What is the best way to launch your mobile app? Native ads? Doing some App Store Optimization? Social Media Marketing? Pretty scary, right? Well, fear not!
Your app launch strategy doesn’t need to be complicated. Even the simplest app marketing plan can help your app on track. Remember that the primary key to great app launch is your effective overall app marketing plan. Let’s explore how you can make your app launch more enticing with these tips.
#1 Building A Landing Page For Your App
For me, hands down, this is one of the very first things you should do if you want to launch your app (or any other startups). Creating a landing page for your app is a great starting point for promoting your app. This pages will make you more professional and promising.It is even better to make an app website before start coding your app.
You should build your app website as early as you can, some mobile developers build website and social media for their app before they even start coding.
Landing pages are also the best choice for mobile apps, as they can engage the visitors in just a glance and has the highest rate of conversion.
Creating Your Landing Page
One of the best landing page providers is Unbounce.com and Leadpages.com while Instapage.com have one of the most affordable solutions. Optimize Press is also great, but the pricing is not start-up friendly.
Alternatively, you can also build your own landing page with WordPress.org and a theme for app launch or promotion. Aside from WordPress as a cheaper solution, you can easily turn your WordPress site into native mobile app with services like Mobiloud.
Landing Page Checklist
Here is some checklist for your app landing page. You can also read this great article from Unbounce.com – 50 Point Checklist For Creating The Ultimate Landing Page.
- Eye-catching design that appeals to your target users
- Engaging headline and any illustrations must be relevant
- Makes the right impression
- Provides a clear call-to-action
- Screenshot or demo of your app
Although most of all landing pages offer free template, you can still customize the landing page that will suit your needs. Some landing page services offer to build your landing page from scratch, or you can buy low-cost landing page templates.
Few things you can do with your app landing page:
- Email Marketing – Collect emails as early as possible! You can offer some stuff to attract your visitors to sign up to your email list. Provide free stuff like early demo version, coupons and etc.
- Blogging – Oh, now I’m talking about blogging? Yes, it makes you more approachable and transparent. There are many ways a blog can be useful for your app. For example, you can blog your progress with your app. It can boost your fan base if done with some content marketing. Blogging can also increase your relationship with your engaged users through comments and social media. Blogging will definitely help you with your app launch.
- Create Social Media Buttons – Implement sharing methods to make your app launch more visible to other potential users. Add Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Email and any other social media buttons to your blog.
- Include Press Kit – Press kits are vital for app websites. Review sites and other writers who want to feature your app in their article will highly need your press kit.
- Create A Poll – Ask your visitors about your app. This is also a great app marketing strategy to gather data to your users.
- Setup Useful Pages – Provide About Page, Contact, FAQs, etc. This is important to your app launch build authority.
#2 Market Research And Sneaking Into Competitor’s Data
You can never do app marketing without market research or else you will have a weak strategy. Data mining doesn’t need to be as technical as you think. To make it easier, get only the information or metrics you will only need and use. Peeking into your competitor’s data will also get you an idea how to shape your app for your target users.
Here are few examples how app market research can help you:
- Save Money – Doing market research can help you save money by reducing the risk on wasting your funds on bad campaigns or expenses. Market research will help you decide whether which strategies are effective and not.
- Demographics – every app marketing plan should have target users/audience/customer. This data shapes your plan on how to attack and approach your target market, especially on what they need and what not, what they like and they hate.
- Reach And Communicate To Your Target Users – Once you’ve finished your research, you should have enough details and information on what and where is the best way to reach your potential users. They can be at festivals, conferences, Facebook, or other forums.
- Get The Idea Of What Your Keywords Should Be – One of the greatest benefits of market research is sneaking into your competitor’s profiles. Competitor apps will now only let you track their keywords; you can also track their ranking progress and estimated revenue.
- Identify What They Want – You should also have data on your competitor’s reviews. Check their negative reviews of their users and avoid these mistakes for your app.
