How to Get Your First 1000 Real Apple App Store Downloads? [Top Tips]
As a first-time app developer, it is quite common for people to imagine that the main part of meeting success with an app is the development part and once that is accomplished, rest of it simply happens on its own as millions of users flock to your blog and begin downloading. In reality however, it could be a lot different and you might not get any downloads for an app that might actually be a great piece of work.
It is important that you have a strong launch strategy in place so that the app can be promoted suitably, because the first step to getting downloads is to make people aware of your app’s existence.
Now, when you go online looking for an app you would find multiple “guides” to increase your downloads and promote your app, but rarely do they contain any real value.
With a rich experience in the field of app development, I have brought for you proven tips that would get you exactly what you are looking for – increasing downloads.
1. Understand the iPhone App Store Algorithm
When your goal is to increase the number of your app downloads or installs, it is of critical importance that you are familiar with the Apple App Store algorithm. Quite like SEO for websites to feature higher in the Google Search Results, ASO comes in really handy in securing your app a higher rank on the Apple App Store.
Now, quite similar to Google, Apple too doesn’t really release an exact rulebook or guidelines to accurately describe the ways in which you can make your app get a higher rank. Though there is no hardened formula, but there are a few tips that can get you the desired results.
The first thing is the name of your app. You must make sure that the name of your app is of less than 30 characters in total, is fairly easy to spell out, indicates quite clearly what it does, and doesn’t have a name that sounds or spells similar to any existing app.
While writing the subtitle and the description, make sure that your focus stays on features & functionality.
Choose the primary category for your app wisely so that the right kind of users are able to find you easily. In fact you do not choose the right category for your app, Apple is going to reject your app.
One more way to get ranked higher on the app store is by running promotions on your in-app purchases. This can be a great way to earn favor from Apple as they encourage in-app purchases on the store.
Then there is the matter of ratings. It is obvious that negative reviews are going to discourage prospects from downloading your app, and better ratings and positive reviews are going to create a favorable impression of your app.
2. Set A Goal & Figure Out How to Reach It
Set yourself a goal of 1,000 or if you are really confident 10,000 app downloads. Now look at the whole thing backwards, so that you are not staring at an uphill and daunting task, but instead looking downhill backtracking your way to accomplish success.
Once you set up a realistic goal, set a realistic timeline and keep under consideration the target market.
It is important that you have some clarity about the audience that you are going to focus on. As of 2017, the people in the age group of 18 to 24 are the only ones who spend more than 3 hours a day on their mobiles perusing digital media and the second highest on this list is the 25 to 34-year olds which means that it would be a great idea to target them. Once you know who you are targeting, you can then go on to choose an appropriate customer acquisition strategy. Some of the more popular and strong customer acquisition strategies include the following:
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Social Media Marketing
- Public Relations
- Content Marketing
- Influencer Marketing
- Direct Sales
You can also use a combination of more than one technique listed here in order to magnify the results. It is never a good idea to put all your eggs in the same basket, because when you have a diversified approach with multiple marketing channels, the chances of getting more downloads is higher too.
3. Reach Out to Influencers for Mentions
Not everyone would be left with a hefty marketing budget after having invested heavily in the development phase of the mobile app. For those people, the silver lining lies in reaching out to the influencers and to the bigger blogs to pitch your app without having to shell anything out.
At this stage look into the most relevant results and for that you may use Buzzsumo, a platform that can help you find the best ranked blogs that relate well to your app. Search on Buzzsumo for the primary category you are going to list your app under and it would reveal the top links shared in the category. You can explore and narrow the search down by trying out different combinations of filters and keywords, and you would have, in front of you influencers or blogs that are authoritarian in their construct.
Reach out to them directly and chances are you would be afforded an opportunity to feature your app on their blog. These websites are always on the lookout for fresh content, and in a way you are also going to do them a favor with this. The most effective method of reaching out to them is through emails and when you draft your message consider including the following information:
- Your full name
- Your company’s name
- Your App Name (if it is different from the name of your company)
- Your Website Link
- A brief description of your app
- How are you better than other market players
- Your App’s status (under development, to be released, already launched, etc.)
Do not expect everyone to jump at the opportunity, but keep sending these emails out to as many people as you can. This is one of the most effective ways to get your app featured in one of the more respected blogs. These blogs and influencers have a very loyal following, who trust their recommendations and reviews. All these followers are essentially your potential customers now!
4. Pay Per Install Campaigns
This one is a paid technique and if you are ready to put in some money then Pay Per Install campaign can come in real handy! The concept here is that the advertiser or the publisher is charged on the basis of the number of downloads for the app at the end of the campaign.
When you run a pay per install campaign you gain visibility on the App Store, and eventually a greater number of app downloads. The cost per install in US for iPhone devices averages at around $1.24. now, this is not exactly a cost effective strategy, but it sure can be one of the most effective ones!
However, it is advisable to run the numbers once and determine whether the cost per acquisition makes sense for your app. When coupled with other free strategies mentioned here, it might still fit into your marketing budget and still bring in some strong profits. Following is a list of places to consider as a promotional channel for your pay per install campaign.
- Facebook App Install Ads
- App Next
- Twitter Ads
- Snapchat Ads
- Pinterest Promoted App Pins
Not every platform would make sense for everyone, which means you would have to explore multiple platforms before deciding to go with any one of them.
5. Leverage Email Marketing
This is especially effective when you already have a business and are launching a mobile app for it. Since you already have an established business, it makes sense for you to take advantage of your existing resources. Make use of your current customer base and get in touch with them. Let them know about this brand new app that you are releasing through an email.
Design an effective email campaign with the intent to reach out to all your existing subscribers. The advantage here is that, these people are familiar with your company, and trust you enough to share their details like their email. This means that they are more likely to download your app as compared to others and when you offer an incentive to go with it, the whole user experience is taken to another level altogether.
6. Leverage SMS Marketing
If you are not keen on email marketing or are not sure about the email addresses you have acquired, then SMS marketing is also a highly effective marketing technique. If you have a rich database of phone numbers, you can send out messages through SMS to promote your app, imploring your subscribers to try out your app, thus increasing your app downloads.
You can incentivize their download with a special offer or discount if they download your app. There are several good SMS marketing companies that can help you get started on your campaign.
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