Interested in knowing how to create effective app marketing strategies?
That’s an excellent question that we will answer here.
The mobile app market is expected to reach the value of $407.31 billion by the year 2026, growing at a CAGR of 18.4%.
In this article, we will discuss how to get ahead in this lucrative industry by focusing on creating an effective app marketing strategy and an efficient app development process using skilled app developers.
How to Create Effective Mobile App Marketing Strategies
Consider the following when planning your app marketing strategies.
The 1st building block: A genuine business case for the app
Before you start, you need to ask yourself a few questions.
Why are you launching an app? Is there a genuine business need for it? Has someone else already launched an app for that particular problem? How big is the potential market? Have other apps already saturated that market? What do you need to do to dethrone existing competitors in that marketplace?
Any app marketing strategy must start with a genuine business need.
Identifying this requires answers to the above questions.
This means that you will need to undertake a market survey first. If you have an existing business in this market then will you likely already have a mailing list. This is a valuable source of information.
If not, you need to invest in email marketing by collecting email lists from vendors like Hoovers.
To conduct your market survey, you can also consider platforms like SurveyMonkey.
To get high-quality analytics from your survey results, you can use platforms like Tableau.
The 2nd component of your app marketing strategy: A ‘Buyer persona’
Assuming that you have validated the need for your mobile app business idea, you need to learn more about the potential customers who will buy your app.
In the case of a mobile app, this can be quite complex. This is because it often involves quite varied potential users (just consider social media users, for example). Therefore, the right question will be who are the consumers that will use your app?
You need to visualize your users. Where do they live? What are their demographics? What needs do they have? etc.
Again, if you have an existing business, your customer data will help you build a real-life picture of your buyers. Otherwise, you need to start from scratch and do the market research.
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Read “How to build a buyer persona–the quick and dirty guide” to learn how to do this.
The 3rd component: Perform competitor research
How are competitor apps performing in terms of market share/profit etc.? Are they operating a paid app or a free one? You should also take this opportunity to examine what functionalities they offer.
Keep in mind that app stores like ‘Google Play’ or ‘Apple App Store’ have aggregate review statistics for apps. These are extremely helpful.
There is also a range of other sources where you can get aggregate reviews of the apps that you want to study. Read more about app ratings and reviews here.
The 4th building block: A great app
Coin Master, the top-ranked android app globally on Google Play Store, according to the latest survey, earns 4 times more in revenue than Pubg Mobile 1.5: Ignition, the 10th ranked app.
This is the extent to which top-ranked apps differ from the other apps. Read more about these statistics in this Statista report.
To successfully market your app, first, you must build a great app. The app development process includes a lot of steps from design, development, and testing, to deployment and maintenance.
The UX/UI design of the whole app should be top-notch for the maximum user experience.
Read our guide “Mobile navigation menu examples” to learn more about this.
The app must offer a comprehensive range of features. In a market where there are often lots of free apps providing all relevant features, being short on features is just not an option.
The app needs to be as bug-free as possible. The reliability of the app should be top-notch. Its response time should match or be better than the industry standard.
Security is another important aspect, especially given the increasing amount of data breaches taking place year on year. Security is a very important selling point for apps in regulated industries like financial services, etc.
Also, providing a push notifications option that sends instant app and promo updates to users is also crucial to developing a personalized app experience.
To get the best results, naturally, the mobile backend should be very robust and well-managed.
My recommendation for start-ups is to use a reputed ‘Mobile Backend as a Service’ (MBaaS) provider. There are several options such as Google Firebase, AWS Mobile, Kinvey, etc.
Check our guide “How To Choose The Best Mobile Backend As A Service (MBaaS)?” for more information.
More details on development skills later in this article.
Great customer support: The 5th building block
Mobile app users typically don’t have too much patience when it comes to a new app! If their first impression isn’t good, they often don’t use it again.
According to Statista research, 25% of apps downloaded by users worldwide were accessed and used only once after the installation.
Good customer support goes a long way when it comes to user retention. Users should be able to easily locate a button for customer support. This will help them get immediate support in-app, i.e. as and when they need it.
Clicking the support button should give them access to the required help, be it FAQs, or contact options.
Apps in regulated industries like the financial service industry must ensure this help feature is very prominent in the form of pop-ups to address users’ concerns.
The company’s website and its social media channels should also feature customer support options and information. This is important when the users are not on the app, e.g., a user might have faced an issue with the app and can’t use it.
A great website: The 6th component
As I have already highlighted, the success of a mobile app depends heavily on digital marketing. Hence, a great website is ‘sine qua non’.
You will need to create an appealing landing page that is highly informative. Consider including the following information:
- Name of your app, platforms supported, etc.
- Features of the app.
