App Marketing

A Marketer's Guide to Mobile App Marketing in 2021

You may think that all you need to start a successful mobile app is having a unique business idea that will fill a gap in a specific industry. And here comes the release day with red carpet, champagne and millions of people worldwide that want to download your app right away.

Unfortunately for all of us (believe me we all have this great app idea in our mind), it is unlikely to happen. Because the app market is huge and competitive and there are so many apps to download that it’s difficult for an average user to make a decision.

So how will your target audience download your app if they haven’t heard about it? The simple answer is that you need to plan a marketing strategy and market your product non stop to put it in front of your target audience.

This guide will not only answer all your questions but will give you a basic structure of your app promotion plan. 

What Is Mobile App Marketing?

Mobile app marketing means creating marketing campaigns for your business to reach more mobile device users and engaging them through their interaction with your app. This means 

  • Helping mobile users discovering your app
  • Persuading them to download your app
  • Making them staying engaged

So if you haven’t started with an app promotion marketing strategy for your app, you’re already behind your competitors! If you are not convinced yet, have a look at app statistics you need to know before reading further.

Why Marketing an App is Crucial?

More and more businesses choose to have their mobile app these days. This helps to enhance and expand their growth and drive more traffic.

But having a mobile app doesn’t mean you are going to achieve success and fame immediately. No, you need to work hard to promote your app online and attract traffic towards your business.

App promotion is necessary for:

  • Driving traffic
  • Boosting revenue and sales
  • Increasing your apps visibility
  • Building brand and recognition
  • Engaging customers 

App Store Optimization

ASO helps to increase your app’s visibility on the main App stores. If you want to increase the chances of your app’s success and raise install numbers, you should optimize your app listing properly. Below are the main points that you should pay close attention to. 


App’s Title

 It’s the first thing that the user will see when searching for a specific keyword. You need to be very cautious when choosing a title and using keywords here as it not only helps the users to understand the context of your app but  App stores use an app title as a ranking factor. 

Your title must be engaging, simple and catchy.


Note:Please note that you can include only 30 characters in Apple’s store and 50 characters in Google Play Store.


App’s Short Description

A short description helps to engage the users and influences conversion rate, therefore it’s important to write a clear description that includes some of your main keywords. A good written description should outline your app’s purpose, benefits or values. 


App’s Long Description

The long description helps users to understand your app’s purpose, the main features and any information they need to know. It must be written for your customers, not for App store search engines and should be a call to action. 

Keep in mind that customers always have a couple of alternatives to your app, hence your main goal is to persuade them why yours is the best choice. You have 4000 characters to convince them to make a decision. 

Note: Each time you update your app, add a new description and screenshots that will reflect the changes.


Use Keywords

Keywords are one of the main factors of successful ASO. 

Choose keywords very carefully and try focusing on ones that searchers are most likely to use. Perform keyword research and select the queries that are relevant to your app.  

Take the time to analyze your competitors’ to identify the keywords they are using.  


Note: Apple App Store allows to include up to 100 character keywords (Google Play Store doesn’t have this field).


Screenshots and Videos

The best way to increase your CTR is by choosing appealing design and adding visuals and videos to attract attention. This is the best way to show your app’s features, the latest updates and improvements. Be creative and make an outstanding design. 


Note: Be aware that there are some limitations on how many visuals you can add on Apple App Store and Google Play Store. 


Localize Your Listing

 If your target audience doesn’t speak English, you need to segment your markets and adapt your brand for each one. You need to translate your app’s title, descriptions, and keywords to the language of your main segments. 

App Stores make it easy for your customers from the different countries to discover your app by localizing your app listing. When your customers discover your app using the keywords in the language they speak and seeing your app page written specifically for them, there is a high probability they will download your product. 


Ratings and Feedback

Reviews and ratings are the most important indication that your app is popular and provides a real value to users. It’s also a ranking factor. So, if your ratings are low, App stores will not show your app at the top search results. It seems simple right?  Well, it’s not 🙂 You must keep your customers engaged. But it’s not that easy. Only your loyal fans will leave feedback and rate your app or the ones who hate it. So, how do you encourage your users to write reviews and leave feedback?

  • Ask within the app
  • Use other channels – like social media, email or your website
  • Reward reviews


Note: Always reply to negative reviews. Try to be respectful and understand the user’s issue.

Pre-Launch App Marketing Strategies

You should have your app promotion strategy written and planned before you finish your app’s development process. This is the main factor that will ensure your success. It doesn’t matter how good or in time your product is, if you don’t promote it, you are going to fail.

The majority of businesses make the same mistake.

They wait until their product launches before starting with marketing. Build anticipation and interest before finally launching your app.  


Build a Website or a Landing Page 

Informative and appealing website that has a blog included, is the first step in your marketing plan. The point is to introduce the website’s audience with your future app and persuade them to actually download it. Besides, the website will allow you to collect pre-registrations and help your customers to find your app via Search engines, so  it’s crucial for SEO efforts as well.

If you think that a landing page will be enough for your app promotion, use online website builders to create a simple landing page.

Note: Your website or the landing page should be live before you launch your app. 


Collect Pre-registrations and Pre-orders

Use your website or the landing page to spark interest in your app and ensure that you have an interested audience before the release. Collect email addresses on your website and send updates, news, offers and release information with your app’s link. 

Besides this, you can also let your audience pre-register  for your app or pre-order it on App stores. For this you can develop different offers, like:

  • Discounts on the cost of the app
  • Free trials
  • Freebies
  • Access to a beta version

A Beta Version of the App

 Release a beta version of your app for a chosen number of testers before the full version. This will help you not only identify the bugs, but also will help to build anticipation among the testers and drive pre-registrations or pre-orders. If you invite your industry influencers  to test your app, they will talk about it with their followers.


