How to promote a new app [Complete Guide]
Creating an android app is certainly no easy task. But when you start to see your app coming to a stage where you can actually release it, you are likely to think about one important question: how to promote a new app? This guide aims to show you all you need to know, so that you can grow your app user base from the get-go.
You probably don’t want to see the same curve of success like flappy bird had with an essentially nonexisting user base from may 2013 to January 2014.
But how can you actually promote a new app?
In my experience, you can actually start your app launch campaigns in many different shapes and forms and still be successful.
This all depends on the time your app is in development and how much budget you have to begin with.
One essential that I also present in the step-by-step app marketing guide is to reach out to as many potential influencers as soon as you release your app. The more hype you create around your app during the first 3-4 weeks of the app release the better.
Why are the first 3-4 weeks so important for successful app launch campaigns?
When you release a new app on the google playstore, you will not be able to directly rank for two major traffic sources from the getgo: The overall top rankings and the keyword search queries.
But you have one potentially great free organic ranking that you can work with, the top new free charts.
The Top New Free Charts are split into 30 different categories, but you can eventually rank for two of them. This all depends on the category you choose when you upload your app to the playstore.
The problem with these charts is that most of the users don’t know about them. So the rule of thumb to get organic traffic in the playstore (a ranking that is 25 or above is equal to a ranking on googles first page in SEO from a traffic purpose) does not count towards this rankings.
But getting high installs and creating successful app launch campaigns does actually have one great benefit.
The featured apps from Google.
Why can featured apps be essential for successful app launch campaigns?
The featured apps list is great to get massive traffic and with that also more money from your app. Why is that? Google loves new apps that they can feature. But they only want to feature the right apps. They don’t want to feature the same apps over and over again as that does not increase the value of their store. But they are not going to feature apps that don’t meet certain criteria.
What do you need to focus on for google play features?
A Google Feature is hard to get, but not impossible. Especially when you use certain strategies that also work great as successful app launch campaigns you are on the right track to get featured.
There is actually an in-depth launch checklist from Google that you should focus on, but for simplicity, I will give you guidance on what it all means.
The Developer Program Policies. This is a fairly simple to follow guideline, but you have to make sure that you are following it correctly. Make sure that your app:
Does not have restricted content in it
– this means no child endangerment in your app, so no sexual abuse of minors in your app (should be natural not to include that)
– no Inappropriate Content i.e. sexually explicit content (no porn in any form), no hate speeches, no graphically realistic violence or instructions that help harming yourself or others with the content such as weapon-making and no terrorist content
– if your app includes sensitive events like natural disaster, make sure you use it in a reasonable way.
– no binary trading or any deceptive or harmful financial instruments.
If you have any questions regarding the Google launch checklist, comment below!
If you want your app to be specifically featured in the google playstore, make sure you release it there first. Apps that get released for iOS prior to Android often times will not get featured simply because of the wrong release schedule. Especially gaming apps that are created with engines like unity that can be released for multiple platforms at once should always start with the release in the most important market first.
Don’t sure what the ideal market to release first is? Check out the guide on app user personas and find out about your perfect user base that you should focus on.
When mentioning Unity, there is also something else you should keep in mind. If you release your app for multiple platforms and you want a feature on a platform, you should incorporate the design standards and the newest technology in your app. This means for android, that you have to use the material design.
When your app design is great and ready to get featured there is something else you should keep in mind for a successful app launch campaign, something that is especially relevant for long-term success.
How App Store Optimization can make or break successful app launch campaigns
ASO, short for App Store Optimization, is a major part of successful app marketing, even in the beginning. Many Android developers make the mistake to focus on app store optimization after they already released the app, most likely at the point when they don’t get any organic growth and have to drive marketing campaigns for there app.
But what is ASO?
App Store Optimization is a way to drive specific, keyword relevant traffic to your app from the search results in the playstore. Essentially, ASO is like SEO for the Google Search, but within the playstore search. Luckily, the algorithm does not take backlinks into consideration and the content that you can produce on the page is limited to 4000 words.
Let’s take a look at what you should always have ready when releasing your app to optimize your playstore search results.
The App Icon for a successful app launch campaign
For the On-Page Part of your Playstore Page, you should create a good looking icon. Most App Marketing Agencies will tell you that you should make an Icon that likes fairly similar to competitors apps and this has some benefits. If you create icons that are fairly similar to competitors, users will see your icon and will know what your app is all about as long as they know your competitor. If your competitor is successful in his app marketing, he will most likely run some a/b test about colors for the app icon that convert better and also tested the design for increased click-through rates.
