How to Sell Android Apps: App Marketing Secrets
There are more than 1.3 million apps published at Google Play as of the end of this summer. According to some estimates three new apps are added every five minutes. Given those big figures, one must understand that to stand out in this pile an app must be particular. At least, its owner is to think about its promotion in advance. We have made up a check list of things to be done to ensure some starting point for the app future success.
Start with Compatibility Testing
According to Open Signal Maps, Android device fragmentation reached the scale of 4,000 types of Android gadgets. Even taking into consideration only basic aspects of testing: a screen size and Android OS version implies that there are lots of portables to check your app performance on. We at R-style make sure that Manufacturer Device List is large enough to cover the most popular Android devices and compatibility testing makes an indispensable part of mobile application development process.
Settling on Google Play
- Turning to Google Play is a wise decision within Android app promotion strategy. However, the strategy should be well thought about in advance. There is a range of Google rules to know, accept and follow, for example:
If your initial app version is free, you cannot charge for it in future.
Google Checkout Merchant Account which is indispensable to sell an app or provide in-app purchases is not available in some countries. But who cares about Laos, Montenegro and Mali?
Think about a monetization strategy: will you earn via ads? Or in-app purchases? Or using a mixed approach? If you have a paid app, set the app price a bit higher. Later you will be able to make discounts which usually attracts users. Such events are news making to promote the app.
- Prepare an appropriate description of the app, its title, and screenshots of its coolest features. Don’t forget to incorporate a video. There must be some benefits from Google’s ownership of YouTube! A short but clear demo-video can turn to be another marketing channel which will help promote the app.
- Make sure the app icon is really cool. A catchy icon will increase brand awareness. So, be creative!
- Think about good keywords. Your app will get a higher ranking in search results at Google Play and Google Search.
- Decide whether it is better to launch the app to a limited audience first. It can well help test it one more time and eliminate possible flaws. Some analysts say that it is reasonable to start a full-scale marketing campaign several weeks after the app actually becomes available at the app distribution portals in order not to spoil user attitude with its inconsistence performance.
- Setup your marketplace analytics account to get the most important data to examine – number of reviews and downloads.
- If your app supports IAPs, think about some in-app analytics tool such as Flurry, for example. It will provide a reliable feedback on what things users find most appealing. It can help generate an idea or two about future app features as well.
- Ensure that all the inner Google Play formalities are checked. The price range is within approved Google limits, a content rating and app category are assigned correctly, content policy guidelines are not violated, distribution countries are set and compatible devices are chosen.
- Once all the formalities finished, publish the app and go down to more severe marketing and promotion.
Android App Marketing Tips
- Contact different web resources which regularly review new apps. Of course, TechCrunch will most likely remain a pipe dream but less known resources might help. As these are supposed to be positive or at least unbiased reviews, make sure guys have a free access to your app. Some third-party services such as Appia can help if your app is a paid one. Unfortunately, there are no promo discount codes on Google Play;
- Think of some other coverage sources such as topical newswire, blogs and forums which focus on the app domain. For example, if the app is meant for babies and small kids, check some resources where moms discuss early child development and education.
- Don’t forget about your Twitter followers, Facebook fans and all those interested. It is clear that you should have already set the corresponding accounts in social media. If not, it is better to do this ASAP. Let everybody know that the app is available on Google Play or somewhere else. Use Google+ account to promote the app. It will also rank the app higher in Google search results.
- We would recommend integrating social features to your app if that’s possible. It will definitely ease the app promotion at social networks. Of course, not every app can follow a Candy Crush Saga pattern but some will be a success for sure.
- Google Play badges at the Facebook page or app website (if you have one) linked to the app are a must.
- Promote the app via AdMob and Google AdWords using ads within other apps.
- Partner with other android application development companies to cross-promote you app. Use other apps of yours for cross links. You can provide additional benefits in one of your apps for those who will download the other one. That’s a popular plan.
- Try Android app discovery platforms such as appolicious.com or android.appstorehq.com.
- Use software upgrades to add new functionalities first. It will also provide a chance for bloggers to mention your app and thus climb up the app rankings.
- Launch price promotions connected with different topical events. The coming Christmas season is fabulous for discounts and users are anticipating them. Don’t forget to warn everybody!
- Organize contests and events connected with your app. They create a media buzz and it also increases the app rankings and the brand awareness. Make sure a free app download is guaranteed to winners! Another good idea is to provide a chance for users to contribute to character design or something of the kind. A word-of-mouth app promotion strategy can be quite effective.
- Ask your friends or family to download an app, rate and review it. Somebody must be the first to do that. Why not them? Availability of reviews at the app page in Google Play is a good stimulus for other users to try it as some studies say.
- Support your customer feedback. Answer every remark they leave at the app page especially if that’s a negative one. Thank for the bugs discovered.
- Regularly monitor the app downloads, reviews, sales and ratings as well as the data from the in-app tools.
- Ensure customer support mechanism, contact e-mail or something of the kind, especially if the app is a paid one. 99 cents spent in vain can cause extremely bad feedback which will definitely spoil the app reputation.
- Try other Android distribution services besides Google Play. It will provide more chances to be noticed and monetize your app: Amazon’s App Store, Opera Mobile Store, and Samsung Apps Mobile to name a few. Don’t forget about China which is an extremely promising market these days especially for the Android platform. Zhushou.360.cn, anzhi.com and app.xiaomi.com are among most popular app stores.
In general, to be a success an app must meet users’ needs: fast performance, an intuitive UI and engaging functionality. The first two factors are clear while cool features concept understanding might vary. That’s why studying user feedback is of great value and critical importance. Using modern development methodologies such as Lean UX and agile development it is extremely easy to build an app which end users will like and download.