Marketing Your Mobile App

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Mobile apps are used to market or promote your company, services and/or products. In this lesson, you'll learn more about promoting and marketing your application to increase engagement and awareness.

In The Pocket

If you could hang out in your customers' pockets all day, would you want to? You'd be with them everywhere they went, always available for a chat or to offer a piece of advice, encouraging them to make a purchase or interact with you, and constantly on the top of their mind as they go about their daily activities.

Well, there is a way you can do that! A mobile application for your business that they download on their tablet or smartphone goes with them everywhere and means you're never further away from your target audience than their very own pockets.

What are Mobile Apps?

It's likely you're familiar with mobile apps ranging from gaming to the type that help your day be more productive, but let's look at a basic definition just in case. A mobile application, or app for short, is a software program designed for use on a mobile device such as a tablet or smartphone. It would be the equivalent of a computer program running on your desktop or laptop computer, but one that functions on your handheld devices.

Properly marketing your mobile app can increase brand awareness and customer engagement.
Properly marketing your mobile app can increase brand awareness and customer engagement.

Mobile apps run the gamut from news, productivity and photography to music, games, and social networks. Many smartphones today come pre-loaded with a variety of apps, with thousands of others available for download, either paid or free, from your device's mobile application store.

How to Promote Your App

More and more, businesses are getting into the act of building a mobile app to complement their marketing and sales efforts. Some of today's biggest stores, both online and brick-and-mortar locations, have mobile apps that allow you to do everything from locating a store to browsing for and buying merchandise. The great thing about a mobile app is that it's another touchpoint, a way to reach out to customers, so that they can interact with your brand or business. It bolsters sales, increases engagement with the public and raises awareness about your company, brand, products and services.

But, how do you let people know you have an app available to download? Let's take a look at a few best practices for marketing and promoting your mobile app to get people downloading and using it.

Create an app that is useful and relevant. Before ever beginning promotion of your app, understand how you can present information that is both useful and relevant to your customers' wants and needs. Find a niche where you can stand out and offer content no one else has.

Know your customers. What features would they like or would be useful to them? Before you ever start marketing your app, reach out and get some feedback. This is a great way to not only build a useful app, but engage in some pre-marketing of the app as well.

Be creative. Create an eye-catching icon that will draw your audience's attention both in the application store and on their device screen. Pick a catchy name for your app if you're not using a brand or business name, or pick a name that is relevant to your industry, for example, a name with the word 'money' in it if you're creating a financial services or budgeting app.

Self-promote. You likely have lots of other channels where you interact with customers including in-store signage, receipts, a website or blog and social media platforms. Provide information about your app and a quick way to download it.

Utilize Quick Response Codes. Quick response codes, sometimes called QR codes, offer a quick way for people to gain access to your app. A QR code is a graphic box that users can scan with their smartphone and be directed to a designated link or download page.

Create mobile ads. You can implement Pay-Per-Click ads that will show up in a user's mobile web browser (where you pay each time someone clicks your ad in a search result). Clicking your ad could take them to the app download.

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