All set for your app release? The battle isn’t won yet. According to a Statista report, ITunes currently lists over 2,000,000 apps. You may end up lost in the lot if you haven’t thought your marketing strategy through.

There are tons of articles on the internet that will tell you how to market your app, but few of them list resources that can help you do it. This is a list of 7 brilliant tools that can help you market your app and gain a competitive advantage.

1. Reddit

One of the top reasons why mobile apps fail is because a great idea in theory need not work as well in reality. App developers who work in isolation often miss out on the most valuable feedback – from the intended audience.

Reddit is a great place to seek honest, brutal feedback for your app, while also building relationships with prospective future advocates. Begin by identifying the SubReddits that have your target audience. Summarize what you intend to create with your app and request feedback or suggestions of features that people would want to use. Compile the suggestions on a Google Doc and refer to them when building your app. You can also store details of respondents who show interest in receiving development updates and contact them when you release the app. Alternatively, you can thank them with early access explaining what you did with their feedback – the advocates who spring off of these efforts are often the most passionate and influential.

To collect information in an organized manner, you can use Google forms.

2. Erli Bird

Erli Bird is a post-development version of Reddit. Once you have a Minimum Viable Product, I recommend that you test how the app is received by submitting it to a community like Erli Bird.

After you have submitted a summary and a URL access to the app, beta testers will use your app. Their interaction with the app will be recorded as screen captures and heat maps and their experiences as feedback. You can use this information to make another round of changes before you make your app available to the public.

3. Google Analytics

You can set up Google Analytics easily and for free on your app using an SDK. Once you have, the app will report number of users, user insights – location and characteristics, user actions and navigation, revenue and in-app payments which can give you an invaluable overview of your app’s performance.

You can use the audience insights to build out your PPC and content marketing strategies, based on who your users primarily are and their age, gender, location, reading level and interests. Analytics also gives you some insight into user behavior, helping you improve your UI and better app performance and sales.

4. Keyword Planner

An important part of driving traffic to your websites and apps on the internet is understanding the keywords that can help you do it. You can use Google’s Keyword Planner to identify important keywords in your niche to leverage them on content marketing and distribution apps and platforms.

  • Long tail keywords have been found to be better targets than short keywords, because
  • They are easier to rank for (less competition)
  • They convert better, according to a MarketingHub study

On the keyword planner, type in a generic term related to your niche and click on “get ideas”. The planner will display a list of keywords similar to one you have inserted. Pick the most relevant suggestion and re-plug it into the planner. You will get long tail keyword options that you can use.

5. DrumUp

Once you have your keywords, you can use it to source high quality content that can attract a social media following and improve your brand’s visibility. You can use DrumUp to manage multiple social media accounts (so your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter pages) without expending much effort.

Today’s audience spends 30% of all the time they spend on the internet on social media, according to a GlobalWebIndex report. To reach them there and stay on top of their minds you need great social media content. On DrumUp you can space out your original content on a scheduling calendar and schedule posts across multiple social media accounts weeks or months in advance.

You can also use the apps to content curation resources and fill in the engagement gaps with high quality, non-promotional and interesting articles related to what you do. Alternatively, you can use the app to store content for the future in a library and schedule them when needed.

A strong social media following can have huge impact on your app’s branding, sales and usership.

6. TalkWalker Alerts

Before you launch your app, you’ll need to create momentum or a buzz of sorts to carry your app for the first few weeks, so you can take advantage of PR and the excitement of being “new”. To do that, you’ll need a list of app review sites, directories and journalists you can hit to gain your app more visibility.

One way to do this, is to set up alerts for mentions of your competitors. By identifying places where they have been featured or published, you ascertain opportunities for your brand to facilitate the same. You can also use your keywords to find publications and in-turn journalists who talk about your niche.

Ensure that you reach out to reviewers and journalists well in advance so the articles come out in time for the app launch, because if the come out earlier, you will lose search traffic and disappoint interested individuals.

7. Canva

Graphic design is an important part of effective communication. If you aren’t well versed with Photoshop or Illustrate and need a quick online alternative to create graphics, Canva is a good tool to use.

You can use Canva to put together app teasers, social media posts and blog post covers. You can also create infographics and slides using the tool. Once you have created your graphic, you can add a link back to your app and directly share it to your social media accounts from the tool.

