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Increasing your app downloads is just like convincing your toddler to try a new dish they’ve never tasted before. You need to understand their requirements, craft a message that resonates with them, and, above all, make sure the experience is as enjoyable as possible.
It’s never enough to create something and wait for people to like it.
Luckily, you’re on the right page. This guide teaches you how to increase app downloads in eight steps. We’ll take you through the science, explain actionable steps and provide compelling examples. Keep reading below.
Research shows that 63% of iOS and 58% of Android app discovery is done through app store searches.
Therefore, optimizing your app store listing is essential because most users will find your app either on Google or Apple Play Stores.
Now, imagine these stores like menus.
You want your app to be the most delicious-looking offer on those menus.
And that’s what app store optimization does; it increases app store visibility, downloads, and retention rates. Much like in a real restaurant, you need your app to have the best:
Pro tip: You can’t optimize your app store without grasping how your customers and competitors think and behave. Your app marketing strategy should rely on thorough research.
So, figure out:
The CNN app offers an interesting example here:
Creating appealing visuals is an essential step in the process because:
The visuals you will have to optimize include the following:
Side note: Your icon is particularly important because it helps create the first impression, and it’s how users recognize your app. Besides, research suggests that icon design affects the rate of app downloads.
To get these visuals right, follow the steps below:
Here’s how Slack uses visuals on Google Play Store:
Notice how, above each image, they’ve highlighted a specific benefit for users. Then the app store screenshots below reinforce that benefit, showcasing what people will get from using this app.
Statistics show that user testimonials and user reviews convince 90% of shoppers. They work because:
Let’s discuss an interesting example:
Hallow.com is a Catholic prayer app that leverages the power of reviews to create desire and dim controversy. Unlike a regular meditation app, this prayer app has one poignant problem to overcome:
Catholic prayers and rituals are more rigorous.
Even slightly falling outside these lines can lead to uninstalls and backlash in the community. That’s why Hallow has to build social proof and alleviate people’s worries.
Here’s how to increase mobile app downloads through user testimonials:
Here’s how Rocket Money deals with negative comments on their Google Play Store:
Social media marketing is an excellent way to promote your app, and there are several ways to go about it.
Figure out the social platforms that your audience is using, and start building your presence there. Post relevant, informative content that builds your credibility.
At the same time, focus on building engagement by interacting with your followers. Respond and build up on their comments to truly create a community.
That way, these people are more likely to download your app:
Here’s a neat example: Shaina is a fitness trainer who has developed a fitness app.
A quick glance at her Instagram profile shows you how she regularly posts relevant content (free workouts) that people can copy.
But there’s an even more important thing to note. Analyze how Shaina responds to the comments, personalizing her replies and asking questions.
Remember: That’s how you, too, can create long-term loyalty and engagement with your followers.
Influencers can help promote your app and increase downloads because:
inBeat Agency regularly uses micro-influencer marketing to boost app downloads. After identifying your target persona and USP through competitor research, we cast influencers and edit content, testing multiple A/B variations on the social platforms.
One of the mobile applications we used influencers for is Mogo.ca, a finance and budgeting app targeting Gen Z. We worked with several influencers on various platforms, such as M3hr, trusting them to translate this fintech app’s benefits in Gen Z language:
App store optimization (ASO) helps your app stand out from the crowd in the app store; app store optimization helps your app rank higher on search engines.
What does this tell us?
You must build an online presence to increase discoverability and drive organic traffic. There are a few ways to go about this, but you should mainly create a website, blog, and social media presence.
Here’s how to optimize them:
Team Viewer is another mobile app that inBeat has worked with, and they are also rocking the SEO part of their business.
One look at their website shows you a clean design, fast speed, and good organization. You can also notice eye-catching titles, long-tail keywords, customer reviews, and images.
Another way to increase app downloads is localizing your app. Mobile app localization entails adapting it to a local specific market. The benefits include:
There are three steps to consider here:
We already discussed the importance of app store optimization in the first section. Well, use those principles to adapt your app to a local market.
Let’s say you have a food delivery app. Localizing the keywords might boost its download rates by 700%. These keywords might include:
Make sure your app’s user interface has the local:
Pro tip: Consider local customs and culture to ensure your app’s content isn’t culturally offensive.
Tinder does a good job of localizing its app. After all, people ideally want to date other local individuals instead of matching with someone across the globe.
But Tinder did make one mistake. Compare the images below:
Notice that the French and Spanish Tinder versions have the same pictures and names. It would have been better to post photos of locals or at least use local names.
Quinn, Butch, and Lauren don’t sound either too French or too Spanish.
Remember: Some nationalities are partial to mobile applications that use their language even though they can understand English.
If you want to boost downloads, consider running an ad campaign. The main purpose is to build awareness and recognition in a new market. As you build up your audience’s interest in your app, more people will download it.
Besides, a paid ad campaign will help you access more customer bases faster than building organic traffic through social media, for example.
Pro tip: An ad agency can help you determine the best strategy according to your goals, audience, app features, and more.
For example, studies show that Gen Z has started using TikTok as a search engine. However, YouTube remains this generation’s favorite social media channel.
Suppose your app is complex and can contain sensitive information. In that case, it’s better to use YouTube to popularize it through a longer, more informative ad.
It’s what we had to consider for NielsenIQ’s Unroll.me inbox decluttering app. However, we settled on UGC ads for TikTok.
The appealing, trustworthy influencers we worked with produced relevant, funny, and on-point content:
The results speak for themselves, with over 100,000 app downloads and paid media CPA slashed by 75%.
Incentives help more people make up their minds and download your app if you can offer them an instant win now. This strategy works best for more expensive apps or for an undecided market.
After increasing your download rates through incentives, ensure your app’s features and content can keep your target users hooked. Otherwise, you will face a massive number of uninstalls down the line.
Incentives that work include:
Pro tip: Consider creating a free version of your app so prospective users can see how that application works. Once they fall in love with it, they’ll want to access premium features that lead to a more comprehensive use.
For example, The Walking Dead: Season 1 uses a freemium approach, offering a free install but with in-app purchases.
The most important factor for increasing app downloads is creating an effective marketing plan.
Pro tip: Keep app users engaged and satisfied. You can enhance app experience through effective customer service, regular updates, and ongoing promotions such as discounts or in-app events. Remember to also create a feedback loop to collect user insights and use them to develop new features.
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