11 Tips To Get 1 Million Installs For Your App! (#9 Would Blow Your Mind!)
In this post, we are going to talk about how we managed to reach the 1 million mark for Appy Pie’s app. As a new app developer, it is only natural that you are looking for ways to increase the number of your app downloads.
How does a million app-installs sound as the first milestone for your app?
This is a dream for many, and a goal that many app owners set out with. As a new guy on the block, it is only natural that you are overwhelmed and may even be skeptical about setting this goal and worried about achieving it asking yourself:
Can I reach this one-million mark that not so many others have?
Can I as an app developer, app marketers, or app owner do something specific to reach this goal?
Well, let me tell you, “Yes! You can!”
However, you need to be careful to not get carried away with enthusiasm in your efforts of making it big in the world of mobile apps.
I have witnessed many app developers with brilliant apps and deep pockets (for marketing efforts) who ended up spending a whole lot of money on employing a number of marketing tactics that were poorly thought out or implemented.
Result – a steep downfall or failure to even take off!
Here, I have compiled a set of tips that would work and help you reach your one million installs milestone!
Top tips to get 1 million installs for your app
I request yet again that you do not run after every possible tip or trick in the book (or on a blog). This is only going to turn you into a headless chicken with absolutely no sense of direction.
This list of tips are not a fluke, but have actually worked for our app and for quite a few of our clients who have emulated us and have managed to hit the one-million mark!
1. Make Your App Appealing & Choose the Right Platform
Goes without saying that, the competition in the app market is tough! However, the scope is BIG!
There are millions of apps in the market and for this reason, consumers today have high expectations from an app. If your app offers anything less than an exemplary experience, your app users would quickly move on to your competitors who offer what you failed to deliver.
One of the most important aspects that help a customer decide in favor of, or against the mobile app is the user interface of the app.
As the app industry is maturing, the customers too have evolved. This means that they are more demanding and mature while interacting with a mobile app. They do not have the patience, or the time needed to deal with a shoddy looking app.
The first impression of your app is cast even before a target user has installed your app!
This is why you need to put in a lot of thought and planning into it. Whether it is about designing your app icon, deciding which screenshots would attract the most consumers, designing a landing page to offer you credibility, or about creating a video which would awaken their interest in your app.
Once you have paid this aspect of your app its due attention, it is important that you work on developing a strong UI.
A strong UI is characterized by the following two factors:
First, it needs to be equally responsive on all devices, and
Second, it must charm your customers into getting hooked right from the word GO
When you are developing your UI on your own, the smart thing to do is, to acquire appropriate training and practice under credible guidance.
It is possible that you do not have the time and the necessary skills or leanings to acquire all this. In that case, it is only wise that you reach out to industry experts with the needed experience and expertise so that you create an app that meets your requirements and delights the app users.
Before you begin the actual development work on your mobile app, it is of critical importance that you take the decision about going the Android way or choosing iOS.
This is a question I have seen a whole lot of our customers struggle with. If you do not consider all the relevant facts before taking this decision, you are bound to misstep and lose out on critical aspects.
Now, there isn’t a single ‘correct’ answer to this question. The answer in fact, is different for different apps. There are multiple factors that decide which platform is more suited to your mobile app. If you make the mistake of going the iOS route when you have most of your target audience in the Android market, you are never going to reach your milestone – getting a million downloads for your app!
Ideally, it is better to launch your app on both the major platforms to avoid losing out on a massive chunk of prospective app users.
2. Build A High Functioning App Which is Cross Platform & Cross Device
No matter which product or service you are selling, if it is filled with flaws or any malfunction, no customer is likely to tolerate it. This holds true even for your app.
It is your responsibility as the app developer or the app owner to make sure that the app is tested periodically for any bugs or crashes.
One of the most effective and trusted measures to implement is a genuine and strong beta testing. There are many online beta testing platforms today, but the reputed ones include Betalist, Erli Bird, BetaTalks, BetaBound, and some more.
I suggest that you do not cut corners in this aspect whether it is about the investment, resources, or time requirements.
The numbers are important in here, as is the quality of the reviews. If you have only a handful of reviews or if your reviews are of a questionable quality, the results would be thrown off rendering the entire process near futile.