Influencer Marketing

Build a buzz around your app with Influencer marketing  before you release the app. Work with social media influencers that have engaged followers and are active  on social media:

  • Find the right influencers
  • Develop an attractive offer
  • Make a personalized pitch


SEO Strategy

You need to have a SEO strategy for optimizing your website or landing page and driving organic traffic. But first, understand how search works and perform keyword research for SEO. Write informative and valuable blog posts that may drive natural links and drive traffic to your website. 

Note: It’s crucial to start your SEO efforts a couple of months before your app’s release, as it takes time for it to work. You can do it yourself or get help with SEO services.


Social Media Marketing

Social media is one of the most effective ways to promote your app. For effective Social media marketing you should know your target audience and then decide which Social media channels you should choose.Set your profile, optimize it, join relevant groups, create and share  engaging content.


App Demo Video

Create a 40-70 second video that represents the features and benefits of your app and why the users should download it. It must be creative and entertaining, but provide a value as well. Post it on your website, social media and app listing. 


Create a Press Release

Have a press release kit prepared to outreach to journalists. Your kit should include screenshots, videos, icons and concise description. 

Follow the below mentioned steps for creating an amazing press release:

  • Use tools to research journalists
  • Write a catchy headline
  • Explain your pitch in more details 
  • Present a summary of your features and benefits
  • Write closing points

Note:Send your kit a month before your app’s launch.

Post Launch App Marketing Strategies

You may think that your job is done once your app is live, but the hard work is yet ahead. You should continue your previous marketing efforts and add new strategies and new tactics. After your app’s release you should multiply your marketing efforts and be ready that it may quickly escalate along with your app’s growth. So be prepared and read your next steps.


Ask for Reviews

If you want the users to leave reviews, you need to add the functionality into your app. Don’t be straightforward and don’t spam. You can follow the below mentioned tactics for getting more positive reviews:

  • Good timing 
  • Make it easy to leave a review
  • Engage with customers 
  • Run a context
  • Offer something in return


Referral Program

Implement a successful referral program and encourage your loyal users to recommend your app to their friends. But you have to offer something in return. Some rewards that you can use, are:

  • Discounts
  • Money 
  • Freebies


Mobile App Review Websites

Submit your app to app review websites. As an app owner, you should get your app in front of as many people as possible. These websites generate targeted traffic, and if you outreach the well curated and high authority review websites, you will be able to get more qualified leads. 

Simply visit the website and submit your app or find a contact email on the website to outreach the editors and admins directly. 


Submit Your App for Awards

If you want to increase your app’s recognition and trust, apply for industry awards. Here are some popular awards:

  • Appy Awards
  • Best App Ever Awards
  • Apple Design Awards 
  • Appsters Awards
  • The Webby Awards 
  • Best Mobile App Awards 


Become a Sponsor or Run a Context

Depending on your app’s industry, find a website that is in your niche and sponsor events or contexts and offer awards, like shirts, accessories, mugs, books, etc, for your context. For getting the reward, the participants should complete a specific task (like downloading your app). 


Reach Out to Blog Owners 

Reach out to popular blog owners that have a high authority, trust and respect in your industry and present your app, its features, benefits and your vision. Ask them to share with their audience their thoughts and experience with your app.


Try Mobile Ads

For raising your mobile application’s awareness quickly, start with mobile ads from the very start. You can choose banners, video ads or other mobile ad formats. But before starting, test different types of ads and choose which one suits your brand and app the best.


Affiliate Marketing

If you want quick results, targeted audience that will convert, try investing into affiliate marketing. You can offer commissions, in app rewards or free credits to your affiliates. But be honest with your affiliates and don’t break their trust. Transfer their earnings in time and without delays.


Respond to Reviews

Respond to all reviews as fast as possible. This will show them that you care about their opinion. Answer to negative reviews as well. The negative feedback will help you greatly to understand what  changes and improvements you should make in your app.


Tell Your Success Story

Create your success story, give interviews, participate in popular conferences, charity events, prepare motivational videos and speeches.Tell your success story to the whole world and try to inspire as many people as possible.

Mobile App Marketing Metrics

For measuring your mobile app’s performance and your marketing ROI, for understanding what works and what you should change, you need to track your app’s marketing metrics and KPIs. So here are some of the main metrics you should track:

  • Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)
  • Downloads
  • App Open Rate (AOR)
  • Number of New Users
  • Organic Conversion Rate
  • Paid Conversion
  • Uninstalls
  • Shares
  • Ratings
  • User Acquisition
  • Device Metrics
  • Session Duration
  • Session Time
  • Session Interval
  • Retention & Engagement
  • Daily Active Users
  • Monthly Active Users
  • Return On Investment (ROI)


So the takeaways are:

  • Start your app marketing efforts a couple of months before the release day
  • Multiply your app promotion efforts after your app goes live
  • Always track and measure your marketing metrics
  • Collect feedbacks and improve  

Create your success story, give interviews, participate in popular conferences, charity events, prepare motivational videos and speeches.Tell your success story to the whole world and try to inspire as many people as possible.


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Narine Nazaryan is a digital marketing specialist with more than 5 years experience in the field and more than 10 years experience in the banking and finances spheres. She is an obsessed reader and content writer. Her hobbies include coding, astronomy, physics and following the latest scientific discoveries. As it is obvious from this short bio, she doesn’t like bragging at all and is a very modest and pleasant person.

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