If youâ€™re an app developer or getting one developed, App Marketing cannot be thought of as an option. It is vital to your appâ€™s survival once it does hit the store. And neither is it a onetime effort that you can get done with at once. It is a much longer process than the development stage and starts from the time you decide youâ€™re going to develop the time and goes on well after the app has been released onto the respective app stores.
There are many ways to go about App Marketing. There isnâ€™t an exactly defined step by step process to follow. Certain things will have to be done simultaneously whereas some will have to wait till others stages are done.
Before jumping all out into developing your app you need to get a few opinions to validate your app idea. Unless youâ€™re going to bring something absolutely unique to the market, chances are somebody has already thought of something similar and it is already out there. Iâ€™m not saying this to discourage you; as a matter of fact it could be a good thing. You get to analyze what they are doing wrong (of course they are doing something wrong: if not youâ€™d have heard of their app already) and not repeat the same mistakes they do.
Once the validation is done and you have done enough research to satisfy yourself that pursuing development of this app is indeed in your best interests, you need to build up an online presence for the app. A website/webpage is must and other options to be considered are social media networks. This should be the first thing you should do as it could give your app all kinds of exposure and even generate useful feedback such as suggestions for the app or even draw in potential investors. This is the first introduction the world will get to your app so you need to make sure you invest some time and do it right. At the initial stages during pre-release your website can have a subscription for where people can subscribe to let them be notified about any major developments or release of the app. This works out nicely as you are also passively gathering a nice mailing list you can use.
After you have built up your online presence, you need to decide on how you are going to generate revenue with you app. This is only important if you are intending to do so. You may just want to build an app to test the waters and in that case this step would not be much useful to you. However if you are intending to generate revenue via your app you need to choose the proper method of doing so. There are a wide variety of options available such as paid apps, in-app purchases, advertisements, providing services, selling products or even subscriptions. If you are considering a paid app you need to give some consideration on getting your app price right as well. You donâ€™t want to throw off potential customers that might generate more revenue via in-app purchases by having a high initial app price.
As soon as the app price and your means of generating income have been finalized, you need to start work on your app. You need to develop your app in such a way that it offers something of value to your users and keeps them coming back again. One of the most important factors that come into play here is the design of the app. If youâ€™re not a designer then I would suggest spending some money and getting one of the best. Studies have proved that it is the design of an app that registers first with a user rather than the features it provides. Having a killer design and easy navigation helps loads in keeping your users interested.
Iâ€™m not going to be touching on how important the different stages of development are as that will make this read a bit too technical. What matters is that the service you intend to provide via your app and your app is amazing enough to be a means of marketing by itself. Viral Marketing is the best way to give exposure to your apps and increase downloads. Word of mouth guarantees people hear about your app as well getting a review about it from people they know on a personal basis. This is by far the best means of marketing that will have the highest number of conversions.
Once the app is developed and released in the respective app stores, make sure you pay attention to all the feedback. It may be possible that a bug or issue slipped through the testing stages and now a user has experienced it. They will usually leave this in the form of a review/feedback so make sure you fix it and respond afterwards. These give users a good impression and are more likely to leave a positive review afterwards. We all know how important a good review is in the app stores and this is a way of getting genuine reviews. The other way of getting reviews is to have a popup in the app so people can rate you directly from it.
During all these steps you should always keep updating the general public about your app via the app presence you had built online. However closer to release or upon release you can use more traditional means of marketing or really take your marketing campaign up a notch. This would gain that extra bit of exposure that will give you that early success you were hoping for.
Once all this is done you need to start gaining revenue from it. As mentioned earlier you should have given it thought during the pre-development stages of the app. There are as noted below various means and strategies for going about this. The most commonly used ones are of course having the customer pay to download your app and displaying advertisements. The only issues here are customers have no idea whether it would be worth their money to use your app in the case of paid apps and advertisements can kind of getting annoying at times in the latter scenario. There is however an easy fix to this. You could release a lite version of your app with limited functionalities or with ads for free and then have an ad-free version or fully functional app available for purchase.
Advertisements can be used for multiple means. You can use them to gain revenue or you can use them to gain exposure. To gain exposure you can use an Ad-Exchange program where you will display an advertisement for an app in your app in exchange for them displaying an advertisement for your app in their app. To gain revenue you can sell advertisement views on your app and offer it on the various programs that exist online.
Another widely used means of gaining revenue via your app is to have in-app purchases. This is the strategy most games use to make a profit. You can offer services/features or coins that can be purchased to unlock certain parts of your app or level up in your game faster that require a purchase to be made. This works for free apps as well as for paid apps. Other means of gaining revenues are subscription plans for magazine/news based apps, offering apps for a trial period and then asking to upgrade for continued usage and cross promotion.
So all this being said you have to give app marketing some real thought when you consider app development regardless of whether you want to make a profit of it or not. An appâ€™s success is gauged by the number of downloads it has and itâ€™s user retention level. App marketing is not a one-time thing either, it has to be done right from the start and till your app succeeds and can get along fine without the additional marketing.