Your business has moved to the new orbit – you are going to develop a mobile app. Behind all arrangements with finding a decent developers’ team, do you keep in mind another fundamental thing that may define the success of your startup? Particularly, mobile app marketing.
Of course, we hope you reasoned out the cost to promote your app in advance and thoroughly planned your mobile app marketing budget before hiring developers.
When it’s time to estimate marketing budget for a mobile app?
Marketing your application is not an afterthought neither a one-time effort. It is something that should be initiated before you even start to plan the app’s creation and continued throughout its lifetime.
We understand all the power of marketing, that’s why we are able to give recommendations to our clients that refer to expenditures faced on the way of app development.
Based on our extensive experience and understanding of our clients’ business environment, we’d like to guide startuppers through the most crucial nuances of mobile app marketing.
Why does an app have to be promoted?
You can’t entrust your app’s success to the stroke of luck or mouth-to-mouth popularity. Today app’s owners compete for the positions in app stores. If your iOS app is listed hundreds of swipes away from the top, a potential customer has a small chance of being noticed. That’s why it’s so important to estimate budget for mobile app marketing beforehand and gradually move towards your goal.
Read also: How to Market Your Mobile App?
Fortunately, there are numerous ways to advertise and promote your custom app and boost ROI, many of which are free or almost free. Nevertheless, they all need close attention of your CMO. Keep on reading to become aware of them.
How to plan a mobile app marketing budget in 4 steps?
In order to calculate mobile application marketing budget, you need to take several steps.
Stage 1. Pre-MVP stage implies your own savings, loans, and crowdfunding
Perform analysis and market research.
- Nail down the reasons why you need to have an app built.
- Develop the business model you would need to follow by understanding which problem your application solves.
- Define the number of your future users. Besides, you will need to know CPI (cost per install – a sum you will pay to the network).
- Think out supposed monetization ways (premium features, ads, in-app purchases, one-time download fee) and set cost for your app.
- Social media. That’s an essential leverage that helps you make a statement with your online presence.
- Create a landing page that would serve as a teaser prior to your app’s launch. Video intro would be great as well.
- Listen to other developer’s opinion. Join entrepreneurs groups and online communities (like Reddit, Quora and Facebook groups like App Entrepreneurs and Marketers) to start socializing with people for building your reputation and asking for their advice and expertise. You may also share your project with them by going to conferences and tech meetups.
Stage 2. MVP development and release stage with angel investments
Test your idea. Create MVP and obtain angel investments. You may gain an insight into the nuances of apps’ demo versions by reading our article on this topic.
Submit the polished version of your app to stores after it is built. This is when your project’s MVP is ready, so it’s the right time to put the best endeavors into marketing and advertising.
Nail down the key attributes that influence app marketing costs:
- Chosen platform(s)
- Desired content
- Functionality and features
- Security requirements
- Scalability of the app
- Chosen geolocation and target audience
- Expected number of users
- Your project budget
- Assist others. Answer people’s questions on Quora and Reddit and don’t forget to mention your app’s name – that would be a smart advertisement means. But mind that the community would not welcome the flat-out self-promotion.
- Look at competitors. Viewing lots of similar apps in app stores should not be considered as a bad sign. It means that the idea is in demand and your app will find its market. For example, you may utilize a ready-made ASO platform Mobile Action, where you may detect your main competitors. Find their weak sides and turn them into your benefits, enhancing user experience.
- Keep a blog. Well-developed blog platform guarantees you more potential customers since Google’s search algorithm is able to identify quality content and gets your website to higher positions in the search. This is your chance to lift your rating for free.
- Let your customers contact you (within the app, from the app support page, via the website or social media).
- Listen to your customers’ ideas and answer them (as far as practicable). Once they contact you, take possible measures on what they are suggesting.
Stage 3. Beta version, seed funding
Create a beta version of the product and gain seed investments. Your idea should already be tested, fashioned and prepared to launch. You have already received a feedback, and a startup is able to make adjustments to the strategy for better satisfaction of target audience’s needs.
• Book advertising space (you may do it at Buysellads, for instance)
• Become a guest blogger. Contribute to other web pages and share your expertise, and you’ll be given with possibility to put a link back to your application into your bio.
• Keep contacts with writers and journalists in the niche. If you find people who are inspired by writing about your niche, you may receive a strong content support.
• Identify other influencers. Know whose expertise in your field is valuable and reach out to them.
• Apply for app awards. Today there are plenty of organizations that give awards to newly minted apps that offer something innovative, functional and beautifully designed.
Stage 4. Life-time product
Continue with a life-time app marketing. Remember that from now on you need to control, revise and advance your marketing efforts on a regular basis.
- Set up your personal website (and, optionally, a domain name).
- Engage your audience and stir up their interest.
- – Run regular contests. Ask your audience to complete a task (tweet, share content or invite friends) and reward them publicly.
- – Offer discounts. If in-app purchases are your strategy, choose days, at which you would give them at cheaper prices. Let the users know about it via push notifications or email newsletters.
- – Stimulate feedback. For instance, get your users to rate your app.
- Take care of App Store Optimization. If you wish your app is found faster in app stores, optimize your icon, title, keywords, and description. For iOS apps, it can be done in iTunes Connect and for Android on Google Play.
- Monitor your business. Use analytic tools like AppAnnie or Flurry to get understanding on how users interact with your application
How much does it cost to market an app and reach top positions in the app store?
Basically, emanate from $1.2-1.6 as your CPI for your iPhone and Android app. If you want your app to make it into the top 10 free apps on iTunes in the US in Music category, it should generate 111,551 installations daily. Impressing figures, right? That’s why it is easier to reach the tops in some app category in smaller countries.
How to attain more installs? You may do it manually by employing some marketing analysts, or by utilizing automated tools. There are many mobile app marketing services at your disposal, which will analyze users’ actions find the best platforms and traffic sources. Some examples: AppLift, MobPartner, Sponsormob, AppInTop.
How much does it cost to market an app for a startup?
Basic CPI formula is:
CPI = Cost for ad / Number of new installs, tied to ad campaign
Let’s say you optimized your CPI to $1.5. In this case, your daily budget would be a number of needed daily installations multiplied by CPI, namely, $111,551*1.5= $16,726.5.
Maintaining social media and blogs will cost you minimum $3-5K per month, advertising – minimum $500, organization of events – about $3K, branding agencies will ask $4-5K, and a manageable website would require $500 from you, etc. Be prepared to spend more if need be, and plan your budget beforehand.
To be specific, for young companies (that have been existing for up to 3 years) it is recommended spending 5 to 10 percent of your company’s gross profit in marketing, 20 percent if you are in a competitive industry. For more mature enterprises (being in business about 5 years), it goes to sticking up to 10 to 25 percent for this purpose.
What should you actually measure with analytic tools?
- Performance and quality metrics
- Users, their engagement and retention metrics
- Behavior metrics
- Revenue metrics
- Number of downloads /installs
- Lifetime Value
Ordering our services, you may be sure that we will help you plan your budget for marketing a mobile app starting from the very first steps to all post-launch arrangements, to perform business analysis of project requirements and advice on the best ways of your application’s promotion.
Read also: Do you need to update your app?
We will accompany you throughout the whole course of mobile app development, taking care of all the aspects of its auspicious launch. That’s why we offer not solely design and development services, but custom marketing solutions, taking pre- and post-launch app advertising cost into account.