How to Create and Execute a Growth Strategy for Your Mobile App

user growth
tiffany-palmer@2x By Tiffany Palmer July 19th 2021

If you’re trying to promote an app, the competition can be stiff. Every day, an average of 930 apps are launched into the 2 main app stores, and unfortunately, some of them never take off!

However, this can be avoided if you follow the right steps. There are some important moves you can make to help your app grow, and then build off of that momentum.

The best news? Many of those steps are free! Let’s give a general outline of the right mobile app growth strategy for your business.

Growth Strategy: Work With What You Got

When your app is just starting out, it is really tough to get the momentum you need to turn your app into the next Instagram. If your app has been around for a little while, and you’re having a tough time, this gets frustrating. Either way, one of the best things you can do is to just sit down, assess what you already have, and play to your strengths. There are a few ways you can do this.

Budgeting

This is number one for any business at every level of growth. You have to know what kind of money you’re willing to put into growing your business. 

Some people see app creators as a different kind of business because they think they just generate money once they are launched, but this just isn’t the case. Every business needs some amount of capital to grow, and there’s always room for improvement.

Consider how much money you’re willing to put into marketing services, app development like bug fixes, and other expenses like your employees’ salaries if they’re involved in the project. Any expenses related to your mobile app user acquisition.

If you launch your campaign with a budget in mind, and you start generating more revenue because of it, be sure to continue upping your budget. One boost isn’t enough. You want to play off that momentum once you have it, and if you’re making more money, you’ll have the means to do just that!

Utilize Your Strengths

Make sure you’re asking for feedback from users. Whether you want to believe it or not, your idea of your app’s strengths might be the user’s idea of your weaknesses.

Make sure you’re talking with other staff, listening to user feedback, and introspecting on your product. Once you find your strengths, use them. Display them in your marketing campaigns, show off what separates your app from others, and take any advantage you can get from them.

For example, if you launch a business planning app, there might be one feature that other apps don’t have, like automatically syncing your contacts and, in a user-friendly way, keeping records of important information exchanged between you and the other party. Demonstrate how it does that, how easy it is for the user, and how it will make users’ business lives easier.

Affiliates

If you have an affiliate in the app industry, you have a huge leg up from the competition. If you don’t already have one, do your best to make a deal with one, as you can often make mutually beneficial deals that require little to no capital.

Let’s stick with the business-planning app example. You’re not going to get help from another business-planning app because you are their direct competition. However, you might try to reach out to an app that tracks business expenses, or one that makes business cards, or any that shares your target audience, but not your product.

There are a lot of deals that you can make that would benefit both companies. You could make a “bundle and save” deal when people want both services, you can promote each other’s services on your apps, or it can be as simple as giving your app a quick shoutout on their blog while you return the favor! Your options are limitless.

If you know people in the app developer world, reach out to them. If not, reach out until you find one who can help you.

Improve On Your Weaknesses

Playing to your strengths is only half the battle. If you’ve sat down and really taken the time to figure out what your strengths are as a business, then you’ve certainly come across some weaknesses along the way. Once you’ve found them, don’t just laugh them off, think of ways you can improve on them.

For example, maybe you’re getting a lot of downloads but not a lot of retention among your users. You should then ask yourself: “How is the usability of my app?”

If that’s something that could use some improvement, then take some steps toward improving usability. Anyone who thinks apps are passive income is just wrong. There are constant bug fixes and work that goes into them.  

Another example of a weakness would be the opposite. Maybe you only have a few downloads but most of them seemed to love the app and now use it every day. The problem there? Marketing.

App Store Optimization

You’ve probably heard of search engine optimization or SEO. While this is important to any business, ASO is going to take priority because it is more specific to your business’ needs.

ASO is the process of utilizing the right keywords, pictures, and other data to rank higher on searches within the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

The reason this is so crucial is that you can pay for advertisements all day long, but you’ll be missing out on the majority of opportunities for downloads. Why is this? Well, 53% of all traffic on the internet comes from organic searches, and the app stores are no different.

That means that the majority of links people click on, like an app, are ones they searched for themselves.

How To Optimize

There are a few easy steps for optimizing an app. You want the picture to be a very clear logo of the brand or the app itself, and then you want to focus on keywords.

