The typical scenario: you have invested thousands of Euros and man-hours in the design and development of a killer app that you think can satisfy a public need. You have just finished loading the application of your dreams on the App Store, on the Google Play Store or on the Microsoft Store and you hope that hundreds of thousands of downloads, tons of positive 5-star comments, lots of money and lots of money will arrive as soon as possible notoriety. End of the dream!
In the vast majority of cases, this situation remains only a mirage because, in hindsight, the chances of our app reaching the top of visibility in the stores, or the top positions in Google’s organic search, are really scarce. Proof of this is that most of the apps that are loaded every day remain substantially invisible to most.
Promote an app: you are one step away from what you need
Taken from desperation, many throw themselves on the promotion of the Google mobile app, but it is basically a visibility campaign that uses pay-per-click (Google Ads). And off to further inflate the Big G speakers to obtain a temporary download increase.
If you continue reading my article, you will find that it is possible to give lasting visibility to your application, effectively increasing its downloads and reviews. As with many other situations in our lives, the best results are obtained over time and with a little sacrifice. Even if you don’t have big budgets to invest, it is possible to make the money you have well worth without enriching the usual ones.
But be careful! The tips I’m going to give you only work if your smartphone app :
- solves a real need for people
- meets the expectations of its audience
- it is easy, intuitive and smart
- it’s free or has acceptable costs
- is able to unleash explosive word of mouth
1. Create something unique and useful, then do the “bar test”
It’s really easy to make an app that already exists or is slightly better than another. They are quite frequent errors and are due to the wrong design or market forecast. An app that stands out, which is original and unique, remains in people’s memory, generates word of mouth and attracts links from high trust sites.
Try what Jonathan Saragossi calls a ” bar test “: show your new app to the friends of the bar and see their reaction. If they can’t wait to download and install it then it means that it has a fair chance of success. Furthermore, if they spend more than 30 seconds playing on their smartphone, it means that they have been conquered and that they will hardly abandon it.
This test is needed to understand if the application has any chance of success because you go to consult someone who has never heard of it. It also works for software development in general or for graphical interfaces.
Build proximity marketing applications
One type of application that should be invested in is Proximity Marketing. It is a new version of marketing that exploits technologies such as Apple’s iBeacon and Google’s Eddystone with which it is possible to combine the physical and virtual world by creating an immediate and intuitive user experience.
2. Tell an exciting and memorable story
People love to know the story behind a product and apps are no exception. A story manages to excite and give one more reason to share it with friends and colleagues. For example, have you developed a new game? What led you to that idea? What lies behind that epic war between birds and pigs? 🙂
Even an app that is not a game has its own story: what led you to make it. The reasons for certain choices and everything that can excite your potential users. The story must then be shared on all social networks, on the official website and on all the articles of the online newspapers.
Doing storytelling means telling authentic stories that manage to enter people’s hearts and minds. Only with stories can we be able to excite and generate indelible memories in people’s souls. If then I can associate my app with memory, I did bingo!
3. Choose the best “launch window”
The moment of the launch of an app is very important especially because you want to get maximum visibility. To achieve the goal of maximum exposure, the coordinated publication of all forms of promotion is needed: banners, blog articles, official websites, social media.
Simultaneity allows the app to receive greater attention from professionals and their potential users. The first time you read an article about an app, it’s beautiful and intriguing. The second time is magnificent and you go into action. The third time you download or buy it.
Finding the right time window for launching may not be simple but it is a determining factor in the success of an application. It is a bit like when we have to launch a rocket for the International Space Station and we have to decide the exact day and time to dock the flying station. Here, the launch of a smartphone application works in much the same way, but perhaps it doesn’t need the same mathematical calculations!
4. Create a website to promote your application
Another aspect of the promotion that many developers often overlook is the website. A mini-site, a one-page site where you are free to talk about your app and all the features that make it unique, without the limitations of the descriptions of the app store on duty.
With a well-designed website, you can also apply all SEO positioning techniques trying to intercept the long-tail keywords of your target (those that identify your market niche ready to buy). The site must be simple, clear and responsive: generally, a single page with an image, a text and a call-to-action button that invites you to download on the various platforms (Android, iPhone, Windows …) is sufficient.
At the time of the go-live, you can launch a newsletter to all the contacts who have shown interest in the app by inviting them to download.
5. Do digital PR and create a blog around the app
Write an article to send to the main online newspapers or sector blogs with a nice descriptive text, screenshots of the app, the website link and the one for direct download to the individual platforms. Then send personalized emails to bloggers and site owners where you think there may be an interest in apps. Write an exclusive description and story for each publication … the originality of the contents is an essential condition for the success of a good digital PR campaign.
The best tool that allows you to tell authentic stories is definitely the Blog. Everything that revolves around the app can be told through an editorial plan that highlights the reasons why the app is useful, the things we can do with it and why it will improve our life. The blog cannot be improvised. It should be designed by studying with precision:
- buyer personas: potential readers of the blog
- keywords of interest: what your users are looking for
- editorial calendar: plan what and when to publish
In a nutshell, I’m telling you that you can do content marketing to increase the online visibility of your application for mobile devices and start increasing downloads and reviews, the lifeblood to increase the ranking on the various app stores.
6. Give your application on launch
When you launch your new app, make it available for free for a certain period. There is no reason to create an additional download barrier. It gives a price to the app but make sure that during the launch phase it is possible to download it without spending a cent. The free promotion spontaneously triggers word of mouth and encourages you to use it for the first time, especially among the “always-on” generations such as millennial’s. So-called early adopters will trigger the virtuous circle necessary to detonate your APP.
In addition, know that there are several bloggers who review the apps especially if they are free. Receiving initial reviews does nothing but increase the presence of your app on the Web by creating a network of referral links to the official website. Are you doing natural and spontaneous link building, the one most appreciated by Google? What is your experience? Have you ever found yourself advertising a mobile app? Let me know what you think…