Mobile App Development Timeline: A Realistic Perspective
Time is money. The longer an app takes to build, the more it will cost. If you’ve started pricing out ...Read
Mobile is becoming the first choice for younger consumers. Business owners now more than ever have to think about what type of experience they are giving to their potential customers when they are experiencing your website or app on mobile. Is it usable, does it load fast enough, is the same experience on a laptop translating to mobile?
Get Beta Testers!
Apply on beta.list and similar sites. These sites allow people that love beta testing to find out about your app before pre launch and submit their email to be notified about your launch. This is a great way to have a built in audience upon launch!
Target Social Sharing Communities
Plenty of groups on Reddit, slack communities, and Facebook groups are centered around beta/early stage releases. These are the channels you want to target for early release. But don’t just post and leave the group. Make sure to post into the right channel and then answer any questions. If you don’t know the right channel, ask the moderator/admin first. These communities hate marketers, so do it the right way.
Get Featured On ProductHunt
This is literally a site where people go to find out about new websites, apps, etc. This is a perfect place to start. And have other people that you know submit on your behalf as well. More traction!
Create Your Own Facebook Group
Create your own Facebook group and invite all of your friends to it and have your friends do the same. I have roughly 1500 Facebook friends and when I invited them all to like my Facebook group that was centered around my app(not business page) on Facebook I had 400 people in the group. After my friends did the same for me I was up to 1000 people in the group. I then posted the link to download my app in there and got over 800 downloads!
Optimize Your App
You’re not going to market anything if your app or site is slow.. It can’t go fast enough so re-restructure those SQL queries, lose the third-party ad trackers, and strip out all the whitespace between your tags because the 50 milliseconds you knock off your load time absolutely makes a difference in how responsive users will be to your marketing campaigns.
Optimize Everything For Mobile
All businesses should make sure their sites, products and features and optimized for mobile. A clunky or discombobulated site on mobile will result in a high bounce rate.
Eventually, everything will find a way to mobile. Over the long-term, it won’t be necessary to sit in front of a computer to waste time. It won’t be necessary to have an office phone. In fact, it won’t even be necessary to go into an office to work.
Approximately 40% of all e-mail is viewed via smartphones and tablets today. If 40% of people are getting their messages through these channels, then you MUST find ways to not only optimize your sites to mobile, but also tailor your e-mails and sales messages in such a way to entice these specific users.
Another takeaway is that ads need to be optimized for mobile. For example, Mobile Marketer found that 970×250 banners are great for desktops and laptops, but 320×50 work best on smartphones and tablets.
Nielsen reported that mobile APPLICATIONS (apps) now account for 90% of all time users spend on their smartphones. Mobile ad tracking firm Medialets found that advertisements in mobile apps perform significantly better (0.56% click-through rates) than ads on the mobile web (0.23% click-through rates). The click-through rates aren’t as high as they would be for e-mail advertisements, but the data nonetheless is an encouraging sign for mobile advertisers moving forward.
Some large brands are already testing ad campaigns on mobile applications. For example, during Valentine’s 2014, Domino’s in the United Kingdom used dating app Tinder to reach users. Anyone who matched with the Domino’s Tinder account had the opportunity to get a discounted pizza.
Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP)also found Facebook to be the most used mobile app. This presents a tremendous advertising opportunity within Facebook.
It’s important that all businesses – including brick-and-mortar, man-to-man shops – keep the mobile trend in mind for the future. Those who adapt to these changes will be ahead of the curve.
Optimize The Experience For Mobile
When developing a shopping app for my webstore I did not underestimate the importance of having a great user experience. Mobile devices are so sophisticated a lot of users are no longer even using a desktop computer. In order to expand into the mobile market I had to ensure the customers received a similar shopping experience. A simple but modern and user friendly dashboard was a must in order to expand our mobile presence. Once I had our mobile app up and running I started analyzing my customer data. I knew customers shopping on an app would require a more personalized shopping experience. Using the customer data I was able to integrate a more refined shopping experience by only advertising to a certain demographic. Sending only relevant SMS alerts and notifications to consumers who have the highest chance of converting into a sale. Mobile marketing is still a fairly new market and we are always trying to find new and innovate ways to target our customers in an organic fashion. I believe in the near future social media will play a huge factor in mobile marketing.
