We have spoken with Puneet Yamparala, owner of the active & prominent App Entrepreneurs and Marketers Group on Facebook. We asked him to share tips and strategies on how developers can implement low cost but effective marketing strategies to improve their app businesses.
What mistakes do you see most often by developers when it comes to marketing their apps efficiently and effectively?
Based on my experience, the biggest mistake indie devs make is that they create an app and think that they are going to automatically get downloads for their apps. A lot of them feel that marketing is evil and something to be avoided. They need to understand that building an app is just 20% of the work. The remaining 80% is actually marketing their app.
This kind of brings us to the other mistake most devs make when it comes to marketing their app. Almost 90% of the developers do not know who their target audience really is. They would just like to get downloads from everybody and anybody out there.
This approach just does not work. There is no way you can convince a 18 year old teenage girl to download your app in the same way you would convince a 35 year old man. Everything, right from the app graphics, theme, App store description, the marketing message and everything else depends completely on the target audience.
If there was just one thing which I would urge the developers to fix, it would be take their app into the market after deciding who the ideal target user is going to be.
How should developers look at structuring their app marketing strategy to give them the best chance for success?
As a developer there are three things which they need to look at when deciding on an app marketing strategy. The first is the reliability or reproducibility of a strategy. Not every marketing strategy you read about can be recreated successfully. Some marketing strategies like reaching out to bloggers or doing PR stunts have a very very low success rate. Sometimes these strategies work and sometimes they don’t. It is best to avoid such luck based marketing strategies as much as possible.
The second thing they need to look at is whether their target audience can actually be reached through that marketing strategy or channel. For example giveaways are a great way to market your app, and it works great for games and shopping apps, but it will fail miserably if you try to use it for marketing an enterprise app. Enterprise users hardly participate in giveaways. So basically my point is that you need to know where your target audience hangs out, what they like or don’t like and then accordingly develop your marketing strategy.
Finally, a developer needs to keep in mind that not all marketing strategies or channels are created equal. Some strategies get exhausted after just 5,000 downloads while some other channels can get you 5 Million downloads and still have plenty of more downloads possible through them. So it is necessary to choose marketing strategies and channels which can scale really well.
What are the best low cost strategies that you’ve come across for acquiring downloads and users?
My favorite and the most low cost marketing strategy which I have found so far has been hacking YouTube to get downloads for free. This strategy is super easy to implement and has always delivered results for me and the people who have tried it out.
This strategy is so successful that for about 6 months I stopped all my other marketing activities and just focused on this to get as many downloads as possible. So far we have got about 3 Million downloads and almost 90% of them are for absolutely free.
Your readers can read more about implementing this strategy here: http://bit.ly/1u9Cq0M
The second most successful strategy which I have come across is cross promotion via TapDaq. TapDaq is a free service and it is incredibly effective. The main advantage with TapDaq is that it lets you do laser focused targeting so that your app is exposed to only the right kind of users who can increase your lifetime value. I am a huge fan of this service and I recommend this to every app developer I speak with.
What opportunities or innovations are you seeing in the broader app space that developers should be aware of?
The whole app industry is undergoing a huge shift. So far most app entrepreneurs just focused on making money from their apps via ads or in app purchases, but now all of a sudden they have realized that they have access to the email details of millions of users.
This basically means that app developers now have the opportunity to monetize these users outside of their app. They can sell these users physical products, courses or even other software or apps. With this shift the average revenue per user can easily increase tenfold and allow app developers to acquire more and more users for their apps.
This is my opinion is a huge shift in the app business, but of course app developers need to keep in mind that they don’t their users and instead only reach out to them if they have their users’ permission.
Puneet is the owner of the largest online app entrepreneurs group. He currently works as a Mobile Product Manager and shares his knowledge around creating apps that solve a problem, inbound marketing to get app downloads, Facebook Ads, Creating apps to be funded by venture capitalists. He currently has 6 apps in the iTunes and Android app stores which he has been personally involved with.