Seven Strategies to Increase App Downloads

Jenna Rodrigues
June 10, 2021

Before you can get users to interact with your app and make in-app purchases, you need to get them to download your app in the first place. Yet when users go to the App Store, they are presented with thousands of apps calling their name, just waiting for the user to add them to the sea of app icons on their phone. So given the extensive competition, what can you do to set your app apart from the others and ultimately increase app downloads?

Here are seven simple strategies you can implement to get more users to download your app.

1. Invest in App Store Optimization

App Store Optimization (ASO) is a strategy that helps you get your app to rise to the top of search rankings within a certain category on the App Store. In order to develop a successful ASO strategy, you’ll need to make sure that you understand who your customers are, what keywords your customers use to search for apps like yours, and how you can position your content and imagery to move your app to the top of the search results.

Investing in ASO efforts can help you increase app downloads because approximately 63% of mobile apps are discovered through searches on the App Store, making it critically important that users are able to quickly find your app when searching organically on the App Store. Developing an effective ASO strategy makes it easier for new users to discover your app in the first place, which is the first step involved in getting them to take the jump and download your app. Once you get a user onto your app’s page, they are significantly more likely to download the app, which is why investing in ASO is so important when you’re trying to increase downloads.

2. Build a Supporting Website

A great first step in increasing downloads is to build brand awareness through creating a basic website. This will give users a place to go when they want to learn more about your app and what it offers to them. Additionally, a website is a great place for you to store more detailed content about your value proposition and to go into more detail in explaining the different app features.

It is key to make sure that when you design a basic website or landing page that the branding is aligned with the branding of the app itself. Make sure that you use colors and fonts on your website that are the same as the colors and fonts that users will see when they download your actual app so that you are promoting a streamlined brand image. Through creating a website, you’ll build out a central hub where you can share more detailed content about your app, which you can then link to in other branded communications.

3. Spend Time Doing Content Marketing

As either part of your website or on an external platform, you might also consider creating a blog where you talk about topics related to your app’s mission. This can give you a space to demonstrate who you are as a brand and what you have to say in the respective topic area. Through positioning your company as a thought leader in the space, it will drive additional people to your app and ultimately increase downloads.

When creating content for your blog, you might consider a combination of different types of content. For some articles, you may choose to focus more directly on your app and its associated features through discussing any new app news, new and existing features and how users can get the most out of these features, and changes to the user experience. You should also go beyond the scope of product-oriented content and develop content more broadly related to the ‘why’ of your product that really hits on the app’s mission.

4. Promote the App on Social Media

Another way to help users learn about your app is through building out a social presence for your brand. You can create accounts on social channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. While physically setting up these brand accounts is free, it is important to acknowledge that it takes a lot of time and effort to maintain an active presence across all platforms to the extent that you can effectively leverage these platforms to both create new content and establish a dialogue with potential new users and existing app users.

Given the time demands associated with pushing out consistent content across all platforms, you might consider adopting two to three social channels in the beginning that are most applicable to your industry and most suited towards your target audience. Each platform that you decide to adopt often requires a different strategy in order to capitalize on the full potential platform value. You’ll need to release consistent content and spend some time on community engagement on each platform that you adopt to ultimately build brand awareness and get users to download your app. While it can take several months to build out a social media presence, this is a great long-term user acquisition strategy that will help you in the long run.

5. Create a Demo Video

If users feel that they will be able to get use out of your app and will understand how to use your app once they download it, they will be more likely to download your app in the first place. One way in which you can make them feel more confident in their ability to navigate the user experience upon downloading your app is to create one or more demo videos to show them how to actually use the core features on your app.

Demo videos are valuable, as they can decrease the learning curve for users and decrease the ambiguity associated with getting acquainted with a new app, which will inherently make them more inclined to download the app. When creating a demo video, make sure to write a script that addresses the problem you think your users face and how your app provides a solution. Keep your demo video fairly short to increase engagement and keep the tone positive such that the content is focused on the benefits that your app provides to users.

6. Continue to Improve the Product

The launch of your app should not be the end but rather just the beginning of the design and development process. Once your app is live, you can set up tracking that will allow you to better understand how users interact with your app in real time so that you can make improvements to the features and user experience accordingly. Be sure to give users a place to share any feedback or negative experiences so that you can continue to improve the quality of your app and acquire new users.

When users provide feedback, respond promptly and work to fix any bugs as soon as possible so the users who caught the bugs don’t discourage other users from downloading the app. If users who already like your existing app continue to see new features pop up and see the user experience improve over time, they will be more likely to use the app more frequently. They will also be more likely to share their experiences with their friends which will ultimately lead to more app downloads through word of mouth marketing.

7. Encourage User Reviews

If you’re trying to increase your app downloads, spend time trying to secure strong user reviews. This will ultimately help you to build the reputation of your app and will also help your app to move up in the rankings. Given many potential users like to see what other people think of the app before downloading it, increasing positive reviews can help to convince new users that your app is worth downloading once they find it.

Additionally, investing in collecting user reviews is a great way to interact with your customers. Through responding quickly to their reviews, it gives you an opportunity to demonstrate how responsive you are and begin to develop a two way dialogue with the users who are ultimately responsible for dictating the level of your app’s success. In order to encourage users to write reviews, strategically push out notifications within the user experience when you believe user satisfaction will be high. However, it’s important to remember that if you seek out user reviews before the app quality is at its best, you will ultimately end up hurting your rankings and your ability to attract new users. Make sure that you first focus on improving your app’s quality, and once you feel confident about the quality of the app’s features, start investing time and energy in getting more user reviews to increase your app downloads.

Next Steps to Take to Increase App Downloads

Regardless of the quality of your mobile app, it is important to invest time in promoting your app if you want to attract new users and get them to find and download your app. While there are several additional ways to increase app downloads through paid media, these seven strategies can serve as a great starting point if you are trying to increase app downloads without shelling out a ton of extra cash. If you’re still scratching your head and want some more guidance on how to increase app downloads, schedule a free consultation with our audience and revenue experts to get started.

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