From mobile banking to local restaurants to health and fitness centers, modern consumers expect to have access to an app for their favorite brand’s content and services. In fact, a mobile app is one of the biggest trends in marketing.

Creating a mobile app is a great opportunity for your business to provide better service and content to your customers, leading to better brand awareness, brand authority, and customer loyalty and retention. Mobile apps can boost your revenue significantly, but they take some effort and resources to launch.

You can create apps on the cheap, or with a lot of time and money, depending on how complex you want your app to be. Whichever you choose, you want to make the most of your time, energy, and spending, however, so it’s important to make the app successful.

Find out the top marketing strategies to launch a successful mobile app in 2021.

Conduct Market Research

Google Play and the Apple Store are inundated with millions of apps for all types of products and services. You’ll have plenty of competition to get your app discovered, let alone downloaded. The best way to set your app apart is through market research.

Start by considering your competitors and their apps. If your competitors don’t have apps, you’re in a great position to stand out. If they do, consider what they do well, what they need to do better, and how their users regard their apps.

All of these insights can help you design and develop an app that solves your users’ problems without many of the complaints.

Set Goals and Metrics

If you don’t set goals for your app, you have no way of knowing if you’re accomplishing what you set out to. Launching an app isn’t enough, so you need to establish measurable and attainable goals for discovery, downloads, retention, and engagement.

Once you have goals, you need to set metrics to see if you’re reaching them. These metrics may include average rating, number of ratings, install rate, retention rate, and revenue generated.

These metrics can vary significantly, but they’re a good starting point. For example, most apps have a three- to a four-star rating, but you should be aiming for a five-star rating.

In addition, most apps are discovered and downloaded in the first month of appearing in the store, but that eventually slows down. Your intention should be to get as many downloads as possible and once downloaded, you should have users that log on and engage with the app consistently.

Claim Social Media Accounts

Social media marketing should already be part of your marketing strategy. You can leverage your social media presence to promote your app launch and get your followers excited. Offer regular previews of features and functionality to get your followers interested in what your app has to offer.

You can also get feedback and suggestions for your app from the people you hope will use it – your followers. Consult with your audience to see what features they’d like to have, or what their biggest problems are that your app can solve. During development, you can use this information to guide your build.

Once your app is downloaded, direct your followers to the app using a link on social media. Downloads and engagement are the most important goals for your app, and this will make it easier for followers to discover your app and use it.

Offer Different Versions of the App

When apps were new, one platform used to be enough. Now, apps need to be offered across multiple platforms to suit different users. Cross-platform development gives you more audience reach, but it can be costly.

Fortunately, it’s more cost-effective to develop multiple versions of your app at once, instead of waiting to launch one and then adding different versions in the future. If you think this is the right choice for your app, consider offering web browser versions of your app to suit users on any device.

Create a Demo

Even the simplest of apps can take some time to learn at first. If the app is complex, that can take even longer. You can make your app easier for users by creating a demo video that walks them through the features and usage. The best way to create a demo is with screenshots or presentation programs.

Keep this in mind if you have features that may be helpful to your users, but aren’t as easy to find or use. You should always communicate the features of the app and how they benefit the user.

For example, the Zutobi app’s CDL practice test offers a lot of valuable tools to help drivers study for and pass their DMV tests. One of the ways it excels is with popups. If a user answers a question wrong, a popup feature shows the right answer and explains the law or regulation surrounding the question. This offers a deeper learning experience than simple right or wrong answers.

Create Dedicated Content

Your app should be developed to be intuitive, but your users still expect guidance about its features, how they work, and how they can use them to their fullest. You have an opportunity to create a lot of valuable content around your app launch, such as articles, infographics, blog posts, email blasts, web copy, and press releases that share essential information about how to use your app and its most valuable features.

You can send some of this content out in advance to get users interested in what the app has to offer, but be sure to schedule some content to go live on launch day. After launch, check in with your users regularly to see if they’re having any issues and provide support. When you add new features or functionality, create content around it to prepare your audience.

Make a Dedicated App Page

If you want to provide extra value to your users, create a dedicated site or page that showcases all your app’s features and how to use them. This can complement your social media post and provide in-depth information to help users get the most out of your app.

If your app was created to generate revenue, it’s important to give your users everything they need to install and engage with the app regularly.

Your site or page should have information like onboarding instructions, demo videos, screenshots, in-depth breakdowns of features and their benefits, and device requirements.

You can also provide a form to address questions and a page signup for users to get a download alert email and a link to the app when it launches.

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One of the best examples of a dedicated app page is the Zutobi app’s page. Practice permit tests for different states all have their own dedicated page, for example, our Ohio page here, and state-specific information like unique laws and traffic statistics. The same is true for other states. You’ll also find frequently asked questions about the test, practice questions, and what to expect from testing.

All of this information can build trust and confidence from the user and lead to a download since they can feel assured that the app will help them with their pain points. In this case, the pain point is studying for and passing the permit test and road test to become a licensed driver.

Pick an App Store

While it’s best to create a version of your app for as many platforms as you can, such as the Android Market, Google Play, and Apple App Store, that may not be feasible for you. If you must start with one, focus your efforts on the store that’s most likely to get you a high volume of users, downloads, and ratings. In time, you can create versions of your app for different app stores.

Also, you may need to update, change, and improve your app in the weeks and months following the launch. If you expect a lot of updates and changes, having your app in one or two app stores can streamline your updates with limited disruption or downtime for users. You’ll also have time to work out the bugs and start fresh on a new platform.

The most commonly used app stores are Google Play and the Apple App Store, but you’ll find a lot more on the market. If you aren’t sure which is the best option for your app, put some time into audience research to see where most of your potential users spend their time.

You want to design your app to suit the platform the majority of your users prefer, so you can get the most downloads.

Work on App Store Optimization

App store optimization (ASO) is similar to search engine optimization (SEO), but it’s dedicated to performance on the app store. Both ASO and SEO are important for discovery on a mobile app store, but ASO is what increases your app’s visibility and improves the app’s likelihood of getting downloaded by users.

ASO best practices are similar to SEO and rely mostly on keywords. Your high-performance keywords should be part of your title, description, and any other fields to help users find your app. Be sure to include the keywords naturally, however, since keyword stuffing hurts your ASO as much as your SEO.

Keep in mind that keywords are treated differently on different platforms. For example, the Apple App Store has keyword fields, while Google Play pulls keywords from the app’s description. Make sure you learn how to optimize your keywords for the specific platform.

Another factor in ASO is previews. Include images and screenshots of the app to give users a preview of app navigation and what the app can do, which may encourage a download. Try to make your screenshots relevant to the features your users are most likely to use, so you can target the highest number of users in your audience.

Celebrate with a Launch Party

This guide has everything you need to know to launch your app. Your work will be ongoing after the launch, however, so take some time to celebrate your successful launch with a party. You can have a launch party through video conferencing or webinar and invite influencers, top users, press, or early adopters to enjoy the moment with you. Offer some perks like prizes or discounts for attendees. 

This is a guest post written by Tim Waldenback

Tim Waldenback is the co-founder of Zutobi Drivers Ed, a gamified e-learning platform focused on online drivers education to help teens get their license. Tim founded Zutobi to make world-class driver’s education fun, affordable and easily accessible for all.

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