How to Market an App Successfully: A Guide for Startups


4 Aug, 2020


6 min read

guide for startups

With the competition in the mobile app industry rising, entrepreneurs not only need to have a mobile presence but also a marketing strategy to raise awareness around the brand.

The perfect app marketing strategy is a game-changer for startups that can help recently launched apps reach the top ten rankings. A higher rank for your app also helps businesses boost their brand image, increase acquisition, and more.

That said, the blog answers the question of what is mobile app marketing, and how to market an app in 2020. If you want to leverage your mobile app and raise your ROI, here’s what you need to do:

What is Mobile App Marketing?

Mobile app marketing is the act of promoting a digital product within its target market. It’s a strategy to drive traffic and get an active user base for the mobile app. Plus, since mobile apps are an alternative channel for advertising your startup, app marketing also works to promote your business.

With the millions of mobile apps in app stores, mobile app marketing helps businesses stand out from the crowd and win over their competition. It not only builds a positive brand image but also helps with customer engagement.

That said, businesses must know how to promote an app to boost customer acquisition and sales. It will not only help you reach your target ROI but also ensure your users don’t switch to your competitors’ app.

How to Promote an App in 2020

With digitization, digitally marketing mobile apps is more convenient than traditional promotional strategies. Plenty of channels exist in cyberspace for marketers to leverage for their app marketing, from social channels to content marketing, paid promotions, and more.

That said, apps promotion is not merely announcing your app launch on social media. Marketers need to understand the prerequisites of an app marketing strategy, then put it in practice, before and after its release.

Thus, consider these some pointers to understand how to market applications successfully as a startup:

Pre-launch Prerequisites

You need to complete the following prerequisites before you can start working on your app marketing strategy:

Identify Your Objectives and Target Audience

Before developing your mobile app, you must have researched your target audience and listed your app objectives. When marketing mobile apps, revisit your findings.
Your audience demographics, buyer personas, and the stages of their buyer’s journey will help optimize your promotion efforts to ensure your app resonates with the intended user base. Consequently, it will help achieve your goals, such as increased acquisition rate, sales, and more.

Thus, explore and understand your users’ pain points, the existing solutions in the market, where they lag, and how your app overcomes them.

Keyword Research

Keywords have a crucial role in digital marketing. They are the difference between a successful apps’ promotion that generates significant traffic, downloads, and engagement. It is how your users will find your app in app stores or via browser search.

Plus, if you understand the language your audience uses to search similar apps, it will also help improve your ASO or app store optimization. ASO means including keywords that your users are likely to use in your app store page title, description, and other content, to increase the chances of your app showing up in search results.

There are millions of mobile apps on Google Play and iOS App Store each. So, if you want your app to surpass your competitors, you need to be thorough in your keyword research.

Outline Your Pre-Launch Marketing Strategy

With your prerequisite preparations finished, it’s time to raise awareness around your app before its launch.

Here’s what you need to ensure in your apps’ promotion strategy:

Finalize a Release Date

Finalizing the release date is the best place to start when learning how to promote an app. You will have a set time to work with, which would also help in devising better promotional strategies.

Additionally, holidays and events are factors you need to consider when deciding on your launch date. It will ensure that no other event or holiday overshadows your app launch, and you have your audience’s undivided attention.

Build a Landing Page

Landing pages can be immensely beneficial. Not only do they directly support your business goals, but they are also useful in gathering data and insights on the target market. From improving paid campaigns to growing your email list, landing pages have many benefits.

For app marketing, they have become a must-have for businesses looking to boost hype around their digital products, nearing the end of development. You can use landing page content for increasing conversions as well as improve the app’s SEO, raising its rank in search results.

Outreach Initiatives

Outreach initiatives can be the most significant aspect of your marketing strategy. For startups, it’s best to start on pre-launch press releases and articles after the release of the app’s beta version. With outreach, you can build relations with potential prospects earlier in the development stage.

Get in touch with PR firms, influencers, bloggers, and more so that you have a list to contact when you start promoting your app.

Create a Social media Presence

Identifying your target market before development and marketing would also tell you which social platform your audience uses. Thus, 1-2 months before launch, create a social media presence for your app on the channels that your users visit.

In our current digital age, social media is vital to any marketing strategy. If used optimally, it can help build interest around your app, gain a substantial customer base, even before launch, and boost engagement with your brand.

App Analytics

A side from the number of downloads, several other factors account for the success of your app. Thus, app analytics are essential to ensure your marketing strategy is effective. Within the app, integrate an analytics section to keep track of the app’s performance and optimize your strategy based on the data to achieve higher results.

Post-Launch Marketing Strategy

The answer to how to market an app does not end with the launch of the app. Your pre-launch efforts are only half of what you need to do for post-launch marketing.
Post-launch marketing offers two paths for marketers: paid promotions and organic marketing.

The goal is to ensure maximum downloads, continuous user engagement, brand awareness, and more. There is no best answer when it comes to marketing mobile apps, but the type of app, your goals, and budget are factors that will determine your choice. That said, let’s look at these two methods on how to market applications after launch:

Organic Marketing

Organic marketing comprises of the following activities:

App Store Optimization (ASO)

ASO or app store optimization is much like SEO. Since apps are launched on app stores, marketers need to ensure that the app store page content is optimized to rank the app higher in search results. Your keyword research will be immensely beneficial to your ASO. That said, the primary aim of ASO is to ensure the app gets featured on the app stores.

Apply for awards

With awards to your name, you build credibility, which adds value to the app, boosting acquisition and downloads. So post-launch, apply for awards and increase your apps trustworthiness and reliability.

Gain visibility

Even after launch, you need to continue your efforts for greater visibility. That said, post-launch, ensure your marketing efforts include ideas such as contests and giveaways to boost interest in your app. You can also publish your app on alternative app stores like Amazon for Android apps.

Localize your mobile app

If your target market extends beyond the border, then it’s best not to restrict the language to English. To ensure your apps’ success, your pre- and post-launch marketing efforts need to in to accommodate the audience not using English as their native language.

Thus, localize your app according to the region where your users reside.

Paid Marketing

Paid marketing includes the following tactics:


If done right, pay-per-click or PPC can have a significant impact on your overall app marketing strategy. With it, you have the option to promote the app on search engines on through in-app adds in other apps that your users are using.

Email campaigns

Using the email list that you gained through your landing pages, you can launch email campaigns to promote your app. Depending on your audience demographics, email marketing can be beneficial for your marketing efforts. It can help you build interest around your app and boost your acquisition rate.

What’s Your Marketing Strategy

I hope the blog helps in understanding how to promote an app as a startup. The next thing to do is develop your app marketing strategy.

You can also learn from your competitors, see what works for them and what doesn’t. As a startup, it will help you skip the experimenting phase and start with the strategy that will bring results.

That said, if you need help with your marketing, our experts are here to lend their expertise. So, get in touch with your idea, develop your app, and boost your ROI.



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