A checklist of 12 essential tips for mobile app marketing

The success of an app can be attributed to multiple factors, considering everything from design to release and marketing. This is a list of 12 tips that can help you cover the necessities in selling your app.

1. Design the app with users in mind

You can’t market a product that has no predefined audience. You could, but you would probably fail and waste a lot of money.

Many times, developers end up building products that people don’t want to use.

An app is easiest to market when you have considered its target audience from the initial stages of development. Many developers use active online communities like subReddits to seek invaluable feedback during development. Others rely on early adopters to get product defining feedback.

2. Optimize your web presence

For your app to be a hit, you need to have a strong presence on the web to point all your traffic to. A website is an important part of app success.

People who want to talk about you usually link out to your website, and not your profile on an app store, which is why you need to have an impressive, conversion optimized website.

You can direct people to download your app from the website, and if you have managed to create a great impression with your web pages, your conversion rates are likely to be high.

3. Optimize your app store presence

The tools mentioned on this article will help you direct traffic from external sites (top publications and social media networks) back to your website and your app store presence.

If you haven’t optimized your app store presence with detailed descriptions of the services you offer, the latest screenshots of your app and support on how your audience can use it, you won’t convert much of your inbound traffic.

4. Create an online event to mark your app release

People are more likely to try something when it is “new”, and you need to make the most of the hype created by a release.

Create online events to reach more people – a webinar, Youtube event, a Facebook live video or Periscope video. You could also follow up your event with a Twitter chat or engagement to
connect with people who are interested in your app. All you need is a strong content marketing strategy and the means to execute it.

5. Highlight and effectively convey your unique selling points

If there are 2,000,000 apps out there, you need to stand out to command attention of the market.

What sets you apart from the rest? Create strong messages that highlight your best features and distribute them on social networks and your web presences. Get listed on relevant app directories and lists of top apps in your niche.

6. Be creative and interesting

Several apps build their reputation via word of mouth offline and on online communities.

If you are interesting and creative, people are likely to talk about you on social forums. Be tweetable. Associate yourself with something powerful, clearcut and simple that people will post about and talk about on external networks.

You can also try and create viral content – like GIFs, memes or other entertaining bits that are likely to spread virally on online media.

7. Get users to join your social media communities so they can talk about their experience

Many apps get users to join their social networks as part of the registration process.

When you register for some apps you may have noticed that they have an auto-filled selection box asking you to follow their Twitter or Facebook page and tweet or post about them. You could consider this option for your app, in hopes of nurturing brand advocates.

8. Run social media contests

Social media contests can help you reach wider audiences, in short spans of time. Create a like and share contest that requires participants to like your social media page/ post and share it with friends to enter.

You also need exciting prizes related to your brand or app to give away to contest winners.

Pokemon Go ran a few of these contests to keep their engagement going during quiet periods – when they had no new updates to share with their audience. Most Pokemon Go users are fans of the anime, so Niantic (the company the created the app) offered contest winners Pokemon merchandise to like and share their Twitter page.

9. Create in-app prompts to review and rate your app

Reviews and ratings are an important part of how an audience chooses which apps to download. Since you can’t manually request users to review and rate your app, and emails and social media requests will yield limited results (you can’t be sure how many of your users you are actually reaching), in-app prompts/ notifications are a great way to get them.

10. Build a community around your app

If you build an engaged community around your app, you will need minimal external interference to keep users enthusiastic.

Many apps have communities within the app or externally that allow users to communicate with each other. For instance, Clash of Clans allowed users to communicate with each other, adding a whole new layer to experience they delivered to users.

It could be a chat box or even a simple discussion board, or even a social media page for your app users to express themselves. A community can add value and engagement to your app.

11. Plan app upgrades beforehand to keep your community engaged

Many apps enter the market with a bang, only to fade out and die over time. To keep your audience engaged, you need timely upgrades for old users and easy adoption for new users to ensure that both groups are taken care of.

If you don’t have upgrades planned in advance and to some extent ready to push out, you’ll lose users to next new app that comes into the market.

The idea is to sell app users a journey that you experience alongside them, so they never find the need to jump ship.

12. Respond to every comment on your app store account

It isn’t a good idea to leave negative comments unattended to on any of your official accounts – app store or otherwise. App store comments are in fact, a great way to identify the bugs you missed or ways in which you can improve UX on your app.

Respond to every negative experience showing that you care and intend to seriously consider what your users are telling you. It will help you convert more users who land on your app store page.