January 3, 2014

Marketing your mobile app – four top tips

Written By Martin Sandhu

After spending weeks, months or maybe even longer creating and perfecting a mobile app which will transform your fortunes or your company’s, it’s heart breaking to see it simply not being downloaded. You’re friends and colleagues make up the majority of the figures, you’ve got one or two reviews, but it simply isn’t getting the attention it deserves.

There are more than half a million apps vying for attention out there, making it a hugely competitive market where your app needs some serious help in order to be seen. There is of course the tradition routes of PR, advertising, blogging etc. but that’s what everyone does, your apps marketing strategy needs to be more unique than that…

Build on success

Use what you already have! If you’ve already built a successful app, employ in-app advertising to let your users know about your new offering. If you have a popular website, use gating to encourage mobile visitors to download your app or add a banner to your desktop site.

If you’re just starting out, find out if you can leverage someone else’s success to promote your app, a partner business or one with a shared interest for example. Many free apps offer advertising in order to make money, if there is a popular app with some synergy to yours this could be a good route.

Build in shareability

Of course, you can ask users to share how much they love your app, but so can everyone! Building shareability into an app will drive traffic organically. Great recent examples of this tactic include the likes of Bitstrips and Flipagram, which seemingly overtook Facebook in the latter part of 2013.

If possible, make social a key part of using the app, think multi-player games. If this isn’t possible make things that people want to share and make sharing those things easy.

Search is key

With so many apps out there it’s unlikely that browsers are going to find yours (unless you’re already in the top 20!), so search will be a key route for people finding your app. The text indexed in app store listings varies depending on the operating system, but it is worthwhile taking an SEO-style approach when writing any text which will appear on the store.

Make it the best app ever

There is one sure-fire way to make your app rocket up the charts and gain the credit it deserves…simply make the best app ever! Truly great apps can succeed on their own merits, but it’s important to take an objective view, particularly now apps are commonplace, users will have already seen hundreds of mobile apps, so a great one will have to stand out and be unique as well as working flawlessly.