But there is one problem with it. People need to know your competitor’s apps to understand it. The app will most likely target similar keywords and will also be found in the search results. This can be problematic as users don’t want to download an app that they already know a second time. Most often at least.
If users don’t want to use your competitor’s app, they are either not interested in what the app provides (not good for you if your app is similar) or they are searching for a better solution (good for you if your app is the better solution).
If you go the other way, so you create an app icon that is different then your competitors, you are able to stand out from the crowd. Especially with more and more reskins of apps and less and less truly different approaches, a similar app icon will make most users think of your app as just another reskin. And it can even get worse if your app icon is too similar to your competitors, it can get your app actually restricted or even worse – banned – for misrepresentation.
So maybe you should create a new logo for your app. I would suggest Canva for the beginning if you are not talented as a graphic designer or your design team is still deep down in designing your app.
If you have Canva already open, you can also use it to create your app’s screenshots. To make it short and clear, there is a best practice that you can and should follow for it.
You can upload 2-8 screenshots. Don’t upload any less than 8. It’s quite simple, the screenshots are the first graphical details of your app that users can see. If the screenshots are good, they are worth more then your text for your download rates. Try to tell a story about why the user should love and use your app – think about your user persona and create them with that in mind.
For your Text, you should actually start using one great tool – AppAnnie.
If you want to learn more about appannie, check the article on businessofapps.
For your launch campaigns, you don’t actually need a paid account – a free amount is all you need.
How can AppAnnie help with successful app launch campaigns?
AppAnnie is a great tool to track keyword success of apps. The most crucial part for your launch will be the analysis of the keywords your competitors rank for. Take a look at the languages you are releasing your app in and try to find out the most important keywords for your niche that your competitors rank for. If you analyze 10 competitors you will find a good amount of keyword ideas to work with.
With AppAnnie you will actually see in your free account two values that you can work with, the Ranking of the App for the Keyword and the overall amount of results for that keyword.
If you go with a paid plan, you will also see a traffic estimation for the keywords, for free accounts, you have to estimate it based on the number of results and your buyer’s personas search intent.
The goal is to find three categories of keywords, the traffic heavy high quality competitive keywords (for free – these will always have 250 results), the medium traffic and not as competitive keywords (120 – 230 search results for free accounts) and the longtail not competitive keywords (everything under 120 and not as often seen at your competitors).
Select at least one of your high traffic keywords and put it in front of the title of your app. This will help you immediately when you try to compete for this kind of keywords. As your Title can be only 50 characters long, you should try to use them as much as you can, so if the title of your app without keywords is already 45 characters, you should maybe think about a different name or an abbreviation that you can use for it to optimize your title.
Next comes the 80 characters long subtitle. This part of your description can be used to stuff in your medium keywords and at least on another high traffic keyword.
By any means, i don’t suggest you work on keyword stuffing, but I would suggest you leverage your keywords especially at the beginning to show the algorithm what your app is all about and what your competitors are (without naming them, this can harm your app).
If you have optimized your title and subtitle, you are now going to the fun part. Write 3900 – 4000 characters about your app and try to incorporate keywords in it without overusing it. If you mention the keywords you want to rank for and especially the longtail keywords, you will be able to create a good text that sales your app and does work for the keyword ranking algorithm in the playstore.
After you finished this part, your actual marketing campaign can begin.
How does the actual marketing for successful app launch campaign look like?
To give you a quick overview of what you should do:
Contact as many influencers in your niche and ask them if they want to try your app. This way you will either get free media when they like your app enough and find it useful or they will at least tell you a budget that you need if they want to get paid for it.
Create social media profiles in any relevant network, so Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Reddit and anything else you can think about. Write about your app in any Group you can find and try to get as much buzz around your app as possible.
If you followed my guide, you will have set up a landing page for your app and collected email addresses of people that want to try out your app. When you launched your app, write them, invite them and ask them to refer the app to friends as well on social media. This will help you optimize as many downloads as you can which will, in turn, help you get a better ranking and can even help you get a feature.
You can also create some android app marketing campaigns in our marketing dashboard. For successful app launch campaigns, I would actually suggest that you create high retention campaigns for only specific countries. This way you get a good engagement, retention and the overall number of installs which will help a lot to rank your app and help you get more organic traffic.
Successful app launch campaigns need to be strategically planned and executed. Don’t fall into the pits that the playstore has when it comes to infringement and focus on two major parts: App Store Optimization and creating a buzz. If you need help, comment below and if you need more installs to grow your initial user base check out our Android app marketing dashboard.