App Promotion: Apple and Google Best Practices

Lessons from Magora to maximise app reputation: anyone with an app wants to promote it well, but figuring out how to do that can be tricky. What if we take the advice of the powerhouse that brings you those answers? Google is great at promotion and, along with Apple, dominates the app world. Today we will take a moment to review tips and tricks from these titans of tech.

Google has a great advantage in that people use it to look for answers (whether they know they are looking or not), but what Google has realized is you have to fish in the right pond and you have to always be ready to fish. If we take YouTube as an example, and we focus on people watching trailers for the latest Hollywood comedy and people watching ‘How to build…’ videos, we can logically think through which demographic is going to be more receptive to an app that locates hardware stores. True, there are potential users in both groups, but we can guarantee receptive ears if we target our advertisement to that second group.

Determine the medium, whether it's YouTube, LinkedIn, or a fan-fiction forum, and hone in on the users within it with targeted ads to drive interested traffic to your app. One large app company saw increase of 15% in downloads and increase in customer loyalty, meaning more in-app purchases and a ready audience for other products.

But are we only focused on getting people in the door?  20% of users only use an app once and 80% stop after a month, so how do we get them to stay?  A great way to do that is by using Google to maximize your app’s promotion and linking directly. If we imagine the hardware store locator app again, picture someone googling ‘buy hammers’. Now, Google results will show many different websites, but they can also include a link directly to your app. Linking directly is great, but they can go even deeper and link not to your landing page, but to the ‘Hammer and Mallet’ section within your app. Always keep your eye on user experience and you will find both new users and old ones returning again and again to your app.

While the Google philosophy seems to be “find users wherever they are,” their rival, Apple, has a different mantra - “the customer doesn’t always know what they want”. Now, for many people, the Apple vs. Google debate is a long and passionate one, to say the least, but here we will limit it to say their unique strategies are shaped by their unique users.

People who love Apple, LOVE Apple. There aren’t too many folks who view Sergei Brin and Larry Page as some sort of gods of technology, so Google must constantly market and demonstrate its value and innovation (which it has no short supply of), whereas Apple can convey the message “this is the future of…” and their loyal audience buys. Build that following and they will ensure you continue forward.

Let’s not put the cart before the horse, though. To get to that level, we need a product on the App Store that people will use, not once, but habitually. The first step is making it easy to find you. If you’ve ever tried searching for an app based on a keyword, you know it can be a nightmare. Lots of apps of varying quality and no seeming rhyme or reason for their ordering, so think about the attractable pricing and app marketing strategy  and create a pathway for users directly to your app (be sure to have lots of links!)

Regardless of platform, knowing your audience is just as important as always here. Apple knows how to speak in a language that users understand, whether it's a matter of localization on international projects, or more generally just in avoiding overly technological jargon and getting right to painting a picture of how the product will revolutionize your life. Think about your audience and get them excited! There’s no line at the App Store, but you want them lining up around the block on launch day.

When that day comes, make lots of noise! Use everything in your arsenal to get the word out and turn people’s heads. That first 24 is crucial to the long-term success of your application, so make sure you leave nothing to chance. If you create a hot app, you can get yourself to the TOP 100 and from there you will see an enormous spike in new users. Once they have downloaded your app it is a matter of the quality, support and value your app offers to gain their loyalty and have them coming back for more.

Start thinking about how to use the Google and Apple approaches in your own app promotion. As you see, it’s not just newly launched apps, but all ones that need users. Plan well and you can launch to great fanfare, or even reinvigorate a stalling application. You can discuss more strategies for successful app promotion with us, the Magora team. We are ready to help you to develop an app and create a promotion plan that will carry your business to the TOP.

Mikhail Chuprynski
March 02, 2016
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