Launching your app is a significant milestone in today’s tech-driven era. Getting your brainchild off the ground, however, is only half of the equation. Without users, your app is nothing more than lines of code that the computer understands and executes. You’ll need to build your user base to monetize your app through ads or paid subscriptions. For the aspiring tech entrepreneur, here are five simple but effective ways you can get users quickly:
1. Optimize Your App Store Ranking
Just as how search engine rankings have, for decades, been the primary factor for determining the visibility of a website.
How high you rank in-app store searches will predominantly determine how many users can find your app in the App Store or Android marketplace. Focus your efforts on targeting the right keyword or keyphrase, giving your app a creative yet understandable name, and writing a brief but concise meta description. For your keywords, think of what your ideal user would type in the search bar when trying to look for an app like yours.
2. Have a Website to Promote Your App on
Nowadays, it’s a standard business practice to have both a website and a mobile version. A website increases your brand’s visibility by expanding your reach to both mobile device and desktop users. A website also affords you a bigger canvas to display and advertise your brand’s content. You can add more photos, videos, logos, and other aesthetic elements without making it look clunky and congested. On your website, dedicate a separate section for your mobile app using a low-key banner that points to the page in the footer or border sections.
3. Promote on Social Media
Why is software so expensive? There are many reasons why it’s costly to run an app, one of which is advertising. Fortunately, advertising on social media costs nothing. According to studies, web users spend close to a third of their time on one or multiple social media platforms. Most of these users access their Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts via a mobile device, be it a smartphone or tablet. This means it is easier for them to find and install an app that they find through their newsfeed; which social media platform you choose to promote your app on will depend mainly on your target audience. There are several subtle distinctions between these platforms’ user bases, and understanding them in greater depth can help you better designate your limited advertising resources.
4. Work With Other Businesses
Working with other businesses gives your app more media coverage, ultimately an effective channel to attract more downloads. Again, depending on your target audience, you’ll want to work with media channels that your ideal user will be using. Possible media channels to explore include, but are not limited to, bloggers, online magazines, corporate blogs, and specialized content marketplaces. You can also cold-call or email local businesses that align with your brand’s values, product, or service. That being said, make sure to thoroughly screen the people you get in business with, which can substantially impact public perception and brand legitimacy.
5. Offer Something for Free
The cost can be a considerable deterrent to attracting more app users. If given a choice between a free app and one that costs money, the latter will lose more than half the time. Rather than charge a hefty upfront fee, consider offering the app at no cost and then charging a monthly fee after a trial period. Another common way to monetize your app is to offer a basic account for free and then sell a premium version of it that has access to more features and content. You can also try to host contests that reward winners with in-store credit or a one-month free subscription. Regardless, giving users something with no strings attached can help increase your downloads.
When building your app’s user base, always focus on getting quality leads even if they cost more in sweat equity and money. Avoid compromising your brand’s values by chasing after every potential user you can find. Instead, use your resources to find your target audience, learn about their needs and behaviors, and create marketing campaigns that reflect those needs and behaviors.