I have said earlier that there are some aspects of app development that deserve to get a portion of the money you have set aside for app development. Developing a cross platform, cross device app is at the top of this list!
Limiting your app to a single platform or only a certain type of devices would limit your exposure and chances with the prospective users. It is important that you design your app that can be used over multiple platforms (iOS & Android at least) and all types of devices (with varying screen sizes and resolutions or configurations)
Yes, it can be quite a complicated process which would need you to invest more than planning for a single platform and limited devices. But trust me, it is totally worth it!
3. Build A Positive Image
Just because your app is bug and crash free, does not mean that your app would get ranked high on the app stores. Your target users may be going through challenges that you might not even have thought of!
Keep an eye on the ratings you are getting on the different app stores or any other platform where you are showcasing your app and your business.
It is your job as an app developer to be aware of every little aspect of your app and all that your customer has to say about it. This would make sure that you have better chance of knowing what is working, and what is not!
Another important point here is – the feedback coming in from the consumers. It is of critical importance to not only address their concerns, but also respond to them in a timely and satisfactory (to the consumer) manner. When the consumer feels heard, they would be inclined to give you a higher rating helping you rank higher, and eventually getting a higher number of installs.
This is something that doesn’t get the attention it deserves, but it is critical to embed it in the core philosophy of the business.
Getting high ratings and positive feedback from the app stores is not a hit and trial method, but it is actually an act that requires detailed planning and a well-formed strategy.
The evolved consumer today would not be interested in an app that doesn’t seem to be paying attention to the experience they have been having while using it.
When you have an engaged audience, you can also implement another effective technique – in-app referrals. If you intelligently design and implement this strategy, you can radically boost up your app downloads.
We, as humans are social beings and place great value in the opinion of our immediate friends and family.
The human tendency to place trust in the opinion of the real users who they know can play a big role here.
In this strategy, you identify an incentive that would appeal to the existing users and offer it in exchange for a referral or a social media share. Dropbox managed to grow exponentially simply because of an awesome in-app referral program. They offered the existing users and the new user coming on board with free storage space.
However, the one industry that may have done this first and the most effectively is the cab industry and have already mastered it even as the others are only just waking up to it.
This is another one of those strategies that you must set time and money aside for.
Due to the expertise and experience requirements for this, it is a good idea to opt for a plug-and-play approach with an agency or proven experts who can do this flawlessly and quickly while customizing things to suit your business needs.
Another way to get some positive points among your users or prospects is by winning approval of authorities or bodies of repute in your field.
This can be done by applying for as many awards as are relevant and the ones that you are eligible for. When you win awards, you get attention of the media and the press, further legitimizing you in the eyes of the prospects. Simply start by searching for “mobile app awards” and start from there. There is a huge number of such awards. You should therefore focus on areas or categories that you are particularly interested in.
4. Generate Media Buzz
When you have a goal as big as getting a million app downloads, it is of absolute importance to employ marketing and promotional efforts in a bid to achieve it.
There are many who doubt the sustenance of involving the media, however if you can manage to get your app reviewed by a reputable media channel or a blog or a website, you stand to gain a whole lot of popularity getting yourself a BIG boost in the number of app install, which is critical in the initial phase.
Some of the bigger blogs or media channels have a followership of millions who trust their opinion, reviews, and any news that they put forth.
If any of these channels give you a positive review, you are sure to receive that spurt which is especially important in the initial stages and can be converted to a whole avalanche of organic downloads. Now, this is only going to work for you if you play your cards right, but most importantly if your app is of any value to the customers you are targeting.
As you plan for the media exposure or attention that your app must get, figure out the platforms that are supported by relevant media channels and are promoted by them. This is definitely going to add a certain credibility to your app.
The bloggers or influencers are one of the fastest emerging media channels that have a huge reach!
Create a list of top bloggers in your industry and reach out to them using their social media handles and encourage them to write about your app.
However, if you really want to up your game, design a complete press kit for your app which includes your app icon, screenshots for your app, a preview video, and a succinct and crisp company profile and all the relevant links.
