How To Promote Your Mobile App

by Joe on June 19, 2014 in App Marketing, Infographic, Mobile Strategy

How to Promote Your Mobile App

Check out our How to Promote Your Mobile App infographic

So you’ve spent weeks or even months developing your app, and now, you’re sure the app is ready to hit the market. Where do you start? Who do you call to help you sell the app in the major stores? A lot of work goes into developing and selling an app on the world stage. Each step of the development process has to be well thought out so that when you’re ready to launch, your product doesn’t die out before it hits the shelf.

The following tips are meant to assist you before and after the official launch so that you don’t run into the usual snags when people finally get a hold of the app.

1. Choose a Good Name

This should be the first order of business. Before you consider telling anybody about the app, ensure it has a unique and catchy name so that it stands out from the competitors. The name matters a lot because it reflects on the application as well as the developer so consider it carefully.

1.1. Identify what your target market needs. In your app’s description, include keywords and phrases that your target market might enter into an app search engine. This shouldn’t be so difficult because you can set the name to correspond with one of these words or phrases and then personalize it to suit your target market.

1.2. Create an app title with at least one keyword that will really grab the attention of the target audience.

What image comes to mind when you hear the title? In order for the title to sell, it has to be marketable and appeal to a significant number of your audience. Besides making the name marketable, focus on making the app title relevant to the market.

Your title needs to be memorable

Nobody is going to respond to a bland uninspiring title. Whatever type of app you’re developing, it couldn’t make an impact if the title is off. Come up with a catchy title, and create keywords around it to help with the name.

One or more of the keywords should be included in the name of the app

The keywords you decide to use will be useful in naming and describing the app. A simple formula to refer to would be this: Clever Name-Descriptive Keywords

It’s important to have a catchy title, but what happens if the title doesn’t describe the function of the app? Consider the main features of the app, and see how those could translate to a descriptive title. For instance, if the app is free, then you could include “Free” in the title.

Steer clear of trademark infringement

The last thing you want is for your application to be rejected from major app stores and directories because the developers are being sued for trademark infringement. It might be an interesting way to get attention for fifteen minutes, but it won’t get the app moving in the right direction because reviews won’t be so flattering. If the app is similar in some way to another popular app currently in the market, you can work the name of that app into the keywords, but make it sound natural. Something in the way of,”… action-packed race that fans of NFS will love.”

2. Keep it short and cool

While you want a memorable name to go with your app, you don’t want a long complicated name that no one will remember.

2.1 The amount of letter your name uses is not the only thing that matters. You must also consider the width of each letter. So you can have 12,14,16, etc. However, letters like W,Z will require more space than i,j. So just make sure your name fits the width of the screen. Also, remember that the spaces between words will take up screen space too.

2.3 One of the best ways to figure out the appropriate length for your App Name is by using it as a label on an ios a folder. This will allow you to see how much space it will take up and whether you need to lengthen or shorten it. You may want to make the name a little shorter than this too because some devices will allow even less screen width than others. For instance, The width of an iPod is not as wide as that of an iPad.

2.4 Look to your competitors for inspiration and ideas

No one would like to be implicated in idea theft, but the reality is, it happens more times than you can imagine. A lot of great ideas get passed around on the web, and sometimes, people make off with them and modify others’ ideas to create better apps under their own name. Competition does exist, and it’s getting fiercer by the day so in order for you to make a name in the market, you will have to get out there and see not only what you can offer but also, how you can make it better.

3. How to choose the right category

When selecting a category, you have three main options:

3.1 Choosing one of the main popular categories. This is a bad idea because Apple could toss out your app just for being in the wrong category.

3.2. Choose a less competitive category so your hot app stands out. Unless there’s an app in your category that is identical to yours, desist from wrongful app placement. Trying to work new angles to keep your app ahead of the competition while staying below Apple’s radar can be too much work.

