4 steps to promoting your mobile app on shoestring budget

You have spent countless hours in building it. You’re excited about various unique of its kind features that you got developed. Every little detail including user interface, user experience, notification messages, device compatibility ETC is taken care.

And then you launch the app on the store late in the night to finally, peacefully sleep, waiting to have at least a few hundred downloads at the time you get up.

You wake up excited, jumping straight to grab your phone. Quickly check the app store and….

Your eye stays wide open. Expectation falls flat, all your excitement bursts like a soap bubble. There is no download…

12 hours, 24 hours, 3 days,  3 weeks, one month, 3 months…

Time ticking in, days passing by, but Almost no one is downloading such a wonderful app that you created after literally hundreds of hours in rigorous work. They’re installing those ugly calorie calculators, useless little games, even cat video related apps but not the fantastic app that you’ve created.

 

Sounds like your story?

Pretty possible!

Many people believe that by simply uploading their app on the store,  the traffic will start pouring in, users will start downloading in heaps, a rating would drastically go mountains.

Of course, that does not happen.

According to

Statistics

As of June 2016, Android users were able to choose between 2.2 million apps whereas Apple’s App Store remained the second-largest app store with 2 million available apps.

There are a number of apps in almost all the category, you name it.

In such a crowded market that is already ever expanding, making your newest app stand out is a huge challenge. Even greater of a challenge, however, is to do this on shoestring budget, which is the least many small businesses and startup entrepreneurs have available.

Here are 4 proven steps that you can use for successfully promoting the app on shoestring budget and still get active users who not only download but use on a frequent basis.

1. Validate Your App

Imagine what will happen if you open male haircut salon in the town of bald men.

You know what’ll happen don’t you?

No matter how much advertisements and marketing you do, whatever investment that you make, how much soever popular you are, you’re not going to make a profitable business, I bet.

Even before you start developing the app, you must determine whether the app that you’re developing is going to be successful or not. I get it. You’re not an astrologer, but there are ways to determine still whether or not the app will be a success.

Patflyn

In his book

Will it fly?

 

says:  “A lack of proper validation kills more businesses than anything else”.

In his book, patt has suggested a number of ways you can test Your Next Business Idea So You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money.

 

Here are some of the things you can do to validate your app:

  • Share the idea with others– One mistake that a lot of us do is that we keep the idea secret to ourselves, sometimes not even telling to mom, scared what will happen if our wonderful idea gets leaked/stolen somehow.In reality, you make your idea vulnerable when you don’t share that with people. Choose to share the idea and ask for honest feedback. Be ready for criticism. Consider criticism an opportunity to refine and fine-tune your idea.
  • Similar apps – Look for similar apps and study their features, marketing strategies, target audience, value propositions, and more. Devise your app’s features as well as promotion plan by learning and still distinguishing your product from the bunch.
  • Crowdfunding campaigns – Put your idea on crowdfunding websites.  Sites such as Kickstarters are great to see if people would be actually interested in paying for your product.

 

How to CRUSH Kickstarter: $453k in 33 days and the 6th most funded publishing campaign of all time

John Lee Dumas Has created Freedom journal campaign  on  Kickstarter and received $453k in 33 days.

 

2. Build your brand

You need not wait for the app to launch and then start marketing efforts.   The marketing of your app should start right from the moment you determined that the idea is a successful model.

Keval Padia

Who is a Founder & CEO of Nimblechapps, a fast-growing mobile game development company, believes that the marketing of the app has to start well before development, right when you know that you’re pursuing the idea.

If you’ve built the trust of your potential customers, selling the app to them when it’s launched is going to be darn easy.

Here are some ways you can build your brand well before the app launch:

  • Facebook pages and groups – find and join the Facebook pages and groups according to your niche and then start adding value by sharing highly useful information to the respective audience, answering the questions other members have, offering to help in something you think won’t take you very long.
  • Twitter –Share the updates related to the app, from development to design ETC, ask for feedback, respond to comments.   Mention influencers in your post, share their content.
  • Email list – Build an email list of the people who are interested in your product/service. Setup landing page and then ask for the email address of the user in exchange for a cool giveaway such as a useful  PDF ebook/report, video lesson or best if you can to test drive the product even if that’s just a mini version.
  • Promote on sites such as Reddit, Quora, ProductHunt, Instagram ETC. Genuinely help people, connect with them and build an authentic relationship. This is what you can transform into sales or at least lead when the time comes.

