When you’re developing an app, you’re intensely focused on user experience. By the time you’re ready to reveal it to the world, you’ve undoubtedly conducted extensive user experience (UX) testing to make sure it’s glitch-free and engaging. But introducing a user-friendly app into today’s bustling mobile marketplace simply isn’t enough.
You’re now facing the challenge of acquiring users and building up a loyal base of engaged mobile users who can appreciate your app’s great UX. In an app store filled with millions of other apps vying for attention, this is no easy feat.
Stay on top of today’s best practices for mobile app promotion—both paid and unpaid strategies—so you can get your app noticed by the right users.
Optimize Your App Store Listing
Many users find apps simply by searching keywords within an app store. Someone who’s trying to identify a new plant that’s popped up in their front yard might search “plant identification,” for instance. Well, there are dozens of apps that fulfill this specific function alone. What factors will affect which apps this user sees first—and which one they trust enough to download?
The answer is App Store Optimization (ASO). As one Forbes contributor advises, “You can optimize your icon, title, description, and screenshots in order to be found faster on official app stores.” Include the most-searched keywords pertaining to your app in your title and descriptions. Choose appealing screenshots to show potential installers what your app looks like. Since app stores function like closed search engines, this will improve your rankings, so your app is more likely to be found.
Encourage Social Proof with Ratings and Reviews
People are always going to trust other people more than they trust marketers. This is why word-of-mouth marketing remains so powerful. Many potential users will absolutely scope out ratings and reviews before committing to trying your app.
Part of promotion is encouraging your users to post their honest ratings and reviews where others can see. While you never want to annoy users, you can prompt them to leave their two cents by delivering a push notification after they engage in a certain activity that indicates they’re getting value out of your app. A dating app might ask a user to leave a review after they exchange phone numbers with a match, for example.
Target High-Value Users with Personalized Ads
App marketing is increasingly becoming a matter of seeking quality users over quantity. It turns out that driving installs alone doesn’t result in high post-install engagement. Why? Because the fact of the matter is that many people who install an app won’t go on to convert. As a result, marketers are shifting their attention toward paid mobile app promotion aimed at attracting high-quality users.
Using demographic and behavioral information, target the specific audience who gets the most value from your app—and therefore continues to engage in post-install events like subscribing, making in-app purchases, and the ilk. A simple way to think of it: Targeting to every age group is simply barking up the wrong tree if you know that your most engaged audience consists of 18- to 24-year-olds.
The next step is targeting these most promising users with personalized ads. Machine learning algorithms are now capable of assembling ads programmatically based on templates, so users end up seeing an ad that appeals to them specifically. Working with a demand side platform (DSP) will help you optimize your paid campaigns as such.
Engage and Re-Engage Users
Promotion isn’t just for potential first-time users; it’s highly important to re-engage people who previously downloaded your app but disengaged or deleted it. As eMarketer reports, 21 percent of users launch a new app just once, and just 38 percent of users launch an app more than 11 times. Alongside paid acquisition ad campaigns, serve personalized retargeting ads to lapsed users to draw them back into the fold.
These best practices for mobile app promotion will help you connect your app to an engaged audience.
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