Having a perfectly good mobile app idea is not enough. A lot of factors come into play once you start building the app and launch it publicly. In this article I’ll try to highlight some of the most important things in mobile app marketing that one should focus on while launching their new app.
The adoption rate of mobile is twice that of the internet, three times that of social media, and 10 times faster than PCs.
– Emma Crowe, Somo
With the adoption rate of mobile on rise, the app needs to be designed in such a way that the users are hooked right from the beginning. It’s not easy getting a million people to download the app. And it’s even more difficult to retain them and keep them engaged for a longer time.
Let’s take a look at 10 mobile app marketing strategies that will help in effectively monitoring user segments, running personalized campaigns, reducing churn, and increasing downloads & retention rate for your app.
1. Defining the value proposition
The sole purpose of building an app is to provide a value to its user. Your app should either solve an existing problem or provide a unique value to the customers. If you fail to deliver both, then the users have no real reason to use the app. This will result in tremendous increase in the app drop offs.
Hence, it’s important to clearly define the value proposition of your app for the users. It’s equally important that the same value proposition is also conveyed effectively across all channels.
Take a look at some of the biggest brands in the market and you’ll see that they have a very clear value proposition defined on their app and website. For example, Duolingo’s value proposition is “Learn a language for free. Forever“. It’s simple and conveys what value it will provide to its user.
The users will only come back to the app if they find the app to be adding a real value. So put time and efforts to define a great value proposition for your app.
2. Improving the onboarding experience
Only 20-40% of new customers will open an app after the first week, hence it’s important that they have the best first experience. Providing a smooth & easy onboarding experience can help in significantly reducing the overall abandonment rates.
It’s important that the core value and benefits of the app is also conveyed when the user interacts with the app for the first time. It’s observed that the lifetime value of a user increases by 500% when he/she is onboarded effectively.
Running A/B tests for different onboarding flow will help in analyzing how users interact with different flows, and how they perform certain in-app actions. Testing different messages, call-to-action buttons, images and more inside your app will give you deep insights and further optimize your onboarding efforts.
Tools like Optimizely and Localytics, help to setup, run, and measure crucial metrics for A/B tests. The case study of Secret Escapes shows how they ran A/B tests to realize that keeping the sign-in option mandatory for their app resulted in higher average lifetime for the user.
3. Competitor Analysis
Before you enter the market, perform a competition analysis to understand the current landscape of market share, what strategies are used by competitors to acquire and retain users, what keywords they are targeting and what are your key focus area. This will help you in strategizing your marketing efforts to drive growth and achieve better results.
Tools like SensorTower and AppAnnie help in gaining access to critical data about competitor’s keywords and app ranks in the app store. Another tool that can come handy for this is Apptopia, it helps in quickly finding the number of monthly installs per geo.
Apart from the normal parameters, you should also check for recent PR mentions and news for your competitors. This helps in understanding where they currently stand and also helps you in identifying potential marketing channel for your app too. Tools like Buzzsumo and Google mention can help you keep a track of you competitor mentions and updates.
4. App Store Optimization
App Store Optimization (ASO), is one of the most efficient ways to increase the app find-ability within the mobile app stores. Optimizing the keyword relevancy and the density of the keywords in app description can boost your organic app rankings.
Did you know that using relevant keywords in the title increases search ranking for your app by 10.3%?
Optimizing app icon, screenshots, and video is crucial part of ASO. An A/B test performed by Splitmetrics showed that a better app icon can improve your app page performance by 560%.
It’s important to stay abreast with latest ASO updates and changes. It allows you to quickly make necessary update to your app store page and rank better in the search results.
5. Improving the stickiness and retention
Downloading and installing the app isn’t good enough. Did you know that the average mobile app retention rate is only 20% after the first 90 days of installing the app?
Getting the users hooked right from the start and pulling them back to regularly use app is a tough task. Once the user has installed the app, your goal is to get them to perform in-app actions or purchase.
This can be achieved by running retargeting mobile ads using tools like Appsflyer. It’s observed that sales conversions for mobile retargeting is 13 times higher than desktop retargeting. It’s also observed that mobile app retargeting results in 62% lower cost to generate a lead.
Incentivize in app actions. Rewarding users to perform certain actions in the app helps in driving more conversions and improve engagement. Incentivizing referrals will encourage current users to invite their friends, family and colleagues to download the app.
