Your Mobile App is Ready To Go. NOW WHAT? You have a brand new mobile application developed, live in the app stores and ready to be downloaded by the masses. But how do you get the masses to know about it? What’s your strategy to market your new app to generate awareness and get your users to download it? This thought can be jarring and overwhelming (we hear it nearly every time we finish a new mobile app for a client). But given our experience, we have a good game plan for you to follow. It’s not a comprehensive list by any means, but it’s a damn good start to help you plan out your next steps. Insert Your Best Sports Analogy for “Strategy” Here First thing’s first. Let’s breakdown a strategy. After reviewing our guide, pick out the steps you feel would be ideal to market your app. Not all apps are created equal, so not all of our marketing steps may apply to your type of app. Once you’ve established which steps you want to use, move them into a solid timeline so you can plan accordingly. Marketing for an app launch has a lot of moving parts; if you decide to do a press release but don’t have a website up where inquiring parties can learn more, that will pose a problem. So review all your steps, plot some milestones and buckle up! Online Presence Gives Online Presents Website Website is the word of the web gods. The first thing you should have in place is your website, which has the look and feel of your app. Here, you have a central hub where users can learn more about your app and why they NEED it, learn more about your business, find out how to download your app and provide feedback. You’ll be putting your website link on EVERYTHING. Business cards, press releases … essentially any advertising or marketing collateral. Critically important. Social Media There’s no doubt about it, the world is on social media. In fact, there are 3.5 billion social media users in the world … that’s 45% of the population! The reason for massive adoption of social media can be attributed to greater accessibility of social media applications on a daily, hourly, sometimes minutely basis. This is a good thing for marketing when managed correctly! More brands are including social media in their overall marketing strategies – and they absolutely should. From first-person story ads to influencer marketing, companies are trying it all. And the good news? It’s extremely cost effective. Social media marketing allows brands to interact with their audience and build brand loyalty. Depending on your app and its audience, consider creating profiles on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Blog Starting a blog is a great way to get your website ranked higher in Google SERPs, meaning your visibility is increased when people conduct a search online. Blog posts are a great way to drive traffic to your website and to have an engaging forum to talk about your application, as well as topics surrounding the pain points your app solves. They also keep you connected to a relevant audience, making your site searchable and competitive. Really, the driving force behind keeping an updated blog is to boost your website traffic and send quality leads to your website to download your app. Relate to that Public Not every budding entrepreneur has the capital to hire a public relations guru to help them launch their new mobile app, but should you find yourself with a bit of a budget, it might be worth the investment. A PR guru could help you draft a press release with the appropriate launch angle and post it to a newswire service to help spread the word. Again, there could be more of a financial investment here, but a valuable one. And if you have to push up your sleeves and go at this endeavor yourself, at a minimum, reach out to the local media yourself. This is another way social media can be a good, cost effective tool. In a study by USC Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism, nearly half of PR professionals and more than 60% of marketing executives were said to believe that public relations and marketing will work together more closely in the future. That’s a trend we’re already seeing at Shift3. Establish Advocates One of the best ways to market your new mobile app is through users that have tried your app and love it! If you have strong advocates for your app, ask them if they’ll let you quote them on your website or other marketing materials. First-person testimonials either written or in video format are one of the greatest methods of humblebragging. Third-party feedback, especially positive feedback, is always valued and carries your product a long way. More consumers tend to listen to customer experiences and recommendations as they’re more real and come straight from the mouths of their peers. And don’t forget to memorialize all your quotes and testimonials in all of your marketing assets – especially video. Seventy percent of YouTube viewers watch videos for “help with a problem” they’re having in their hobby, studies, or job. Testimonial videos from your advocates can be a real source of visibility and brand establishment – especially on social media platforms. Make it a Launch Event! Once you have all your marketing components in place, set a date to roll it all out together. Generate teaser buzz about your mobile app launch weeks prior to your launch date to build anticipation. Prepare to send that press release first thing in the AM. Make sure all your marketing assets on your website are ready for public consumption. And don’t forget to post a few blog posts talking about your app and how it will change users’ lives. Even though there’s a lot of moving components in your marketing rollout, if you’ve planned early enough and have stuck to your milestones, you should expect some immediate traction. You may even want to send an email to all your colleagues, friends and family who are interested in the app to remind them to download and provide feedback! Don’t Stop Believin’ and Optimizin’ Even well after your mobile app marketing launch, you never want to stop optimizing your assets for updates or evolutions of your app. Make sure your website stays updated with current messaging, post blogs frequently to build on your traffic and visibility, and email your contact lists with updates to keep your brand top of mind. You may even want to check in with existing users of your app for continual feedback and substantial reviews in the various app stories. Additionally, don’t stop researching other avenues of marketing. Explore how to utilize SEO on your website and in the app stores. Reach out to influencers in your industry; maybe they will use your app and speak to its awesomeness on their platforms. Have a mobile app idea? If you’re interested in building a custom mobile app that could change the face of your market or industry, email [email protected] or call 559 560 3300 today. Have an idea for a mobile app and not quite sure of your next steps? Check out this handy dandy guide! This post was written by Celeste A. Barron, Content Development Manager. You’ll find her listening to 90s R&B and doing a juice cleanse.