Customers often wonder how they can increase the number of downloads of their app. As there are more apps in the stores today, it’s even more important to stand out. Just as with other technology, your app needs to be discovered by early adopters. These are the people you will need to convince to try your app.
At some point your app will reach a tipping point and the majority will start to download your app as well. After their launch, some apps are discovered immediately, while others have a slow growth. If you don’t have a strong brand awareness yet, how can you ensure that users find your app, that they are convinced about using it, and will download it and spread the word to their friends?
The success of your app depends on: The context of your app, the stickiness of your app and the discoverability & popularity of your app.
The context of your app: Your app needs to be relevant. As Simon Sinek explains using his golden circle, you need to start with the ‘why’. Your app needs to serve a purpose. Your user needs to understand why they need to use this app. Try to answer these questions: Why did you make this app? What’s your purpose? Why would someone want to use this app? What exactly you do, is not the most important when you try to convince your early adopters.
Let’s take this example of UBER. Why: UBER evolves the way the world moves. In their opinion, everyone should have a private driver. How: UBER does this by seamlessly connecting riders and drivers. What: As a result, they have already launched several services in their app. All with the same treatment and payment via the app. Fancy cars, more regular taxi’s, but also car-sharing.
The stickiness of your app: The purpose, story and experience with your app should be creative. If your app continuously adds value.. they will stick to it. As Einstein said: it’s contagious. Friends, family or colleagues often spread the word about apps they are excited about. 50% of people learn about apps via friends or family. Savvy publishers motivate users or even give incentives for inviting and activating new users.
The popularity of your app or your brand. Being visible and easy to discover is not hard for popular brands, people simply use your brand name as a keyword. People mostly find apps by browsing in the app stores, so app store optimization can help you to acquire new customers. An average user will compare the first four or five apps on popularity and uniqueness. So it needs to be easy for consumers to find your app. As soon as they have found your app its description, ratings and promotional visuals need to motivate the consumer to download the app. For this reason some companies add a very popular keyword to the name of the app, just as spotify did by adding music to the name of their app. AirBNB is not that easy to find with an obvious keyword such as ‘b&b’.
Did you know that airbnb had already started their website in 2007? And at the start of 2009 they were still not earning more than 200 dollars a week. Only after they had improved the photos on their website and Barry Manilow’s drummer, rented an entire house.. things started to move more quickly. Today airBNB is valued at ten billion dollars. AirBNB needed to increase both the supply and demand of rooms. They reward customers for sharing their experience and inviting others. AirBNB started to grow quickly, also compared to the competition, so you may conclude word of mouth is a true multiplier for airBNB’s customer base.
App store optimization is not the only option to acquire new customers. Your service needs to be present on multiple channels. Apps need to be part of a digital strategy and promoted across multiple channels. But what can you do? The different app stores operate differently. Not everything can be adjusted after submission. This overview should help you figure out what’s important:
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The name of your app and company – both should be unique and together with the category and icon, it should be clear what the purpose of your app is.
Description – for google play, this should be focused on discoverability, for iOS it is better to focus on conversion. Keywords – This is only applicable to the app store, but has a high impact on the discoverability. Once you have identified important keywords, check how competitive a keyword is and whether you are likely to be found.
Category – You can choose two, check out the apps available in the app store to see how you fit in.
Basic visuals: A recognizable icon and good screenshot visuals help to explain the purpose of your app.
Promo Visuals – Good videos and promo images quickly illustrate the purpose of your app.
Popularity – the popularity of your app in the app store is dependent on the number of downloads, external links, the rating and comments. The more popular it is, the more likely a consumer will download and try your app. Popular apps with strong features are likely to be promoted as editors choice.
Updates – To keep up the good work, you will need to make frequent updates with new features, fix reported bugs, and implement design updates to maintain a good user experience.
Pricing – Although paying for apps is becoming more common, consumers are likely to try other free apps first. As you are working on your app concept, app marketing and app store optimization, make sure you don’t forget about the possible competition. Check what they are doing, and why you are different. Also seek out trends, ‘sharing-economy’, ‘eco-friendliness’, ‘the quantified self’ and ‘hand-made’ are trends and initiatives widely enjoyed today. Apps are mobile. You need to be present across multiple channels.. mobile consumers are also on their desktop, social platforms or interact with people in stores. Make sure you also facilitate their experience there.
Trends & Omni Channel – Etsy: They have great context, their content is sticky, it’s something you would like to share. They link into the trend of buying handmade products. Once Etsy proved to be successful on the web, it went on to support mobile, pinterest, facebook and even offline pop-up shops.
What’s new in the app store: In google play you can add a video, explaining the purpose of your app. Video is a very powerful tool. This functionality will be available soon in the app store as well. Furthermore google play requires promotional images and text as of the 1rst of September. As this image needs to be scaled up and down, it is advised to keep this image simple. No texts, they are hard to read on smaller devices. No devices or screenshots, they become outdated too quickly.
Interested in learning exactly how this works? We can help you with your with promotional material, app store analysis and a full review of your app marketing.
Feel free to download this presentation and the ASO overview here.