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How To Launch An App That Makes A Splash

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According to Statista, as of the first quarter of 2019, there were over 2.6M Android and 2.2M iOS apps.

Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store dominated the landscape, generating 194 billion app downloads in 2018. So, there’s a strong argument to be made that these two stores are among the most important marketplaces in the world – truly global in scope and reach.

With such a cluttered app ecosystem, it can feel like a Herculean task to launch and maintain any kind of visibility amongst the other apps competing for a download event. In a perfect world, organic exposure would be all you needed to gain attention for your app. The truth is, the world is not perfect, and you will likely have to work hard for every download. But don’t despair, there are a couple of very specific actions you can take to increase the likelihood of your app’s success.

Ensure Your App Is Findable Through App Store Optimization (ASO)

ASO is the practice of ongoing page optimization and iteration of your app’s creative such as screenshots and videos, titles, keywords and descriptions. All of these should be measured for effectiveness and tested continually. This will ensure relevant traffic to your listing and it’s an area many of the companies competing in the app stores, simply fail to plan for, much less execute. We work with clients, as early as the Discovery phase to incorporate bullet-proof ASO strategies.

As in all things, it’s important to build a rigorous, data-backed process into your ASO strategy. The first place to start is gathering essential benchmark data and reviewing the competition. Prior to launch, smart marketers should consider implementing an ASO specific tool to drive their app’s keyword strategy or set up tests using readily available features such as Google Play Store Experiments. If you’re new to ASO, rel=”noopener noreferrer” there are plenty of great resources out there to get you started.

Implement In-App Analytics Before Diving In

Which app features are drawing users in? Are users dropping off in a specific section of the workflow? Which audience segments drive the most profit? These are just a few of the questions we help our clients answer.

In-app analytics help us track and measure everything a user does within the application and answer questions such as, do users always go back to the homepage, or follow deep links? What features do they engage with most often? The key benefit of in-app analytics is verifiable performance validation. The data we analyze on our client’s behalf also informs the post-launch development strategy and provides useful insights; for example, the most frequent users of your apps won’t necessarily coincide with the most valuable – so how can we make one segment perform more like the other? A wealth of data points such as uninstalls, active users, ratings, reviews, revenue trends and more, form the basis of our creative campaigns and targeted marketing strategies.

Get Your Feet Wet, Then Go All-In With App Install Ads

Simply uploading a well-designed app to the app store isn’t enough of a differentiator anymore – the space has become too crowded. To compete in this space, savvy marketers have had to focus their efforts on optimizing creative, copy and channel strategies to get to the right Cost Per Install (CPI) and Cost Per Action (CPA) while engaging users, driving downloads, increasing app usage and overall retention. Another useful tool in the marketer’s playbook is the use of App Install Ads which are designed to drive installs of your mobile app from sources outside of app marketplaces. You’re likely familiar with these ads, they typically appear in places such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and Google, where the user is redirected to your app within the stores. These campaigns leverage advanced in-app analytics to deliver a messaging experience designed for downloads. The best way to ensure you’re seeing the right CPI or CPA metrics is to leverage App Install Ads. But before you dive in head first, a word of caution. Marketing mistakes made here can be costly and quickly send your metrics in the wrong direction.

To learn more about how to drive app engagement, develop a campaign, or understand how to better monetize customers once they’re captive app users, contact us.

Rob Hendricks is a senior group director and leads the national Business Design Practice Rightpoint. Follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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