If you plan on launching a successful app, you must focus on pre-launch marketing to help your app become a true success.
A few of the steps that we recommend every app developer follow to market their app before it hits stores are:
» Pre-Launch Marketing Steps to Promote a Future Mobile App
1. Determine App Release Date
What date will your app be released? You’ll use your release date extensively in pre-launch marketing. However, you also have to account for the review process of:
Each platform may decline your app or slow the launch date. So, be sure to prepare for your review early and allow for enough time between approval and launch. Now, you also want to choose the date strategically.
For example, you wouldn’t want to release a MOBA on the same day League of Legends’ next iteration releases. You want to be the buzz of the day, so choose the release date strategically to boost your chance of more downloads.
2. Create Personas
Personas are going to be the backbone of your marketing campaign. A persona is a depiction of a fictitious person who would be your ideal user. For example, if you’re offering an app for organizing schoolwork, your ideal persona may be:
- 13 – 25 years old
- Struggling with organizing work
- Uses iOS or Android
Personas revolve around pain points. For example, one persona may have difficulty studying and another may be frustrated because their students keep forgetting assignments. You must spend time on each persona to truly get in the marketing mindset and the mind of your audience.
You’ll also find out key information, such as social networks and websites that these professionals use most often.
Additionally, you may find that your audience may be better suited for a freemium app rather than a premium app due to low income.
3. Create Your Website
Do you have a website? If not, it’s time to create one. You’ll want a website even if your app resides on app stores. Think of your site as an asset you can continue promoting and owning. This is where you’ll:
4. Sign Up for Social Networks
Social media is integral to virtually every age group’s daily life. You have younger people on Snapchat and older generations on Facebook. Your app needs to have its own social media profile across the world’s most popular social media networks, including:
However, don’t neglect other platforms, too. Reddit may be a good option for you or VK.
5. Create a Facebook Marketing Campaign
Facebook has the world’s largest social media network, with 2.9 billion people logging into the platform every month. If you want to reach younger people, you may want to skip this platform, although they’re also on Facebook.
However, if you want to start a pre-launch campaign, Facebook ad placements can help you get in front of your target audience.
You’ll also want to spend time creating your own Facebook Page and even joining relevant groups. Paying for ads on the platform is just one of the options you have. Run your group and post on your page often.
6. Create a Campaign on Instagram
Instagram is another paid option that can also be built up organically. The platform has 2 billion monthly users, and the primary age groups are:
- 8.5% are 13 – 17
- 30.1% are 18 – 24
- 31.5% are 25 – 34
- 16.1% are 35 – 44
- 8% are 45 – 54
- 3.6% are 55 – 64
- 2.1% are 65+
If your target audience is between 16 and 24, Instagram is the preferred platform. You can create a profile and build an organic following and pay for ads to further build interest.
7. Create a Campaign on YouTube
Videos are fun and interesting, and there is so much potential on YouTube. Shorts are extremely popular right now and the short length means that your marketing team can begin creating Shorts quickly.
You can also use your channel to:
- Reiterate your blog content and turn them into videos
- Promote your app’s story and journey to creation
Of course, you can also opt to sponsor videos on the platform or buy ad placements on channels that are relevant to your industry. Video is one of the most engaging forms of content and is known for holding the interest of viewers much better than an image or text ad.
If you can connect with influencers on the platform, you can begin promoting your app through another person’s audience, allowing you to immediately expand your marketing reach.
Don’t just use your YouTube videos once. You can also edit them to post them on:
Whenever you use social media, try and find methods that allow you to repurpose your content. Often, you can create dozens of content pieces from one single piece of content that you create.
8. Promote Your App on Other Social Platforms
We mentioned quite a few social media platforms that we recommend you focus on, but there are always opportunities on other platforms. For example, you may be targeting working professionals, and LinkedIn would be a great opportunity to promote your app.