The idea here is to use the press kit and tell a story about your app, putting it in context of the current events and business environment. To add a touch of personalization, you can refer to or quote previous works of the blogger or the media channel. This press kit should be crisp and should only contain material that is relevant to what you are pitching, must exhibit humility without underestimating or belittling the competition. While approaching a big blogger or media forum, you must give them the advantage of exclusivity and offer them fresh content first!
Let them actually experience what you have on offer for them by offering them access to the beta version or send them a video. You can even offer any additional material that you have to help them review your app.
Any blog owners or key influencers in your line of business who have a sizable following can be a great promotion channel for you. You can approach these entities through email, social media, or any other contact information they offer and present them with a strong reason for collaboration. Ask them to share your app and/or give your app a shout out on their channel.
In addition to this, you can also become a regular on forums like Quora or Reddit, and use them as a platform to share stories and details about your app.
Work continuously to keep your app in the limelight and keep the people’s interest alive in the app. The idea is to create a certain curiosity among the target users and a familiarity to encourage them and download the app to give it a try.
Using platforms like Quora and Reddit, you can engage the audience and keep their interest alive for a long time by organically growing and making the app stay alive in the minds of the consumers.
5. Generate Good Quality Content
In the recent times, we have often heard the expression “Content is King” and it is especially true today.
Most of the businesses including the mobile apps are realizing the value that good quality content can bring to them. This is why adding a microsite to a strong blogger outreach program. When these strategies are combined together helping you create quality content while increasing the word of mouth for your app.
Having quality content at your disposal can help you make use of the blogs, the microsite, third party reviews and more to build a positive buzz to get your app out there while giving it a favorable exposure.
While generating this content, one important thing to remember is that though English may be one of the most widely spoken languages, there still are a number of countries that do not speak the language. This means you are going to lose out on a huge chunk of the audience by offering content only in one language. Localizing your app and offering content in multiple languages, the number of your app installs is bound to go up.
Localizing the content is bound to open up the European and the Asian market and offer you a lucrative consumer base.
6. Leverage Social Media
Everything and everyone has a social media presence today on various channels. It is important that you put your app out there and give it a social life.
Social media brings you a wide scope and a huge range of opportunities to explore and exploit. These different social media channels are bound to give you enough opportunities to share targeted content while building a strong relationship with your consumers and prospects alike. Social media channels let you stay in touch with the users, respond to them timely, and resolve any possible query in a really short time.
The world of social media is ever evolving and dynamic. This is why lending a busy social life to your app can do wonders!
In case, it is relevant you must integrate social media within the app in order to encourage app users to share app content and the app with great ease and speed. The various closed and open groups on Facebook and on LinkedIn are great for developing a strong potential user base and getting relevant focus groups that can increase the number of your app installs.
Instead of creating new groups, you may also join some existing groups which can lend you the opportunity to share and receive relevant content and information for your app while letting you publicize your app while gauging your competition.
While integrating social media in your app is important, you mustn’t forget that it is going to be incomplete if you forget about the in-app share intent as many app owners or marketers do.
As an app developer or owner, it is really important to have a control on this feature and appeal to the users by giving them only those options that make the most sense to them, or the ones that they prefer to use.
If you stuff too many options in there, you might overwhelm them. They might or might not work for you, but chances are that the app users would refrain from sharing your content if presented with too many irrelevant options.
7. Offer Well-Timed Discounts, Deals, & Contests
When you have an app that has a revenue model embedded in it, you can make it worth the while of your app users by offering them a variety of discounts and deals according to the timing or the life stage of the app e.g. an early bird offer, or a holiday discount!
Any kind of sale or discount you put up is bound to grab the attention of your prospective consumers if they are considering buying your app (especially).
It is only human to be interested in a contest, because typically we are competitive in nature and any possibility of an award or recognition for anything we do, is bound to pique our interest. Running contests is a proven strategy which is being used by the app marketing world for a pretty long time.
What you can do is, encourage your app users or prospects to participate in sharing your content, tweeting it, or pinning it on the popular social media channels. This can help you spread the word about your app while offering a reward for participation and winning the contest!
Even as you are promoting your app and exposing it to as huge an audience as possible, remember that the bloggers and your real users all lead a busy life and repetitive intrusions may not be appreciated. Do your groundwork and determine who you should reach out to, before you go cantering into their emails, social media accounts, or start cold calling (who does that anymore though!).
