Best App Marketing Strategies for Increased Downloads & Engagement - from 14 Experts

By:
Ryder Meehan
Date:
June 10, 2019
app marketing strategies

To say that the amount of mobile apps is increasing steadily is an understatement. 

In fact, at present there are nearly 4 million Android and iOS apps alone on Google Play and Apple’s App Store respectively. As the evolution of apps continues to roll on, it has become even more important for companies to rethink their app marketing strategies in order to increase app downloads and boost engagement.

Are you ready to make your mobile app stand out on app stores? and what are the best marketing strategies?

We gathered top tips from 14 experts for successful app marketing strategies. Take a look below and let us know what you think in the comments section!

Table of contents:

  1. Determine Your UVP
  2. Focus on Metrics
  3. Let Users Try Before They Buy
  4. Build a Website for Your App
  5. Optimize Your App Store Page
  6. Localize Your App Store Listings
  7. Use Social Media to Promote Your App
  8. Run Giveaway Contest to Raise Awareness
  9. Write Case Studies and Source Testimonials
  10. Create a Demo Video
  11. Start a Blog About Your App
  12. Start Collaborating with Influencers
  13. Use Deep Link
  14. Create A Home Screen Quick Action Button
  15. Update Your App Frequently
  16. Use App Messaging to Improve User Engagement
  17. Add Spotlight Indexing
  18. Provide User Guidance and Tutorials
  19. Make the Registration Process Clutter-Free
  20. Don't Forget About Email Marketing
  21. Post-Launch App Marketing Strategy
  22. Conclusion

1. Determine Your Unique Value Proposition (UVP)

Britt Armour from Clearbridge Mobile underlines the importance of emphasizing the uniqueness of your app.

“You can determine what makes your app unique and capitalize on those elements throughout your messaging. If you have a strong UVP, your user acquisition will be a lot easier because a) your users will know right away what problem the app will solve for them, and b) word of mouth will spread like wildfire.”

Clearbridge Mobile and app development
Here, Clearbridge Mobile specifies what kinds of services they provide for app development.

(Source: ‍https://clearbridgemobile.com/)


2. Focus on Metrics

A great tip from Jeff Bullas is to focus on app engagement and app retention rates.

“High app engagement and retention rates are the ingredients for good growth of your app. On the flip side, poor scores in both of these sectors is a recipe for failure.”

“It's important to bear in mind that both of these metrics are highly subjective and vary depending on the industry and niche your app belongs to. Setting up conversion goals is an essential part of mobile marketing and should be determined before building a landing page.”

statistics about engagement retention rates and app growth
Statistics back up the correlation between high engagement and retention rates and significant app growth.

‍(Source: https://www.jeffbullas.com/online-marketing-plan-for-new-app/)


3. Let Users Try Before They Buy

According to Savy Apps, it is important to let users navigate freely on your app as much as possible. You should ask them to sign up only if it's necessary.

Offering users to try the app for free for a certain amount of time is also a way to give users a taste of the app like Motley Fool did with their app.  

Motley Fool Free offers a free trial
Motley Fool Free Trial App


(Source: https://savvyapps.com/blog/10-ways-increase-user-engagement)


4. Build a Website for Your App

According to Neil Patel, a website can help you to better target your potential customers and boost your visibility on search engines.

“The web is one of the top places people go to for information, advice, and products. If you don’t have a website for your app, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to increase your app’s exposure and organic downloads.”

App Website
A clean, easy-to-process website can do wonders for your app marketing efforts.

 (Source: https://neilpatel.com/blog/inbound-app-marketing-guide/)


5. Optimize Your App Store Page

A great tip from Emma Knightley of the Digital Marketing Institute is to enhance your app store page, where 50% of app discovery takes place. App Store optimization plays an important role when launching a new app.