It is observed that referrals from friends and family are 92% more effective than any other form of mobile app marketing.
Offer more personalized app content. User data like first name, behaviors, and preferences can help in customizing interactions. Messages tailored to user interests have a 54% conversion rate, versus 15% from broadcast messages.
Use push notifications to send personalized messages and drive engagement even when user is not using the app. It is observed that apps with push notifications turned on see retention rates as high as 49%, and an average click rate of 8.1%.
Using in-app messages is more effective than push notifications when it comes to CTR. The average click rate on in-app messages is 16%. Apps with in-app messaging see 3.5x better retention. The best part: because they’re part of the app itself, they don’t require a user to opt-in.
6. Leverage product discovery platforms
Product discovery platforms are great source to gain early adopters for the app and get quick feedback on the app features. These platforms have thousands of daily active users and allow you to reach your niche target audience even before the app is published.
Sites like Betalist, Earlibird, LaunchingNext etc. have a large audience (70,000+ page views per week) of early adopters and product enthusiasts. ProductHunt is one of the best product discovery platform that is growing rapidly day by day. It has an active community of product developers, investors and early adopters.
These websites feature the top products of the day in their newsletter which helps the products to reach even larger audience. Such channels also help beta testing your app and making necessary improvements before you launch the app publicly.
7. Grow the community around the app
Creating a web page and a blog for the app helps in driving organic and referral traffic from the web. Perform thorough keyword research to optimize landing pages and write good content to effectively drive organic visitors.
Create social media pages or groups based on your app to drive engagement among the target audience. These channels help in gaining wider visibility and increase the reach of the app. Join the most relevant groups to engage with the target audience and promote the app.
Most of the social networking websites help in targeting users based on interests and demographics. This feature comes very handy while running paid campaigns for mobile app marketing. Choose the channel which is most suitable for your app and where your target audience hang out the most.
If the community doesn’t exist yet, then build one yourself. Ryan Hoover wrote an interesting article about the importance of building a community around your product. Sometimes you just need 1000 true fans to get started.
8. Building relationship with the influencers
A trusted influencer in your app niche can add a huge credibility element to your app. It allows your app to reach the target audience in the most effective way. Building relationship with the influencers in early stages will have a huge effect in the number of downloads that your app receives at the time of launch and throughout the app life cycle.
According to a case study by Nielsen Catalina Solutions and TapInfluence, influencer content generates ROI that is 11 times greater than traditional digital campaigns.
9. Tap media sites, forums, and YouTube channels
It’s important to get media coverage for your app to go viral. Websites like TechCrunch, Wired, Mashable, etc., who regularly publish news and app reviews should be a part of your mobile app marketing campaign. These websites have a huge reader base of tech enthusiasts which makes them one of the best source to reach large audience.
Forums like Reddit and HackerNews help to reach niche target audience and gain real feedback about the app. They have a very active tech community who are always looking for new cool apps. Making use of specific subreddits can help you to gain more targeted users for the app.
Quora is one of the most important channel when it comes to educating audience about our new app. Answering relevant questions and commenting can help your app gain more visibility.
YouTube channels that regularly review apps and create compelling tech videos should be one of your prime focus. Video marketing is on rise and has far more reach compared to text content. Partnering up with right channels with high viewership will do wonders for your mobile app marketing efforts.
10. Running paid ads
You can’t ignore mobile advertising in today’s world where adoption rate of mobile is on rise. You can run advertising campaigns to display in-app display ads, video ads on mobile devices and search ads.
Using social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, you can effectively run targeted mobile ads based on location, age, interests and their likes. It’s one the easiest ways to get instant targeted app downloads.
Quora allows targeting topics and keywords to display ads to the users who would have searched for a keyword or reading an answer in a particular topic.
Running App store ads has far significant effect than other paid channels. The advantage of using app store ads is that your app is showed to the right users at the right time. One of the study showed that Nordeus saw 892% more app installs in first 30 days and the retention rate was 51% higher.
These are just 10 important aspects of mobile app marketing. There is a lot more that you can do based on your app idea. Simple things like PR distribution, extensive A/B tests, email marketing campaigns, etc. can help in achieving excellent results for your efforts.
Let me know what you did to grow your app in the comments below.
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