How to Market Your App with Little to No Budget
You could have a fantastic app and an extraordinary functional product that can easily compete in the market, and most importantly, great expectations for what you offer. However, it can still fail to deliver the expected results. Why? Isn’t that the perfect equation? Variables, like any other equation in the world, are the greatest factor you must consider because they can drastically alter the outcome.
One of the greatest variables in any business equation is marketing. In some cases, marketing could be a double-edged sword for businesses. However, by implementing a well-executed marketing strategy, your app could do great, even better than any of your expectations.
As much as marketing your app or business could be costly (depending on the approach and method used), we get that some people could still be at the very beginning of the road and can’t afford to pay huge amounts to promote their apps. That’s why we are going to go through methods you can take to market and promote your app that are budget-friendly, and some can even cost you nothing!
Marketing Through the Development and Pre-Launch Process
Some people think that marketing your app starts after you release it. Well, let me correct that for you. Marketing your app should always start the minute you start developing it. As you go through the development of your app, your vision will become more clear about what you are aiming for. This will serve as a great help in identifying which marketing strategy would work better for you and could be effective. So how exactly can you market your app before launch?
Marketing your app before launch is all about the introduction. It’s how you are going to introduce your app to people. Remember, first impressions always matter. This is something any expert will tell you, such as when you apply a marketing consultancy services Dubai or elsewhere for help. That’s why this stage is called “the awareness stage.” It is supposed to make users completely aware of your app’s capabilities and what should make it peculiar and stand out among the over seven million apps available. Your app’s introduction should be well-executed to help you in the upcoming stages of marketing. It is the main stage that paves the way for other stages to be effective. That’s how you could effectively introduce your app to users in the pre-launch stage.
Social media is one of the most effective (and also budget-friendly!) marketing methods you could use. It has proven its importance and effectiveness over the last couple of years. Statistically, in 2022, social media users will have reached 4.29 billion active users across over 13 platforms; that’s nearly half of the planet! Social media can work magically in your favor and contribute greatly to your growth. Social media marketing mainly focuses on communicating with your expected target audience. When using social media as a marketing method, you should keep your eyes closely on two things:
1. The Platform
Choosing the platform is a deal-breaker when it comes to social media marketing. You could choose a platform and get little to no engagement at all. So you should clearly specify your target audience in terms of age, gender, location, etc. Your target audience is critical to identify because they will save you the trouble of wasting time and effort.
Each social media platform has its own audience, type of content, and approach. It is not the same for all platforms. For example, if you are targeting people between the ages of 25 and 45 in your area, Facebook should be a better option. The huge audience of Facebook may not grant you global reach, but you can do well locally. TikTok is the polar opposite. It is ideal if you want to target people aged 15 to 25. TikTok is known for reaching global audiences in the blink of an eye, but you have to be creative and distinctive and give people something they have never seen before.
With billions of users comes a massive amount of content that users are exposed to on a daily basis. Content should receive a great deal of emphasis during your app marketing journey. You should come up with ideas on how to make your content unique so that among millions of other content, users will choose yours. You should know how to talk to your specific target audience and know their language and the way they talk. Users should feel like you are talking to them personally rather than just generating content to reach as many possible users as you can. Make sure to use social media analytics tools to find what content resonates with your audience and free templates to create posts that meet their needs and interests. Also, create posts that meet their needs and interests.
Let’s be fair and square. You feel better and more relieved when you find a website for the app you are searching for, right? It provides the app with more reliability, and it feels legit. Well, that’s exactly what makes a website another great way to market your app. You could do so with either a landing page or a basic website.
A landing page is a single webpage where you could briefly introduce your app, how it works, and what value it would offer to users. A landing page would be perfect if you’re aiming for a minimal app or a minimal introduction to your app, whether you are going to use photos or even a teaser video only.
A basic website is a little bit extra. It provides you with more space to get creative with how you want people to find out about your app (and it should also be reasonable!).
Either way, there are some elements that should be found in both that could be very thrilling to users.
- Adding a call to action is a great idea to add to your website or landing page. Most users are drawn to the download button on any app’s website (personally, I am too) It was proven to be very effective. Also, a creative and eye-catching call to action is a cherry on top that can guarantee the right exposure to users.
- Another great idea is a signup section you can add to allow registered users early access to your app once it is done developing. Early access makes people feel special and people usually get thrilled to get early access to almost anything. So this should be beneficial.
Search Engine Optimization
You may be wondering what search engine optimization is. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of generating organic traffic to your app or website through search engine results by using certain keywords. SEO is one of the best ways you could increase awareness of your app. According to Google’s official statistics, one in every four users finds apps via search engines.
