Now you have your sparkly new app, complete with a tech stack to support your requirements and a solid understanding of how you will acquire and retain your users, you now need to create an advertising and marketing strategy.
It might sound straightforward but there is a wide range of channels to consider when planning how you will boost the visibility of your app. There are dozens of choices for advertising your mobile app, with each having different likelihoods of converting, targeting methods and costs.
App store optimisation
A key step in ensuring potential users can find your app is optimising your app store presence. The end goal of this process is to achieve a better rank in app store search results, similarly to organic search, through ensuring all of the information available on your app page is detailed, unique and relevant.
To effectively get your app off the ground, without the need for a big budget, you should aim to create an app store optimisation strategy that can help you increase your download figures relatively rapidly.
Your strategy should include collecting keywords that users are searching for, in relation to your app and your competitors or others in your market. To discover and track keywords you can use tools including Sensor Tower, App Radar, and Keyword Tool. Additionally, if you already have an idea of your keywords, you can use KeywordTool to find keyword ideas using autocomplete.
Optimising your app page can reduce the need to spend your budget on ads, which can be expensive and not always targeted. Organic search optimising is free and allows you to increase your ability to acquire new users. Also, if that wasn’t convincing enough, remember that 63% of mobile apps are found via search within the App Store or Google Play store, using key terms and phrases.
App store optimisation is recognised as being cost-effective, can lead to an increased retention rate and a higher number of downloads and increase visibility over competitors.
It takes time and effort to build an app store optimisation strategy and will likely require a commitment of time to conduct research, implement changes and test different approaches for the best results. However, there aren’t really any cons to optimising your app store presence so long as it’s done correctly.
Over 50% of users come to download an app through their friends, colleagues, and family, often with social media playing a significant role in this process. Social media is a highly effective way to market a mobile app and offers you the capability to generate buzz with relative speed.
Through regular and bespoke posts, you can begin to build awareness around your mobile app. The key to developing a strong social media presence lies within your capability to build bespoke assets to use on social media, content which supports the user experience and developing a tone of voice which users find engaging, entertaining, relatable and interesting.
There’s plenty of options when it comes to using social media to boost your brand presence.
Paid ads within social media platforms vary in price, but Facebook and Google ads are one of the more affordable and accessible options for most businesses. Influencer marketing can also vary in cost, depending on the influencer following and rates.
For many tech startups developing mobile apps, it could be worth exploring the opportunities of working with micro influencers who fit their target audience but offer more affordable rates.
Social media also offers the ability to utilise user-generated content and build brand presence by encouraging reviews and ratings from users. It’s important to differentiate between each platform available to you, to ensure that you only focus your efforts, if time and resources are limited, on the places where it’s going to have an effect.
There is a wide range of options available to those looking to use social media to boost their brand presence.
For those who are cash-strapped, it is possible to grow following and engagement organically, through understanding your audience and creating bespoke content which they can use and enjoy.
You can test different options and find the most effective times and mediums to post on your channels, then use this information to optimise the experience.
Equally, even with a small budget, you can still delve into running Facebook or Google ads and micro influencer marketing, making the most of the resources by conducting extensive research into the capabilities of each channel in line with your mobile app.
It can take a significant amount of time to build a social media presence and gaining followers is no easy feat.
You will need to assign social media management to at least one person as their full-time job if this is going to be one of your primary methods of boosting brand visibility.
Moreover, you will need to enlist the help of a professional paid social media specialist to help you manage your budget and optimise your accounts.
PR and events
Working with journalists, the media and bloggers can allow you to grow brand awareness for your mobile app. From creating articles or assets to outreach to publications to hosting a stand at an event, supporting your mobile app through PR and events marketing can rapidly boost your visibility.
A launch event is a great way to engage with new customers whilst simultaneously boosting the overall image of the company. An event where you can gather feedback and interact first hand with customers is ideal for building rapport and trust and can strengthen the association between brand and user
Equally, a smaller scale option could be regularly creating content aimed at specific publications and a specific persona, and working with contacts on a media list to obtain placements.
This can allow you to focus on increasing visibility and association of the brand with a certain publication, but also can help to build quality links through to your website which can help increase your search capability.
PR and events can impress investors and create a buzz in the industry. It allows you to build credibility around your app and company and can lead to coverage in industry publications, broadening the awareness of your brand.
It can also work wonders for attracting new clients, interested potential business partners and even increase your access to better talent when it comes to hiring. Your credibility can be massively increased alongside any coverage contributing to your backlink profile and visibility within the SERP’s.
