Last Updated on January 21, 2022

There are countless mobile apps in your niche on the app stores, so it’s possible that your app may get lost in this crowd. After you create an app, it depends on you how you spread the word about it.

But, if you follow the right app marketing steps picking successful app marketing strategies from the start, you can encourage more and more people to download your app and use it.

The magic of mobile marketing lies in the fact that people are seldom separated from their mobile phones. Like Gollum and the One Ring in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, people are loath to be away from their precious technology, which keeps them connected to the world and provides them with timely information.

This post will discuss how to market an app and top app marketing strategies that will help you promote your app to increase its downloads, usage & make your app idea a success.

Did you know that? Advertisers and marketers put aside about 51% of their budget into mobile ads. 

What is Mobile App Marketing?

In simple words, the process of promoting your app, making it discoverable, engaging more users, encouraging them to install and use it, and become regular users is known as mobile app marketing.

App marketing starts from the first interaction you make with the app users when they hear about your app until they become your regular and loyal users.

Steps to Market Your Mobile App

We will start with the process of app marketing step-by-step.

Pre-Launch Stage

Let’s first check out what to do during the app awareness stage.

1. Determine Your App’s Release Date

The App Store holds a stricter app review process than Google Play. It may delay your app’s release. So, you need to plan in advance to provide you enough time to set up your product’s launch and permit you to predict the circumstances.

2. Know Your Customer By Conducting Market Research

Make sure that your app meets the needs of the app users. Before starting app development work, you should identify the top players in your particular app category. Moreover, you should research and identify the most influential groups, blogs, websites, forums your target audience visits, and the influencers they follow on social media channels. This way, you can reach and acquire new users.

3. Validate Your App Idea

While defining the purpose of your app, you need to be sure that it proves to be useful for your target audience, else you will be wasting time. If your app does not meet the customers’ needs, no one will download and use it. Furthermore, by defining your app’s purpose, you will get an estimation of developing a mobile app.

Thus, your mobile app’s purpose needs to be connected with the app users’ value by using it. It’s not like you should develop a completely unique app only, but be sure what it represents should be clear to its users.

Additionally, syncing your app with social media allows people to share its content or offers with their family and friends. But, this is not enough. You need to try making people understand the concept of your app better.

After this, you can let people know you will be starting with app designing. But, initially, your target should be the purpose of your app, not the customers. You need to communicate your app’s clear purpose to encourage them to download and use it.

4. Discover Your Target User

You need to know about your target users, their central pain point, and what they value.

A fictitious depiction of an ideal user is known as a user persona. It incorporates everything about the user’s background, demographics, interests, mobile preferences, and unique identifiers. Additionally, user personas also find the chief targets of the user and the challenges they are facing.

This way, you craft the base of the user journey and customize all the aspects of your app according to the user’s needs and preferences.

5. Analyze Your Competition

Obviously, your app will have competition. You can make a list of top players, their monetization model, current price, user experience pros and cons, app store ranking, and notable reviews. You can do even more to craft a competitive matrix. Plan how to make your app unique in the crowd.

6. Create a Pre-Launch Landing Page

app landing page

A mobile website is the best source of app installs. You can create a pre-launch landing page or a teaser video for your services or products. After posting that video on your website, you can reuse it by placing it on social platforms, app stores, or even in paid ads.

Besides, developing a pre-launch site is also a fantastic way to perform SEO by creating your domain authority. After that, you can accumulate emails to make your followers updated about your app launch, new updates, and features. You can even exhibit 5-star rating reviews on your website.

Apart from this, a detailed mobile app launch marketing plan should be created beforehand. For a better understanding, you can take a look at our guide for launching a mobile app.

7. Validate The Right Distribution Channels

How do you catch up with your favorite mobile app?

It can be through the app stores or by opening a link you got from your friend. Well, it doesn’t matter here. Obviously, the app marketers and even developers tried hard to distribute the app. They might have picked the right distribution channels to market the app.

So, you should walk on the same path.

The number of downloads and usage of an app measures its success.

So, to achieve such results, you should identify the best distribution channels and finalize them that may get you the expected results.

Additionally, every distribution channel may not be ideal for marketing your app. If your app is business-relevant, you can choose LinkedIn as your marketing channel as there you can find business people.

8. Choose A Revenue Model

While selecting a revenue model, don’t show that you are keen to market your app. App developers who try to choose a suitable revenue model usually worry a lot. Despite this, you should offer them valuable features of the app for free. But, along with that, give them an option to upgrade if they find your app useful.

