How to Promote Paid Mobile Apps?

App Builder Appy Pie, March 14, 2018: A big conundrum that every app builder or developer faces today is whether keep the app free or make it a paid one. Both sides of the coin have their advantages and disadvantages, so taking this decision might become a bit of a challenge for most of us.

If, however, you do decide to attach a price tag to your app, you are definitely going to have to make the app appear more appealing than the free ones. You would have to give your users a reason to pay for your app, when there are so many free apps in the market. There are customers who would be more interested in an app that charges upfront than download a free app that charges for certain elements.

The question however is, that after you have launched your paid app, what is it that you can do, to promote your app and make it visible to the right audience. It is only what they see, that they would want to download. Promoting an app gains more importance when it is a paid app.

You must have decided to charge people for the app, because it offers value to the customer, whether it is online booking of tickets, a management tool, updates on weather & news, or even a quality photo editor. Your strategy for promoting the app needs to be built around the core features and the value that the app is going to offer to the users. If there are other apps that offer the same features and value, to the user, it is imperative that you find a string differentiating factor and try and gain a competitive advantage right at the start. You need to sell your app on the basis of the unique features that set your app apart. Now that you have figured this defining feature out, you can refer to this list of ways in which you can promote your paid mobile app.

1) App Store Optimization or ASO

App Store Optimization or ASO involves employing a set of techniques, strategies, and tools in order to improve the visibility of your app on the app store. With millions of apps on both the platforms and thousands more being launched every week, it is a challenge to gain visibility among the target users. The sheer number of apps on both the platforms make it difficult for the intended user to find your app and download it. a well employed ASO can help you achieve a higher ranking in the app store search results and top charts ranking. ASO, App Store SEO, App Search Optimization, App Store Optimization, Mobile App SEO, all mean the same and work on principles quite similar to web SEO. It employs on page & off page techniques to improve the app’s app store ranking. It is a known fact that when your app ranks higher on the app store, it has a higher visibility, hence the chances of it getting downloaded and used are higher too!

As you launch an app, make sure that you have an awesome app store page to back it up! Unless you have an app store page that is designed to impress, you can’t really employ any other marketing technique. Once you have put an app store page in place, you can employ A/B testing and find out if the creatives you have designed are matching the expectations of users. Everything from your app icon, to the app title, to your app screenshots, to the description of your app, and especially the keywords determine the reach and ranking your app is going to be able to garner.

2) Leverage Social Media for Marketing

This is the age of social media. In this age, social media has become an exemplary medium of promotion and marketing for everything, including your app. Social media is one of the best and most effective ways to connect with the users today and that is what makes social media marketing so popular today. When you harness these huge networks, you make it possible for your app to become visible to your target audience on a large-scale basis. While choosing the social media channel that you want to use to market your app, make sure that you know which social media has the highest members from your target user group.

3) Paid Advertising

This is one of the most direct ways of promoting any product. However, since it involves a good amount of investment, you must weight it out before going ahead. You are definitely going to earn from each download but consider what kind of money you need to invest to get the desired visibility.

Paid ads are extremely efficient when it comes to bringing your app in front of your customers and there are quite a few options for the same including but not limited to the following.

  • CPI Ad Platform is unique in the fact that makes it possible for you to move beyond a strategy that only focuses on the number of clicks and instead pays attention on getting more people to install your app.
  • Facebook Ads have gained popularity and for good reasons too! It definitely offers you a huge audience, but it also helps you target the ads in a way that can help you reach the maximum number of relevant audiences.
  • Cross-Promotion Networks can be employed as one of the most effective measures to promote game apps. This essentially involves using one app to promote the other.
  • Promoted Tweets are especially useful when a good chunk of your targeted user base is active on Twitter.
  • Google Universal App Campaigns is another great tool for promoting your app. This campaign is based on machine learning technology.
  • App Store Search Ads are extremely effective as 60% of the downloads for both Apple & Google come from app store searches.

4) Make Good Use of Backlinking

When you are trying to improve the ranking of your app, it is equally important to encourage people to visit your app store page and the landing page. Backlinking is a great technique to help you increase the popularity of your app. To make backlinking work for you provide useful content on related websites, forums, and blogs.

