App promotion tips: 11 expert tips on how to promote your app

  1. Write about the application you are building
    Tracy Osborn, designer, developer, and author of Hello Web App, has found that the best way to promote your app is to write the following:

the challenges you face
Solutions to your problems
Activities you attended (and lessons learned)
Programs, lessons, and challenges you take part in (and of course, lessons learned)
How do you apply what you’ve learned to your application
In short, it’s time to #publicstartup.

“It’s marketing that doesn’t look like marketing,” explains Osborn. “It will be easier for you and your readers to share and promote because it won’t be considered a blatant ad, it’s a marketing Trojan horse to introduce your product to potential customers.”

It’s a marketing that doesn’t look like marketing.

Tracy Osborn
The downside, Osborn admits, is that it takes time to write, but in her experience, the time invested always pays off several times over compared to other, more traditional marketing campaigns.

“Once you get into the habit, it’s easier to keep posting on social media, blogging, writing articles about what you’ve learned and what you can teach others,” she said.

You might also like: How to Get More App Downloads in the Shopify App Store.

  1. Set up automated marketing
    It was also important for Osborn to build as much automated marketing as possible when designing, developing and promoting all of her products so she could spend more time on the products.

“I usually spend my marketing time writing informative and instructional blog posts that I can share to relevant communities, such as specific Reddit subreddits. The blog post is then shared naturally on dedicated social media platforms.”

Osborn recommends including an image in your blog to maximize engagement, and preferably syndicating blog posts on other writing platforms like Medium or Dev Community to increase their visibility.

“Once you spend time doing app promotion work, like writing an article, make sure to take advantage of every opportunity to share that article, especially if it can be done automatically after publishing.”

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  1. Write case studies and get client testimonials
    The numbers are proof, says Kelly Vaughn, founder and developer of The Taproom Agency.

Whether you’re pitching directly to the CEO, or to the technical decision makers responsible for execution, you should get help from a few key users who can make great case studies for your app, she suggests.

“Let them test the app and gather some use cases and customer testimonials,” she advises. “Apps with social proof are more attractive when your app competes with the vast number of potentially similar apps already on the market.”

Apps with social proof are more appealing when your app competes with a large number of potentially similar apps already on the market.

Kelly Vaughn, The Taproom Agency
If you’re not sure who to ask for customer testimonials, you can try getting testimonials through social media, such as Facebook groups and Twitter. Explain your app and ask for some help while testing your app in exchange for a review.

When asking for a review, make sure to follow the guidelines set out in the Partner Program Agreement, as there are some things you can do and some things you can’t. Read our guide on how to get reviews for your Shopify app.

You might also like: Social Proof: How to Make the Most of This Powerful Marketing Asset.

  1. Know your unique value proposition and be prepared to promote it
    Your purpose for building your application is clear. Maybe it’s an unprecedented new idea, maybe it’s an improvement over an app that’s already on the market today. Whatever the purpose, Kelly Vaughn recommends making sure you articulate clearly what makes your app stand out.

Make sure your value proposition is articulated and understood by any potential customer.

Kelly Vaughn, The Taproom Agency
Vaughn warns: “You may only have 10 seconds to get a potential customer’s attention, and you only have one chance to make a good first impression. Whether it’s talking to others about your app or doing it via Twitter App promotion, make sure your value proposition is clearly articulated and understood by any potential customer.”

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  1. Write clear and concise copy
    Knowing what your product does is critical to writing application copy. Product strategist, designer and author Andi Galpern recommends speaking directly to your target audience.

“Make the benefits of using an app obvious so people are motivated to download it. Don’t overwhelm people with rhetoric. Use plain language so everyone gets the same information. For example, I use Hemingway a lot. This simple online word processor to build and edit paragraphs of copy. It assesses sentence readability and encourages authors to write with a positive tone.”

People will buy from people they trust.

Kelly Vaughn, The Taproom Agency
Above all, Galpern advises being authentic: “People will buy from people they trust. You want to sound like a real person who really cares about the people who use your product.”

You might also like: 10 UX Writing Tips for Creating Effective Content.

  1. Optimize the material on the product page of the app
    Lifesum Product Page Health app LIFESUM’s product page helps you understand exactly what the app does at a glance.
    Ludo De Angelis, founder of digital and app promotion agency Orto marketing, warns that it’s not enough to just optimize copy on product pages. The real focus, he suggests, should be where the eye catches the eye: videos and pictures.

“Did you know [on the Apple App Store] that little ‘more’ button that expands the text box in the list?” he asked. “Only 2% of people click on a listing to read a full description of an app’s functionality when entering a listing. They want faster information transfer than plain text.”

De Angelis explained that people want to see what your app looks like, how it works, and what it can do for them as quickly as possible.

“Videos and images are the best way to convey these messages, and consumers know that, and they’re going through those images faster than you can say ‘curly braces’,” De Angelis noted.

Listings on the Shopify App Store support videos and images, which give you the opportunity to create compelling media assets that quickly illustrate what your app does. Read our guide on getting more downloads on the Shopify App Store to learn more about optimizing video and visual media footage.

