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Go Pro: Six App Marketing Rules to follow!


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Congrats, you’ve launched your app and excitedly watch the charts, just to find out that your rank is somewhere down the hill, you’ve got zip downloads, and of course no usage, data or user feedback. Oops. Well, better late than sorry, here are some tips that will help you go pro with your app marketing efforts.

Oh the ups and downs of being an indie developer. You had an idea (Eureka!), you built a team, did lots of research, and gave up on a new car (or braces for your kids) to fund your minimal viable product (MVP). You slaved day and night to get it done, and your ego went through the roof when it finally launched on one or both the App Store and Google Play. What a high!

A month or two later your app rank is low, you’ve got zip downloads, no usage, and no idea why because you also have no data or user feedback.  What a low!

Yes, there are some things that even entrepreneur optimism can’t buy.

You are not alone. Many if not all app marketers face the same challenges, even the stars among them. Only they make sure to follow some rules that help them succeed. And they set the right expectations right from the start.

Plan for success

Success doesn’t just happen; it’s a goal you want to reach. You can’t win without a plan, detailed to the bone!

  • Set your destination – Define success. You may want to reach the top five in the app store category, or achieve ten thousand downloads. Or user engagement may be your measure for success; “60% of my users log in at least once a month”. Whatever it is, you can only get there if you know where you’re going.
  • Pave the way – Once your goals are defined, set a well-thought-out path to reaching them. Each and every one of them. The test: When you look at the plan, you can explain why you believe each chosen tactic can bring you closer to your goal. If you got there, you are good to go. And whether your way is made of buzz creation, viral marketing or even burst campaigns, just make sure it’s connected to your goals. It’s that simple.

Mobile is NOT just a tiny PC. Mobile app marketing is a different story!

If you’ve come from a web background, let me save you some time running around blindly in the maze… 

Your cheese has moved…You need to rethink some of the strategies that worked great for your web marketing. Good chances these strategies will not work as well in mobile. One great example is landing pages. It’s a crucial tactic to excel in when it comes to online marketing. Not so much in mobile app marketing!

If your app is published, you already have a landing page by definition. That’s your app download page in the store. So link directly to your app page whenever you have a chance, and limit the investment in your website and/or landing pages design!

Open communication channels (inside and outside of your mobile app)

Anyone will tell you that communication is critical to a successful relationship. Well guess what…

  • You are after a relationship with your users. Ask your mobile app users to register (find a good reason for them to do so and don’t worry, it’s becoming more and more acceptable) plus get them to follow you on the social channels. The secret to mobile app engagement campaigns is to have communication channels through which you can reach your users. The best app marketers out there keep communicating with their users, ask them what they think of the app, capture their interest and curiosity to get them more engaged, and more. Without open communication channels, you have nothing to work with.
  • It’s a two-way street. You must also make it easy for your users to volunteer feedback and reach out whenever they need your help. If you’re trying out a new feature, you could add a feedback form directly in your app when it’s opened. Make sure you have some kind of support mechanism in place (yes, you can be both the CEO and the support guy until you have the funding to hire someone). In-app feedback mechanisms are relatively affordable and easy to integrate nowadays. Users tend to engage more with apps that are out and open with their communication, and have direct and open communication channels. Makes sense… after all we feel more confident when we know someone is listening on the other side.

Data is gold

Sure, user feedback and open communication is important, but that’s just the beginning of it. You MUST also know what your users do, how they interact with the app. And to know that, your app must be built to collect data. What data? Well, it depends. The instinct is to collect every bit of information possible, but that’s not necessarily what you need. What you really need to collect is the important data. Experienced marketers would probably agree that simplicity is a key success factor when it comes to data. If you will measure, or try to analyze, too much data, you may miss the big picture. The goal is to identify the important trends and to improve in accordance. The key here is to separate the wheat from chaff. Make sure not to drown in numbers. Do not turn into an excel slave!

There are many great analytics providers out there. Making the right choice for your specific needs, and let the tracking begin. Read here about what your set of considerations for choosing a mobile app analytics provider should be. By analyzing your data with the right tools, you can know how your users behave and plan your product improvements and marketing tactics accordingly.

Don’t lay back and wait to get rich

Many developers humbly (and rightfully) understand that it can take a while until their apps take off and start bringing in the rewards they all want to see. That’s all well and good. But it doesn’t mean you can ignore the issue. If you don’t design your app for user engagement, and think from the outset about how you’re going to monetize on it – you may never get there. Engagement and monetization must be one of your priorities early in the game, and something you must keep tabs on all the time. At the end of the day, you want real, engaged users, and you need to somehow make money from their usage in order to stay in business. This tip does not at all mean that you should focus your efforts on generating revenues right from the start, but you should have a general, high level idea of your monetization strategy, potential business models and so forth.

Instant gratification does not go a long way

As likely members of “Generation Y”, you want it all, and you want it now. Sure there are ways to buy into the high ranks of app stores and downloads, but is that going to get you to the destination you planned for? Think long-term and be patient!

App store rankings and installs volume have their place, and sometimes you need them as a tactical move to get ahead, but they cannot be your long-term strategy. To really support a sustainable, quality organic growth, bringing in real, engaged users who use the app regularly and even tell their friends about it, you will need to make an ongoing effort not only in user acquisition but also in ASO, PR and content marketing to name a few.

Like in anything else in life, if you want your app to succeed, make a plan. Yes, employ short-term tactics, but think long-term strategy. Get out of your comfort zone and use your heart (aka vision) to reach for the sky, but don’t forget to use your head (aka data) to keep your feet planted firmly on the ground.

Good luck! 🙂



Tsipi Joseph
Tsipi is one of Co-Founders, a mobile expert and a mentor. Over 10 years of experience in the mobile and marketing industry: Director of Marketing at Telmap, Comverse and marketing professional development director at the American Association of National Advertisers.
Tsipi Joseph
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