This is a question that is frequently asked. But it is a really hard question to answer because there are so many different ways when it comes to how to promote your app. On top of that, you have a limited amount of time and need to focus your efforts on the things that are going to move the needle for you.
Table of Content
- How do I promote my app?
- buy android app ratings
- mobile app marketing insights
- apple store algorithm
We have been in the app marketing industry for a long time and have helped many apps find success, previously as consultants, and now as data platform providers. So we created this comprehensive app marketing guide to help you promote your apps or gear up your marketing engine for a new app.
For each strategy, we will tell how to execute the strategy, give you examples of the strategy in action (when possible) and tell you what type of app publisher it will help most.
This guide will help you if you have an App Store iOS app or a Play Store Android app.
We will do our best to update this guide periodically, but if you see something that is missing, feel free to contact us and let us know.
Effective Marketing Starts With a Quality App
Before we get into specific marketing strategies, great marketing always starts with a quality app, that fills a need in the marketplace.
If you don’t have a great app that people want, then no amount of marketing is going to help you no matter how much you promote your app. Once people download a low-quality app, they figure out very quickly that the app is not what they are looking for and they will uninstall it.
…and maybe even leave a negative review.
Of course, you have to strike a balance between creating a great app and actually shipping features. But your focus should always be on making your users happy, otherwise, the following strategies won’t matter.
App Store Optimization
App Store Optimization is one of the most efficient ways to get new users, but it does take some effort to create a solid strategy. The most common mistake that app publishers make is to give up on ASO too early. While most app publishers want to promote their app instantly, the truth couldn’t be farther from that.
No matter what type of marketing strategy you use to promote your app, all of them require you to be patient and you will build your marketing strategy on solid ground.
Here are the primary elements of ASO and what you need to know to get started. If you need more information, check out our ASO Guide for further details.
The first thing that you have to do in ASO is to pick the right keywords. Keywords need to be selected based on the following criteria:
- Download relevance: Even if a keyword is related to your app, is it a keyword that someone will type into the search box to find an app like yours? If you don’t select keywords with “download intent” you will wonder why you aren’t getting any additional downloads, even when you rank well for those keywords.
- Ranking difficulty: Can your app rank for the keywords you just selected? That is the next step in the keyword selection process. Our Chance Score helps you figure out if your app has a good shot at ranking for the keyword. It’s better to rank well for a less popular keyword than to rank poorly for a very popular keyword.
- Search traffic: How much search volume does the keyword get? Our Search Score integrates actual search volume data from Apple (in countries where that is available) and uses our proven algorithm for times when that data is not directly available. This should be the last criteria that you should consider.
Once you select the right keywords, then integrate them into the areas of your app where they matter most.
- App Title
- App subtitle
- Keyword field
For Google Play:
- App title (name)
- Short description
- Long description
Be sure to track your keywords and periodically replace the keywords that you are not ranking for in the top 10.
Once you choose the right keywords, that makes it easier to choose the right name for your app. If you already have an app name/title, you can always update it with your newly found keywords.
The app stores have greatly restricted the number of characters that you can use in your app name, so it might be hard to fit a keyword in your app name. But if you can do it, the keywords in your app name will have the greatest weight.
Aside from adding keywords to your app name, you also need to take the time to select a keyword that makes sense, for your type of app. There can be a tendency to get a little too “creative” when choosing an app name, so even if you are convinced that a name is the right one, take a few days to let it settle in before you make a final decision.
Obviously, you are free to choose any name you want. But we would suggest taking some time to consider carefully.
The next most important ASO factor is your app icon. After people find your app through a keyword search, the next thing that they will look at is your app icon.
Your icon needs to be simple and people need to be able to easily understand what your app does. If you lack the design skills to create an icon, find a freelancer to do it for you.
First of all, colors are important. Rather than boring colors, a bright and attention-capturing choice of color might be more effective. Do not overcomplicate your logo. You should not trade clarity for complexity when the problem is how to advertise your app. One way to do this is to avoid using too much text.
Another important point is to set yourself apart. Your logo should stand out from competing logos. Improving your app icon is one of the best ways to improve your conversion rate on the app stores. Treat it accordingly.
For more app icon design resources and ideas, check out our article on the power of creative assets.
Screenshots / Video
After your app icon, your screenshots and video are going to have the next biggest impact on your app store conversion rate.
One way that apps are making their screenshots stand out is with “continuation” screenshots, like the ones pictured above.
They use the same basic principles of screenshot design that have worked well in the past, but they have made them a little more interesting by connecting the panes together. Regardless of what you use, test out your screenshots and measure the results.
The keywords in your app description on the App Store don’t factor into your keyword rankings. Still, writing a good description is crucial for high conversion rates. By stating the value propositions of your app clearly and concisely, you will increase your chances of receiving installs.
However, the keywords in your Play Store app description are very important to your keyword rankings and you need to be sure to optimize the keywords in your long and short description.
Regardless of the keywords in the description being used or not, your description is your last chance to convince a person to download your app. So tell people how good your app is by mentioning awards you have received and what people are saying about your app.
App Ratings and reviews are an important factor in helping potential users decide if they should download their app or not.
To get some strategies on how to increase the volume of ratings your app gets and decrease the number of negative ratings, read this case study.
