You have created your application, it is fully functional, easy to understand and you think it has a real place in the market. You’ve passed your first big hurdle, but success won’t come immediately. Building an app is the first fight, but promoting your app and building customer loyalty by driving app downloads will win the battle.
To have a successful app, you need to be creative in acquiring customers. You will have to change it and think outside the box to be found.
Below are some creative and effective ways to get your app found in app stores and increase your customer base.
Fast app downloads statistics
- 1.85 million iOS apps
- 2.56 million Android apps
- 142.9 billion apps were downloaded in 2020 alone
Source: Applications company
How to increase app downloads
References in the app and word of mouth
Word of Mouth (WOM) key makes your app easy to share. WOM marketing is one of the oldest forms of marketing and still makes a huge difference in today’s consumer landscape.
An app referral program is basically a tool that makes it easy for your existing customers to share your brand with friends directly from the app experience. As it’s usually built right into the mobile app, it requires minimal effort from your customer to reap the rewards. It rewards those satisfied and loyal customers with credit, promo code or free product in exchange for signing up friends, shopping, etc.
And you don’t have to be in the service industry for in-app referrals to work with your strategy. To see if this strategy will work for you, take a look at your customer journey to see if an incentive like a recommendation would make sense in attracting new customers.
For example, HelloFresh has a referral program called HelloFriends where it gives credit to members when they have friends who sign up using their personal code. This is available both in the app and through their web browser.
App Store Optimization (ASO)
The process of optimizing mobile apps to rank higher in the search results of an app store (i.e. app version of SEO). ASO is the source of the majority of all new application discoveries. To successfully configure your app with ASO, make sure you have a bright and compelling icon, use contextual keywords, include a dominant keyword in the app name, update frequently, and have a healthy dose of recent 5-star ratings. Once you’ve set your ASO strategy, you’ll see app downloads start pouring in.
Marketing of paid mobile applications
Affiliate Marketing: App marketers join an ad network to create featured widgets and snippets that other app or website vendors embed on their platforms, and the app marketer pays to affiliates a small fee for each download.
App installation announcements: There are many paid possibilities for generating application installations. The major social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, etc.) each offer their own version of app installation announcements. You can also sponsor advertisements in the Google Play Store. These ads are a great way to generate downloads and reach a targeted audience. For example, check out the search result for “game” in the Google Play Store. You’ll see a subtle difference between paid advertising and organic search results, but the end-user experience remains the same for the consumer.
Retargeting ads: If you have a referral system built into your app, re-target your customers’ referrals with ads until they convert and become customers.
“You can never go wrong with investing in communities and the people who make them up. ”—Pam Moore, Social and Marketing Consultant
Social media is a proven way to build communities and spread brand recognition, even though it has been around for a while. Social media platforms can be powerful tools that help grab the attention of a new audience and can help you build a successful online community.
Choose your platform wisely. Not all social media channels are right for your app. Your business should choose to devote the most time and effort to the platform that will reach your target audience. For example, LinkedIn is a great platform if you’re looking for business connections, but if you have a fashion-focused app, you might want to switch to Pinterest, TikTok, and Instagram.
In this modern age, no one has time to catch their breath, so how do you expect them to read 300 words on your app? Infographics and short video clips can help here as they are short, simple, and interesting which may work better for potential clients.
It might sound simple, but engaging your community by posting relevant articles and posts that help community members will give you a big boost. Use the 80/20 rule that 80% of your social media content should be your entertaining and informative content, and 20% used for CTAs. In this way, the community remains satisfied and the number of app downloads can continue to increase through this channel.
Additionally, try to involve influencers within your community, as they bring great ideas, better feedback, and an experience that you can use.
“The paradox is that the more information you give, the more people will buy what you have to give.” —Brian Clark, Founder and CEO of Rainmaker Digital
There are many ways to approach content marketing, but to get started, identify your target audience first. The better you understand them and what they’re looking for in your app, the better able you’ll be to create content that brings value to their lives.
If you are starting from scratch, you will need to think globally about the content. But if you already have content assets, see which of the current content has worked best and what is missing from your current offerings. The best way to create content is to involve your team in the process. However, if you don’t have the expertise, outsourcing can be a good option.
Creating an editorial calendar (similar to what you would use for a web experience) that aligns with your marketing plan and goals is also a great place to start. Publishing content and amplifying its reach using social media can do wonders in reaching new customers.
Unlike other marketing techniques, the effects of content marketing last longer. Your content will be visible and will continue to entertain, inspire or educate your customers as long as it remains relevant.
Bottom line: increasing app downloads doesn’t have to be difficult
The app market may be more competitive than ever, but every day we see new apps rise to the top and overtake all others for downloads and usage. This process is not impossible, and with a little hard work and creativity, you also have the chance to skyrocket the number of users of your app.