App Marketing 101 Series: App Store Marketing (Pillar 3)

Welcome to the third article in our 10-part article series on App Marketing. Last week we covered everything you need to know about Pricing your product and the use of Pricing as a Promotional Vehicle. This week’s marketing pillar covers this ins and outs of better use of the app store to market your product.

Since it’s inception, the application storefronts have been the most powerful merchandising and promotional vehicle for app discovery. With the app stores so influential, it is incredibly important to understand how to use them to your advantage.

App publishers need to look at their product page and other areas in the app store not simply as a distribution center but as powerful marketing opportunities which, if utilized correctly, will assist in increasing discovery and downloads for your app.

Your Product Page is a Marketing Opportunity

Be sure to put some thought into the elements that make up your product page in the app store. Don’t treat this as a just a mandatory step in the submission process, but rather an important marketing opportunity.Remember, all parts of this page need to be geared towards one goal – download. Your name, icon, description and screenshots are tools you have to convince the user to download your application. Make sure you use all options available to their full potential.

Some quick tips:

  • If you are not an already established brand, then choose an app name that is relevant to your app’s purpose
  • Your app icon is your logo so make sure it is creative, high quality and represents what your app is all about
  • Upload as many screenshots as possible, prioritizing those that showcase your features and content
  • Don’t waste screenshots on loading screens or standard device processes like calling, texting or shutting down – focus on your app
  • Include a video if the store allows it, a well done demo of your application goes along way to converting the audience to a user


Don’t Forget Your Keywords

The app stores search algorithm’s and their use of metadata is still somewhat a mystery. What we do know is that optimizing your description and utilizing keywords does make a difference.  Some app stores like provide fields to input keywords up to 100 characters.  If this is available use it!

When selecting your keywords:

  • Start first with keywords you may already have from your web SEO efforts.
  • Don’t need to include your app name.
  • Many developers believe that you only need commas to separate, not spaces, which should free up some characters.
  • Select keywords that will maximize results – avoid general terms and use words relevant to your app’s niche and purpose.
  • Additionally, write your app description including all of your keywords.  List your features, your content and even go as far as include the types of users or scenarios you feel your audience may use to search for an app.


Choose Your Category Strategically

When it comes to choosing a category for your app within the store, do your homework. Perform searches to see where your competitors show up. Look in the categories you feel you would most fit to see what apps are featured.You will want to choose a category that is a logical choice for your audience to find you. But be on the look out for opportunities that will allow you to stand out. Categories with fewer total apps or that have little to no other apps with your offering may be better suited to provide you the visibility you need.


Reviews & Ratings Can Be the Key to Climbing the Charts

When a user enters the app store they make most of their download decisions in the list view. Here they are given only a couple of things to help them make their decision: app name, icon, price and the rating and number of reviews.Ratings & reviews aren’t just great vehicles to collect feedback on your, they also help your app standout in the list. Apps with more activity (ratings & reviews) are more apt to be tapped on than those that have no star ratings or comments.Additionally, app stores have started to factor in activity (ratings & reviews) as part of the criteria used to build the merchandising areas – like the top chart.

Actively encourage feedback from users. Include a call to action in your app, your webpage and social networks to request reviews and ratings.Create an area in your “About” or “Info” area of your app that has a link to review and rate your app. Consider a timed pop-up to appear in the app while the user is interacting with it to remind them to give feedback.Make getting feedback from your users a core part of your ongoing marketing efforts for your app.


Add a Personal Touch When Submitting

The app store submission process is automated and for the most part the thousands of developers and product owners who submit their app have no visibility or access to the people behind the process.Just because you don’t have a name, doesn’t mean you can’t differentiate yourself by personalizing your submission using the notes & comments. Don’t leave this optional area blank. Use it to highlight how your app is unique. List new APIs that you are using. Spell out features or design that you feel differentiate your app. What you want to do is create a reason for the reviewer to remember your app. This is a great first step in building a relationship with this team and could help increase your chance of being featured in their marketplace.


Think Beyond the OEM Application Stores

 The manufacturer and carrier storefronts are not the only places users can find your app. There are many app catalogs, third-party app stores and app search engines you should utilize as part of distribution. Search these out and make sure you submit your applications so that they are available.

The alternative app stores usually have additional marketing opportunities you can take advantage of such as advertising and paid features. They also provide analytics and reports that can provide further insight into your users to feed back into marketing. The more places your app exists, the better chance your audience can find and download your app.

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