You can use many of the available marketing channels to spread the word about your mobile app. But concentrating on 1–2 primary channels can double your marketing campaign efficiency and net sales. Let’s start by answering these questions:
- Where does your target audience get information? Do they hang out on certain websites, blogs, forums, social networks, etc.?
- How does your target user make decisions about purchasing mobile apps available in your category?
- Have reviews on particular websites spurred interest in your mobile app?
In this article, I will focus on three key mobile app promotion tools:
- Direct mobile app marketing
- Mobile app promotion
- Building a community
Direct mobile app marketing
This instrument includes direct mail and email newsletters. What are the pros and cons of each method?
Direct mail and print materials
This is not a unique instrument, and some marketers perceive it as archaic. However, it can still help you in some spheres. Direct mail includes postcards, advertising brochures, and letters to potential customers, reviewers, and exhibition experts.
- A professionally printed postcard or brochure with an eye-pleasing design can prevent potential customers from throwing the card away and can inspire them to read it again and again. A QR code on the card will attract users under 35, and you can easily convert them from offline to online customers. Moreover, QR codes can be embedded with your Google Analytics so you can see results.
- Because the conversion rate is high for postcards and brochures while costs are low, you can reach a break-even point and payability faster than you can with other tools. Direct mail works great for real-life events, such as professional exhibitions, and urban events your target audience might be interested in.
- Great cards can help you stand out from the crowd, but you must work on the design and content.
- You can send paper letters to specific experts asking them to independently review your mobile app and blog about it. Letters are an unusual approach in the digital age, so it’s likely that using direct mail will help emphasize your mobile app’s uniqueness and create curiosity. This approach is very similar to sending a resume and waiting for a job proposal. A paper letter can become a secret weapon to attract attention.
- Direct paper mail is usually expensive (unlike giving out postcards), and it’s difficult to determine the percentage of positive reactions from your customers (unless you’re using QR codes). Postcards are the cheapest option, and letters are the most expensive. The price range for each contact with target users starts at $0.5 and can go up to $1.
- You will automatically get higher costs for the app in general as you need to spread your growing marketing costs at the app price. That is why it’s unnecessary to print a lot of cards. Instead, you should print 50–100 cards and give them to your target customers at specialized events.
This is the least expensive form of mass marketing, and it lets you reach a wide audience with generally predictable results. Statistics show that emails have 20–40% open rates on average (depending on the industry) and that 10–20% of those who open emails also click on the included website links.
- Email newsletters are a great way to build contacts and inform clients about updates and offers.
- Email distribution services have extended analytics to help ensure that your next messages are more effective.
- By analyzing customer responses, you can quickly modify your marketing message.
- Email invites customers to send instant feedback to your company’s email.
- You can invite friends and send promo codes with emails.
- Some studies show that emails are losing popularity among younger users, who prefer social media and instant messengers.
- Emails are easy to delete, and because of increasing spam, many users will ignore or not get your messages at all.
- Email won’t attract customers’ attention unless they check email on a regular basis. You should concentrate on the devices your clients use most often, such as iPhones and iPads.
Considering the low budgets that mobile app developers allocate for app promotion, I doubt that many of them buy ad placements in popular newsletters targeted at your audience, so give it a try.
Please share your experience with these two types of direct mobile app marketing in the comments.
Mobile App Promotion
Advertising your mobile app is another great way to inform customers about your product. It helps you form a brand image if you are a big company with a team of qualified developers, an extended budget, and enough time resources. The majority of independent developers have to be more creative than other developers and think of other constructive ways to distribute information. Look for opportunities to get free advertising—maybe a blogger or specialist will be interested in your mobile app and will write an article about it.
Local TV, radio, and newspapers
It might be surprising, but these traditional media channels can work great for you and can offer advertising free of charge. For example, local TV channels often lack good content, especially for shows about technology and gadgets. You can show up at the local station, present your product, and get a wave of interested users. It’s better to approach specific journalists and show hosts and build trust on a personal level.
When it comes to newspapers, you can also get free or cheap placement if you select a good newspaper section for your app advertisement. For example, game apps fit in with the sports, technology, and entertainment sections; lifestyle apps match the technology and entertainment sections; and health apps work great with the health and fitness sections. Write an email to the newspaper’s editor, include an eye-catching headline explaining your app’s value, and wait for a positive response. In addition, your information may be reprinted by other local editions. The same holds true with radio stations.
The ease of achieving your result depends on the sphere, the app itself, and your persistence. Sometimes you need to be perseverant and fight for your dream. This is free advertising, and it can raise your sales to an entirely new level.
Advertising doesn’t equal marketing. If your mobile app is free, profits are generated through in-app purchases or by selling advertisement space for other products. The mobile advertising market includes a number of major players, such as AdMob and Mobclix. In most cases, untargeted advertising in your first partner mobile app won’t lead to any results. Just because a user has an iPhone or iPad, that doesn’t mean he or she is your target audience.
AdMob offers advertising campaigns for mobile apps with a budget of at least $50. Your cost per click (CPC) is determined during real-time bidding. They offer useful, free instruments, such as Download Tracking and Download Exchange.
Mobclix is an advertising platform that provides analytics and monetization with the help of ads and distribution. It also offers ad exchanges and subscriptions to over 20 advertising networks.
Paid search is valuable if you are a startup and you don’t have a constant flow of clients. But it heavily depends on your keywords. Existing companies with good traffic and client flow will find this inefficient in terms of costs. You should work out a mechanism to get into the top Google or Yahoo results without including paid links in searches. On the other hand, it makes sense if you are a young company, but you have to work hard to optimize your budget and keywords for minimum CPC.
Your clients should become your number-one fans. Therefore, you must learn to communicate with them in their language and learn more about them to get them to keep using and recommend your product to their friends and family. Selling things to existing clients is a lot easier than finding new ones. Create mailing campaigns targeted at different client lists based on goals such as the following:
- Mobile app promotion
- App updates
- Opportunities for cross-sales with other mobile apps
- Answering FAQs about your mobile app
- Tips and undocumented opportunities in your mobile app
- Lists of high scores (if you are promoting a mobile game)
Cultivating a sense of community invites a good flow of feedback from users to developers. Some app types are particularly great for building dialogues. You should think deeply about how you will create solidarity among your customers. The more you communicate with clients, the higher your chances will be to increase your client retention rate. Registering on specialized discussion boards, forums, or blogs will help you increase your number of followers.
Using the appropriate marketing tools, independent web developers can build brand images and present their products in a way that was impossible just 10 years ago. Your main task is to determine the most effective instruments out of the many that are available.
What do you think are the best promotion tools for mobile app marketing? Have you tried any of the tools listed here?