It’s no secret that mobile web users now outnumber desktop web users. Today, more people have access to the web from their smartphone or tablet than from a PC. And when we look more closely at mobile users’ behaviour, we find that 90% of their mobile browsing time is spent within apps, according to research by smartinsights. In a nutshell, if you don’t have an iOS or Android app, you don’t exist on the mobile web. But creating an app isn’t overly complicated if you have a serious project and the right support.
However, once your app is available for download, you’ll need to make sure that people know about it. To guide you along, here are 10 tips to help promote your app and generate downloads.
1 – Create a dedicated website
A basic website (e.g. one page) dedicated solely to your app may be enough to build a strong identity and impactful communication around the app. This website should present all the key information in a clear and concise form:
- What’s the purpose of your app?
- What does it do?
- How is it useful?
- How do you use it?
- How do you share it?
This type of microsite is increasingly popular, as its sole purpose is to promote your app without cannibalizing your corporate website. It’s also important to refer to this microsite on your ‘official’ website, and provide direct links allowing users to download your app from the iOS and Android marketplaces.
2 – Produce a teaser
A few weeks before launching your app, you can produce a short video to illustrate your app and its essential benefits to users: what problem does it solve and what will it look like? You can then allow a limited number of users to download it in order to generate interest, maintain the surprise factor, and take advantage of feedback from these initial users before releasing the app to the public.
Are you lacking creativity? These few examples should inspire you:
3 – Create a blog
By devoting a blog to your app, you can reveal what’s happening behind the scenes or talk about your app’s content, but in a roundabout way. This is a great idea for developing your inbound marketing strategy. It’s also an opportunity to give a little background information:
- Who developed the app?
- What’s the feedback from users?
- What’s the roadmap for improving the app or releasing a new version?
- What new features are developers working on?
4 – Develop press relations
If you feel that your app really stands out and might appeal to journalists, then go ahead and send out press releases and press kits to trade journalists, or use the services of an agency that specializes in this area. Are you self-employed or short of funds? If so, focus on the local and regional press, who will be more than happy to promote the work of a local entrepreneur. What’s more, their articles could go on to attract the interest of national journalists.
5 – Think multilingual
If you’re a major global brand or if you plan to expand internationally, you should focus your efforts on English-language content right from the start. Your videos, websites, and all your documentation and tools should, at the very least, be available in English and in your local language.
The same goes for your app. By providing an English-language version, you’ll be prepared for any major expansion, you’ll save time, and you’ll reach more prospective customers.
6 – Work on your emailing campaign
You should also take the time to communicate by email, whether you already have hundreds or thousands of opt-in customers or contacts, or whether you’re still seeking them out. This may seem old-school, but it’s still an effective way to encourage downloads. email is ideal for sharing all kinds of information, including newsletters, app info, and links for downloading white papers or special reports on your industry.
7 – Take advantage of social media: organic or sponsored
Depending on your targets, use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. There are many ways you can communicate effectively on these social networks to publicize your app. You can go further by purchasing ads that will instantly redirect users to their chosen marketplace for downloading your app. This is one of the most efficient ways to reach people who may potentially be interested in using your app.
8 – Launch a competition
You can encourage your community to interact with you by launching basic competitions on a specific platform or simply on social media. Examples include photo competitions with a special hashtag, quizzes and prize draws. It’s up to you to find the right mechanism that will encourage users to compete for prizes and talk about your app. There are many applications available that can organize this type of competition for you, and some are free-of-charge.
9 – Pay close attention to feedback
Most of all, don’t ignore negative feedback. Take the time to contact or reply to people. Users are your brand ambassadors. If you treat them well, they’ll reward your efforts. What’s more, this feedback will help you identify and fix bugs or malfunctions.
You should also pay particular attention to your app’s illustrations and descriptions in the iOS and Android marketplaces. Try to formulate the right words and provide specific illustrations that show what your app looks like and how it will be indispensable to future users. Your page on Google Play or iTunes is your storefront. It should be flawless!
10 – Build close ties with influencers
You can invite bloggers and Facebook or LinkedIn groups to test your app free-of-charge, without necessarily expecting anything in return. The fact that they’re aware of your app could open doors for you. Adopt an influencer approach rather than a sales one. If you feel that your paid app could appeal to a specific target, offer it to them at a discount or free-of-charge. Also, pay close attention to how they use the app because these influencers will be an integral part of your community.
There’s a wide range of techniques that you can deploy to promote your app, but obviously, everything hinges on the app’s inherent quality. It’s better to take your time and launch a genuinely efficient, functional and bug-free app, rather than rush to release an app that is poorly designed and not very useful. An effective promotional campaign can boost sales of a good app, but can never save a bad app from disaster!