The Most Damn Thing You Need to Know About App Marketing
The story behind successful App Marketing
Before you continue reading this article, you should know that here you will not find any Mumbo-Jumbo tricks. Only a pure essence of marketing, how to make your app or game reach the App Store top ten.
First, you should know that there isn’t much difference between app or game development and any other product (or service) development. In both cases you have to truly understand the market and your potential users.
The second thing you need to know is that there aren’t any shortcuts or fast lanes in this process. You have to do your homework well or your app will fail.
Know your market
Almost twenty years ago, I attended a local marketing conference. One of the speakers, a professor from a local university start his speech with this question:
“Do you know what is marketing?”
Many attendees, mainly students, raised their hands to answer the question.
“It is the way we promote our business” one person said.
“It’s billboards and ads in the newspapers and magazines” said another one.
The professor was patient and he waited to hear all answers, and then he asked again:
“And, how do you know who’s your audience? Who are you talking to?”
People in the room were silent. Apparently, students didn’t have the answer, so he continued.
“You have to know the customers a way before you start thinking about your business, start developing any product or service.”
Translated to app development, you have to tailor your app for known customers or users.
If you create the app first, and then start pursuing who is going to use it, you are on the wrong path. You should have the users in your mind during the whole business development process. Period.
There is one more common mistake. Many app developers think their app didn’t succeed because of a lack of marketing funds. But that is (mostly) not true.
If you haven’t developed an app for a known certain group of users, you will just waist that money since you don’t know who they are.
Still, if you have a perfectly crafted marketing campaign but your app sucks, you will fail even much faster. There is no marketing guru or marketing strategy that can help. Remember, an excellent product and great marketing go hand in hand.
You can’t separate them.
Create community for successful App Marketing
First you need to know who your users (audience) are.
For example, if you want to develop Egg timer app, who’s your ideal user? Put yourself in their shoes and create an ideal user profile with as many data as you can.
The main things such as: gender, age, location, mobile device they use and etc.
You will not target a 45-year-old woman who knows how to ideally prepare eggs for breakfast, because she has done it a thousand times before. Right? But, what about teenagers who still don’t have such experience or a single man…I’m just throwing ideas here.
Once you spend some time and effort to understand what your potential users need, you’re ready for the next step – the app development.
This is the right time to launch an app website and to create social media accounts keeping in mind where your audience mostly hangs on. You should create accounts on each and every social network as you can. Use and be active only in a few most important for you, but keep your eye on other social networks.
You never know which one will “click” in your case.
Your posts should be both informative and funny.
It is a good idea to make a video about you or your team capturing funny situations during the development process.
Don’t forget, the most important thing in creating community is interaction with your fans and followers.
Pay attention to answer each and every comment and treat them as pure gold, because they are everything you have.
How to start with App Marketing?
Facebook is the most accurate weapon in your marketing arsenal. So, start from here.
After you create an app fan page, set milestones for each step you plan to take. You have to spend a lot of time and effort to create the community around your app. Steps should look like this: 0-100, 100-1.000, 1K-10K… until you reach THE CRITICAL MASS for the chain reaction. There is no simple answer how many users/fans you have to attract to reach this goal.
Think about this process as the creation of a sustainable cold fusion reactor.
Once you reach a critical number of satisfy users, they will start to grow in exponential value and your app business will explode producing a tremendous number of downloads.
Still, you have to know that there isn’t a universal recipe for App Marketing. So get ready for some dirty job.
Facebook ads could be a perfect solution since you know your users better than you know yourself. Many successful advertisers use A/B testing in combination with 1$-2$-5$ formula to fine tune their ad performances. There is no reason why you shouldn’t do the same.
Once you set a successful campaign, stick with it but don’t be afraid to continue with testing. The goal in this process is to increase ROI and earn much more then you invest in advertising.
Here are some Facebook tricks I have picked from Vin Clancy:
Post for 3-6 weeks just GOOD CONTENT (without any external links, this is very important). Videos, pictures, texts, or anything which means people stay inside Facebook’s walls. THEN when you have a product launch post:
“I’m giving one (whatever your product/service is) for free. If you want it, like and share this post, I’ll pick someone at random to get it” – All the likes and shares will overcome the Facebook nerfing you for putting an external link on.
Expert level tip: The picture ideally must have never been uploaded to Facebook before (FB check EXIF data on the photo, and rewards original content for obvious reasons).
Add some secret sauce to your App marketing
This part is probably the most important thing in the whole process.
For example, Flappy Bird’s secret sauce was an extremely hard gameplay with a top-score list. You start to play the game and fail after a few seconds (or immediately) but you see many other players have even 1.000 times a better score than you.
So, a player starts the game over and over again trying to reach a better result.
But, it took almost a whole year for Dong Nguyen to find and add secret sauce to his reskinned game. After a lot of testing, from May 2013 till the beginning of 2014 he finally made it.
I’m wondering, what if he put a bot to play and reach maximum score to the game. This trick could pull players, the same as an electrical rabbit does it in dog races, to play more and more Flappy Bird.
Each time a player started the game, an ad was loaded. With million players all over the world he was able to earn 20-30.000 dollars daily!
Anyway, his game become a huge success.
He made a lot of money and become the game development celebrity.
So don’t be lazy and go for it!
As Arnold Schwarzenegger said: “don’t be afraid to break some rules but don’t break the law” in your app development process.
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