Written by: Dan Ganancial, Consultant at Ivanhoe & McToterson
In Part 1 of this series, we discussed how increasing your app ranking depends heavily on users finding out about your app, downloading it, and then spreading the word. Getting this to happen can be done via organic promotion as well as paid advertisement. The following information below offers ideas on how to effectively market your app using both organic and non-organic marketing channels.
Before I get to the good stuff, I highly recommend that you define your mobile marketing strategy prior to app launch. In addition, I advise that you have mobile-app measurement metrics in place to measure the success of your app marketing efforts. My previous blogpost How To Measure The Success Of Your Mobile Strategy can provide you with some useful mobile-app metrics to measure.
One important metric to focus on is to calculate the number of downloads you will need to get into the top rankings. Every category requires a different number of downloads to move into the top ranking for that category. Finding the exact number can be challenging so an approximation will suffice. The idea is to establish a baseline amount of downloads your app needs to move its way into the top rankings.
And now to the goodies ….
1. Get featured on app review sites. A high percentage of downloads for new apps occur after those apps have been reviewed by app review sites or other earned media outlets (tech news, mainstream media, niche related press, etc.). It’s important to reach out to these media outlets in order to drive a burst of downloads at your launch time.
2. Hit up the bloggers and tech writers. Pitching bloggers and tech writers is a complex art, but here are some useful tips from Venturebeat:
– Know your journalist(s). Make it enticing for them to cover your app.
– Tell them what they want to know, quickly. Focus on urgency, significance, and numbers.
– Be honest about your app. Nobody likes a liar.
– Make it easy for them. Minimize their workload when it comes to material and written words.
– Make your pitch more than an ad. Tell a story.
3. Sharing is caring. Word of mouth is one of the most important ways new users can find your app. You have to do everything in your power to make it easy for your current users to share your app as well as content within your app via SMS, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, email, etc. The simpler you make sharing the app, the more users will engage in the process of sharing. In addition, tell your friends and family. Have them download the app and try it out.
4. Encourage users to rate and review your app. Where an app ranks in search results relies on how many ratings it has and how high those ratings are. It’s critical for your app’s success to receive as many 5 star ratings as possible.
6. Run burst campaigns to rise in the rankings, then lower your spend and stay ranked organically. Running a burst paid ad campaign is one of the best ways to drive downloads. Once your ad campaign begins, you’ll see an increase in the number of downloads and users of your app. If your app is valuable, you’ll get great ratings and reviews, and the app will be shared by users with their friends. Due to the increase in downloads, you will now begin to rank higher. Once you’re ranking high, you can then start to decrease your ad spend. This creates a cycle of organic app growth: your app ranks highly in the Top Charts, which drives downloads and ratings, which causes your app to continue to rank highly in the Top Charts.
You have to create a great app and consistently promote it through as many channels as possible in order to succeed in the app marketplace. At Ivanhoe & McToterson we work with clients to execute the strategies discussed above. What we’ve found is that with a lot of work, and a little luck, you can build a very successful mobile app that will climb in the rankings!
* What app-marketing strategies have worked for you? Please leave us a comment.