Image Credit: blog.busyflow.com
I wish you could feel the enthusiasm inside me while writing about this topic which falls under my favorites. Whether you are making a traditional mobile application or an iOS / Android game, pre launch marketing strategy is a crucial step on the way to success.
Let’s assume you have a clear idea of your upcoming mobile or tablet application. Successful marketing is a long-term process full of inventiveness and planning throughout whole development cycle from pre-production phase to post-release and every of these stages has its own specific channels and marketing tools which work in synergy.
Big shots in mobile industry always start their marketing activities few months prior to official release. For example, Rovio started Bad Piggies campaign six months before the game was launched.. We will discuss their practices in details very soon. Now let’s talk about specific communication channels you can use during pre-production phase.
A well-crafted microsite with basic information about your upcoming application is compulsory. I highly recommend to include an email subscribe field as well with clearly explained benefits to your potential users. For example, you can provide them with a discount or exclusive content for subscribing into your list. Email marketing is still one of the strongest communication tools and you can achieve a huge amount of initial installs just by notifying your subscribers. Start creating the expectancy effect as soon as possible.
If you have no real content which can be used on microsite for now, just use a simple subscribe form. As your development continues, you can add screenshots, video trailer, press kit, forums, Social media links, etc. Also, don’t forget to mention your release date and supported platforms. This is one great example of an upcoming application microsite:
Rich blog content is useful for pouring additional traffic to your microsite. If you already have some kind of personal or corporate blog with consistent posting don’t hesitate to use it and cover different aspects of your upcoming application – Establish a dialogue about a problem you want to solve or new game mechanics you are going to use.
Social media presence is not a question but a rule. In mobile application business you simply need it. Set up a Facebook page and Twitter account for regular information stream to your future customers or players and place Like and Follow buttons on your microsite. Keep posting updates, new screenshots and other information related to your app.
Also, set up a YouTube channel where you are going to upload a video trailer or various behind-the-scenes videos. Add your microsite’s URL into your video channel description to increase SEO link juice for your microsite. Be active on Reddit, answer questions on Quora or talk on LinkedIn. But don’t spam. I personally hate spam. Everyone hates spam.
There are plenty of opportunities out there to join forum conversations and threads in your topic. Try Macworld or Ars Technica forums or TouchArcade for games. Many other websites from our mobile application portfolio have forums too.
Press release and early buzz
If your upcoming application is provoking enough, don’t hesitate to publish an early press release. Maybe you have unique solution for another first-world problem or your next game will create a whole new game notion. Don’t give up when journalists ignore you since they receive a truckload of new emails every day. I just love how Joel, the co-founder of Buffer says that they have started their own publishing platform because simply no one else agreed to write for them and their application.
Screenshots and video trailer
Picture is worth a thousand words. Polished screenshots on your microsite and Social media channels usually build a strong engagement rate with many shares and likes. Another option is to send unique screenshots to your email subscribers first and afterwards ask people to share your content on Social media.
Now, at the verge of the production/launch phase you should be already getting ready for a big launch. Start contacting your future user acquisition and mobile application marketing partners. Two weeks or even one month before your planned release is too late. Don’t underestimate this step and be ready when the time comes. I will soon tell you what to do after you launch your application in the air.