Market your App like a #BOSS in Instagram
Instagram has already overtaken Twitter for most active users as per recent estimations. Regardless of what the actual numbers are, it is without a doubt that Instagram is growing rapidly and is already one of the top social networking platforms. We should take advantage of this feat by considering using Instagram as part of our overall Android app marketing strategy.
In this blog post, I will give you some actionable tips for promoting your Android app on Instagram. Since Instagram can help you reach such a large audience, it can be an effective online marketing platform for Android apps of all sizes.
Post High Quality, Native Images
For us to be able to travel successfully or with less hassle in another country, you need to be able to speak their local or native language. The idea is the same for social media.
You should understand why people use them and you need to speak their language. On Instagram, it’s done by posting beautiful, artistic pictures, with filters.
Even when you are just promoting your app (and not just posting food or WDYT pictures), your images need to pop. But remember not to just post screenshots either.
Instagram users post pictures of themselves and their everyday lives. Think about how you can use your app’s pictures to match that kind of approach.
You can post images of people using your app, or a fan artwork, and more! You are only limited by your own imagination or creativity.
Hashtags can help you gain traction on Instagram, especially in the beginning. Unlike other social media platforms like Twitter, where you can only add a few hashtags, in Instagram, you are allowed to add up to 30.
Consider this like adding ASO keywords to your apps — take advantage of it and use all 30. People search for and follow these hashtags, and will like your posts and follow your account if you post things that they like.
But please, do not add random hashtags — it is a waste of time. You need to use something relevant that people are following.
Here’s a tip. First, you can do a #hashtag search on Instagram.
This will show you the posts that have been tagged with these hashtags. Popular hashtags can be too noisy and hashtags with only a few posts may not give you enough visibility, so experiment things up to see what works for your Android app.
You may also use TagsForLikes.com. Simply search for a related hashtag category and add a few that relate to your picture.
In this example, we use a picture that I didn’t tag at all. It is not a fantastic one, but it isn’t bad either. I got a grand total of “1” like.
For this next picture, I did five minutes of research and added a number of the most related hashtags that I could find. This resulted in 9000+ likes and a few new followers. Again, not the most amazing picture ever, it’s even a regrammed post, but the only difference was the hashtags.
If you don’t want to add hashtags to the caption of your photo because you think that it may look spammy, you can add it to the first comment. The result would be the same.
Understand Your Audience
I have been a follower of the ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) Banzai Pipeline event on their site. And I am really impressed with how they promote their contests on social media.
One thing that caught my attention was that, instead of listing each user’s Twitter handle, they were posting their Instagram user accounts instead. For me, this is a clear indication that Instagram is becoming a huge marketing platform and really deserves our undying attention.
The Instagram demographic, as of this writing, is currently a younger crowd with disposable income. And though it may change over time, it is what current studies are telling us. Therefore, we must post pictures or short videos that people in this demographic would like.
Moreover, Instagram users must have a mobile phone to upload photos. Other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter can also be accessed via a computer, making them much less mobile-centric. This what makes Instagram a prime platform for mobile app marketing.
Include Shortlinks To Get More Traffic
Instagram does not allow direct links in your captions or comments. But this does not mean that you can’t get some traffic to your site or download page. Since these links won’t appear as hyperlinks and users cannot copy/paste from the Instagram app, you just need to make them as short and easy to remember as possible.
Use Bitly to shorten your links. Using Bitly will allow you to generate short links that are easy to remember and type into any browser. Billy also provides you with statistics on how many users clicked on your link.
You may also purchase a custom short link domain and integrate it with Bitly for free.
There’s also a good way to find these domains, and it is to use Domainr. This site provides suggestions for any creative short domain idea that you may have. Keep it as short as possible and easy to remember.
You may also set a custom URL in Bitly so that the end of the link can be easily remembered too. Here is an example.
Make sure to include a link to your app store page in your profile. This is a hyperlink that users can tap, so it is a valuable source of traffic.
Make Use of Text Overlays
A picture paints a thousand words, we know that. But sometimes, it helps to give your audience hints as to what you are trying to convey.
Adding some text to your photos can help your viewers decide if they want to read your caption or not. Since Instagram allows long form text captions, use it to your advantage — it is simply as a way to rope people in and read more about your stuff.
Social networking platforms come and go. Remember Friendster?
Your job as an Android app marketer is to stay ahead of what is working now. It can be easy to settle into one or two social media platforms, but for me, it is the kiss of death.
Don’t limit yourself to Instagram either. You may explore other opportunities on Snapchat, Pinterest, Tumblr, and whatever comes up next.
Just like with any other social networking platforms, bear in mind that it helps to make friends with users who have large and/or related audiences. One of my friends has grown his Instagram account from zero to hero — over 8,000 followers in just a couple of months, via networking. He has not purchased any followers via Fiverr and as a result, his engagement is very high.
Just so you know, Instagram also offers sponsored posts. Building an audience here can be a more powerful and cheaper option, but buying ads may work too.
How about you? Do you use Instagram to market your app? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below…