Guest Blog: 5 essential tips for marketing your mobile app

Jun 22, 2011
Real estate

With over 10 years of marketing experience, Oren Todoros is the CEO and Co-founder of AppsMarketing.mobi, a marketing firm that specializes in working with independent developers as well as large scale development firms. Clients include Starhome, Logia, DoAT Media and many more. Read his tweets at @OrenTodoros and see his Appolicious App Library here. Everyone wants to […]

With over 10 years of marketing experience, Oren Todoros is the CEO and Co-founder of AppsMarketing.mobi, a marketing firm that specializes in working with independent developers as well as large scale development firms. Clients include Starhome, Logia, DoAT Media and many more. Read his tweets at @OrenTodoros and see his Appolicious App Library here.

Everyone wants to get on board the mobile app gravy train, but ask any seasoned app developer and they’re likely to tell you that creating exposure for an app is no easy task. In fact, some might even say that development is the easy part.

Clearly creating a detailed app marketing plan is imperative to your app’s success. In this series of posts, I’ll guide you through the essentials of setting your app marketing plan in motion, while opening your eyes to a few challenges and opportunities along the way.

1 – Define a pre-launch strategy

How often do you see a major blockbuster release without weeks of well-calculated anticipation buildup? Creating a pre-launch site, video trailers and leveraging your social network is the first step towards a major app launch. Get creative and give people a reason to want your app in the first place.

Pre-launch page should include a visual teaser of your upcoming app, preferably with a video, along with a short textual blurb on what your upcoming app is all about. There should always be a subscription letting visitors sign-up to be notified of when the app goes live on the App Store. Remember, it’s always a good idea to give users a little takeaway in exchange for their email. Think desktop wallpaper, phone backgrounds or anything that creates a connection between your upcoming app and your potential end users.

2 – Timing is everything

PR and marketing efforts fade with each passing day following your app’s launch. The reason being is that every approved app is featured in under the “Release Date” tab in the App Store. To make sure no time is wasted, you’ll want to make sure your marketing collateral is ready to roll from day one. Put together a small marketing kit which contains an overview of your app, a few screenshots, you app’s icon image and a video if you’ve created one. It’s also a good idea to include a few words about the development team. One thing to keep in mind when it comes to creating an app review blogger pitch is: less is more. Nobody has time to read more than two paragraphs about your app, especially when they’re bombarded with hundreds of other similar requests daily. Make sure you pique their interest quickly and get straight to the point. Avoid technical mumbo jumbo.

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3 – Competitive research

Defining a competitive research strategy will help you with many facets of your app marketing strategy, from researching the right name and pricing for your app to discovering past ranking trends and key differentiators between competing apps.

Sites such as Appannie.com, Topappcharts.com and Mobclix.com are a great way to discover more about competing apps.

4 – Know your audience

Ask yourself this: How well do you know your target audience? If all you’re targeting is geographic location, chances are you’re going to miss your target. Get to know your audience by finding out who’s using similar or competing apps, where they’re being talked about and who’s writing about them. Jump in and participate in the top five most influential blogs, groups, forums or websites within your app’s niche.

5 – The straightforward approach

One of the biggest mistakes you can make with your app marketing strategy is creating and sending out one single mass-distribution email to all your contact list and hope for the best. Although part of your message might reach a few eyeballs, blasting out content this way makes it very hard to track and follow-up. Nothing works better than a short personalized email. It’s also considered good practice to include a short line about why you think your app will be of interest to a certain blog’s reader base.

Bonus tip: Earned media works

Just as its name implies, earned media needs to be earned. Establishing a relationship with key consumers and opinion leaders can yield fantastic results, but it doesn’t come quickly or easily. Monitoring and seeding out conversations you can engage in, sharing your thoughts and introducing your app as a solution are all part of working with the crowd to amplify visibility for your app. Earned media is all about talking to real people, with the goal of helping each other out. If your social connections like what you have to offer, they’ll be more than happy to help you spread the word.

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On a final note, creating exposure and generating downloads is only the beginning of your app marketing life-cycle. To successfully turn developing apps as a hobby into a lucrative  long-term business, you need to start thinking about user engagement. We’ll go into the effects of user engagement in an upcoming post. In the meantime, keep in mind that 26 percent of apps downloaded in 2010 were used only once.

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Oren Todoros

With over 10 years of marketing experience, Oren Todoros is the CEO and Co-founder of AppsMarketing.mobi, a marketing firm that specializes in working with independent developers as well as large scale development firms. Clients include Starhome, Logia, DoAT Media and many more. Read his tweets at @OrenTodoros or and browse his Appolicious App Library.

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