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New to App Marketing? Your Cheat Sheet for Getting Started.
What Is App Marketing?
It’s made up of two main pillars:
The ongoing process of testing
and measuring updates to app
store marketing assets, with the
goal of increasing visibility and
driving more downloads.
The process of getting new
users for your app, usually
relying on a variety of
outbound marketing tactics.
1. Set Your Marketing Strategy
• Make sure your brand has a purpose
You should be able to answer the following: “For [target market], [your brand] is the [point of
difference] among all [frame of reference — e.g., industry] because of [reason to believe].”
• Who is your target audience?
If you have an existing brand, use what you know about their offline and online behaviors. If you
have few or no users just yet, look at your perceived competitors. Try and find out everything you
can about their users.
• Define your success metrics
It’s about more than just installs. Identify the behavior indicative of a high-quality user — for
your app specifically — and work to adjust your UA campaign to optimize for bringing them in
at the best cost. Determine your users’ worth by calculating their lifetime value (LTV) utilizing
monetization, retention and virality metrics.
2. Make Sure You’re Discoverable
• Choose strong keywords
Use multiple reference points. Be sure to check out user reviews, competitors and other resources
when considering keywords. Most importantly, choose keywords you can realistically compete on.
Get started with App Annie.
• Select the best category
Decide based on fit, user behavior and your competitors. You can choose a primary and a
secondary on the iOS App Store, but only one on the Google Play Store.
• Prompt user reviews
Pay attention to what your users are saying. Track your rankings and reviews to see how users
respond to new updates and features. Mine this feedback for insights and be responsive.
3. Work on Your App Store Presence
• Make your app icons iconic
Keep it simple, scalable, recognizable and unique. Keep testing until you find the most effective
• Tell a story with screenshots
Maximize visibility: That means five screenshots in the iOS App Store and eight in the Google Play
Store. Your screenshots should have an engaging narrative, but make sure to show your two best
• Pique interest with video
Keep them short, sweet and punchy, and choose simplicity over flash. Give sound and text equal
• Test, test, test!
It’s important to continuously test new designs to optimize for the highest performing creative
assets. Your approach will change based on the app store you focus on.
4. Prepare Your UA Campaign
• Define your media mix
Find the right mix of paid, owned and earned media. You’ll need channels from all three to
• Burst or ongoing: which makes sense for you?
Each have their benefits. If your app has mass appeal and you’re trying to make a quick splash on
the app charts, a burst campaign might be right for you. (But remember, what goes up must come
down.) Niche apps need a more targeted approach.
• Consider a soft launch
Test the waters to optimize your campaign strategy and app before a wider release. A soft
launch is a great way to test the LTV and acquisition costs of users across geographies and
demographics that match your ideal user.
5. Track and Iterate
• Monitor the performance of acquisition channels, user segments and creatives
Optimize to make sure you’re bringing in the best users for the lowest cost.
• Keep an eye on the competition
Do all the quantitative and qualitative analysis you can. Retention data, share of impressions
across ad networks and creatives in market can all offer valuable insight.
• Be mindful of ad fraud
If something is too good to be true, it just might be. Focus on metrics like retention, research to
understand how you’re earning installs and seek out partners to help combat any suspected fraud.
Want More? App Annie Has It.
Download our playbooks and become an app marketing master.
• App Store Optimization Playbook
• User Acquisition Playbook
Sign up for a free account and get started with App Annie. Looking for more?
Register for a demo of App Annie Intelligence.
App Store Optimization (ASO) User Acquisition (UA)