Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, a content marketing and social media firm. She’s written three business books, and blogs about small business on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, and The Marketing Eggspert Blog.
Marketing your app can mean the difference between a dozen downloads and millions. While there are certainly efforts you should make yourself to ensure that your app succeeds in the marketplace, you can also get a little help from your users.
There’s this whole movement toward lean production of apps, where they are sometimes released before they’re perfect. Having glaring errors in your code or a half-finished app will only discourage users from telling others about it, so make sure that when your app is published, it is a complete, quality product.
Most users don’t go out of their way to review an app, so you have to make the review process super simple. Consider building in a push notification that pops up every dozen opens or so for any user that hasn’t yet reviewed your app. Make sure it only appears if they haven’t reviewed you; otherwise you risk annoying users by continuously asking for a review they’ve already given.
Build a Marketing Campaign Around the App
Whether this app is your entire business or just a complement to whatever other produce or service you sell, treat it as its own entity. Create a landing page or more in-depth website just for the app so users and potential users can visit it to get information, and to share it with their friends.
Build in Social Media Shares
Integrating a social media sharing function can help users alert their friends about your app. Be sure to focus on those social media platforms that appeal most to your app user demographics. Set up the push notification so it’s already populated with the text and link you want to include so your users don’t have to take the time to write something about the app themselves.
Reward Users for Recruiting Others
Candy Crush is one of the best examples of an app that gets users to recruit others to play. Whenever a player sends a Facebook request to a friend and that friend accepts, the player unlocks additional features. By giving your users incentives to get their friends on board, you’ll get more downloads and a wider network of reach.
Enable Vanity Shares
People are public about what they’re doing on social media. They’re quick to show their latest game score or marathon time on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms. By building in the ability for users of your app to easily share their status (e.g., when they’ve broken a record, when they reached a new level, if they’ve reached a preset goal, etc.), you instantly reach all your users’ social media connections.
Do it Better Than Any Other App
There are likely other apps that will be similar to yours or will, at the very least, be in the same space. Competition for app users’ attention is fierce. But if you pay attention to user feedback and implement changes that will bring your app to a higher lever, you’ll be rewarded with more and more users.
A lot of really well-designed apps have failed simply because there wasn’t much energy put into marketing the app. It does take some effort, but if you get your marketing strategy right, your users will do the heavy lifting for you.