Have you developed an android app? Believe it or not, that’s the easy part. Getting the app to the end-users is a hurdle that can be too difficult to cross. That’s because there are more than one million apps in the Google Play Store.
A 2013 report compiled by Distimo showed that only 3 percent of the top 250 app publishers in the United States were newcomers. The revenue these new developers took represented an even smaller part of what the Play Store generated — just 1.2 percent. Evidently, app discovery is a big challenge.
Fortunately, reaching the Google Play Store end-users isn’t an unattainable goal. With the right marketing strategy, your app can get the much-needed attention of the masses.
So how do you promote your android app? Here are some valuable marketing tips to help you rank in the Play Store search and rake in those downloads.
Build a Useful App
No matter how much you promote your app, there’s no way people will be interested in it if it’s terrible. For that reason, your first step should be building a high-quality app that will function as advertised. Don’t launch the app before you’ve conducted thorough tests.
Do App Store Optimization
App Store Optimization (ASO) is similar to Search Engine Optimization. According to the experts at the Webs Union when you choose ASO to market, your primary concern should be figuring the keywords that users are looking for in the Play Store and using those keywords to increase the chances of your Android app to rank highly in the searches.
Be sure to follow these steps:
- Do keyword research: There are ASO tools that can give you an inkling of what people are searching for. These include Mobile Action, Google Keyword Planner, Thesaurus, and Google Play’s auto-suggest feature. When choosing the keywords that you want your app to target, make sure you follow the R.D.T. (Relevance, Difficulty, and Traffic) rule. That simply means the keywords should be highly relevant and have low difficulty scores and high traffic scores. Mobile Action and Google Keyword Planner provide details on traffic score, difficulty, and relevance.
- Use keywords in the app’s title: You can improve the ASO ranking of your app by incorporating relevant keywords into its title. However, since Google only permits 30 characters, you may only use two or three keywords in your title. An excellent title format you can consider following is “Main title-Subtitle (XXX XXX—XXXXX XXXX XXXX)” format. With this format, you could use one or two keywords in the main title and other strong keywords in the subtitle. Take care not to spam the subtitle with keywords. You can also increase your app’s visibility by adding symbols to the title, such as ®, ™, and emojis.
- Put keywords in the app description: Google allows your app’s description to have up to 4,000 characters. Take advantage of that by using as many relevant keywords as you can. However, don’t cram the description with keywords in an effort to boost your ASO; that will have a negative impact on user experience. Make sure the description is informative and appealing to people. For best results, it’s advisable to include your target keyword 4-5 times in the description.
Create a Promotional Video
Google Play allows you to have a promo video that showcases how your app is used. Such a video can help you connect with your target market more effectively. Make good use of this option by creating a video that arouses people’s interest in your app. It should be short, visually appealing, and should highlight your app’s important features.
Ask Your Friends for Feedback
Your friends, family, and work colleagues know you personally, so you could easily ask them to do you a favor by downloading your app. Let them use it for a week then get back to you with what they liked about it and what annoyed them. If they liked the app, ask them for a quick review and rating on the app store. The good ratings can help you rank higher in search results.
Get Featured in the Media
From mainstream media such as CNN and BBC to popular android-related websites like the Android Authority and Appbrain, getting any form of media coverage could boost your app downloads significantly. Here are some of the ways you can get press coverage:
- Press releases: While it may not be the first thing that comes to the mind of a new developer, press releases are a great way of getting media coverage. An excellent press release gives journalists instant access to all the key facts about your app and lets your target audience know that your app is on the market. Some of the highest-rated online press release services you can consider submitting your press release to include Business Wire and PRWeb. Press releases are read more frequently on weekdays, so it’s best to target such days.
- Contact journalists and influencers: Connect with the journalists and influencers or bloggers in your niche directly. Get them to write about your Android app and add external links to the app page.
Promote on Social Media
Social media is one of the biggest and most effective forms of marketing. Make sure you tell all your connections on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus about your app. Ask them to re-share your posts on your app with their contacts. The posts should have a link to the app.
Use Mobile Advertisements
Mobile advertising is one of the easier methods of getting users for your app, but it doesn’t come cheap. Google offers ads that target users as they search on their phones and tablets. The Admob service lets you design mobile adverts and set a daily budget to prevent you from spending too much on the ads. The built-in analytics of the service allows you to see the number of taps, ad impressions, and people that have installed your app due to your ad.
If the analytic data shows your advert isn’t producing the desired number of downloads, change it. You can also experiment by running different ads simultaneously to see which ones perform the best and then do away with the others.
Use Your Existing Apps
If you’ve already published other apps in the Google Play Store, consider leveraging them to promote your new app. You can offer them at a promotional price to commemorate the new app launch. Make sure you share the promotion on social media.
Alternatively, you can get your app modified to promote your new app. Upload new versions of the apps with the built-in marketing material. Users will be notified of the available updates by the app store. You can use a greeting message, built-in interstitial, link on the main menu, or other means to promote the new app.
If you’re already using mobile advertisements, you can utilize “in-house ads.” Most platforms won’t charge you for the “in-house ads” and will allow you to advertise your new app in the space you’d normally use to promote other products.
The strategies mentioned above will help position your android app for discovery in Google Play. Remember, these strategies will only yield long-term benefits if you have a compelling app in place.