Growing Without Paying
App Store Optimization (ASO) is essential now than ever before, because search in the app store is the most used method for new app discovery and installs. Optimize your app title, maximize the keywords field, and write a description that persuades the visitor to download the app.
Drive Installs With App Store Search Ads
App Store Search Ads will offer the most applicable method of driving paid app downloads. Mobile marketers will have an answer to the immense demand in install-based marketing campaigns for applications which have been dominated by Facebook in its app advertising and monetization ecosystem.
Promote Your App The Smart Way
Use Branch’s Smart Banner to convert your website visitors into app users. Branch offers this to marketers for free and it’s better than Apple’s Smart App Banner, because it’s fully customizable. You have full control of the button text and color, plus you can choose to add ratings and review counts. Branch also just launched a new feature called Journeys, which you should check out if you want to personalize the experience of converting web visitors.
A consumer’s mobile device is their most prized, individual possession. The user expects the same from any marketing messaging. The message needs to be geared towards them – almost exclusively – as a 1-on-1 conversation. Avoid mass marketing – consumers on their devices wish to be spoken to as if they are in a private conversation with you – not a lecture hall.
Invest in Detailed Analytics
Merely tracking impressions and clicks is not enough. Use the analytics platforms available today to engage the user throughout the customer journey and lifecycle. The right message at the right time based on where the user is in the buying cycle.
Use Google App Install Campaigns
One of the best mobile marketing strategy is to use Google App Campaigns to promote the app. Those are super efficient and very targeted campaigns to promote your app in a budget-friendly way. When using this strategy, make sure you got Google Analytics set up within your ad to track everything and use several other cool features such as remarketing.
Develop A Marketing Plan for Launch
This is undoubtedly the biggest mistake app developer’s and marketers alike make. Before launching an app, a strategic and thorough marketing plan should be put in place including placement, competitor analysis and a detailed calendar that highlights the rollout of the app. A marketing plan is not optional-it’s a necessity.
Improve your App Store Optimization (ASO)
You can improve your app’s visibility in various app stores by focusing on a few key items. First, make sure the App’s description contains keywords that are applicable to your audience. Make sure the language and description fit the key demographic you are trying to reach.
Create a Reason for Retention
Many individuals leave an app shortly after downloading it so; give your customer’s something to want from it. Create valuable content, exclusive deals or something to encourage them to come back to the app. Coupons are one way to do this however, depending on the app’s nature you can scale this marketing tool to your specific needs.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of PR
One of the easiest ways to get an app “out there” today is the power of PR. Get included on lists, featured on blogs and cater your pitches to specific outlets who cover your category. This earned media is low-cost but incredibly valuable when and if it gets picked up. Make a list of outlets that fit the bill and build a connection with editors. One trick is to use Twitter. Many editors have their contact info in their description- use it! I fall else fails, send a Tweet. Who knows? You may get a Re-Tweet that results in an uptick in downloads!
Use Mobile Optimized Pop-Ups
If you’re using them there is one thing you should know: sometimes they don’t work on all mobile devices. Before setting up a pop-up, make sure that the user can easily X out of it on all mobile devices. There is nothing worse than finding out all of your android users are leaving your site because they hit a pop up that they can’t seem to close.
Use Advertising & Targeting
Advertise on Mobile through Google Display Network and Facebook. You can target specific mobile apps, devices, and create a hyper-niche strategy to gain qualified traffic. You can also control you ad spend and monitor the campaigns closely.
Take advantage of the variety of Ad Types. With all of the social channels out there, there are more opportunities for just the basic banner ad. Take TrueView for example, it allows advertisers and marketers to use 30 second video to display an ad and capture audience members attention. Similar to display, video engages a user more and is interactive
Leverage Special offers
Utilize online offers/specials through coupon codes, or any type of paperless offers. It improves engagement and promotes your audience to share and convert.
