When it comes to app marketing, there are hundreds of different methods and there are great agencies out there willing to help as well. We recently covered a number of approaches that developers or publishers can start without having to spend oodles of money on marketing or anything like that. One of the platforms that many developers will have used to help them learn more about their users and how to improve numbers is Apptentive. Last year, their Mobile Team shared some marketing tactics that any developer can do. Here, we've chosen some of the best to point you in the right direction with little effort and hardly any costs on your end.
Offer a Free Version of Your App
When it comes to android monetization, in-app purchases are really starting to take off, and for many developers represent all of their revenue from an app or game. Offering a free app is more than just about the IAP model though, as Leigh Momii from HTC says that "the expectations for free apps is very high and you're going to have a much tougher time convincing someone to spend even $0.99 on your app". Leigh makes a great point here, and even if your model seems better suited to an outright purchase of your app, it's easier to get someone to upgrade from a free app, than to get them to pony up for the full version right away. Plus, a free app is easier to justify ads and IAPs, and users often don't mind either as much when the app cost them nothing in the first place.
Prepare a Demo Video
If the meteoric rise of YouTube hasn't already convinced you, people love watching videos on their mobile devices. The very same you're asking a user to download and enjoy your product on. A demo video is not required to add an app to the Google Play Store, but considering that it's so easy to play the video, it's a good idea to prepare. As Chiu-Ki Chan from Square Island points out, "it gives you a chance to weave a story around your app". Video demos are more useful for apps rather than games. Often someone will decide whether or not a game is any good after playing it, but with an app that has a niche use case or a broad variety of use cases, a video can help introduce your product to people. It's much easier to explain an idea in 2 minutes or so of video than it is in a keyword-ridden app store listing.
Make Sure Your App Looks Good, and Stands Out
Now that Android 5.0 Lollipop is rolling out to more phones than ever, users are beginning to expect a fresh new design of their apps using Google's Material Design. These guidelines are free to download and take a look at, and they can really make your app stand out, especially in a crowded market with similar apps and games in the Play Store.
Kyle Richter of Empirical Development says that "Before a user downloads an app the first thing and often only thing they look at are the screenshots. Make sure that your app is presentable, well thought out and designed. Invest time and/or money into making a great icon and appearance." Speaking of icons, Google's new Play Store Experiments allow developers to A/B their testing with different icons, screenshots and descriptions. In some cases, developers saw as much as 30% more installs with new assets.