Whether you offer an app for convenience, as a marketing tool or you’re a tech company that releases apps, marketing a mobile app requires different steps than other types of advertising. If you don’t get the word out about your business’s mobile app, then people won’t know it’s available and your download stats may suffer.
According to Statista, there were 2.47 million apps available in the Google Play Store as of the third quarter of 2019, 1.8 million apps in the Apple Store and 669,000 apps in the Windows Store. The number of smartphone users keeps growing, so app downloads will only increase more as well as the number of apps available.
If you want to stand out amidst a sea of available apps, you must utilize both traditional and unique ways of promoting your company’s mobile app. Think about what you’ve tried in the past that was successful and what you probably shouldn’t repeat. There is no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to advertising. Here are six stellar ways of advertising your app to your target audience:
1. Create a Landing Page
People’s first introduction to your app may be via a landing page on your website. Obviously, you want the landing page optimized for mobile devices, so it works as easily on a smartphone as a desktop computer. Your landing page should describe what the app does and offer a link to download or an offer to text the app link to a cellphone. At the same time, if someone peruses your site via their mobile device, a quick tap with the thumb should take them to the app store download link.
Booking.com offers a landing page that outlines what their app does for you. They list how many others have downloaded the app, what kind of deals you can find (car rentals, flights and hotels) and offer to send a link via text message so you can download the app directly to your mobile phone.
2. Show the App in Use
Users are much more likely to download your app if they see how easy it is to use. You can either offer an online demo or highlight screenshots of the app in action. Be sure to focus on the types of features users would be most interested in using. If your app is service-based, what areas does it serve? Perhaps you help customers track past orders. Be sure and let them know how easy it is to reorder via the app or see where a current order is in the process.
Riggs CAT offers an app that allows people to reserve a rental or look at past orders. Note how they highlight the features of the app by taking images of a cellphone and showing how the app works on mobile devices. They also make it easy to download the app right from the landing page on their website.
3. Boost Brand Awareness
Why should people want to download your app instead of a competitor’s? Part of advertising your software is also showing what makes you unique. You have to build a consistent brand image over and over with a select group of leads and then encourage them to download your app. Making your business more recognizable includes advertising in multiple areas, including social media, having a local presence and through content on your own website.
4. Offer Discounts
One way to offer an incentive to download your app is by offering exclusive coupons and discounts to those who have it. However, don’t just make empty promises. You have to actually give your users offers you don’t give to the general public. Send out discounts from time to time that only app users gain access to. They will tell others and those people will also download your app and use it.
Chick-fil-A One app offers the ability for users to earn points for using the app to place orders. This benefits both the consumer, who earns free items from points collected, and the business who knows what orders are headed their way and can deliver fast, hot food. The landing page offers CTA buttons to download the app to the device of your choice or learn more about the program.
5. Find Influencers
One really effective marketing technique is getting in touch with people in the industry. Ask experts to review your app and write about it. While not everyone will love your app or be willing to mention it, at least a few will. Their readers have voracious appetites for new material and most blog writers and social media influencers are tech junkies who love to give something new a try.
You should also ask some of the biggest influencers at your disposal to rate your app—your users. Utilize a pop-up to encourage current users to rate your app or build it into the account features of your software.
Babbel asks users to rate the app on a scale of one to five. They are very upfront that they’d appreciate a rating in the app store to help them out. They make rating the app as quick and easy as possible so users are more inclined to take a minute to share their thoughts. Notice the subtle graphic that shows a 5-star rating. This isn’t accidental but is meant to encourage good reviews of the app. They even comment that if you love it to please rate it, inferring that if you don’t to keep your review to yourself.
6. Offer a Free Trial
One easy way of attracting new subscribers is by offering a free trial. Many apps offer some limited features for free and then expanded features for a monthly membership. You can use that model or you can offer every feature available for two weeks before starting a subscription.
A word of caution with free trials, though. People don’t like having to share credit card information or automatic subscriptions after the trial period. While it might bring in revenue in the moment, you’ll aggravate people you want to become your long-term customers and lifelong fans. Instead, offer a truly free trial for the cost of an email address. Of course, send them reminders as the end of the trial period nears or offer specials to get them to sign up.
The key to a free trial is to truly make it without additional obligation. This will bring in the most potential subscribers over time. If you have to trick people into subscribing, it is probably time to work on your app and make it something folks can’t live without rather than something you have to force on them after two weeks of use.
There are limitless ways to get the word out about your company’s mobile app. Your first course of action should be to tell current customers and everyone whose path you cross. Ask those who love the app to tell others about it. Post on social media about the app, write an article, go on the radio and talk it up and mention it anytime you get a chance. The more people who hear about your app, the more likely it will get downloaded and used.