Let’s set your scene. You have finally built your dream app. You may have done it yourself or you engaged the services of an app development company. Either way it doesn’t matter, what’s important is that you now have your own app. Congratulations!
You love the design and it works flawlessly on all devices you tested it on. Your target niche is relatively unexplored and virtually competition-free. However, there’s a problem and it’s a HUGE one: you are only getting a handful of downloads!
After launching your app, it can be disappointing when downloads are not as high as you expected them to be. After all, you invested a lot of time, money, and effort into your app’s design and development. To complicate matters, there are currently 1.96 million apps available on Apple store and more than 2.87 million apps on Google play store.
The figures are daunting but keep your head up, if you have an awesome app that you want the world to use, you can make it happen. All you need is a bit of traction for your app to draw more eyeballs and for more folks to find and use it. So, how can you make your app standout in an increasingly crowded marketplace?
Without further ado, we’ve put together the 5 proven strategies to significantly boost app downloads. Let’s dive in, shall we?
1. Create an Eye-Catching App Icon
Your app icon gives your app’s first impression to its potential users, who are largely driven by visual cues. This explains why it is imperative to be meticulous with its design. It should be more than an afterthought as it influences user behavior and can therefore boost downloads when designed properly.
Studies show that an icon’s design can significantly affect the download rate. Hence, it certainly pays to invest time and effort into creating an attractive app icon. This will make your app standout from the throngs of other competing apps. It also brings to the fore the branding that goes with your app and so it must be a close representation of its functionality and what it stands for. Simply put, the icon must give users a good idea of what they are going to get if they download your app.
Lastly, bear in mind that just like any other outstanding piece of design, your app icon must strike a delicate balance between being simple and flamboyant. It must be straightforward without being flashy. You don’t want to convey vague messages or have a design that’s confusing to the eye.
2. Put a Premium on App Store Optimization
You may be familiar with search engine optimization (SEO), but as an app owner looking for more downloads, you must also have a good understanding of app store optimization (ASO). The two share similar principles, but ASO is specifically meant to make your app more visible in the marketplace.
When you submit your application to an app store, be sure to select your categories wisely and see to it that you pick a category that is relevant to your app and one that’s not overly saturated. It must also allow your app to rank well in category charts. Studies show that users usually discover new apps to download by thumbing through the charts. This means high-ranking apps receive lots of traffic and they generate more organic downloads.
Next, optimise the keywords used in your app’s title and description. You can use Google’s AdWords keyword tool or keyword trackers to identify the most suitable search terms. Note, however, that you shouldn’t just use a keyword because of its high search volume. Choose keywords that are accurate and relevant to your app and target audience. If your descriptions contain several irrelevant keywords, your app will lose credibility and your downloads will plummet as a consequence.
Another important thing to do is to identify the locations of your target audience and then tailor the description of your app for those areas. This may entail translating your app store description to another language or choosing photos that are relevant to that particular region.
Lastly, as your app gets more positive feedback, it will rank higher in search results and this will improve download figures. Soliciting in-app reviews at opportune times can help boost those reviews. One of the best ways to get user feedback is through the use of custom-made forums. If you don’t have time for that and you don’t have additional budget to pay someone to do it for you, third-party SDKs are a good alternative.
3. Urge Users with a Mobile Pop-up
Pop-ups are effective in promoting your app to visitors. Always use pop-up notifications as a tool in your marketing arsenal. Smart use of pop-ups can increase your download rate by at least 40%. You certainly won’t want to miss out on that!
Need proof? Well, as stated in the title of this post, 40% sounds impressive but that is actually a conservative estimate. Israel Post, the biggest postal services company in Israel, used pop-ups to perfection. In fact, it managed to increase app downloads by 980% for iOS and 580% for Android!
While popups can be annoying, it only holds true when the popup is timed wrongly. Remember that much like asking for reviews, you must ensure that your pop-ups are timed correctly and specifically designed for the right audience. You can actually use pop-ups to prompt users to give a review or rate your app. Just bear in mind to wait till users have used your app at least three times before requesting for their reviews using a pop-up.
4. Leverage the Power of Social Media
There are at least 4 billion social media users today, so it’s imperative to promote your app on these platforms to get more downloads. According to Mobile App Daily, more than 70% of online businesses leverage the power of social media for app marketing.
The big question is how and where do you start?
First, identify which social media platforms your potential users hang out the most. If you’re targeting industry professionals, it’s advisable to promote your app on Twitter or LinkedIn. On the other hand, Instagram and Facebook are ideal for targeting consumers with interest in products or services that are similar to yours.
Next, create hashtagged campaigns to generate prelaunch buzz, increase brand awareness, or promote new features. Reply to comments to boost engagement. This will raise word-of-mouth compliments of your commitment to users, and increase app downloads organically.
Third, create content to engage your followers. You can put up posts that speak about your app and its features, but only do so shortly after launching your app. Focusing entirely on your app will bore your followers, so put up engaging, useful and interesting posts regularly. Don’t forget to add a call-to-action at the end of your post as this will allow users to download your app.
Other strategies to consider include the following:
- Use a combination of promoted posts and sponsored stories aimed towards mobile news feeds via Facebook
- Run contests to get prospective users to try your app
- Consider influencer marketing, especially on Instagram and Snapchat
- Encourage user-generated content to highlight the value of your app
- Use platforms like Reddit and Quora to establish yourself as a niche authority
Word of Caution: Every social media platform implements its own terms of service relating to advertising, contests, and giveaways. Make sure you don’t violate them while trying to build a solid following and loyalty for your app.
5. Create an Email Marketing Campaign
There are a variety of ways to promote a product or service, but email marketing is one of the most efficient and cost-effective. In fact, a recent study revealed that for every dollar spent, email marketing has an average ROI of $51. This only goes to show that it is one of the most underrated ways of promoting a newly launched app.
Cash in on the traffic you own. Announce the that you have a new app to your email list and entice your subscribers to download it. Wait for a couple of days and then send out a few follow-up emails as a reminder. When you use email marketing correctly, you can expect a great conversion rate.
Your app may be functional and aesthetically pleasing, but don’t expect tons of downloads if you don’t put enough effort in promoting it. Boosting your app’s downloads should not be a daunting nor difficult task. The app market has become more competitive but we consistently see new apps rise to the top and trump all others for downloads and usage.
Set your app for success by using these tips to put your brand ahead of the pack. If you found this post helpful, please be kind enough to share.