A lot of entrepreneurs and businesses that are in the process of developing an app, even in the relatively early stages, don’t think there’s much they can do in terms of marketing it until it’s complete.
Not only is that not true, but it can be detrimental if you’re basing your marketing on the actual launch of your app. Many of the most successful app launches have had buzz surrounding them for months leading up to their actual release.
The best thing to do is work on creating pre-launch buzz while you’re in the developmental steps, and then people are excited about your app by the time it is ready to be released.
It’s not only good to focus on building buzz during development just to get downloads when your app launches, but it can also help you build a revenue stream earlier on to offset the costs of development.
So, how do you do it? How do you promote an app that hasn’t even necessarily come to fruition yet? The following are some tips to help you build pre-launch buzz, regardless of the stage of development you’re in.
Be Thorough with Market Research
Before you can do any of the other steps on this list, you should have thorough, in-depth market research. This will not only be helpful to you along the way as you develop the app, but it will also help drive your marketing.
You want to go where your customers are and target them in ways that will resonate with them.
To do these things, you have to do market research.
A good starting place is to look at your competitors. See what they’re doing, but even more importantly, what they’re not doing.
Where are they missing things? What are the negative reviews from customers that you could turn into positives for your app? What do your competitors’ customers value that you could integrate into your product?
Doing market research and looking at your competitors can help you in other areas as well. It can help you define your USP and even help you with details like optimizing it on the App Store and naming it.
Appeal to Existing Customers
If you’re a business that already has a customer base, even if it’s fairly limited, start by letting them know you’re launching an app. Of course, eventually you’re going to want to reach completely new people, but why not start with what’s already there?
You can go through your existing marketing channels including your email lists and your social media profiles and let people familiar with your business know what’s coming.
Getting them excited might lead them to pass on some word of mouth, organic marketing to other people who aren’t already customers of your business.
You might also think about offering your existing customers and followers the opportunity to gain early access to the app before it’s “officially” released.
Don’t Announce a Release Date Before You’re Ready
Whether you’re established business launching a new app, or you’re a startup, there’s something important to keep in mind with pre-launch marketing. Don’t try to name a specific release date before you’re completely ready.
It’s better to wait longer to let your followers know a release date than to have one and not meet it because of hiccups along the development path, which aren’t uncommon.
Focus on the People, Not the Product
When you’re creating marketing for your app, don’t focus so much on the features. Instead, focus on the benefits and how those will impact the lives of people who will potentially download it.
This is something so critical in marketing—it’s not about features. It’s about benefits.
That mantra, by extension then means that your marketing is focusing on the people instead of the product.
You want to highlight not the fancy technical capabilities your app is going to have, but instead, on specific ways it will affect and ultimately improve the lives of the people who download it.
Get to Know Influencers
Releasing a press release on an app release can feel like you’re throwing it out into a black hole, and often that’s the case.
You need to be specifically reaching out to influencers, bloggers, and journalists that share your targeted audience. You can create press releases and blogs for them and then personally reach out to see if they’ll feature your app.
Finally, you can also think about writing guest posts on influencers’ blogs and sites so that you can get your app out there while it’s still in the development phase.