Mobile App Marketing Strategies

How to Market an App in 2021: Basic Steps in Mobile App Promotion

Reading time 15 min | Aug 11, 2021
Bystrytska Kateryna
Copywriter
Mobile app marketing strategy is highly dependent on the latest market trends and the general situation in the industry. 2020 became a challenging year for almost every industry in the world. It is evident that the pandemic also influenced the mobile app market. Companies started to develop apps to solve new issues, help people pay online, buy food and supplies with apps, and even find friends for communication in isolation. According to the research, in 2020-2024, the mobile app market will grow by $479 billion.

mobile app promotion

There are 3.4 million apps in Google Play and almost 2.1 million in Apple Store. What does this number mean for the startup founder? First of all, it means massive competition in the app market, and the new product must find its specific audience. At the same time, even for a perfect product, it can be challenging to find new customers without mobile app promotion.

Creating a competitive app is already considerable work for the DevOps team. Furthermore, the next step is to increase the rate of your app in the app store. This task became the most challenging for many startups. Based on Business Insider data, 43% of developers found that app marketing is the hardest thing in the whole app launch process.

This article will focus on the most commonly used and efficient mobile app marketing techniques. It will outline the best practices in mobile app promotion and determine how to do app marketing successfully.

Pre-launch Marketing Steps for Mobile App Promotion

Before you launch the app and choose the best marketing strategy for your product, there are a few pre-launch steps you need to figure out.

1. Define your audience. Before you focus on a specific marketing strategy, you need to understand your app user, their work, and what movies they watch. The messages and channels for Gen Z and Millennials can be different, and that is why this step must be the first in your market research.

2. Outline the messages and branding concept. This step will boost the marketing launch and will help to create an app marketing plan. As you know, different messages can be promoted on various platforms.

3. Calculate the budget. It is essential to define how much your company is ready to spend on marketing. Even with an approximate budget, finding the best mobile app marketing strategy will be much easier.

4. Define the measurement system for your successful launch. It can be the most challenging part of pre-launch preparation. Some numbers will be easy to define, for example, the number of app downloads, shares, likes, and new users. At the same time, there will be some public relations and communication measures, such as the level of product loyalty or trust, and you need to define how to measure it.

Mobile App Marketing Best Practices

Next, we will focus on the latest trends in app marketing and the best mobile app marketing strategies. Some of those ideas can be useful for your startup. Also, you will learn what works best for the apps in the same niche. Let’s start to discuss how to market an app successfully?

Work With Influencers In Your Area And Globally

Almost every product tries to work with influencers, as it became one of the most powerful marketing instruments in the last years. People trust bloggers in social media much more than advertisements on TV. At the same time, not all influencers are the same. They can be celebrities (they became influencers before social media), mega influencers (more than 1 million subscribers), macro-influencers (100k and more), micro (from 10k to 100k), and nano influencers (1K and more).

In some cases, the advertisement campaign with a blogger with 100k followers can be less efficient than a campaign with a microblog, mostly because micro-influencers are focused on their specific topic and have a much more loyal audience. If you launch an app for counting calories, it will be better to work with a fitness blogger with fewer followers than with an influencer who has 1 million subscribers and talks mostly about gaming. Also, it became trendy to work with small influencers whose audience is very loyal to any advertisement.

Research on influencers who will fit your app ideology and target auditory the most.

Provide Exclusive App-only Offers, Content, And Promotions

A lot of world-known brands already have special offers or product prices only for app users. For example, you can find a particular "mobile app only" price while booking a hotel in Booking.

Nike store app has special proposals only for app users, and you can buy some snickers models a week before they will be in the market. The same strategy uses Sephora, as they also provide first access to new products and discounts in the app only.

Special offers can be a good reason for your customers to install the app and start using it.

Implement Event Marketing Strategies

It is still efficient to use giveaways, contests, challenges, and other events to promote the app. Some companies offer free trials or promo codes for app downloads or sharing the app link with a friend. For example, the first month of using the Instacart app will give you free delivery. Every time you share the link to Uber Eats with your friend, who did not use the app before, it will provide you with $10 after the friend's app installation. The same strategy uses the Audible app, giving you the first month of a free subscription.

Some apps increase the user's involvement through contests and challenges. For example, the Duolingo app will provide bonuses if you open the app and do exercises every day. Those bonuses you can change for additional lessons in the future.

Build Personal Brand

The app is not only a set of functions but also a person who created it. People will be more involved in the brand story if this story is told in human language. Donald Miller, the CEO of Business Made Simple, wrote a book, "Building a Story Brand," that can be helpful for you in case you think about how to start your brand story.

Moreover, you can follow a great experience from other brands in launching the apps. Lara Briden became famous as a doctor and author of books on women's health. Last year she launched an app Flo to help monitor periods and provide advice about women's health based on the data from the app. World-famous chef Jamie Oliver also launched his app with recipes.

Create Community

The idea of building a community around the product is not new but became quite popular at the time of the pandemic. It can be one of the most discussed topics in the last year. Many specialists argue that content is not a king in online marketing already, and community building is the future. Apps will unite people around the ideas, create a community of confederates, and work to grow it. People with the same interests and views as your brand will be the most loyal to your app.

The Nike app not only tracks your runnings but builds a running community. You can find people from the Nike Running Club in your city and join them on a community-run.
Moreover, this strategy also works as a word-of-mouth advertisement.

Mobile App Marketing Best Practices, how to market an app successfully
Our design for a community app

Launch Your Social Media


There is no need to remain that your app needs to be presented on social media. But here, we are going to talk about launching the channel on Youtube or creating a podcast. This strategy will help to tell a brand story, build a community and find loyal users simultaneously. Youtube is one of the few social platforms with organic growth. Podcasts became more and more popular, and such platforms as Spotify also try to promote them organically. It means that you can speak about the topic of your brand, create unique content and find your app users.

Maybe you can find an exciting and unique niche for your app channel? For example, Headspace, the app for meditation, has its podcast Guide to Meditation on Spotify. DoorDash has its Youtube channel Doordash Diaries, where they share tips and tricks for app users.

Final Thoughts

Launching the app is a complicated process, but it doesn't mean neglecting marketing strategy. You need to remember many traditional things, such as creating a landing page for the app, SEO optimization, and asking for a review in the app store. Furthermore, it would be best to think about your brand story, cooperate with influencers, and even create your own Youtube channel. All those steps will ensure the mobile app's success in the future.

If you are not sure about the best mobile app marketing strategy for your business, you can contact a Starbase specialist and get a consultation. Our company has broad experience in creating marketing strategies for mobile app promotion and can discuss your business challenges to find the best solution.
Sign up for our newsletter
Get our blog updates on branding and UI/UX design twice a month.