How to advertise an app
Apps have become part of our daily lifes. Just 10 years ago, having a smartphone that is powerful enough that you can play 3D Games on it or use most websites without getting problems with the screensize was unthinkable. Nowadays, most of us will never even leave the house without at least one smart devices. So it’s easy to see why app development yourself or external can be a great way to make money. The problem is naturally with the competition. You will most likely not create an app without competition. And even if you do, how can you make sure that users find your app, download it and engage with it? That is one essential question that many app entrepeneurs will come across when publishing there app. Another one is naturally how to make money with your app.
In this article i want to show you some of the best ways to advertise an app.
How to advertise an app organically?
As App Marketing Agency, we accompany a large number of app developers on their way to app success every day. The best five ways i could find to promote apps (in no certain order) are:
- Organic Social Media Posts
- Add Flyers for your App to your existing Sales Funnel
- Place a Banner on your Website
- Create a landing page
- Use email marketing
Did you know that Facebook is still growing every day? They are currently on there way to 1.5 billion daily active users. The majority of them on smartphones and/or tablets. Facebook is therefore the ideal platform if you want your target group to download your app. Start a Facebook Fan Page for your app and join on of the many Groups that are in your niche. And then post about your development process and create video content for your app. Why video? Video is one of the major driver for online marketing success and apps are nothing else then a digital product from a marketing perspective. The chosen video format is particularly suitable as a marketing measure, because statistically speaking, moving pictures have the highest click-through rate.
My tip: Don’t leave it at organic Facebook advertising for your app. Play the full range of social media channels and integrate Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Snapchat into your marketing efforts. It is important that you clearly communicate the added app value for your users and integrate the App Store logos for immediate download.
App marketing is often much easier than you think – and has an even greater impact. Because sometimes you are only one app flyer away from your customers. With this marketing tool, you can promote your shopping app to your existing customers extremely efficiently with little effort and low costs and generate new app downloads very easily. Add the app flyer as a package insert to your next customer order. Then all you have to do is rely on the psychological unpacking effect of your customers, which has been proven to be one of the emotional highlights of the shopping experience. The joy of receiving the goods will certainly encourage your customers to download your app.
My tip: Increase the probability of downloading apps and make your existing customers happy with a voucher for their next order. With our free template, you can create the app flyer yourself in no time at all.
Banners on your website
Banners are another great way to increase your app downloads organically, if you already have a website. Integrate a link to the download into your sidebar and on your homepage so that website visitors can find your app and get to know that your app exists in the first place. The downloads will not come in a boost, but over time, this channel can generate a consistent flow for your app.
My tip: If you have a blog or a product based website, add Call to Actions to costumers who just signed up for your newsletter or are finished shopping. They are the most engaged at that moment and will be more then happy to use a good app from a company that they already know.
Many of your mobile visitors already get a hint to your app through your smart banner. But what about the desktop surfers? You can deal with this increasingly extinct species with a landing page.
Explain your added app value to your visitors on the landing page: Maybe you can add a special for first time downloaders like free delivery when ordering via the app or a 10$ voucher for the first order. Add some value for the costumer when downloading your app and you will increase the likelyhood of them converting.
My tip: List all the advantages your app has to offer on your landing page. In addition to app vouchers, this can also be exclusive app content. Get your customers to make sure that you don’t want to miss any of your offers in the future. Don’t forget to integrate the direct download options to the app!
Email marketing is yesterday’s news? Not if you do it right! Because with the right strategy, email marketing and mobile commerce are made for each other. A newsletter is an excellent app marketing measure if it answers these 3 questions:
What does the app do for your customer?
Communicate the added value to give your customers an incentive to download the app: For example,communicate monetary benefits such as exclusive 10$ app vouchers and useful services such as free delivery for orders placed via the app. But push messages to communicate campaigns or exciting content such as lookbooks about the latest trends can also be included. There are no limits to your imagination.
How does your customer get the app?
Call-to-Action elements are the decisive keyword here. Separate links to the Google Play Store and the App Store are a must so that the customer can download your app directly. This makes it easy for them to access and for you to evaluate the conversion.
When is the best time to inform your customer?
The right time is crucial. It is best if you reach your customer on the move. On the way to work in the train, for example. He has time to browse and can download the app directly.