Although obtaining coverage in publications is a relatively affordable activity, bigger scale PR such as events can be costly, and therefore less accessible to startups.
It also offers a potentially high return on this expense, but also the possibility of doing the exact opposite. You can never guarantee that the press is going to cover your launch party or event favourably, or at all, so there is a degree of risk.
Equally, when running a segment on a publication or news site, you run the risk of being bumped for more pressing news. If there is breaking news or a significant event in the world, you could run the risk of being overshadowed.
Working with influencers allows popular bloggers, vloggers or influential social media users to develop content which recommends your mobile app to their followers. Of course, this approach relies on your app being user-friendly, useful and functional otherwise you could see the opposite effect.
Influencers will have a comprehensive knowledge of your industry and will use their platform to raise the profile of your product. Whether it’s a how-to, a comprehensive review or gameplay footage, influencers can expose your app to hundreds of thousands of potential customers.
Influencer marketing differs from other channels as it is considered a more trusted source. Where a ‘real person’ is recommending a product, to a ‘fan base’ of people who they have an ongoing rapport with, the following are overall more likely to trust the recommendation.
Around 60% of people will download or buy an app when recommended by a YouTube influencer, with influencers typically demonstrating how your app could benefit, improve and fit into their lives and therefore the lives of their followers.
Influencer marketing takes time, it requires effort to set up and someone to manage the relationships on an ongoing basis. This means you’ll need to find additional resources to ensure you have a handle on your influencer relationships.
Depending on the size of your influencers following and their popularity, the costs can vary with micro influencers much more accessible and celebrity influencers requiring more extensive remuneration packages.
Finally, influencer marketing means giving up some control of your brand. Influencers are free to create their own content in a way they feel is best and this requires the company to allow them to do so in order to get the best results.
For some brands, this can be daunting but with proper relationship building activities, there shouldn’t be anything to worry about.
Although it may seem slightly counter-productive, traditional marketing can be used to boost the awareness of your app. After all, people still read magazines, they still go outside, travel on public transport and see outdoor ads, some still even watch TV and listen to the radio…
That’s why, depending on the type of app you’ve created and who you want to use it, you might consider using traditional media to get the word out. A number of big name apps have utilising TV ads to increase their awareness, including ongoing story-driven ads.
Clash of Clans, which have been airing ads for a number of years aims to engage users using captivating animated shorts and target people when they’re most likely to access the app – during ad breaks at prime time. Not to mention their celebrity in-ad endorsements by way of the likes of James Corden and Christoph Waltz.
Following an extensive update to the features of the app, Uber splashed out on a TV campaign to address concerns over passenger safety, surge pricing, and Uber licensing process. The aim here was to improve customer perception after negative user experiences with their drivers knocked confidence in the brand.
The London Underground system offers a unique opportunity for mobile app creators to advertise to the 150,000 commuters who enter the network every hour. Extensive research into the effectiveness of advertising on the underground networks revealed that consumers on the underground want to be visually engaged, want to see more video and dynamic ads alongside less text and more colourful and attractive media.
Although it may seem somewhat old school, app startups love advertising on the underground platform.
It offers them the opportunity to cut through the noise experienced online and catch the commuter’s eye, to help distinguish their brand.
With much longer dwell time, 3 minutes on platforms and 13 minutes in a carriage, underground ads supported with reinforcement online can build a substantial campaign and rapidly increase visibility.
TV, radio and print ads have the scope to reach a huge number of people, based on your target audience. Ads can be programmed to be shown during the ad break of shows that your target personas are likely to watch.
Radio ads can be played based on location and on a radio station which is most closely aligned to your buyer persona.
Even print can be highly targeted, by optimising to advertise in space where your target personas work, travel or live or in interest or industry publications that your target audience regularly read.
Furthermore, the ability to advertise on TV or in a glossy magazine or an affluent outdoor space gives a brand a degree of clout due to association cost and perceived value of these mediums.
For many startups, traditional marketing to the above scale is simply not accessible. It can be very expensive, in particular, to air an ad at primetime, but it can also be costly to create.
Adverts require a team of people to create and edit the end product which can take months, depending on the scale of the requirement. More mobile app publishers are turning to digital marketing due to its accessibility and affordability.
Building your mobile app marketing strategy
If you’re unsure of how to build an advertising and marketing strategy for your mobile app, then get in touch with us today. We’ll work closely with your brand to ensure that we build the perfect approach to ensuring that your mobile app reaches new audiences and achieves maximum visibility.