For example, if you have an app that edits photos and videos, you want keywords like “photo editor”, “video editor”, “edit my photos”, and more things people would search for when looking for an app like yours.

If the name of your app doesn’t have that, don’t worry. You can put your app’s name followed by a super brief description of the app. This would look like: “[Insert App Name]: Your Personal Photo Editor”.

From there, make sure your descriptions use your primary keyword (in this case, photo editor) as much as possible without seeming out of place. From there, your descriptions should have secondary keywords scattered about to help you rank higher. “Video editor”, “edit your video”, “customized photos” would be examples of these. You don’t have to overdo them, but make sure they are in there.

After that, just make sure your screenshots and recordings are legible, easy to read and convey the information they need to!

Start A Website

Start a mobile-friendly website to promote your app. Emphasis on “mobile-friendly”. Not only is over 56% of web traffic mobile, but it’s also the audience you’re specifically attempting to reach. What are the benefits of starting a website? How would that affect my app? Glad you asked. It’s an easy, two-step process.

Generate Web Traffic

You have one app that you hope gets found in an organic search, right? Why not have one app and one website.

Also, a website gives you an unlimited amount of pages, giving you an unlimited amount of opportunities to get traffic. The best way to do this is to start adding video content or a blog!

With a blog, you can use the same tips for ASO, but translate them to the right SEO practices. Adding keywords to your title, body, and conclusions, and linking to other pages both internally to your site and externally.

Also, this is another reason why there’s an emphasis on the “mobile-friendly” aspect. Google ranks you based on your links, keywords, and mobile friendliness. There are dozens of other factors, but these have the biggest impact. This has a huge effect, too. The top 3 results on Google get 75% of the traffic.

Direct Traffic To Your App

Since it’s easier to get organic traffic with a thousand web pages than it is with one app, use this to your advantage. Have links available on your website so users can directly download the app.

In your blog articles, try to talk about problems that your target audience might face, and offer a solution by directing them toward your app. This gives you endless opportunities for organic traffic.

Social Media

This is just another free option that you can use to your advantage. Social media is an excellent place for businesses to market their products because it has half the world actively using it. Interact with the public, promote your app on there, post interesting content, and have some fun with it! People love authenticity from businesses, so don’t make it too rigid.

Posting with hashtags is a great way to get organic traffic, and keeping up with what is trending is always a good way to get noticed. You can even comment on viral content and try to build up some attention to your page! Make sure you have a clear and professional picture, a link to your website in the bio, and a business account! Getting a blue checkmark helps a lot, too!

Advertising

In the competitive field of advertising, your ad really needs to stand out. This is because the average person, believe it or not, sees anywhere from 6,000 to 10,000 advertisements a day.

If you think that launching a basic, one-time, run-of-the-mill banner ad is going to give you all the traffic you want, then congratulations on being a first-time advertiser! 

All jokes aside, it really is tricky to capture an audience with advertisements these days, so putting in the effort to make your ad campaign stand out really is worth it. You want your ad to give the relevant information it needs to convey while highlighting its strengths, and you want it to be repetitive.

If you have a game app, video ads are always the best option. It’s hard to convince an audience that your game is fun to play with a banner ad and a still image. Many viewers will just wait until it goes away or until the skip button appears, but if they see it enough times, they may start to think: “You know what? That actually looks fun!”

Putting some money into this for repeated ads within your target audience will be worth the investment, but only if you do it right. Spend the extra time and money to get the one ad perfect so the campaign doesn’t go to waste.

Make Sure Everyone Is On Board

Make sure your whole team understands your mobile app growth strategy. Sit everybody down and talk with them about the plan, how you’re going to implement it, what the budget is, and where you’re going to start.

You may have staff who know how to run a good social media campaign, or a team member who knows some video production techniques for your ads! See how they can help you, and get outside help as you need.

Watch It Grow!

Don’t forget, you’re never done! Keep working on your app, build a solid ad campaign, and use all of the free tools that you can to promote your app! From there, just watch it grow!

Now that you have a solid growth strategy, it never hurts to ask for professional help! Keep up the good work and enjoy our latest tech news!

tiffany-palmer@2x By Tiffany Palmer

Tiffany comes with a unique creative ability. She is one of the quickest learners of new tools and methodology. She leads the atomic design principles within our UI & UX team that has helped us to deliver high-quality design faster.

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