Long days. Even longer nights are behind you. You and your development partners have created the app of your dreams and one that you hope will be a smash hit on Google Play and the Apple App store.
You’ve done your homework. You’ve studied your target audience. You’ve created what you feel is the ultimate onboarding experience. You’ve beta tested and you feel like your app is finally ready to launch. What next? I hate to break it to you but your work is not done yet! Now starts the fun part.
Essentially, what you want to create is demand for your app. You want to drive people to download and then stay. Most app developers and your typical “appreneur” think that mobile advertising such as “in-app ads” is the way to go in order to build that audience. But, there are better ways to drive app demand. Let’s find out.
Think about it this way – there are millions of apps on each app store. You’ll have to find a creative way to bypass all that noise. One way is to utilize social media. This method is for the most part free and is available for big players and small startups alike.
Below I will provide you with my tips and tricks on how to push your mobile app via social media and how to maximize your marketing efforts.
Content is king
In order to create the best social media campaign and grow your app’s visibility, you must first concentrate on creating good content. And I mean, lots of it!
Develop content that will keep your target audience engaged. For example, if it’s a cooking app that you’re promoting, then perhaps you should create content that revolves around some of the best recipes out of Europe, tips by the best chefs, an announcement of a contest inviting the best organic pizza recipes, etc. Time to get creative!
Another option is to create cool engaging videos, similarly to what Angry Birds do on their YouTube channel. This ultra-popular gaming app took YouTube by storm when they’ve created a bunch of funny and engaging videos, providing viewers with sneak peaks to “behind the scenes” edits as well as video stories that expand the game universe and are exclusive to YouTube. Check out this video for example:
These videos will make you want to download the app and try it for yourself. You can also create fun and quirky introduction videos for your app. The idea is to get people excited about your app without pushing it too hard. Then, with the right call to action, get them to download. Promote this video content via the most popular channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Reddit, etc.
One way to make your video (potentially) go viral is by tying it to one of the most popular videos on YouTube. Take Despacito by Luis Fonsi, for example:
This video has over 5 billion views. You can tackle this by getting creative and making a parody video of Despacito. Remember that this video will have to somehow tie in your app and a call to action.
The core of making a good viral video is to keep things simple, inspire viewers and play with their emotions. Wow them with your messaging and make them hit the share button as soon as possible. This will (hopefully) increase the interest in your content, and as a result- generate more interest in your app. The bigger the interest is, the bigger the potential downloads is.
Get influencers on your side
Moving forward with content development: people love getting app/software recommendations from friends and family. They (rightfully) feel like this is the most credible source they have.
On the same note, getting a prominent YouTuber like Marques Brownlee or Linus Tech Tips to review your app will not only provide your app with huge visibility, but this will also provide potential customers with a credible and powerful recommendation from a “know how” authority. Here’s an example:
Here’s another cool example of using an influencer to showcase your product in the most credible way while also sharing a case study. Evernote, a super-popular productivity app is using Klaus Badelt, a well-known Hollywood composer, to shed a light on how he uses the app to collaborate when producing films. This is another great way to use influencers to expand your reach. After all, it’s Hollywood we’re talking about!
In short, utilizing the right influencer for your product will ensure your messaging gets to the right ears (your target audience). Matching your product with the perfect influencer (not necessarily the most popular) who’ll be as passionate as you are about your product, could significantly increase your reach and visibility.
Facebook isn’t the only platform you should be utilizing
Start your social media adventure by creating a strategy which includes these key elements:
Define your messaging
Tone of voice (how do you want to come across – professional, fun, sophisticated, etc.)
Target audience and where can you find it online
Competitors and their social initiatives
Once you have your social media strategy developed, you can get started by setting up the company accounts on each of the platforms you find relevant for your product. We recommend posting neutral content at first and to take this time to connect with key influencers in your app’s niche.
Go visual with your social media marketing! With smartphone cameras getting better by the minute, and new visual trends like AR (Augmented Reality) taking over almost every social media platform, the shift is definitely here- more people use visually-based social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, etc.
With over 800 million monthly active users on Instagram, this is by far the biggest visual social media platform out there. Having a presence here is something you should definitely look into.
Instagram will encourage you to take your content to a new, young and vibrant direction.
It can either be posting photos/videos/stories showing your company culture and vibe, videos showing the value of the product, or anything in between. Remember that the vast majority of Instagram users are in the ages of 18 to 29, then followed by 30-49 (max). Thus, adjusting your content to match this audience is essential.
One way to utilize Instagram to its full potential is to get influencers that share the same target audience as you to talk about your app. You can go about it by setting up a giveaway or a contest and collaborate with this specific influencer you find relevant.
Is definitely the youngest and the most niche of the bunch, but it’s got great potential. Quora is basically a Q&A (questions and answers) platform. People can either ask questions, answer questions or just browse discussions and topics. There’s an upvoting system in place. Similarly to how Reddit works, questions, topics or answers gain popularity and visibility based on the amount of upvotes they’ve earned.
Subjects and topics can be anything between music, sports, tech, marketing and even tattoos.
However, it seems like most of Quora’s users are interested in gaining powerful B2B insights and discover new tools to help them grow. And this is exactly where your product steps in.
