How to Market Your App: Five Ways to Be Successful in the Mobile Marketplace

How to market your app? As business owners, it’s our job to get the angle on all new marketing strategies. Mobile apps aren’t only handy–they’re a perfect way to spread the word about your business. Apps have been shown to increase customer loyalty overall, in both new and regular clients. It’s exactly why many businesses are trying their hand at app development.

But here’s the tricky part: apps don’t market themselves. Just as you need an app to market your business, you need strategies to market your app. It’s not going to market itself, after all. You’ll need to learn how to market your app successfully in order for it to be any use to your business.

Learning how to market your app is an art, not a science; there’s no bona fide “right way” to do it. But there are some strategies that have been shown to work well for most people. I’ve got the best ways to help you spread the word about your new app, right here on this list. Whether it’s word of mouth marketing or online marketing strategies, I’ve got them covered.

You’ll need to treat your app launch much like you would any product launch; you’ll need a lot of hype and eyes to make it a success. There are millions of apps in both the Android and iPhone/iPad stores. How will you get yours noticed?

App creation and marketing can’t be covered entirely in a single article. If you’d like to learn more about how to improve your mobile app strategy and how to market your app, check out my recent podcast interview with Steve Young.

How to Market Your App

Step #1 of How to Market Your App: Research Your Market

In order to succeed, you’ll need to know why others apps have succeeded. Just like any product launch, knowing your competition is a big part of how to market your app. This will ensure you avoid any pre-launch pitfalls that other app creators fell straight into.

The first step is just heading out into the mobile app store and taking a look at what’s hot. What’s working? What’s not? What are customers saying in the reviews? Make sure to include researching apps that are similar to what your app will be. Check out what categories they’re tagged under, and see if it’s working for them.

A big part of how to market your app is paying close attention to the reviews from competitors. Likely, the creators of the apps are either not paying attention to those reviews, or simply aren’t responding fast enough. If you can launch your app while ensuring you don’t make the same mistakes as competitors, you’ll be a step ahead of them.

Be sure to jot down your findings so you can access them at a later date. It would be useless for you to gather up all this info, and then forget about it come time for release. Keep careful notes. Include quotes from customers. Include personal notes on what works and what doesn’t for the apps you’ve seen. This is the crucial first step to app success.

Step #2 of How to Market Your App: Spread the Word

Spreading the word about your app release is important at just about every stage. Pre-launch and post-launch marketing strategies should include devoted word-spreading. Learning how to market your app goes hand-in-hand with learning the best personal strategies of getting word of your app out among the people.

Having a business definitely, helps when learning how to market your app. It isn’t required, of course, but if there’s already legitimacy to your brand name, your app will be more trusted. It will also help you develop strategies to spread the word. You likely already have some great strategies in place if you’re a business owner, and can borrow from them.

If you have an email-based newsletter, feature your new app in it. Have a website? Make sure to put some big, bold ads featuring the release of your app. Wherever you can, announce your app. People can’t use it if they don’t know about it!

There’s a growing trend of hiring on or recruiting an “influencer” to promote your app. These people likely already have some hefty communication channels they can harness as advertisements. Maybe they already have a popular blog or YouTube channel where they can show off the features of your app. If you can get a hold of one of these people, absolutely give them a shot.

However you choose to spread the word about your app, do what works for you. Certain methods will work better for you and your app than others will. This is totally okay. Not everything will work for everyone. Heck, certain methods may work great for you that don’t commonly work well for others. Experiment and see what comes of it!

Step #3 of How to Market Your App: Harness Social Media

While this technically could have fallen under the last section of how to market your app, it’s important enough that it deserves it’s own. The next step in learning how to market your app is to integrate social media into your marketing strategy.

With apps, social media is especially important. After all, the two go together effortlessly. You can easily share links that head straight to your app page. There are two main aspects to social media marketing: organic marketing and ad-based marketing.

Organic marketing refers to more traditional social media marketing methods. Start up a page for your app on Twitter, Facebook, and any other social media platform you can find. Start asking friends and family to follow the page. The idea is that, slowly, people will organically show up to your page when they discover your app.

Ad-based marketing is used by harnessing things like Facebook ads to garner attention. Invest in some Facebook ads, and you’ll be on your way to more traffic for your app.

In order to succeed on social media, you’ll want to incorporate both methods of marketing. Before taking out an ad, make sure that you already have social media pages prepped and primed. You’ll want to make sure to have as many landing pages for potential customers as possible.

Step #4 of How to Market Your App: Dedicate Yourself to Content

If needed, recruit an app marketing consultant, like Steve Young, my recent guest on the Traffic and Leads podcast. He helps ensure that app creators have everything they need to help their app marketing campaigns succeed.

Steve had some particular advice to give on my show about how to market your app successfully. His most solid tip was that app content creators need to be sure they have solid material prior to launch. Launch on an unsteady platform, and you’re sure to fail.

Steve says that app makers need to find out what it is that their intended consumer market wants and how to best give it to them. Sound familiar? If you’re a business owner, you’ll recognize this advice. It’s the same way you succeed at any business venture: make sure to give the people what they want.

The important step in launching your app is to ensure the quality of the content prior to release. After that, you need to dedicate yourself to patching the mistakes. Don’t worry–all apps will have gaffs in them, technical and otherwise. Everything from layout to text formatting can cause issues for you. Keep abreast of what the comments have to say, and respond in a timely fashion. If you dedicate yourself to the content of your app, consumers will dedicate themselves to it, too.

Step #5 of How to Market Your App: Keep at It

The last word of advice is something I often give to people who are looking for advice on how to market. A big, unspoken part of how to market your app is to stick with it.

You may think I’m patronizing you, especially since I say this a lot, but you’d be astounded at how many people I’ve seen give up. I’ve seen skilled experts with fantastic ideas bail on their projects. There’s a reason why only half of the people with business ideas ever execute them. Business is hard. It’s sometimes monotonous, frequently repetitive, and often takes a long time to show results.

On the flip side, don’t get cold feet, either. If you think you’re not sure where to go or what to do on the next step of a project, don’t back out. Take your time, relax, and think it through. But don’t… DON’T… bail on it altogether or never start at all.

If you want to learn how to market your app, my best advice to you is to not lose heart. Keep going when the going gets rough. When your results are less than stellar, take a step back and look at it from a third person perspective. Stick to your guns and don’t give up, and I promise you’ll be able to succeed.