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How To Use Influencer Marketing To Promote Your App?

Abhinav Girdhar
By Abhinav Girdhar | Last Updated on May 11th, 2023 10:50 am
Build an App | Appy Pie

App Builder Appy Pie, February 12, 2018: If you are reading this, it’s likely that you already own a mobile app and have tried your hands at promoting your app. However, even after employing these marketing measures, the number of users for your app has hardly increased. There is no need to lose hope though, as Appy Pie is here to help you make your app more visible and gain some valuable users for it!

In this blog we are going to talk about influencer marketing, why it is gaining prominence, who needs it, and how to plan a successful influencer marketing campaign.

The concept of influencer marketing might still be a new one for most people today, but it is catching on quite promptly. Especially in the past few months, the traditional as well as the new organizations are exploring the concept and are playing around with it. A well designed mobile app has to live up to the expectations of being digital, trendy, and ever-changing for which it is imperative that the mobile app developers employ influencer marketing strategies to reach out to the trend seeking tech-enthusiasts.

What is Influencer Marketing?

An influencer is a person who has an influence on a sizeable relevant population and have the ability to convince them about their perspective about things. It could be a blogger, a lifestyle journalist, a revered speaker, any person with a huge following or support on the social media, or anybody else that your target users would follow for information, opinion, reviews, etc. The definition of an influencer has undergone a huge transformation from back in the days when it was only celebrities that could be considered an influencer, today anyone who has a channel on YouTube, an account on Instagram, or a Blog can become an influencer. In fact, there are many today who may be considered being “famous for nothing” but have millions of followers and may be charging in thousands for every post. There is however, a difference between influencer marketing and celebrity endorsement. Influencer marketing is the most successful customer acquisition strategy that draws eyes to the services and products for generations.

(Above video is a part of a more elaborate course on Academy by Appy Pie. To access the complete course, please Click Here, or continue reading below.)

An influencer is a specialist who has built a community in a niche space.

Getting a positive review on TechCrunch would probably land your app at the top of the charts on Google Play and the App Store. If your latest social game gets a thumbs up from Eric Bangeman from Ars Technica, media is going to be lapping you up for a sound byte, or multiple interviews. Someone from within your company can be an influencer too, as can your customers! After all 90% of the online shoppers give credit to online user reviews for their purchases.

Influencer marketing is a strategy or a set of strategies that harnesses the influence of these ‘influencers’ by enlisting them to promote your app to the social media follower base or niche that they have developed through various channels that might sometimes include even a blog or website.

This can nicely complement the traditional word-of-mouth with newer platforms to reach out to thousands or maybe millions of potential users who might not have never heard of your app through any other media.

Why is Influencer Marketing Important?

Influencers have strong clouts. They are followed by numerous people who hang on to their every word. They are considered to be an authority in the field. Naturally, people take their suggestions to heart.

Positive reviews or endorsement by an influencer can boost your sale. Similarly, if your brand or company is new to the business, and an influencer mentions your product in a review, it will reach a huge audience. So, this is a brilliant marketing tool. That is why all brands are foraying into influencer marketing because this is a hot trend right now. Millennials and youngsters who form the largest chunk of any brand’s target user group are swayed by influencers.

So, what is to be gained by teaming up with social influencers?

  • Widened reach
  • A boost in lead generation
  • Product advocacy
  • Greater engagement

Building and sustaining a smooth brand and influencer relationship can be as complex as nurturing any human-to-human connection. The relation has to be authentic or you could end up with an outreach plan that fails miserably and your product will not get the exposure it deserves.

Why is influencer marketing gaining such strong prominence as a marketing strategy?

It is true that in the recent times more and more companies are discovering the benefits of using a well-planned influencer marketing campaign. Let’s get ahead and discuss the awesome benefits that influencer marketing brings in to promote your app in a more effective manner.

1. Expanded Reach

Some of the biggest influencers on social media channels like Instagram, YouTube, Vine, SnapChat or bloggers have a big pool of followers that may have thousands or in some cases millions of followers or subscribers. This would be the pool of people that your app would be exposed to if you were to collaborate with them and employ some well-placed influencer marketing campaigns. When such an influencer showcases the value of your app and broadcasts it on their social media channels, it boosts the awareness about your app in this humungous pool of followers and encourages them to download your app.