- A powerful ‘Call to Action’ (CTA).
- A video that explains the app in a simple manner, additionally, also promotes it.
Any landing page should be customer-focused and only contain essential information. Naturally, this should be marketing orientated.
The landing page should be short so as not to bombard your prospective users with excess information.
A/B testing, often called ‘Split testing’ of landing pages is very important. Read more about the importance of a great landing page in “Why is a landing page important? Here are 7 reasons to consider”.
The 7th building block: ‘App Store Optimization’ (ASO)
‘Search Engine Optimization (SEO) helps websites rank higher in Google search. Likewise, ASO helps apps rank higher in the app store search.
A high rank translates to higher app visibility. Use the following ASO techniques on the app store page for a higher rank:
- Title: The keyword in the app title should have the heaviest search traffic.
- Keyword monitoring: This is how you can find the keywords that have the highest demand. Remember to monitor search volume for competitors’ apps too.
- Provide a simple, jargon-free app description. Mention what problem it solves.
- Create an icon for your app that visually conveys the essence of it.
- Show screenshots of key app features.
- The number of downloads ultimately impacts your ASO ranking, but that’s not something that you can directly control.
- User ratings and app reviews are other factors that determine your ASO ranking, and ones that aren’t under your control.
Read more about it in “App store optimization – a crucial piece of the mobile app marketing puzzle”.
Video content to promote your app: The 8th component
Digital marketing increasingly depends on videos, hence, your app marketing strategy should include video ads. A promotional video for your mobile app should address the following:
- A clear demonstration that you understood your prospective users’ problems.
- Your solution should be explained simply and in a jargon-free manner.
- A CTA, which is persuasive enough. Guide the prospective users to take the key action, e.g., download the app.
I have already touched upon the promotional video when I explained the need for a great landing page. However, a promotional video goes way beyond the landing page.
In this age of social media, marketing your video on platforms such as YouTube and Instagram is a great force multiplier. If you don’t have the right resources to do so, you might need assistance from a digital marketing agency specializing in video production.
An important step towards including a video in your mobile app marketing strategy is to test it. Play the full video with sound, however, also play it in a mute mode to get a clear picture of its appeal.
Does it make sense in the mute mode too? If so, you are good to go! Read more on using promotional videos as one of the app marketing strategies in “Promoting your App with Video Content the Right Way”.
Blog: The 9th component of your mobile app marketing plan
Your marketing efforts should start long before your app is even ready. You should build your landing page, video content, etc. well ahead of your completed product.
Similarly, consider blogging about your product from the get-go, even when it’s in the development stage!
Blog posts need to offer value to your prospective users while also engaging your readers. You can also host podcasts around your software product to build audience interest.
Invest in word of mouth when devising your app marketing strategy.
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You can also publish your product press release on news websites that your audience frequently visits. This source contains the top news websites that can serve as a press kit for your next app.
All these options will build user engagement early in the marketing cycle. Your marketing content about the app should be well-targeted. You need to find the right keywords. There are many tools for this, e.g., “Keywords Everywhere“.
Read “The ultimate guide to writing blog posts that rank in Google’s top 10” for more tips and ideas on this.
Social media outreach: The 10th Component
I mentioned earlier the importance of YouTube in the context of outreach for your promotional video. However, social media has a lot more to add to your app marketing strategies.
Firstly, you need to focus on content marketing by creating a lot of very good content. This needs to be tailored according to different social media platforms. Then this content needs to be aggressively marketed.
Remember to build a comprehensive presence on all major social media platforms. This includes Facebook, mySpace, etc. Quora is an excellent Q&A forum that you should use for your content social media marketing.
To visually market your app, consider Instagram and TikTok. You can start a marketing campaign by onboarding social media bloggers with a big audience for your app referrals. You can partner with social media influencers to market your app’s new features.
Influencer marketing is a huge industry worth USD 13.8 billion. It is bound to grow due to the excessive use of social media apps like Twitter, Instagram, Linked In, TikTok, and Facebook by audiences of all age groups belonging to all walks of life.
Twitter allows you to promote your app by tweeting relevant app content. LinkedIn remains an important platform for posting content blogs and boosting them for maximum audience outreach.
Facebook user acquisition ads are also a great option for reaching a wider audience.
You can attract more relevant users by running paid ad campaigns on social media. For this, it is important to understand user behavior and how they react to download and view options for your product.
The shift in user trends will help you formulate better ads.
You need to regularly post engaging content on various social media platforms. There is also a need to engage users after posting content. Therefore, you should include high-quality graphics in your content. Consider using a tool such as Canva.
Read more about it in “How to Maximize Your Mobile App Marketing with Social Media”.