3. Appstore search engine optimization

Both Google Play and Apple’s App Store algorithmically prioritize certain apps in search results based on various ranking factors.

One way so many people find apps is by searching them in the app store and hence it’s important that you optimize your app’s listing on app store in a way that is prominently returned in search results.

The name of your app and keywords matters the most when it comes to optimization, while there are other factors such as ratings, tags, Screenshots, app title, download data etc.

Here are some ways you can best optimize your app in the Apple app store and google playstore:

  • Research the keyword ideas that you’re potential users/customers use for finding the app. The keywords are one of the most important factors how your potential users are going to find your app. There are a number of tools you can use for keyword research including such as Google AdWords keyword planner tool or more sophisticated tools such as

appTweak

and

SearchMan

  • Be wise when choosing the right keywords for the app. One of the biggest mistakes that people do is that they use the most searched keywords Instead of relevant ones.

According to Apptamin Blog

There are 3 most important factors that you should look for when deciding the keywords

Relevance – How relevant is your keyword to your app. In other words, if someone searches for this keyword, how likely will they be to download your app?

Ranking #1 for the keyword “dog” if you have a dog training app is cool, but it is not specific enough. Ranking #1 for the keyword “dog training” would Be much better.

Competition – It doesn’t matter if you rank #542 for a keyword that gets a billion searches a month. Nobody will scroll that far in search results to find you. Look for keywords that you can rank in the top 10 for.

Searches – Finally, if the above two criteria are similar, then choose a keyword based on the number of searches it gets.

  • Use your chosen keyword (s) in name as well as a description. Strategically and smartly enough that it does not sound like you’re stuffing them. Remember that while you want the algorithms to rank you, name and description are one of the major factors your potential users decide whether or not to even install the app on the first place.
  • Don’t set it and forget it. Appstore optimization is a thing you need to constantly monitor and frequently experiment with. Look various analytical data including download matrix To find out minute details that can help your optimization to be more and result in better conversions/download rate.

4. Reviews

The number of quality reviews that your app receives has the biggest impact on the visibility and potential downloads of the app.

According to

5 Tips to Improve Your App Store Rating & Reviews

julyRapid Ratings and reviews are a testament to how we humans used to (and continue) to live. Social proof defines the very socio-economic fabric of our society.

The more people like, trust, use, or even swear by something, people want even more of it.

 

It’s important not just to have reviews but positive reviews so that search algorithms display the app on the top results and when a potentially interested user opens up the page, he does not get turned off by what a  mouth-maniac had to say.

Here are some of the things you can do to get more and positive reviews for your app:

  • Ask for reviews. Generally, the users who had some kind of negative experience with the app shall be jumping to rate while those enjoying the app won’t. It’s interesting how many users can write you a 5-star review if you simply ask them either on email or a push notification sent out after few days of download.

You can also use the tools such as Appirater

Which gives you a piece of code you can drop into any iPhone app that will help remind your users to review your app on the App Store.

  • Offer some kind of rewards when they choose to review. There are so many apps that ask users to rate and review and they (users) get some additional benefits/rewards on a successfully submitted rating. We all love free stuff. Usually, people won’t mind trading their few precious minutes and leave you a 5-star review if the free stuff You’re offering in return is enticing and exciting enough.

 

  • Run a contest. Organize online competition on your website/blog/social media and encourage people to review your app. If you can successfully market the contest and if you’re offering some good prize that is exciting enough to participate, you should easily be able to receive positive reviews in no time.

 

It’s indeed possible to promote the app on shoestring budget if you apply the strategies discussed above. Working with free methods, however, requires more focus, harder work, some smartness, and patience. If you have some, there’s nothing better than that as the free methods are often organic that brings more qualified leads for the long-term high conversions.

Startups and small businesses like you have this best opportunity that can get you amazingly fruitful results if you choose to apply these on the next app you’re looking to promote.

 

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