Spray-and-Pay vs Sniper User Targeting Approach
Traditional advertising goes for the spray-and-pray approach, in an attempt to maximize impressions and visibility. In mobile advertising, this approach is futile, as it results in wasted impressions on users with little promise and low engagement. Targeted mobile ads exploit vast pools of mobile user data in order to create granular audience segments. This sniper approach instead opts to target engaged users with high LTV potential. While impressions may be less, conversion rates increase to acquire a long-term engaged user base.
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How does it work?
Let’s take the concrete example of a food delivery app launching in a new city. Traditional advertising would plaster ads all over the city in order to reach the maximum number of potential users. However, applying data-drive insights tells us that the app’s user base in other city tend to fall within the 20 – 32 age range. These busy young professionals are also 3 times more likely to order food delivery on weeknights than any other time. Proper audience segmentation would target this user group during this timeframe and on zip-code basis, near large business sites and young residential areas to target the precise moment when they want your service. Such audience segmentation serves to boost conversion rates, optimizing each impression, as you already prove your added value to the user at the moment when they are most receptive to your message.
Make sure it’s engaging
To ensure your mobile advertising strategy reaches receptive users, make sure it is engaging and responds to the users needs within a precise moment. Taking the same example, we know that User A, 25 years old, is most likely to order food delivery on Wednesday or Thursday evenings during his commute home from a busy commercial area. Instead of simply displaying a generic ad creative with a link to download your food delivery app, mobile advertisers should instead ensure they provide added value. In this case, this would mean not only an ad to download the food delivery app, but a discount offer to a local pizza shop via the service or other localized promotional offer.
Every App Has Its Price
Arguably the greatest hurdle to getting your app in the hands of users is the cost. Choosing the right price model for your app can also contribute to its success. There are many price models out there for apps, such as freemium, completely free, free with in-app purchases (most profitable) and paid.
Do some market research of your niche industry to give your app the right pricing. Then it’s time to have fun. Celebrate anything and everything, and put special offers and discounts on your app, but only for limited periods. This will boost your downloads, for sure.
Find Success In The Niches
As mobile marketing becomes the next generation of advertising, it is important to make yourself stand out. You must find untapped markets that can help your brand grow to its fullest potential. This means putting the time and possibly money into investigating how your product can reach its target market in the most successful way. Where once mobile and smartphone usage was seen as primarily used by the younger generations, it has truly penetrated the market and you can almost reach anybody via mobile. Each market has key benefits which you must weigh out and find what is most important to help your company grow.
Build a Brand
Make your product appealing. Give it a story people can get behind and relate to. Use the modern trends to draw people in and make them want more.
Get the backing your app needs. Use the most influential sites and people to represent your product to convince others they need it. Market your app compared to competitors. See who your competitors are already targeting, target them and MORE.
Track Conversion In Way Of Successful Users
It is important to not only track how many people are using your app, but how many people become loyal users and keep coming back. Once you are able to find what type of people are interested in your product, you will be able to better build your target audience and find markets that you must further penetrate..
Help People Find Your App with App Store Optimization (ASO)
The number one way users discover new apps is through searching the App store. Few people scroll down or see past the first 10 apps in most searches, so it’s very important that your app be visible at the top of the charts. First, you need to conduct research using more than one ASO tool. No one tool will give you accurate data. When you choose your keywords, integrate them into your content strategy (title, description, captions, etc.) so users searching for your exact product can find you. Effective ASO is the best way to outshine your competitors and increase organic downloads by loyal, engaged users, especially if they can find you for the right keywords. The average user decides whether to download an app within 3-6 seconds, so in addition to being highly visible, you need to be highly persuasive. Craft a creative and engaging logo, and well designed screenshots that tell the story of your app, and encourage downloads.
Get Your App Featured On Relevant Blogs or Websites
Another way to gain organic downloads is through blog reviews. There are millions of apps in the app store, so it’s important for your name recognition and ASO efforts to have your app appear in a variety of online publications, with links to the app’s page in the app store. This process is called link building and can help your app not only acquire organic users through the increased visibility, but also index better in the search engines. Although it can sometimes be possible to have your app featured for free on a blog, often sponsored reviews are a relatively inexpensive and effective way to increase organic downloads.