2. Reach Targeted or Relevant Audience

Most of the social media influencers tend to exert their influence or impact on a selected niche or category of users. When you partner with the right kind of influencer in order to promote your app, you are exposing it to the relevant target audience. This means that as an app developer you are getting the dream and are marketing your app to the consumers who are interested particularly in buying or using your app.

3. Higher Credibility

There are thousands of apps finding their way to get published on the app stores and in a crowd of apps, it becomes especially challenging to gain any kind of credibility for your app among the customers so that they can go ahead and complete the purchase. When you are working with an influencer who is trusted by thousands or even millions, and they promote your app, it immediately seems a lot more reliable, dependable and hence, download worthy to your audience. The reasons why the influencers have this high credibility are listed here under.

  • Influencers Are Viewed As Peer
    Influencers do not have the awe and aura around themselves like a celebrity would have. Influencers are the guys and gals next door who want to and do share information or knowledge about their subject with followers and interact with them too!
  • Their Stories Are Relatable
    The influencers who are really good would never use any kind of script, they would rather try the app out themselves and then let everyone know what they think about it, while telling their followers how this particular app helped them out.

4. Offer Freedom Of Choice

There was a time when TV, radio, and the print media were the only channels of advertisement and entertainment. Things however have changed wildly! Millennials especially aren’t even engaging much with the television ever and are not bound by the ‘cord’. Consumers today decide what they want to see and when they want to see it. So, when you are promoting your app through influencers, you are effectively reaching out to the audience through a channel that they have chosen to follow.

Yes, Influencer Marketing is wonderful and has some awesome benefits exposing your app to a wider audience and has gradually become one of the most sought-after marketing tactics in the recent times. Even though most of the marketing experts today are going gaga about how awesome it can be for your app, but how do you know that you’re making the right decision by employing Influencer Marketing Strategy for your app and investing heavily in it.

Does your mobile app need Influencer Marketing?

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It is a tough question to answer, but you need to begin by having a clear strategy in mind and preferably on paper too, in order to market your app to your targeted consumers. The fact is that there are probably thousands more who are targeting the same user group as yours, which means that you need to strategize on how to reach them faster.

It is important to understand that Influencer Marketing is not for everyone and definitely does not work for every content, product, app, industry, or scenario.

How do you answer the question then? We have committed the cardinal sin of answering a question by asking more questions! Take a look at the four critical questions that you need to ask yourself and answer in order to come to a firm decision about employing Influencer Marketing.

1. Does Your App Have A Mass Appeal?

Before investing into influencer marketing, you need to have a clear idea about the mass appeal of your app and whether or not it will attract enough customers or users. It is important to understand that like every product your app too has a topic that it falls under. This topic that your app falls under needs to be popular for your app to be successful. Following are some points that can help you gauge the appeal of your app.

  • Conduct an analysis to understand and figure out how often is the topic of your app mentioned in the news, or any other media. This will help you gauge the popularity of the topic and hence the chances of your app making it big!
  • Conduct an in-depth study of all the similar apps that already exist, including all those that solve the same problem that you intend to. Understand what they are right, and what they are doing wrong. Get a clear understanding of the competition that you are going to face.
  • Conduct a survey to understand whether your product has a broad demographic appeal, for example – teenagers, or retirees. If you are catering to a demographic that is vast, the chances of your app having a stronger mass appeal are higher too!
  • Test out whether your target user groups would actually be excited to know more about your app. This is important, because if your app does not generate a curiosity or excitement in your target user group, you are probably marketing it to the wrong target user group.

It is important to keep these points in mind before you approach a social influencer, because when you are going ahead with the influencer, you are exposing your app potentially to thousands, maybe millions of people.

