So you just came up with a mind-blowing idea for an app that’s going to change the world and inevitably land you on the cover of Wired. Great job! So, now what?

Before answering that, take a second to imagine all of the fish in the world thrown into a fraction of the ocean. Now, assume that the number of fish is multiplying as you read this, and that only the most popular fish have a chance of surviving. See where this is going?

Development aside, getting an app noticed once it’s on the market is no easy feat. Furthermore, with a rapidly evolving, technology-driven landscape to keep up with, just about every step of the process can feel intimidating.

Here are a few back-to-basics tips to help you take a smart approach and maintain a strategic mobile app marketing plan:

1. Competitive Research

It may seem obvious, but the importance of performing a thorough competitive analysis before taking any steps toward development can’t be overemphasized. Even if you think your app will be 100% unique, chances are high that there’s at least one app out there with some overlapping functionality.

 app store(s), and through firsthand use. Pay special attention to feature sets and customer reviews.Take the time to know your primary competitors through the lens of their websites, their presence in the

You might have an extremely thorough and well-funded mobile app marketing operation in the wings, but if you skip this step, you’ll be jumping into a fight blindfolded.

2. Opportunity vs Market Saturation

Once you’ve identified and analyzed the competition, you’ll be equipped to determine whether opportunities exist for your app – or whether you’re faced with market saturation. When it comes to mobile app marketing, your attention should be focused on analyzing a few primary areas:

  • Competitor Features
  • User Reviews of Similar Apps
  • Funding and Market Penetration of Primary Competition

This is your crossroads: if the market is in fact saturated, it’s back to the drawing board (or the day job). Keep in mind, developing an app is not especially cheap. If it’s not saturated, you can determine where the strongest gaps exist among the competitors to come up with your “must-have” feature set – which will help guide decisions like the interface, aesthetics, required budget, and the price of your app.

3. Concentrated Visibility and a Good Story

Having performed the necessary due diligence on upfront, your app will have a much better chance of success once it’s been developed – but the work is hardly over. A successful mobile app marketing plan creates a high level of visibility in a concentrated period of time, increasing the chances for a spike in sales and a self-perpetuating strong position in app store rankings.

Assuming you have a killer feature set and are serving a unique niche, another great tool is to establish an interesting angle and/or topical story around your app, making it even more irresistible to reviewers and the media.

4. Channel Execution

Finally, the mobile app marketing plan should execute on a number of channels best suited to reach your target audience. These can include but are not limited to:

  • Website and blog
  • Social media
  • Press release and reviewer outreach
  • Promo codes
  • Submittal to app directories
  • Mobile advertising
  • Cross-app marketing
  • Online and print advertising
  • Post-launch user engagement and app updates

Like any good marketing plan, your mobile app marketing strategy should be guided by sound research and analysis. What successes and failures have you encountered marketing your apps? Let us know in the comments below.

Simple Machines Marketing