As of May 2015, Google’s Play Store is home to 1.5 million apps whereas Apple’s App Store houses 1.4 million available apps (Source: Statista). Global revenue from smartphone apps was $25 billion – a rise of nearly 62% over the previous year. According to a study by the University of Albama at Birmingham, almost 46% of smartphone users paid for their apps. By 2017, it is predicted that nearly 268 billion app downloads from various app marketplaces would generate $77 billion in revenue.
Going by the figures above, the app marketplace is becoming increasingly crowded and ripe to make money. But those are prediction figures. Currently, even most of the popular apps are not making a lot of money. While there are many reasons why apps don’t register a decent ROI, such as poor functionality to niche markets, some good apps too fail on the metric due to poor and/or ineffective marketing strategies.
There are millions of apps out there and for your app to stand out, you need to market in effectively and give it the desired push to be able to make an impact. Only then will downloads, conversions, and ROI follow.
A Place To Call Home
Let us face it – app names are not exactly entirely informative, unless they have been intentionally named so. If you did not know what Twitter or Instagram due to their popularity, would you have recognized what they meant simply by their names? Apps need to be explained. For this they need a home. Considering how easy it is to make and put up apps on the stores, we have seen some fantastic apps coming from the unlikeliest of quarters. Having a website for the app would be great. Some developers even have a umbrella developer website which list and describe all their apps. For those who cannot have an entire website for the app, a landing page should suffice. It does not require much – a screenshot or a log, or both, a description of your app and its functionality, app market place links for downloads, social sharing buttons, awards and nominations, if any.
We all are familiar with web SEO and its changing face, but did you know app marketplaces have their keyword optimization too? Yes. Everywhere where you spot a search bar, search optimization tags along. To make sure your app is discoverable and ranks amongst the top 5 or 10 apps, make sure your app’s title and/or description has the right keywords. Because for all that is worth, if your app cannot show up while searching a market place, how will it be visible and downloaded and make money for you?
Play It Loud
Nothing speaks better to your audience than a video. Studies have shown that the human brain likes, and hence tends to process visual content close to 60,000 times faster and more efficiently as compared to plain text content/words. Video is an engaging format. It manages to convey a set of information in a much more attractive, appealing and crisp way. Create your video in such a way as to give your customers a deep insight about your app, its controls, purpose and functioning.
There is no denying the impact of social media in pushing forth a product or a service in today’s times. I have written numerous times about it on this very blog before. Apart from content marketing strategies to market your apps, you may also want to put your app out there as an … well … app! Facebook and Twitter support ads which let you create direct app ads to show up in newsfeed streams on Facebook’s smartphone app. These are accompanied by an Install button which directs the user directly to the app market place to install the app. App developers have seen a definite increase in app downloads following Facebook’s app ad implementation.
Walk the Talk
Talk. Converse. Absorb reactions. Once your app is live, users will download it, test it and talk about it. Tweets might be posted or reviews might be uploaded on blogs describing your product. Track these conversations. App development is a continuous process. Talk to your users, explain your app, take in their feedback. Apart from valuable cues for changes and improvements for your next update, it is just basically good manners. It makes your app sound human and the user knows that you care to improve the app based on user suggestions. In short, some good brownie points!
The market for apps is burgeoning and will keep burgeoning over the next few years. As smartphone and their apps take center-stage in life, the call is your on how to monetize your app. But to monetize later, it has to reach enough people first. These marketing strategies will help you with exactly that!