However, in case your app is designed for a niche, this strategy may, in fact be entirely pointless. Also, it is of critical importance to figure out the marketability factor for your app. A food ordering app or a mobile game app based on a popular topic like Stranger Things are sure to have a strong mass appeal. It only follows that if you spend enough time designing a mobile app which would have a stronger mass appeal and excites a fair number of users, influencers and influencer marketing strategies are going to help you amplify the reach of your app.

2. Does Your App Have A Great Design?

Design is of a great consequence. It is one of the most critical aspects of branding. You may be able to use social media in order to improve your brand, but it is design that comes first! When your app is designed professionally, it is a lot easier for the customers to recognize or identify with your brand. In addition to this, having an app that is designed well meets the following goals.

  • It communicates a distinct value proposition or message
  • It proves to your customers or users your credibility through consistency
  • It builds loyalty among the new and existing customers
  • It helps you connect with the users and share information with them

You may choose to go with a specialized agency, or do it yourself, but the design of your app needs to be top notch! Whether it is the design of your page, the design of the content you are going to put on your app pages, or any other such relevant design, begin from your strategy. It is important to comprehend your own goals & objectives, make your plans simple, and implement them quickly.

If you are looking to succeed with your mobile app, it’s imperative that you have a solid influencer marketing campaign & strategy in place. It is unfortunate, however, that this is where most brands and marketers stop. They might initiate things in the right way, but in absence of a well-documented strategy, most things tend to get complicated.

It is not exactly a new idea to use people with varying degree of influences, celebrities, or other famous personalities in order to sell products or services. In past it was perfectly fine to launch an entire influencer marketing campaign with minimal design intervention. Things have changed drastically in past few years, simply because the competition is a lot stronger. Hence, today having a professional look is of paramount importance.

Irrespective of what you are planning to promote, it is good design that would help you cast that ever important first impression. It has the potential to guide, stimulate, and effect decisions.

A well-designed app would always tell a memorable story and give the influencers a reason to promote and expose your content to their followers with enthusiasm, and at will. The real objective of a professional design for your app is way beyond just looking good for your influencers and consumers. The real objective is to smoothly enthrall the target users or the audience and convey your message distinctly.

3. Does Your Brand Or Your App Have A Social Presence?

It is the social media which is at the core of influencer marketing. What it means is that in case you plant to expand the reach of your app and gain more customers, it is important for you to have a presence on social media.

However, this doesn’t mean that you would have to be glued to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other such social media channels. It is quite possible to automate your posts with a number of tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, etc.

If you have a presence on social media, you have an upper hand because as soon as the influencer posts something about your app, you can then leverage that social proof to establish a stronger audience engagement.

It is unwise to go all in when you are planning to use social media to enhance influencer marketing. If you decide that you want to rule over all the social media channels including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others in one go, it’s only going to end badly for you!

It is wise, therefore to start small.

The influencers you collaborate with, are going to be sharing content related to your app on the social media, and it would be of great value, if they were to tag you on it. You would then receive a notification and then you can share this post to get more traffic for your app.

4. Is Your Target Niche Covered By Any Influencer?

The baseline for any influencer marketing strategy is engagement. It is important to engage the right people and only the right people. Once you manage to do that, you are on the right track! Influencer Marketing does not entail reaching out to every possible social influencer for your mobile app. It doesn’t make sense at all. If you are developing a mobile app for fashion or retail, it makes sense to reach out to a fashion blogger, and not a finance analyst. It is simply because the audience of an influencer who is relevant to your app would bring you any benefits. If you just reach out to any and every influencer you come across, it can prove to be a grave error for you.

Hence, it is important that you finalize your influencer based on parameters like the audience type, content type and style, and the level of engagement they can offer for your app. It is easy to get carried away by the influencers who have a huge number of social fans, but what is important is, to build relationships with them.

How to find influencers to endorse your brand?

You can’t just choose influencers based on the number of followers they have. This number can be inflated artificially. Besides, the followers may not line up with the target group you have in mind.

