September 20 2018

Talk to any app developer or marketer, and you’ll find one thing in common – everyone’s struggling with user acquisition, engagement, retention and monetization. With the number of apps in the Play Store and the App Store increasing by the day, the challenges don’t really come across as a surprise. While some apps are able to find their way, there are others that struggle to even find the right tools to get started with.

So we put together an app marketing toolkit that covers key pillars for your app growth:

  • User acquisition
  • User engagement
  • User retention
  • App analytics  

User acquisition app marketing toolkit

There are thousands of apps being launched in both the app stores – iOS and Google. With the increasing amount of competition app developers have, under every possible niche, it is important to focus on creating a long term user acquisition strategy. It should include both organic and paid tactics to reach out to your target user segment. This app marketing toolkit includes just that!

1. Gummicube – App store optimization

63% of all apps are discovered by app store search. But it requires identifying your ideal user segment, understanding how they search for apps, and targeting the right keywords is important to get maximum installs. That’s where you need Gummicube.  

2. GetSocial Smart Banners – Driving mobile web users to app

Just like app store optimization, if you have created a landing page for your app, it is a good idea to focus on converting its visitors into your users as well. GetSocial Smart Banners are customizable widgets that help you drive the traffic from mobile and desktop web to app downloads. To know more about how this smart tool works, read more.

smart banners

3. Buffer – Social media

After search, social media is the one channel that your app can acquire more users from. But to develop an app, track user activity and at the same time, manage social media profiles on a day to day basis, can be tedious. With Buffer, you can build an unlimited library of social updates for your accounts. You can even get an overview of how your posts are performing – their reach, the number of likes and shares.

4. Facebook – App ads

If you have a budget for paid user acquisition, mobile app ads can help you reach more people and nudge them to engage with your app, leading to more installs. By using screenshots or short videos, you can highlight what your app has to offer, and nudge your target user segments to install them.

5. GetSocial Smart Invites – Referral marketing

92% of people trust recommendations coming from their friends and family. The one way to ensure you can make the most of this behaviour, is to trigger a word of mouth promotion. By enabling your existing users and players to invite their friends to the app easily, you can boost your app installs for free in no time. GetSocial Smart Invites, does just that. It lets users and players invite their friends via social media and all popular chat apps, along with a personal message in just a click, increasing the participation rate in referral programs.   

See how SEGA Hardlight integrated Smart Invites to drive their referral growth:

6. App review websites

While they are not tools exactly, app review and press release websites definitely need to be a part of your app marketing toolkit. Press coverage from these high profile outlets will not just get you the initial brand awareness, but also get you installs from the right user segment. Some of these sites being Product Hunt, 148apps, App Store Apps, AppReviews and others.

Ps. Don’t forget to download this list of 200 websites you can submit your app to for reviews.

User engagement app marketing toolkit

An effective growth strategy isn’t one that stops at acquiring new users. It includes keeping the users engaged and hooked to the app for so long, that it becomes a part of their break time. Here’s the app marketing toolkit you need for better user engagement.

1. GetSocial Deep Links – Personalized app experiences

The only way to engage a newly acquired user, is to personalize their experience and nudge them towards an in-app sign up. Deep links help improve a user’s experience and increase conversions by directing them directly to the content they showed interest in, within the app. GetSocial deep links push metadata through the app stores, right into the app, so that you can even offer a seamless personalized experience to your referred users and instill gamification in no time.

app marketing toolkit - deeplink getsocial

2. GetSocial Activity Feeds – Building an in-app community

A sense of belonging to a community of people with similar interests, can keep your users and players 10X more engaged. The Activity Feed is similar to the social media newsfeed – just that it is within your app. Your users/ players can post messages, share in-app content and interact with each other here. In fact, you can use the feed to also announce important updates and respond to queries, building a highly engaged and loyal community.

fancycatsactivityfeedfeedback e
To know more about how Activity Feeds work, read here.

3. GetSocial Social Graph – Create an in-app social network

What is the one thing that makes you check Facebook again and again? Updates from your friends, and that’s exactly what you can use to keep your app users engaged too. Social Graph generates a fully automated graph that connects your existing users with their invited friends, irrespective of the channel used to acquire them. The auto connect with familiar faces in the app, leads to higher user engagement.

To know more about how Social Graph works, read here.

