App marketing can be extremely lucrative–just ask the developers of super-popular games or productivity apps. Unfortunately, developing and publicizing an app can be extremely expensive. If you provide the app content yourself to a designer or developer, you can expect to spend at least $8,000, and games cost far more–approximately $125,000 to $250,000. These costs are just for development–they don’t include marketing.
You’ll need to devote a substantial chunk of your project budget to marketing efforts if you want to get a return on your investment into your app development. Although you don’t want to cut corners when it comes to marketing–poor marketing will lead to few sales–there are several ways to save money on your marketing budget while still getting the word out about your app to your target customers.
How Much Should Marketing Cost?
The amount you spend depends on how much you hope to earn with your app. However, in order to earn more than $50,000 on your app, you probably want to put about $30,000 into marketing; that’s the average developers who earned at this level put into their campaigns.
Part of your plan should be to start with low-cost or no-cost marketing efforts. Although these efforts won’t get you the high earnings you want, they may allow you to earn enough on your app that you can begin to put money into your marketing efforts. There are several low-cost methods you can use to begin to garner attention for your app.
- Feature apps in the iTunes store or Google Play store. You’re competing with over 900,000 apps, so you want to be listed on the front page when people search for apps like yours. To improve your app store SEO, make sure to feature clear, professional screenshots that demonstrate exactly what the app does and how easy it is to use. You’ll also want a clean, attractive avatar for use in these stores.
- Create a tightly focused PR campaign. Writing a press release or two isn’t enough. You’ll need to write releases with angles that appeal to your ideal clients and get them in front of the right journalists so that they actually get published. You may want to consider hiring a PR specialist to help you with this; don’t spend more than a couple thousand on this to begin.
- Go to networking events. At these events you can get to know other people in the industry as well as writers and journalists who might be willing to give you some publicity.
- Plan for in-app purchases when developing your app. These types of purchases generate more revenue, which you can then use to supplement your advertising budget.
Keep Track of Results
In order to maximize your marketing dollars, you must put them towards activities that generate the most increase in sales and conversions. Thus, it’s important to track the results of each marketing activity. Then, when you have more revenue available, put more money into the types of activities that get results.