App marketing is often left too late. Far too late. App development needs to incorporate promotion strategies from Day 1. Otherwise it is likely than an app will fail.
ASO needs to be a fundamental part of this strategy. It should be one of the first things considered when designing and developing an app.
ASO stands for App Store Optimisation. It’s similar to SEO in that it helps users and potential customers to discover your app. However, the searchability is restricted to within the app stores, so ASO will not boost relevance in the main desktop and mobile search results.
So, its very important to get into the mindset of your ideal customer and start to formulate your perfect acquisition plan.
Done in the right way the ASO feedback loop is continuous. It provides actionable data to increase downloads and conversions and boosts retention rates and an apps longevity. Data driven updates can make a massive difference to ensuring your app remains customer focused.
Let’s dive into how you can supercharge your app’s discovery potential.
The earliest part of testing the viability of your app has to involve looking at who your potential competitors are. Who is already existing and operating in your space? Who is dominating your niche? What are they doing that works and what are they potentially not doing that you could!
This is an opportunity to discover how these apps are reaching their market, what features are working with their customers and how they are marketing their app.
Your Name and App Icon/Logo
At this stage your name is not the be all and end all. However, if you’re working on the assumption that your app is going to be a global success (if not, why not!?) then you need to keep your app name short and simple.
A catchy name that is going to be easy to remember and create a future brand around is ideal.
The icon below needs no explanation. It ticks every box!
Again, when designing your app icon, simplicity is important. Make sure it’s not too similar to logos that already exist. Ensure that the design will fit with your different advertising and marketing efforts. Think in terms of social media logos, banners and company documentation.
Most importantly your icon needs to be recognisable at the ‘front door’ to your brand. It is the primary visual representation of your app marketing and if one day it’s on the side of a white van you need it to be bold and memorable.
Unless you have an established brand that is immediately searchable by name alone it’s important to start investigating which keywords will help your app to be discovered. The main app stores (Apple and Google) have slightly search methods. Apple has a distinct set of categories too so you need to ensure you put your app into the right one.
Experiment inside the app stores and see which results come up when you type in your ideal keywords. This can be a great way to identify potentially lucrative keywords and gaps in the search market.
When you discover the keywords start to incorporate them into your brand marketing efforts. Having consistency will help optimise all pre-launch promotional material will help you to start to formulate a much more focused and formulated approach.
Model your methods on the proven success of others. Then go one step further with your app!
Your Mobile App Description
If you’ve put the hard work into your keyword research and managed to get a potential customer onto what is essentially your sales page, then it’s time to convince them to download your app.
Your description needs to be both compelling and captivating. Consumers have a wealth of choice. Your description needs to lead them to take action
You need to follow through on the promises of your marketing efforts. This is where your consistent voice and messaging needs to deliver on your promises.
Describe how your app will provide an answer to problems, how it will entertain users or how it will go one step further than your competitors to fulfil a need or requirment.
Will it simplify a process? Will it streamline a procedure? Will it save people time or money?
Try to mention as many of the features and benefits as you can. There is a restriction on word count, but it is pretty generous. It’s important to start strong and highlight the key ‘sales pitch’ features before the ‘more’ cut off.
App Marketing Visuals and Screenshots
It’s a common misconception that the screen shots used in the app stores have to be actual screen shots. They don’t. They are essentially online marketing billboards for your app.
Again, concentrate on presenting and highlighting key features and selling points.
Facebook are a great example:
Make them compelling, bright, attractive and vibrant. Visual sales pitches can be strong and quick to convert visitors to downloaders.
Once again, don’t be shy about looking and seeing what the big boys and girls are using. How do they portray thier message and value with their screenshots?
Making your user interface look simple, comprehensive and easy to navigate ca be very helpful too.
App Marketing is a Team Effort
We’ve covered off the bare minimum of optimisation preparation. These simple steps can be easily implemented and wil make a massive difference.
To back up the fundamental ASO marketing we can add more things to back it up.
Social Media Marketing
Do not wait until your app lauch before mentioning it on your social media channels. By then, it’s too late. Build excitement by drip feeding information and features of your app. You can start to attract and market to a potential audience.
Depending on who you have identified as your ideal target market you can start to bring them into your world. Find out where they are when they’re online, utilise the analysis and statistical tools provided by advertisers.
It’s important to work out at this point how valuable your ideal user will be to you. Carefully consider what the life time value (LTV) will be. You can then target your advertising spend to stay within sensible and business focused parameters.
Don’t go crazy at this point and exhaust your budget too early. The more laser targeted and focused you can be at this stage the better.
App Marketing Landing Page
When you’re using pre-lauch advertising and marketing tactics a landing page will be a powerful addition. You can send potential app downloaders to this page from social marketing campaigns and paid advertising.
The landing page can have a few different purposes:
- It acts as a teasing, promotional page. Add to it more as the launch date grows closer
- Collect emails of potential customers – this gives you a laser targeted database to market to
- Include video content to showcase your app and it’s development journey
In conclusion, your app marketing strategy should start early. The app development process is rarely a short one. Make sure you use the development to create a strong and varied marketing plan. Work hard to attract a hungry and excited audience befoe lauch and early adopters will hopefully become your strongest advocates to help your app fly out of the blocks!