Measure your app KPIs: The 11th component
Measuring key app KPIs is one of the important marketing strategies for mobile apps. Following are the key KPI metrics:
- App downloads.
- Daily active users (DAUs).
- Monthly active users (MAUs).
- Stickiness rate: Conversion rate indicating how likely are you to turn a monthly active user into a daily active user?
- Daily sessions per DAU: How often users are using it every day?
- Retention rate, i.e., the % of users who returned to the app after the first use.
- Average session duration.
- App search results: This is relevant if your app allows users to search for products or other items.
- Unresponsive gestures: If a user has used a gesture, however, the app didn’t respond, then this needs to be measured.
- The average number of days to make the first in-app purchase.
- Session interval: The average amount of time between sessions.
- User sign-up: What % of users signed up for an account in your app?
- The daily app launches: How many times is the app opened per day?
- The number of screens per session: A higher number indicates that your app is engaging users.
- The number of crashed sessions: Should be brought down as much as possible.
- Screens with the longest and shortest visit duration.
- Churn ratio: It’s the % of users that abandon the app.
Regular monitoring and course corrections are important in any effective app marketing strategy. Read more about these KPIs in “The insider’s guide to mobile app KPIs”.
Pricing strategy for your app: The 12th building block
Any guide on how to create an effective app marketing strategy will be incomplete without reference to pricing strategy.
Keep in mind that many mobile apps are free, hence, monetization can be a dilemma. You have the following options to choose from:
- Free: The app is free and earns money from a paid ad. You can promote the highest amount of downloads simply because its’ free. However, if you don’t get the desired user-base, the advertisement revenue will be less.
- Freemium: A basic version of the app is free, however, users can pay and get a premium version. The other option is that the free version is for a limited time, beyond which users need to pay.
- Paid: A simple option, where users pay once and get the complete app.
- Paymium: The user pays once to get a set of features however, they pay again for another set of features.
- Subscription: You charge a monthly or yearly fee to users.
Read more about these models in “Everything there is to know about pricing strategies for your mobile app”.
Pricing strategy is not simply to do with marketing strategies for mobile apps. It’s actually about creating a sustainable business model and, therefore, requires deeper thought on your part.
Partner with Expert App Developers:
As we have discussed before, building a bug-free mobile app with cutting-edge technologies is as important as adopting a user-oriented marketing plan.
After conducting thorough market research and tapping into marketing strategies, you must start on with a successful app development process.
There are almost 3.48 billion Android apps and 2.22 million iOS apps, according to Statista research report. Your app must be next-level in terms of app design, development technologies, and after-release maintenance to stand out in this huge market.
You can either hire freelance app developers or partner with a software development agency expert in mobile app development for building a first-class mobile app.
The freelancer market is very huge, where you can easily find app developers for android and iOS devices. The huge freelancer market also requires an efficient screening and hiring process. The responsibility of hiring a skilled app developer lies entirely with you.
Freelancers are also working on multiple gigs at a time. There is a huge possibility that a hired freelancer is not giving maximum time to your project.
Not to forget the unpredictability that comes with it. If a freelancer leaves a software development project midway, you are left on your own to deal with it.
Partnering with a software development company will help you in this regard. Software development companies like DevTeam.space have skilled developers who are experts in hybrid software development.
You have the option to outsource your complete app development project to them or hire developers as per your requirement if you have technical knowledge and expertise.
Partnering with a mobile app development company will save you the time of screening developers for their app development skills and also of managing them. Software companies manage their developers through a senior technical resource.
So, what are the skills that are a must-have for a mobile app developer? Next, we will discuss some of the app development skills necessary for successful app development.
Native Android App Development:
If you want to target Android users, you should opt for native android app development. Native app development uses tools to develop an app optimized for the target operating system.
A native android app will effectively use device hardware features like memory space and processor, giving maximum performance on the device.
For native Android development, your development team should be highly proficient in Kotlin and Java. They should have an expert-level understanding of object-oriented programming, and for Java, they should be able to use JDK documentation.
IDE provides tools like packet manager, library extensions, simulator, etc. to develop and test bug-free apps efficiently.
Native iOS App Development:
A native iOS app is built to run on Apple devices like iPhone, iPad, etc. It is developed according to a device running the iOS operating system, and hence it is optimized for its processor and interface.
For iOS app development, your developers should be experts in the Swift programming language. It is mostly used today for developing iOS apps, and Apple also recommends it.
Swift is an easy-to-understand programming language with English language-type syntax. It is open-source and has an extensive developer community making contributions to its overall improvement.
Your iOS developers should be experts in iOS IDE like XCode. It provides all the tools required for efficiently developing iOS apps including, compiler, build system, editor, etc.
XCode also makes coding easier through features like code checker and autocomplete. It is also officially supported by Apple for iOS development.
