Over the years, the app market has become more competitive; thus, businesses find it challenging to discover the app marketing ways in the sea of competition.
Written by Mohit Maheswar
In this cut-throat competition, it is hard to stand out and come on top. But you can still win the battle by having a robust app-launch strategy.
Having a strong app launch strategy helps you in a successful app launch and provides a fruitful position in the mobile app marketplace.
Understanding The Concept of App Launch
Most people get confused between app launch and app submission. Let’s clear this doubt first!
Launching an app isn’t submitting your app to the App Store or Play Store to get listed. Rather, it means giving a start to your app and making sure it serves the purpose it has been built for.
If you’re thinking submitting an app to get listed is the only thing you need to do, and people would eventually download, you’ve got it all wrong.
Even large enterprises and startups alike struggle to get traction in the crowded mobile app market. The bitter truth is that thousands of apps collapse under the competition.
The below image presents the number of apps available on different app stores:
If you want your app to perform and reach the goal you’ve set, your app-launch strategy is the key
Steps Involved In A Successful App Launch Strategy
Take a glimpse to understand the importance of each one in an app launch journey.
Identify your target audience
The app launch strategy is somehow similar to the marketing strategy. With that said, the first thing of any go-to-market strategy is to lock in a compelling positioning statement.
To do it effectively, you need to check –
- Whom is your app intended for?
- What are the benefits your target audience will derive from your app?
- Why is your mobile app best suited for your users than your competitors to deliver this value?
You can also get an idea of your users’ behaviour based on the below factors:
If you can answer these questions, it will help you with the rest of your app marketing. This also works best if you want a consistent brand image, as all of your marketing activities will be communicated and reinforced with this one statement.
Build an online presence
It’s a well-known fact that being on social media platforms is important, but did you also know that having a website is important too?
A website is for people to make them understand you’re someone legit. It also helps your business gain an online presence.
Your strategy can iterate by –
- Setting up landing pages, complete with your app’s name and description, and a form for visitors to sign up for email alerts on your app’s progress. You can set your own landing pages by using open-source tools like Instapage or Wix.
- Once your landing page is live, you can start collecting leads by offering a preview of your app press and early adopters. You can integrate it with analytics or an A/B testing tool to test variations of your messaging strategy.
- If you’re ready to integrate analytics, Instapage is readily equipped for A/B testing, and Wix has several plug-ins that can help you do the trick. There are many third-party tools available, like Optimizely and Google Analytics, that can also be integrated with most of your web pages for better and optimized results.
Coming back to social media, it’s the best possible way you could expand your presence online. You need to identify the social networks most popular with your target audience.
If your targeting criteria are age-specific, you need to market the most popular networks with your ideal age bracket.
Once you know where your target audience is moving, register your accounts and start posting or sharing content related to your soon–to–be launched app to build a significant social media following.
Create content for your Social media
You need to be on social media to let people know what your app is all about, and there is nothing better than a video that explains it.
A one-minute or less app promo video can take your marketing to the next level by bringing your messaging to life. You could either share them through your social media posts, landing pages, and even your app store page to boost conversion by up to 80%.
Koala is a mattress company from Australia that used this strategy to the best. The video they shared got more than half a million views in each share on some popular pages. This also created a popular demand for them worldwide, even when their strategy was to sell only in Australia.
An ideal video promo is somewhere between 30 seconds to 2 minutes, but you can take 3 minutes if needed. The video should clearly state the benefits and show your app’s worth in-action or a mockup of your future app.
You can also go with animated app video promotion. It requires shooting with a model or someone from your team that ultimately will incur much time and cost.
But you need to put in the best of what your app could do. Also, make sure that you don’t exaggerate and disappoint your users. Try to project the best and deliver the same.
Participating and engaging with your followers on social media is the best hack you can add to your app launch kit. Try to answer their questions as witty replies to the comments always attract more people to your page, which means more people would know about your app.
Research app submission guidelines
Suppose you’re about to launch your app, notified your entire press and sign-up lists and then suddenly the process is being interrupted by the app store rejection.
Ensure a smooth mobile app launch by thoroughly reading the standard submission guidelines for whichever app store you plan to submit your app to.
To make your job a little easier, you can go through the given list of resources to the submission process respective to the three most popular app stores.
- Apple App Store Review Guidelines
- Common Reasons for Apple App Store Rejections
- Understanding the Google Play Publishing Process
- Amazon Appstore Submission Guidelines
Checking these guidelines can give you ample knowledge about how and when to submit your app to the corresponding platform.
Define success metrics for your app
What is going to make your app successful?
- Is it a certain number of downloads?
- Is it the ratings?
- Is it all about gaining an average number of users in a certain period?
- Or is it generating revenue?
Whatever it is, you need to spend some time creating a framework for measuring success for your app. You need to understand which metrics matter to you the most. You can then measure the metrics for your app success.
Everything is a metric from monetization to loyalty; you need to set a goal and work on it.
Feedbacks are Important
Feedback always plays a significant role in making a product better and more customer-oriented. Considering your user’s feedback genuine and responding to them professionally can help you increase the chances of your app downloads.
Sure there are negative comments, but you need to focus on the users who ask reasonably, and it’s something you could implement to improve your app. You have to open a channel of communication between you and your beta testers.
This channel allows you to relay any bugs they experience and communicate whatever questions, suggestions, and comments they have for your app.
The more communication and data you manage to bring in with your chosen feedback loop, the better your app performs at the time of the final launch.
So you need to proactively promote customer communication and make it as easy as possible for customers to use your feedback tools.