3.3. Select the right category, and hope for the best. Unfortunately, a laid-back attitude doesn’t always guarantee good results for your app. If for instance you choose the “entertainment” category you will be facing off against sharp competitors, and it might be hard to appear on the 200 list. Categories such as “Travel” and “Photo and Video” are less competitive.

4. Create an amazing icon

A great icon will do wonders for the app when it hits the app stores so don’t be stingy. Hire an interface designer to work on making an icon that stands out in the crowded bazaar.

4.1. Make it both amazing and attractive

So you obviously know you have to make it stand out, but this does not in any way give you the right to mix up words, concepts and abstractions in a simple icon. An icon is basically a graphical representation of what you want it to be. In this case, probably a concept or operation. Focus on aesthetics, and keep the idea simple and clear.

4.2. Make the apps style portray its purpose

If you make full use of your pictorial arsenal, then you should be able to come up with graphic representations that best portray the application. If done right, the icon can become iconic enough to transcend the limitations of the app and end up in its own magical sphere, where everyone who looks at it knows exactly what it stands for.

4.3 Offer your target markets some great shots of your app in action

Again, hire an expert for this if you want to come out with quality shots. Try to capture the details worth capturing, and keep the images clear.

5. Figure out how to get users to buy and download or sample the app.

In addition to designing a cool icon and describing the usefulness of the app, you will also need to tell the audience why they need the app everyday of their lives. In this case, connect the app to some regular and much needed service.

5.1. Present your app in a way that ensures it will be memorable and stir up some excitement

Subliminal advertising works for large chain stores so why not use it for your app? Again, a simple and casual approach works more in the long run so go for memorable quotes, fun facts and exciting one-liners.

5.2. Describe your app in a bit of detail

On the app store, you will have only a few sentences to describe what the app is about without sounding showy, corny or desperate. Prepare a compelling description so your app wins points with users. Check what your competitors are saying about their apps to get inspiration for your own description.

6. Come up with a good title, a clear description and distinct Keywords

This combination involves the following:

  • App Title
  • Company Name, (optional)
  • App Description
  • Keywords
  • Image Title

6.1. Include your keywords

Develop the keywords in a way that helps put your app in front of the rest. You want to rank highly in terms of SEO in the appstore market.

6.2. Spy on your competitors

You expect nothing less from your competitors so ensure you also know what they’re up to. You could get good ideas on how to stay competitive.

6.3. Make it actionable

You want to know how your app stacks up against the competition, and releasing a 3-star rated mobile app won’t do the trick. Take all the steps you need to secure the app.

7. Build a Great Landing Page or App Promotion Website

This can be done in the later stages of development when the audience needs something to look at. It has a lot of promotional value because you can use it to create anticipation for the app long before it comes out.

8. Integrate Analytics in your App. Eg. Flurry After Launch

A little wordplay would be good for the public, and many of your competitors will be coming up with new ways to incorporate analytics in their apps.

9. Push for as many downloads as you can in the first days after launch to rise to the top of the charts!

When the hype builds up in the days leading up to the launch, it tends to hit a climax when the downloads begin. You can start a dramatic countdown on the website to keep people hooked. Make sure you push for more downloads by using incentives and whatever else you can think of.

9.1. Why incentives are important.

Incentives could work in pushing for more downloads, but in many cases, practical information will do more. Give users more information about the download and why they need to get the app sooner rather than later.

9.2. Explain the steps necessary to start using the app

Not all users are tech-savvy so include a how-to guide along with the download link so everyone can access it. You need all the downloads you can get!

10. Get featured on Review Sites

The press will be useful each step of the way and more so when the app comes out. Have them review it on sites by informing the press about the launch.

11. Video

Video advertising is the most compelling and effective way to reach the masses so incorporate it in the promotion.

11.1. Create a promo video of your app showcasing how it works and tips for its use to give users a feel of what your app is like without downloading it. Your landing page would be a great place to stream the video.