Building up your following will take time and patience, so you want to be sure that you:
- Work on organically building a following
- Purchasing ads or placement on these platforms
Over time, as your app begins to get more downloads and generate buzz, you can readjust your ad spend to target better-performing platforms.
9. Develop a Content Marketing Strategy
If you don’t have a content marketing strategy in place already, it’s time to create one. The goal is to create content that can include:
- Short- and long-form blogs
- Social media posts
- Curated content
You can also include videos, images, and virtually any time of content. However, you want to target your audience in different stages of the buying cycle under normal circumstances. The difference here is that when you have a pre-launch marketing campaign, you can’t sell your solution yet.
Instead, you may want to focus on potential users in the following part of the buying cycle:
- Awareness stage
- Evaluation stage (when inviting beta users)
Once you release your app, you can then move into the purchase stage of content creation. We recommend using blogging as the main form of content marketing.
10. Invite Beta Testers
Finally, you’ve moved into one of the most exciting sections of pre-launch marketing: beta testing. You have a lot of options when allowing beta testers access to your app, but a few that work very well is to:
- Allow a certain amount of people to become beta testers
- Reach out to blog owners and social media accounts to invite them if they’re in your industry
- Create a tier of rotating users, all of whom get to test the app for a short period
You’ll want to offer beta testers the option to try out your app and gather a lot of feedback in the process. For example, you may gather testimonials to use in your marketing and allow testers to report bugs that your team can clean up before the app goes into its actual release.
11. Work with Industry Influencers
Influencers are one of your most powerful assets, and you should work with them as closely as you can. A few of the opportunities here include:
- Social media influencers who will promote your app to their audience
- Blog owners who may post about your app
- Sponsorships, which allow you to promote the app on these major platforms
If you handpick the influencers, you can be sure that you choose influencers who have a massive reach in your industry. The best part of offering influencers the app for free or a demo of it is that if they’re passionate about the industry, they’ll market the app for you.
And when the influencer has the trust of their followers, their recommendation may be more than enough for people to download your app and even pay for it.
12. Consider Email Marketing
Email marketing still provides an excellent return on investment (ROI). An email has an ROI of $36 for every dollar spent.
Months before the launch, you can start building your list to nurture leads and educate your subscribers on your product.
Along with building your list, you can also buy ad placements on other people’s lists to reach more people quickly.
To maximize the benefits of email marketing, make sure that you’re creating compelling content and a catchy subject line.
13. Draft Your App Store Listing
It’s never too early to draft and optimize your app store listing to have it ready for the final stages of your pre-launch.
Depending on how your app is developed, you may need to draft listings for:
Each listing should be optimized with the right keywords to improve your app’s visibility in the search results.
If you haven’t already, perform keyword research to see which search terms to include in your listings:
To improve engagement and interest, your listing should also include visuals, like screenshots and preview videos.
14. Create a Press Kit
Press kits are a great way to spread the word about your mobile app. These digital packets of information give journalists and influencers all the information they need to review your app.
Press kits should include:
- Detailed information about how your app works and what makes it special
- A review guide with FAQs, information about your company, app release information, pricing, etc.
- Banners, icons, and logos for print publications
- Video content from YouTube or Vimeo to make reviews and content more engaging
15. Start Building Out Your Launch Day Strategy
As launch day approaches, start fleshing out a strategy to make the day a success. You only get one opportunity to launch your app, and making a good impression is important.
Consider your plan for maximizing app interactions and downloads on launch day, such as:
- A launch party or event
- Rewards for those who sign up for an account
Launch events are a great way to draw attention to an app, and they don’t need to be extravagant. You can host a virtual event.
If you follow the steps above, we’re confident that your app will have enough buzz to make it a success. Pre-marketing can mean the difference between your app being buzzworthy and going viral and failing.
Author bio: Olga Batazhok
Olga Batazhok is a product marketing specialist at AdBraze – a marketing automation solution for ad launching. She has over 4 years of experience in applying best practices to marketing strategies and writing educational articles.