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How to Decide Which Marketing Channels to Use to Reach App Customers

Laura MacPherson September 26, 2019

With thousands of individual marketing channels to choose from, it can be difficult to know which you should focus on. There are so many social media platforms and search opportunities. Myriad blogs and publications exist to advertise in. Marketing, even if you’re doing it organically without spending money on ads, will require resources — resources that are probably limited if you’re running a new startup. So how can you decide which marketing channels to use to reach app customers? Here’s a process that will help.

1. Identify Your Marketing Personas

Successful marketing starts with your marketing personas. Personas are representative composites of everyone in a particular market. You’ll have one persona for each market segment you’re targeting. Identify your personas’ demographics and educational background. Find out their challenges and goals. Learn what blogs and publications they regularly read and what social media platforms they frequently visit. See what groups or organizations they participate in.

2. Survey and Interview a Representative Sample of Users

If you don’t know key bits of information about your personas, you’ll need to do some research. Have a mailing list of prospective users? Send out a survey. Or if you can partner with someone else who has a mailing list of people who are representative of your personas, you may be able to arrange a barter agreement for them to send your survey to their audience. One-on-one interviews are another great way to gather information. Interviews also give you the ability to dig deeper and ask follow-up questions.

3. Rank Each Potential Channel in Order of Impact

Once you’ve gathered all the intel on your target market segments, you’re ready to narrow down your options. Rank each potential channel in order of the impact you expect it to have, based on your research. For example, if you discovered that a large percentage of your target audience spends over an hour a day scrolling through Facebook, advertising on Facebook is likely to be a successful channel for you.

4. Learn the Cost of Each Channel

After you’ve ranked each channel you identified, it’s time to find out the cost of using each channel. You’ll want to know if any are prohibitively expensive, or if the cost isn’t justified by the percentage of prospective users who regularly visit it. You can learn this information on advertising information pages and by requesting media kits from the opportunities you’re interested in.

5. Make a Judgment Call

Marketing isn’t an exact science. You want to do your homework and base your decisions on a foundation of reliable data. But ultimately, you’re working with a hypothesis. As with every other element of launching a startup, you’ll need to run some experiments to see what works best. Make a final judgment call based on what you’ve learned and try out the ones you think are more promising. Be sure to track and measure the results of every experiment you run. You need to know what worked and what didn’t so you can gather insights and iterate on your success.

Although the marketing channel landscape is large, you don’t need to be overwhelmed. When you start with your personas and go from there, you immediately narrow down the options to the ones most likely to bring success. Honing your selection from there by analyzing the cost and potential impact of each promising channel will allow you to run experiments that are likely to deliver the leads you’re looking for.

Want to learn how we help you hone your app idea, through our SolutionLab process? Get in touch, and we’ll schedule a call.

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