12. Email marketing

A simple newsletter signup will get you all the contacts you need for a follow-up email marketing strategy.

13. TV Advertising

Amazon spent a ton of money advertising the Amazon Mobile Shopping App because they have a specific target audience in mind. You don’t have to spend millions on TV ads just yet, but it’s something to consider.

13.1. According to research from Nielsen, 40% of Smartphone and tablet users use their devices while watching TV on a daily basis; and you wonder why Amazon would spend so much money on TV ads?

14. Reach out to Media

Contact all relevant media, and make sure they know everything about the app so they can spread the word.

14.1. Prepare your press kit (pictures, press release, bio of the founders, screen shots, logos)

You need to reach out to press release service such as PRMac.com, and update information about the progress of the app.

14.2. Target journalists/editors that cover your field

The mobile app market is wide enough so you won’t have a problem finding solid tech journalists to cover the story.

14.3. Write your own articles and submit to directories

Nobody knows the app better than you so who else would be best suited to write about it? Now ,you will find plenty of directories to submit the articles to, but focus on the relevant sites.

15. Share on Social Media and with Friends

Sharing on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Google+ and sharing within the App should all be made possible.

15.1. Encourage users to share on social networks

This won’t take much work since most users will share the app automatically, but ensure you encourage social network sharing through use of social media tools.

15.2. Encourage users to rate and review the app

If you spend time on Yelp, get others there to talk about what they do and do not like about your app and start a forum about it.

16. Share content from your app on Behance, Pinterest and Scoop.it.

Top developers focus on these sites even before the app comes out so start formulating a comprehensive social network sharing campaign.

17. Co-Promotional Partnerships

Getting an effective marketing partner is not the easiest of things, but it is invaluable to the success of the launch.

17.1. Take a hint from Shazam. They’ve created a mutually-beneficial partnership with Bravo to promote a “second screen” experience for viewers of Bravo. They can use the Shazam app while watching a number of Bravo shows and get access to exclusive content. Figure out what kind of partnership would work with your app, and carefully consider all of your options.

18. Paid Promotions Through Agency

An effective marketing campaign needs to include paid promotions, and ideally, it should be outsourced to an agency that specializes on promotion. Brainstorm clever ideas to get the word on the street by using young people.

19. Use Your Own Mobile Site

20. App of the Day

This feature is simple and direct and is recommended to any new app release so don’t fail to use it.

21. Facebook Ads

They’re free and very effective for up-and-coming businesses and brands because Facebook still dominates social media.

22. Google Adwords

In order to generate foreseeable earnings, you will have to jump on the wagon and get your Adwords on.

23. Blogging

Everyone needs bloggers and more so if they’re releasing a new mobile app in an overcrowded market. Get bloggers talking about the app and start your own blog where you can offer insightful additional information to the users.

23.1. Add a blog to your site and post blog entries, a minimum of once or twice a month.

You have to renew the information on the blog otherwise users will start looking elsewhere for relevant information.

23.2. If you don’t want to write, try a video blog or interview app developers and have them create your content. That’s if you like a more direct approach with your audience.

24. Endorsements

24.1. Another pricey, yet effective, promotional method is celebrity endorsements. If you have a single celebrity on Twitter, you could get millions of their followers talking about the app in an hour.

25. Start a Kickstarter campaign.

Even if you don’t need the money, a Kickstarter campaign is a very effective way to create awareness for your project in a down-to-earth, aw shucks look at what they are trying to do type of way.

26. Promote using Business Stationary

Successful promotion will be a combination of services so consider adding business stationary to the mix.

26.1. Couple your app icon with a download link and QR code

Your landing page or mobile website will be a good place to put these up.

27. Rise to the top of the charts

When you promote as suggested above and execute all these moves during prelaunch and after the launch, your app will get the buzz it needs, you will be ten steps ahead of your competitors and on your way to creating your next major release.

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