Just like in case with an iOS applications, you do not actually have a choice to do mobile app promotion or not, if you really want your new product to succeed. In this article we are going to reveal a few short but useful points you should take into account when advertising your mobile application.
Conduct a research and create a cool mobile app
The thing we do not discuss much on our blog is that you should understand your potential and current users before you start writing your first code line. You need to know why the customers download mobile applications and what they really want and expect to get from it, with both qualitative (reaching out to your beta users) and quantitative (for instance, surveys) research. The given research should guide your application development.
Users usually have plenty of mobile apps on their mobile devices, and they do not use each of them for quite a long time so for this reason you should make it simple for them. You cannot make them wait long for its loading or, for example, go through difficult process. Briefly, you require great features, a fast app and an intuitive UI. Create your application according to your research, and iterate to refine until it is done.
Monetize your application
That is something you should think about in advance. For every mobile app, you must find what monetization performs best: it could be advertisements, for instance, or something else. Conduct a research on your target users which could help you with that. In case you prefer to have a paid application, Google recommends you to start with a high cost so that later you could bring it down and offer your customers some discounts. What is great for you could also be a hybrid model with various types of monetization (for example, in-application purchases or ads).
Create an amazing advertising plan
First and quite useful tip from Google is obvious, but very important: “Do not invest your money into a weak product”. In your personal message to the customers, on Google Play (description, advertising image, etc) you should explain what your mobile application is all about and how it differs from the other similar apps (why your users have to care about is). You should also give them a direct call to action (what your users are supposed to do and how they can do it). And just like in case with your application, you need to iterate on your advertising strategy and keep doing the things which really work.
For the media strategy you have to apply a multi-channel approach using PR and cross-advertising. You should also talk to Android-specific bloggers and game or tech writers. For us, a great PR is one of the most underestimated things in the given industry: create a blog, contact the press, send them apk files, etc. Make them write about your new app. An interesting tip here is that making people write about your application refines your search rankings in the Google Play Store. So you will not only attract more people to your page on Google Play Store, but also get ranked better.
You may even A/B test your mobile application creatives in order to find out which ones perform better. You also should spread information about your app or game before its launch. We insist on making a free trial or a free app version so that your users could try it out before they actually buy your product (some of your customers have just bought their first Smart Phone and they do not really know you).
Brand awareness is crucial, and in Google Play optimization you have to create such assets as application icons, videos, promotional and feature graphics and descriptive screenshots which let those users who still have not downloaded your app know what it is like to play this game. Having an awesome advertising video could not give you plenty of downloads, but it could raise your brand awareness.
Finally, you should think about your application distribution and we insist on the importance of coverage of different mobile devices: you should know what are the most popular of them. You also have to consider other channels of distribution, not only Google Play: there are lots of commercial channels which can make sense for you (that is, other application stores).