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Increase App Downloads with these 6 Tactics

By Nick Epson on October 27, 2020

The whole point of having an app is to acquire as many users as possible – those searching for techniques to “drive more users to my app” should know there are tricks that allow businesses to increase app downloads. You might offer great software but without some additional trickery, it will feel like your app is invisible and thus, not pulling its weight.

Unless you’re doing ad hoc distribution, meaning you only make the app available to select users, the end goal for any app is to get as many users as possible. Your app is a tool for generating revenue and, in other cases, supplementing some other service, so making sure your app is in as many hands as possible is key to positive growth.

More users equal more revenue

Recently, we’ve discussed a few techniques that allow businesses to improve earnings through their mobile apps. You should take care to implement these tactics as each provides a method outside to generate revenue. Further, it’s a good idea to thoroughly analyze how users engage with your app and figure out how to upsell portions of your app to maximize your earnings.

Underneath it all, you need to have users who will take advantage of your earning strategies whether it’s IAP, IAS, or outside earning methods, where appropriate. You should have these kinds of things in place but you’ll need to be prepared to tweak these portions once you start building a diverse user base.

So, let’s take a look at some of the best strategies that we’ve uncovered to get users to download your app.

6 tips to increase app downloads for your app

Once you have the right tools in place for your app to earn, it’s a great idea to explore options that will increase app downloads, thus expanding your userbase and earning potential. The following provides a good mix of methods to organically grow your userbase as well as some direct marketing tactics with great success rates.

1. Build a website under the same domain your app is marketed under

If you’re familiar with SEO and all that’s involved, you know that it takes a good length of time to get results. It’s daunting to some but ultimately, it’s worth it the end of the day. You’ll need to invest in curated content building initiatives to establish relevance and work to get backlinks to your site from high-authority domains to get your site well-ranked.

For an app, this helps drive traffic when you use the right keywords for your most viable landing pages. To start, anyone looking to launch a new app should start with a landing page and blog long before any code is written. The idea is that by the time the app is released you have already built a following online and have credible links for keywords you want your app to target. 

Over time, you’ll want to further develop your site with static landing pages and blogs with great content (more content makes Google happy) then engage other publications to get backlinks.

2. Promote your app on high-traffic mediums

You’ll want to ensure that your app is dispersed around the web on as many applicable social channels as possible to increase app downloads. The thing is, it depends on the nature of your app – in some cases, you may want to explore using Instagram but for some apps, LinkedIn or Facebook might be the most appropriate.

In one example, the founder bopdrop (an app that we built and released earlier this year) made a great TikTok video to promote his music discovery platform. Though many seem to think of TikTok as a platform for people to share entertaining lip-syncing or dancing videos, it proves to be useful for business as well.

You should have an idea as to whether your app will perform better on more professional channels, mediums that are used for entertainment, or somewhere in between. Otherwise, you’ll need to engage in testing to figure out which platforms get your app the most attention.

3. Develop paid relationships with celebrities or social media personas

While it sounds ambitious, you’ve certainly seen this tactic in action and for products far less popular than mainstream brands like Nike. Think about times you’re watching a YouTube video like this one from this vlogger, Lennon the Bunny – she’s not a celebrity by any means but her channel gets a lot of views from rabbit enthusiasts because she makes interesting content. In her video, she promotes her sponsor, Skillshare, which is an online learning platform for creative outlets.

Keep in mind that a lot of things that seem unrelated intersect. In the case above, Skillshare fits well as bunny enthusiasts tend to be a unique demographic of individuals so it makes sense for them to work with the Lennon the Bunny channel.

Manual outreach is one way to do this however, there are platforms like OpenSponsorship that’s goal is to connect users with well-known athletes. For best results, take some time to figure out where your product or service intersects with other interests. Too, for lesser-known content creators, you can use tools like HypeAuditor to calculate the “integrity” of an audience to determine how many of their followers are real people versus low-quality bot accounts.

4. Get good user reviews

Managing user reviews on the App Store or Google Play is a process that can be a real pain. However, if you’re getting a ton of reviews then it’s likely because the app is doing well which is a good problem to have. When you’re still up and coming, it’s important to understand that bad reviews, especially those that appear early, can damage your chances of to increase app downloads.

The main reason bad apps hurt is the same reason that great reviews help: the typical end-user is lazy. We’re also subject to our own confirmation bias so when we tend to believe information that aligns with our notions.

Getting good user reviews helps circumvent the possibility of this cognitive bias coming into play when bad reviews surface that might deter a potential user. Too, this same notion comes into play when users are already predisposed to liking (or at least, wanting to like) your app. Users that are on the fence or unfamiliar with your app are more likely to spend a little longer researching your app by reading at least a handful of reviews.

If you’re reading this, you likely need a little help in getting more downloads so it’s safe to say that your app isn’t a popular commodity. Take care to address both the good and the bad user reviews and make sure to include reminders for users to review your app with the intent of getting the highest possible rating.

5. Use pricing trickery: temporarily lower the price

The idea here is to release your app as a paid version then in, say, a week make it free or heavily discount it. There are a ton of sites that watch for price drops on apps which is essentially free marketing.

We used this same tactic for the product we developed, Word Hack Puzzles. Doing so shot this product to the top of the charts for a short time.

6. Send your website viewers to the marketplace to use your app

One thing you can do to get users to download your app is to create an overlay on your site that detects and offers to redirect the view to the respective marketplace for their device. This is ideal when your app is a view for your site but it has other features that are only available through the app.

A great example of a site that does this is Newgrounds – they don’t offer an official app themselves but they do promote a variety of apps from other publishers. When you visit certain games on the site, you’re prompted to go to your respective marketplace to download the app. In other cases, there are highly visible links that you can tap on to visit the store associated with your device then download the app.

Blue Label Labs can help you increase your app’s visibility

 At Blue Label Labs we believe in using the most sophisticated tools on the market to leverage our successes and deliver the best product possible. Throughout the lifecycle of an app, we may implement a variety of strategies to ensure that your app gets the most possible downloads. Get in touch to learn more about our process or ask how we can help you leverage your existing app to be more successful.

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