What actions should you take to market your app?
It’s difficult to know, since there are so many possibilities, and a lot of individuals and companies claiming that they can achieve amazing results for you.
Part of the reason there are so many marketing techniques is that different types of apps work well with different marketing strategies. Also, even within the same app category, what works well for one app may not work at all for another.
There are two certain things that will make marketing much easier.
Conduct Market Research
First, make sure there is a base of customers who want your app. Get to know that base by researching groups on Facebook or Instagram that they belong to. Investigate their interests by using Facebook's Audience Insights tool.
If you're building a utility app, talk to people in your daily life. Ask them questions about their frustrations or challenges, and ask them if they would use an app like you propose to solve these problems.
If you're building a game, read the reviews that users posted on similar games on the App Store. Consider ways to ensure that your game can address their complaints, while keeping the game elements that they enjoy.
Build a Quality App
Apple features outstanding apps on the App Store every day. There are also blogs and social media accounts dedicated to helping users find cool new apps.
To get featured on the App Store, you need a top-notch app and a meaningful story about the app's creation. Apple invites developers to "tell us about yourself, your app’s unique features, and your inspiration for creating this app" in 1,000 characters or less.
Later, you can reuse this story to add an interesting angle for a journalist, blogger, or social media influencer when you share the app with them.
If you don't get free coverage, you still have opportunities to market your app without paying a cent upfront. Many social media influencers are constantly on the lookout for great products to share with their millions of followers in exchange for a revenue share. If you create an amazing app, and offer influencers a revenue share, many of them will eagerly accept your offer and put the app in front of their massive audiences.
After you've conducted market research and built a quality app, decide on 2 or 3 primary marketing strategies.
Why 2 or 3 strategies? If you focus on too many strategies, you can easily get distracted by new marketing methods, instead of dedicating the time to make the strategies you chose work. On the other hand, if you only use 1 strategy, you might end up wasting a lot of time in the event that that the strategy just isn't a good fit for your app. 2-3 strategies gives you the right balance of focus and risk-mitigation.
Read these articles for inspiration and ideas:
- Top 34 Techniques to Get First 100,000 Downloads For Your App
- The 2016 Guide to App Marketing Channels
- The Buzzfeed Approach to Social Media Strategy
- 13 Ways to Get Press When You Launch Your Startup
If you'd like to try paid advertising, Carter Thomas's $27 course on Facebook ads has helped many app developers launch profitable campaigns. Chartboost also offers a great free walk-through on setting up advertising campaigns for games.
Before you start investing in ads, however, do what you can with free marketing or revenue shares. Usually it's enough to get a good app moving, and you won't have to take on any financial risk.