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Your iOS app development team should also know about iOS frameworks like SpriteKit for optimized images and animation rendering, SafariServices to enable web services in your app, AdSupport for serving advertisements, Accounts to help users manage their external accounts from your app, etc.
Hybrid App Development:
Hybrid apps work identically on all devices running different operating systems. These cross-platform apps are developed by combining native and independent code.
Hybrid apps target a larger user base and save app development time of coding separately in multiple languages like Kotlin and Swift.
Your app developers should also be skilled in using hybrid app development frameworks like Ionic that help with app maintainability and scalability. It is an open-source framework with extensive JS and HTML libraries that help to build interactive apps efficiently.
Xamarin is another most used framework your developer should be familiar with for the swift development of apps optimized for all devices. It is compatible with Android, iOS, and Windows and provides the same app experience as native OS apps.
Some of the IDEs your developers should know for using these hybrid app development frameworks are Xamarin Studio, Visual Studio, etc.
Releasing a bug-free app is crucial to make a place in the lucrative yet challenging mobile app market. Your developers should be experts in conducting unit testing and integration testing.
They should be able to conduct code reviews to verify that an app meets the required functional and business requirements.
Your developers should be experts in using Appium for testing app UI and features. Appium can be used to test native and hybrid apps. It is open-source and supports multiple programming languages to run test codes.
If you wish to enter the app market with a successful product launch, pay special attention to app user interface and design.
Your app development team should have expert UX/UI skills. They should be familiar with layout design and information hierarchy to provide a maximum app experience to users.
iOS developers should have knowledge about Apple’s human interface guidelines and design guidelines. Adhering to these guidelines by iOS developers is necessary to build iOS apps according to the set standards of the Apple store.
Your Android developers should be familiar with Material design guidelines as described by Android to ensure building an interactive and optimized app for Google Playstore.
These guidelines assist developers in app elements’ placement, shades, transitions, etc.
Databases and Data Handling:
The database is an integral part of any software product. Your app developers should also be skilled in efficient data management and manipulation. Knowledge of SQL is necessary for your developers to effectively handle app data.
For iOS apps, your developers can use CoreData to store user data on an app to offer a fast app experience to users. They will not have to load data from scratch every time they use your app.
Your developers should have a general understanding of how to create a repository, commit changes to it, etc.
In today’s age of digital media and big data, scandals like Facebook-Cambridge Analytica are not impossible. Cyber security is of utmost importance to gain trust in a user market.
Your developers should ensure your app’s security by having knowledge of cyber threats and their preventions.
Some cyber security techniques your app developers should know for user data protection are data encryption algorithms like AES and techniques like multi-factor authentication.
Your developers should be able to write python scripts that navigate an app and find security loopholes.
DevSecOps, that is DevOps and security, is a quickly emerging concept in software development. The DevSecOps approach will help your app developers to incorporate security practices in each app development phase.
The security focus from the beginning of an app development process helps to mitigate the security threats effectively.
Essential Non-Technical Skills:
Some good-to-have soft skills for your development team include communication skills and teamwork.
Your app developers should be able to effectively communicate with team members through calls and in writings. Effective communication helps in better understanding of development process and product requirements.
Quick and timely communication also helps in identifying problems and overcoming hurdles the app development team is facing.
Final Thoughts on Planning App Marketing Strategies:
For successful investment in a growing app market, formulating effective app marketing strategies is as necessary as developing an interactive app with unique features.
To effectively launch your app make use of content marketing through social media and digital platforms. Invest in digital marketing through partnering with social media bloggers and running paid ad campaigns.
Build a creative team to create engaging branding content including, interactive websites, press releases, and podcasts.
All these app marketing strategies will bore fruit if backed by an app is running smoothly and offering a unique user experience. This requires excellent app development and quality assurance skills.
If you are unsure of how to take up the app development process, fill out a form at DevTeam.Space explaining your app development project details. One of our technical managers will get back to you to further discuss your future app.
Once satisfied, you can instantly hire our app developers experts in the latest cutting-edge technologies to work on your app idea.
Frequently Asked Question on app marketing strategies
The best strategy is the most simple one, understand what your target audience really wants, build it, then get the message out via whatever social media platforms or launch events that they attend. Running paid app store ads, improving SEO to appear in the app store search results, social media app marketing campaigns, etc. are a few starting points.
You should start by looking at past examples of similar projects to get ideas. Find out what worked and what didn’t. Do surveys of your target audience to find out what works for them. Never be afraid to change direction if something is not working.
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Alexey is the founder of DevTeam.Space. He is among the Top 26 mentors of FI’s ‘Global Startup Mentor Awards’ and is a Band Of Angels Technology Expert.Hire Expert Developers