Large and medium-sized companies have marketing agencies to help them improve their downloads and user engagement from their apps, but indie developers and small companies need to find solutions to let them play with the big ones and make their apps stand out.
Regardless of their size, they all face the same challenges: positioning their apps in the first positions in search rankings, making their users fall in love with their apps, and making a profit.
Like any other marketing strategy, you must first define your target audience, how are you going to reach them, what model you will use to monetise your app, and plan how you are going to measure the results of the actions you will take.
The more downloads the app has in its first weeks, the better it will be positioned in the Google Play and Apple App store search results, so try to get as many people as you can from your personal and professional network to download the app.
App marketing channels focused on branding
Your app is like a brand in itself. If you want to expand the circle that knows your app, here are some channels you could utilize:
- Your own network: Friends, family, people in your social networks, visitors to your website, QR codes in physical places. All of these are free and easy to access.
- Mass media: If you think that your app is suitable for a mention in the newspaper, or in a specialized magazine, you can prepare a media kit and send it. It may seem a bit intimidating, but journalists need news to fill their spaces, and will welcome any new idea that has the potential to to be an interesting, informative piece.
- Specialized blogs: Many of such blogs write review articles for minimal fees. It will be less expensive than a TV ad, and it will be more targeted to an audience of eager early-adopters.
- Influencers and early adopters: Do not underestimate the power of your first users to influence their networks. Take care of them and encourage them to spread the word.
App marketing channels focused on performance
- Display Networks: There are many networks to work with for different targets: Clicks, Downloads, Leads or Impressions. You should try different networks, and work with the one that returns a bigger ROI.
- Social Ads: Ads on Facebook tend to work really well based on the segmentation of your target audience. If your app is targeted to an audience that you can shape using Facebook patterns, this should be a good investment.
- App Discovery: Apps that recommend other apps. It is a risky strategy, but it can yield positive results.
The importance of measuring
All these methods mentioned above will get you positive or negative results depending on many factors, but the only way to know what method works best for you is measuring every possible factor/variable. This is the real base of a good marketing strategy, trying different possibilities and optimizing the ones which get the desired results.