Apple announced more than 1 million apps in the App Store.
That was 2013.
4 years ago.
It boggles the mind to consider how much the number has grown and continues to grow every day.
The sheer volume of competition is just one thing you need to know about app marketing, but don’t let it dissuade you from starting app marketing, There are plenty of other things to learn to help your app stand out from the crowd.
1) Build an App, Not a Website
There is a difference between a mobile website and a mobile app. While it might seem like a quick fix to use a version of your mobile website as a newly released app, it won’t be worth it. Apps can and should function differently than websites – usually with streamlined function.
2) Find a Way to Bring Them Back
As you think about your new mobile app, think about how you can get customers to come back and use it regularly. The vast majority of apps are fun once or twice, but customer interest fades. Be aware of this and plan for ways to bring their attention back.
3) Treat Customers Personally
Apps give you the ability to be literally in the palm of a customer’s hand. This means you should be thinking about how to personalize that connection as much as possible. Let customers create a personalized aspect within the app and builds a sense of relationship on the part of the customer.
4) Consider an App Inbox
Your app is a great way to communicate with customers, but communication only works if you leave customers a way to get it. Sure, a push notification might get their attention, but unless there is an inbox storing those important messages for later consumption, it will be next to impossible for customers to read later.
5) Invest in Marketing Research
The idea of a new, shiny phone app is exciting. But don’t let the excitement of the app overpower your good sense. You need to know more than how to build the app – you need to know how to sell it to the parties who want to download it. And that requires specific market research.
6) Seek Feedback
If you ask your customers to tell you nice things, they probably will. Set up a system of rankings, stars, thumbs or likes within your app so that customers can quickly and easily give you feedback about their experiences and purchases.
7) Be Responsive to Change
The world of media moves quickly. It’s important to stay in tune with the constant changes so that you can bend and flex appropriately in whichever direction the technology wind is blowing. That flexibility will serve you well in the development and marketing processes as well.
8) Involve Marketing before Launch
Speaking of marketing, your marketing team should be involved in the development of your new app well before launch. Marketing knows your customers. They know about color preferences, response rates and industry comparisons. Why would you not want them as part of the design team?
9) Plan the Launch Date First
When you take on a new app, you’re taking on a huge project. For this reason set your launch date first. If you know that you will be launching your new app on January 1, you can structure your intermediate deadlines and requirements accordingly. If you start building without a deadline in place, the building may truly never get done.
10) Take Relevant Measures
You’re already asking clients for feedback. Now be sure that the feedback you’re seeking and any other measures are relevant to what you’re trying to do. Consider the most important parts of the customer experience and the parts that are most lucrative. Measure those first.
11) Don’t Measure Too Much
But don’t measure too much. If you measure every click on every button and every elapsed time for every item, you’re never going to emerge from your data. You will have beautiful data telling you everything, but you’ll never have time to do anything with it.
12) Advertise in Your App
Don’t forget that customers using your app are essentially a captive audience (until they close the app at least.) It’s perfectly reasonable to advertise to your own customers or your own app users. It’s truly just another way of upselling at check-out.
13) Provide Plenty of Customer Support
Even the best app might have the occasional hiccup. Your company surely focuses on customer service and the customer experience. Shouldn’t your app give customers a way to reach your customer service department when things aren’t going well?
14) Use Push Notifications Sparingly
As tempting as it is, don’t give in to the desire to send a push notification about every single thing. If you send too many notices, you’ll burn out your customers and they will turn off all notifications. It’s far better to send a rare notification that will get read than lose the trust of your customer.
15) Ask for Reviews Personally
Your app has been asking for feedback for your own information and for development purposes, but you can use the same technique to earn reviews for your product in the app marketplace. Simply ask users to leave a quick review, especially if they are using your app frequently.
16) Make It Easy to Share
Along the same vein, one of the best way to spread the word about your new app is to allow customers to share it. Include an easy way for users to reach out and send notifications, information or invitations to others who would enjoy the app as well.
17) Simplify Everything
When you’ve finished the app and feel like it’s pretty straightforward, simplify it again. And again. The easier an app is to use, the more it will be used – and that is certainly the goal you’re shooting for.
Just like anything else in advertising, app marketing can be hugely effective if you plan well and implement your strategies carefully. Do your homework, plan accordingly and cut yourself a share of the billions of dollars being spent on mobile apps every year.