How to Make an App Go Viral

December 7, 2016 | Rob LaPointe

Going Viral is an app owner’s dream – it means that millions of people have downloaded their app – and it means they’re going to start making Scrooge McDuck amounts of money [Note: Diving into the pile of cash made off a viral app is not recommended]. But how do you make an app reach that sweet spot? How do you get people to download your app – and to keep downloading it?

There are some accepted methods to creating an app that goes viral, including:

1. Research;

Researching the market is vital. A successful enterprise venture researches everything from competitors to influencers to the target user population.

2. Conversion;

Using modern data analysis tools, App owners can test multiple iterations of their app download page; these tools allow webmasters to really determine what design has the most successful visitor-to-user conversion rate.

3. Innovative Marketing tactics;

Marketing is vastly different today than it was even 20 years ago. The internet provides app owners with access to billions of potential users; but an app need to make some noise to be heard.

4. User Engagement;

User Engagement is majorly important to an app going viral. In order for an app to go viral, people need to talk about it. To get people talking, an app needs to hook them in. The more a user is on an app the more they will talk about it

5. Design

A well thought out design is crucial to a viral app marketing strategy. An app cannot go viral without Social Media. Not only that, but the social sharing aspect of the internet is massive; people love sharing things with friends and family for all sorts of reasons. Make Sharing buttons prominent, so users can’t miss them.

6. Content

We won’t cover this in too much detail because this is pretty clear. Create content that is engaging, fun, and clear. Nobody talks about crappy content (except negatively).

But these are all some common methods and we’ve talked about them before. What we want to do today is to drill down into some real specific strategies; not just use social media, but how you can use Facebook and Instagram to drive installs.

One more thing before we dive into this: The timing of this post is no coincide. As early as 2012, industry leaders were talking about how the holiday season drives install. No joke, there was a 60% increase in app downloads on December 25-31, 2012 as compared to the week before Christmas! And that was 4 years ago!

The holidays mean sitting around with family. It means talking about things – like apps that really cool or useful. So if you want to launch a viral marketing campaign, now is the time. Don’t hesitate any longer, just email our team of marketing experts.

How Facebook and Instagram can Make your App Go Viral

Most of us think about these two Social Media platforms, we think of ways to communicate with absent relatives and friends, ways to share our lives with distant loved ones. Or a way to discover new passions and hobbies (or to reinvigorate old ones).

But think about that from the perspective of a Marketer: it’s a place where people go to talk about everything, including the apps they use. It’s where people go to find new toys – like apps. And it’s where they go to find tools to make their lives easier – like…well you get the idea. So naturally, Social media is an attractive resource for marketers.

Posting and Facebook page creations are all industry standard tactics, but one that often goes unused is direct contact of gatekeepers. Think about it: over a half billion people use Instagram. And that’s nothing on Facebooks 1.79 billion users.

Both Social Media platforms have people that create accounts and groups for very specific purposes, such as a Facebook Group for Makeup artists, or an Instagram account that focuses on outdoor activities like hiking. These accounts holders and group Leaders are what marketers call Gatekeepers of Key Influencers

So what the Viral marketer needs to do is to identify these people. Try to find a keyword that best sums up what your app does – this is supposed to be a targeted approach, not throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. And don’t just email the top 10 results. Do some research, see which groups or accounts are the best fit for your product. See which influencers have the most followers.

Once you have a handful of influencers that really match your service, email them. Send them a link to your app, tell them why you’re emailing them, and start the process of setting up a promotional project. On Facebook, this can often be done for free. Many Facebook Influencers will promote you – as long as you return the favor.

But these are low-value targets. You want professional promoters here. There are thousands of top influencers who routinely promote apps they like on their Facebook or Instagram accounts. Yes, they will cost you. Sometimes the cost is negligible; sometimes it’s not. Use your best judgment to identify which influencers are worth top dollar.

We understand that the temptation is to simply go the free option. After all, who doesn’t like free? But if you want your app to go Viral, it’s going to cost. Of course, the potential rewards are mind-boggling. Again, Scrooge McDuck.

Social Media isn’t the only trick to an effective Viral marketing campaign. SDI has reinvented ways to use AI and extremely targeted direct emailing to drive downloads and improve user retention. We can even build effective referral programs to increase app sharing by rewarding users. Give us a call at 408.805.0495/408.621.8481 – or click to contact us!

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