How to market an app

Best Marketing Practice When Launching An App

Ken Yarmosh characterized the marketing of apps as a crescendo: “marketing an app should start at the very beginning and continually develop as it consummates in a huge launch blast.” (Olsen 2013)

Marketing is not something that should be done after the launch of an app or for a short period of time. In order to make sure you market your app well, it asks for a lot of hard work through a long period of time. (Olsen 2013) In order to carry out a best marketing practice when launching an app one should be thinking of marketing alongside the steps during app creation and design. Marketing of you app will depend on the app itself . “Any successful app rests on the foundation of a solid idea, because the idea determines the ultimate potential of the execution”. (Olsen 2013)

First, some of the key things to consider when creating and designing an app are as follows: a) “the App Store houses a plethora of quality, user experience and innovation vacuums.” It would be advisable to find a vacuum on which you feel passionate about and h and fill it. (Olsen 2013)

The next step is to design an app that makes sure the optimization simplicity in terms of usability. Things to take note of are to first “don’t make the user think”; the interface should explain the apps usage alone. (Olsen 2013)

Secondly, pay attention to UI conventions as well as think like a human: “Don’t design according to your database or programming limitations, but according to how the user thinks about things.” (Olsen 2013) Carry usability tests as well as pay high attention to visuals and do not neglect your icon “the best icons are simple but memorable; they stand out without being garish.” (Olsen 2013)

Make sure to also spice up words by writing witty and quirky copies, as “users generally dislike instructional copy, error messages and notifications.” (Olsen 2013) Also invest in stellar graphics as consumers are mostly visual on Facebook and match the energy and the mood of the app to the icon. (Olsen 2013)

Furthermore, decide on the size of your app, as it does matter. (WindowsAppIreland 2013). This is linked to the decision if this is a quick purchase app or whether customers would look for this app to fill a required need and not a want. If the app is too big the customer may choose to wait until at home to download which prolongs the consuming life and may forget and not go back to it.

Also your app is a global brand so one needs to make sure it is culturally optimised. (WindowsAppIreland 2013).

The price of the app also comes into play and if too high a price the customer may shy away from the download “if I can’t try it, I wont buy it”. (WindowsAppIreland 2013).

It would be advisable to include a trial version of your app and use the fremium model to generate income with the inclusion of advertisings within your app. (WindowsAppIreland 2013).

One may ask why is this relevant when in relation to a best marketing practice. In order to describe your app to your target audience you will be providing screenshots of your app as well as show videos how your app works. If your app is not optimised from the start in terms of deign and usability you may find it difficult to capture descriptive and exiting screenshots bring up value of your app, which will affectively decrease download rate. (WindowsAppIreland 2013).

By carrying out these key steps it will higher your apps potential to achieve higher downloads which will them help with your app ranking which is all interlinked into successful marketing of your app.The next thing to consider is setting the goal of getting featured within an app store as “if not a top chart the app is nearly invisible to customers” when in relation to the tradition SEO.

This is however not so much true to the new Nokia Windows Phone engine Xyliogic where developers have a higher rate of discoverability in terms of their app and help flatten the long tail.

In order to get featured one must first analyse and understand how app stores work. By most “practitioners this is poorly understood” and reduces their chance of achieving high app rankings. One needs to know how app stores function  as well as understand rules and regulations of the governing process.

Apart from knowing and following the regulations laid out by the app store in order increase your chances of getting featured, it is also worthwhile to organise yourself of the app stores plans such as lay out a roadmap for yourself to of the launch of a specific initiatives such as “new version of a phone, software (Windows 8) etc. This is important as research shows that the app will have a greater chance of getting featured if you time your launch close to new product releases. (WindowsAppIreland 2013).

The app is now, after the listed procedures is customized personally to the consumer as well as the from the app stores perspective. Next step in the best marketing practice is to cultivate friendships. (Olsen 2013)

App marketing is also people-focused marketing as creating and maintaining friendships with influential people in the industry will add to the chance of your app gaining visibility as well as downloads. (Olsen 2013) List of people to consider is iOS industry app developers and designers, technology journalists as well as Apple employees. (Olsen 2013)

Aside from cultivating friendships, it is also important to build on your personal brand by blogging and tweeting “introspective thoughts about developing apps” as well as sharing advice you may have gained from other app developers. (Olsen 2013)   This will allow you to gain authority within the industry, which will also add to the successful marketing of your app as the principle of authority by Cialdini states: “people defer to experts”. To follow it would be advisable to create a Buzz and Anticipation before the launch of the app by blogging about your progress made as well as posting twitter updates, might even include a teaser of the app. (Olsen 2013)

Make a fan page for your App on Facebook as well as posts pictures of the app on Dribble to gain feedback from experienced developers and designers. (Olsen 2013)   As well as producing a YouTube (second biggest search engine) video on how your app works include a website to build your fan base. (Olsen 2013)   Also ensure to be as descriptive as possible when describing your app, first sentence of the app should allow the customer to get to know your app as well as compel them to download it, it should be direct and showcase your app. (Olsen 2013)

In addition pick the best keywords. When it comes to the name of the app decide between two strategies” unique name” or “exact match”. (WindowsAppIreland 2013). A unique name will help you stand out from competitors however customers may find it longer before they come across your app. Also include screenshots of your app on Pinterest as well as use them to make a presentation of your app and post it on Slideshare.

Provide call to action on website as well as social pages created for the app so the audience share, download your app as well as contact details for a support service and feedback. It is also advisable to send out Beta invites and get your target market to test your app. Research shows that” consumers feel special when they get an invite and are more likely in writing a good review for your product”. (WindowsAppIreland 2013). To gain other reviews it would be advisable to send out your app to the mobile app bloggers who review apps all day as well as post your press release on a social news site such as Reddit. (WindowsAppIreland 2013). As a last means of creating more visibility for your app one should enter competitions such as Next App Star finalists.

In summary, this demonstrates the lengthy process identified as best practice marketing when launching your app.

 In conclusion we have established the important activities, which together make best practice in terms of marketing your app. These all together help towards optimizing your app in relation to search engine optimsation and I believe is the new SEO if apps are to be considered the new websites. The main factors, which help your app to be optimised, are: keywords, 5 star reviews acting as trust signals, number of download and more importantly great content.

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