Got a great app? Maximize its chances of success in the competitive app space with these marketing and distribution strategies.
Mobile apps have played a vital role in fueling mobile’s relentless growth as the leading digital platform. A white paper issued by comScore reveals that app usage makes up nearly 52% of total digital media engagement in the U.S.
Given the fact that Apple’s App Store features more than 1.3 million mobile apps (as of September 2014, according to Statista), and that the Google Play store has a staggering 1.4 million #apps. (a number from AppBrain), this level of engagement is hardly surprising.
While this changing trend in the app ecosystem spells “boon” for app developers, it also highlights the growing competitiveness in that area.
With millions of mobile apps on the market, developers are facing the increasingly challenging task of making their apps stand out. And while having a killer app idea is a great start, in the ever-changing app market, a solid marketing and distribution strategy is the key to sustainable success.
Check out these five marketing and distribution strategies to make your app stand out:
Testing Grounds: Pre-Launch
If you think your app has the potential to become the next Snapchat or Angry Birds, test that potential with a few pre-launch releases. Release a few main features--a ‘preview’ of sorts--and use channels with strong communities like Hacker News, Techcrunch, and Product Hunt to gauge interest and accumulate feedback.
StartupList and Betalist are two sites that host discussions and tests for pre-launch startups and apps. These communities can serve as an effective tool not only for gaining a customer base, but also for determining the potential success of your app.
Finding Your App-eal
In order to stand out, it is important for an app to either differentiate itself from its competition, target a specific niche, or both. For instance, China’s instant messaging app WeChat managed to survive alongside messaging juggernauts like WhatsApp and Snapchat by offering a first-of-its-kind feature that allowed users to recall a message sent by mistake within two minutes.
Similarly, Japan’s Line app also carved a niche for itself by offering a “hidden chats” feature that allowed you to send messages with a time limit attached.
Crafting a Compelling Presence on the App Store
When it comes to app experience, the first impression is often the last impression. When a user stumbles upon your app, you only have a couple of seconds to impress.
This means it’s critical to have a well-crafted page for your app in place, complete with screenshots, features, and other highlights that will help users make the right decision. If it’s a paid app, make sure you present users with the option for a free download of a limited version.
You should also create a dedicated webpage for your app with the right keywords, descriptions, videos, and download links. Share buttons will also go a long way towards assuring its success.
Optimizing Your App
What Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is to websites, App Search Optimization (ASO) is to mobile platforms. In order for an app to be successful, people have to be able to find it first. This is where the ASO comes into play. Having the right and relevant keywords in the name and description of the app maximizes its chances of being spotted by users performing an internal search.
There are several companies and services like SearchMan or Flurry that come in handy when you’re looking for the crucial data insights that can help improve your search rankings significantly.
In addition, DIY platforms like AppMakr make creating, marketing, and distributing an app a breeze. Following a modular approach, the site allows you to customize the specifications of your app, including its look and feel, as well as options for monetization like in-app advertising.
App Distribution: Pitching the Right Way
The good old word-of-mouth recommendation still continues to be the most effective way to win new customers, so use it to your advantage. Leverage your social presence on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and any other online community to share your accomplishment.
To get more traction, you can also request blogs and news sites to review your app. Remember to evaluate user feedback and ratings and fix functional issues at hand before seeking a professional review.