Well before an app can be found in the Apple and Google app stores, developers and marketers must take steps to ensure a successful launch. Use these tips to improve the likelihood that your app will gain visibility, draw a favorable response from users, and continue to meet and surpass download goals in the weeks and months following your launch.
Begin Working with ASO to Identify the Best Keywords for High-Value Clients
The apps stores are crowded with your competitors! In order to outdo them, you’ll need to find keywords that match the intent of the person who is searching for an app like yours but will also give you the opportunity to rank well in searches. App store optimization (ASO) tools like TheTool or App Annie are just two of the many available analytic resources that can help you identify the words with the best potential and the least competition.
Analytical tools can let you view the volume of searches for particular keywords and whether or not it will be difficult to rank on them based on their competitiveness. Some tools even allow you to track rankings for competitors, which may highlight keywords that have high potential but low competition.
Of course, keyword selection alone does not determine how well your app will perform. You must use your keywords strategically in the app title and description, inserting the words in a way that clearly explains why someone should download it without resorting to keyword stuffing. At Zutobi, our emphasis is on driving education and driver’s exam, so all our titles and descriptions on our app pages use these keywords.
After you launch your app, ASO tools will provide data that indicate how it’s performing and then guide you to make the correct tweaks. You’ll find ASO to be very valuable before you launch and throughout your app’s life cycle.
A/B Test for Greater Success
You’ve spent many hours researching the market and designing an app that you think will fill a consumer need. But what if you’re torn between two different app features and you’d like to know which will be more favored by your target customer?
The good news is that you can get more reassurance that your app is launch-ready if you first test those two features among a smaller user base, divided into two groups. Group A will be offered one option and group B the other, and when the test concludes, you’ll have evidence that will embolden you to move forward with the feature that provided a better user experience
A/B testing can be used to compare many different variables, relevant at various stages throughout the sales funnel. App developers can use in-app testing to gauge their app’s UX and UI metrics, exploring options that can determine what is most effective for engagement, retention, conversions, and other types of behaviors specific to your app. Marketers also use A/B testing to get a read on which ad creative elicits the greatest response from users.
Why leave things to chance and conjecture? Learn the real-world response to your product and marketing elements with A/B testing.
Use a Variety of Methods to Learn About Your Customers
Testing is invaluable for discovering what your customers like and dislike about your app. But you can also learn about potential customers with an internet presence on question-and-answer sites, industry-related groups and forums, on your social media pages, and on your website.
In venues where you can control the conversation, ask your target customers about which needs are currently unfulfilled and get their responses to what you plan to offer. For example, at Zutobi we’re constantly checking in with users about what content they want to see.
Overwhelmingly many of our users tell us they want content that talks about passing the driving test, parallel parking, traffic lights and many other driving topics. This is absolute gold for updating and refining your app. When learning about these requests, our team immediately went to work on implementing and adding these modules.
In related groups and forums, join as a participant and carefully tread the line between seeking information that will help customers and making a sales pitch. You could turn away potential users if your posts are too promotional and not an honest pitch for feedback that you can put to use in your app.
After your launch, continue to reach out to your customers by quickly responding to questions and negative feedback. Let them know that their satisfaction is your utmost concern. You’ll want to stay on top of your ratings and reviews not only to discover your users’ attitudes and needs, but to ward off a potential PR disaster by appearing aloof and uninterested.
Build Your Authority by Branding Yourself as a Thought Leader
Before you launch your app, take steps that will establish your company as a thought leader that holds authority in your industry. Elevating your position in the field will go far in boosting your credibility and visibility once the app becomes available in the app stores.
Host your own online webinars or team up with other industry leaders to participate in larger events. You can also pitch stories to journalists who write about your industry. Journalists are always searching for material, so you should offer to provide information that readers of the publication will find useful and newsworthy.
Once you’ve identified the venues that will enhance your leadership position and secured your participation, use your public relations team to promote them. Social media is an excellent platform for promotion since it encourages sharing and offers an excellent opportunity to create awareness and strengthen your brand. The exposure you gain before you launch can improve word-of-mouth surrounding your company and soon-to-be-launched app, which can contribute to a greater number of downloads once your app appears in the iOs Apple and Google Play stores.
Devise an Incentive Strategy that will Encourage Users to Share Your App
Once your app has launched and is available in the app stores, you’ll want to create momentum to increase downloads. Make sure your marketing plan includes incentives for new users to share the app among friends and colleagues who will benefit from what your app has to offer. People trust recommendations made by those they know.
Determine what type of reward will motivate customers to share. Depending on the type of app, you could offer a monetary incentive for each referral or a content exclusive. Or you could team up with a company related to your industry that can offer rewards that are meaningful to your customer base.
Then, you’ll need to promote your referral program, using either free or paid tactics to highlight the benefits of sharing. An incentive strategy can contribute to an increased number of downloads either directly after launch or further along in your app’s life cycle.
Tim Waldenback is the co-founder of Zutobi Drivers Ed, a gamified e-learning platform focused on online drivers education to help teens get their license. Tim founded Zutobi to make world-class driver’s education fun, affordable, and easily accessible for all.