Waysto Promote Your Mobile App
hours upon hours — and in most cases, dollars upon dollars — creating
astellarmobile app, but it won’t do you any good unlessyour
members actually download it and use it regularly.
How do you get people to noticeyour association’s appamong
themillionsof others in the app stores?We’re glad you asked.
To maximize the number of eyes on your new mobile
application, you’ll need to start at home base.
1. Create a
search-engine-optimized webpage or microsite.This one-stop shop will
help users, journalists,andcurious onlookersquickly and
easily understand the app’s value.A 2015 Google/Ipsossurvey showed
that one in four users discover apps through search engines. Building an
optimized page for your app will help you get abiggerpiece of that
2. Promote the app on
all of yourmarketing collateral.Ask your designer to create a
starburst or small calloutthat says,"Download our new app for
iTunes or Google Play today!” Then put that callout on everything from your
membership materials and receipts to brochures, pamphlets,and flyer
3. Mention your app
in your association office’s voicemail greetingand in employees’ email
signatures.Everyone who interacts with
yourassociationshouldbe aware of your new app. Update your
voicemailand signaturesto include a sentence like, "Stay up-to-date
on everything we do atAssociationXYZ by downloading our new mobile
4. Take advantage of
in-house advertising and advertorial.If you have your own magazine or
website,puta banneror pop-upad on your site’s homepage
orplacehouse ads in premium positions in your print publication for
a no- orlow-cost way to promote.
5. Write a blog post
or short articleoutlining the benefitsof your new app.Host
the articlein your magazine,on your own blog,or on sites such
as LinkedIn or Medium.
Usingsocial media to spread the word aboutyour
new app is such an obvious step that it’s the only
techniquemanypeople try. Remember, social strategies are just one
part of your overall promotion plan.
6. Regularly post
short bites of information and tipson how to best use your app on
Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram,and Pinterest.If
you’ve got a podcast, YouTube channel,or other online forum, share there
too. Just remember: Keep it shortand to the point.
7. Build a Facebook
pagefor your mobile app. Not only will it act as a go-to social media
hub for your app, it’s also a place where users can provide feedback and report
any issues they may be having.
8. Get others to
promote your app on social media.Having high-profile Facebook pages
with 100,000+Likes mentioning your app is a huge win. Reach out to
organizations whose goals align with yours, and give them a compelling reason
to mention or link to your app on their page.
They’re not called influencers for nothing. Getting the
endorsement or perceived endorsement of a celebrity, high-profile
company,or popular publication can send your app sales
yourRolodex.Do you have a way to connect to a celebrity or
influencer who would endorse your app? It doesn’t have to beKim Kardashian
or Justin Bieber —any thought leader or well-known face in your industry
will work. Get creative and come up with an approach that benefits both
10. Offer free access
to important people and companiesin your industry. If your app is
paid or requires a subscription, waive the fees to encourage themto try
your app. If they like it, it could lead to word-of-mouth promotion and buzz.
the largest suppliers in your industry. If, for example, you publish an
automotive parts magazine, ask a paint company to promote your app on their
websitein exchangefor adiscounted ad on your site or in your
Being featured on a popular review websitecan do
wonders for your app’s visibility.
12. Create a digital
press kit.Includea press release withimportant
information such as your app’s pricing, OS compatibility,and website, but
focus primarily on the app’s benefits and value to users. Include screenshots,
your app’s icon,and perhaps even a link to a30- to 90-second demo
or promotional video (if you go that route, post the videos on YouTube and
Vimeo for easy distribution).
13. Do not spam
journalists with press kits.Instead, write a concise introductory
email focusing on your app’s benefits and, more importantly, why it makes sense
for that publication to cover your app. Show that you have an understanding of
what they write about and explain how your app fits within that. This approach
takes extra time, but will greatly increase your likelihood ofcoverage.
14. Keep it brief and
clear!Editorsreceive countless pitches every day, so you need to
grab their attention quickly. Avoid buzzwords and cute, clever subject
lines. Get to the point.
15. Enter your app in
awards.The EXCEL Awards, the Webby Awards, Tabby
Awards,AppsterAwards, Apple Design Awards,andFolio
Awards are good starting points. If you win, you canspread the
wordon social media and in a press release. And if you don’t?At
least you created more awareness.
Free press isfantastic, but it isn’t always
inanother magazine.If yourassociationdoesn’t have
its own magazine, consider buying an ad or writing an article for another
17. If your budget
allows, launch a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign.It’s a simple,
straightforward way to garner attention for your app. Userelevant
keywords and link the ads back to the website you built for your app(see
18. Spend a little on
prizes, get a lot in return.Running contests is a low-cost way to
build excitement and spread the word about your app.Enterpeople
into a drawing for a $100 Amazon gift card or iPod Touch when they download
your app or encourage existing users to tweet or share via Facebook with the
app,then award a weekly prize to users who build the most
TALK TO PEOPLE
Overhalf of all app users find out about apps from
friends, family,and colleagues(2015 Google/Ipsossurvey),
which is why directly reaching out tomembersis so vital.
19. Launch an email
marketing campaign.Let yourmembersknow thatyou’re
offeringsomething new. Keep the subject linesimple (Open this email
to download our new mobile app), andmakethe download
20. Pick up the phone.Making
calls requiressignificant bandwidth but can substantially increase new
downloads. Run a phone campaign to letmembersknow about the
benefits of your new app.
21. Reach the older
demographic in their mailboxes.Did you build an easy-to-use app that
would be of interest to a less digitally savvy demographic? Create a direct
mailcampaign to let them know why — and how — theyshould give your
app a try.
STEP AWAY FROM
Digital marketing is vital, but don’t forget to reach out IRL
(in real life) as well.
22. Host a launch
party for your app.Events are fun, effective ways to build
excitement. Throw a launch party at an annual trade show for your industry or
at a local bar or restaurant. Hosting it in conjunction with premier sponsors
can help offset some of the costs.
23. Look for speaking
opportunities.Use your character and charisma to promote your app at
industry events. This could mean anything from working a sentence or two into a
presentation on another topic or doing an entire talk specifically about your
24. Use posters,
stickers,and freebies galoreto promote your app at industry events.
Hang signage and marketing collateral at your booth, make floor
stickers,or travel around the show handing out goodies such as hand
sanitizer or candy with information about your app emblazoned onthem.
Make sure everyone at the industry event is hit over the
head(metaphorically, of course) with your app.
Lastly, #25: Remember
that promoting your app is not a week- or even month-long project. Continue
promoting and looking for creative ways to spread the wordat every
opportunity, and your app will be found.
Mario Medina is
the co-founder of madison/miles media,
a content marketing company that helps associations, health care companies, and
fast-growth start-ups improve brand positioning and win new customers. A member
of the Association Media & Publishing Content Creation Committee, Medina is
a communications veteran with expertise in content and brand strategy, product
development, and content production and management. He has won more than
four-dozen awards for his team’s projects, including EXCEL, Folio, Magnum Opus,
Telly, and Pearl awards.