7 min
Apr 27 2021
Many people spend 4-6 months building an app yet their launch plan amounts to nothing beyond getting their app in the app stores. It might seem crazy to spend any time and money on a potential new business and then not have a marketing plan to help launch and scale it. There's a simple reason though why launching an app is often left to chance: it's easier to focus on what's in your control than what isn't. Implementing a feature, refactoring some code, or tweaking a button color are all items that you can do yourself. That doesn't mean you'll make the right choice, but you can operate independently on each of them. Comparatively, attracting attention to your app after launch seems completely outside of your control. Convincing a user to review your app, a press outlet to write about it, or the app stores to feature it all rely on external dependencies. It's difficult to come to terms with that lack of control, much more to formulate a launch plan in spite of it. What people tend to not realize is that there are a series of smaller tasks fully within their control that can help propel larger, external launch events.
Use Promo Codes Before the App Goes Live A still little-used technique is sharing promo codes for an app that is approved but not yet live. That means that you can invite people to look at a final, App Store version of an app without it being available to everyone else. This strategy allows press contacts in particular to review the app should they want to cover it when it formally launches.
Build a set for printing applications The app press kit makes it much easier for everyone who writes about your app. At a minimum, you should include screenshots of your app store, the app icon, the app store description, and links to the app store. As a bonus, putting your press kit in a place like Dropbox also allows you to customize the content in real time. As an example, check out the jelly press kit.
Use Short Links to Applications There will be several important links that you will send to your contacts and share them on social networks. Each link, with the exception of the link to your site, will be very long. Links in the App Store, in particular, can take up several lines in an email. Demo videos posted on YouTube or Vimeo also contain a lot of random characters. Many of these services offer shorter URLs if you are looking for them. You can also use services like Bit ly or more application-oriented ones. to clear and shorten your links. The presence of these short links makes the promotional message more visual and digestible.
There is a Support system ready to work Most app creators don't think of customer support as part of app marketing. This is a huge mistake. While you shouldn't help your users just because you think it's a marketing activity, offering amazing customer service often leads to marketing growth. Make sure that you continue to collect general user questions during the beta testing and pre-launch period. This will allow you to fill out a FAQ or knowledge base and make it available on launch day. An added benefit of the knowledge base is that it answers simple, everyday questions that your users send you, allowing you to focus on the most important feedback.
Create a consistent application message There is a reason why people who participate in interviews or speak to the public are carefully prepared: they need a clear and consistent message. Your app is no different. If you don't create and place your offer on the market, others will do it for you. Take the time to think about why people will care about your app. Consider the benefits to users and understand that the features you create support these benefits (and not the other way around). Know what your key marketing message is and use it frequently, especially when you're trying to get someone's attention. Then make sure you use this messaging over and over again, whether it's on the app store list, on the website, in the app press kit, in promotional messages, and similar items.
Make Your Website Your App's Marketing HQ In the age of apps, don't undervalue your website. Potential app users continue to use websites to explore whether an app is even worth downloading. More traditional press will also often not link directly to an app but instead push visitors to a website. If you have multiple apps or support your app on different platforms, a website can also better help funnel people to the right place. Your website should more generally be what you consider your marketing headquarters. It will contain your key messaging, as well as link to your press kit, your support portal, your apps, blog, how to contact you, and more. Don't forget that a strong website can also help you drive downloads through organic search. If you're just starting on your app, make sure you also begin with an app landing page.
Prepare an Official App Announcement Yes, you should announce your app is officially launched. Plan ahead of time what time you'll release your app and what time you'll announce and launch it. Those times should not be the same. Although app stores are faster at propagating than they used to be, it's still a good idea to release your app the night before your launch. Along with that, you should update your website to the more detailed launch version. The full version includes all the information you want users to know about your app as well as links directing them to download it in the app stores. You can hold on to your blog post though until the official announcement occurs, usually in the morning. When ready, publish your blog post, send out a newsletter, and post your social updates. Some people also choose to do a separate press release, but most can simply use a blog post for this purpose. It's also a nice gesture to reach out to any press contacts to let them know you've officially launched. Remember to stay on message across all of these outlets.
Monitor Your App Across All Channels Maintaining a strong website and support portal, as well active social media accounts, will allow you to keep much more in tune with what's happening around your app. That's incredibly important on launch day. Keeping a close eye on what's being said will allow you to identify new articles about your app and respond to people better. Sometimes the chatter will come from users, but it also might be someone interested in covering your app.
Concluding Note Launching your app is the beginning of your journey, not the end. You want all the months of hard work to be appreciated, even if it means putting in even more effort to make sure your app makes waves. These startup marketing tips will help you form your own startup strategy. Don't think that just because you built it... they will come. This list is not exhaustive, you can add it in the comments if you have something to share. Thank you for reading and have a nice day)
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