By early 2017, there were already 2.8 million apps available for Android users. Meanwhile, the Apple App Store contained 2.2 million. These numbers have likely risen in the months since. The point is: Mobile users have an astronomical choice when it comes to downloading apps. It’s no longer enough to create an app, place it in a store and wait for people to stumble upon it.
In such a saturated market, the success of your app depends on factors like design, marketing, and user-generated content—not just to drive downloads, but to attract customers genuinely interested in engaging with your app over time. Consider these six strategies for making your app stand out in the marketplace.
Choose a Memorable Name
Shakespeare wrote, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” But an app by any other name may not be as successful. Why? Because your app’s name is one of the first things users judge when assessing if they want to download it. What makes an effective name these days? As Entrepreneur outlines, app names should be:
- Trendy: You want a name that sounds fresh and intriguing enough to click.
- Succinct: When it comes to naming apps, aim for short, sweet and to-the-point.
- Genre-Related: The name should at least hint at the function of the app, otherwise it’s just confusing for potential users.
Prioritize App Icon Design
Part of any app’s branding lies in the app icon design. Think about the most popular applications on your phone or tablet. Even if someone covered up the text title, you’d still be able to identify them by their app icon alone. Although you have only a small square to work with, you can do a lot with color, symbols, and fonts. Your app icon should exhibit the same sensibilities as your title and your overall branding, so put some time into creating a one-of-a-kind design.
Flesh Out Your Description
Although your title and app icon will give users an idea of your app’s functionality, they’ll need some supporting content to clinch the deal. Make sure your content conveys your brand voice and unique selling proposition, also known as that “X factor” setting you apart from your competitors. Users will want to know about features at this stage, so use the description as an opportunity to pitch your app’s capabilities.
Create Personalized Ads
Paid user acquisition is a huge component of drumming up downloads and conversions for apps. But ad spend is far from infinite; brands benefit from being discerning in who they target in the first place and how. When it comes to deciding how to promote your app, user segmentation targeting lookalike audiences is your friend. By serving ads to people most likely to download and engage in post-install events, you’re getting better ROI on your marketing spend while driving in-app conversions.
Not only that, but we live in an era where users’ mobile preferences and personal characteristics can determine the ads they see. Dynamic, personalized ads will always be more effective than generic ones, so utilize audience information to create tailored ads for higher engagement rates.
Use Programmatic Buying
The good news is that marketers no longer have to manually design and place these ads. Thanks to the rise of programmatic ad buying, machine-learning technology can create and place dynamic ads to optimize campaigns in real time. This frees up designers, entrepreneurs, and marketers to work on other essential tasks.
Encourage User Reviews
Mobile users want social proof. They want to hear about others’ experiences using an app before they take a chance. One survey of 362 daily mobile users found that “the difference between two and four stars could be the difference between 50,000 and 270,000 installs.”
But users often get busy and forget to leave feedback, whether positive or negative. That’s why your company must prompt users to leave a rating and review with push notifications or in-app reminders. You should also make sure you have strong, accessible customer service—otherwise, users will vent all their frustrations in your review section because they can’t get in touch with a customer service representative.
If your goal is to stand out in the crowded app marketplace, try these six strategies. After all, everything from your name to your logo, ad design, and user-generated reviews will affect engagement rates and revenue.