“The name of the game here is, don’t make people think too much to download,” De Angelis said. “Good luck!”

You might also like: How to Brand Your Shopify App and Get More in the App Store.

  1. Make it easy for merchants to find your app in the app store
    Shopify has learned through research that merchants compare their list of apps side-by-side before making the final decision to install an app. Optimizing your listings at this stage of the merchant journey will help increase lead conversion rates, advises Erin Marchak, director of engineering at Maple.

“You should structure your app description in a way that clearly promotes the value you bring,” she explains. “The main benefits section of the listing allows you to really advertise the benefits you’re offering and get the merchant’s attention quickly.” .”

“Merchants do a side-by-side comparison of app listings before making the final decision to install an app. Optimizing your listings at this stage of the merchant journey will help increase lead conversion rates.”

  1. Create beautiful and memorable app icons
    A collection of app icons A collection of app icons designed by MICHAEL FLARUP
    Crafting a unique graphic design that users can interact with every time they see your product can be a daunting task. According to designer and entrepreneur Michael Flarup, a beautiful, recognizable, and memorable app icon can have a major impact on an app’s popularity and success. So investing time and effort does pay off in the long run.

Michael explains: “The app icon is like a little visual anchor for the product that has to solve a series of tasks. It needs to act as a strong and consistent branding element. It needs to be scalable and available in multiple sizes. Ideally down, it should align with the rest of your design language, and it needs to stand out from other apps competing for attention.”

Gabe Kwakyi, CEO of mobile app development and marketing agency Incipia, found the following best practices for app icon design:

People process images faster than text. Use visual cues to help users immediately understand what the app does. Flight apps use airplanes, GPS apps use globes, and chat apps use bubble dialogs. This is especially important when your icon is placed alongside a variety of similar products (for example, the Staff Picks collection in the Shopify App Store) compared to inherent use cases (such as keyword searches)
With high-resolution interfaces and large pixel counts, icons have the opportunity to be more noticeable. Adding gradients or shadows can hint to users that your application is professional and detail-oriented. That said, think about your target market: while regions like Japan and China may appreciate more sophistication, the current trend in Western culture is minimalism
Make sure your icons stand out. If all apps use the same polish and visual cues, how do you differentiate between them? Take the time to do competitiveness research and design something unique
Make sure the visual identity used in the icon meets your guidelines. Branding is all about consistency, without consistency you lose the opportunity to benefit from your brand building investment
To learn more about good app icon design, visit Michael Flarup’s for resources, articles, and video lessons on the subject.

You might also like: Everything you need to know to design great app icons.

  1. Create introductory tutorials for long-term applicability
    Interaction designer Krystal Higgins recommends creating app introductory tutorials that go beyond the first experience because she finds that too many apps don’t provide guidance after the first run.

She explains: “First impressions matter, but sometimes we’re so focused on building the app’s first-run experience that we fail to design an introductory tutorial that supports users as they evolve. A true introductory tutorial isn’t a one-off, one-size-fits-all approach; It’s a process of slowly walking the user through multiple events, using different methods in different situations. When done right, there’s a seamless transition between onboarding tutorials and day-to-day user education.”

When done right, there is a seamless transition between introductory tutorials and day-to-day user education.

Krystal Higgins
To create an introductory tutorial that incorporates daily instruction, Higgins recommends defining a successful end state for the user.

Once key actions are identified, Higgins recommends providing guidance. This involves figuring out how to trigger the action, walk the user through the action (and any issues they may have), and end the action in a way that leads the user to the next step.

When doing this, consider the different situations the user might encounter, or if a critical operation is being performed. You may need to utilize more than one coaching method to meet their needs.

Krystal concludes: “Tie onboarding tutorials to the end state that users expect to ensure that you create onboarding tutorials that not only solve short-term problems, such as getting users to sign up, but also serve users long-term.”

For more information on designing permanent introductory tutorials and other introductory tutorial tips, read Higgins’ article on introductory tutorials.

You might also like: Effective App Onboarding: How to Convert Free Trial Users to Paying Customers.

  1. Create campaigns for user retention and upselling
    Ben Harper, CEO of market research firm Clarity Stack and founder of Meet Hugo, found that when you launch any app and people are installing it, one of the biggest ways to increase revenue over time is to maximize the use of your user base.

“People have already spent time trying your app, so you have to give them the best experience at every touchpoint so they can come back for more features,” he explained. “It all starts with understanding your data and paying close attention to it.”

Clarity Stack’s web app, Hugo, accepts subscriptions through Stripe, which has metrics built in, such as teams tracking their churn rate and customer lifetime value.

“We can see different groups of customers based on when they sign up, and why they might decrease,” explains Harper. “Combining this data with login and usage data within the app, we can see which customers are most likely to churn and re-engage them, and which customers are the most loyal and likely to accept upgrade packages.”

The result of looking at all this data is improved touchpoints with customers, primarily through automated marketing channels to connect with users, re-engage them, and remind them of what they might be missing out on by not logging in.

Harper said, “By continually adapting and measuring our customer touchpoints throughout the customer lifecycle, we have seen tangible improvements in all areas.