing to the physical world. In this mobile app marketing guide, we will discuss what it is in more detail, creating a strategy (with examples) and more. So stick around if you want to learn more.
Not to be confused with mobile marketing, mobile app marketing strictly deals with mobile apps. In other words, mobile app marketing is the process of promoting mobile apps as well as further marketing efforts focused on interacting with customers to maintain user engagement and retention.
The purpose of mobile app marketing does not solely end with promoting it so that people can download it. On the contrary, it is a never-ending cycle in which you consistently engage your users with marketing campaigns to sustain their interest in your app.
Developing a good mobile app marketing strategy requires a deep understanding of what it is and how the process works. So let’s break it down into parts for better insight. The way people use mobile apps can be described as a sequence of stages, also known as funnel stages in marketing terms. Here are its three key funnel stages,
This is the first step in which users interact or learn about your app for the first time. This is where you have to understand how to lure these people in, get them to download and install your app. User acquisition campaigns are intended to promote the brand to the right audience and good ones can attract new users, thus helping build a user base.
This is the second step wherein people have already purchased/downloaded your mobile app and are using it for the first time. This includes actions such as adding personal information (email, phone number, etc.) or completing an action of some sort (i.e. making a purchase).
As the name suggests, this is the stage where you try to retain your users’ engagement levels with your app, turning it to a regular destination for them.
Now that we have broken down the process of mobile app marketing, it is time to discuss some strategy—where to start from, what to do and how to approach the marketing campaign. As is the case with all forms of marketing, you need to develop a thorough mobile app marketing plan if you want your app to succeed. This means planning for how you are going to promote it from its inception all the way to its official launch.
Even though there are dozens of steps you can take as far as strategies go, here we will try to include the main components that you should take into account when developing your own plan.
After your strategy is complete and is up and running, you should start monitoring its results through analytics.
Even though there is a lot of data available for you to track, here are the key metrics you should pay most attention to.
The number of active users (daily or monthly) on your app that engage in any sort of activity and how much time they spend on average using your app in a single session.
The number of users who return to the app within three months of first using it. A user is considered retained when they return to your app at least once every 30 days.
In terms of marketing, this is a key metric to focus on because it helps understand from which sources you get most of your app acquisitions. Therefore, it makes it easier to determine which distribution channels to invest more time and effort in.
This is all not to say that everything in this guide is set in stone. Rather, you can use it as a mobile app marketing plan template to build your strategy upon.
When your strategy is completed its time to divide it into separate campaigns to be able to achieve your goals. Whether it is an image-maker or just a messenger app, most of them now require a well-planned mobile app marketing campaign to gain exposure and popularity among users. But the campaign does not stop there. If you want to sustain user engagement and retention, continuous campaigns are almost a must. That is to say, you should always strive to promote your app as much as you can to ensure both app acquisition and engagement.
The mobile platform is quickly overtaking desktop in user numbers, with Statista estimating around 2.87 billion people owning a smartphone by 2020. Couple that with the fact that by 2022 mobile app downloads will increase to 2058 billion globally and you can see that it is rising to insane levels of popularity.
Nevertheless, almost 70% of total mobile app usage comes from the top 200 apps. What this means is that even though smartphones and mobile apps are popular right now, it is no guarantee that your app will be successful. At least in the beginning stages.
Do not let that discourage you from trying though. If you do your research and follow the latest mobile marketing trends and statistics, you can devise a decent strategy that will help launch your app to the top.
To make your job easier, we will try to present some helpful marketing tools and techniques well as channels that you can find useful down the road. Following these mobile app marketing best practices can help your app stand out more among the fierce competition.
Websites climb up to the top of the search engine results by way of SEO. Similarly, you can implement an ASO strategy—which is short for app store optimization—to help your app’s ranking. It will help with visibility which will lead to more downloads, thus more visibility. It is an endless cycle in which one helps the other. ASO optimization incorporates correct use of titles, descriptions, keywords, graphic screenshots and positive reviews.
Never rely only on the app store to market your app. Use other digital channels to promote it for better exposure. Social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have an enormous user base. Running paid promotions and advertisements on them will surely get the much-needed exposure for your app. Moreover, you can create a website or run an email newsletter service to drive new app downloads. You can also try to get reviews and mentions from blogs, famous Internet personalities and so on.
Most applications are downloaded and used once before they are tossed aside. You can have a pretty fun, engaging app which still ends up not being used. Apps that constantly try to engage with their users through push notifications and in-app messages tend to do much better in terms of retaining their userbase. Additionally, you can look for outside options such as email and SMS marketing to engage with customers outside of your mobile application.
Creating and conducting a full mobile app marketing campaign can be a daunting task, especially for people with no marketing background. You can be an amazing software developer but lack the skills in the marketing department—which is perfectly fine—and in such cases we advise using the services of the professionals.
Mobile app marketing agencies have the experience and expertise necessary to handle your strategy and campaigns. All you have to do is find and sign up on one that fits your needs and they will take it over from there.
With that said, here are some of the best mobile app marketing companies in the business right now:
There is never a bad time to learn something new and broaden your knowledge, especially in this digitalized era, when there are tons of sources on the internet to learn new things. If you are interested in mobile app marketing and decided to do your app promotion by yourself, here are some sources that offer mobile app marketing courses online: Udemy and Udacity. You can also check out this digital marketing course where you can find the basics and learn how to start your first campaign.