Marketing 101 for App Developers | Cowork7/24
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Marketing 101 for App Developers

December 4, 2017

Marketing 101 for App Developers

App developers, pay attention – after developing a badass app, it’s time for some marketing to get as many users possible! Nikolina Zeljko, marketing & social media manager, tells you exactly what you need to do.

She will go through marketing tips and tricks for all phases of your project – conceptual phase, launch, embedding marketing into the product itself, branding, and creating products ready for the global market.

Testing the app among the very first users

Every app goes through a conceptual phase, and this is the perfect time to start thinking about marketing, even implementing some of it. When exactly do you reach this phase? When should you start testing the app among the first users?

If you work on a web app, then you should at least develop a simple MVP (Minimum Viable Product), but if your project is a mobile app, it’s best to develop a full product. Either way, you should “install” marketing in the product itself. For example, create a sharing button and make it easy for people to use. More importantly, test it. See what users click on, for example with tools like Google Analytics and Hotjar. And while you build it, keep thinking about who your customer is and build a product accordingly. Use social networks to listen to the market and implement the functionalities your customers are asking for.

Once you’re ready to the market, it’s time for a great launch. You can test apps by launching just in one market. When enough people use your product on a monthly or weekly basis, you know that you are ready for the market and you can go globally.

Establishing contacts

Before the D-Day (read: the Big Launch), try making as many connections with media as possible, especially in your target market and niche. For example, if it’s a mobile game, try reaching technology and game bloggers and media. Now is also the best time to start managing a blog and newsletter, where users can get first-hand insight into the app’s progress and subscribe to get a notification when the app is launched.

How will people know you are blogging? Take a look at other well-known blogs and become a guest blogger. Depending on the topic, find outlets that are relevant and in this way readers will bump into your blog.

Launching the app

When it’s time to launch your app, ask the media and influential people you now know to test it and to give you their feedback. This way, you will prepare them for the release of the story. Send a press release on a day when there are not many other newsworthy stories to be expected; avoid dates when major technology companies announce new products or when other events are in focus. Send your PR article to the list of people you’ve collected through blogs, ads and social networks. Be creative in how you approach them! The more creativity, the bigger the chance of going viral.

Getting new users

The app is launched. What you need now is a bunch of new users. But how to reach them? Easy – using these four types of marketing:

  1. Reviews. After the press release, the number of users usually grows rapidly, but over time it also falls again. By reading reviews, potential users find out about your product, but you have to find a way to keep them. According to research, 82% of U.S. adults sometimes or always read reviews before a purchase.
  2. Ads & SEO. If not done properly, these may harm your brand, but when done well, spending resources on ads and to improve your SEO can be very effective. What you say and the way you say is extremely important, so make sure you test different texts to see what resonates most with your audience.
  3. Email Marketing. Did you know that email marketing has the highest ROI of all digital marketing? Emails should be short and relevant, use A/B testing, make sure the title is catchy, and that the email brings the lead to a good landing page. Also good to know: text emails end up in the primary tab of people who use Gmail and have tabs included. And whatever you do, do not buy mailing lists! 
  4. Relationship Marketing. It’s long-lasting and costly, but investing in the relationships with your clients is incredibly important. Get to know your audience. Listen to them, understand their needs, wishes and frustrations and adapt to that. You’re not building the app for you, you’re building it for your customers, so when they need something, that’s what you give them. But also understand their behavior; do they use your app during workdays or weekends? Specific times of the day? This is knowledge you can use to your benefit.

Returning users

Once they finally use the product, how do you “make” users return to the app on a regular basis? Everyone has a trigger – it may be a reward, status, achievement, self-expression, competition, altruism. It depends on the type of person, the culture and the nature of the app. Stay in touch with your customers. Contact them with push notifications, but watch out for time zones and don’t overdo it. Watch the market. Test and listen to your audience.What’s their trigger? Pro advice: keep things simple.

Short bonus tips:

  • Use Rapportive for Gmail to know more about the person who sends you an email.
  • Use Google Keep for reminders.
  • Use Signals by HubSpot to see if someone got and read your email.
  • Use LinkedIn to connect with influential people.

Do you have more tips for app marketing? Share your advice in the comments!

This article was contributed by Nikolina Zeljko.

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Marketing 101 for App Developers | Cowork7/24