Congratulations!  You’re in the final stages of developing an app and are excited just as much as you’re nervous. You’ve put everything into it, but still not quite certain how the market will respond to it.

Well, we may not be sure about your app’s long-term performance at this stage, but we know a thing or two about how you can warm the market up for it. Through systematic and strategic mobile app prelaunch marketing.

Ever wondered why apps featured on ABC’s Shark Tank usually hit the ground running? We don’t dispute the fact that the sharks know a thing or two about running a business. But, the market is dynamic and can be extremely complicated, especially when you’re launching a relatively new product. So, while sharks play significant roles in funding and product development, it takes a little more than that to bump downloads up as soon as the app is launched.

Back in 2015, TechCrunch took this issue up and reviewed several apps featured on Shark Tank. Of particular interest was Scholly, which had held the top position at App Store for four days consecutively at the time of publishing the report.

Scholly-featured-on-Shark-Tank.

Scholly featured on Shark Tank. Source: TechCrunch

The app may have made it to the television show- but going by user reviews at the time- it was not exactly super-developed. It had quite a number of one and two-star reviews, with many users complaining that it had many bugs and pointed to outdated information.

As a result, it was regularly losing quite a number of users who would otherwise have stuck with it for the long haul. So why was it still holding at number one?

 

Scholly-on-App-Store-Number-One

Scholly on App Store Number One. Source: Business Insider

The app’s popularity was majorly attributed to the pre-launch exposure it enjoyed thanks to the Shark Tank show. At the time of airing, that particular episode attracted 5 to 7 million viewers. And that only covers people who watched it live. There must have been a couple million more who had to catch up on the show later.

That is undoubtedly a solid audience. But then Shark Tank investors fought over it, and some even frustratingly walked off the set.

For any seasoned marketer, that’s the golden moment. Just when you thought things couldn’t get any better, the show and corresponding market prospects take a dramatic turn.

Viewers may have learned about the app initially. But after the fight, the bulk of them were now interested in installing it and establishing what the fuss was all about.

Well done Scholly and Shark Tank…..well done.

Now that’s barely the power of prelaunch app marketing. Since you may not be featuring your app on Shark Tank, we’ll show you just how you can create even more buzz ahead of its launch in 2018.app-secrets-book

What is Mobile App Prelaunch Marketing?

According to numbers published by Statista, the App Store was clocking close to 100,000 app submissions per month in 2016. It had even gone north of that a few of times.

Now let that sink in for a minute, especially considering that Apple is probably way more overwhelmed by the growing numbers in 2018.

Number-of-monthly-App-Store-Submissions

Number of monthly App Store Submissions. Source: Statista

The only way your app would stand a chance against such a huge number of submissions is engaging strategic and aggressive app marketing services from day one. Not day one of app launch, but rather day one of app development.

With over half a billion downloads on 3200 successfully marketed apps and extensive marketing experience, we know the importance of starting app promotion way ahead of the actual launch.

Through mobile app prelaunch marketing, you’ll be able to create just the right amount of buzz that an app launch deserves.

In addition to boosting downloads, this will supplement subsequent app marketing strategies you engage after launch. App Store Optimization, for instance, will be significantly enhanced by the user ratings your app receives from the second it’s published in the App Store.

That said, which mobile app prelaunch marketing strategies are effective for App Store users in 2018?

Effective Prelaunch Marketing Strategies For 2018

Strategy 1: Build a Landing Page

An app launch is just what the name suggests. It’s the roll-out of your app when it’s finally published in the App Store.

Unfortunately, there’s a common misconception that an app launch is some sort of brand roll-out. So some developers end up unveiling corresponding websites and landing pages during the app launch.

Well, even when you prefer grouping everything and hosting a large launch event, you’ll still need an audience to unveil to. And there’s no better way of building an ideal one than using a website as the central base.

A landing page is particularly handy in gradually developing mailing lists, distributing your app press kit and showing an unlimited number of app demo videos.

Building a solid mailing list is particularly challenging, since it may take time to rise to and maintain a search engine rank that is good enough to direct a steady flow of web traffic. According to a study, it was established that the top 10 ranking pages on Google took an average of 2 years of intensive SEO to rise through the ranks.

Age-of-top-ranking-pages

Age of top ranking pages. Source: ahrefs

And that’s one more reason why you should start building your landing page years ahead of the app launch.

Strategy 2: Create Content

Content was recently pitted against paid search, and it was subsequently established that the former generates three times the leads per every dollar spent. With more than 200 million people now using ad blockers, content marketing has risen to become one of the most effective web marketing strategies. As a matter of fact, your chances of generating interest and converting prospects ahead of the app launch are six times higher with content marketing compared to other methods.

But don’t get too excited yet. Not all types of content make the cut when it comes mobile app prelaunch marketing. With many app promoters now engaging in this type of marketing, you have to approach this with some level of finesse for your app to stand out.  You need a well-planned system of strategies perfectly optimized for your target audience.

Good app demo videos, combined with trendy blog posts and app reviews, all posted on audience-rich platforms could progressively enhance your brand’s reputation. If it ultimately rises to the level of thought industry leaders, you’ll be able to attract 7.8 times more traffic than your competition.