The latest study by App Annie, the app analytics company, shows: an average of two hours a day with is used with apps. Reason enough to take a close look at the question of how the app gets from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store to the customer’s device. Because that is the decisive question for app success.
5 App marketing paid measures
In general, I recommend online merchants to integrate the app as a new medium in all marketing measures they operate. The advantage: App marketing is possible with little effort and without additional costs and therefore offers you a top price-performance ratio.
In addition, there is an abundance of different paid advertising formats. Arranged from the cheapest to the most expensive, the following five app marketing measures stand out:
- AdWords ad extensions for apps
- Facebook retargeting
- Facebook App Install Ads
- Print ads
- TV advertising
AdWords ad extensions for apps
Small tool with big effect
Most people know that companies can use ad extensions to enrich their text ads with additional information. These include, for example, additional links, locations or ratings. The advantage is obvious: the ads are more visible both on the desktop and on the move, thus improving performance. What is less well known, however, is that online merchants with their own shopping app can use the extension specifically as a marketing instrument. Once the extension has been activated, the app logo and a call-to-action message automatically appear below the mobile display. As soon as the user clicks on the app extension, he is forwarded either to the Apple App Store or to the Google Play Store. From there it’s just a click on the download button, and the online retailer has already won a new App customer.
To be listed with your own logo in the search results is an absolute unique selling point that advertisers can only exploit if they have an app. In addition to the increased visibility of the AdWords, another advantage is that costs are only incurred by clicking on the ad. As an app entrepeneur, you should exploit this potential as quickly as possible!
Closer to the customer
The fact that customers like to browse the assortment of an online shop without buying anything is a tiresome fact. As a rule, only 2 out of every 100 visitors actually buy something. Given the number of Facebook users – 1.48 Billion use it every day – the probability that the same customers are active on Facebook is very high. A total of 86 percent of the 1.48 Billion users use Facebook on smartphones and/or tablets – the ideal opportunity for you to advertise your app and thus increase customer loyalty.
In this context, Facebook retargeting is an ideal and relatively inexpensive method to draw visitors’ attention to your app.
If you come into contact again with visitors to your website or online shop and want to lure them into your app, all you have to do is form specific target groups among your visitors – the so-called custom audiences. You then create campaigns tailored to these target groups. Remarketing target groups can be very different. You can differentiate between buyers, visitors from certain pages of your shop, visitors who only looked at certain products or categories, etc. All these different user types are lucrative candidates for your mobile app.
Facebook App Install Ads
The direct way to more app downloads
In addition to retargeting, Facebook offers an advertising format specially designed for apps: Mobile App Install Ads. As with the other Facebook advertising formats, the complete Facebook target group selection is also available for this type of ad: Custom Audience, Lookalikes etc. In order to be able to generate new App installs as effectively as possible, the ads have been extended by special features:
In addition to call-to-action, the App Install Ads provide a preview of the app rating.
Each ad is delivered with the label “Suggested App”, which increases its visibility in the user’s news feed.
An App Install Ad can be advertised with an image, a video or as a carousel ad. A text of up to 90 characters enables the image to be enriched with information.
The great thing is that you can consistently uses the diverse segmentation options, the advantage of direct target group address and the high reach of App Install Ads for App applications on Facebook and Instagram. With a relatively small daily budget, app developers can design successful campaigns with different addressees and durations.
Analog meets digital
Print ads are a costly but effective way to draw attention to your own brand. But it is not only the branding effect that makes print ads a good choice. There is also space here for content, which you should use to refer to the app. With a small layout change you kill two birds with one stone.
You can feature your app in local news papers or larger publications, depending on your targeting and budget.
If you have the time and budget for big publications, i would recommend you take a look at our guide on press releases for app marketing.
See and be seen
“My mama always says …” – I’m sure you’ve met the somewhat old-fashioned boy with the unmistakable introductory sentence on TV lately. The brand he is promoting is called Dr. Goerg and offers high-quality organic coconut products. At the end of March, Dr. Goerg was the first company in the premium organic coconut sector to launch its TV advertising campaign. The last 7 seconds of the TV advertising show what the brand is aiming for in addition to product advertising. The Google and App Store logo of the shopping app is displayed there. Enough time for the viewer to process the information and download the app from the store. Try it out for yourself! Because TV advertising offers a good opportunity to compete with other channels for your app marketing.