With the app market growing rapidly and App Store Optimisation becoming the new search engine buzz phrase, it can be overwhelming to know where to start marketing your app. Read on to find out four crucial tips that will help you formulate a successful app marketing plan. 

4 Steps To A Successful Mobile App Launch

Mobile App Marketing is a hot topic these days, and a successful mobile app launch requires a specific set of tools and knowledge to get it right.  Although the usual marketing basics apply, it’s necessary to understand the app store landscape in order to position your app for success.

This article on App Freak breaks the app marketing cycle up into 3 stages, looking at the pre-production and production phase marketing, release marketing and post-production marketing. It’s a good source of ideas on building awareness for a pending app, using microsites, blogs, social media, youTube, forums, screenshots and of course the usual PR and media buzz. Many of these tools will be quite familiar to digital marketers, but it’s when you get to the app release stage that specific app marketing expertise is important.

Once your app is live, it needs to be found.  Contrary to the belief of many, it is certainly not safe to assume that if you build it they will come.  App downloads are predominantly driven driven by mobile advertising, search engines and discovery within the major app stores.  The most obvious strategy is to buy mobile advertising to generate interest and traffic, but this should be supported by a broader strategy involving awareness, direct marketing, cross promotion and partnerships to support your release.

App Store Optimisation is an emerging sub field of SEO, and increasingly important when launching an app.   ASO requires specific and targeted tactics for each of the major app stores.  This article on Moz explores how users find apps, the differences between web and app marketing and explains clearly the differences between the app store search engines. It also goes into some detail around metadata, ASO and SEO tools and how to measure success.

Below are four smart tips for a successful app marketing strategy.

1. Plan your launch carefully

A well planned launch strategy is imperative for a mobile app.  A big factor in the success of any app is its inclusion in one of the top or recommended categories in the app stores.  To get there you need to have generated sufficient interest and downloads in the early days after launching on the store.  Investing in a big bang launch will get you there, and you can then ride on the benefits of being visible and present in the app store post launch.

2. Build an app traffic funnel

A successful app needs downloads. To attract downloads you need awareness and traffic.  Create content and generate visits to a microsite, landing page, destination site or blog.  Share and publish app graphics and screenshots, generate social media buzz and build awareness pre and post launch.

3. Back your investment with mobile media

No doubt you have invested in developing the app.  Now is the time to back that investment with some marketing budget.  Late last year the MMA suggested brands should be spending at least 7% of their ad budget on mobile. But what do you spend it on?  Targeted mobile media is the most logical choice.  You want to reach your customers when they’re only a click away from installing the app so ads on mobile devices deliver the right message at the right time.  Targeted social ads (Facebook recently launched app install ads) are also worth considering given many Australians browse  social media on mobile devices.

4. Use App Store Optimisation (ASO) techniques

With search engines and app store search contributing the majority of app downloads across all platforms, it’s paramount that you get your SEO and ASO right.   It’s also important to understand the differences between the major app stores and how their search engines work.  This article (mentioned above) provides an enormous amount of detail and is worth a read.

Emily Rogers is a staff writer at Haptic Generation. She has over 15 years digital marketing and product development experience. You can read more of her work here

What are your top tips for a successful app marketing launch? Comment in the box below.

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