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How to Increase Your Mobile App Installs – Part 2: Paid Methods

Posted by Ben Dickson on Oct 13, 2015 12:00:00 PM
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In the first part of this series, I underlined the importance of increasing app installs and overviewed some of the organic methods that can help increase your visibility and give you more app installs.

In this part I’ll go through some of the paid methods and tools that can give your marketing campaign a boost. But beforehand, I should point out that paid tools should be used with a specific strategy in mind to make sure that you receive the biggest bang for the buck and produce the most impact for the investment you make.  

Offer discounts and free trials

If you’re deploying a paid app, consider offering a discount – perhaps a whopping 50 percent off – for a limited period of time. This trick can be especially successful if you already have a solid medium-sized user base in place and are running a CPI (click-per-install) campaign at the same time. You can also consider subscribing in one of apps that promote discounted apps.

If you’re new to the trade and you’ve just deployed your app, free trials can do a wonder to attract audience. Users can’t find out about the goodies your app offers unless they hear about it from other users – or get to try it for themselves.

It might sound risky at first, but if you’re really delivering an innovative and revolutionary app – which you undoubtedly are – a free trial period (anything ranging from a week to a month) can do you a lot of good. It gets users to become familiar with your app, get used to it, get to love it, and potentially purchase it.

Even if they do not make the purchase, you can be confident that the trial users will be spreading the word about it and possibly attract many more users. Since this will most likely be done through social media platforms, make sure that your app and the relevant website have easy-to-share features in order to facilitate the process.

PR services

There are services that will get the word out for a fee. You can write a press release for your app and send it the one of these PR services, and they’ll take care of the distribution for you. There are even some services that are specific to the mobile app industry and will contact a massive number of related blogs and publications on your behalf.

But be careful that writing a press release is a tough business and must be done with care. If you don’t have the necessary skills in-house, consider outsourcing it to a freelance writer. Given that you’re already planning to invest in paid PR, it pays to spend a little more to have it done professionally.  


Get the word out to audiences that matter: The Indie Dev's Crash Course Guide To Mobile PR


 Also, before going for PR fees, consider contacting or writing to mobile app and tech blogs and telling them about your app. If you’ve got something very interesting to offer, you might succeed in catching the attention of some journalist who is eager to write about your app. Medium-sized publications are especially suitable for this option, because you’ll tend to remain in their highlights for a longer time, which will effectively direct more traffic to your app.

Getting your first publication can help you attract the attention of more blogs and publishers, especially those that are smaller than your first one. But don’t repeat your press release to each one and try to give them each a unique story and perspective.

If you’re new in the app development market and are having problems drawing attention, paid review services can help give you a start boost. By tapping into these services, you can get experts to review your app and give an honest, professional opinion. This can help a lot in establishing your credibility and reputation as an app developer.

Paid boosts

Most of the traffic resulting from searches in mainstream app stores comes from the first fifty results. If you can actually get your app within that threshold, you’re guaranteed to start generating a steady flow of installs for your app. Paid boosts can help you get there.

One option is to use CPI campaigns. These are tools that advertise your app on different sites and platforms for a fee. The good thing about them is that you only have to pay for each install. AppBoost is one such tool, which can generate installs for your app at a minimal fee, and also offers useful asides such as reviews, which can in turn drive more organic traffic to your app.

Please note that CPI campaigns are not there to help you make money – they will only help propel you to the top 50 list of your niche, after which you can be sure to get your money’s worth. So if you’re already have a relatively high rate of downloads, giving it a short CPI boost can quickly get you within the magic threshold. If not, CPI can end up becoming a waste of money and have poor ROI.

Another useful and cost-effective method is to use paid ads in social media networks. Since these platforms gather a lot of data on users’ tastes and preferences, they can be an effective method to reach out to people who are more likely to be interested and possibly purchase your app. For instance, Facebook ads have some nice options that can optimize your ads for app installs and narrow down the audience that receives your ads.  

Final thoughts

Increasing mobile app installs should be a meticulously planned process. There’s no silver bullet and no single trick will pull the feat. Lay out your road map and use a combination of the organic and paid methods to see what works best for you.


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