Mobile App Marketing: The 2018 Guide

by | Apr 10, 2018

Marketing, Mobiles Apps, ASO, app store optimization

So you’re about to launch your app – now what? Self-proclaimed social media master Mari Smith once said: “Content is King but engagement is Queen, and the lady rules the house!”

Imagine if you have an amazing app but no one ever engages with it? That means, somewhere, somehow – something fell flat. User engagement is driven by mobile app marketing. That means your mobile app marketing should be epic.

While there’s no one right way to market your app, we’ve outlined some ideas and starting points to jumpstart your app’s marketing and lay a solid foundation. Sprinkle a little bit of each marketing tactic on to your mobile app for most-desired results. Variety is the spice of life, right?


The Basics of App Store Optimization (ASO)

Treat ASO like teeth brushing (assuming you brush your teeth diligently). We’ve written a bit about the importance of App Store Optimization, but we want to double-down. There are about as many apps in iOS and Android app stores as there are people in Colorado. The number alone might frighten you, but that doesn’t mean your app can’t be seated in a comfortable position.

Similar to website SEO, there are steps you can take to optimize where your app appears in the app store search results. Things like: optimizing your apps name, optimizing your apps description, and even optimizing the app’s screenshots and icon – can help move your masterpiece to the top.

App store optimization can be crucial to your apps’ success, allowing your app visibility, and in turn, converting those impressions into downloads. If you want to market right – ASO is your first key to success.


Get to Know Your Target Audience

Snuggle with them. But not literally.

Waze, Mobile App,

I was re-watching Jersey Shore last night (sorry), it was S1E1, and one of the cast members was driving down the shore holding a stack of papers. This made me laugh and exclaim: “oh my gosh, Mapquest!” It seemed silly to imagine printing out directions in the age of the mobile app.

Apps like Waze and Google Maps have made Mapquest seem antique. Almost everything we do now is digitized— even the most simple of tasks have apps. That means that someone, somewhere, is bound to be searching for the service your app provides— but who’s looking? That’s the question to ask when thinking about audience.

The last time I downloaded an app, it was because This American Life told me to. The business likely knew someone like me would be listening and eager to download their app. So when you’re thinking about where to advertise or who to write content for— think about who your customers are and what’s important to them. The driving force of where you market should be your audience.

Who did you imagine hoping on to the app-store and downloading your version of Tinder for Dogs? At least one person, right, or else it wouldn’t be around? Who is she…

Tap into your mobile app’s buyer persona, understand your customer, send ads their way.


Show Where You Have the Upper-hand on Competitors

The driving force of how you market your app should always be in its value. Why should I download Waze over Google Maps? If I Google Waze, I get this:
While it’s simple and subtle— in this ad, Waze shows us how they differ from other navigation apps. They are a free community-based GPS, where people share real-time traffic and road info. Waze’s value? They are saving everyone time and gas money on their daily commute.

When you google Google Maps you get this:

If you weren’t already so familiar with Google’s brand, which app would you be most likely to download? I would argue Waze. They have shown me both the uniqueness (community-based), and value (money saving), of their app, in one simple search ad.

Be like Waze. (This post is not sponsored by Waze™.)


Drive engagement by showing your users a good time

According to Forbes, a well-designed user interface can drive conversion rates upwards of 200%. Making your app work for your user is important. Never overlook your UX/UI.

And, no matter the size or your business or the type of app you have, good customer service is always key to driving customer engagement and retention. My favorite brands are the ones that make me feel like they care about me. Maybe that’s pointing to gaps in my personal life, but apparently I’m not the only one, according the HelpScout, 59% of Americans would try a new company for a better customer service experience.

The relationships you build with your customer can make or break your product, and will profoundly affect your bottom line. Don’t ignore those angry Tweets! Favorite the ones that say you’re doing great (because, you are). I read something on the head of Digital for Edelman, Alberto Brea’s, LinkedIn page the other day. It resonated deeply with me. Brea said: “To be customer-centric, you need to have a direct relationship with your customers.”


Learn to love numbers (KPIs!)

Investopedia defines KPIs as a “set of quantifiable measures that a company…uses to gauge…performance in terms of meeting their…goals.” Track app downloads, and whatever other metrics you find to be key. Know the app store does consider this metrics in your app’s rating: so getting conversions can lead to…getting conversions. Always track your KPI’s, and see what is and isn’t working for you. Use this to do our next bullet point.


Iterate, iterate, iterate, iterate, iterate, iterate…

Like we said earlier: variety is the spice of life! Iterations are like garlic powder: awesome. Not enough garlic powder? Add more. Too much garlic powder? Try again. Continue to iterate your app experience and in-app content to maximize value for your customers.



If there are any key takeaways from this post it should be these three things:

  • Get to know your customer, create with them and for them.
  • Get cozy with your numbers. (KPIs!).
  • Iterate. And iterate again.

Now, market away!

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