Keyword Research and ASO Tools
While app markets itself (App Store, Google Play, Amazon, etc.) can be used to track your competitors, there are dedicated tools and data that will help you start your market, keyword, and competition research.
Keyword research is also vital aspect when it comes to ASO. Ranking in number one spot is almost useless when you pick a wrong keyword, imagine apple ranking first in a category of bananas. You need to target the right keyword for your app that is relevant to your target audience and persona.
Here are few list of ASO Tools:
- Sensor Tower
- App Annie
- App Tweak
#3 Add Some Social Media Marketing
Implementing social media marketing in your app marketing strategy is the best way to reach users and communities for specific niche and interests. Once you setup your app’s website or app landing page, you can now create some social accounts for your app. Social media creates buzz to hype your app launch.
Aside from promoting your app itself, social media accounts are also useful to post some updates on your accounts and use it as a tool to improve your app’s website, just be sure you already have landing page so that your visitors can easily subscribe to your email list.
You should not be confused on what social media platform to use as the app market research should help you reveal where the majority of your target users hangs out.
Facebook is my most recommended social media with its billions of users and cheap and affordable Facebook ads available for business owners. Facebook Groups have the most isolated target audience which can help you promote your app.
Twitter and Google Plus are also high-quality social medias. I use Twitter to make a list of influencers, experts or media that helps me get an idea and outreach.
Using owns Google’s social media might benefit for those you uses Google’s product like Youtube, Play Store, etc. You can also join groups; this is where people who have same interests hang out.
- Never spend so much time on building and managing your social media accounts.
- Never create accounts on all social media sites, focus on one to three platform at a time.
- Never buy followers, fans, tweets, and alike.
- Never spam your followers.
- Never leave clear information, fill out as many as you can
Both social media tools like Hootsuite and Buffer offers free entry-level accounts that will make easier to manage your social media accounts. I strongly recommend using these two platforms as it will save you a lot of time with their auto-scheduling. We can all agree that one of the best social media blogs out there is Social Media Examiners, be sure to check out their posts as they are more knowledgeable in Social Media Marketing.
#4 Outreach Bloggers
Outreaching bloggers are one of the simple hacks I can give to boost your app’s exposure and app launch, this is also great to implement in your app marketing strategy. With proper communication and app review pitch, you can land an awesome app review.
- You might also like: 12 Tips To Pitch Your App To Review Sites
Reaching bloggers is nothing compared to entering top news sites. What makes them unique is because most bloggers have targetted audience which few of them have the same niche or category with your target users.
Bloggers also have enough user-base for you to target, ranks well on search engines and is more approachable than authority sites. Most of the time, you bloggers doesn’t require you to pay for their app reviews.
For example, if you have a neat app that functions like lost and found for dogs, you can reach bloggers about dogs, pets, and other related topics. A simple google search should reveal top blogs immediately.
Here is a Youtube video you shouldn’t miss. Watch Steve Young’s video about “How to double your chances of getting covered by a big blog”. Steve Young is one of the top app marketers out there and what makes him even more relevant to our topic is his expertise on launching an app. You can visit the whole post here – How to double your chances of getting covered by a big blog.
Not all users can be found in one platform; sometimes you can find your target users on overlooked areas or online small groups.
#5 Reaching Isolated Areas
Although you need a lot of time building accounts for all those platforms, every potential user you engage might become loyal users and help you to build your community (this occasionally happens on games).
For example, again if you have an app that functions like lost and found for dogs. You can join facebook groups or forums for dog breeders, dog enthusiasts and even in general pet lovers and animal rights forums. Users on forums are far more engage than regular users and always willing help their respective communities.
One thing I want to point out: Do not promote on app developers forum, you can only ask for technical reviews. I always see this kind of developers asking for downloads and pitching for developers. Self-promoting on these sites will not reach your target users and will waste your app marketing strategy and your time.
As I said before, create accounts one at a time as this will distract you on your current projects, and it is also to have a virtual assistant.
