Paid App Marketing That Actually Pays Off

Apr 5, 2018 · 7 min read

In today’s world, people are pretty much used to the fact that in order to get a better something you need to pay for it. But let’s admit it — given a chance, most of us would go for a “get it for free” offer.

It’s more than true in mobile app marketing universe, which makes paid app marketing a true challenge. After all, it’s against our nature to part with our money to get something you can’t test beforehand.

Getting paid for app installs was the first app monetization model that generated considerable revenues for developers all over the world.

The situation changed in 2009, when Apple introduced in-app purchases. Today, paid apps comprise less than 50 % of mobile apps market, and this share tends to reduce every year.

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But don’t give up on paid apps yet — they’re still there, blooming and in dire need of quality marketing. How to accomplish this task?

Let’s see.

1. App Release Is Far Too Late to Start Marketing

We all like to be in the thick of things. Particularly when we’re witnessing something great being born.

That’s why you shouldn’t shut your potential users out from the development process. Let them know something great is on the way. It’s like waiting for a new movie release — once you start following the news and watching movie trailers, you just can’t stop until you see the thing itself.

You can also use the pre-launch phase to A/B test your app. Attract a number of beta-testers — if your app is really great and you’re awesome at communication with your users, you’ll be able to build up a loyal initial audience who will give your app a kick start at the very beginning.

Even if you can’t gather large numbers of beta testers among your friends and family, don’t despair. Such platforms as Mobtest, Usertesting or Ubertesters will come to your aid.

2. ASO for You Is Like ABC for Kids

Do you want to be a success on the App Store or Google Play? Well, make sure you stand out from the crowd. And here correct ASO — a.k.a. App Store Optimization — will help you to get noticed among millions of other apps.

When you think of ASO, the traditional things to be considered are the icon, title, screenshots, description, and keywords (for a full list you can check our ASO guide on this blog). For now, let’s go through the essentials:

Icon — it’s the first thing that the user sees. An attractive, eye-catching and stylish icon is the initial step to success. The icon should at list give a hint for the user what your app is about.

Screenshots — your powerful allies on convincing users to install the app. Screenshots are basically the first impression of your product. Outstanding graphics, correct order of placing — they all do matter.

Title — it should be either really informative to make your users understand what’s your app about, or really catchy. Don’t forget about incorporating keywords into the title and subtitle, but avoid their stuffing.

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Description — it’s your opportunity to tell the crowds what your app can do for them. Don’t be shy — the juicier and more creative your description is, the better chance you have to convince the users to purchase your app without actually testing it beforehand.

Keywords — they are the key to your app’s visibility in the store. Remember, the algorithms on the App Store and Google Play differ a lot — so don’t forget to check the recommendations for both.

But there is some general advice:

  • Make your keywords relevant;
  • Check who your competitors are and which keywords they use;

3. Price Tricks That Work

Honestly, for your users purchasing paid apps is like taking a pig in a poke. But there’re a few tricks the might like:

  1. Let your users try out your paid app for free for a limited time. That they will appreciate it :) Have you heard of reciprocity effect? It’s when you give people something good and pleasant, and they tend to give you back something good in return. Like positive reviews, for instance.
  2. Do some experimental offers. It’s not something you can do constantly and dynamically on the App Store or Google Play. Lucky for you, Aprofita for instance, comes to your aid here. Sign up, make a cash-back offer to Aprofita users without affecting your actual app store price, and watch your installs shoot up.

4. Your App Is an Actor on Social Media Stage

Social media is an absolute must-have of our lives today. Just imagine, about 3 billion people are active social media users — wouldn’t you want them all to see your app? ;)

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Run a blog, create pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat (or actually any other social network your users are most likely to follow). Your aim here is to build up user network, let them know about your app, updates and special offers and interact with your loyal users directly.

You can also start a crowdsourcing campaign: even if you don’t get the sources for creating your product, people will already know your brand.

5. Pay Others to Get Others Pay to You

Advertising with the help of specialized tools on various platforms is highly effective. It gets your app straight in front of your target audience.

There are hundreds of ad networks today. Your aim is to choose the most suitable for you.

Here are a few alternative ways for you to choose from:

Facebook — it’s one of the biggest social networks and has the most daily active users compared to other social networks.

Twitter — with Twitter you can attract more users and followers using either Promoted posts or Promoted Accounts offers.

Cross-promos — this type is especially popular with the gaming apps. The point of this method is that one app is advertised inside the other.

App store search ads — it’s considered to be the most effective. Apple insists that 65% of downloads come directly from a search on the App Store.

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6. Influencers Have Not Gained Their Influence for Nothing

One soldier does not make a battle. Your voice alone will not shout over the crowds.

Do not hesitate to use the help of others. Influences should, and actually have to, become your best friends.

You don’t know how to find influencers? Don’t worry — there are tons of tools eager to help you. Deep Social, and Mention are only a few of them.

Consider doing some guest blogging. It’s a great opportunity not only to tell the right audience about your app but also a chance to build up some backlinks so that users can go directly to your landing page or to an app store to install your app.

Your one and only rule here — go for the influencers whom your users will listen to. Alas, a random guy on the internet will not do the trick.

7. Featuring as Your Way to Paradise

It’s a complicated way to make people talk about your app, but a very effective one. When your app is featured on the App Store and Google Play it signals that it’s a worthy investment of the X bucks your app costs.

If you need to be featured on Google Play or Apple Store, you’d better follow their guidelines properly. Follow the rules, stay up-to-date, solve a unique customer pain. It helps a lot.

According to Apptopia research, apps received a 1747% download boost if featured, and games saw a 792 % bump. Fantastic figures!

As a Conclusion..

To avoid fallouts of developing a paid app, every brand needs a solid marketing strategy. Marketing a paid app does not end with the points we’ve listed above. It’s a complicated route you have to take with care and caution.

Follow the basic rules and advice, do some experimenting, budget some paid promotions — and never-ever-ever forget about analyzing your activity results.

If you have any brilliant ideas about paid app marketing or you’d like to share your valuable advice, please share your thoughts in the comments below.