Co-founder of Tapstream.com, helping mobile app makers acquire and retain users.
Experienced with many forms of user acquisition on mobile, from SEO and social to paid on mobile ad networks.
CEO and Co-Founder of Tapstream - mobile marketing platform. Deep understanding of the mobile ecosystem and best options for effective marketing (paid and ASO) and app monetization on iOS and Android.
There's a lot of info on ASO out there, so I suggest hitting up a few blogs that write about it. Here's an overview we published just a couple of weeks ago:
Are you able to say who your audience is? Marketing a game vs a travel app vs a productivity app will require very different plans.
Certain concepts work a lot better as apps and don't make a lot of sense as web services. I would strongly encourage you to read how Trevor succeeded with his Spanish Bible app - as niche as you get:
And don't be afraid to charge money for your apps (either upfront or as an in-app purchase). Advertising doesn't work for every vertical.
How close is the app to completion?
If it's almost done you should really do a soft-launch and prove some of your assumptions out (see http://blog.tapstream.com/post/71538606229/the-art-of-soft-launching ).
Otherwise, it takes a strong track record in building successful apps to impress investors, or some very unique domain expertise. The mobile app space is extremely competitive.
Just so you know, Apple rarely approves apps for subscription billing so you will likely have to build your own billing backend.
It really depends on if you're optimizing for cost or speed.
If you have time constraint and need to move fast you basically pay for it with bigger upfront budgets. You will definitely "waste" more of your marketing budget going this route but you will also get you to your goal much quicker (basically, you're buying the data you need to scale).
If you don't have a large marketing budget, then you really don't have an option but to start small and expand.
In both of these scenarios it is critical to instrument your app properly so you are getting good data on conversion rates, engagement and LTV. If you're not sure that you are collecting this data properly I'd do a smaller test campaign before going all-in on a big marketing push.
Make sure to look at their previous work, and that what you're building is well within their comfort zone. If you want to build an app or a game that breaks new grounds on UX or visuals you really do need the top talent to get you there.
It can be pretty common. It's different for different networks, some will over-report and some under-report. Google for example generally under-reports conversions, so we adjust for that on our end. Social buys generally over-report due to bots etc. It's definitely annoying but once you get your baseline metrics down you can better estimate your true costs and revenue.
To put it simply: their VCs.
Take a look at who funded them:
Seed (12/2013) $1.43M
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Series A (3/2014) $8.6M
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
(from http://www.crunchbase.com/company/secret )
Many from this list are using the app, talking about the app (very often), and creating the air of inevitability. Their social networks are extremely influential. There were apps similar to Secret before, but none with such A List supporters behind it.
Success should be defined relative to your category. If you're marketing a game your criteria will be different than if you're launching a 99-cent weather app. For example, take a look at download numbers required to enter top 25 in a few different categories:
Your strategy to get there will have to also depend on your vertical, but generally it involves a mix of paid user acquisition (via mobile ad networks), organic acquisition through social, viral and web, and finally look at potential for dominating App Store search (ASO).
We really benefited from allowing ourselves ample time to test the app. Firstly, it helps you perfect the app but we found more importantly, it actually helped with the marketing.
We used TestFlight but HockeyApp is also great. (neither solution is a joy to use, mainly due to limitations Apple places on distribution of test builds). Getting 10-50 users to test is usually sufficient unless you're testing a multi-player game that requires more players to test the in-game dynamics. In those cases, it's often better to go straight to a soft-launch in a smaller English-speaking country (see http://blog.tapstream.com/post/71538606229/the-art-of-soft-launching )
I mentioned how your beta test can actually help your marketing efforts: use the beta to create buzz and aura of exclusivity around your app. Get people with large social followings to test it, enjoy it and talk about it before it's released. Have a LaunchRock or similar lander to capitalize on that buzz and to collect emails for a waiting list to use for launch. This can give you a serious ranking boost on the launch day!
Really great. Lots of things covered!
Great advice, direct and to the point. Lays out potential options and then helps clear up grey areas.
Slaven is amazing. I had some questions regarding mobile marketing and tracking and he was a wealth of knowledge.