In 2023, the apps will likely generate $935 billion and more via in-app advertising and paid downloads.

App monetization is easier as compared to monetizing a website because of the presence of a two-way communication approach. An app permits a digital link between the brand and the user. So, both parties can connect, communicate, and also share thoughts.

Even the GPS feature of mobile apps facilitates the developers to know from where the users are downloading the app and using it.

So, app monetization emerges with an extra income that would support your business.

10. Outreach Initiatives

This step is mainly overlooked. You can attain this by connecting with influencers, bloggers, and publications to offer honest reviews and secure backlinks.

11. Expand Your Web Presence

You can promote your app on social platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and more and communicate directly with your target audience. Besides, share and post engaging and entertaining content relevant to your app to build a community.

12. Build a Content Marketing Strategy

content marketing plan for mobile app

You should start crafting blogs for your app in advance before you launch. Start writing a simple and app launch relevant post, boast about your app’s features, post its video, and exhibit its screenshots. This way, you can drive traffic, increase conversions, and improve your brand awareness.

You need to use varied methods, be creative, and refine your strategy constantly. The increasing number of app downloads will make your app rank high in the app store search results. You need to track the sources from where your app downloads are originating. This is how you can target profitable channels.

Acquisition Stage

Let’s check out the steps that can help you to acquire the users.

1. App Store Optimization (ASO)

It includes App Store page optimization to rank higher in search results and increase conversions. Once your app ranks higher in search for a specific keyword, it will constantly rank for months later. The apps with higher ranks are more visible to the potential users.

ASO relies on a sequence of factors that include the title and the choice of keywords. Additionally, remember to include the benefits and features of the apps that users may reap. You can incorporate videos and screenshots.

2. Paid App Marketing Strategy

After the launch of your app, you can start advertising on social platforms that will prove to be effective for user acquisition. You can consider other platforms also as per your target demographic. Moreover, while targeting your audience through social ads, you should remember that they have a shorter attention duration, so be sure that your ads convey the purpose of your product. You can also learn more about mobile app advertising with our mobile app monetization strategies guide.

Retention Stage

Next, you need to build a plan for retention marketing to convert your new users into lifelong customers.

Following is a list of strategies that you can use to increase retention:

1. Start With Two-Way Communication

The more your app meets your user’s preferences and needs, the more they will continue using your services and products. Brands, which prefer using in-app messages for communication with users will witness user retention within 28 days of receiving a message.

In-app messages don’t need immediate action but are essential. These may include warnings about payment failures, app issues, or version upgrades. You should segment your audience first to make sure the information they receive is helpful for them.

2. Push Notifications

Push notifications usually increase user retention. Users who receive push notifications show higher app engagement as compared to those who haven’t.

Mobile App Marketing Strategies

Now, let’s explore top smartphone app marketing strategies to attain significant results.

Make Your App Launch Quite Big

You should try to do everything that will encourage people to download your app. Get the right tools, send press releases, promote your app, follow social media marketing strategy, and even you can start a campaign to attain more user engagement. You can send a newsletter to your target audience to attract them. Try and hit every part of social media.

Social Advertising

Social networks use user information to serve related ads based on their interactions on a specific platform. Social advertisements are served to the users on social media platforms. It targets people by demographics and interests. So, if you know the potential customers of your app, you can ensure that they can see and click on your social ads. Social media advertisements assist in growing sales and fanbase.

As per Episerver’s survey, out of two-thirds of consumers, approximately 63%, have shown interest by clicking on social media advert, about 33% have made direct purchases.

Mobile Advertising

It is a digital marketing strategy aiming to reach the target audience on their tablets, smartphones, or other devices through a website.

Mobile advertising is the best and right spot to advertise and promote your digital services and products.

About 84% of marketers are utilizing location-based mobile marketing techniques.

So, you should reap the benefit of mobile marketing growth rate, dominance, and effectiveness to make your target audience know about your app.

  • According to Statista, mobile advertising worldwide was 2.23 billion in 2020 and is likely to reach 3.39 billion in 2023.
  • About 51% of ad spending will go to mobile by 2022.

Email Marketing

It’s the best way to update the users regularly, sending them promotional offers. This mobile app marketing strategy can assist you in increasing retention rates and generate app revenue.

By 2023, global mobile app revenue is likely to go beyond $935 billion.

A chief benefit of email marketing is an opt-in marketing channel. It states that only those who have shown interest will be able to check out your marketing content. This way, you can benefit your loyal users with unique offers. Moreover, CTA is essential for email marketing.

