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31st May 2021

How to generate traction for your business' mobile app

You’ve launched your app and now you’re waiting for users to flock, except all you can hear is crickets. You’re not alone, which is why we’ve detailed a few ways you can gain traction from qualified users for your new app. By the end of this post you should have some ideas to get started on right away, so let’s get into it!

Reach out to your target users

Completing persona work before you develop your app will give you a better understanding of your target users and how your app will help them. In order to attract the right individuals, find the digital spaces where your target users convene. Once you know this information you can begin building awareness of your app through paid social media ads, engaging on subreddit threads, or creating meaningful content on platforms like LinkedIn. The route you choose will depend entirely on who your ideal users are and where they spend most of their time online.

When reaching out to your target users, let them know how your app can help them: What problem does it solve? Why will your audience be better off with your app? Why should they choose yours over another brand’s app? Remember to use language and vocabulary similar to your target users in your ads, content or comments. This type of digital mirroring will promote trust and authenticity, however, it’s important not to come across as sales-like or pushy. Sincerity and honesty are as easy to spot as dishonesty and inflated promises, so be genuine, helpful and put your users first.

Get in touch with industry influencers

Influencers aren’t limited to Instagram or Youtube, they also come in the shape of industry-specific blogs, companies selling to your target audience and influential individuals on platforms like Reddit or LinkedIn.

Contacting these sources and negotiating content creation, shoutouts or mentions in exchange for something that’s worth their time is a great way to generate traction for your app. Their influence allows you to gain direct access to their following. But the best part is that any leads you get as a result of the influencer marketing are already qualified, leading to higher engagement and conversion rates.

Prompt users for a review

92% of customers in a 2020 report said they were more likely to buy from a brand after reading a trusted review, and the psychology is no different for apps. As far as app stores go, good reviews and ratings signal a trustworthy app. The more positive feedback an app has, the more likely it will climb the charts within a category, resulting in increased exposure.

When prompting users for reviews, make sure they’ve had a chance to fully experience your app so they can make an informed decision. The actual process for leaving a rating or review should be quick and easy; you could use emojis, a five-star system or simple text-based options - get creative! Both Apple and Android have best practice documentation for app review design, but the aim is to make the action easy to complete so your users give you fair feedback that accurately reflects their experience.

App Store Optimisation (ASO)

In the same way Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) improves website rankings, App Store Optimisation (ASO) helps apps organically rank in app store searches. There are various guides you can follow, but as a rule of thumb:

  • complete keyword research and include relevant keywords in your app’s description

  • make sure your app’s demo and screenshots are engaging, clear and professional (79% of people in a 2021 Wyzowl survey were convinced to buy / download a piece of software or app after watching a video)

  • grab users from further afield by working on localisation, such as translating your app’s description into languages relevant to your target user’s location

  • prioritise prompting users for ratings and reviews

Both Google and Apple have different factors that impact their respective app store search rankings, but if you’re familiar with basic SEO practices then ASO isn’t a million miles off. The more engaging, relevant and targeted you make your app’s visual proposition and content, the more likely users will convert.

Considerations for mobile app traction

Limit obstacles to conversions

Once you’ve formed a plan to get traction to your app, be sure to review whether there are any barriers to engagement or conversions. Think about how you can reduce cognitive load, where users are overloaded with distractions and stimuli. As a starting point, keep your app’s user interface distraction free, be intentional with CTAs and make it easy to navigate.

Set your goals

Defining what traction looks like to your business is key before you start marketing your app; without knowing what you’re reaching for, you’ll never know which marketing technique is truly working for you.

Listen to feedback

Traction doesn't matter if users are deleting the app, so act upon user feedback to create a better experience. Not only does implementing feedback suggestions show users you’re serious about tailoring your app for them, it also improves the overall experience for new users.

Get the right kind of traction

As well as the marketing channels we’ve listed above, you can also look into alternative methods of gaining app traction, such as grassroots marketing, website traffic, or even utilising alternative app stores (don’t spread your app too thin across multiple app stores, as you won’t obtain majority downloads and subsequent chart rankings in one store).

Whichever approach you choose, the common denominator is to reach out to people. Get your app in front of your target audience through methods that qualify them, and provide sincere value to boost your app conversions.

Need help building an app for your business? Since 2009 we’ve specialised in creating intuitive digital solutions, so drop us a message with your company details for expert support.


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