Completing a successful development process is only half the job for a mobile product. Great products can easily be lost in application stores even without being ever found. Promotion is the other side of any software project.
A software owner has to tell all the world about the mobile product to gather a decent share of users it’s designed for. The issue of promotion is usually raised during the preparation stages, before the start of development – and it’s by no means easier to promote than to create. What is needed to promote a mobile application? Here’s the checklist:
1. A perfect page at the application store
Creating great content for the page of an application will take a lot of time. Nevertheless each moment spent on it is worth it. Everything here must be concise and instantly hit the bullseye:
- The catchy name of the application. Actually there is a name that will be displayed on the home screen (as concise as possible) and the other, unique full title of the app.
- The even catchier icon. It must be recognizable, simple and easy on the eye. For many people an attractive stylish icon may become a major reason for checking the page of the app and learning more about it.
- A set of relevant keywords.
- Several screenshots that demonstrate the combination of design and functionality.
- The description that must hold the whole functionality of the product in as few sentences as possible.
- Rating. Good rating leaves a good initial impression, even before the app store visitor reads the description and finds out the features of the application.
- Reviews. An interested visitor will definitely read reviews before considering to buy an application. What’s more – every piece of feedback must be considered for future updates.
2. A supporting website, a promotional landing page
It should be made simple, stylish and attractive, with a link to the product on the application store (or stores). This link must catch the eye in the first place.
3. Social networking
The most popular social networks (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Flickr) are used as powerful marketing tools. Corresponding groups on these networks, use of hashtags, cross-promotion, asking friends to share news about the application and recommend it – there is a lot of work here to be done. Actually social sharing is very often successfully incorporated into the application. YouTube and Vimeo are the best places for app trailers and demo videos.
4. Advertising and specialized websites.
A lot of websites work for promotion of startups and simply new applications. There are various advertising networks, social bookmarking websites, forums, thematic blogs, PR websites, websites that specialize in application reviews. Software owners may even have their own blogs.
5. Free version.
It depends on the monetization policy and on the essence of the mobile product, but free versions are often used to virally attract a good user base. Then software owners will have to convert free users to paying ones. It takes a lot of time to think and find the line between the paid and the free, but if found, it is able to win success.
6. The developer’s portfolio.
The application can be showcased in the portfolio of your development company, if your policy can allow it. An article about the software product may appear on the blog of the company, and then sent through its social channels. This increases the visibility of the product among the people interested in the mobile world and mobile applications.
Oleg Lola is CEO at MobiDev, an offshore software development company specializing in mobile applications (native and cross-platform) and web development. A business manager and a mobile developer, Oleg has a seven-year experience in the IT sphere.