Reach A Huge Amount Of People Out Of The Gate With A Burst Campaign
To reach the top of the App store in the US, for example, an app must be downloaded a minimum of 120,000 times a day! That’s an enormous number, so a targeted, aggressive media buying strategy that lasts 24-48 hours, called a burst campaign, is necessary. If you have the budget for it, a burst campaign is one of the best ways to launch an app and create a huge buzz within a short period of time, which will increase the app’s discoverability. Aside from the massive exposure, Burst Campaign’s ensure a high number of organic viral downloads – a direct result of the high placement in the top download charts. If you prefer to spread your media buying budget out over time, you can run a hyper targeted campaign – pinpoint the right users for your app using targeting method.
Create Social Buzz And Encourage Sharing
Good old fashioned word of mouth is still a powerful form of marketing. You can create buzz with your social strategy by creating a Facebook / Instagram /page and building a base of Twitter followers even before your app launches. Once you’ve launched, sharing features that encourage people to share your app with their network will lead to an increase of active, loyal, and organic users.
Say what you want about the Reddit community, but they absolutely love helping out startups. This makes the platform the perfect place for you to generate some buzz around your app, especially if it is providing something that people will find useful. Join a subreddit like /r/AMA (Ask Me Anything) and introduce yourself as a startup business owner who is launching an app. You’ll not only get a lot of attention and traffic to any websites or social media profiles that you’re promoting, you’ll also get some genuinely insightful feedback from the community who are renowned for their honest advice.
Never Underestimate The Power Of Reviews or Testimonials
Getting testimonials and reviews can be challenging, but if you have even a couple then you can use them. Think big- include them on your site, see if you can follow up for videos, build relationships with people who have submitted their thoughts, and if you’re doing paid ads on Adwords get some review extensions up and running!
Outreach, Outreach, Outreach
Want to get an app out there and generate a buzz? Talk to the RIGHT people, and build relationships with them- it can help a ton. Think bloggers who review software or even mom bloggers if your app is family appropriate. Look on social media for communities to get into, search Google for websites that match your criteria. Show off a demo, give them access to a beta test show them why and how your app is worth talking about!
Make Sure Your Website Is Mobile Friendly
Duh, right? If you’re promoting a mobile app, be 100% positive that your website and user experience is sublime on mobile devices. If it’s not, who’s really going to trust that your app is up to scratch? Make sure everything from load times to navigation is set up to be responsive, and if you can get a bit creative with the design. Your SEO performance will get a boost, plus you’ll probably get more downloads too!
App Store Optimization is Crucial
This is the absolute foundation for successful app marketing. Each store has its own algorithm, so it is essential that you do some research and see what every store takes into consideration when ranking apps. In general, though, the name of your app is considered to be a universally-valid factor – so try to use keywords in it (as much as it is possible and natural, of course). To search for suitable keywords, use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool (but do keep in mind that you should change the device setting to “mobile”).
Get Some Social Media Help
Nowadays, social media is everywhere – and app marketing makes no exception. Page promoted posts, sponsored stories that target the mobile news feeds, pages (used as ads and also targeted at mobile users), using different tools to segment the ad demographics, a balanced use of high-resolution images and attractive URL posts – these tactics can be very helpful when it comes to getting your mobile app out there. Likewise, promoted Tweets can also have a positive impact on your app marketing campaigns.
App reviews have a great effect on users, as well as on how the app stores perceive your product. Therefore, it is very important that you attract as many reviews as possible – and one of the best ways to do this is by offering something in return (e.g. giving away free credits for those who post a review of the app).
Although this is one of the more time-consuming methods to promote an app, it can be very efficient. Creating a microsite based on what your app is offering and optimizing it for the search engines can draw a lot of users to your site (and, as a consequence, to your app) – so the time and financial effort will be more than worth it, especially if you rank for highly-searched keywords.
Focus On Personalization
Most people spend their days glued to their phones, posting on Facebook, taking selfies, etc. Consider that when it comes to your mobile marketing or app marketing strategy. A prime example is how Coca Cola began personalizing their bottles with people’s names. Prior to that people had no reason to take photos with a bottle of Coke, but now people are uploading selfies with their soda because it’s personalized.
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