App Marketing Guide
App marketing is a type of digital marketing technique that is focused on connecting mobile apps with users, via a number of techniques. It requires proper budgeting, planning and execution. The goal of a mobile app marketing can be described as a funnel – Acquisition, Engagement and Retention. Each of these components is an important part of a mobile app life cycle and every well-thought app marketing strategy should contain them all.
Any app marketing strategy can be divided on stages – pre-launch, launch and post-launch. Each of these stages implies proper marketing techniques to achieve multiple goals, such as users acquiring, raising brand awareness, getting tech media attention to get a coverage, as well as retaining acquired users and keeping them engaged to generate an income from in-app purchases.
Every part of an app marketing funnel needs to be explained in-depth, let’s walk through each.
App User Acquisition
This is one of the initial steps for a mobile app marketing strategy. For any mobile app to succeed on a market, it’s vital to build a substantial user base. There are lots of ways how a mobile app can be downloaded, but they all are driven by either on-store, the App Store / Google Play, marketing activities or off-store app traffic generation techniques. The most widespread channels to acquire app users are the following:
App Install Generation
With both major mobile app stores – the App Store and Google Play app developers face an app discoverability challenge they need to meet to grow their user base. A high demand for app installs caused lots of different install generating channels to be launched on the market. Today there are hundreds advertising solutions to generate app downloads and they are based on two major models – incentivized and non-incentivized. Essentially with the latter, app developers pay for their apps to be downloaded by mobile users who are rewarded for those downloads.
App Store Optimization (ASO)
ASO is the bread and butter of the on-store app marketing techniques and it implies developing a set of keywords a specific app should be ranked high on the App Store / Google Play to acquire its targeted audience. It also implies optimization of the whole mobile app marketing copy – an icon, screenshots and description. Such optimization is aimed at making sure an app does stand out of its competition and does communicate its value proposition clearly.
App Marketing Agencies
For many app developers marketing of their apps is something that is behind their expertise and hence they need help of professionals. Such app marketing professionals either operate individually as freelancers or as an app marketing agency.
The range of their services may include App Store Optimization, PR, market analysis, focus group testing, beta testing, consulting and more. Usually these companies outsource many of their services to third parties, providing their expertise with packaging multiple services to meet app developers marketing goals. Some agencies are solely focused on using top social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, app install generating solutions to build an app user base. Geographically, app marketing agencies either provide services for a global market or specialize on local markets.
App PR / Press
One of the channels for mobile app users to discover new apps to try is tech media that covers novel, interesting apps with various publications. To reach out journalists and writers that write about apps, app marketing companies, such as app PR ones, provide press release writing and distribution service. When an app gets coverage in a popular online publication it generates an interest to a specific app and brings certain number of app downloads.
Similar to movie and music celebrities, other the course of the last decade many YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter users have become online influencers. These people have managed to build hundreds of thousand and more fan bases that are engaged with their content. Eventually app marketing companies figured that this enormous influential power can be tapped to allow them to drive traffic to an app and grow its user base. Usually influencers may either write a review for an app or simply encourage their fans to try a new app they personally like.
App User Engagement and Retention
The next phase of the app marketing funnel, that follows the initial necessity to drive app installs, is to keep those users engaged. Today one of the biggest problems app developers companies of all sizes face is a user retention churn rate. This rate describes a ratio between the initial number of users a mobile app gets and the number of users who continue to use this app after specific period of time, usually 1, 7, 14 or 30 days. According to a leading mobile engagement platform Localyics 64% of mobile users stop using an app after a month and 80% after 3 month since the day they began to use an app.
Mobile Marketing Automation
Automation is a part and parcel of a digital marketing in general, it is what allows marketers to manage product-user relationships in scale. To address the need of keeping mobile app users engaged and to decrease a churn rate, app marketing companies provide mobile marketing automation services that allow app developers to track mobile users actions inside an app, send them targeted messages, monitor their reaction to reach accordingly. Nowadays, it’s practically impossible to build and grow mobile brand without marketing automation.
One of the core parts of the mobile marketing automation are Push notifications. This is the best channel for app developers to be connected with their app users. There are a number of occasions when developers can send such notifications to app users, such as to greet them after an app install and provide assistance with an app functions, to inform about new features available, to introduce a promo offer and so on. The key of an efficient utilizing of the push notifications technology is to know an app audience well and choose the right timing for sending them out.