In 2020, the global email marketing market was about $7.5 billion, which is expected to reach $17.9 billion by 2027.

Guest Blogging

Well, you can’t get millions of your app downloads, but you can attract thousands of new app users. What you have to do is, become serious with guest blogging.

Guest blogging is a type of inbound marketing. So, you can build your app visibility using inbound marketing and beat your competitors.

Guest blogging offers a stage where the blog owners receive valuable content, whereas the guest blogger gets access to new users. Both the parties get to reap benefits from it.

The job of the digital marketer in the mobile era has become really, really tough. Everything’s become more transactional, more difficult. It’s a very noisy ecosystem, so how do we make our app stand out from the crowd?: Colin Howes, regional sales manager for EMEA, Leanplum

So, start guest blogging today to get qualified traffic, authority, related links, leads, and sales.

Out of 1.7 billion sites, there are about 500+ million blogs. By 2021, content marketing is expected to be an industry worth $412.99 billion. : Semrush

Track User Behavior Post App Launch

Analytics permits you to personalize the user experience and service. You can analyze how they interact with your app and react, such as screen retention and interaction with a specific feature.

About 80% of consumers are expected to purchase something from a brand that provides personalized experiences.

You can understand your customers’ behavior and make them feel unique and valued. This is also one of the best ways to keep your customers loyal.

Retention Campaigns

The percentage of users who are active even after a certain period is called the retention rate. The app marketers can target retention as it’s the best way to boost ROAS and LTV. The goal is to identify where the users usually churn and retain them. By retaining the users for longer, the businesses will attain more engagement and revenue from the users who already have installed your app.

The retention increases about four times through in-app messages. 

  • About 76% of companies admit that customer lifetime value is an essential concept in their firm.
  • About 44% of the businesses use apps as their chief marketing method for customer retention.
  • Various marketers, approximately 58%, use mobile app messaging as their robust customer retention strategy.

Enable Push Notification

Push notifications are clicked more often as compared to emails. So, you can use them to enhance your user engagement when the app becomes live. To reap the benefits of a push notification, you should remember to enable a push notification service on your app.

Push notifications hold a delivery rate of approximately 90%. 

  • Push notifications help in increasing app retention rates by 3-10 times.
  • By running highly-targeted push notification campaigns, one can witness a 30% hike in click rate.
  • Push notifications may result in a 3500% higher ROI.

Use QR Codes

One of the best ways to market mobile apps is QR (Quick Response) Code.

You need to have a smartphone embedded with a camera, scanner, or QR code reader to use the QR codes. Most smartphones come with such types of already installed apps.

You need to think about the app as the glue of your business. It’s a very effective way of connecting your physical stores with your digital presence. :Orly Schwartzman, business development manager, App Annie

A smartphone’s camera scans a QR code to reveal passwords, codes, websites, and other essentials. Such codes are fantastic marketing tools today. It can assist your mobile app in catching up with the limelight.

As per a survey of June 2021, about 45% of responding shoppers from the US stated that they are using a market-relevant QR code. Besides, according to approximately 59% of respondents, QR codes would be an essential part of using a mobile phone.

Paid User Acquisition Campaigns

The practice of attracting new users to your app using the paid ads is known as paid user acquisition. This strategy demands to set up campaigns and adjust the ad spend over time for better results.

Marketers say they avoid mobile because there’s no way to measure the success of a campaign, but 49 percent of them aren’t even bothering to track ROI with the tools that are available. :Simon Baptist, director of business development for EMEA, Tune

You need to observe data and mark the trends in customer behavior when analyzing the success of your campaign and adjusting the spending for the best results.

Enable App Feedback Mechanism

We all know that to decide to download an app, everyone prefers checking reviews and ratings. Including reviews in your mobile app builds trust and transparency and may encourage your potential customers to depend upon and pick your app. The reviews play an essential role when it comes to app marketing.

About 59% of consumers use Google to check out the reviews.

Before buying something online, approximately 54.7% of customers prefer reading at least four reviews.

Pop-up the Announcement of Future App Updates

You start with app marketing after you launch an app; you get user feedback, emerge with bugs, and change things according to the app analytics you record.

In 2021, global in-app advertising is likely to reach $201 billion.

They craft an in-app pop-up that makes the users update their app whenever a new version comes. Such a pop-up should be customizable and used to introduce app new features to your users. But, very few app owners think of this.

