The idea behind most software releases is to garner as many users as possible to maximize your efforts – as such, app marketing tools are a must for helping you grow your business. Know that your real competition is likely using powerful systems to keep their edge so to be a viable contender, it’s vital you follow suit.
The problem a lot of new apps encounter stems from the fact some of the best tools on the market come with a hefty price tag while some of the more affordable options are hard to discern. Finding the best platforms to grow your business through your app is a challenge between navigating price and understanding features. First, we’re going to revisit some baseline strategies for marketing your app then we’ll look at the general value of these tools followed by a peek at some great options that are budget-friendly for a startup.
Getting prepared to market your app
In the past, we’ve covered some tricks on how to get as many users as possible for your app. The ultimate goal is to attract the highest number of users for maximum results, whether it’s earning revenue or supplementing some other enterprise. While every tactic has a role, setting up a solid website that’s heavily optimized via an ongoing search engine optimization (SEO) initiative – and tied into your app store marketing (ASO) efforts – needs to be the bedrock of your marketing strategy.
Few will get lucky and find that their product sells itself but for most businesses, attracting uses requires excellent content and app marketing tools to spread the word. Concise, well-constructed content allows companies that are releasing truly innovative digital products to explain why users should adopt your service. For those entering a more competitive space, your content allows you to differentiate your product from the competition.
Before you go full bore into creating supplemental content for your SEO strategy, your pages on the app stores as well as the landing pages on your site must be tweaked to perfection. Keeping in mind that it will often take time to start ranking in organic searches, these pages need to be refined to get messaging across efficiently. Regardless of how you plan to monetize your app – for example, when offering a freemium model and IAP to unlock premium features – your initial focus should hone in on enticing users to download and use the app before worrying about upselling your services.
There are a couple of reasons for this. Getting users to at least download your app substantially influences where your app is positioned in both the App Store and Google Play. Too, visitors typically have short attention spans so it’s important to sell your idea quickly.
A good example of this is how the app we built for bopdrop made it to the top 200 free apps in its first week, thanks to getting 2000 downloads on its first day. Popularity contributes to a kind of momentum that helps an app maintain – and ideally improve – its position with digital marketplaces, whether the App Store or Google Play.
The value of app marketing tools
Early in your app development journey, form a plan to get pieces in place that will ensure you’ll be able to release a consistent stream of valuable content, ideally before your app is even available. Getting eyes on this content is the next step and where app marketing tools come into play.
Good, cost-effective platforms will be essential to both figuring out the subject matter for your content and getting the word out to your audience. Without tools that can help you identify topics, distribute your content, and measure your results, your product will almost certainly sit on a “shelf,” so to speak, blending in with the millions of other products on the market.
The challenge most new businesses encounter is identifying what products will actually work without killing the budget.
App marketing tools to consider for building brand awareness
Let’s start by taking a glance at one of the most prolific providers on the market, Salesforce, which we don’t’ recommend for startups and small businesses. The Salesforce Marketing Cloud has just about everything you could want for marketing and customer engagement – while they have a track record of pleasing customers, the platform is costly. For startups, it’s just not the best solution when you’re in the early days of a product release.
Avoid Salesforce in the beginning as other tools on the market are much more cost-effective at moving the ball down the court during your early years. Instead, we recommend using a combination of the following tools to get started.
Targeting keywords for SEO initiatives
Both ranking better on Google and connecting with prospects or existing users requires knowledge of keywords as this allows you to create content that aligns with interests. To dial into topics, use the free tool Google Keyword Planner to discover keywords and related phrases that are relevant to your product. It comes with several features that allow you to not only find keywords but create paid campaigns in Google Ads that can give your site a boost for a price.
If you’re not too savvy with SEO, don’t worry too much as this is a skill you can pick up with some effort. For a comprehensive overview of how to use Google Keyword Planner, this comprehensive guide from Ahrefs breaks down how to use the tool plus, they offer some useful tips for strategy along with some easily digestible examples. Ideally, you want to use a combination of both low and high competition keywords as well as be on the lookout for the coveted high volume, low competition keywords.
Too, paid platforms like Ahrefs (our preferred tool) or Moz are good options if they work with your budget. Both offer a bit more insight to site, backlink, and keyword performance using a format that’s simple enough for beginners who are willing to put in a little time to get through the learning curve.
Applying keywords in your content is another skill you’ll need to pick up as this is what allows the keywords to do their job. Assuming you’re using WordPress, the Yoast plugin will provide concise feedback on written content, allowing you to refine various aspects of a post to be as SEO friendly as possible. It’s well worth the hundred or so dollar a year investment.
Maximize your app page visibility with ASO
Getting your app to show on the marketplaces requires a tactic that’s similar to SEO but geared specifically for Google Play and the App Store. You can check out the ASO section from our blog How to Get Your App to Show on Google and App Marketplaces to see what this looks like.
ASO uses a system of keywords and app popularity to position your product in either store. Marketplace keywords are independent of those used for the web so affordable app marketing tools like Apptweak or App Radar are essential for researching keywords and understanding your competition. Both have packages running less than $100 a month that provide enough features to drive ASO efforts.
Both platforms are great for beginners as they help you understand the process as you dive in. Each tap into the marketplaces to analyze everything that’s on the market and provide insights into keyword performance and competition. By linking your App Store or Google Play account, backend intelligence on either platform uncovers KPIs and insights on an app’s performance for any given category.
Tracking customers and outreach
There are a ton of CRMs on the market that allow you to store customer information, create marketing campaigns, send emails, and track performance. We suggest using Mailchimp as is it has some of the most features at the best price points, including a completely free tier.
Mailchimp can help you reach your audience with features like customizable signup forms that you can embed in your website (or through their WordPress plugin.) The platform has an intuitive builder that allows users to easily create highly-visual emails that tie into campaigns specific to audiences you define. Analytics provide insights into how emails perform with data that reflects engagement for everything you send out. Knowing how emails perform teaches businesses how to refine messaging with different content or offers, thus allowing you to cultivate more interest in your product and most importantly, gain more users.
Blue Label Labs helps our clients drive marketing initiatives
Through data strategy, we challenge assumptions and hone in on real usage scenarios to break away from the competitive set and create new spaces. Not only do we know how to build great software for any industry, we understand how to identify audiences and market to their needs. We’re much more than just developers as we leverage the tools mentioned above to build brand awareness, leading to success for the apps we build like Word Hack, bopdrop, and many more. Get in touch to learn more about how we can help you drive more users to your app.
Get the latest from the Blue Label Labs’ blog in your inbox
More in Development
How Apple Killing IDFA Will Impact Developers
Every year, Apple releases changes that, for better or worse, change what…
7 Tips for Preventing Developer Hijacking
If you’ve ever experienced theft, you know that it leaves you feeling…
6 Tips to Reassess Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
After last year, businesses across all industries rushed to implement solutions from…