How to Make an Uber-for-X App Marketing Plan

So far, in our Uber-for-X app development series, we have covered monetization strategies, leveraging your own knowledge to get a leg-up over the competition, and ten things that need to be considered before diving into Uber-for-X app development. For this instalment, we will take a look at constructing a marketing plan for your Uber-for-X app — or any mobile app.

Thinking about marketing an app can leave you feeling overwhelmed with all the possibilities available: Do I use Facebook or Twitter to reach my audience? Should I set up an Instagram account? Where should I host my website? Should I build my own website? Should I be using Google Ads? Facebook Ads? Even the steadiest entrepreneurs can get bogged down with all the options. That’s where this handy guide comes in; take a deep breath and let’s dive in.

For now, let’s ignore all the possible marketing channels and focus on the fundamentals. Before choosing how to get the message out to your possible users, you’ll need to figure out what that message will be.

A great place to start is to answer these 3 questions:

1. Who is my ideal app user (or buyer persona)?

Really dig deep here and get specific. You want to know their age, where they live, what their job is, their marital status, whether they prefer dogs or cats. You’ll want to make note of anything that might help you tailor your content to them. If you’ve never built out a buyer persona before, there is a great post from HubSpot on how you can construct a detailed buyer persona (it also comes with a handy, downloadable template).

2. What is it about your app that your buyer persona(s) will love?

This will be known as your core competency — the thing that sets you apart from your competitors. If you are breaking new ground and don’t really have competitors then this is the feature that everyone will talk about. Because you’ve already made some awesome buyer personas, you should know their biggest pain points and how your app addresses them. This should drive what good ideas for content and the messaging you’ll use to attract users to your app.

3. Who are my competitors and how am I differentiating myself from them?

This is where you’ll develop your market positioning for your Uber-for-X app. You’ll need to know who your direct competition is and how they attract users. If you believe you have no direct competitors, then take a look at your indirect competitors — these are competitors who may not be in the same industry as you, but that offer a product or service that is similar enough that they may be targeting the same users. Once you know what your competitors are saying, you can differentiate yourself in your marketing messages while leveraging your core competency. For an idea of how Uber set themselves apart from the competition, check out this slide deck.

Next Steps:

After going through these three questions, you should know who you’re targeting, the feature (or features) that they’ll be most attracted to, and how you can stand out from your competitors. With all this information, we can figure out the best ways to reach users and what marketing tactics will be most effective for promoting your Uber-for-X app. We’ll start with two things that everyone should do:

1. Build a website

A website will be one of the most critical components for your app. Period. Your Uber-for-X app is a business and for a business to appear legitimate and professional, it needs a website. Furthermore, your website needs to look professional — this generates trust and makes a user believe in your brand and product before they’ve even tried it. Your website is often the first point of contact with a user so you want it to leave a good impression. Use your brand positioning to stage your core competency; the positioning and core competency will be featured throughout all your marketing activity.

Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. In 2015, the number of Google searches from mobile phones surpassed searches on desktop/web, so your website must work (and look good) on mobile phones.

2. Build an app store page

Your app store page is the other heavily-trafficked portal through which a user will first make contact with your app, so you will need it to look great. A great app icon, high-res graphic assets, and screenshots are a must. Use an app title that features a keyword that your buyer personas will search for and feature the keyword a few times in the app description. This keyword will often be your core competency or feature. Ensure that the app description is in line with your brand positioning to remain consistent with your website.

Videos are becoming increasingly popular, and both Google Play and Apple app stores offer the ability to place a video trailer for your app. If you are able to make a professional app trailer, then use this to your advantage — it will improve your standings in app store searches, allowing you to drive more traffic to your app page and convert more downloads. Unless you can put together a professional video, though, we’d suggest that you ignore it for now.

Now that you have your two main points of contact set up, it’s time to focus on getting the word out. The number of marketing tactics available to you is huge. While having choices is great, it can also be overwhelming and can cause analysis paralysis. This is a state of over-thinking a decision which results in inaction. The opposite exists as well, where you try to pursue every marketing tactic that you come across, which can quickly lead to burnout and very little, if any, traction in any of the chosen channels. So how do you choose which channel or tactic to pursue?

Choose the marketing channel that best serves your buyer persona.

With your buyer personas, you should have an idea where your ideal users would go to get information, entertainment, advice, and discuss anything relevant to your app.

For example:

  • If you’re marketing a mobile game and your buyer persona already plays mobile games, then you might want to advertise within games they play
  • If you have a networking app for artists, you might want to display ads on DeviantArt coupled with a heavy focus on connecting with artists on Instagram

It’s important to only pursue one or two marketing tactics or channels at a time when you’re starting out. Restricting yourself to one or two channels makes you focus your efforts; it gives you the best chance to be successful on those channels and helps you see if the channel is delivering what you need.

Whenever you start a new marketing campaign, you’ll need to establish Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely (SMART) marketing goals to provide guideposts to your marketing success. If you’re not familiar with SMART goals, there’s a great article from HubSpot about getting started with goal-setting. Assign a couple SMART goals to the channel you’re pursuing. After three to four weeks of using a marketing channel, measure your results against your goals and decide whether to continue using that channel or to move onto another that might be a better fit. This cycle of experimenting, measuring, and analyzing will help you find a channel that works for you and your app.

With all of that, you should be ready to set up a marketing plan for your Uber-for-X app.

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