Encourage Customer Ratings

You can use pop-ups to encourage your active users to rate your mobile app. You should craft better user experiences within your app to make your app users rate you.

The more rating you will get, the higher your app will rank in the Google Play Store and the App Store. This is a better way to get free marketing and publicity.

Shoppers give more preference to star ratings as compared to reviews. 

About 0.1% enhancement in start ratings leads to a 25% increase in conversions.

Approximately 80% of customers say they trust start ratings, with 4+ starts the most.

Include a Branding Style Guide

Consistency is vital when branding is the primary concern. You should also convey the same message across your board. For that, you can use a brand style guide that makes app users know what your app is all about.

You can consider your story and logo as the crucial factors for brand styles.

Firstly, you need to craft a strong brand story to tell your users how your app fixes users’ issues. Moreover, it lets the potential users understand what you value and helps in convincing them your mobile app is something that would be valuable for them and will solve their issues perfectly.

Secondly, the logo also plays an important role. You need to craft it in a way that may make it more recognizable.

Develop a Site & Landing Page for Your App

A landing page facilitates users to know more about your app on the web and desktop. It’s a cost-effective way that helps in attracting new users. While setting up a landing page, you need to offer a visualization of what they are going to expect on your app installation. It should include links to your mobile app in the app stores with a clear CTA. Also, you should showcase user reviews and include screenshots of your app’s UX.

Besides, you can use SEO to reach your target audience and find new users. Also, you should share your blog on social media channels.

Social media engagement rates are about 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays.

The average rate for the landing page conversion is 9.7% across all industries.

Addressing the buyer concerns on landing pages leads to an 80% increase in conversions.

Having about 10-12 landing pages increases the leads by 55%.

Include Your App’s Demo Video

You can create a demo video of your app showing the mode of its usage and benefits. You can create a short video of 30-60 seconds that may explain the working of your app along with its help.

Approximately 63% of mobile traffic comes from video.

You can post it on your landing page and your app also. After you launch your app, you can include your app on your website and your app store page.

App Store Optimization

As the app stores are well-equipped with countless mobile apps, it’s tough to get visibility of your app. Well, App Store Optimization is a better way to achieve your app’s visibility.

You can start with the name of your app; it’s the first thing that will grab your potential customer’s attention. Also, you can add a description of your app in the space given. Remember to include the thumbnail images of your app that appear on the app stores’ search page along with its description’s screenshots. At last, choose the apt category of your app so that users can find you at the right spot.

A good first impression is likely to increase conversions.

Create a Content Marketing Strategy

So, now after making your app listed on the app store, you need to apply some effort to encourage users to download it. For that, you can develop a rich content marketing strategy that will help in increasing your app’s awareness and engagement.

You need to remember two key aspects to craft an effective content marketing strategy.

First, you should make and promote content regularly. You need to be consistent to be seen and heard.

Second, the content you develop should be high-quality and prove to be valuable for the audience. It means entertaining, informative, education, and everything that it should be.

Blogging is not enough; you may try the below content types also:

  • Influencer articles
  • Promotions, contests, and gateways
  • Reviews and testimonials
  • Demo videos
  • Podcasts, and more.

According to about 60% of marketers, content marketing is essential for their overall strategy. 

Businesses using content marketing have on an average six times higher conversion rates as compared to those who don’t.

Begin Marketing Within Your App

To obtain your potential app users’ data, you need to offer a free trial version of your app. This way, you can make your app users sign up for the paid plan when the trial period gets over. Moreover, make your app users satisfied with your services as this way they will help in word-of-mouth. On various social media forums, you can use your app’s name where you have active accounts. Also, capture email address lists constantly and allow them to grow. This way, you can send your app marketing updates to many people and conduct marketing through mobile applications.

Reach App Influencers

The use of influencers to promote your brand and reach new users is known as influencer marketing. Besides, you can use influencers in many other ways to attain your marketing goals. You can give ‘freebies’ to the influencers that they may share with their audience.

Start a Blog

Blogging is an effective way to market your app. You can position yourself as an expert by creating content relevant to your specific topic. This way, you will increase your app downloads and engagement.

Set your KPIs

You can measure your app’s performance using KPIs and in-app activity. This way, you will get a clear view of your app and various areas of improvement. Furthermore, you can understand your app users’ expectations, increase your customer base, and more. You can track multiple metrics, like daily active users (DAUs), session interval, session length, time in-app, churn rate, cost per acquisition, and more.

