It’s a common misconception that publishing your app on the app store will give you all the visibility you need to drive downloads and virality. Although you can do a lot with app store optimization (ASO) - from selecting great keywords, to producing app screenshots and previews that grab user attention - your user acquisition strategy should also incorporate paid and viral tactics.We’re familiar with how paid acquisition works, but viral success on the other hand is a bit more elusive, mainly because there is no “one size fits all” formula. While some tactics for “going viral” may work for one app and not another, there are certain steps everyone can take to include virality into their acquisition strategy.
Planning for Virality
The first step to plan for “going viral” is by building it into the design & functionality of your app. In short, this means making it easy (and rewarding!) for app users to share their actions across social networks, email, or chat. Gaming apps have led the charge on this trend by leverage social login to invite friends to play, to share accomplishment and by rewarding users with bonus points, etc.The second step to cultivating your viral success is by infusing it into your promotional strategy, which means developing your web presence outside the app store. The best way to do this is by creating a mobile optimized landing page.
Why Do I Need a Landing Page for My App?
First and foremost, a landing page is a great tool for promoting your app before your app is published on the stores. Start generating interest in your app by sharing the link out to friends, to your social media followers, or to bloggers and influencers who might be willing to review your app. Also, get a jumpstart on user acquisition and ask visitors to leave their email to be notified once you launch your app. Tip: Re-engage these users after launch with an email asking them for their ratings and reviews!
Start generating buzz & build a mailing list before you launchSecondly, a landing page gives you more visibility in search. Let’s go back to our misconception about the app store giving you all the visibility you need. Although it’s true that your Apple iTunes and Google Play page will show up in search, developing your own web presence allows you to communicate and promote your app in ways the stores simply don’t allow.Despite recent improvements have brought video previews and social sharing to the app stores, marketers creativity and virality can often be stifled. Publish your “out of the box” campaigns on your landing page, share them across your social networks and convert visitors into app users.
Creating the Perfect Landing Page
There are a ton of great app landing page templates out there to help you quickly launch your web presence, and not surprisingly, they all have a few things in common. Here’s a quick checklist of the key elements your landing page should have, along with some examples of popular apps for inspiration:
Just like in the stores, you want to tell visitors what makes your app awesome. Highlight the features and functionality that sets your app apart from the competition. Path uses clear value propositions, their app icon and download links
With the freedom to do anything, experiment with creative screenshots and videos to showcase the app experience. Showing visitors how they can use your app not only inspires them to download it, but also helps establish their expectations, which can translate into a smoother onboarding process and less negative reviews in the future.
Soundcloud uses animated screenshots to bring the user experience to life
Call to Action
It may go without saying, but this is the big “Download” button. However, remember to include the different store logos where your app is available so you don’t miss out on anyone! If you have a responsive page, include the link to the proper store based on the visitor device.
Use app store logos that are familiar to users, like Tinder
Kick start that virality and make it easy for visitors to share your app out to their social networks. Tip: Preload customized posts and tweets with a link to your landing page.
Leverage social sharing like viral success story Clash of Clans
Reviews and Social Proof
Did your app receive special recognition or an award? Here’s the place to add the accolades, links to press coverage and influencer reviews that you can’t include in your app store description. You can also set up a social widget to stream real-time tweets or posts users are sending from your app.
Show off your street cred like Flipp
Where the app stores can help you reach app store visitors, your web presence can:
- Be your pre-launch ground zero, helping you generate a mailing list of potential users to contact once your app is live
- Kickstart your PR & outreach campaigns
- Add much needed juice to your SEO efforts
- Showcase your app with creative campaigns and build user expectations
- Facilitate social sharing to encourage virality
- Continually feed viral traffic to the store and drive more downloads!