You have an app but how will you get users to download it?

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Your app has been developed and released, and the champagne has been popped. But why are your download numbers so low?

Reaching out to users to get your app can be tricky, but if app acquisition is treated as an aspect of your digital marketing campaign, it can be easier than you think.

Just as you would with other forms of digital marketing, measuring the number of downloads is the only means of tracking the results of your app download campaign. Attracting users is essential, but how? According to a report by TechCrunch, 50 percent of users find mobile apps by word-of-mouth/recommendations, 34 percent via browsing the store’s top apps, and 19 percent through social media. Only about 6-7 percent of users locate apps through advertising, so the key to getting users to download your app is through influence rather than promotion.

Here’s what you need to know about app marketing.

Understand App Store Optimization (ASO)

What type of user do you imagine searching for an app like yours? Identify this user, which takes deep research when your clientele is chiefly business firms. Learn about the keywords they may enter to search for an app like yours, and use those keywords in the description, the title, anywhere and everywhere (but don’t make keywords unnatural or awkward).

Just as you would with SEO, App Store Optimization (ASO) is a means to pull in users by making your app appear on the first place rankings in the app store. ASO also includes asking users to rate or review your app, which will naturally influence users to download your app if you can gain positive reviews.

Get social

It sounds obvious, but using social media to make your app visible is one of the best ways to explain to users why your app is worth a download. As noted above, if 50 percent of app users find content via word-of-mouth, strategies such as focused social media campaigns are essential for spreading the word about your app. Get in touch with influencers in your industry and reach out to press via social. Or, if you’re feeling bold, mention the handles of potential clients to let them know about the app’s existence (just don’t overdo this technique lest you be seen as an annoying spammer).

Be your own advocate  

Seeking ratings and reviews through the app store is recommended to gain credibility for your app, but outside of the app store, you can seek feedback and increase your credibility through press releases. By writing a short pitch of your app and submitting to reputable media outlets, you can instantly influence users to download your app. You can also request feedback from industry leaders in your field. Reach out to top players in the industry and request that they try your app for free in return for a short review. Even if those influencers don’t want to write a review, ask if you can have a short conversation about the app to learn what works, what doesn’t.

Perfect your home base

You can never gain too much credibility when publicizing your app, and another way to achieve this trust is by building a professional website that offers valuable content to users beyond your app. Maintain a professional blog that offers useful content to users and reaching out to contribute content to other websites that reach your target audience. The goal is to drive traffic to your site, then to your app. You can also offer discounts and freebies via your website to keep users coming back. Keep your clientele in a loop of social>site>app and track conversion via analytics tools. Without data, how will you know what’s working?

 Hold out for the long run

Building a reputation for yourself in the industry you desire is something that can take time, but the payoff is worth it. With over 2 million apps available, the market is saturated. Influencing users to choose your mobile app over another comes down to credibility and usability. If users find your app useful and intuitive, they will tell friends and hopefully rate your app, but this takes time. Even the best apps may not reach download goals, so focus on communicating with your target users via social media, your website, etc. and hold out for the long run and be consistent. Remind users about any updates, and don’t ignore feedback, whether positive or negative. Most importantly, don’t stand still. Apps don’t download themselves.

Via Flickr user

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Alyssa Sellors

Alyssa Sellors

Alyssa teaches English and journalism, and is a full-time freelance writer. She has been published in BuzzFeed, TechSling, Social Media Today and on numerous business websites. In addition to her work as a journalist and freelance writer, she also works one-on-one with start-ups to develop web content and effective online marketing strategies.
Alyssa Sellors

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