Hire A Mobile App Marketing Company

You might be trying various app marketing strategies but still haven’t achieved the targets, like in-app sales, app downloads, etc. Even some app owners are so unlucky; their app fails to achieve the expected download.

mobile app marketing proposal
mobile app marketing proposal sample

Well, no need to fret now. You can hire an app marketing agency or a mobile app marketing company to support you. It will help you with the right app marketing tools, techniques, networks, and everything one needs to boost app downloads and thereby app revenue. Get in touch with reputed companies and take a look at a few mobile app marketing proposals.

Hiring an app marketing brand, you can leave everything up to the professionals to get your job done.

Top App Marketing Tools 2021

Let’s check out the best app marketing tools that are popular in 2021.

Sensor Tower

sensor tower

Such a marketing tool helps businesses in increasing their app downloads. It is among the top marketing tools that target the UI. It allows companies with research, keyword rankings, and optimization. In the App Store and Google Play store, keywords play an essential role. After you analyze the report of your target keywords, this tool will help you get good insights to let you know whether it’s worth investing in or not. Additionally, it comes with a free trial and paid features also.

Google AdMob

google admob

Google has emerged with Google AdMob for the businesses to assist them with app marketing analysis and strategy. A subversion of Google Ads, Google AdMob permits firms to place their advertisements in apps. This process helps them gain revenue from Google and third parties for placing ads in their mobile apps. Additionally, it is the best choice when it comes to pre-launch your apps and advertisements.

By integrating such app marketing tools, you can generate your app’s report for its usage and user engagement.

App Annie

app annie

Your business should detect and understand the data about future trends to strategize the marketing campaigns. This data assists the businesses in emerging with new investment opportunities. For all such needs, one of the best options is App Annie.

The best part of this tool is it’s affordable, its various services are free, but some are paid. It keeps the competitors updated about the latest app marketing trends. It also offers a report that reveals which apps are trending and used widely as per the locations and other options. Moreover, it assists in strategizing and investing as per your past performance.

Firebase

firebase

This mobile app marketing tool offers services that range from app development to engagement. It uses machine learning to assist businesses in developing professional apps. Firebase uses a real-time database to store and synchronize data in JSON. This data also helps in planning the campaigns also. Besides, this tool helps in optimizing user experience and also targets customer loyalty. This tool is best when you want to send a pre-release version of your app.

AppsFlyer

AppsFlyer

The developers use this app marketing tool to know which media source has led to mobile activity. This tool is specifically used for cost-efficient marketing campaigns. This SDK is available for Android, iOS, Unity, and Windows Phone apps. It keeps track of AppsFlyer mobile attribution and marketing analytics directly from the phone. Moreover, this tool can easily navigate across all the apps, monitor the marketing campaign process, and more.

Wrapping Up

So, for long-term success, you need to market your app consistently. You can follow the mobile app marketing strategies mentioned above. In case you find it tough to follow, you can hire an app development company. It will help you with every essential needed to market an app.

Why is mobile app marketing important?

App marketing is important because without employing proper marketing strategies your app will not be seen by many users. It will not be able to rank in top positions in the Google Play Store & Apple Store. This would reduce the chances to increase app downloads and gain new users. Without app marketing, you won’t be able to earn a great ROI on your app development efforts.

How much does it cost to launch an app?

This is a very difficult question to answer without having knowledge about the kind of app you want to build. Cost depends on the features, design, complexity, and many other factors. Still to give you an idea here is how much it might cost to build an app
> Simple app is approximately $70,000-$100,000,
> Medium app is approximately $120,000-$170,000, and 
> Complex app is approximately $200,000-$250,000+

When should I start marketing an app?

You should start marketing your mobile app before its launch date. Engage your users, potential users, and other interested people. Consider email marketing also for engaging users and get early feedback from your customers on critical features.

How do you make an app go viral?

Well, there is no one-size-fits-all app viral strategy. Some mobile apps won’t benefit even from viral tactics. You need to begin with a smart app idea and a good design. Along with a unique viral strategy, you will surely make your app go viral.

What to know before launching an app?

Before you launch your app, you need to do many things:

> Emerge with defined goals
> Research deeply about your industry and competitors
> Develop a pricing strategy 
> Consider app optimization process
> Perform media outreach
> Craft a landing page

Apart from the above things, you need to incorporate all the essential strategies before choosing a launch date for your app.

Author

I am an eCommerce consultant, a member of the Forbes technology council with a decade of experience in the ecommerce development segment. My expertise can make your business overcome any obstacles while you are dealing with the Magento ecommerce platform!