“You must create an effective store page. Think carefully about the title, tweak your description to make it as simple but appealing as possible. Come up with a catchy, pleasing icon. Use screenshots that convey the selling points and benefits of the app. Spend as much time as possible on all these factors because they can make the difference between an impulse buy and moving on to the next app.”

App Store Optimization
Putting your best visual foot forward in an app store is an essential CTA in order to spur downloads (if a free app) or purchases (if a paid app).

(‍Source: https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/blog/10-best-app-marketing-strategies)


6. Localize Your App Store Listings

Shane Rostad of TriFin Labs encourages you to customize your app and pay attention to localization.

“Localization is the act of customizing your app to fit with the local language, culture, and dialect of a given region or country. The reasons why you want to do this are pretty obvious.” 

“There are numerous reasons why you should hire a native speaker to manage translations for your app. While Google Translate can help you to translate basic sentences, it's often far from perfect translation. You want to make sure your target audience can be reached in the most efficient way.”

Localize Your App Store Listing
A localized listing can help to make your app relevant on the ground in the market of your choice.

 (Source: https://trifinlabs.com/mobile-app-marketing/)


7. Use Social Media to Promote Your App

According to the MAD Team over at MobileAppDaily, over 70 percent of online businesses are using social media to promote their app. From creating a pre-launch buzz to post-launch paid advertising on social media and everything in between, these marketing strategies can help you boost the visibility of your newly launched app.

“Mobile app developers often tend to undermine the potential of these social media marketing strategies.What they don’t realize is that effective social media marketing is primarily to find, retain and then grow the user base for your app.”

Social Media App Marketing
Using social media ad buys for platforms such as Facebook Ads can be an immense boost for your app.

(‍Source: https://www.mobileappdaily.com/app-promotion-plan-using-social-media)


8. Run a Giveaway Contest to Raise Awareness

According to Shane Baker, running a giveaway contest is a great way to start a conversation about a business. There are currently so many apps on the app store that it is important that the app stands out.

"Running a social media giveaway or contest is a great way to start an online conversation about your business. Not only can you increase your brand awareness, but you can also generate more leads."

A giveaway contest is a great way to get your app noticed by your new users. It will help to create engagement but also get app visibility by bringing new users.

Successful giveaways only happen with an excellent organization. It's not only about selecting a prize to win but more about having a solid strategy.

Instagram giveaway contest
Source: Instagram

First, you should think strategically about how you can interact with your new and existing users. By taking the time to make some research about your target audience, you will definitely increase your chance of success.

A good way to define your target users is to create a buyer persona or user personas using real data - such as their demographics, interests, and behavioral traits for example.

Then, you should set yourself some goals and key performance indicators (KPI) to keep track of your performance.

Choose a goal for your business that lines up with your marketing objectives and business. Setting a goal will help you run a successful giveaway contest.

You should also set a time frame with a definite starting and ending date. This way you will avoid questions about when the last entry is collected.

If you want your giveaway to be a success, you need to promote it. You have numerous ways to promote it - both with free or paid ads. Make sure to advertise your giveaway on all your social media channels to attract new users.

sambazon organizes a giveaway contest on IG
Source: Instagram

(Source: https://shanebarker.com/blog/social-media-giveaways)


9. Write Case Studies and Source Testimonials

A tip from Kelly Vaughn from Shopify is to run testimonials for your app to get assistance from key users who can provide material for excellent app case studies. There are fast, quick and easy ways to use testimonials in your marketing efforts.

“Let them beta test the app, and collect a few use case examples alongside testimonials. An app with social proof is more attractive when your app is competing against a sea of potentially similar apps already in the market.”

App Testimonials
Case studies and public reviews establish trust and credibility with your desired audience.

 (Source: https://www.shopify.com/partners/blog/how-to-market-an-app)


10. Create a Demo Video

One of BuildFire Founder and CEO Ian Blair's top tips for app marketing is to launch videos that will leverage your social media and promote your app. Demo videos can (and, when done right, often do) act as a great kickstarter for your burgeoning app marketing campaign.

