Marketers Weigh In: 10 Ways to Increase App Downloads
1. Get in Touch
Marketing your app starts long before you ever bring it to market. Before you start telling your development team to start building out your app with a million different things, reach out to your customers and talk to them. After all, you want to make sure that whatever you are building, is going to be just right for them.
You can begin to reach out to your customers by first creating list of every single person you have ever sold to and even those who have only signed up to your newsletter. Send them an email and ask them for 5 or 10 minutes of their time.
Your customers are busy people so try to give your customers something in return for helping you. Incentivize your customers by offering them a special discount, or some form of educational content. After you have their attention, ask them a few questions to get an idea of what they might be searching for in an app.
You want to understand the expectations your customers have with your app. In going through this process you will begin to uncover gaps you may have never seen before and you will have successfully build a bridge between yourself and your customers. By including your customers in the app creation process not only are you subtly promoting your app, but you are making sure that the app you make fits the people you are catering to.
Your customer is the backbone of your business, so keep them engaged through every process of the app’s development. The following is a quote from Bain and Co. to further illustrate our message:
“…a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%”. Retain your customers by letting them know about your app’s idea and ask them what they would really like to see in it. How can you make the app more savvy and beneficial for them? Remember, your customer has their own audience and if you’re able to convince them, you’ll be hitting all the right notes to bolster your success and staying power.”
2. Reach Out To Influencers
Marketing your app can also extend beyond your usual field of influence and often times, these foreign connections are exactly what your company needs. Developing honest, authentic, and mutually beneficial relationships with influencers will go a long way in helping to promote your app.
Influencers are individuals with the power to influence the buying and engagement decisions of a certain group of people. Business owners reaching out influencers should be careful to only present content that is truly relevant for the influencers and their audience. While some marketers often offer monetary compensation in exchange for influencer promotion, we recommend you instead find influencers that truly value your company.
Your viewers and theirs as well will quickly catch on that the influencer is being paid to act on your behalf. The last thing you want is viewers feeling that you are “faking” how great your business is. Genuine sponsorships will aid your company much more and build a stronger following.
Let influencers know you are building or have built an app. Ask if you can get some time with them to discuss the apps development or to gather some feedback. If you really want to have them on board, give them their own section within the app or work towards building an app that caters to both your needs. If you decide to go with either of those choices, make sure your values, interest, and customers align.
3. Feature the App in an Official Blog
In addition to including your app on your website, include it in your regularly scheduled blog post is another promotion strategy you can leverage. You may do so by creating a complete blog post solely about your app or including a call to action at the end of every blog post to invite your viewers to download the app.
When writing the blog post solely about the app, write a complete story about your app and let your audience know the purpose behind it. Tell them how this app can facilitate and make things easy for them. Include your app links, screenshots and videos to help them get a good understanding.
4. Feature The App in Your Emails
Your new app needs to be engraved into every aspect of your marketing, that includes all of your emails. As a business, you will send out countless emails and not including your app in each of those is a missed opportunity.
Any email that is sent out, whether it be from your tech support, your newsletter or even the payment confirmation email should include a footer with one line advertising your app. Include details such as what can be accomplished through the app and a link redirecting towards the download page.
Emails still have their charm provided they’re used under the right circumstances. According to a study by Exact Target, “91% people check their email daily”. Capitalize by incorporating your app links into newsletters, customer service emails and also make it a habit to use it in email signatures.
5. Create a Demo Video
Videos are an easy way for you to showcase everything your beautiful and well-built app has to offer. For your demo video, create a simple 30 second commercial with the principles of Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle :Why, How, and What.
Assign a team to work on bringing this video together. The collective minds of more than one individual will help you to finish projects faster and with fewer errors. Keep in mind that your demo video is not meant to stay the way it is now. Your videos, along with all your content, should be updated weekly or monthly.
Once you are finishing creating your demo video, be sure to leverage your social media and other platforms to promote your app. Your demo video can be included in your blog post, Instagram, and Youtube channels.
6. Apply for Awards
Participating in app awards is the most recommended channel and I would highly suggest you take advantage of it. It can give you tons of press, exposure, reviews and plenty of downloads. Although the chances of winning very much depend on your pitch and app idea, however, if you manage to get things right the first time, you can expect to enjoy a little stardom.
These are some of the most famous app awards sites:
- Appy Awards
- Best App Ever Awards
- AppCircus competition
- Apple Design Awards
- Appsters Awards
- Ericsson Application Awards
- The Webby Awards
- Best Mobile App Awards
7. SEO Matters Here
Yes, I’m talking about SEO not ASO… what happens is your app URL shows up in search results when users key-in related queries; for example when they look up music apps, you want your app to start popping up among the first 5 entries or so, before users hit Enter.
All you need to do is identify “best-targeted” keywords that you want to rank for. Also analyze which keywords your app is currently ranking on, build some quality links accordingly to boost rankings.
8. Join Developers & Entrepreneurs Groups on Social Media
Increase your visibility on social media groups & communities, especially Linkedin, Google+ and Facebook, to become better known among entrepreneurs & app developers go.
Ask for their feedback on your app and give them free promo codes to try it out. Discuss current features, bug fixes, future updates and value their opinion. You can build great relationships with them which might present the opportunity to cross promote each other’s apps without spending a cent.
9. Create An Eye Catching App Icon
With over 1.6 million apps in the Google Play Store and 1.5 million in the App Store, there’s a lot of noise in any category you choose you have your app in. Due to that noise, many people choose to take interest in apps, only when the app icon entices them.
- To make your app icon stand out, it should:
- Have a unique shape that stands out
- Have a limited pallet of colors – 2 is enough to create contrast
- Avoid using a photo – it blends in too much!
- Avoid a lot of text, it’s barely readable anyways
- Be creative!
- Testing your app icon out on a dozen different wallpapers also doesn’t hurt.
10. App Store Optimization
App store optimization (ASO) is, at it’s core, search engine optimization (SEO) for the Google Play and App Store. Just like search engine optimization, app store optimization focuses on keyword relevance, search relevance and the keyword density in your description.
With almost half of iPhone users in the US finding apps through search, your app description is one of the most important things you can focus on in your app marketing efforts.
It’s also really easy to get started with competitor research through platforms like App Annie where you can search something like “healthy recipes for women” and see what apps show up and their ranking.
We wrote an entire article just about how app store optimization and mobile search engine optimization work. In it we run through why it’s important and how to get your app listing optimized.