#6 Do The Beta Testing Trick
It is more like a mobile growth strategy. Beta testing should be in your app marketing strategy, we all know that no one likes to use a buggy app.
It’s a method that every app should undergo. To clean and free your app from bugs, unresponsiveness, and other errors but beta testing is not just about finding bugs and errors.
Some amazing developers also use beta testing as a medium of gathering users. Beta users are one of your first loyal users, and they can help you build the community to support your app or game even before launching your app. You can reward beta testers like early-access to your app, freebies or a free copy of your app.
Although beta testing will greatly benefit your app, there are also some downsides and your app’s security is the number one at risk. The director of Centercode, Mike Fine also suggests you should do a private beta for technical issues and only do a public beta to create a buzz and about to launch your app.
You can use Google Play to invite beta users and some services like Ubertesters and TestFairy.
#7 Launch Your App In Events
Don’t just launch, launch your app with a buzz!
The more noise you made from the start, the better. Join conferences and meet-ups related to your app; this will engage your potential users and those experts attending these events. You can also have a chance to collect their emails and social media profiles.
Sure great idea, but how can I do it?
Even you don’t have enough resources, you can still use this technique. Beware though, it also requires connections and self-confidence.
- Your app related to fashion? Inquire and get a booth in Fashion Week.
- Your app related to fitness? Approach Zumba, Yoga, and other similar events to your app launch.
- Your app related to dogs? Associate your app launch with dog contest.
Live Streaming Your App Launch
Launching an event doesn’t need to be a local event. If there are no events available, you can organize one. Events don’t need to be a whole night of the party, even your team, neighbors, friend, and family will do. You can invite your team, some influencers and even your friends and relatives.
Live streaming is one way to create an event without spending a lot of money. It is also easier to invite users you engaged before using your app website and social media pages to watch your live stream.
You can make it fun by giving some freebies like free copies of your app, limited time discounts, free premium accounts, free in-game items or purchases and more.
#8 Launch A Press Release
I always see the press release as a tool, just lying their willing help you to boost visibility for some few bucks. This can give you more tools to improve your app marketing plan.
Few Great Benefits Of Press Release:
- Increase your app’s visibility and exposure
- Reach new potential users
- Get featured on popular sites
- Stimulate the effectiveness of your app marketing plan
- Featured in Google News
- Increase backlinks to your app website or app landing page
You should have a great article to attract journalists. PR services are little expensive and can cost ranging from hundred bucks to grand, just check out for the most affordable services if you can’t do it all by yourself.
#9 Native Advertising
Ads works period. It is still the best way to reach your target audience especially on these days where there are new ways to advertise on mobile devices. It was used since the first evolution of men, saw those painting in caves? Those are ads before it was cool (just kidding). I really recommend reading this article from Marketing Tech Blog – How Advertising Works? Here is great infographic from that said post explains all via Webpage FX:
To have a better app advertisement, you need to spend on market research which will cost another few bucks (unless you know how to market research) plus the advertising cost. Ads will totally improve your app launch and overall app marketing strategy. There are a lot of new ways to start your campaign, though.
Here are few sites who offer paid promotion without hurting ROI:
- Targeted Facebook Ads
- Promoted Tweets
- Instagram Ads
- StumbleUpon Paid Discovery
- Reddit Ads
- Youtube/Google Adwords
- Bing Ads
- Banner Ads on Similar Blogs
#10 Do App Store Optimization
Of course the most obvious one, never forget to do app store optimization before you launch your app. Optimize your icons, screenshots, descriptions, and other on-page ASO assets. Also, don’t overlook off-page app store optimizations where you optimized your app to get more downloads, ratings, feedbacks and reviews.
