Like many hundreds of App developers around the word, you might be in a bit of a quandary, determining just how best to market your Android App on social Media. An App usually represents months, sometimes years of sacrifice and toil. You have literally given your all in this time to make sure every widget and button is this side of perfection.
Having finished the design and build of the App, it is normal for most developers to believe they can now unwind a little, since the hardest part is over. Unfortunately, this is usually a far cry from the reality. Actually, and conversely, the reverse may well be the case, and the toughest job, that of marketing your App to the rest of the world, may be the next hurdle you will have to face.
Certainly, this seems a little unfair of the universe; after all you are no market specialist, just an innovator with a brilliant idea which the world will jump at- if they could only see it. All you ever really thought about was finishing the building of the App itself. The rest was supposed to be someone else’s problem. Be that as it may, you are still going to have to switch hats for a while, from that of an innovator to that of a hardnosed entrepreneur if your App is not going to go the way of hundreds of others in the past: a quick, silent, unlamented end.
Happily for many App designers, the muscle of Social Media marketing is currently often brought to bear to bring many an App, up from the valley of obscurity and into the glorious light of viral publicity. For the anxious App designer therefore, here follows a trusted and true method to market your Android App using the wonder of Social Media.
What you are up Against
App design and development is the new hobby for the innovative millennial, when they are not tackling a start up (which anyway will still need an App). Consequently there are millions of Apps out there right now, and many of them are nothing short of dazzling. So, your first challenge is fierce competition. No matter how good your design is, it won’t sell itself, and an App that does that would truly be phenomenal. So you are going to have to actually find a way for people to know that it exists.
There are certainly other ways to promote your Android App, and you may well have gone the gamut of creating a website, as well as exerting some effort on other digital and traditional forms of advertisement; still, the golden goose of Social Media marketing is probably the one that will turn out a veritable game changer. And this is because:
51% or 3.2 billion of the world’s population are internet users, and as at 2018 2.77 billion people periodically use Social Media.
So, despite the other marketing campaigns carried out, Social Media marketing is one push you cannot afford to do without.
Social Media Countdown
The Social Network is made up of various platforms, each with its unique strengths, features and customs. Each one must be responded to specifically with a method that is designed to suit its peculiar demands. Some of the more popular include:
Facebook is the world’s biggest platform on the social network with an estimated 2.23 billion active monthly users as at second quarter of 2018. Facebook supports in house Ads which can target users and are very effective. You can also create a group or a page specifically to promote your App on FB. Images and videos are very effective on Facebook, and a good campaign will not lack a surplus of these. Apps designers may also engage directly with potential users by means of personal opinions exchanged through posts, comments and chats. Most posts and comments are sharable on FB. Always ask for your updates to be shared.
Get tweeting on Twitter, to promote that App. Twitter is best suited to building meaningful and deep relationships through frequent exchange of tweets. These tweets can also be retweeted to extend their range. Twitter is a great tool to build buzz while development and design is ongoing, so that by the time your App is ready to launch, there is already a following in place for it.
Instagram or IG is the powerhouse of visuals on the online social scene. This is the site to place all those fascinating screenshots of your App even while in development, and evidently when you do launch. IG is also great for showing the human faces behind the App, so potential customers and users can become invested in you, the App Designer, personally.
Google+ is Google’s Social Media baby, and her daddy extends a lot of incentives to those who play with his kid. For instance, frequent activity on Google+ boosts your overall Google ranking on its Google search platform. This is not something to be sneezed at, and the App Designer about to launch will do well to hit that button frequently.
Is the also Google owned video free hosting and sharing site that is the affirmative king of video online. Although, it is not 100% social like other platforms on the social network, being limited in the way users may interact, it is still a valuable tool and resource in the hands of the savvy App Designer marketing an App. Demos and trailers as well as press conferences must launch from YouTube to the rest of the web.
Other platforms do exist as we know, but these are the majors and will suffice for a start. Having known them, how do you effectively utilize these to market your Android App?
Steps towards Social Media Marketing
Content Creation and Marketing
The Social Network wouldn’t be what it is without content. Content drives the scene and keeps it dynamic. Since the level, quality, innovation and type of content on Social Media continually evolves, you need to be on the move upward yourself as you create the content you will eventually use in your SM marketing drive. Go crazy creative with your images, screenshots, and videos. Hit the network hard with unforgettable visuals and sounds. You will be remembered and your App will thank you for it. Don’t forget to ask everyone to share and share, even across platforms wherever possible.
Trailer or Demo
If one picture speaks a thousand words, a video probably sings a billion. Everyone loves a good motion picture or video, and the more zany the better. Now is the time to bring out the big guns and unleash the content you have been creating through a trailer or a demo of your App. Remember not to get too technical just yet. At this stage you just want your followers to see the glitzy images of your App. If you can handle 3D animation or other adds-on, that is better still. Feel free to show your face in the video from time to time. Since the Terminator movies, we all want to be assured now and then that we are still dealing with fellow homo sapience. You can kick start this on YouTube and share out to other platforms like FB.