8. Get Your ASO Game Right
This is one of the points that we simply can’t attach enough importance to! A well-design App Store Optimization strategy can be the difference between you achieving your goals for the app and failing to get there.
The most popular way to find an app is by searching for it on the app store. This is why optimization to ensure that the app shows up in the app store search is of great importance.
A strong App Store Optimization strategy includes choosing the right App Name, extensive keyword research, writing a good app description, getting high ratings and positive reviews, resolution of customer issues, responding to negative feedback on the app store, among other such actions.
Pay attention to, and design an intelligent ASO strategy, to get higher downloads.
9. Offer Your Apps For Free to Earn Great Revenue
Even if your primary goal of building an app is to make money with it, you must at least once consider giving it up for free. The final decision though depends largely on the platform that you choose to release your app on.
It is a fact that the free apps get higher downloads even as compared to the ones that are minimally priced.
However, when we say that you should think about offering your app for free, we do not mean that your app would be a charity project for you! You have invested time, money, & other resources in building your app, which means that you must earn some money from it.
When you begin offering your app for free, you are going to notice a considerable spike in the number of downloads immediately. Once some time has passed, the rate of downloads is going to slow down before flat-lining eventually.
Now, once people have downloaded your app for free and have started using it, after some time they are going to start looking for more. At this time, offer some advanced features or services within the app against an in-app purchase.
Doing this would not only bring in a hefty revenue from your app (which is the intent after all), but also yet again give you a big spike in the number of app downloads in response to the promise of something more!
10. Deliver Talks & Promote Your App on Multiple Forums
Position yourself as a person or entity of great authority in the industry that your app belongs to while promoting your app.
Deliver talks, share your knowledge and experience on every possible forum, whether it is a blog, a social media platform or a traditional media channel. Build yourself up, first as an app developer and then as a key influencer in the relevant field. You have been spending a whole lot of time, money, and other resources in developing an app that you are proud of.
In spite of you putting all that effort in building this app, if people do not know of its existence then there is no point of all that hard work you put in!
It is important to promote your app on a variety of forums with a great range of marketing materials like well-designed Pinterest boards, engaging app previews, app story, ‘How To’ videos or any other kind of videos, or even creating your very own YouTube channels.
All this promotional material can be sent periodically to bloggers and key influencers for reviews and updates to be featured in their future posts.
Find opportunities on different websites, your users, your immediate circle, and their circle, localize your app for reviewers in other languages (if it makes sense for you) and go BIG on letting people know that your app is out there, and that it can make a difference in their lives.
Define your USPs and highlight what sets you apart from the rest – this is your edge (promote it).
11. Mobile App Burst Campaigns
This essentially involves providing aggressive exposure to your app in a short time with the major intent of expanding the audience.
The burst campaigns are almost too good to be true!
Here, you would aggressively buy a huge amount of paid media exposure for your app over a short period of time, typically between 24 to 72 hours according to the budget you’ve set aside. Generally, this ‘burst’ results in a massive number of paid installs. The initial paid installs might be questionable, but as your app ranking improves and the app becomes discoverable organically, the subsequent downloads improve in volume and quality.
I have to confess that Burst campaigns aren’t really new but have evolved to match the change in the mobile apps ecosystem. The market today has become really competitive, and the ranking algorithms change intermittently, which has resulted in a change in the nature of the burst campaigns as well.
The best way to implement a strong mobile app burst campaign is to purchase a huge chunk of contextual and available media inventory which, during the campaign would be at a larger volume and higher frequency than any app in competition. During the campaign, the quality of downloads isn’t of that big a significance, it is the numbers that matter (at the time).
We have put together a list of resources for anyone who wants to get themselves out there and get one million installs!
While there are many quick hacks and tips available for a new app developer, leave it to the masters and educators to help you understand and build up your app in legitimate, interesting ways. Reaching the coveted 1-million mark is the holy grail of app developers and while it is a daunting number, it is not entirely unrealistic. There is a need for guidance, choosing the right tools and maintaining patience and you might not be far behind the 1-million mark!