App Marketing Best Practices: How to Accelerate Downloads Through Influencer Collaborations

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There are more than 30,000 new iOS apps released per month, on average. That means there are about 30,000 new competitors regularly entering your space and vying for a finite number of eyeballs. 

How will you stand out?

In recent years, working with content creators has become the cornerstone of successful app promotions. In this blog, we’ll introduce you to some app marketing best practices for working with them and discuss how you can leverage their skill sets to shine through in a highly competitive field.

What is app marketing?

App marketing refers to the set of strategies and activities aimed at promoting and increasing the visibility, downloads, and usage of a mobile application on various devices, such as smartphones and tablets. The primary goal of app marketing is to attract and engage a relevant audience of users, encouraging them to download the app, use it regularly, and potentially make in-app purchases or take desired actions within the app.

Woman with headphones holding a smartphone happy because of app marketing best practices

Why influencer marketing and app marketing are a perfect fit

There are five reasons why influencer marketing and app marketing complement each other perfectly. Let’s briefly discuss them before getting into best practices for working with creators. 

Visual appeal

Influencer marketing leverages engaging, visual content, which is exactly what your app needs to be successful. Visual content captivates audiences and provides a firsthand look at the app’s user experience, making it more enticing and memorable for potential users.

Trust and credibility

Influencers are trusted voices within their respective niches. When they authentically endorse a mobile app, their followers perceive it as a credible recommendation. This trust extends to the app itself, enhancing its reputation and perceived reliability.

Targeted audiences

Influencers often have well-defined and niche-specific audiences. This alignment allows you to select influencers who cater to the exact demographics and interests of your app’s target users. By collaborating with influencers who reach your ideal audience, you can efficiently reach potential users more likely to download and engage with your app.

Feedback and improvement

Influencers can provide valuable feedback on your app, helping you identify areas for improvement. Their firsthand experience and insights can highlight usability issues, feature requests, or potential enhancements. Plus, they can open that feedback loop to their audience, giving you plenty of opportunities to hear what your target audience likes about your app and what should be improved. 

Cost-effectiveness

The cost-effectiveness of influencer marketing allows mobile app brands, including startups and smaller businesses, to allocate their marketing budgets efficiently. It maximizes ROI by delivering targeted results at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising methods. This budget-friendly approach is especially valuable when resources are limited.

Mobile app marketing best practices: How to work with creators

Ready to start working with content creators to promote your mobile app? Let’s brush up on some best practices to help you out along the way. 

Know your destination before you start. 

Getting started with influencer marketing is exciting, and it can be tempting to jump right into it before you’ve established a clear plan. Instead, take a breath and ask yourself a few key questions:

  • What are my high-level goals? This could include downloads, boosting user engagement, app store visibility, and so forth. 
  • Who is my target audience? Hash out key demographics, mobile usage habits, and interests related to your app. 
  • What creators should I work with? Your creators should align with your target audience. So once you know your target buyer, you’ll know your target creator, too. 
  • What is my budget? Determine how many creators you can afford to work with and how much content you can have them produce. 
  • What is my timeline? You’ll need a set start and end date. 

These questions will help you determine the direction of your campaign. Take your time to answer them thoroughly before getting into the fun stuff. 

Familiarize creators with your app.

Ideally, the creators you choose for your campaign are already familiar with your app and use it in their daily lives. After all, the best partnerships come from a place of brand love.

But if you are working with creators new to your app, you’ll need to turn them into true believers before they promote it to their audience. Otherwise, they’ll risk seeming inauthentic and could turn their followers off completely. 
Here are a few ideas for how you can do it:

  • If it’s a paid app, offer it to your creators for free. This will give them a chance to explore and get familiar with the landscape.
  • Offer comprehensive app guides. Create videos and tutorials that walk creators through how to use the app effectively. 
  • Host training sessions. Give your creators a chance to interact with your team in real-time and ask questions about the app. 

Focus on app store optimization (ASO).

ASO is the process of improving the visibility and discoverability of a mobile app in app stores like the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. ASO aims to increase the app’s rankings in search results and consequently attract more organic downloads and users.

Here are some ways you can leverage creators to improve your ASO:

  • Create reviews and demos. Partner with influencers to create honest and informative reviews and demonstrations of your app. 
  • Leverage their audience. Accumulating ratings and reviews of your app in the app store is one of the best ways to improve ASO. Have your creators encourage their audience to help you out in this area and incentivize the reviews if possible.
  • Integrate keywords. Ask your creators to include relevant keywords in their content—both in video titles and descriptions. This will help improve the searchability of their content.  

Hold in-app events and challenges. 

Having an influencer host an in-app event or challenge is a clever way to leverage that creator’s audience and get them to have some fun while using your app.

For example, let’s say you have a travel app and want to run a month-long photo challenge where participants share their best travel photos based on daily themes using a given hashtag.

Here is what the process might look like:
Step 1: Identify a brand-aligned travel influencer to host the contest and demonstrate how to use the app.

Step 2: Plan the details of the event, including how long you want to run and what each daily photo challenge will be.

Step 3: Have the creator share the challenge rules. For example, each participant must post a daily photo using the app and the given hashtag.

Step 4: The challenge is underway, and your creator is interacting with the user-generated content by liking, commenting, and resharing.

Step 5: You’ve identified your favorite photos, and it’s time to select a winner for the challenge. 

Make sure creators are the first to know about updates.

If you are counting on your creators to relay the most current information about your app, you need to make sure they are the first to know about any updates to your software. Doing so enables them to keep their followers engaged and encourage them to explore the new updates, ultimately increasing usage on your app.