Get an Influencer Involved
Twitter rules in this kind of dance. Do you know or can contract any influencers? Make their social capital work for your App by making them endorse the App in some way. A testimonial to how great it is, or them just saying what a great guy or gal you are is a good touch. Don’t come on too heavy or it sounds forced. Immediately share or retweet that post as many times as you can to as many people, and encourage them to do the same.
Begin with a Bang!
Launch your App with an online event of some kind. Facebook is a perfect tool for this. Build up to this moment with your trailer or demo, screenshots, your updates, and the influencer’s endorsement. Invite as many people and followers as possible, and ask that they invite many more. During your online event you can explain your App in more detail. You can make your launch more appealing by offering incentives or rewards to your invitees. Everyone loves freebies. While launching, don’t forget a call to action. Ask invitees to download today!
Create a Group and/or Page
Create a group or page on Facebook for your App. This will most often be your primary tool for reaching your followers. Make sure you update these regularly, and also provide incentives for visitors from time to time.
Use in-platform Advertisement
Platforms like Facebook have very effective in-house advertisements, which are often affordable. Leverage on this to target specific groupings that you feel will be most interested in your App. The rewards are usually worth the expenditure.
Build a Fan base or Community
You do this by constant engagement. Social Media Marketing is all about audience engagement. Post about new features, upgrades, and any other News. Even when you have nothing to post, make a post about that in a humorous, funny way. You need to show commitment to this App and its online following so your customers know it is an important deal with you. This will make them trust you more. Do not let comments stay too long without a response from you. This makes your followers feel valued.
Simplify App Purchases
Use a One Click method to purchase on both your group page or App page. This means you ensure the customer is only one click away from a download. Nobody likes to jump through too many hoops to make what should be a simple purchase.
You App Icon is your brand identity. It must hence be unique, motivating and offer something not generally available by way of design. As a rule:
Keep it simple and clutter free
Avoid too much text. Let the design speak for itself.
Do not over colorize. Use a palette of at most 3 colors.
App Store Optimization (ASO)
App Store optimization, also called ASO, is the technique of making certain that your App doesn’t get lost in the crowd of Apps at the App store, through optimizing content associated with the listing of your App. You can look at it as SEO in the Apps stores. While not a purely Social Media matter, it is nonetheless very important to note. As stated previously, there are millions of Apps in both Google Play and App Store, more than 1 million on each according to some reports, therefore you need to spend the time to ensure that your App top ranks consistently on searches at the stores. Points to keep an eye on:
Your App name has to be eye catching.
Keywords in your description must be carefully selected but relevant. Don’t over optimize keywords though.
The Description must be clear, simple and helpful. Make sure you don’t forget any key features and update regularly. Try and run a search for popular Apps in your niche, and see what kind of descriptions they use. This will give you an idea.
Good ratings are always excellent. Encourage satisfied customers to rate your App on the store.
Soft Skills needed to Engage your Audience
Apart from the above hard skills which can be employed to market your Android App, you may also need to input some soft skills in the business of marketing your App on Social Media. While hard skills of marketing will get you attention and traffic, soft skills are designed to sustain audience engagement and build a loyal, enduring customer base or community. Some of them are:
Commitment in the Long Term: Show your followers that you are in it for the long haul by being there. Many followers will develop a great affinity for your App. It is important to keep engagement going even after the launch and initial marketing efforts. Respond to comments and tweets. Post from time to time also. Once you have built an online community centered around your App, it will eventually become self sustaining.
Incentives: From time to time reward loyal customers. Everyone wants to feel appreciated. Rewards will accomplish that amongst your following.
Present your Human side: Followers like to engage with flesh and blood humans. It is advisable to keep engagements light and not so official. Genuinely showing interests in feedback shows the App users that they are a valued part of the community you are building.
Automatic Responses: Tools like Hoot Suite help you line up future posts on some social Media platforms such as Facebook. Automating certain tasks such as updates help you stay engaged without much personal effort. This is important if you do not have a marketing service running this campaign for you.
Meet and Network with other Developers: Join Apps Developers like yourself as well as tech entrepreneurs in online groups and communities. It helps you build relationships, both business and personal, and can significantly add to your store of knowledge.
Get Professional Help when you need it.
Don’t be afraid to admit you are in over your head. Ask for the services of a good digital marketing service if you think you cannot go the whole hog alone.
A Final Word
The prevalence of App builders to continue to whip out new Apps and fresh versions of existing Apps creates a minefield of competition as far as Apps marketing goes. A thoughtful Social Media centered method to market your Android App is one way to put yours right on top of the food chain, provided it is done right. The time and personal effort already expended on the design and the building of your App demand no less.
For more information on how you can begin and sustain a great Social Media Marketing campaign, please contact us now using firstname.lastname@example.org