If you're already a developer or you are thinking about publishing your first app to Google Play for the Android platform, making sure you market your application will be key if you want to ensure your best chance that the app will succeed. Marketing isn't all there is to it of course, as creating a compelling app that people will like and want to engage with consistently is where you'll want to start, but marketing is an important piece of the equation so people know that your app is out there and that it's worth their time to give it a shot.
Stepping back a bit to the actual app building, it's going to be that much more difficult to build a great app if you have no idea who your target market is going to be. So, doing some research and figuring out who your app is going to attempt to grab the attention of is probably one of the first things you may want to consider. Take into account what your targeted demographic is into and factor in that in this day and age people want things as fast as they can get them when it comes to content consumption through apps. As you continue researching to figure out how to make your app the best it can possibly be, you'll gather a collective of important data that can give you a great launchpad for publishing a really polished end result.
Monetizing your Android app is another factor you're going to want to decide on. They are many ways to monetize an application and in most cases almost every single app will have some form of a monetization in place so that as a developer, money can be made from the hard work. Depending on who your app is for, and possibly considering the monetization trends of the current time when you publish, you may find that a free, ad-supported app is best. Of course charging a few bucks for your app may be a better way to go since many users don't particularly care for ads, and if you're application is extremely captivating then more users are likely going to be willing to pay for it up front.
All of the above steps are great details to keep in mind but you can't market your app correctly without a strong marketing plan to work off of. You may already have some great ideas on how to market your application, but it can't hurt to give Google's tips a look and see if some of them if not all of them can be worked in the plan you may already have in mind. Google suggests your marketing plan be set up in a structural format, as this will make it easier to follow, breaking things down into four separate categories of awareness, trial, purchase, and repeat. The last one may or may not be self explanatory, you want repeat users, and to foster this type of user base, you'll want to provide updates as the landscape of apps will change over time and you should want yours to adapt along with the changes. Other things like loyalty programs to give something back to the users, notifications, and social integration are all ways to help with the repeat part of the process. To start though, people need to know your app exists, and this is why the awareness step is first.
You can make people aware of your app in a number of ways including PR, social media, mobile ads and video, and search, and of course you can always advertise it via the web, TV, and ATL. Once people know about your app getting it into their hands is an essential course to take. Starting things of with a trial or beta for free would be a great possible solution as you'll want to grab user feedback. A trial of your app(if you're planning on utilizing a pay model at launch)is a great way for users to become acquainted with it, and after you get some user feedback you can figure out if anything within needs to be tweaked or fixed. Once you feel your app is ready for the public and if you decide to publish it as a paid application, you'll want to include details like bulk sales or discounts, something like special launch sale pricing. If you're planning on publishing your app for free, upselling to a premium version with added features can be a great way to monetize the app, and also gives users a way to forego ads, which you could include in a free version. This would lead you back to the last step in your structural marketing plan which we talked about above, the repeat step. While this set of tips isn't going to guarantee you app success, it's a good set of guidelines to follow in attempting to execute your plan an seeing your app all the way through to completion, and finally getting it published.