A well-developed app is only half the battle when it comes to its success. You might think it is the next big thing to hit the app-stores but truthfully, any app is only as effective as its reach. If you don’t have the right mobile app marketing strategy behind it to keeping acquiring new users and help retain the ones you do acquire, then it is likely that your app will fail to amount to anything spectacular.
Studies have shown that 80% of app users do not use the apps they downloaded 3 months ago. However, by investing some time, effort and money into a great app marketing strategy you can help create an experience and build a brand loyalty that keeps your users coming back.
Here are 13 things you need to consider as part of your mobile app marketing strategy...
When a user opens your app for the first time, they want the process of signing up and navigating around your app to be as seamless as possible. If your app appears confusing and difficult to use then the user can quickly lose interest. This is where app onboarding comes in. Onboarding involves quickly showing the user how to use your app effectively whilst demonstrating the main value proposition. Normally this is in the form of a step-by-step tutorial or can flash up as helpful pointers and tips as the user makes their own way around your app.
Image Credit: TheTool
2. Push Pre-Permission Messages
An effective push notification strategy can boost app engagement by as much as 88%, which will do wonders for helping to keep retention levels high. However, for iOS apps, you need to earn the permission to send push notifications to your users. On average around 57% of users choose to opt-out of receiving push messaging, but with the right pre-permissions strategy you could change this to having 80% of users choosing to opt-in!
A pre-permission message is basically your own custom made in-app message that allow you to gauge whether or not the user is ready for the official iOS or Android opt-in message.
Example - AirBnB Push Pre-Permission Message
As once the official iOS message has been displayed and the user has selected ‘Don’t Allow’ or ‘OK’, then this is a done deal as this can only be shown once.
Example - iOS Official Opt-In Dialogue
However, if they select ‘Not right now’ at this point, no biggie! Just don’t launch the official iOS dialogue and you can try this again at a later date when you feel your user is more engaged.
3. User Experience
Having a great user experience is critical to the success of your app. Anyone can have a great marketing team that have nailed the brand, optimised the app store page and gained some traction on social media. However, if users are downloading your app to discover your user experience is poor, then it’s likely they will never return. This makes all marketing efforts to get them to this point completely and utterly wasted.
4. App Store Optimisation (ASO)
ASO is one of the best ways to drive organic traffic to your app store page and boosting app downloads as a result. The idea is to get your app to rank as high as possible for the relevant search terms used by your target user. A search on the app store is what drives up to 67% of app downloads, making it the most used method for discovering and downloading new apps. App store optimisation is not a one time job and involves continuous monitoring and improving where necessary. This includes your keywords, app name, icon, description, screenshots, video, category, cost, localisation and user ratings.
5. Push Notifications
As a mobile marketer, push notifications are one of the most important tools you have. Provided the user has opted-in, you can reach them at anytime, regardless of whether or not they are currently active in the app. It makes them the perfect communication channel for sending a user information about added features, a special offer, new content or anything else that will keep them interested and engaging with your app. Of course, there are many do’s and don'ts when it comes to push notifications so be sure to be your research and stay away from the don’ts. Otherwise, this great communication tool could become the number one reason why users uninstall your app.
6. In-App Messaging
In-app messages are similar to push notifications except that they can only be displayed when the user is actively using the app. This makes them a great tool for communicating and engaging with your users who’ve chose to opt-out of push, as they don’t require permissions. Unlike most app marketing messages where the main objective is to get users back into your app using the various other channels available, in-app messaging is more about adding value and improving the user experience.
7. Email Marketing
Email is another great way method for communicating with app users who have chosen to opt-out of receiving push notifications. Also, a push notification disappears as soon as a user swipes or taps it, whereas an email can be kept permanently and accessed at any time making it perfect for content the user might wish to keep longer. This might include newsletters, welcome emails that include account information, promotions or e-receipts from in-app purchases.
8. Social Media
Social media plays such an important part in app marketing and keeping your users engaged. It provides app marketers with a platform for 1 to 1 engagement with their potential customers, on which they can answer any questions and deal with any complaints. With the correct use, social media can help you increase brand awareness, identify your key audience, generate downloads and build engagement.
9. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing has become a very popular technique over the past few years, bringing a lot of success to many different companies. Unlike traditional forms of marketing, influencer marketing is considered as much more trustworthy to a potential customer. This is down to the fact that the followers of a social influencer consider them a highly reputable source, and will be open to trying out something they recommend.
For most people setting up a new business or product, creating a website is a number one priority. For app owners, having a website might not even be on your ‘to-do’ list. Setting it up requires money, time and effort to keep it maintained, plus your app is downloaded from the app-store, not a website. However, your app store page can only do so much. With a website you can provide your potential users with much more in-depth information, in a space that’s completely under your control. Plus, it doesn’t have to be a full-scale website. A well-designed landing page is often more than suffice.
App Landing Page Example - QuizUp
11. Online Communities (Reddit, Quora etc.)
Long before social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, the internet was full of an infinite number of ad hoc communities where like-minded members could discuss anything and everything on the forums. Whilst a large number of these have shut down as a result of today’s social media-dominated landscape, there are still a number of very active and popular forums that may prove useful to marketing your mobile app. The two that you should definitely consider targeting are Reddit and Quora. Currently, Reddit is ranked as the 6th most popular website in the world, whilst Quora is also among the top 100. Best of all, using both these forums is completely free!
12. User Reviews
The majority (59%) of people have been found to check the ratings and reviews before they download a new app. This makes them a very important aspect of your app store page and crucial to grabbing the attention of your target audience. When a user is browsing the app-stores they are naturally going to be more drawn to the apps with the higher ratings and reviews. Word of mouth will always be one of the most powerful forms of marketing. No matter how great your app description might be, potential users are going to be much more influenced by the real, unbiased reviews written by your users.
13. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Up until now, we have been making use of adaptive platforms that use static rules written in advance by the marketer. These platforms can make in-the-moment content decisions, but it is not continuous machine learning. Thanks to AI we now have machines that learn in real-time by observing subtle trends in engagement, removing the need for A/B testing, and have the capability to re-learn each time the consumer engages. Therefore, providing the most precise, personal and relevant messaging possible. Ultimately, AI will and already is reshaping how marketers engage with their customers.
With the successful implementation of each one of these tactics you should be well on your way to developing a marketing strategy that will take your app to the next level. You can learn more about each app marketing tactic discussed throughout this blog in The Ultimate Guide to Mobile App Marketing. Let me know your key marketing tricks for boosting your app engagement in the comments below, or you can reach out to me directly via email@example.com. I’d love to hear from you!