Be sure to read our own blog post about app store optimization:
- 10 Basic Things You To Know About App Store Optimization
- ASO: 25 Quick And Awesome Tips For Better App Title
#11 Plan, Plan, and Plan
Imagine you have a great idea right now, you keep it in your mind. Then in the next day, you’ve dreamt about an excellent app marketing strategy that will earn you up to six figures but in the day after tomorrow, you have another awesome idea. Seems good right? Until you start to forget each of them.
Plan everything from the first code you write, app launch and release date, to post-marketing. Planning your whole strategy will make your campaign smoother and free from wasted time and money. The only problem now is probably you are not a business person that can create the marketing plan of the history.
Too bad, there is almost no possibility to create your marketing strategy for your app but did you know that it doesn’t need to be that technical and can fit in one page? If you are a beginner in marketing stuff and want to start making your own app marketing plan, I recommend reading this article from Entreprenuer.com – 5 Steps to Create Marketing Plan.
An Excellent Example of Pre-Launch Marketing
I wonder why the internet loves cats.
Meet Exploding Kittens, a simple card game who manage to have 34,000 downloads the first day of launching their game, first place on App Store paid apps in seven countries and estimated $68,000 gross revenue worldwide on iOS devices based on Sensor Tower’s data. Epic app launch, indeed.
To get an idea how they do it, the Exploding Kittens is the most funded game in Kickstarter history (at the date of writing) which also earned them the 2015 Best Game Designer Of The Year and 2015 Kickstarter Of The Year.
How Exploding Kittens Do That?
Is it almost unfair for you to compare yourself to them? They must be associated with elite game developers like Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Rockstar or even Rovio or Supercell right? Not really, Exploding Kittens started when Shane Small (Developer) proposed his invented card game “Bomb Squad” to Elan Lee (Developer).
The game is very simple; a joker will be inserted into a deck of cards; players will take turns picking cards, and you lose until you get the Joker. The two continue to build the rules and mechanics, and then Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal) joins the party after he saw the game’s potential.
See? The game started with three persons but of course, the development involved 219,382 people as they support their Kickstarter campaign and reach their $10,000 goal in 20 minutes.
From my perspective, Exploding Kittens has a great pre-launch and app marketing strategy. If you can see their campaign pitch, Exploding Kittens might don’t have the most comprehensive campaign on Kickstarter, but they show integrity to their backers. They reveal how they end up together, their early progress with their designs (first the ugly pictures of innocent kittens) and how the engage their backers on the comment section.
They also have a neat video trailer that almost explains everything in 1:48 minutes and also have “Backers Achievements” to keep the community engage and updated milestones to get the supporters participate.
After that, the majority of the promotions are done by their backers as they share the campaign to their social media profiles. They are playing a marketing game with their backers who are also gamers.
Do Pre-Launch App Marketing
Don’t waste your app launch and I recommend planning your strategy first. Pre-launch marketing is vital to any startups including your app. Not only it will boost your app exposure and download, but preparing your app with pre-launch marketing strategies will also enhance and expands your knowledge about your target niche and your competitors.
After that, you should immediately prepare your post launch marketing plan within few days and be sure to add viral and feedback loops and other app retention methods.
- You might also like: App Retention Tips For New Mobile App Developers And Publishers
App Launch Mistakes You Should Avoid
Don’t get too excited about your app launch. You should set your mind that you may fail your app launch but of course, try everything not to fall into these pitfalls. This fantastic list came from Kissmetrics, read the full article here – 11 Pre and Post Launch Mobile App Marketing Pitfall to Avoid.
- Not investing in market research
- Not having feedback loop
- Not getting marketing involved soon enough
- Not planning the app release date
What are your pre and post app launch plan?
One of the biggest challenges for many new developers is getting their app discovered. Much even harder is getting your first users to using your app or buying your product or service when you don’t have any downloads and current users yet. That’s why this app launch tips can help you with your app’s first day.
Having a good app marketing plan before you launch an app can help you reach your target users, increase users, increase ROI and helps you set realistic goals. Also, app marketing plan doesn’t need to be complicated; you can use my simplest app marketing plan template to help you grow your app.
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