Want to know how to promote your app quickly and easily? It’s not rocket science, but it doesn’t take care of itself, either. Just make sure you plan ahead, dot your i's and cross your t’s, and track your results.
Developers commonly make marketing mistakes but these can be easily avoided if you stick to a few ground rules.
1. Scope Out the Territory
Market research doesn’t actually take a whole lot of time. You probably did most of it when you were developing the concept for your app.
When you do your market research, there are a few key areas you should focus on:
- Audience – Your customers are your audience. Hopefully you’ve designed your app to meet their needs. The better you understand them, the better you’ll be able to market to them.
Find out where they spend their time online. This will help you understand what types of ads will appeal to them and, just as importantly, where you can advertise to them.
- Competition – One of the best ways to learn more about how to advertise is by studying competitors. Where do they advertise? What types of advertising do they use? What are users saying about their products?
In order to stand out from the competition, you’ll want to distinguish yourself by being better or different from them. Keep this in mind when you plan your marketing, because you’ll want to highlight your unique selling proposition when you market to your customers.
2. Prep Your Online Space
You’d be amazed how many developers neglect their own online spaces. Successful marketing hinges upon controlling your online presence. Make sure you’ve got down these basics when you start promoting:
- Website – Yes, some people actually neglect a website. You’ve got a listing in the app store, after all, so why do you need a website? Websites help interested users find out more about you and your other products; they act as landing pages for your other marketing efforts. The more professional your website, the better you’ll come across in your promotional efforts.
- Social Media – Your personal and professional identities should probably be separate. Use your research from the first step to find out which social media channels potential customers hang out on and promote your app on those channels.
- App Store – When you’re doing your research, get an idea of what keywords work well with your target audience and your app. Keep in mind that search engine marketing also applies to app stores: use appropriate descriptions that contain relevant keywords in order to reach your audience through your listing.
3. Partner Up
Find non-competitors that are relevant to your niche and work with them to help promote your app. These can include:
- Other developers – Finding and working with apps that aren’t directly competitive can help you increase your market share within your niche. You may be able to work out advertising deals or bundling deals that pool your audiences and benefit your marketing efforts at no extra cost.
- Bloggers – Bloggers and niche website owners are a great place to promote your app through advertising, interviews, and articles. You’ll be able to tap into their audience through the web and build your customer base.
4. Pick Your Monetization Method
Once you’ve done your market research, partnered up with non-competitors, and prepped your online space, it’s time to find out how you plan on monetizing. The way you monetize your app has a huge impact on how you should promote your app.
For instance, if you charge for your app, then you can put your app for sale on pay-per-download networks and affiliate networks. If you use ads to monetize your apps, then you can’t.
Know ahead of time how your monetization method will impact your marketing efforts and plan accordingly.
By this time, you’ll have enough groundwork completed to get the word out. Here are a few good places to begin:
- Blogs – Remember the bloggers you partnered with? Find out what they charge for advertising space and take advantage of their niche audience to reach your target audience.
- Apps – The non-competitors you partnered up with may be able to work out a promotional deal: you scratch their back, they scratch yours.
- Ad Networks – When considering potential ad networks, remember: the more targeted the better. Users are more engaged and more targeted when using mobile apps, for instance, than when surfing the web on a desktop.
Promoting your app isn’t as hard as it may seem. Marketing isn’t every developer’s favorite thing to do, but with a little bit of research and effort, promotion can turn your apps into money machines.