App Marketing

by Brook Lenox on May 22, 2011

If you’ve read many of my app marketing articles, they are typically very how-to and practical.

This article is going to be a little more high level. More basic.

If you need the practical how to app marketing try these articles:

If you want a bit of high level info on app marketing, proceed!

Here are the questions I will try to answer in this post:

  • What is app marketing?
  • How is app marketing the same as online marketing?
  • How is app marketing different from online marketing?
  • What are the “keys” to app marketing?

What is App Marketing?

Marketing is:  “Everything you do to place your product or service in the hands of potential customers.”

So app marketing is the simply: “Everything you do to place your app in the hands of potential customers.”

Before you even start driving people to your app, marketing includes things like:

  • Creating an app that people not just like, but love
  • Picking a great app title and icon
  • Writing a great description that is concise, clear, and compelling
  • Having a clear plan on how you will monetize those users

After that app marketing might look like this:

  • Getting app review sites to review your fantastic creation
  • Creating a FB page for your app
  • Running ads on Admob or with Tapjoy, FreeAppADay, or others

How is App Marketing the same as Online Marketing?

In both cases:

  • You are trying to drive awareness, sales, and revenue
  • Some activities are more awareness (PR) and others are more pure sales driving (ads you pay for)
  • There is a need to track how you are doing

How is App Marketing different from Online Marketing?

App marketing is different in that:

  • It is currently dominated by the iTunes app store
  • Being fairly new, what works is constantly changing (just making a free app or getting promoted by Apple had a much bigger impact 2 years ago)

What are the “Keys” to App Marketing?

This is probably going to frustrate you.

It depends…

If you have a niche business app the keys might look like this:

  • Reach out to business blogs that target your customers
  • Start a specific LinkedIn group and/or Twitter account focused on the issues your app fixes
  • Find ways to collect emails within your app (without being annoying) and build your user base

If you have an app from a huge brand (i.e. Facebook):

  • You don’t have to do anything…just kidding!
  • Cross promote your app in the right places within your website
  • Make sure you listen to current users so that the app fits what they need (they might need something different in an app than online)

If you have a great app, but you are unknown:

  • Test admob, Tapjoy, and other ways to drive app downloads like FreeAppADay to see if by driving a better rank you drive enough more downloads to make it worth your while
  • Make sure you build in reasons for users to come back again and again and have ways to contact them
  • Do lots of grass roots activities (contact app reviewers, bloggers, etc) if you have time

So in the end, the “key” is to apply some of the marketing concepts above to your particular app.

Hope you understand just a bit more about app marketing!

Best of luck!

Photo credit: Valerie Everett, dougbelshaw