4. In-app friend recommendations

Once you know how a user is connected to another, you can help them grow their network in your app. Just as how friend recommendations work on Facebook, showing you people you might want to add to your list, this helps expand a user’s network and create a community that he can be a part of.

Having this ability in your marketing toolkit, can help you strategize effective user engagement strategies.  

User retention app marketing toolkit

User engagement and user retention go hand in hand. If you have a higher user engagement rate, you automatically have a good retention rate as well; and vice versa holds true too. That’s why your app marketing toolkit needs a few tools that come handy just for boosting your retention rates.

1. GetSocial Smart Audiences – User segmentation

To implement effective marketing campaigns, you need a user segmentation tool in your app marketing toolkit. Smart Audience enables you to analyse a subset of your user base, compare it with the other user segments and identify their behaviour when interacting with your app. Knowing who your power users are, those who are about to churn or those who just need a slight nudge to be active again, can go a long way in decreasing your app uninstalls.  

app marketing toolkit - smart audience
To know more about user segmentation with Smart Audiences, read more.

2. Social Notifications – Push notifications

All your efforts to keep your users engaged in-app are pointless if they don’t know of the activity happening, when they are not in the app. Social notifications serve as an effective way to bring back your users for another session, by notifying them of an activity that adds value to them or is of their interest.

For instance, where you could tie your user engagement strategies with retention is by notifying your users with push notifications when someone:

  • Likes or comments on their in-app activity
  • Mentions them in a post or a comment
  • Comments on a post they have previously interacted with
  • Accepts their friend request
  • Beats their highscore
  • And more!

Social_push_notifications_FancyDogs_portrait-e1500987332999

Also read: Getting the most out of push notifications to improve user retention

3. GetSocial Smart Targeting – Re-engaging and retaining users

To make your user retention campaigns and push notifications more effective, track the in-app behaviour of users and target them with targeted messages. Right from localization of the messages to delivering them as per their time zones at the right moment, Smart Targeting helps with re-engaging even inactive users.
Smart Targeting in GetSocial ecosystem
Learn more about how Smart Targeting works, here

App analytics

The last of your must-haves in the app marketing toolkit, is something that lets you measure the effectiveness of all your strategies and track the app growth.

1. GetSocial – Measuring acquisition, engagement and retention

With GetSocial, you can get key insights into what drives viral growth for your app, engagement and retention, all on a unified dashboard. The in-depth data allows you to not just optimize your acquisition, engagement, retention and monetization campaigns; but also the user’s journey.

app marketing toolkit - analytics
See how you can analyze social behaviour on the GetSocial dashboard, here

2. Flurry Analytics – Understanding user journey

Ever spent hours digging all the data that Google Analytics has to offer? Well, Flurry is the same – just for your app. It can give you in-depth insights into how your users are interacting with every app screen. This data can be used to segment your users and create custom journeys to keep them engaged for a longer time.
app marketing toolkit - flurry
Ps. You can still use Google Analytics if you prefer.

3. App Annie – App market data and analytics

App Annie is another popular choice for app marketers and developers. It offers in-app analytics and market data, via an easy to use platform. The data is shown in such a manner that it helps developers visualise product growth and marketers understand user behaviour at every state of their app business.

In the end, choosing an app analytics tool for your app marketing toolkit, should be all about how comfortable you are using the dashboard. You should be able to draw out actionable insights from the data and get a competitive edge over others, in no time. At the same time, your decision should also keep in mind the resources you can set aside for the subscription.

User monetization app marketing toolkit

For implementing an effective monetization strategy for your app, you need to first cover all the basics of app growth – acquisition, engagement and retention. But one of the smart tools you can use to monetize on a typical user’s behaviour, is offering a dynamic pricing.

Tools like Sweet Pricing, you can optimize your in-app purchases for every user in real time. Offering a price that appeals to a user as per their activity in the app or their purchase behaviour, increases their chances of converting.

app marketing toolkit - sweet pricing

Using the app marketing toolkit

To implement an entire growth stack, you might be torn between building or buying some of the solutions above. While it might seem like a good idea to build some solutions in-house and save costs, it also might result in you allocating too many resources towards it. In which case, buying the solution gets you on the path to app growth, faster.

To help make it easier, we put together a guide created with feedback from indie developers across the world and the tactics used by the top grossing apps.

build vs buy app marketing tool