This clearly shows how SEO is a great opportunity to grasp when it comes to marketing your app and reaching an audience. So, how do you create an effective SEO strategy? Keywords are critical for SEO and its main foundation, and the stronger the foundation, the more effective. Before using your keywords, you should do thorough research on what will draw in an audience.
You should also look at what your competitors are using to promote their apps. That’s why you should be very wise while choosing your SEO tools and make sure they’re accurate and can give you a wide range of keywords to choose from.
Keywords are used while generating content for both your website and for social media. You have to keep your content unique and creative while using the generated keywords. The right implementation of proper keywords and execution of SEO makes any search engine recognize and understand your content more and, in return, present it to users upon searching for any of the keywords used, which ensures the discoverability of your app. Besides, quality content with relevant keywords opens up an opportunity to earn backlinks from authority websites pointing to your site, leading to increased brand visibility. This is why many SaaS businesses implement SaaS link building strategies to promote their products.
All elements in the pre-launch stage depend on each other and have to be developed simultaneously.
Blogging is without a doubt a very substantial strategy that you should consider pre-launching. A blog is a space within your website where you create valuable and beneficial content that can be seen by your potential users. Keywords should be the main focus while generating content for your blog, as they help draw traffic to your website and increase users’ awareness of your app. You can go in-depth about your app’s features and technology. This can be done in the form of articles, photos, or even videos. Your blog shouldn’t be just about your app, you can also generate content about your field of expertise and basically any other content that users may find valuable and time-worthy.
User Acquisition Stage
So, you have finished developing your app, tested it, and followed the pre-launch marketing steps. It doesn’t end there. The user acquisition stage is another critical stage for your app’s marketing journey. User acquisition marketing is about gaining new users and generating installs for your app. Acquiring users has been a challenge for most app owners as the market is getting more competitive day by day. Here are some tips and methods to follow for an effective user acquisition stage.
Think Globally, Act Locally
It’s great to aim for a global reach; who hasn’t thought about it in everything? Especially when promoting an app. However, localization should always be your starting point before taking off worldwide. You should always be diverse and consider different languages and cultures. If you think about it, even people who speak the same language can be very different culturally. That’s why your app should be something people from all places can relate to.
Your app should provide many things, starting from professionally translated languages to even date formats (trust me, it is important). Localization can be very beneficial for your app, as it can broaden your reach to customers, offer a great and personalized user experience, and allow you to penetrate markets more easily and faster.
App Store Optimization
App store optimization (APO) improves the visibility of your app to users on any app store. It is basically the first interaction between your app and the user, and it should always be remarkable. Your app should always look appealing to users once they come across it on the Google Play Store or Apple Store; it should create a state of curiosity, which in advance turns a view into an actual download. And since we are talking about no-cost and budget-friendly methods, here are some factors you definitely should keep in mind.
1- App Name
The name of your app is the first thing users come across and notice, so it’s important to choose an easy-to-remember and unique name for your app. It should also give a glimpse of your app’s purpose. You should avoid using either a difficult name or a generic overused name.
2- App Logo/Icon
Besides the app name, the logo is another vital factor, as it’s also the first thing a user notices. Your app’s logo should be eye-catching and distinctive, but it also shouldn’t be loud and full of non-matching colors; instead, it should be well-crafted and beautifully designed.
Your description should be brief and to the point. Keep it short, yet informative. and it’s also important to use an engaging tone to pique users’ interest.
4- App preview and Screenshots
An app preview and screenshots should provide a real and in-depth look at your app while also leaving some for users to experience. Users should get a quick look at the app’s features, design, interface, and overall experience.
Email marketing is one of the oldest forms of marketing in general. It can also be executed completely for free. Over time, email marketing has been wrongly executed and is considered a source of annoyance to many users. That’s why many people don’t consider email marketing as part of their marketing strategy. However, if executed smartly enough, email marketing can be a huge opportunity for growth and reaching customers. To ensure your messages have successfully reached the email recipient’s inboxes, you need to use an SPF checker and follow email security best practices.
It’s crucial when using email marketing that you don’t come across as very intrusive; this will lessen your chance of getting discovered. To avoid doing so, there are three things that can help achieve an effective email marketing strategy.
1- Choose the right recipients
Email marketing can be very effective, but not for everyone. Never expect an outcome from an email marketing strategy while you are targeting Gen Z, for example. You should segregate your audience correctly into groups and choose the group that may come as suitable recipients
You should totally avoid sending one email template to all users and start personalizing it. A user should have the impression that you took the time and effort to send him a personalized email. This boosts the possibility of your email being considered and read.