While building backlinks is relatively a simple task but building backlinks of a good quality is quite complicated. It is a good idea to stress on the quality of the websites or apps that you build backlinks with. Stress on the relevance of the backlink by building them in relevant topics to your app. However, do not get excited or lured in by link farms, automatically generated links, and links from websites that might not incite much confidence.

5) Consider Going Free or Freemium as A Limited Period Offer

The value of your app is best decided by you. If you have decided to charge people for downloading your app, you must establish this value to them. However, if yours is a newly launched app, users might still be skeptical about paying upfront before understanding what the app is all about and the kind of value it is going to bring to their lives. You can only reach the top of your app category if you can convince enough people to install your app and gather a big number of downloads. So, what do you do then? How do you make them install your app? What you can do here is, offer your app for free or make your app free with in-app purchases. This model has a number of advantages for you and the user as well. The user gets to try your app for free and gets a clear indication of what the app brings to them, this helps them experience the apps first hand and not rely on your description and version only. You, as a developer gain quite a bit as well because now you reach a higher number of downloads convincing those users who might have been skeptical about spending money on an app they are not sure about! However, if you plan to do this for a limited period, it is important that you indicate it clearly. To leave the users confused, or to surprise them later is not exactly a great way to build a reputation.

6) Build A Strong PR Network

Like most other businesses and entrepreneurial ventures, one of the most important things to bank on is a sound network. The efficiency and effect of every other technique that you may apply for the promotion of your app depends on the strength of the relationships that you might have forged with influencers and important people in the field of your choosing. You must start this practice early on and begin by attending as many events as possible. Any relevant event that you choose to attend is going to present you with countless opportunities to establish network connections and talk to people about your app. You as an app developer have the potential to become the best promoter of your app.

7) Create an Appealing Landing Page

Your app may have an awesome app store page, but that doesn’t undermine the importance of a well-designed webpage for your app. A website that is designed well, optimized, and has enough information will attract a great number of visitors and will let them find all the details about your app in one convenient format. It is imperative that you build at least a landing page for your app on your website, if not more. When your visitors get to read so much more and understand your app better and the brand through your website and app landing page, they are more likely to favor the decision of clicking on the install link. The landing page should have visually pleasing images that does digital storytelling for your brand and your app as well.

8) Word of Mouth Works

We, as social beings tend to rely quite heavily on the opinion of others, be it our friends, family, or someone else that you trust. It is only natural, therefore that you’d want the users to talk about your app. This is the age of influencers, especially social influencers who can be used to spread a word about your app among their followers. However, browse through all kinds of influencers and pick the one who would expose your app and content to the target user group that suits you well! You can also opt for Guerilla Marketing; however, it does not work for all app categories.

9) Incentivize App Referrals

The intent behind any promotion is that you would want to bring more and more visitors to your app so that they can see your app, download it, use it, and then share it among their circle of friends and family. However, this happens at quite a slow pace organically and might need a little bit of a nudge from your end. You can do this by offering your loyal users an incentive for referral and encourage them to spread a good word about your app.

Make sure that you thank your users for their generosity even as you encourage them to share your app among all the people that they know.

10) Approach App Review Sites

It is quite a wide known fact that before making any purchase, we tend to look up to industry experts for a review of the product, and this stands true even for your app. To get your app featured, you can get in touch with some of the reputed review sites. There might be some sites where you would have to pay to get reviewed, but it truly would be worth it. Good review sites for Android and iOS are different from each other. For iOS apps, Macworld, 148 Apps, and App Patrol are some of the respected names, and for Android, Android App, Android App Storm, and Talk Android are good.

11) Cross Promotion

The more the merrier, right? Cross-Promotion essentially is a form of promotion where two or more companies come together and employ coordinated marketing for one another’s products or apps in this case. Here the customers of one app are targeted with promotion of a related product. Most typically it involves promoting two apps by exclusively posting each other’s ads to their users.

12) Viral Videos & Content

We don’t need to tell you that viral videos or viral posts of any kind really do work. But the real question here is what kind of video works and how does it really work? Frankly it all depends on how creative you and your team are willing to get! Add some quirk, context, relevance, emotions, and a message about your app, and who knows when you go viral! This is an age of short attention spans and a whole lot of content packed into a small post, well-crafted posts and creatively designed videos can do the trick for you and turn into a blessing for you.

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