How to market your mobile app

Here’s how businesses can best go about marketing their new or existing mobile app, to help expand their services

The app industry has been growing in competition over the years, with millions of business applications present on marketplaces such as the App Store and Google Play Store. This has seen an evolution of technologies underpinning such apps, such as cloud, blockchain and immersive reality, in the space in recent times.

But where to start; what challenges need to be considered and overcome; and how can organisations use their marketing strategy to get ahead of the competition? In this article, we explore how to market your mobile app.

Challenges to overcome

“Marketing an app is a challenging task, and small business owners need to carefully consider their approach in order to avoid wasting money on ineffective strategies,” said Beatriz Repiso, owner and CEO of Otternative Marketing.

Below are the biggest challenges for app developers to watch out for:


The first port of call for any business when it comes to marketing is the budget at your disposal. This can also prove the first hurdle to leap over when marketing an app, with resources often being limited and needing to balanced with other operations, such as employee management and production.

Trend analysis

Keeping up with trends in a quickly evolving industry, staying in tune with customer needs and monetising accordingly can also be easier said than done, but is paramount for marketing success. Marketing staff must always look to optimise their strategies in line with such change. In the monetisation planning stage, whether for free or paid apps, companies should examine their options — whether they be in-app purchases, subscriptions, or advertising — and determine which ones are the most appropriate for their market.

Data management 

Additionally, app developers often run into concerns around data privacy, with apps in the space on the whole becoming larger, utilising user data at an exponential rate. According to research conducted by marketing tech company Bangomany developers claim it has “never been more difficult” to acquire new paying users for their apps, due to public pressure over data privacy along with the sunset of IDFA and cookies.

“[The finding] is a big problem for the digital economy. We’ve been calling it ‘the App-ocalypse’,” said Bango co-founder and CMO, Anil Malhotra.

“For businesses relying on revenue from mobile apps, user acquisition is the name of the game, as it’s an economy that relies entirely on downloads and active users. So anything that impedes the sales funnel seriously disrupts the bottom line.”

This area of operations calls for an equally strong focus on compliance and protection over assets, to respond to an evolving regulatory landscape.

>See also: A guide to IT governance, risk and compliance

The steps to take

Once your organisation has agreed on the budget for marketing your mobile app, it’s then time to establish an actionable marketing plan with specific; measurable; achievable; relevant; and time-bound (SMART) objectives throughout.

Repiso explained: “These should align with the overall goals of the business. Examples can include increasing app downloads, improving user engagement, or generating revenue.”

Planning promotional content

From the start, companies need to plan the types of content to create and share for promotion of the app, including blogs, videos, and social media posts. Deep market research is needed to gauge how the competition is marketing their games, allowing you to find ways to differentiate. You should also consider the media and platforms that your target audience is most likely to use, and adapt the approach accordingly.

User acquisition

No successful app marketing strategy is complete without user acquisition — the aforementioned “name of the game” cited by Malhotra. Reaching new users within your target demographics can be achieved through:

  • Search engine optimisation (SEO): As businesses across all sectors have increased their online presence over the past few years, SEO has ascended up the marketing agenda as a vital tool to help stand out from the crowd. Using competitive and relevant keywords, and utilising link building can help with this area.
  • Paid advertising: Enlisting the services of social media platforms and websites to display banner ads among other assets proves a common and effective way to get your name out to a wider audience.
  • Social media influencers: Also a viable method is user acquisition through the presence of influencers on sites such as Instagram and YouTube. Often a go-to in the latter stages before going to market, companies can partner with content creators to promote the app through their channels. For example, promo codes are often used as a vehicle for discounts.

Analysis of performance

Once word starts getting out, marketing staff should consistently gauge the amount of views that each method of advertising is achieving. This can be done through social media marketing tools such as Buffer and Hootsuite, as well as analytical tools like Google Analytics.

According to Repiso, app developers should also “engage with users and gather feedback; understand what users like and dislike about the app, and make improvements as needed.”

By no means does marketing of apps end with the release — marketers should always be adjusting their strategies where necessary, in line with the evolution of industry trends and user behaviours.

Source: Webiotic, via YouTube

Disrupting the competitive gaming space

Breaking through the noise can be a fearful prospect with much uncertainty. But by following these steps and overcoming common challenges on your marketing journey, you can successfully market your mobile app to a new or established audience and stay responsive to demand.


Marketing strategies can benefit from AI-based unstructured data analysis — With unstructured data continuing to rise, data analysis underpinned by AI can play a key role in your marketing strategy.

Developing an app suite for multi-cloud data logistics — Following a company “refounding”, Panzura is looking to disrupt the data management space by offering its multi-cloud data logistics platform, with an app suite being built on for customisation.

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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.

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Mobile Apps