Strategy 3: Build a Following

After being launched in 2012, Stream, a social networking app was peaking at about 8 million concurrent users in 2014. Then Forbes, a magazine that was already enjoying an extensive readership of millions of people across the world, came aboard.

Forbes launched Stream within its iOS app to help readers not only discover additional content, but also save and share content with other users. This made it the first magazine to unveil its own social network.

As a result of the large following that Forbes had acquired over the years, Stream has experienced accelerated growth since then. By September 2017, it was already peaking at 15 million concurrent users.

Peak-concurrent-stream-users.

Peak concurrent stream users.

Source: Statista 

Of course, it would take a lot of resources and time to build even a following half the size of Forbes’. So we’ll make this easy for you- develop just a tenth of Forbes’s following and your app will be guaranteed the top position in the App Store chart after launch.

In addition to establishing your brand on social media, you will need to leverage your mailing list and landing page to achieve this. Being featured by established app review sites is another thoughtful way of capitalizing on audience-rich platforms.

The value of your content, plus the corresponding posting frequency and distribution strategy, ultimately dictates the size of following you’re able to generate.

Strategy 4: Collect User Feedback

It would be very embarrassing to come up with a brilliant app idea, get investors on board, then spend a lot of resources on development and aggressive prelaunch marketing, only to have the whole thing flop because of a simple element you may have overlooked.

Of course, you could ask your friends, and possibly other developers to check your app out then provide opinions. But they’ll be too soft on you, and may not be able to identify all the underlying issues. Most of all the failed productions across all industries, at one point in time, were reviewed by friends and other experts before launch, but they still could not be able to save a sinking ship.

So you need to avail your app to actual users without actually launching it. Develop a beta version, then distribute it through beta testing sites (like BetaBound and Betalist), plus user review platforms (like UserVoice and Zendesk)

In addition to collecting genuine feedback, submitting your app on these platforms will help you trigger interest among a section of your target audience. If the app is good, you might even win over a substantial amount of loyal users ahead of its official launch.

Strategy 5: Make an App Press Release

If you’re an ardent follower of tech news, you’re probably aware of Tesla’s recent announcement to mass produce the fastest sports car yet, plus a surprisingly quick semi-truck. All major media houses are talking about this, and the subject is constantly trending on social media- yet it may take more than 12 months before they are ultimately launched to the market.

Elon Musk is arguably a brilliant inventor, but he’s been criticized for missing deadlines and making over lofty promises on several occasions. Still, people are increasingly paying for preorders, and major brands like Walmart, Meijer, and JBHT have recently joined the bandwagon.

Tesla’s stocks have also benefitted from the buzz, and the company may eventually make billions out of this before the vehicles are even rolled out.

That’s exactly what an app press release will help you achieve. But you have to be very creative and calculative about it.

Since reaching out to the most established media sites could be a problem, you’re much better off working with an app marketing agency that already has solid networks. Preapps will not only get you published by influential media sites, but will also creatively prepare an app press release that’s engaging enough for optimal reach.

Strategy 6: Engage in Influencer Marketing

For a while, mainstream celebrities were the only influencers you could use for promotional marketing. But since celebrity endorsements are considerably costly, this type of marketing has always been a reserve for established brands.

Social media then came with a breed of celebrities who are way cheaper and substantially better at marketing than the former. They have stronger bonds with their audiences because they are widely perceived as peers, as opposed to icons.

While only 3% of consumers are influenced by celebrity endorsements, 70% are likely to listen to their non-celebrity peers.

Since they are particularly good in creating awareness, influencers are principally effective in content promotion and product launch.

Influencer-marketing-engagement

Influencer marketing engagement. Source: MarTechExec

If you skillfully implement an organic marketing campaign that doesn’t feel like advertising, influencers can get your app trending on social media way ahead of its official launch. The resultant buzz would be just perfect for launching a secondary post-launch viral marketing campaign, which could make your app the next Pokemon Go.get-app-downloads

Conclusion

To recap:

  • According to numbers published by Statista, the App Store was clocking close to 100,000 app submissions per month in 2016.
  • The only way your app would stand a chance against such a huge number of submissions is engaging strategic and aggressive app marketing services from day one.
  • In addition to boosting downloads, prelaunch marketing will supplement subsequent app promotion strategies you engage after launch.
  • A landing page is particularly useful in developing mailing lists, distributing your app press kit and showing an unlimited number of app demo videos.
  • According to a study, it was established that the top 10 ranking pages on Google took an average of 2 years of intensive SEO to rise through the ranks.
  • Content was recently pitted against paid search, and it was subsequently established that the former generates three times the leads per every dollar spent.
  • Your chances of generating interest and converting prospects ahead of the app launch are six times higher with content marketing compared to other methods.
  • If your brand ultimately rises to the level of thought industry leaders, you’ll be able to attract 7.8 times more traffic than your competition.
  • In addition to establishing your brand on social media, you need to leverage your mailing list and landing page to build a following.
  • You need to avail your app to actual users without actually launching it. Develop a beta version, then distribute it through beta testing sites, plus user review platforms.
  • Since reaching out to the most established media sites could be a problem, you’re much better off making an app press release through an app marketing agency that already has solid networks.
  • While only 3% of consumers are influenced by celebrity endorsements, 70% are likely to listen to their non-celebrity peers.

Which other creative mobile app prelaunch marketing strategies do you think would resonate well with the current breed of App Store users?