Google is one of the most popular names in technology and the Google Play store is a further expansion of their brand not only competing with Apples App Store, but offering a whole world of app developers a place to share and even monetize their creative ideas. However, like any product, to do so you'll need to know how to market your app successfully and make sure your campaign caters to the appropriate audience. For example, how would amateur and professional photographers know to download Instagram when scrolling through Google Play if its icon was a picture of a LOL cat meme? If you believe your strengths lie in reading code, not demographics, there are services that specialize in marketing their customers apps for them. However this does not put the marketing process on a pedestal by any means and anyone with a DIY mentality can do it themselves with just the right amount of ingenuity.
Take Advantage of your Advantages
The first step of any good strategy is knowing your opponent, which in this instance is the Apple App Store. Both providers are competitive but Google Play has a few distinct advantages you need to keep in mind. Both utilize and apply a ranking system to apps, but use different variables to rank them. The App Store ranks by the frequency and number of downloads where as Google Play's Search and Browse algorithms track user activity, giving more freedom when it comes to marketing possibilities. Think of the App Store as Blockbuster, with its many different sections for different genres, and Google Play as Netflix, gauging what you might like based one what you've already liked in the past.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Customers
Jumping back to the Instagram point, a memorable and relatable icon is a must for app marketing! It's the first thing users see next to the title so be creative and make something that will not only catch their eye, but stick with them so the icon holds a certain positive association in their mind. Along with the image, you can also include a simple demo video of your app in the description thanks to Google's acquisition of Youtube.
The next thing they see (or rather read) is the title of your app. If your icon is someone first setting eyes on you, then the title of your app is the first impression which is all the more reason to make it a good one. This not only informs the user of the apps basic function, but also informs the Google Play's search algorithm of what kind of app you're selling. This being the case, throwing a handful of keywords into your title and description will increase you apps rank in the Google Play store and circulate it to more prospective users. And this is all done automatically through their search algorithm so the best part is... it's free advertising!
Know Your Audience
There are many other free ways of getting the word out about your product to the public. Viral marketing over a longer period of time via social is the best way to get your name stuck in the publics mind so they'll be eagerly awaiting your products release. When outlining your advertising campaigns, you should consider keeping a regularly updated blog about your product that could easily be done on free sites such as Blogger and Tumblr. Word of mouth is the obvious "tell your family and friends" and basic guerrilla street marketing, but this is the twenty first century and an even more vital marketing tool is something I like to call word of mouse. It's simple as taking your mouse and clicking "share" on all the major social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+.You can also get your app reviewed on an android news site like ours, we offer a android app review service to help promote apps as well.
The last thing you need to know before your PR invasion is where you'll need to invade. Know your audience and go out of your way to cater to them, for instance if you're developing a mobile role-playing game you need to focus on including keywords such as RPG so that news of your game will show up in more searches. Not only that, but this greatly increases the chance that your game will not only be installed by users, but played by loyal Android customers. Remember the nature of Google Play's algorithm, the more you search, the more apps they know to recommend you. So always research keywords associated with the niche you are trying to reach, be cleverly creative in your visual design, use the tools shown here, and hopefully we'll see your new app on the Top 10 Most Downloaded in a few weeks!