So, here is what you should do…

  • Find social influencers on social media platforms
    1. Identify your client base – who are the people you want to reach out to?
    2. Be active on social media. Follow discussion topics related to your industry on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook groups.
    3. Who are the drivers of these discussions and who do they follow?
    4. Make a list of people who you believe score maximum engagement.
    5. Go over their posts, videos and reviews and you will know if you have found the influencers you need.
  • Find the best bloggers
  • Vlogs and videos are not for everyone. Some prefer the good old printed word and rely on blog posts. That is why bloggers are powerful social influencers. If you want to spread the word about your brand through blog posts, here is what you need to do…

    1. Google the top blogs in your industry.
    2. You will get a list of blog pages with high SEO ranking and click-through rate.
    3. You will also find the names of the people who write the blog posts or run the page.
    4. Contact them and suggest a partnership.
  • Use influencer marketing tools
  • Because of the growing need of finding the right influencers, certain platforms have been constructed that brands can visit to find the influencers who can help them. These influencer marketing tools use AI indices and algorithms to analyze content, keywords, engagement and active followers. These are a repository of social influencers and your one-stop destination to find the right social influencer.

How to plan a successful social media campaign?

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It is true that the social media landscape is evolving perpetually, but there is no need to keep going back to the drawing board again and again. Keep in mind the following few points and the world of influencer marketing would be at your disposal to explore and benefit from.

1. Make a strong marketing strategy

Before you set about collaborating with a popular blogger or a social media personality, it is important that you set clear objectives that you want to achieve, and to do so, if need be take the help of a third party marketer(s). when the influence you choose shares a photograph or video that is related to your app, it needs to offer the customers an incentive to in exchange for downloading your app, reviewing it, or sharing your app with friends or family. This is different from contextual advertising in one particular manner, i.e. it lives on forever. It is a good idea to have a clear plan about ways to use it once the initial spark of success has dulled down.

2. Pick a suitable platform & form of content

Some platforms like Instagram or Twitter can help your app gain popularity but twitter limits you in terms of the number of characters and Instagram doesn’t let you navigate you to other website with a click on the pic. There are pros and cons to every social media channel or platform out there, it is important that you choose wisely according to the requirements you have. It is true that short form content is not so effective when it comes to driving ROIs and in driving a potential customer into taking an immediate action. For example posting one screenshot of your app and adding a line about how wonderful it is does not ensure customer action, but when an influencer records a 2-minute video talking about the same thing, the conversions are bound to be higher. Additionally long form content also generates better search engine results.

3. Keep it short & relevant

The content generated through influencer marketing must not be treated as advertising. You can’t simply create a video with your influencer and stick your app name on it and expect it to take your app to the top of the charts. Times have changed and so has your audience! We, as consumers have short attention spans, deliver your message quickly and directly without being pushy. If you are a newbie and don’t really have a strong recognition, showcase your app next to the prominent ones to bask in their reflected glory. The customers who are browsing through the influencers’ channels are not looking for you and don’t really care for your app, make them care.

4. Offer ample creative freedom

The influencers that you are collaborating with have their own flavor and creative identities, which is what their followers are attracted to. They definitely do not need a script from you when they are creating content (text, audio, video, or photographs) to make it engaging, and seamlessly integrate your message to their story. Instead of offering your creative input, give them free access to your app or product so that they can try it on and review it for you on their chosen platform. Your influencer is essentially going to be your brand ambassador, and when they are excited about your app, they are going to get their followers excited about it too! And if you manage to convert them into a customer, there are fewer things more exciting for your app. After you have achieved any measure of positive results with them, remember them, stay connected and go back to them for further promotion in future as well.

5. Do not over measure

Give your influencers more respect that you would to a street performer. It is not advisable to hire and fire the influencers right after you have achieved the desired results. There is no clear way to measure the result that you may have achieved by way of the campaign unless you attached a coupon code or tracker to measure the number of downloads. However, if you do not see the result, does not mean there wasn’t any, you might need to wait longer to see the real impact, so be patient!

Concluding Note

This is a dynamic world that is ever evolving and the platform that is popular today may not be popular tomorrow, the technology too might change, but influencer marketing is going to stay! Influencer marketing strategies can bear you great results even when you do not have super deep pockets. All you have to do is promote your mobile app in a strategic way.

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Abhinav Girdhar

Founder and CEO of Appy Pie

App Builder

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