Four marketing strategies to increase app store downloads and engagement

  • January 24, 2021
  • Misc
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30-second summary:

  • App marketing is extremely competitive. There are restricted channels to market your app however countless apps to take on. It’s crucial to take full advantage of every chance.
  • Like SEO, App Store Optimization includes keyword research study and optimization. App designers have actually restricted area for their keywords and much competitors to deal with. Hence, accuracy is extremely essential.
  • App advertisements on Facebook differ from other kinds of advertisements. You requirement Facebook SDK, in addition to the advertisements supervisor, to appropriately track app downloads and engagement.
  • Rewards must turn your app users into consumers. When done right, rewards can create social evidence and viral loops.
  • There is ASO however there’s likewise app SEO. Content formats such as blog sites, podcasts, and newsletters can make your app website/landing page gain greater rankings on online search engine.

Your app is completing for exposure with 1.82 million other apps if it’s on Apple’s App Store, or 2.7 million apps if it’s on Google’s Play Store. That’s remarkable competitors. 

Marketing your app practically appears a lost cause. But while making your app stick out is undoubtedly a challenging endeavor, it is possible, as long as you use the ideal techniques. 

Effective app marketing includes recognizing essential kinds of channels for discovery and engagement (app shops, social networks, online search engine, and in the app itself) and targeting your audience. 

1. App shop optimization/landing page optimization 

Newcomers comprise just 8% of apps noted on the App and Play shop leading charts, passing Adjust’s App Trends 2020 Report. Considering that the app shop is your app’s primary possibility, without a doubt, at natural discovery, it need not be stated that your App Store Optimization (ASO) should be on point. 

ASO is to apps what SEO is to sites. And both have their resemblances, specifically in the on-page/off-page method dichotomy. And like SEO, ASO starts with enhancing exposure. 

The very first idea to attain this is to utilize an appealing name and logo design. Those 2 are the very first things users see when they discover your app. But before then, you have to make sure people can discover it, right? And not just anyone – the right individuals, your target audience. 

When optimizing your app store listing, what factors must you consider, keeping in mind that app indexing differs between stores?

  • App Name/Title: feature relevant keywords to enable the app store algorithm to properly identify and categorize your app. You have 50 characters for this on Play Store while Apple’s App Store also includes a subtitle, for keywords that don’t fit the main title.

App store optimization tips - Work on the title

  • Apple, unlike Google, allows developers to input specific keywords in a private field on its App Store. For Google, you have a short description field (80 characters) and a long description page (4000 characters) which are both public. 
  • Include keywords that are relevant to your app and which accurately describe its features, functionalities, and benefits.

That is as much as you can influence your app’s rankings. Other factors, beyond your direct influence, include reviews and ratings, download and uninstall rates, app updates, etc. 

2. Facebook ads strategy 

ASO has its place and you can’t rely on app stores entirely for app discovery. Not if you’re not a big-name brand. Your marketing strategy should tilt more towards the paid, discussed below. As Christian Eckhardt of Customlytics says,

“The likelihood of a user going to a store to browse or discover new apps has declined significantly, compared to the early days of the stores.”

By creating a page on Facebook for your app, you can run ads with custom call-to-actions to gain publicity for your app and increase downloads. Facebook Ad Manager allows you to set an objective for your app: whether you are targeting app installs or app engagement (traffic). Facebook Ads offer a competitive ROI with an average cost-per-install rate of $1.8, compared to Twitter’s $2.53 and Instagram’s $2.23. 

CPI using Facebook ads

To run ads for your Facebook app,

  • First, set up Facebook SDK. This is necessary to optimize your app for mobile ads, though you can still run ads for unregistered apps using the app store URL. 
  • Continue setup in the Ads Manager, where you select your target audience, budget, bid, creative format, and other options. 

  • Finally, continually measure your ad performance, track engagement data, and gain analytics insights using Facebook SDK and within the Ad manager.

Measuring ad performance that adds to your app store downloads

3. Use a rewards system 

This is a strategy that helps you to convert your app users into marketers. Of course, this assumes that you have an app that delivers value to its users. The next step would be to incentivize app engagement. 

In-app rewards that can facilitate engagement include unlockable customization options, discounts, push notifications, in-app currency (points, coins, etc.), vouchers, and other freebies Many apps (especially games) already feature these. But here, motivation is important. What kind of behavior does/should the reward system encourage?

  1. Retention 
  2. Publicity
  3. Reviews

Beyond app retention, your in-app incentives should encourage actions that publicize your app. For instance, you can offer a discount or some other benefit to people who share the app or refer users (using referral codes). We know this works since old research by Google showed that people discover new apps through friends and family than by any other means. Likewise, incentivize app users to rate and write reviews of your app on the store. Apart from promoting the goodwill of an app, positive reviews drive up app store optimization rankings, increasing the visibility of your app.

But app retention is important too. Only 32% of users would return to an app at least eleven times, a six-point reduction from last year’s rate. And app stores consider high uninstall rates as signs of a low-quality app. Such an app would get lower rankings and may even be removed from the store eventually. Incentives keep individuals using the app and create viral loops.

4. Content marketing strategy 

Search engines are a great place to gain publicity for your app. Think about it. Someone hears how great your app is and immediately searches the name, only to discover scanty or no relevant results at all. You need a creative and consistent content marketing strategy to convert search engine users. 

You can use a blog to highlight the benefits of your app, inform users of updates, and teach them how to maximize the features of the app. If businesses that blog gain 126% more leads than those that don’t, why not apps? The popular investing app Robinhood’s marketing strategy features a blog where they teach people the basics of investing and finance.

Using content marketing to make your app more visible and valuable in the audience's eyes

But there is more to blogging than simply posting articles. You need to research keywords to find the ones that will help you convert the most. That’s what enables search engines to effectively rank your blog posts. 

In addition, content marketing is not limited to blogging. You may also take advantage of newsletters, podcasts, and YouTube videos, as Robinhood does. Called ‘Robinhood Snacks’, it delivers a daily newsletter with financial news to subscribers (irrespective of whether they use the app or not) and breaks down business stories via podcasts as well. 

Content marketing is broader though. You also need backlinks to rank. And that means getting your app featured on ‘top apps’ listings, external reviews, guest article mentions, all of which should contain backlinks to your landing page. Of course, it need not be mentioned anymore that you need a highly-engaging landing page with a clear call-to-action that takes visitors to the app’s shop page.

A simple content marketing checklist for app optimization will look like the following:

  • Research ideas that are related to your app and pertinent to your audience. 
  • Craft topics from these ideas and develop engaging content around them. 
  • Use mediums that your audience uses the most. For instance, podcasts are a great idea if you are targeting millennials. 
  • Feel free to repurpose content. Your blog post can be repurposed into a YouTube video. You can transcribe a podcast interview and convert it into an article, etc. 
  • Always consist of a call-to-action 

Conclusion

If you implement the strategies talked about above, you can rest assured of steady app growth. However, the most important factor is that the app is indeed valuable. The best apps are those that advertise themselves. But virality does not happen overnight. Its the result of the constant application of the right techniques.

Guy Sheetrit is the CEO of Over The Top SEO, an acclaimed marketing company that offers tailored SEO marketing options for ecommerce, regional, and Fortune 500 business. He can be discovered on Twitter @guysheetrit.

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