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Four marketing strategies to increase app store downloads and engagement

30-second summary:

  • App marketing is highly competitive. There are limited channels to market your app, but there are millions of apps to compete with. It is important to maximize every opportunity.
  • As with SEO, App Store Optimization involves keyword research and optimization. App developers have limited space for their keywords and a lot of competition. Precision is therefore very important.
  • App ads on Facebook are different from other types of ads. In addition to the ad manager, you will need the Facebook SDK to properly track app downloads and engagement.
  • Rewards should turn your app users into customers. When done right, incentives can create social evidence and viral loops.
  • There’s ASO, but there’s also app SEO. Content formats like blogs, podcasts and newsletters can make your app website / landing page rank higher in search engines.

Your app competes for visibility with 1.82 million other apps in the Apple App Store or 2.7 million apps in the Google Play Store. It’s a huge competition.

Marketing your app almost seems like a lost cause. While it is indeed a daunting task to make your app stand out, it can be done as long as you use the right strategies.

Effective app marketing involves identifying the top types of discovery and engagement channels (app stores, social media, search engines, and in the app itself) and targeting them with your audience.

1. App Store Optimization / Landing Page Optimization

Newbies make up only 8% of the apps that make the top charts on the App and Play Store Customize app report 2020. Given that the App Store is by far your app’s primary opportunity in organic discovery, it goes without saying that your App Store Optimization (ASO) needs to be on point.

ASO is to apps what SEO is to websites. And both have their similarities, especially in the dichotomy between on-page and off-page strategy. And like SEO, ASO starts with improving visibility.

The first tip to achieve this is to use an attractive name and logo. These two are the first things users see when they find your app. But first you have to make sure people can find it, right? And not just anyone – that Law People, your target audience.

What factors do you need to consider when optimizing your app store list, considering that app indexing is different between stores?

  • App Name / Title: Contains relevant keywords to enable the App Store algorithm to properly identify and categorize your app. You have 50 characters for this Load game while Apple Appstore Also includes a subtitle for keywords that do not match the main title.
  • Unlike Google, Apple allows developers to enter certain keywords in a private field in the App Store. For Google you have a short description field (80 characters) and a long description page (4000 characters), both of which are public.
  • Add keywords that are relevant to your app and that accurately describe its features, functions, and benefits.

That’s as much as you can influence your app’s rankings. Other factors beyond your direct control are ratings and ratings, download and uninstall rates, app updates, etc.

2. Strategy for Facebook Ads

ASO has its place and you can’t completely rely on app stores for app detection. Not if you’re not a well-known brand. Your marketing strategy should be more focused on the paid ones outlined below. As Christian Eckhardt from Customlytics says,

“The likelihood that a user will go into a store to browse or discover new apps has decreased significantly compared to when the store first began.”

By creating a page on Facebook You can display custom call-to-action ads for your app to promote your app and increase downloads. Facebook Ad Manager lets you set a goal for your app: whether to target app installs or app engagement (traffic). Facebook ads offer a competitive ROI with an average Cost-per-install rate of $ 1.8 compared to $ 2.53 on Twitter and $ 2.23 on Instagram.

CPI with Facebook ads

To run ads for your Facebook app,

  • Set up first Facebook SDK. This is necessary in order to optimize your app for mobile advertising. However, you can still serve ads for unregistered apps through the App Store URL.
  • Proceed with the setup in the Ad Manager, where you select your target audience, budget, bid, theme size and other options.

  • Finally again and again Measure your ad performanceTrack engagement data and gain analytical insights using the Facebook SDK and Ad Manager.

Measure the ad performance that is contributing to your App Store downloads

3. Use a reward system

This is a strategy that you can use to convert your app users into marketers. Of course, this assumes that you have an app that offers value to its users. The next step would be to incentivize app engagement.

In-app rewards that can make engagement easier include unlockable customization options, discounts, push notifications, in-app currency (points, coins, etc.), coupons, and other freebies. Many apps (especially games) already offer this. But motivation is important here. What kind of behavior encourages / should the reward system encourage?

  1. storage
  2. advertising
  3. reviews

In addition to app retention, your in-app incentives should encourage actions that get your app published. For example, you can offer a discount or other benefit to people who share the app or refer users (using referral codes). We know this has always worked Research by google showed that people find new apps through friends and family rather than other ways. Incentives for app users to rate and write reviews of your app in the store. Positive reviews not only promote the goodwill of an app, but also increase the ranking of the App Store Optimization and increase the visibility of your app.

But app retention is also important. Just 32% The number of users would return to an app at least eleven times, a reduction of six points compared to the previous year. And app stores see high uninstall rates as a sign of poor quality app. Such an app would get lower rankings and could even eventually be removed from the store. Incentives keep users away from the app and create viral loops.

4. Content Marketing Strategy

Search engines are a great place to advertise your app. Think about it. Someone hears how great your app is and immediately searches for the name, only to find sparse or no relevant results. You need a creative and consistent content marketing strategy to convert search engine users.

You can use a blog to highlight the benefits of your app, notify users of updates, and teach them how to maximize the app’s capabilities. When companies that blog win 126% more leads than those who don’t, why not apps? Robinhood’s popular marketing strategy features a blog that teaches people the basics of investing and financing.

Use content marketing to make your app more visible and valuable in the eyes of the audience

However, blogging is more than just posting articles. You have to search for keywords to find the ones that will help you the most with conversion. This way, search engines can effectively rate your blog posts.

In addition, content marketing is not limited to blogging. You can also take advantage of newsletters, podcasts, and YouTube videos, as is the case with Robinhood. Called Robinhood Snacks, subscribers will receive a daily newsletter with financial news (regardless of whether they are using the app or not). In addition, annual reports are broken down via podcasts.

However, content marketing is broader. You also need backlinks in order to rank. And that means your app will appear in the top apps lists, external reviews, and guest article mentions, all of which should have backlinks to your landing page. Needless to say, there is no need to mention that you need a highly responsive landing page with a clear call-to-action that takes visitors to the app’s store page.

A simple content marketing checklist for app optimization looks like this:

  • Do some research for ideas related to your app that are relevant to your audience.
  • Create topics from these ideas and develop engaging content.
  • Use media that your audience uses the most. For example, podcasts are a great idea if you are targeting millennials.
  • Feel free to reuse content. Your blog post can be converted into a YouTube video. You can transcribe a podcast interview and turn it into an article, etc.
  • Always add a call to action


If you implement the strategies outlined above, you can be sure that the app will keep growing. However, the most important factor is that the app is actually valuable. The best apps are the ones that advertise themselves. But virality doesn’t happen overnight. It is the result of consistently applying the right strategies.

Guy Sheetrit is the CEO of Over The Top SEO, an award-winning marketing agency that provides bespoke SEO marketing solutions for ecommerce, local and Fortune 500 companies. He can be found on Twitter @guysheetrit.

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