“Videos are an easy way for you to showcase everything your beautiful and well-built app has to offer. For your demo video, create a simple 30 second commercial with the principles of Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle: Why, How, and What.”

App Demo Video
Demo videos are great visual aids that can easily establish both brand purpose and brand identity for your app.

‍(Source: https://www.shopify.com/partners/blog/how-to-market-an-app)


11. Start a Blog About Your App

Blogging is one of the best ways to promote your app and share information by posting at regularly scheduled intervals. A great tip from Lalit Sharma, the owner of Ranking By SEO, is to launch a blog as soon as the website for your app is up.

“Sharing your experiences creating the app will engage readers. They’ll feel included in the process, and you can get great feedback with people interacting with the posts. It’ll also build interest in your application and become a place where you can communicate with the users, even after launching the app.”

Use Blog for App Marketing
App blogs enable you to keep your audience in the loop about the latest developments, updates and positive effects of your app's prescence on the market.

‍(Source:mention.com)


12. Start Collaborating with Influencers

According to Mobile App Daily, collaborating with social media influencers and content creators can really help to raise awareness about a brand.

By using call-to-action to invite people to sign up and get notifications about the future app launch.

Collaborating with Influencers or Content Creators can help your app
Source: Instagram

(source: https://www.mobileappdaily.com/app-promotion-plan-using-social-media)


13. Use Deep Link

According to this is glance, deep linking is the most effective technique to get their software into the hands of more users.

Deep links are a type of link that sends smartphone users directly to an app instead of staying on mobile websites. But how can deep links increase engagement?

Deep links are a smart way to make conversions while offering a positive user experience, but what happens if the user is deep-linked into an app they don’t have installed?

For example, if smartphone users click on a deep link but don't have downloaded the app, they can be deferred to the App Store or Google Play Store instead.

deep linking explaination
Source: Branch.io

(source: https://thisisglance.com/how-to-use-deep-linking-to-boost-your-mobile-app-engagement/)


14. Create A Home Screen Quick Action Button

In an article, Mindk explains that a simple feature can help an app's visibility.

"You can use them to execute app-related actions without leaving the Home screen.

Just press the app’s icon a bit harder than tapping to produce a list of supported quick actions. A shopping app can, for example, include such actions as search, today’s deals, gift cards, etc."


Source: Imore.com

(Source: https://www.mindk.com/blog/how-to-improve-user-engagement-in-your-app/)


15. Update Your App Frequently

According to Savvy Apps, app updates are one of the best marketing tools app developers have at their disposal. Users have definitely more than one app on their smartphone today, updating regularly keeps an app top of mind because it will show up in the updates list like the App Store or Google Play Store.

"App updates can also help build a loyal following, provided that the updates include relevant bug fixes and features that users are requesting. Frequent updates show you're committed to the app and that it's still being maintained. Having a loyal following for your app will help it spread on and offline. The most loyal users may even suggest your app as an option when people ask about alternatives to apps they are using now. This type of commitment could never be earned just through marketing alone."

It is crucial for your mobile app to have at least 1 to 4 updates per month. Don't forget to notify your users by sending them a reminder. If you don't update your app often, it will potentially lead your users to another app or website.

Wikihow: How to Update an App from the App Store on an iPhone
Source:thisisglance.com

(source: https://thisisglance.com/how-to-use-deep-linking-to-boost-your-mobile-app-engagement/)


16. Use App Messaging to Improve User Engagement

Why should you send in-app notifications if you already use push notifications? Here is an explanation from Pavlo Zinchenko of MindK.

“Well for starters, they can grant your app 27% more launches and almost 3.5 times higher retention. On top of that, the messages triggered by a specific event inside the app (like making a purchase) are 4 times more effective than the ones triggered by the app launch.”

App Messaging
In-app notifications serve as immediate CTAs that prompt a user to make a decision about an action that will enhance their experience with the app.

