How To Market An App (Rapid fire Q&A;)

So, you’ve made an amazing app. Now what?

How can you attract the right users to your product?

I was on the panel at this cool meetup in Dallas: How to Successfully Market Mobile Apps: A Panel Discussion.

We had a great turnout and a lot of good questions were asked. Here is a quick summary of rapid-fire Q&A session from this meetup.

Q: What is the first thing mobile app developers should do after this Meetup?

Ali: Setup Google alerts and start building relationships with people who are writing in your niche. Look at this example of how I got FREE press using Google alerts > How to get FREE press for a startup.

Q: What should we post on social media?

Ali: Use the 80/20 rule.

20% of the time: talk about your app or startup.

80% of the time: talk about value content (not promotional but still relevant to your audience)

Q: Can you give us some examples of 80/20 content?

Ali: Sure. Here you go

20% content ideas:

  • Share your product demos
  • Share your milestones
  • Post your team pictures
  • Talk about the help you need and new hires
  • Consistently share screenshots of your app (ask for feedback)

80% content ideas:

  • Share about recent Industry news
  • Attend and post about local events
  • Talk about other startups in your niche (especially non-competitors)
  • Share blog posts in your niche. If you want to find bloggers in your space, just Google search (Top blogs in “your niche”)

Q: How do I know where my target audience is?

Ali: Look at your top 3 competitors. Where do they get most the comments (Is it Facebook or Twitter?)

Q: How do I know what kind of problems my target audience has?

Ali: There are a couple of ways…

  1. Go to Quora, and search for your keywords. It’s a Q&A website and there are people asking questions in many different niches.
  2. Go to reditt and find a sub-reditt in your category. e.g. Search for “fitness” if you are building a fitness app. Then see what type of questions people are asking on consistent basis.
  3. Read comments on your competitors blog.

Q: How do I increase retention?

Ali: I am not an expert in this area but here are some of my thoughts. Ask yourself questions like these

  • Do people have a reason to come back to my app?
  • Is there a reason for people to share my app with others? (Hint: Incentivize them)
  • Am I asking for reviews at the right time? (Hint: Ask for reviews when your fans are most happy or satisfied)

Q: How do I find a technical co-founder?

Ali: Attend meetups like this one and exchange business cards. If you are in Dallas, go attend startups events and engage with people at the co-working spaces. Here are some links

Q: How come Facebook Ads don’t work for startups?

Ali: The biggest reason is that we create ads and show it to people who we have no relationship with. People don’t go to Facebook to buy things or to download apps. Here is a process you need to put in place to make Facebook marketing work for you

  • Phase 1 — Attract (get the RIGHT type of fans on your page)
  • How: Post consistently and run a Facebook page like Ad campaign.
  • Phase 2 — Build (develop relationship with your fans)
  • How: Follow the 80/20 rule of posting. Use Facebook boost post Ads.
  • Phase 3 — Convert (ask people to download your app)
  • How: Post links to your download pages. Use Facebook website link Ads and/or conversion Ads. Just keep in mind that your engaged audience will convert better. If people trust you, they will do anything for you.

Note: As you can see it takes time and consistency to put ABC (Attract, Build, and Convert) process in place. It’s OK if you don’t have the time or budget to do this right now. Just focus on what you can do NOW.

Q: Building an audience takes so much time. Is there an alternative?

Ali: Yes. Focus on building relationships with people who already have a similar audience. Here are the steps…

  • Set up Google alerts on your key terms (e.g. Fitness, Food, Dating apps)
  • Identify bloggers and journalists who are writing about your topics
  • Comment on their blog articles
  • Follow them on Twitter and engage consistently (RT, Like and Share)
  • Send them a friend request on LinkedIn (only after following the above steps)
  • Send them an email but don’t pitch (tell them why you like reading their stuff)
  • Only pitch if you feel like they remember your name

Q: If I had a budget of $1000, how should I spend it?

Ali: Assuming that we already have a kick ass product, Here is how I would spend the first $1000

Invest in learning about ASO (App store optimization) or pay someone to do it for you.

Why: Your app is going to be in the app store. You want to make sure you are in the best position when people search for your terms.

Invest in blog content (your story). You can hire ghost writers from Fiverr or Upwork .

Why: Content is king. If you are sharing your story and using the right keywords, people will start finding you in Google search. Also, you will have more content to share on your social media channels.

Invest in building relationships with industry bloggers and journalists.

Why: These people already have the audience you want to reach. Pay them to get in front of their audience. BTW most bloggers are always open for paid placements and mentions.

Q: How can we find good blog topic ideas (content)

Ali: Go to a tool like BuzzSumo. Search for your key terms and make a list of 10–15 viral articles. Use these ideas as an inspiration for your own blog content.

Q: If I had $100 to spend on Facebook Ads, what should I do?

Ali: Just save that money or give it to me (hehe)

As I answered above, Facebook marketing is a long term play and requires good strategy. Throwing money on random Ads WILL NOT work for you.

Q: How can we learn more about startup marketing?

Ali: Go to eLearning platforms like Udemy, Lynda or SkillShare and search for topics like “startups” or “startup marketing”

I also have a course that can help > Social Media For Startups: Get FREE press now.

It’s listed as a paid course on Udemy but if you want to save that money here are steps

  • Look at the course description and see if it will really help your app.
  • Send me an email at ali@iSocialYou.com and I can hook you up with a coupon.
  • PS — I am against taking random courses, so I just want to make sure this is the RIGHT course for you. Just read the description and you will know

If you enjoyed this post, it would mean a lot to me if you can share this with a friend or just tweet it.

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BTW do you have any other questions on how to market an app?

Leave them in the comments below and I would love to share my insights.


Originally published at isocialyou.com on April 9, 2016.