Now that it’s clear that smartphones and mobile devices are here to stay, there’s been something of a gold rush in the app development field. Building the software we all use to get the maximum functionality out of our devices can be incredibly lucrative. It’s also become an incredibly competitive industry! If you’re working on the next killer app yourself, you’re going to need to think about how you can get people to use it. This is where the marketing specialty of app advertising comes in.
How The App Advertising Game Is Different
Because online marketing has become a core part of commercial promotion in virtually every industry, professionals in every field have started to learn the rudiments of the trade. Marketing an app is distinctly different from promoting a website, an online store, or a traditional brand.
Although the normal tools you’d use for online marketing – SEO, content marketing, etc – still have a role to play, you’ll find that there are other areas which demand your attention. You need to manage your presence in the app store with exquisite care. Social media becomes not just important but central to your efforts – you need to harness your satisfied users and turn them into marketing assets. Make sure you build sharing functionality into your app itself to make this easier!
Define Your Goals Carefully
Once you start learning more about app marketing, the first important acronym you’ll run into is CPI, or cost per install. This is the basic cost measurement that’s used to assess the ROI you get from your marketing efforts. Don’t obsess too exclusively on this number!
Getting as many installs as possible is important when you’re first launching an app. A broad base of new users is your foundation for later development. Once you establish your presence, though, you need to look beyond CPI and evolve your marketing efforts. What actions do you really want users to be taking inside your app? How can you encourage more of them?
Don’t Be Afraid To Rely On Professionals
As with any sort of commercial promotion, you’ll find no shortage of professional marketers who are eager to help you advertise your app. Assess your choices carefully. It pays to work with an experienced, well-rounded team that really understands the intricacies of app marketing.
What you should really be looking for is a company that clearly understands the basic concerns laid out above. Great app marketing firms will go so far as to charge you on a CPA (cost per action) basis instead of billing you based on CPI. For an example of just how this can work, check out Liftoff (http://liftoff.io/) to see what sort of aid a seasoned app marketing team can provide.
Some great apps have wound up on the top of the heap due solely to their undeniable quality. This is the exception rather than the rule! Building up a strong user base requires just as much care and attention as actually creating your app. If you want to handle your marketing on your own, give yourself plenty of time to learn the process and then execute it. If you’d rather entrust the whole matter to professionals, make sure you work with marketers who can show you a solid track record of successful app promotion.