by Sean Casto, CEO & founder of PreApps
With more than 1.2 million apps available to consumers currently and hundreds added daily, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. A mobile marketing strategy can make all the difference between your app soaring to the top of its category or lingering for months at the bottom. So how can developers, with limited resources compete with the top apps for success? Here, Sean Casto, founder of PreApps, provides these ten affordable but effective ways you can position yourself to compete with the Angry Birds of the app world.
1. Involve people you know
Inviting friends, family, and others you know in the testing process lets you get valuable feedback, as well as beginning to generate word of mouth about your app.
Start at the very early stages of development and ask your most trusted friends their thoughts on your ideas.
You’ll be surprised how many great ideas you get simply by bouncing ideas around over drinks on a Friday night.
Because they were in at the beginning, they’ll have a greater stake in your app’s success and will be more likely to tell others about it. One app beta platforms to use is ours – PreApps.com.
“For Android apps, the worst day to launch is Thursday, according to the Mobilewalla study.”
2. Get reviews
Apple is now said to place greater emphasis on reviews and ratings than the number of downloads.
Since it may take a while to build a solid review presence in the app store, you can give your app an early boost by having friends and family members rate and review it.
3. Launch on Sunday
According to a study conducted by Mobilewalla, Sunday is the best day to release a new app. As for which day not to release your app, that depends on your platform.
For Android apps, the worst day is Thursday, according to the study.
If your app is for iOS, stay away from Friday. The study shows that a lower number of apps reach the top 240 apps on those days.
4. Promote through social media
By adding a link to your app on your various social media sites, you’ll be able to encourage friends and associates to download your app.
This will help you build your user base. You can set it up to send links to your social media sites directly from your app, utilising the networks you’ve already spent years painstakingly building.
5. Spend time on Twitter
Twitter is a great way to gain attention for your app, 150 characters at a time. Expressing your point in such a small space is an art that it takes time to master.
So spend some time observing other app developers’ Tweets to determine what works and what doesn’t.
On Twitter, being witty and fun gets you further than straightforward posts.
Work hard to make your app stand out and Tweet consistently and you’ll soon find yourself being re-Tweeted.
6. Create how-to videos
Before committing to a download, users want to see your app in action. Create a short video that highlights your app’s best features.
The more entertaining your app is, the better. Show real-life use cases that give customers a relatable reason for using your app and, chances are, you’ll see an increase in downloads.
The ultimate goal is for your app to go viral, but if your video merely serves the purpose of educating your customers and making them feel more comfortable downloading it, it’s well worth it.
7. Create an app website
If you already have a website, create a section specifically for your app. You can link directly to this section of your site from app stores and promotional materials.
This site should clearly demonstrate your app’s features and reflect its tone and style. The more professional, the better.
Visitors to your site are looking for information such as pricing, compatibility, and basic features.
8. Write about it
A blog is a great way to create content that helps bring users to your app. Always keep in mind that your blog posts and your social media sites work together to create a marketing campaign that calls attention to your product.
You could always seek professional help with a blog from services like Blog-in-a-box but don’t stick merely with your own blog.
Tech blogs and review sites like GoMo News can be an invaluable platform for any electronics-focused product, so network with the owners of this type of content to try to get your app featured.
Most importantly, make sure your content is informative and helpful. Merely promoting your app will only make people hit the back button on their browsers.
Give people a reason to keep coming back, but make sure that the content pertains to your app.
9. Use QR codes
QR codes are a great way of marketing the app without forcing consumers to remember a long web URL.
QR codes are ideal for app developers who regularly use print materials for advertising and marketing.
In essence, QR codes eliminate the number of steps required for a customer to find out information, which increases the odds that someone will follow through and download your app.
10. Orchestrate a big launch
Make the launch of your app as big as the opening of a new store, with plenty of promotion.
Use a combination of electronic advertising (social media, e-mail) and traditional advertising (newsletters, flyers).
Send out news releases to the press or hold an online launch event and invite the media to do a story on it. By making a big deal of your app’s launch, others will find it a big deal, as well.
Sean Casto, a Boston-based entrepreneur, is the founder and CEO of PreApps.com, a new social platform connecting pre-release mobile apps and their developers to the mobile app user community. Casto discovered this under-served niche of the market through his business experience in the industry, both as an employee and as an app and web developer himself. He has been an analyst for Tapwalk, a location-based mobile app development company, and served in logistics at Wayfair, a leading e-commerce conglomerate.