Concepting and building your product are only the first steps to a successful app. As many app developers know, growing a strong user base can be the most challenging part. In a noisy world where there are over 3 million apps on Google Play and over 2 million apps in Apple’s App Store, the struggle to get noticed is real. In this post, we’re sharing the essential resources that will help you in your marketing journey.
1. Marketing Personas
A marketing persona is a composite visual representation of each of your target market segments. If only one type of person will be buying (or downloading) your app, you’ll only have one persona. But if you’re targeting more than one type of person, you’ll want to create a persona for each type. The value of personas is that they help you better understand and clearly visualize who you’re marketing to. You’ll learn what they value, what frustrates them, what would trigger them to download the app, what problem they hope to solve with your app, where they hang out online, what publications they read. . . everything you need to know to successfully market to them.
Marketing personas are similar to user personas with an important difference — they won’t necessarily represent the same groups of people. Your users may or may not be the people the you’re marketing to, especially if your app is designed for use in business. You may be selling to the HR department, IT, or the finance team at a company, who will then “sell” their employees on using the app. Even if your app is built for consumers, the people who make the decision to buy your app may not be the ones downloading it or paying for it.
The first step in crafting your marketing plan is to get very clear on precisely who will be making the buying decision. Learn how to create accurate marketing personas here.
2. Collateral that Communicates Your Value and Vibe
At least initially, your marketing collateral — everything from your digital ads to your website — is the only way people will learn about your app. Make sure that your collateral does an excellent job communicating two things: the value of the app and the “vibe” of the app (your app’s personality). Clearly identify the problem your app solves or the need it fulfills and concisely explain how it does it. Paint a picture of what life will look like when using your app. Be sure that the value you communicate matches up with the needs and desires of your marketing personas, not necessarily your end users (unless they’re the same).
Also, reflect your app’s personality in your collateral. Your collateral should be a preview of what it will be like to use your app. If your app’s character or dialog boxes are fun and quirky, make your collateral fun and quirky as well. If your app is all business, reflect that professionalism in your collateral.
It’s worth the expense of hiring experienced copywriters and designers to help you create your collateral, since you only get one chance at a first impression. A less-than-stellar initial experience could result in losing people that may otherwise have become customers.
3. A Standout App Listing
Your app listing is actually part of your collateral, but it’s important enough that you should devote special attention to it. You only get about 255 characters to entice users and convince them to download your app. You’ll need to communicate the value of your app and engage prospective users’ emotions in the process.
As with your other forms of collateral, people should be able to easily envision the improvement in their lives if they start using your app. Be sure to call out key features, and don’t forget credibility indicators like testimonials and awards. Here are some excellent tips on how to write a listing that resonates.
4. An SEO Plan
Google is an integral part of nearly everyone’s lives today. Your prospective buyers will be searching Google for a solution when they realize they have the need that your app solves. Will your website show up in the search results?
SEO (search engine optimization) is too complex of a topic to cover in a blog post, so we’ll just point out that you need a plan to ensure your site ranks high in the search results for terms that your buyers would use to find a solution like yours.
Here are a few resources to check out if you want to try your hand at SEO:
5. A Press Kit and List of Influencers
Your press kit will contain all the essentials that a media outlet or influencer would need to promote you — your logo in a variety of file formats, screenshots, lifestyle photos, key messaging, etc. Make it as easy as possible for people to promote you. The less friction involved, the faster they’ll get the word out. See how to build a press kit here.
Next, create a list of influencers to pitch. Choose those that your target buyers pay attention to on a regular basis. Your marketing persona research will clue you in to who these people and outlets are.
With these resources, your marketing plan will be much easier to create, and your workflow won’t suddenly come to a halt when you realize you haven’t yet developed one of these essentials. Launch strong, well-prepared, and your momentum will continue to build.
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