Whether you are updating an old app, launching an app for first time, the impending campaign can either bring your business considerable profits, or cost you a lot of money in the long run.

It’s important to carry out a digital marketing strategy that’s specifically designed for your mobile app. In this article, we cover the steps it takes to ensure your product launch is a success. A combination of practical advice for maximizing user retention, reducing abandonment after launch, and how to drive further usage are all necessary factors.

While the best practices mentioned here are fairly specific, you should feel free to adjust the strategy to your mobile app and campaign. Every mobile product is different; flexibility and personalization are the two top components of a successful campaign.

Know Your Audience

The foundation of your campaign should be based on a thorough understanding of your target market. Knowing who will use the app and benefit from it most will save you time and money. Understanding your target audience and their needs will allow you to improve the product and its functionality that could prevent the loss of users.

Identify any qualms your target audience might have with apps in general, and pay specific attention to those similar to your own that may already exist in the market. By understanding what your audience has expressed about your type of app, you will gain some helpful insights into crafting an effective mobile launch campaign.

By beginning a campaign without a specific audience in mind, there is a very limited chance of making a proper connection with users, one that will drive traffic and profits.

Ask yourself the following questions

  • Who is this app intended to serve?
  • What is the problem or issue it aims to address?
  • How does this app bring value to users?

Once you have answered these questions decisively, you’ll have the information you need to create a successful marketing plan.

Define Your Positioning Statement

Before you can say your research into the target marketing demographic is complete, you need to make it deliverable. This can be done by identifying the app products strengths, weaknesses, and sharing this information with your staff and shareholders.

There are well over 2 million different apps available in the App Store. How does yours differ from the rest? Know whom your app is for, whom it’s targeting, and who else is targeting the same demographic. The answer is essentially your Unique Value Proposition (UVP). It outlines the main values of your product for the target audience and why they should download.

With the vast quantity of apps flooding the market, your target audience should know what they’re buying into. Your message may be lost if it’s not specific or emphatic about the values your app brings that others don’t. Focus on how your option is the only one of its kind.

The next thing you need to do is get your internal team onboard with all these specific points. If you can’t communicate with your own team, it will be much harder to do so with your stakeholders and practically impossible to do so with your essential customers who will not be buying in as hoped.

Define Your Success Criteria

Without some clearly defined goals setting, how can you measure if your mobile app launch is proceeding as planned? Ask yourself, “What will a successful plan look like for this team and project?” Keep your answers simple. Set your goals around good user ratings, install rates and number of positive reviews.

Prepare Launch Activities

After you’ve successfully completed the groundwork and marketing research, it’s time to have fun with launch activities. Think of a time to execute your mobile launch. The marketing plan should be laid out and every step organized and planned for execution before the first step is taken.

Promoting your content

Begin with a good list of marketing activities that include social media publicity campaigns, sneak previews for important bloggers, website design and other advertising activities. Be sure you include the various activities that will be specific to the app you are launching and include these in a scheduled step-by-step plan beginning with the date of launch.

Identify key influencers and reporters

Get an idea of who will be your biggest player in the campaign. Look for the people who are talking about apps like your own and introduce them to yours. Social networks and blog forums can hold some important connections you should consider. Get a persuasive email together that will convince them to look over your product, as you can imagine they will get many such emails each day.

Create a Press Kit

To get the best chances of having your mobile app launch receive considerable press coverage, make it convenient for all types of journalists and bloggers to feature your app in their productions. Make a collection of resources that gives the press the things they need to make a good promotion. This may include:

  • Graphics & creative (all the logos and visuals that are needed to properly promote your app)
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  • A description of your app
  • Contact information
  • Links to your website, social media accounts, etc.

Product curation sites

In addition to bloggers and journalists, there are specific sites that work to create mobile apps and present them to their most likely customer. Many of the sites have a section where visitors can down-rate and uprate various products. Be sure you have the minimum viable product before approaching these hype adjusters. Here are some fine sites that provide this service:

  • Product Hunt
  • CrunchBase
  • Hacker News
  • Beta List

Use a product curation site that most closely aligns to the type of product you are promoting.

Once all aspects of the marketing plan have been properly addressed, you will need to take into account of all the resources you will need to begin the campaign. This may include specific product screen shots and other materials, demo decks, design materials and the like.

Planning your marketing strategy from beginning to end will allow you to be more proactive with your campaign while it is on the road.

Launch Your Mobile App

The time has finally come to deliver your app to the App Store and any other outlet that will be making it available to the public. This is where you will want to review the submission guidelines and be sure nothing has been overlooked.

Contact all your customers on email mailing lists and let them know about the launch. Once the app has been launched, you will want to spread the word like wildfire to press sources, influencers, communities and more. Encourage everyone to look it over, test it out and leave a review. This should be done on all your social media bases as well.

Post Launch Follow-Up

Measure your results! Look over the final results of the launch and rate how well they went in relation to what was expected. This will include a list of ways your campaign went well and another of how they could be improved for the next time around. You will want to list things like customer engagement, retention rates, and customer satisfaction when you are factoring in your figures.

Some of the primary reasons that a client will discontinue the use of an app are because it is no longer useful, their needs have changed, or the app simply lacks value. You will want to keep an ear to the ground for trends and events that can impact the market; find a way to adapt your campaigns accordingly.

Listen to your users

Carefully examine the feedback you are provided from anyone who has used the app. This will be the best way to understand what your audience is looking for and why. Use analytics and track user behavior, as this can show you what your target audience really wants.
When evaluating the performance of your app, you should ask yourself if this product has met the standards held by your business and also met the needs of your customers and provided them with value.

Incentivize continued usage

If you really want to push your retention and engagement, a little incentive will go a long way. Consider some mobile specific rewards, special promotions and other coupons that can really encourage engagement.

Keep ratings high

One of the first things that a potential customer will look at when purchasing an app is its performance rating. You want a rating of 4.5 and higher. A good user experience has shown to be the biggest promoting factor.

Closing thoughts

Don’t think that a mobile app launch is a one-time campaign. You should consider your current campaign a dress rehearsal for the next campaign. There is always room for improvement and the more you learn, the easier it becomes. Recently launched apps should be re-launched consistently to keep users interested in new products and features.

Author Bio: Celeste Combs is a digital marketing strategist who specializes in startup businesses and small-to-medium size eCommerce businesses. She has a passion for social media, digital marketing and search engine optimization.

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