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Marketing your new mobile app

Author's avatar By Expert commentator 10 Oct, 2014
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How to create a marketing plan to launch your mobile app in three simple stages

marketing plan - mobile appCreating an app is a major accomplishment, but sadly not a guarantee of riches and rewards. If you want to make any money from your carefully crafted creation, you will need a solid and effective app marketing launch plan. Here is how you I believe you should create a plan based on my experience of app launches.If you want to make your app a success, promotion should start way before you’re ready to launch. It’s no good developing a beautiful app if no one ever learns of its existence, so it is vital to have a detailed plan in place of how to market your product and get it turning over a profit as quickly as possible.

Where to start with your marketing strategy to sell your app?

A marketing strategy is a plan of action to sell your app. It all revolves around drumming up publicity and doing your level best to get your app to the top spots in the app stores. You are trying to create a buzz, a palpable anticipation for your app, to get users wanting your product before it is even finished. To make things easier, you can break it down into three separate stages; preparation for your launch, the action you will be taking during and just after your launch, and ways to maintain interest in your app.

marketing plan - mobile app

Stage 1.  Preparation for launching your app

Here is where you prepare the ground for your active promotion. Make this a priority, if you don’t do this right, your whole campaign could be at risk. Start by getting your weapons ready for deployment. Develop a cohesive style for your promotional materials and, once you’re happy with that, create them. Write content to go in reviews, design and order the graphics for your articles, then create the banners you will be using, not forgetting to adjust for each different format. Next, prepare a series of news announcements about the app to be published on launch day and decide which portals and publications you’re sending them to. Ensure you adjust them to fit the style and format each platform specifies. Select your audience for advertising in social networks and put a demo on the TestFlight service so the right people can access it. Make sure you have optimised your descriptions, screens and keywords for the app store, then get your analytics systems in place, and create your app’s landing page.

It may sound daunting, but develop a screenplay and produce an advertising video, then identify ways to distribute it. With a little online advice, it’s not as hard as you may think.

Collate all the email addresses and contact details you have been gathering in readiness for your launch and prepare your mailings, including everything from content, to layout and design, and a concise description of your app and its workings.

Stage 2 - Post app launch

This is it, the big day. It’s a terrible feeling, opening up your lemonade stand and sitting behind your sign while no one even walks down your street. To avoid this catastrophe, make sure everyone knows that today is your day. Ways to do this, like your initial preparation, can also be segmented into three different distinct tasks: Start your banner campaign on all the other social networks you will be using as channels, purchase the paid installs you will need to raise your app in the app store rankings, and make all the arrangements to ensure you receive rave reviews and get them shared among all your media outlets.

The goal here is to attract traffic significant enough to get your app to a high position in the app stores and start winning organic installs. Other things you can do to help facilitate this is to order video reviews on the relevant channels on YouTube, or publish and distribute your own.

After getting assurances that they will place your content, distribute your press releases to your chosen media platforms Select one or more mobile ad networks to work with, test your ads, make corrections and then launch your campaign. At the same time, fine tune your ASO based on its effectiveness and do the same to your landing pages.

Stage 3. Maintaining interest in your app

So, all the above hard work has paid off and you’re now sitting pretty at or near the top of the app store charts. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end here.

Now, you must shift your strategy to not only attract new users, but to retain the ones you’ve got. Here, you need to start employing tactics that will keep your brand new audience riveted to their mobile devices, such as sending your users the odd push notification to keep them using your app. Work out alliances with other developers; have them advertise your product in their apps, and repay the favour.

Continue to order videos from popular YouTubers and keep publishing your own, along with articles through your major portals. Contact journalists and set up interviews to discuss the overwhelming success of your app, and independently keep a steady stream of news and updates about your app and its progress. To help retain your new users, develop and institute contests for them, and promote discounts and gifts for your existing customers. Now is also the time to start advertising your app offline.

Anything else that should be part of your marketing plan?

There are a few more important parts to a successful marketing plan that need to be worked out and documented:

  • In your research and preparations for building your app, you should have been doing the legwork around various conferences, launches and events, gathering a list of names and details of the countless people that you will need to help you promote your app. Journalists, bloggers, influential experts, and contacts that work for the platforms you’ll be using.

This is your contact list and it is vital in helping you keep track of the people that you will need to help you spread your words. Make up something like an Excel spreadsheet, and when noting down their details, it’s a good idea to attach information about your relationship and how helpful they are likely to be, such as ‘close contact, likely to publish’, ‘met once, expressed an interest’, ‘hardly know, likely to reject/ignore’, or whatever works for you. You will certainly gather a lot of content to keep track of, so keep it organised on another spreadsheet. This is also a good place keep noted each piece’s status, such as ‘assigned to copywriter xxxx’, ‘checked, awaiting publication’, ‘published’ or ‘rejected’.

  • You should also keep a similar list about the platforms you use. Start this as you begin your campaign and keep updating it. As things move forward, keep notes on which platforms perform well and which didn’t produce the results you expected, as this will be invaluable in the future.  On this list, keep notes of each site’s requirements for how content needs to be formatted and presented if you want it published.

The time for preparation is over Spending the time to create a thorough marketing plan may seem like hard work, especially when you’ve a ton of development work that needs doing, but it will give you an effective checklist that can ensure you don’t miss anything. Besides, the very process of creating your plan and accounting for every variable is good practice for when the time comes for you to send your precious app out into the world to fend for itself.

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