(Source: mindk.com)


17. Add Spotlight Indexing

According to Minkd, indexing your app content with core spotlight can really help increase your presence.

"Spotlight is the portable Google at the heart of your iOS device. Using it you can find any app you’ve installed, any app you want to download from the App Store, or anything else, really.

If your app has a search function you’ll benefit immensely from Spotlight indexing. No longer will your users need to open your app to search the content. They can do it directly from the Home Screen."

Source: betterprograming.pub

(Source: https://www.mindk.com/blog/how-to-improve-user-engagement-in-your-app/)


18. Provide User Guidance and Tutorials

Guiding users to use your app is a crucial part of launching an app. According to Sabih Javed of Apptentive, while guidance is important, you should also leave room for exploration as it will increase engagement and app retention. Tutorials can also contribute to positive app reviews.

“One common reason why app users don’t come back is that they don’t understand how to use it. A tutorial-based onboarding process seems to be a perfect fit for any app that guides users what they’re supposed to do to achieve first success and how to get started with the app.”

App Tutorials
User guidances and tutorials can help ease the consumer into the app's essential features.

‍(Source:apptentive.com)


19. Make the Registration Process Clutter-Free

A tip from David Oragui of The Manifest is to avoid too many data fields. In order to retain those potential users, the registration process should be as simple as possible.

“Consider experimenting with social registration. Many apps allow users to sign up through Gmail or Facebook. Others allow registration with a phone number. Make sure to emphasize the app’s core features during the onboarding since the onboarding flow can not be too long. Usually, 3-6 screens are enough to say what you have to say, even if you have a complex app. It’s a good idea to focus on only the most strategically important features during app onboarding.”‍

App Registration Process
Easy, simple registration can help to swiftly onboard new users.

‍(Source:https://themanifest.com/)


20. Don't Forget About Email Marketing

According to Sean Casto of PreApps, even though social media marketing has been steadily catching up, email marketing is still the most efficient form of digital marketing. Naturally, it can be also used for your mobile app marketing.

“Since you’ve already started developing a mailing list from the pre-launch website, identifying the right warm-prospecting audience shouldn’t be a problem at all. If done systematically and strategically, expect a conversion rate that exceeds 30%.”

App Email Marketing
Email marketing can help bolster app marketing by providing both stable marketing support as well as a backdrop when needed.

(Source:https://www.preapps.com/)


21. Post-Launch App Marketing Strategy

There are few tips to keep in mind after launching your app. Leonid Gorev of Alty underlines the importance of having a post-launch marketing strategy for your app.

“App Store Optimization - The latest research claims that roughly half the users discover apps through searching directly at the app stores.”

“Email Marketing Strategies - Once the app is live, notify everyone on your email waiting/beta list fans and ask them to leave a positive review in case they’ve already tried and enjoyed it or share their comments privately. Also, send out a walk through email and include links to your email signature.”

“Marketing your app in online communities - Reddit and Hacker News make products go viral. Ask an established member to submit your announcement (not the product page). Tell a story instead of pitching a sale. See what’s at the top at r/startup to get a better idea about the right type of content. Market your supporting materials (e.g.walk-through video, infographics or blog posts rather than the app directly).”‍

App Marketing Strategy to Increase Downloads
Having a solid post-launch strategy ensures that you have a plan to keep consumers engaged well into the future.

‍(Source:alty.com)


Conclusion

While there are an endless amount of mobile app marketing strategies and marketing channels to choose from, it is important to find the ones that work best for your business. Checking your mobile app KPIs regularly will help you gain the best insights on your performance as well as help you perform even better on your next app development. In order to get more downloads and engagement for your app, it is essential to stick to your comprehensive app marketing strategy as well as always keeping track of how your users feel about your app.

So what do you think of these pro-tips? Are you ready to take your app marketing game to the next level? 

Let us know in the comments below and feel free to schedule a complimentary consultation call with us today!

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