Think of your app as a product. How do you get people to not only purchase your product but continually use it? For starters, you need to build a solid product. After that, you need to dial up your marketing efforts to spread the word and enhance the overall user experience. This same notion applies to mobile app marketing. Mobile app marketing is exactly what it sounds like: marketing to users of your app. Below we break down all the key elements of effective mobile app marketing.

1) App Promotion

Just because you build it, doesn’t mean they’ll come. In order to get people actively using your app, you need to get them to discover it. Below are some tactics you can use to do so:

  • Website: Just like any legitimate business, your app needs a website. This reassures people that you are the real deal and here to stay. If you’re an enterprise brand, your app needs to be prominently featured on your website and not just an afterthought.
  • Social Media (Organic): Having social channels for your app is a great way to start engaging with your audience in a place they frequent. Start following people within your target audience and share content that they find valuable.
  • Social Media (Paid): If you can afford to, putting a bit of money behind your app in the form of social media ads can go a long way for you. Facebook and Instagram ads have proven to be incredibly effective tools to acquire new users within your target audience.
  • ASO (App Store Optimization): ASO is the SEO of the mobile app world. It’s important for discoverability in a very crowded app space. There are rules you must follow to boost your ranking in the App Store.
  • PR: Getting some publicity around your app can do wonders in terms of creating buzz and credibility. Make sure you reach out to key media outlets prior to launch to get the ball rolling.
  • Search Ads: In addition to ASO, you can go the paid advertisement route through the App Store and Google Play to ensure your app populates for your intended audience.
  • Influencers: Paying small-scale influencers within your niche audience has proven its weight in gold.

2) Mobile Marketing Tools

Once you have the audience, it’s time to start building powerful relationships with them. Below are the tools at your disposal.

  • Push Notifications: Push notifications are mobile messages that appear on a user’s home screen when they’re outside of an app. They serve to keep app users in the know and promote re-engagement. There are 3 main types:
    • Standard Push: Notifications that only have copy
    • Rich Push Notifications: Include rich media such as an image or video
    • Geopush Notifications: Use geofences to trigger off of a user’s location

  • In-App Messaging: In-app messages are messages that a user receives when they’re inside of your app. They’re meant to guide users through your app by keeping them informed.

  • App Inbox: App inboxes are meant to serve up media-rich, dynamic content that is personalized to the end user and sent to a dedicated inbox inside of the app. What’s great about them is that they don’t disappear after the first view (like a push or in-app) and allow you to send longer-form content — such as a blog post.

  • A/B Testing: Testing your app messages is essential to optimizing performance and mitigating churn. Testing against control groups allows you to see the true impact of your campaigns.
  • Deep User Insights: Understanding user behavior will help you to tailor the experience to them, making your mobile marketing strategy incredibly effective. This deep understanding comes from having a platform with powerful analytics and deep user insights.

3) Individualization

Mobile is inherently personal, so all of your mobile marketing efforts need to be too. This means understanding a user’s preferences and in-app behavior and tailoring your messaging and the overall app experience accordingly. Studies done by the Upland Localytics data team proves how effective this can be:

Our data team also found that individualized app messages have higher conversion rates:

No surprises here, as any message that is thoughtfully crafted with the user’s interests in mind is sure to drive higher engagement than broadcast messages.

As mobile capabilities advance, this notion of individualization will only become even more important to engaging with and retaining users.