You’ve done your market research, found a gap, and created an app to make people happy. That’s all excellent news. But now what?
Well, if there’s one thing we know about, it’s how to make apps boom. So we’re going to share our seven-point checklist to help give you the best chance of app launch success.
1. Optimize your assets and metadata
Every element of your app works together to drive conversions, so the text and visuals you choose are crucial. Your metadata – the app’s name, icon, keywords, descriptions, graphics, screenshots and videos – needs to get you found as well as deliver a stellar first impression.
So keep the design simple. Use visuals that stop the scroll. And showcase your standout features. Wring out every opportunity: use the maximum number of screenshots – you’re allowed eight for Google Play and 10 for the App Store. For Google Play, add promo videos and a feature graphic; for the App Store include an app preview. Remember you can create personalized product pages too. Make every character count in your descriptions. And use keyword combinations wisely throughout, so your app gets picked up in as many searches as possible.
2. Complete your developer page (Google Play only)
Once you’ve published one app on Google Play, you can set up a developer page. This tells people more about you and your brand, with links to all your apps. So when you launch a new app, feature it here with details and imagery that will hook interested parties who love your previous work.
3. Set up your reviews and ratings prompts
Ratings and reviews have a massive impact on the success of your app. High ratings will encourage other users to engage with it, and you can use negative feedback to improve your UX. A better app leads to more positive reviews, creating a virtuous circle.
When it comes to rating prompts, timing is everything. Make sure your users have engaged with your app for long enough to form an opinion of it: there’s no point asking the minute they download it. And set up your prompts for an appropriate moment: a good point can be just after the user has received their first dopamine hit from the app, perhaps after their first wager in a betting app, or once they’ve completed a payment in your banking app.
4. Set up app tracking transparency prompts
You’ll need your user’s permission to collect data about them and share it with other companies. Your best chance of getting the go-ahead will be if you can explain the benefit to the user – something along the lines of ‘This will help us suggest products/ experiences we think you’ll love’. But if this is too much of a challenge, just make sure your message is short, jargon-free and asks for permission nicely.
5. Create a paid UA strategy
Working in tandem with your ASO, paid ads play an essential role in getting your new app in front of a receptive audience, giving you a head start on smashing those app store rankings.
Apple Search Ads can be used to directly influence organic performance on iOS. Google’s Universal App Campaigns are a quick way to reach a large audience with a wide range of creatives across YouTube, Google Play, Google Search and more. Facebook and Instagram offer sophisticated targeting options. And Tiktok is a comparatively cheap and novel approach that a lot of marketers aren’t utilising.
If you’re a completely new company, it’s likely to be a long route to the top spots if you don’t use any paid media. If you’re a more established company, you’ll have the advantage of experience – but your new app will still need to stand out against the competition. In both cases, well-placed ads can help raise your profile and get new users on board.
6. Set up your reporting
Of course, if you’re running paid ads, you need to make sure they’re giving you value for money. Use the ASA Console to remove paid traffic from the totals that Apple gives you: that way you can set up reports that let you see how many of your impressions and downloads have come from organic search.
You’ll need to keep an eye on your competition too, which can be incredibly time-consuming. We can use our proprietary Share of Voice tool to do this for you.
We look at search volumes for the keyword terms that we believe represent over 95% of traffic that’s relevant to your app’s market. We’ll see how well you and your competitors are ranking, then use this data to calculate your organic Share of Voice. It works across every market, language and store, and operates 24/7.
You’ll see how visible you are in your market versus your peer group. And you’ll get an alert if anything changes, such as updated competitor screenshots or a shift in app rankings. This gives you the insight you need to adjust your own strategy with confidence.
7. Choose an attribution partner
An attribution tool, like Adjust or Appsflyer, will analyse your user’s journey, picking up the channels they engage with and the element that deserves the credit for the final conversion. It’s an impartial assessor that helps you see what’s working within your app marketing strategy, and what’s not. And this can help you channel your efforts and budgets in the right direction.
Make sure you choose an established MMP (mobile measurement partner) that’s independent, has access to a wealth of data, locked-down security and a commitment to fraud prevention.
How CMA can help
If you’re looking for help with any aspect of your app launch, including ASO and paid UA strategy, we can help. We combine a unique, data-driven approach with deep expertise to deliver mobile marketing strategies that unlock lasting value for your business, right from the get-go.