The Beta version is always the best way to go
When you have feedback in place, it’s now time to launch your better, near-final version of your app available only to a selected group of testers.
The purpose of a beta test is to improve the last-minute issues in the weeks leading up to its anticipated launch.
For most of the apps, the beta is the first time individuals app test, or you can say the first opportunity for real-world market validation.
You can use this opportunity to crowdsource quality assurance and ensure a relatively bug-free experience once you release your app.
Both the leading platforms Apple and Google, highly encourage beta tests and have made them easy to conduct with step-by-step guidelines for the entire process. You can refer to them by clicking here on Google and Apple.
Create a press kit
To increase your chances of being the most talked-about app, make it as easy as possible for bloggers and journalists to cover your app.
Ensure that the entire information about your app in a single source so anyone who wants to cover your mobile app doesn’t have to search the web to find relevant information. Todo this, you have to compile all of your information assets into one online directory. This directory can be a press kit and should contain the following:
- Your app’s logo, icon, screenshots, and promo video
- The app store product page description or boilerplate description
- Links to your public marketing site and social media accounts
- Links to recent press releases or coverage
- Press contact information
Once you have this press kit, your influencers can quickly scan over your assets and decide whether or not it’s something they want to cover. If there is something specific they want to write on, everything should be under one link to make their job easier.
Make your pitch
By this point, you’ve identified your influencers and, ideally, made initial conversation over a friendly email. It’s time to reuse the previous conversation and invite users to figure out and check your app.
Send a personalized email to everyone on your press list with your’ pitch,’ a short message containing:
- 1-2 sentences about who you are, how you found your influencer, and why you thought they might find your app interesting based on other pieces they’ve written
- Introduce 2-3 sentences to describe your app. The information should distill key information, including the recipient’s interests and past stories, concisely.
- There should be links redirected to your website, app store product pages(s) and press kit.
- Throw an offer to provide users with your app’s beta access, including in-depth information about the launched app
- Create a persuasive call-to-action, explaining the core objective of your app launch. You can create it with a strong caption like – “We’re launching our app and would love to be covered in your website [recipient’s site].
The whole thing should be described in not more than two or three paragraphs. A skimmable format would be a plus to make it effective for end-users.
Work on your app’s messaging and product page description
When you have a healthy collection of feedback from your landing pages, you should go for online discussions and beta tests. Use these insights to make necessary tweaks to your app’s messaging and ensure that your language resonates with your audience.
According to the study conducted by TUNE, more than half of apps are discovered using app store search results. To make sure that your mobile app ranks for the best search results, you need to think from your audience’s perspective. To get this done, you need to figure out the terms they usually insert to describe your app. Also, you need to make sure that your messaging reflects the right message.
Monitor reviews, feedback streams, and social signals to analyze the level of customer satisfaction
To get the desired results to post app launch results, you should use the appropriate feedback tools. Using such channels helps open communication and provides the customers with a platform to share suggestions for the launched app, report crashes and bugs, and seek customer feedback to get better app engagement.
Early customer feedback is again a great sign of customer satisfaction. Customers typically decide within the first 30 seconds that whether or not they want to continue to use an app. So, it is essential to perfect your hook early on—or identify the changes you have to make your app more compelling.
Engage your potential app users with proactive interaction
The weeks surrounding the launch are a golden time for customer acquisition. Your early fans who have been eagerly waiting for the app launch, and those hearing about your app for the first time, the downloads might be bound sometimes.
It is even more important to recognize that acquisition is just one side of the coin. Your app needs customer retention to grow better in the market. Right from the first impression, your customers should have a positive outlook and experience with your app.
And the best way to give your customers a positive experience is – Communication.
You can reach them out, engage with them, and make them feel satisfied and valued. You should know that interacting proactively with potential users can increase 3-month customer retention, which is much as 400%.
Evaluate your app’s performance dashboard to figure out how your key metrics reflect the changes
In the end, you have to keep a close eye on all of your previously done and identified metrics.
At this point, you’ve accumulated massive data about your app users and customers than you had at the time of launch. By getting an in-depth idea of their needs and preferences, you can consistently innovate your mobile app to engage, retain, and monetize across the market.
Further, it is recommended to check a few factors with your customers at each stage of development:
- Whenever you launch a new feature, you can run surveys or engage users on a one-on-one basis to gain reliability and validation.
- When developing a feature, roll it out to a selected group of beta testers to collect real-world data on customer satisfaction before making it an official part of your app.
- When launching a feature, you need to monitor ratings, reviews, app updates, and retention to see how well your update met expectations—and how you can improve upon that update.
The best part of mobile app marketing is testability. Whether it’s an in-app message, App Store metadata, or a price point, you have all the data you need at your fingertips to improve the user experience. Move forward and continually iterate these steps to strengthen your app launch and marketing strategy.
It is considered that mobile app launch and mobile app marketing is a single-point process, but in reality, it is a long series of various big moments. The mobile app launch is a fixed point and a continuous process that iterates upon your app to meet all stakeholders’ needs.
By following these steps, you’re off to running a better start. Till now, you’ve done a great job by putting in a lot of effort, but your work is still far from being accomplished. Continue to engage your customers, collect data, test, and innovate, and you’ll be able to build on the momentum you’ve generated thus far for your mobile app.
Mohit Maheshwari is Chief Strategist at NMG Technologies, a full service IT Company offering Website and development services. He has been in the industry since 2000 and focuses on long-term strategies, intuitive user experience and successful customer acquisition. Follow Mohit on Twitter and LinkedIn