Six ways to promote a paid app
We always start most of our articles with statistics as we provide actual data on how much the global number of installs in app stores has increased over a certain period. This time we’re not going to repeat ourselves — it’s clear that the competition is so high (and constantly growing) that it’s quite difficult to stand out and make it to the top on App Store and Google Play, let alone the products with in-app purchases or those you need to pay a fixed amount for. How can you convince users to install your app and spend money on it? Let’s figure out what can help you in that.
Why is it a challenge to promote paid apps?
- Market leaders
Speaking of rapid market growth, it’s worth mentioning the market leaders — they are not just competitors but large players with serious budgeting, and sometimes they are huge corporations. This means that they can buy more traffic for more money. On the one hand, that’s a sad realization. On the other hand, we can activate our creativity and look for other, more interesting options to promote.
- There’s more than ASO
In times when mobile app development has become a huge profitable industry, hoping to become successful in terms of organic search without any extra effort is a no go. We’ll talk more about effort a bit later, and here are all the ASO basics if you’re a beginner. The basics are the best.
- Users’ subconscious mind
It sounds intriguing, but it only means that when buying an expensive smartphone, many people do not plan to spend extra money. It seems that everything should already be included, like an app store. Even if a person installs your app (say, it’s free with in-app purchases), it does not mean they’re ready to buy more.
Speaking of ways to promote, please note that a marketer should keep in mind both the profit and the right strategies to acquire new users. Now let’s talk about how to proceed.
Engage your audience with your app website
There’s a big gap between the statistics that marketers rely on and the way users actually behave. This is due to the fact that a user’s journey to the final action becomes more complex and includes several devices and ways of interaction. However, an analysis of 45 apps showed that users visit the website first, and only then do they go to an app store to install the app. This year, the number of such installs has doubled! This means that you can redirect users from ads to the landing page/website and only then make them end up in an app store to complete the funnel.
Use Apple Search Ads
When promoting a paid app, app store advertising by certain keywords can be of great help. We’ve already talked about how Apple Search Ads works, and we’d like to share a useful case study too. Speaking shortly, avoid making mistakes when using keywords, and don’t use everything as a keyword. More doesn’t mean better. The main thing is to compile a semantic core of relevant keywords (10 to 15) and stay patient when testing them — most likely, there will be no decent result right away.
Working with reviews
Good reviews and a high rating for a paid app may greatly affect the loyalty and trust of users and, as a result, their decision to install your product. Some marketers are tempted to buy enough reviews and save themselves the pain of extra work. Be warned that illegal ways, even ‘gray-scale’ ones, are not worth it. There are other ways, legal and safe.
Ask your friends for help, embed a rating request into your app (just don’t be too intrusive and find the right moment, for example, right after a user has completed a stage in the game and experienced some pleasant emotions). You also can order paid reviews from real people — just ask them to play your game / use your app and leave their feedback in an app store.
Aside from that, enjoy a short checklist on how to work with reviews from our article:
- Work on reviews consistently;
- Act quickly;
- Don’t ignore negative reviews;
- respond constructively and politely;
- Ask clarifying questions if negative feedback lacks precision;
- Analyze negative feedback your competitors receive;
- Avoid canned response;
- Ask for feedback at an appropriate time (waiting mode or action completed);
With this strategy, you can make your app or some in-app purchases free for a certain limited time. In such a way, you may get a lot of installs, which would affect your app ranking on the App Store. Before launching such a campaign, it may be worthwhile to tell everyone about it in advance, outline all the benefits that the users will receive, and announce the corresponding dates.
If we talk about the promotion on Google Play, then you can arrange a sale or give out some promo codes. Discounts may apply to the entire app or in-app purchases. You may wish to read the official guidelines for sales and promotion campaigns. You can announce such companies here or look at this large table of suitable websites and forums that offer some options for both iOS and Android apps.
Getting featured to promote
Featured apps can cause an impressive traffic flow on a paid app page, especially if your marketing budget is quite small. It’s not very easy to get featured, but it’s possible. You can start with the App Store’s official guide or fill out a special form on Google Play. Nevertheless, we suggest that you look at our article first which has a step-by-step guide and all the necessary links.
What else can we do?
In fact, you can use a lot of advertising tools to acquire new users or warm up those who haven’t gotten to install your app yet.
Cool SMM and content marketing will help you (the main thing is to stand out among your competitors and think about the benefits for the reader), online PR campaigns, media collaboration and publications on themed platforms, special projects in collaboration with partners, or referral programs. Make sure you make use of word of mouth. The image of a paid app is not an empty phrase but the right direction. The main thing is to pay attention to where your target audience “dwells” and assess how efficient those channels are.
Promotion of paid apps is not an easy task, but everything is possible if you know the way, take a comprehensive approach, and use tests to look for what will work for you. As it turns out, most people take a look at app websites before installing an app, so you can reduce the costs for user acquisition. Reviews still play a big part in decision making, but avoid using dishonest methods. Alternatively, you can try the paid-to-free strategy or use promo campaigns, depending on the store. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask people to pay for your product if you are confident in its good quality.
As a reminder, we always have accurate data for you. Arm yourself with some analytics and conquer a spot in the top. Try it here.