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Creating an app is only half the battle because it doesn’t matter how excellent your vision is if nobody downloads it, or even knows it’s there.  Nothing is more disheartening than putting all that time and effort into your work only to not see it bear fruit, so it’s important to know how to get the word out.

Marketing anything can be a time-consuming and frustrating task, so let’s look at some of the most tried-and-true methods of marketing your app and driving downloads.

Get in Touch

Don’t wait for your app to hit the market before you start marketing it. Before your team starts designing your next great app, start talking to customers. Tell them about the app, how it will benefit them, and why it’s going to be just right for them. Incentivize it for them to make it worth their time–offer them a discount for taking the time to discuss it with you.

After you’ve chatted with them, take a few minutes to discuss their preferences–find out what they’re looking for in an app. this can help you manage expectations and get an idea of what people’s real needs and wants are. Keeping the customer engaged throughout every step of the process is critical for your business.

Retain your customers by letting them know about your app’s idea and ask them what they would really like to see in it. How can you make the app more savvy and beneficial for them? Remember, your customer has their own audience and if you’re able to convince them, you’ll be hitting all the right notes to bolster your success and staying power.

Leverage Facebook advertising to reach your ideal target audience.

One of the most effective ways of marketing anything these days, app or otherwise, is Facebook marketing.  First, the obvious: they have a HUGE, global user base with a broader reach than almost any other form of advertising.  Beyond that, the demographic information they collect allows you to target a particular audience, filtering by anything from age, sex, and location to interests and occupation.  Plus, it’s cheap as dirt, as you can reach thousands of people for as little as five dollars.

Use Promoted Tweets

Promoted tweets are an excellent way to drive downloads when set up correctly. All it takes is a small budget for you to test out various keywords and phrases to see what delivers the best results.

Design the app to accommodate viral marketing.

Have you ever seen Facebook or other social updates from friends about their accomplishments in a game or new content they created in an app?  More often than not, that’s because the apps they’re using have a built-in social sharing function to automate those posts. Others have an “invite your friends” function that accomplishes pretty much the same thing.  Save your advertising dollars by letting people already using your app do the marketing for you!

Gain reviews in the App Store/Google Play.

Reviews carry a lot of weight in the algorithms used in each platform’s respective app repositories, and if you’re in a competitive field, a lack of reviews can put your app so far down the list that nobody’s ever going to see it.  Depending on ToS rules, one of the ways you might accomplish this is offering some kind of reward for a review (as long as you don’t request a specific rating, this is usually fine).

Get involved in the community on Reddit, Quora, or other similar sites.

Rather than spending money advertising, you can personally advocate for your app by becoming a respected member in relevant online communities.  Don’t just go on there looking to spam, because that’s a quick way to get banned, but by making meaningful, helpful contributions and dropping mentions of your app here and there, and having a link in your profile, your reputation can help drive people to your app organically.

Use guest posting to take advantage of other peoples’ audiences.

If you’re not already a well-known name in your niche, try finding someone who is, and offer to contribute content to them in exchange for visibility.  It’s not a guarantee of success, but the fact that they already have an established audience that you lack can make a huge difference regarding getting eyes on your app.

Don’t forget retargeting

When of the beautiful things about having an app microsite is that you can use retargeting to run ads (on Facebook, Google, or any websites supporting Google Ads) to people who have already visited your app microsite but not yet downloaded it. These ads typically convert very well – as you’re only advertising to those who already know about your app.

Conclusion

Given what a commitment IOS and Android app development is, it’d be nice if the apps you create could market themselves.  Unfortunately, they don’t, but by following the tips laid out above, you will be well on your way to a successful marketing campaign that will drive the downloads you seek.

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