Successful apps are characterized by a set of common traits but only two of these truly determine the success of an app: its ability to drive downloads and its engagement.
Building an app is not synonymous of success. The first thing every aspiring appreneur should understand is the difference between promoting an app and influencing new users to get their app. Obviously the second option is the way to go; users need to have a clear idea of what you are selling and that, should close the deal.
Now that we have this basic principle in mind, let’s take a look at 15 ways to boost your app’s downloads and engagement.
1. Create a website for your app
People discover apps in many ways and very often they’ll google it. So, apart from reading all there is to read in the app store they’ll look for a second source and that, should be the app official website.
Building an outstanding landing page is extremely powerful, not only because it’s the first step to turn your app into a business but it’s also a great sales conversion tool. You should clearly state the value you will bring to the user with your app and allow the website to be a page that triggers communication among users.
2. Publish articles about your apps
Also known as content marketing, publishing articles about your app on other blogs or websites is just as important as having your own site. Start with small publication sites and aim for the big names, it’s a great way to encourage credibility and establish yourself in the market. And if people like the content, they will share it among their friends which will result in free promotion as well as advancement in search-engine rankings.
3. Build yourself a reputation
Work to get your name recognized. If you manage to build a good reputation as a developer or a publisher users will tend to rely on your products. Specialize in an area and post your thoughts, experiences and tips on forums, sites and other online communities. Again, building value around your app is better than pushing someone to buy your product.
4. Social Media channels
This should be granted for anyone by now. Be active on social medias, they are a great tool to promote your app on groups and also by creating a page specifically for your product. Allow users to talk about your product and be present in all the conversations.
5. Stay alert on what people say about you
This is closely related to the previous one. Use tools like Mention and Google Alert to know who talks about you so that you can promptly react. It’s a great way to foresee any issue or even apply suggestions that other might have about your app.
6. Word of mouth
This is probably the cheapest and most effective marketing tool you could use. Word of mouth is not easy to achieve, it may require some time but it’s worth it and a great way to do it is to trigger a viral loop. People tend to trust other users, so if you have a great product to offer and you manage to run an efficient marketing campaign increasing the user reach shouldn’t be difficult.
7. App stores reviews
Get every single person you know to download your app and give it a nice rate and review. Unhappy customers will surely leave a comment on the app but stimulating users that use your app regularly to rate it on the app stores is up to you.
8. App usage data
Does your app have some nice numbers? Show them off! If you have a great number of people that use your app or you made good revenues with it, why shouldn’t you let everyone know about it. Put it on your website where anyone can see it, and let your followers on social media know about it. And why not, a thank you note is always appreciated.
9. Share app content on social media
Another great way to market your app and increase engagement is letting users to share app content on social media. Reaching a high game score or a personal objective with a health app, if shared, can stimulate conversation and cause other users to download your app as well.
10. Customer service
Providing an outstanding customer service is the base of any successful business. Listen to your customers and connect with them. Come up with solutions when a problem arise and don’t wait ages to fix it or they’ll move to someone else that does the job better than you. Remember, a happy customer is a returning customer, and also, it’s free marketing for you.
11. Don’t forget ASO!
If you want people to talk about your app they should discover it first. A great way to do it is through App Store Optimization, if effectively done, it will increase your app store rankings and allow you to be more visible to browsing users.
12. Push notifications
Push notifications are useful for many functions. They can make a user that stopped using your app come back, it can make them share content or even increase the current usage percentage. All you have to do is use this feature wisely, don’t overdo or you might end up losing users. Test out a few strategies and find out which works best for you.
13. UX and UI
There are millions of apps in the market so make sure your app gets noticed in that crowd. How can you drive engagement if your app is not engaging? Create a professional and clean looking design, pick your colors wisely according to the type of app and make sure the user experience is pleasant. Your app should be beautiful to the eye and easy to navigate.
Keep an eye on your competitors and learn from them. What do they excel in and what can you do to get better? What are they terrible at and what can you do to avoid the same situation? Use competition to your advantage and move accordingly to keep improving your app.
15. It is a business
If you want your app to be successful stop thinking about it as an app and start thinking about it as a business. Building an app is getting easier and easier every day and the people that decide to launch an app are more than ever. Because of that, remember that your app is your very own company and you are the one entitled to provide the best service to the customer. If you keep this in mind for each step you take in making your app stand out, I grant you your road will be long and successful.
So, the next time you’ll launch an app, before going crazy with the promotion and ignoring the advice of your customers remember these steps, if followed wisely they will bring you to the right direction. Just like every business an app is successful if the person behind it is determined enough to succeed, so work hard and I’m sure you will make it.
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