First, you have to choose someone to represent your company on Quora. Yes, it is recommended to use real names, job titles, etc. Then, find relevant questions/discussions in your space that you can answer. Try finding popular threads that get a lot of attention. These are the questions that get the most views and hold the most traffic potential.
After finding the right question, write a thorough, detailed and professional response. Make sure you really do answer the question and provide users with great value. Then, tie-in your app to the rest of your answer and make sure to add links to the relevant pages in your site (blog posts, eBooks, download page, etc). From there, it’s all about getting your answer upvoted. The more upvotes, the higher it’ll rank on the page, and the more views/leads you’re going to get.
Is a great platform for networking and “shoutouts”. The great thing about Twitter is that it allows you to basically reach out to almost anyone using the platform by tagging their handle, mentioning them in your tweets or as a reply to an ongoing public conversation.
Twitter used to be very challenging when it comes to content creation, since the platform had a strict character limit for each tweet, but this is no longer the case. Yes, there’s still some limitation but it’s nowhere near the early-days “one-liners”. Getting influencers in your space to retweet your posts or participate in a conversation could have a huge impact and allow you to reach a massive audience in no-time.
Twitter now allows brands to “boost” their tweets via a paid campaign which will ensure increased visibility and potentially higher engagement rates.
You can also “growth hack” twitter by using third party tools like Mention or Slack to notify you whenever someone is tweeting about your product, or about a specific keyword you set. This allows you to “strike the iron while it’s hot” and engage with potential users or influencers at the best timing.
With hundreds of millions of users, Facebook is still a powerful social media channel in which you can promote your content. Having a digital presence on Facebook is not only great in terms of SEO and content distribution, but it’s also a free and easy way to gain user feedback, credibility and generate buzz. The idea here is to post content that your target audience can relate to. The key is to tie in your app or your app space without being overly “pushy” or “salesy”. Encourage users to share your content by providing them with great insights, tips and tricks which they, and their friends can find useful.
Your page might not have a lot of followers to start off, and that’s OK. Gain your following-base by connecting other Facebook users, both personal and brand profiles, interact with them and have them follow you. Another way in which you can gain followers and interact with other Facebook users is Facebook groups. Find the groups that are most relevant to your niche, participate in discussions from your personal profile and tie in your app when the timing is right.
Nowadays, unfortunately, Facebook is slowly but surely killing its organic reach for pages. This means that a company page posting organically (non paid content) will only have its posts appear on a relatively low number of Facebook feeds. Organic reach on Facebook is a whole new topic we can discuss for hours, but your biggest takeaway should be – if you really want to reach the audience you’re looking for on Facebook, you’ll probably have to pay (promote content).
Additional tips and tricks
Give your users another reason to share!
See how Booking does exactly that with their referral/share program.
2. Sharing within the app
Provide users with as many in-app sharing options as possible.
See how Google does this brilliantly on their Maps app, allowing users to share the location/attraction with other users in multiple ways.
3. Show your followers that you recognize them
One of the easiest and coolest ways to show your followers that you care, is to feature their content on your social channels. It could be a photo they took, a video where they talk about your app, an achievement they’ve been able to accomplish with your app, a screenshot, etc.
This method is called “user-generated content” and not only that it shows appreciation to your followers, but it can also work as a powerful, credible “case study” or recommendation.
4. Schedule and monitor your posts
Utilize 3rd-party social media tools like Hootsuite and Buffer to schedule your posts and measure your most important social KPIs.
Create stunning graphics, videos, GIFs and infographics to grab users’ attention. Utilize great free graphic tools like Canva and Unsplash. At the end of the day, we (humans) are visual beings and thus, we tend to grasp ideas and messages that are visually delivered more easily.
Pro Tip #1: Keep users on the app highway
Making sure users come back to your app again and again should be your top mission.
Your app’s onboarding is one of the best ways to keep users returning and to keep retention numbers green. The onboarding experience can be compared to an entry ramp on a highway, providing your first-time users with a smooth glide into their usage routine.
Succeeding in this phase is imperative to having users come back for more.
Downloads ≠ active users! If people have downloaded your app thanks to your social media initiatives, that only means they’ve found some interest in it. This phase (onboarding) can spell glory or disaster for your app. That’s where you need to invest more efforts to monitor the user experience and user behavior: see where users spend most of their time, where they drop off, how and where they interact with the app by tapping, pinching and swiping.
Pro tip #2: Optimize the user experience with actionable data
You can always refine and optimize your app’s onboarding experience by using a qualitative mobile analytics tool. Such tool will provide you with actionable insights regarding your users’ actions and will shed a light on why things are happening rather than what is happening.
Qualitative analytics , unlike traditional analytics, is all about understanding the user’s behavior. It will provide you with features which will allow you to observe users’ interactions with your app and learn about their preferences. User experience (UX) encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with your app, and thus, can only be measured and optimized via qualitative analytics solutions. All your social media and marketing efforts are worth nothing if your app’s UX doesn’t meet the same standard.
Connor Iny is part of the Inbound Marketing team at Appsee. He is a passionate social media and content ninja and he can talk about tech and Android for days. Connor also LOVES surfing (waves) and skateboarding and when it comes to food, he’s all about burgers & fries. You can follow him on Twitter via @marketingwookie.