6 Mobile App Marketing Essentials for Developers (part 1)

by GameHouse

App developers are often technically minded, with strong coding skills and a keen vision of what they want their apps to do and how they want to solve problems. This technical mindset is highly important and valuable – but the fact is, to succeed commercially, app developers need to think of themselves as “marketers” as well.

Mobile app marketing involves a variety of techniques and channels. There is no single “right way” to do mobile app marketing; instead it is a constant process of testing, analyzing and repeating certain activities in order to keep making progress on finding new users, retaining existing users, and earning more revenue.

Here are a few must-have mobile app marketing techniques that all app developers need to know:

Cover the Basics

Sometimes, the best marketing is free marketing. Even if you don’t have a big budget for mobile app marketing, that’s OK – just make sure to cover the fundamentals and harvest the “low hanging fruit” to make sure your apps perform as well as possible. For example:

  • Design attractive marketing assets: Every app has to compete in a crowded marketplace with only a few simple “marketing assets” – the app icon, screenshots, app title and app description. Just with a few simple design elements and short blocks of text, you have the chance to clearly spell out what your app is about, who it is for, and why people will want to download it.
  • Make sure your app is discoverable: Follow app store optimization best practices to make sure your app gets organic downloads and is more likely to be discovered by people who are searching for it. Make good use of search keywords. Give your app a clear, easy-to-spell, memorable title that is directly relevant to the purpose of your app.
  • Work on retaining your existing users: It is always cheaper to keep your existing customers happy than it is to keep struggling to acquire new customers over and over again. Design your app in a way that makes users return to the app regularly. Consider using pop-up notices or notifications that prompt users to keep coming back to the app over time.

Build an Audience Before You Launch

Many app developers make the mistake of assuming that “if you build it, they will come” – but the truth is, mobile app marketing needs to start even before the app is finished and launched. Leverage content marketing and social media to find an initial audience of people who are interested in your app even before it is done being developed – this inner circle of early users will from a core loyal audience that you will market your app to, and who will help spread the word about your app.

Bonus: beyond helping you generate the launch spike, this core audience will also help you build the app by being first testers, providing valuable feedback and insights. You will understand who your customers are, and how they will use your app. Listen to feedback and tweak your app and marketing campaigns accordingly.

Measure and Analyze

Another frequently encountered mistake in mobile app marketing is when developers don’t test their marketing and learn as they go. This is a huge missed opportunity! The truth is, just as app development requires incremental testing and de-bugging, mobile app marketing also requires the developers to keep Down2analyzing and re-evaluating which marketing techniques are making a positive difference in getting downloads and attaining revenue. Great measurement is the key to understanding what works and what does not in your mobile app marketing, and which advertising platforms are most effective and provide the best ROI.

Bonus: By integrating testing and analysis into your mobile app marketing, you also will learn a lot about your audience and how people use your app, which can improve the product development side as well. A few tips on measurement and analysis for mobile app marketing:

  • Make sure to integrate analytics (such as Flurry) and all trackers from mobile advertising systems before you market your app. It’s best to have the tracking tools in place before you start getting those first downloads.
  • Analyze your data daily. New insights can occur based on changing circumstances; don’t miss an opportunity to adjust your mobile app marketing tactics. Sometimes even a few seemingly small adjustments to the amount you spend on in-app advertising or the amount of resources you dedicate to a certain mobile app advertising network can make a big difference in attaining revenue.

In part 2 of this article, we’ll discuss a few more “basic” mobile app marketing essentials that all developers need to know.

Join the conversation. What do you think are some of the “low hanging fruit” of mobile app marketing that many developers often overlook? Leave us a comment and let us know.

By Ryan Morel

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