If you haven’t yet released your app to the app store then there is still time to setup and run pre-launch marketing for your app (and it might even be worth delaying the release of your app for a few weeks) but it could be critical to your initial success.
Because of the ranking factors used in the app stores, a pre-launch campaign is important so that you have a blast of new users downloading the app as soon as it goes live.
If you want to have a chance of being a Featured App or listed in the New & Noteworthy section on the iTunes app store, then what better way to stand out in front of Apple than with a rush of new users downloading your app straight after its launch.
While we don’t know the inner-workings of the app store ranking algorithm for either the iTunes App Store or Google Play, downloads and active users are such fundamental metrics that they are surely a factor (we just don’t understand how much weight they are given in each algorithm).
It is not uncommon to see a developer finish an app before starting to think about marketing however a pre-launch campaign can start with a single landing page on your website which you can modify and improve as you start developing it.
Even though your app isn’t yet developed, you can still put your app website to good use. Write a catchy pitch for your app, add some basic graphics and a call to action asking people to sign up to your newsletter to be kept up to date on new features and potentially even find users to participate in the beta testing phase.
Most importantly, you’ll have a list of people that you can announce your launch date to and you can follow up with them by email when the app is launched to give them the download link and to give you a rush of downloads on launch day.
Engaging Users During Pre-Launch
While there are a lot of benefits that come from having an email list that you can announce your app to on launch day, there are other ways that you can engage users during the pre-launch phase that will increase your profile (and might even add more people to your email list as well).
Your pre-launch period is a chance to build your future user base and even with the simplest landing page you’ll find people who want to stay informed on your progress.
If you have a blog on your app website you can use this to get feedback during the development process. By having an online presence and getting feedback early you’ll have a better idea of what your audience wants and what marketing messages they best respond to.
Use your blog and social media accounts to post short articles, photos and even videos about the app and the development process or anything that is related to it. Create content that is easily sharable on social networks and is interesting enough that people will want to continue sharing it.
It is important that you create accounts on all the major social media sites, Facebook, Twitter etc, well before launch and start using those accounts to engage with people and build your following. Social networks can be extremely powerful once you have a large following of people who subscribe to your updates.
All of these elements can be engaged well before you release your app and they will all contribute to you having an audience of eager fans waiting for the launch of your app.