Every business owner is looking for the ways to find growth points. Even more so in the dynamically developing environment of mobile app marketing. No wonder that with the ensuing tough competition, they are forced to look for innovative strategies and tactics to ensure constant expansion. Only several years ago, that would mean a numeric increase in app downloads and audience growth. The number of users who got an app was seen as a crucial metric for determining the success. However, such tactic did not serve the ultimate goal — earning revenue.
Gaining profit depends on many more factors than just getting your app in front of as many users as possible. The quality of an app, its ability to retain users and interest them enough to share it with other people, as well as the right strategies of monetization are more crucial for growth.
Mobile growth hacker in 2017 should be looking for the ways to target the right audience and increase the number of fans, not just users of an app; apply right instruments to keep them engaged; appeal to the social networking and leverage modern technology.
By choosing right tactics, you stand a better chance at winning the race and boosting your application in 2017.
1. Grow with App Store Optimization
The first hack doesn’t seem like a hack at all. After all, these are the basic: you need to optimize your app for app stores, as well as you need to do SEO for your mobile site.
However, poorly done ASO is the first thing that can hamper your growth. So in order to pursue advanced growth tactics, start with optimizing the aspects of ASO that more often than not get overlooked.
A. Textual ASO
Optimizing the words that describe your app in ASO is a key strategy for ensuring organic growth.
Give thorough consideration to naming your app. Apps with keywords in their titles rank, on average, 10.3% higher than apps without keywords in their title. Find the right balance between branding and keyword-targeting for creating a compelling app name.
As well, take into account the recent update by Apple, and reduce the length of your app name by dropping the descriptive tagline. Failing to do so might negatively impact your ranking.
Next, write a description that makes users want to download your app. Don’t overpack it with keywords, just make it a smart elevator pitch, which underlines the benefits and special features of your app, complete with social proof and a convincing call to action.
Research the keywords your competitors are using and decide, which ones you should target: the highly competitive ones or those with lesser search volume, unique to your value proposition. The keyword ranking is not static, so you will need to track them constantly, aiming at top 10 in the app store rank. To improve your chances of getting to the top, optimize in-app purchase names and the publisher name in app store as well.
If you have an app that might have a wider international appeal, consider localizing it. This means translating the title, keywords, description and screenshots into a foreign language. While not every app can and should be localized, for some this a chance to grow and reach new markets. To test the app localization before doing all the work on fully adapting it, try to translate only the title, description, keywords and screenshots. If you see that audience enthusiastically downloads your app, good chances are that the release of a fully localized version will be successful.
B. Visual optimization
Using visuals to grow in ASO should be a go-to tactics for publishers. However, many are still held back by insufficient app store optimization.
To get maximum value from your screenshots, use all the available spots. Don’t simply put the images of your app in action — add some text to explain the benefits of your app, one per each screenshot. For additional emphasis, use arrows or enlarge parts of the screen.
Make an app preview video by utilizing the main user story, i.e. walking a user through the app and explaining main features and benefits. Don’t forget to customize the video cover, which will essentially look like another screenshot. Use that space to give another reason for downloading the app.
2. Engage users with push notifications
Another technique that already proved to be quite effective and is here to stay — increasing engagement with push notifications.
Push notifications are great for tackling the app abandonment problem. They encourage users to return to the app and take some actions. As well, push notifications can be used to encourage in-app purchases or promote another app you think the user might be interested in. According to some studies, push notifications drive traffic, conversions and optimize the app use. Make them more personalized and contextual for greater effect.
Transform the notifications into another communication channel by offering special propositions, coupons or discounts.
3. Go with mobile video advertising
Mobile video popularity is increasing every year, and advertisers have already benefited from its surge. But videos can serve as a great promotional material for app publishers as well. Leverage the potential of mobile videos not only to drive downloads but also to raise your profile.
Video advertising can help your app get discovered among thousands of others that get published daily. Use it as an instrument for engaging and entertaining your users, in order to promote your brand and experiences it can provide.
4. Leverage community
Did you know that 84% of consumers trust the recommendations from the people they know? A sure way to grow your app is to engage the right audience — users, who will be interested in returning to use the application and recommend it to their family and friends.
How to get in front of that audience? Start with your own contacts. Build an email list and communicate your offer to them. Encourage social sharing. Make your app more fun to use when it’s shared with other people.Find online communities that can be interested in what you have to offer. For example, promote a productivity app to entrepreneurs and freelancers. A sports magazine app will be appreciated by gym enthusiasts. The online communities are thriving at Quora, Reddit, Facebook, Pinterest and numerous forums in various categories of interests. Participate actively in the discussions and get validation from community members, who will be more likely to endorse you. Connect with the influencers in your niche. Persuade them to share your app with their followers and grow your audience.
5. Choose the right monetization strategy
One of the great growth hacks for getting revenue from your app is to employ viable monetization strategies. To make your app popular, most probably you will have to make it free for download, as up to 91% of downloads in App Store are unpaid.
In order to cater to your audience and still be able to profit from your app, make use of in-app advertising. Thankfully, there are lots of ad formats that can fit seamlessly into your application without disrupting the user’s experience with it. Interstitial or full-screen ads, for example, are placed at natural pause points so they would be less likely to cause frustration.
Choose managed monetization or connect to a self-serve platform for publishers, depending on your needs.
Offering in-app purchases is another way of increasing revenue. Try to offer some gated features or virtual goods to boost the interest of your users.
6. Look into the future with Virtual and Augmented Reality
Augmented and virtual reality is already there, and many app developers jump on the bandwagon. So should you, if you want to stay relevant for your audience who will definitely look for new, exciting ways of interacting with content in 2017.
The success of Pokemon Go is showcasing the trend. But VR is not only a great way to make gripping game apps. Take the example of the apps for Google Cardboard, that offer guided tours of cities around the world and allow you to view museum collections as 3D objects. Educational or informational applications have as much potential with VR and AR, as the entertaining ones.
It seems, the AR and VR hype will only increase in 2017, so this is an excellent growth point. Leverage it to appeal to a larger audience and increase the opportunities for expansion.
Growth should not be sought after the app has already been built. It should come from the fundamental value your application is able to provide to your users.
If that is the case, every growth strategy will be successful in improving your app performance. Otherwise, investing heavily into any of those will be futile.
Make sure that the application you bring out into the world is made well and gives a positive experience to your audience; invest into a beautiful interface and adaptive UX; and don’t forget to optimize along the way, picking up new trends and practices.