3- Email content
Your email’s content should be a major consideration. You don’t want your email content to be very long, which may confuse and bore users, or so short that it becomes useless. Your email should be simple, present your app’s purpose in an exciting and engaging way, and look professional at the same time. In the end, an email is a very professional form of marketing, so you don’t want to miss that. Don’t forget to generate a DMARC record for your email for enhanced credibility. Also, choose a tool like Drip or Klaviyo that will provide all the necessary features for emails to be send and delivered.
Online Forums and App Reviews Websites
Online forums and app review websites are very effective strategies to get discovered and gain new users. However, both are a bit different to use and we’re going to discuss both:
Online forums are platforms where people ask and discuss everything. It has been gaining popularity and taking off as non-biased and trustworthy when it comes to reviews and advice. Before settling on online forums, keep in mind the platform you use, there are a quite number of online forums available at the moment. So it’s important to study each of them and find out where to promote your app. You need also to appear non-biased when it comes to suggesting your app or giving advice, it’s important to create a real user profile that appears 100% authentic and participate in different and various discussions before taking the step of promoting your app.
App review websites
App review websites strategy is pretty much self-explanatory. These websites are very effective when it comes to acquiring new users. Yet to do so, you need to present your app in a distinctive and neat way, and that’s where all the previous elements come in handy. There are many app review websites that offer their services for free or at an affordable price, but make sure that it is reliable and can reach your target audience.
Retention is the final stage you reach when marketing your app, as much as gaining new users is difficult, it is more difficult to gain their trust so that they continue using your app. However, retaining users shouldn’t be a problem if you used the following strategies.
Most of your retention stage will probably revolve around your app features and performance. Features are the core of every app, and it is what makes a good app. Your app should provide excellent functionality, where features should always be addressing your users’ needs and help in making their lives easier. Whether you used the traditional coding way or an app builder to develop your app, you need to focus mainly on your features and make sure they are implemented in favor of the app’s functionality. for instance, the nandbox app builder offers more than 200 features to embed during the app development process, so it is no hassle to add features that will, later on, be able to retain your users.
The greatest example of user retention accomplished through app features is Starbucks. The international coffee shop felt like they were missing out on the modern mobile app era and also they are on the verge of losing customers to other competitors who were technologically advanced. So they thought about a common problem that may be solved by an app and they found one. By 2014, Starbucks released an app that let you pre-order and pays before reaching the branch to avoid waiting in long queues and wasting your time. The idea was revolutionary and skyrocketed once released. This also led to Starbucks’ user retention and engagement rate increasing as they presented a feature that addressed their needs.
One reason that may lead to users never going back to an app is the app’s performance. Don’t you find it very annoying when an app keeps crashing and takes plenty of time to load, yes? Well, that’s exactly what you should avoid. A good app performance plays a major role in retaining users. There are some aspects to work on to make sure that your app performance is maximized.
You should avoid any chance of app crashes, nothing a user hates more than an app crashing in the middle of using it. That’s why you should always track your app’s crash behavior more closely, collect and evaluate all the data about any crashes and work on it to eliminate any chance of it happening again and ensure your app’s responsiveness. This enhances user experience and satisfaction.
Many apps failed to retain users due to battery consumption. You don’t want to be known as a battery-draining app. So you have to be sure to consider working on battery optimization during the development process by eliminating any functions that may lead to the user’s battery drain. Work on creating a user-friendly app that is user-friendly and helps them preserve battery life rather than draining it.
Once again, email marketing comes in handy. A newsletter is another form of email marketing mentioned in user acquisition, email marketing can also be effective in retaining users. It’s basically sending out your app’s activities and updates through emails. A newsletter can be a great way of reminding users of your app so that they go back to using it. Your main focus while conducting your company’s newsletter is making interesting content. The user already has your app but what could make him continue using it? It also shouldn’t be intrusive and have spam behavior, your users should always have the option to unsubscribe so they don’t feel forced and stop considering your app.
Customer support is what distinguishes an app. It acts as a communication channel between users and developers. Research conducted on Khoros stated that “83% of users feel more loyal to the brand after encountering a good customer support experience.” This proves that good customer support is significant once more. Whether you provide customer support through AI chatbots or through a person to give it more reliability. It’s crucial to execute it right as it’s not something to disregard.
Updating your app
To keep your users engaged and give them a reason to stay, you should always keep your app up to date. It is important to keep up with the latest technologies and features released. As there are a number of new technologies emerging almost every day. See which can add value and functionality to your app. Also, keep up with users’ suggestions and inquiries and work on app maintenance more often. It is better to update your app each 25-55 days. Users actually appreciate improvements. you can learn more about maintaining your app through this article.