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8. 02. 2016

[Guest Post] 9 Foolproof Ways to Achieve AppStore Stardom

“Every once in awhile, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything.” Steve Jobs

9 years ago we were handed over with a product that changed it all, for users and developers alike. We were stunned. Didn’t really think it can get better than that. Until it did. Over and over again.

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Revolutionizing anything today is proving to be more challenging than ever. Today’s audience knows what it wants, and will not budge for anything less.

The idea behind “There’s an app for that” was brilliant, it meant that the audience had access to innovations that can improve their lives, or entertain them when needed. It felt like a privilege.

Today, that no longer holds any effect over mobile appusers; in fact, not offering them the opportunity of interacting with your brand via an app is detrimental for your business. Users won’t think twice before moving on to the next best thing.

So, how can you make yourself feel needed in such an overcrowded industry? We’ve compiled a list of 9 foolproof ways to increase app downloads, propel your ranking, and help you wave goodbye to competition.

1. Use pre-hype to your advantage

Depending on your targeted group, find out which online platform they’re most active on, and come up with creative ways to notify them of your upcoming product release:

  • write blog posts (or guest posts)
  • interact on Facebook groups, or specific forums
  • post video teasers on Facebook and YouTube
  • create a visually appealing pre-hype Instagram campaign (Instagrammers are a great publicity resource)

This method should come easy, particularly if you’re targeting the ‘Snapchat generation’. Millennials dwell on viral, and creating online pre-hype will ensure that by the time your product is released, you’ll already have devoted followers.

2. Focus on uniqueness

In a market that seems to be thriving on all things viral, coming up with a product that brings value and innovation is not easy. More often than not, apps that get attention have some kind of uniqueness to them, be that in design, or distinctive features.

This does not mean that innovation necessarily trumps practicality. Based on a survey by readwrite, 57% of users noted that apps should be well designed and 74% said that they want apps to be easy to use.

An app that caters to a user’s daily needs is more likely to rank high and maintain success over time. But, again, the key is adding at least one new feature that can separate your app from the rest of the crowd.

3. Less is more - build a minisite

Poor research, or lack thereof, results in having this element completely overlooked. Building a minisite for your app allows you to thoroughly describe and present it  without any limitations. Plus, it also comes with an immense bonus of being discovered via other marketing techniques such as SEO, ads, or link exchanges.

Design and UX should be simple, effective and to the point. Make that download button as appealing as possible. If you have the right resources, add a blog to your site, and keep it updated. Draw attention towards your posts by promoting them on any social media platform your customers are active on.

4. Go freemium

People love free stuff, no doubt about it. It’s best to offer your app for free right when you launch it. Freemium gives potential users the possibility of trying your product out before fully committing to purchasing. “The key is to give just enough access so the user can start reaping the benefits.”, Sujan Patel

Providing a free version of the app can increase the conversion rate once users have tried the app, and you can make money off in-app advertising or in-app upgrades. If  users like your app, it’s almost certain they'll further engage and provide recurring revenue.

5. Get in touch

Putting your communication skills to test goes hand in hand with creating pre-launch hype. Have your marketing team reach out to influencers, bloggers, app testers and reviewers, or any websites closely connected to whatever you’re selling.

Say you’ve developed a ‘Healthy Recipes’ app; get in contact with food bloggers, nutritionists, gym trainers, and the Instagram famous foodies (that have been known to skyrocket sales for the food industry). According to a study conducted by Sopexa, foodies use Facebook (90%) and Instagram (73%), then Pinterest (36%) and Twitter (19%).

It’s simply a matter of forging relationships by spiking interest, and offering influencers the privilege of pre-launch access to your product.

6. A video is worth (more than) a thousand words

A statement video is one of the easiest and quickest ways for users to understand what your app does. Create an informative, yet humorous video, but make it short and to the point. Users have a short attention span, so it’s critical that those 1-3 minutes have some sort of entertaining impact on them.   

Display the video on your landing page, share it on social media, and, most importantly, publish it on YouTube to increase your Google ranking.

7. Create an eye catching app Icon & take great screenshots

Let’s be honest - the ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ does not apply to the online world. We’re all pulled in by the visual, and the same principle applies to apps. Whenever we skim through app choices, we always end up engaging with the app that attracts us the most.

Because of the myriad of choices, it’s important to make your app icon stand out. Here are some tips:

  • don’t go color crazy
  • less is more - minimalism is trending
  • use little to no text
  • avoid using a photo

Also, throwing a few low-quality screenshots in your app’s description will not suffice. Up your screenshot game with high quality shots, together with some visual elements, captions, or headlines.

Bonus tip: whenever you contact bloggers, or influencers, make sure you send them both the screenshots and a high resolution picture of your icon.

8. Love at first words

Ever got hyped-up to see a movie entirely because of the trailer? But felt equally disappointed when that movie didn’t live up to your expectations?

Don’t make the same mistake with your description by giving users false expectations in terms of what your app can offer. Some things may sound cool, but if the users feel fooled, they won’t think twice before uninstalling.

The first line of the description should be catchy and make the user want to click for more. Create a thorough description including what your app can offer, details about free or possible extra features, and any other useful information.

9. App Store optimization

The newest rockstar of app marketing is definitely ASO (App Store Optimization). Similar to SEO (Search Engine Optimization), it focuses on getting your app ranked as high as possible, or in accordance to your marketing efforts.

With the right number of relevant keywords added in your description, your app’s chances of being found by your targeted users increase by at least 50%.  

BONUS tip: Listen, Apply & Improve

Whether you’ve reached App Store stardom or are just getting started, listening to whatever your users have to say about your app’s performance is essential. It’s paramount. It’s critical. Yes, it’s that important.

Reviews are the best thing to have happened to any product maker in the last couple of years. Direct feedback coming from the ones that can turn into loyal users is not only free advertising, but it also provides invaluable insight into how you can improve your product.

Read what your users are suggesting - interact, respond, and apply (especially if the feedback is coming from more than one person). You’ll see downloads skyrocket in no time.

Successful app promotion does not work by ways of Liquid Luck, nor based solely on the quality and uniqueness of an app. If you want to run like The Greats, you should focus on smart strategizing, resource investment (knowledge, time), and a bit of cash.

30 greatest lead generation strategies
Thomas Tancredi
Tom is the Co-founder and CFO of Dom & Tom. He has 11+ years of experience coordinating creative and development teams, negotiating contracts, and project management. Together with the team at Dom & Tom he has developed high quality apps for companies like GE, Tyson, Cliffsnotes and hundreds of others.
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