How to Ensure Your App Gets Noticed – 5 Marketing Tips for Developers

marketing tips

Perhaps you put the downtime of the Great Pandemic of 2020 to good use by coming up with an awesome app – or at least an awesome idea for one. Congratulations! The good news is that if your idea is actually great, you stand to become rich and famous… or if that’s not the goal, your app could end up making the world a better place. The bad news is that there are literally millions of people exactly in your shoes, or who are about to put on those shoes. The app market is as crowded as a pre-plague wet market in Wuhan. There are millions of ‘applications’ out there and dozens, hundreds, nay… thousands, jockey for position each day as they enter the race to be noticed.

Charles Darwin once said, “It is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives, but the species that survives is the one that is able to adapt to and to adjust best to the changing environment in which it finds itself.” –It’s a very Darwinian sentiment but Charles Darwin never said it. It’s all over the internet as a “Famous Person Quote,” but it appears to actually have come from a 1963 speech by Leon C. Megginson, a Louisiana State University business professor. Hey! Maybe someone should make an app that checks if quotations are real! Despite who may or may not have said it, the quote contains truth. Not only does your app need to be smart, and strong, but it also needs to be able to adapt to changing markets, changing tastes, and evolving app store rules. In short, high-quality mobile app marketing is the only way you’re gonna survive and thrive in the jungles of the app world.

There are way too many examples of flops that could have succeeded – if they’d gotten the marketing right. Perhaps you’re old enough to remember Rdio. Back in 2010, Rdio was ahead of the pack, offering one of the very first music streaming services. For US$5 a month, you had access to seven million songs. Nice. Until Spotify launched a year later – with 30 million songs for free, as long as you were ok with advertising. If not, they had a pay model. Rdio’s fatal flaw was the inability to adapt. Spotify had the better idea, but Rdio might still be alive if their team had come up with a similar option – fast. Plus, Rdio’s marketing was – compared to the competition – pretty awful. Too many companies think they can do it on their own, but getting things such as app store optimization (ASO) and mobile app SEO right in 2021 is a job for dedicated professionals. Have you done proper market research? Do you have a clear message that punches through the noise of the web – and your competitors?

The first tip, therefore, is: don’t try to do it alone; hire professional app marketers. The right company can develop a bespoke marketing plan that vastly increases your chances of success. The second tip is to mind your language – or in app-speak: “think keywords.” Finding the right keywords is among the most important things you need to get right – some estimates say keywords are responsible for 30 percent of all installs! Again, this is why you need professional help. Let’s say your app is a music player. A pro will know that “online music player” is a better combo of keywords than just “music player,” even though, duh… of course, it’s ‘online.’ Mobile app marketing companies spend their days playing with words, and charting trends, and doing all those slow, boring calculations that equal getting noticed.

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Tip three: Have a clear message and a clear brand. Ever notice that Facebook’s logo is blue? Well, guess what? So is the United Nations flag. Blue is also the color of over 40 mega-corporations. Why? Blue is rated globally as “friendly” and is more often than not listed at the top of a person’s favorite colors. It’s the color of the sky and the sea. As David Bowie really did sing, “planet earth is blue and there’s nothing I can do.” A pro-team can show you why a logo should be a certain color, use a certain font, or whether you should change the app’s name. If people don’t get a clear message from your brand, they’ll go elsewhere.

Related read: The Psychology of Color in Logo Design [Infographics]

Tip four: Don’t “go with your gut.” ASO and app marketing are much closer to science than magic. Everything needs to be measured so you have a “baseline” to base decisions on. Sure, that line may need to be tweaked, but you can’t tweak a plan that lacks genuine data.  Finally, number five: don’t forget about ‘old-school’ marketing. Got an app for stress reduction? Set up a website, blog, social media sites, and maybe a newsletter that are about stress reduction… Each of these is a platform from which to promote your app. A final, final: We can’t stress enough how important it is to have a professional team on your side. You might be a genius or have a genius idea, but if the implementation is “off,” all the brain cells or ideas in the world won’t save you. Find the right team and break a leg!

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