Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 23rd 2015 Contents BG16 COMMENTARY
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt APRIL 2015 • WEEK FOUR
of apps and
out there, it
can be diffi-
cult for any developer to get their app noticed.
Today s app developer has to have a clear
marketing plan if they are to gain visibility
amidst the clutter in the app stores. Although
a decent advertising budget can bring more
exposure, not all developers have the luxury
of budgets or cash flow for a marketing cam-
Thankfully, there are other ways to get your
message out. There are lots of free or next-
to-free resources and strategies to promote
your mobile apps on a budget, however con-
strained. Just be prepared to work. What you
save in cash, you will have to pay for in time
and effort. So, if you re looking to increase
the chances of your app being discovered, the
following tips should help.
1. Define your target audience
Identify which group of people would be
most interested and benefit most from your
app? Think carefully about what kind of value
your app delivers, and target your messaging
strategy to the people most likely to be inter-
ested in what you are offering. Personagraph
is a useful tool to help with app user segmen-
tation and insights. It allows you to easily
select the channels where your target audience
2. Use your social circles
Friends and family can provide a very effec-
tive channel for getting exposure and feedback)
for your app. People are significantly more
likely to try or buy a product if a friend or
relative recommends it to them. You can use
this to your advantage and gain important
initial traction by taking advantage of your
personal social circles, such as your office col-
leagues, club members or church community.
3. Use online social networks.
Encourage your friends to give it a positive
review, "+1" or "like" on their online social
networks. This is one of the best ways to help
spread the word about your app. For example,
the average number of Facebook friends 338.
A single Facebook share can quickly get re-
shared with thousands, bringing visibility and
recognition to your app.
Adding social features to you app can also
help tremendously. Depending on the type of
app, you can include support for sharing con-
tent, challenging friends or recommending
features. Such functionality boosts online
engagement and lays a foundation for longer-
term organic growth.
4. Create a dedicated online
Having a dedicated online presence for your
app provides an additional touch point for
your users. A presence on popular platforms
like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+
for example can be used to galvanise support
for your app. Users can be encouraged to like,
follow or link to your app s page to create a
fan community around your app.
You can also create a mobile-friendly website
to showcase your full app portfolio and to
share more about yourself or your business.
Together, your online footprint helps further
increase the visibility of your app.
5. Incentivise users to rate and
People looking to try out an app attach great
importance to ratings and user reviews. A good
review or rating can spell the difference
between a user choosing to download your
app or bypass it. The amount of ratings and
reviews also influence your app s position in
app store rankings.
Bad reviews have value too, providing useful
user-feedback that can help you better under-
stand and prioritise areas of improvement for
your app. A simple in-app pop up screen or
interstitial can encourage your users to leave
6. Use your apps to promote your
If you already have an app live in the app
stores, you can leverage your existing user base
and in-app messages to let users know that
you have other apps you d like them to try
out. Just be careful to not over do it. There s
a very thin line between useful unsolicited
messages and annoying interruptions.
7. E-mail campaigns
Email marketing may seem a bit dated, but
it s still one of the most effective ways of
driving traffic, building advocacy, and con-
verting leads to users / customers. Create a
e-newsletter and present potential users with
information about your app and reasons why
it would be valuable to them.
8. Reach out to media
Mainstream media can play an important
part in spreading the word about your app.
Prepare, or have someone help you put togeth-
er, a press kit. At a minimum, this should
• A synopsis of your mobile app
• Info on your company or the development
• The key features of the app
• What distinguishes it from the competition
or what makes it special.
• Circulate your press kit to online app-
review blogs, magazines and local media out-
lets, including newspapers, television and radio.
Keep your audience in mind and target the
media channels they are most likely to be on.
Also, focus on the media channels you think
will find your app newsworthy.
9. Reward your supporters
People love to feel appreciated. Take advan-
tage of this by rewarding them for supporting
your app. Offer your app s users with a free
premium feature or in-app credit for sharing
10. Never stop promoting
So long as it s available, promotion of your
app is a never-ending responsibility. You should
always be on quest to let other know about
your app. Attend developer and investor meet-
ups, post comment on blog posts and social
media, keep the buzz alive within your social
Also, don t be shy about any achievements
along the way. Promote download milestones,
press coverage and favourable reviews. You
should be the loudest, most prolific champion
for your app. After all, if you can make the
time to spread the word yourself, why should
any one else?
Bevil Wooding is chief knowledge office
at Congress WBN (C-WBN) an international
non-profit organisation and executive director
at BrightPath Foundation, responsible for
C-WBN's technology education and outreach
initiatives. Follow on Twitter: @bevilwooding
for cash-strapped developers
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