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App Distribution Strategies: Does Paid App Promotion Work?

Is paid app promotion something you should try?

That is the big question we’ll tackle over this multi-part series on: if, when, and how to buy media with the aim of gaining maximum app distribution. As discussed in previous pieces with the onset of 2016 we are seeing a number of trends in the app development space chief among them are the challenges faced by indie developers and small shops in getting their apps into the public mindset. Getting a new app into the Google Play or App Store is one thing, but if it is in the store and no-one installs it, is it really in the store? Much like the proverbial tree in the forest, if no one is aware of your app then is it really in the public marketplace?

Over the next month we’ll take a look at ways to ensure people are aware of your App, as well as ways to amplify that through paid app promotion. Before we look at paid media we need to go through a basic check list for app launch. All of these need to be considered and checked off prior to entering the marketplace or you’ll ensure failure before you have even started.

Make sure the product is fully baked, you have one good shot to engage a user and make them a customer, make it count. Do not launch with your most engaging features untested or with the promise of a new release next. Do not let what happened to “Ello” happen to you, be ready and developed enough to capitalize on your earned media coverage. You’ll never the users you turn off or bore back, just ask Twitter.

Here are some other basic steps to undertake before testing paid app promotion:

1.) Consider and execute and SEO plan. You need to be easily find-able. Much of your early traffic and traffic amplified by paid media will search for you, if they can't easily find you that is wasted media. Here are two useful links on the subject:

2.) Build a social media presence. Social media will help with SEO, it will make you more find-able, and make you more shareable. Social media is an important layer to successful app distribution because it earns mind share. It also gives you a chance to organically interact with customers. Down the line it will become a good place to buy traffic.

3.) Integrate a sharing functionality in your app, current users are your best advocates, leverage them, make it easy for them to show you off to their friends.

4.) Engage in some basic PR. You needn’t retain an expensive agency but some basic press release work and securing some reviews of your app will aid credibility and distribution.

Once the above is addressed we can begin to think about paid app promotion as a distribution channel. We'll cover the execution, tracking, and optimization of those campaigns in our next segment on paid app promotion.

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