How To Market Your Mobile App: Pre-Launch Tips
Creating a mobile app requires a lot of time and hard work. Once you finally submit your app to the store, it’s time to sit back and watch the downloads roll in, right? Not quite. Your next challenge is making sure people actually know about your fantastic app so it doesn’t just sit in the store collecting virtual dust, and assuring that it continually gets usage and attention. Welcome to the first installment of Kinvey’s Marketing Your App blog series, where we’ll share tips for marketing your mobile app to help ensure its success.
Check out some stats:
- Developers who are top earners from their app spend an average of 14% of their time on marketing.
- More than half of developers spend 5% or less of their time promoting their app, and are (unsurprisingly) not the top earners.
Your app is a business. Like every business, there must be a marketing strategy. Here are some ways to kick off your marketing campaign:
Create a sleek landing page with countdown to launch.
A landing page is one of the most important elements for creating awareness for your app. When your app’s not yet in the store, how else is anyone going to know about it? Post-launch, it’s important to direct users to both your landing page and your app’s page in the store. Your landing page should be three things:
- Simple: Keep it very clean and minimal – aim to get just the main points across.
- Informative: Provide a succinct description of the app that makes your value prop clear. Be sure to provide an email address/contact form for questions or suggestions. Be clear about when the app will be released – consider including an actual countdown of the days to launch.
- Share-worthy: What problem is your app solving? What value will it provide to users? Whether you get these points across through eye-catching designs or perhaps in a video, make the landing page share-worthy. Also make it sharable – don’t forget to include those shiny Twitter and Facebook buttons for easy social media sharing and connecting.
Check out these 15 sleek mobile app landing pages for inspiration.
Design an awesome app icon, or find a designer to help.
Your icon is the user’s first interaction with your app. It’s imperative that your icon is clean, conveys the purpose of your app and differentiates itself from the competition. Design your app with the purpose of catching a user’s eye search results. If you have specific colors, textures, patterns or shapes that are prevalent within your app, include them in the icon design. The App Store won’t feature an app unless Apple feels it is well-designed and up to par with their overall look and feel. See here for more of Apple’s tips on designing stunning icons.
If you’re not a designer yourself, check out these resources for finding an experienced designer to help you create that beautiful icon:
Like books, people tend to judge apps by their cover – so make sure yours looks awesome. Need inspiration? Take a look at these 20 beautiful mobile app icon designs.
Amp up your social media presence.
Create social media accounts for your app to create excitement about its upcoming release. Update your followers on the progress of your app and any interesting updates about the development process. Be sure to include your icon design across all your social channels so future users will recognize the app icon when it’s released and connect with the brand visually. Even consider using visually-driven social platforms like Pinterest to post photos of your app’s UI & UX to ask other mobile developers for improvement suggestions, and to give potential users a peek inside your app experience.
Build awareness through social media advertising.
Purchasing ads on social media is an inexpensive and effective way to advertise directly to your target demographic to build awareness and encourage downloads. Facebook ads are an inexpensive way to build a marketing presence. You could create Facebook mobile ads for your app, and/or create Facebook ads for your Page. Both options allow you to tailor the demographics of the audience you’re looking to reach. You can set a maximum budget, defined by cost-per-click (CPC), and track the effectiveness of the campaign throughout.
Prepare an app description & more for the App Store.
You should prepare in advance the description that will appear on your app’s page in the store. In Apple’s App Store, only a few lines of text appear above the “more” button – succinctly but clearly explain the function and value of your app before that button (you only get about one sentence.) Make sure it’s compelling enough to entice users to further explore the app’s page. The Google Play store allows for a small paragraph before that button, but the same advice applies – be clear and engaging right off the bat. Check out apps in similar categories to get some ideas for how to word your description. And always have your target audience in mind to appropriately tailor the tone and wording. Make the description easily consumable; bulleted key features are preferred over paragraph format.
Beyond the description, you’ll need some killer screenshots to visually attract your users while demonstrating the function of your app. Be sure your screenshots exemplify how easy your app is to use and give a sense of the user experience.