That case study does a great job of breaking down the thought process that the app publisher went through to get their average rating up to the level where it belonged. In the Google Play Store, reviews & ratings are also indexed, making them crucial for increasing/maintaining your organic rankings. This is yet another factor that separates Android App marketing. If you are looking to promote Android app, you should pay attention to the current specifications of the platform.
App Store Optimization Guides
To learn more about how to get started with ASO, read our complete guides:
Do Review Mining
Our statistics show that only about 3% of an app’s user base will actually leave a review. So you will need a lot of reviews to gather any meaningful information about your app.
Review Mining can be a great way to survey your audience…without actually sending out a survey. By doing keyword searches in user reviews, you can learn things like:
Developer feedback in comments delivers the message that the app is actively maintained and UX is trying to be kept optimal.
In the Play tore, reviews are also indexed for keywords, making them even more important.
You can discover these things in the reviews of your app and the reviews of competing apps. So even if your app doesn’t get a lot of reviews, you can still benefit from the reviews of your competitors.
Related article: Review Mining: The Complete Power User’s Guide
Use Paid Advertising
Paid advertising is possibly the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about how to promote an app. Since some ad networks have excellent user demographic data, it can take less time to find your ideal audience, than if you had to start from scratch.
Paid advertising is a very powerful method to promote your app. The results are more immediate and are easier to track. However, it’s a costly method. You will be effectively paying the ad networks money for each app install they bring to your app. Therefore, it’s usually suggested to follow up your more traditional app promotion strategies with paid acquisition.
Facebook has one of the most granular sets of demographic data available anywhere. People share so much information on Facebook that it makes it pretty easy to target a certain group of people by interest, occupation, and more.
You can use App Install Ads to specifically target app users. In addition, you can use a Facebook pixel to “tag” people who have visited your website and target them with ads directly, or create a lookalike audience that will help you reach more people that are like the people who have visited your app website.
Another paid advertising option is Adwords. You can create an app install campaign to get more app downloads.
Adwords is generally a more expensive option when compared to Facebook Ads. But it can help companies with bigger budgets. To learn the best practices, this guide will get you started.
Apple Search Ads
Apple Search Ads has also become a great asset in ios app marketing. This platform is getting more popular by the day as it allows app marketers to reach extremely relevant users which results in high conversion rates.
By making ads appear on the top of the search results, Apple Search Ads make it possible to reach quality users with good LTV’s. SearchAds.com is the perfect platform to get the most out of your Apple Search Ads campaign
Cross-Promote Your Apps
This strategy is for: App publishers who have multiple related apps and want to benefit from cross-promotion.
Why promote your app from scratch every time you launch a new app? Use cross-promotion to leverage your existing user base and get traffic to your new app and all of your other apps too.
This can be done in several ways and the exact implementation is going to depend on what works best for your app. But it can be as simple as adding a link in the menu to your existing apps.
Pitch Industry and Tech Blogs
This strategy is for: Apps that have news-worthy stories or products.
So the next question is: what is news-worthy? That depends on the news source.
Before you pitch a website, take some time to look at their previous articles and find out what kind of stories they are looking for. Then try to go to the individual journalists themselves and get them interested in your story.
Remember that they are very busy and get pitched hundreds of story ideas a week. So keep it short and make them look good.
Here are a couple of ways that you can do that…
You Got Funded
This is becoming less of a big deal, but sometimes VC funding alone is a story worth covering. So if you just closed a round of funding, offer an exclusive to one of the tech blogs.
Your App is Related to a Trending Topic
Another angle that you can use to get press coverage is to ride the wave of popularity of a topic that your app is related to.
For example, doing charitable things for the community is always a topic that journalists want to talk about and Feeding Children Everywhere got coverage in Fast Company for their cause… and a plug for their mobile app.
But you don’t have to be a charity to get coverage. Think about how you can relate your app or backstory to a popular news topic to get some valuable coverage.
This strategy is for: Content-rich apps that can benefit from web links to their mobile app.
Apps like Yelp, have a ton of content that appears both on the web and in their app. If your web content ranks well in mobile web search, that is a perfect way to get people to your app.
Instead of going to your website from a mobile web search, you can point people to your mobile app. To learn more about how it works, read this explanation.
If you have a content-rich app, but do not rank well in search, improving your SEO can be a huge leverage point for getting people to your app. Even if people don’t have your app and visit your mobile app website, you can prompt them to download your app.
Both iOS Universal links and Google Play Android Links will route people to the right app (mobile web or app), depending on if the user has your app installed, or not.
Get Featured in the App Stores
This strategy is for: Everyone!
Getting featured can give your app the visibility that you are looking for. But even if your app is featured, it is not a guarantee that your app will take off, as you expected.
So don’t rely on this as your only marketing strategy. Even getting featured is extremely difficult.
It all depends on how an Editor feels about your app.
Maximize Your Pricing and Revenue
This strategy is for: Everyone!
Your pricing strategy can be a big component of the success of your app. The simple fact is that free apps get more downloads. But not all apps should be free. So how do you figure out what you should do?
Start by identifying and tracking your competitors. Then see how much they charge for their apps. This can give you a good indication of what people are willing to pay for.
If it turns out that you would benefit most from making your app paid, then you can use a Flash Sale to boost your sales. That can help to make up for the fact that paid apps get fewer downloads.