A few ways you can ensure all of your creators stay current on the latest app updates:

  • Create a private online portal where creators can access the latest updates, resources, and information related to your app. 
  • Send regular email newsletters to your influencer network, providing any new and relevant information.
  • Hold monthly or bi-weekly check-ins where you can brief creators and allow them to ask questions in real-time. 
  • Share a release calendar so your creators can see what lies ahead.  

Prepare promo codes and discounts.

Providing your creators with promo and discount codes is the best practice for most influencer marketing campaigns, and mobile app marketing is no exception. Here are a few of the key benefits:

  • Incentivize action. Offer tangible incentives so creators can extend exclusive savings on premium app features to their followers. 
  • Track performance. Discount codes are trackable so you can measure the performance of each piece of creator content. 
  • Create urgency. These limited-time offers encourage the creator’s audience to take action or they might miss their opportunity. 
  • Offer commission. Discount codes are critical for affiliate marketing, which is a strategy that only requires you to pay creators if they convert a sale.

Emphasize accessibility and inclusivity.

Focusing on accessibility and inclusivity in influencer marketing is not only a responsible and ethical approach but also a strategic one that can help your mobile app brand connect with a broader and more diverse audience while promoting social good.

  • Broaden your reach. By creating content that considers diverse audiences, you can reach a more extensive and inclusive user base. 
  • Enhance brand reputation. Brands that prioritize accessibility and inclusivity are viewed more positively by consumers.
  • Reflect real-world diversity. The world is diverse, and your influencer marketing should reflect that reality. 
  • Representation matters. Inclusivity in influencer marketing means representing different genders, races, abilities, and backgrounds. Seeing diverse individuals in your influencer campaigns can make underrepresented groups feel seen, heard, and valued.  

Showcase how your app integrates with daily life. 

Ideally, your influencers mirror your target audience, which makes them the perfect people to showcase how easy your app is to integrate into daily life.

Imagine this: You have a meal-planning app and plan to partner with a lifestyle influencer who perfectly aligns with your brand. Let’s call her Sarah.

Scenario: Sarah regularly creates content about her busy life as a working mom who values health and convenience.

Integration: In a series of posts, Sarah showcases how she uses your meal planning app to simplify her daily routine.

For example: Sarah shares a video of her using the app to plan breakfast options for the family, emphasizing how it helps her save time and make healthier choices. Then, when dinner rolls around, Sarah records a cooking session where she follows recipes from the app and highlights its step-by-step guidance.

User engagement: Sarah encourages her followers to share their own meal-planning experiences using a branded hashtag and tagging the app’s account.

Results: Users see how the app seamlessly integrates into a busy mom’s life, making meal planning more manageable. This relatable content prompts many to download the app and share their own experiences.  

Cultivate long-term partnerships. 

By prioritizing long-term relationships with creators, you can create a sustainable influencer marketing strategy that fosters trust, consistency, and a deeper connection between your brand and its audience.

Here are just a handful of the benefits you can expect from cultivating long-term relationships with your creators:

Consistency and trust 

Long-term partnerships foster consistency in your influencer marketing efforts. Working with the same creators over time builds trust and authenticity as their followers become familiar with your brand.

In-depth understanding

Over time, creators gain a deep understanding of your app, its features, and its target audience. This knowledge allows them to create more informed and effective promotional content.

Cohesive branding

Long-term partnerships enable creators to align their content with your brand’s values, messaging, and aesthetics, ensuring a cohesive and recognizable brand image.

Audience loyalty

When influencers consistently promote your app, their followers may develop loyalty to both the influencer and your brand, increasing the likelihood of app adoption.

Cost efficiency

Long-term partnerships often lead to more favorable pricing and cost efficiencies compared to one-off campaigns, as creators may offer discounts for ongoing collaborations.

Key takeaway: Leverage creators as trusted partners in your next successful app marketing strategy.

App marketing and influencer marketing are a match made in heaven. By leveraging the engaged audience of content creators in your niche, you can drive downloads, increase time on app, and more with a far more cost-effective approach than traditional advertising. There is no better time than now to start building a strategy for yourself.

Learn more about influencer marketing: Influencer Marketing 101

Frequently Asked Questions

Marketing an app effectively involves a combination of strategies and tactics to raise awareness, attract users, and encourage engagement. Here are a few things to consider for your own strategy:

  1. Identity your target audience by demographics, interests, and behaviors. 
  2. Optimize the app’s title, descriptions and keywords to improve visibility in the app store. 
  3. Develop a user-friendly website and landing page to highlight the app’s value prop. 
  4. Collaborate with influencers and content creators in your app’s niche. 
  5. Implement analytics tools to track user behavior, conversions, and retention rates. 
  6. Establish an online community or forum where users can ask questions, share experiences, and provide support to each other.

Take the following actions to create a marketing plan for your app:

  1. Define your app’s unique selling points.
  2. Set clear objectives. 
  3. Know your audience. 
  4. Run competitor analysis. 
  5. Detail your budget. 
  6. Choose marketing channels and strategies. 
  7. Optimize for app stores. 
  8. Create a content marketing plan. 
  9. Create a social media strategy that includes influencer marketing.
  10. Make a timeline for execution. 
  11. Test and optimize your app and strategy. 
  12. Review and report on results. 
  13. Open up a feedback loop. 

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Written by Quinn Schwartz

Quinn studied journalism at the University of Kentucky and now lives in Portland, Oregon. He’s particularly interested in storytelling in digital marketing and cost-effective creator strategies for smaller brands. When he’s not writing, you can find him at a concert, dog park, or debating whether or not to go on a run.

All-in-one creator management platform helping ecommerce companies build more valuable brands through the power of creator partnerships.

© Grin Technologies Inc. 2022. All rights reserved.

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