app marketing

How to Launch Your Mobile App Successfully and Boost App Downloads

Launching a new mobile app? Discover how to leverage existing audience to gain your first app downloads and ensure a successful app launch.

Looking to launch a new mobile app to the market? It’s an exciting endeavor that certainly requires some planning and successful execution. Still, it’s not as hard as you might think.

A successful app launch will impact the visibility, user adoption, and overall success of the app significantly.

The biggest factor in driving app downloads and engagement is leveraging your existing audience - your loyal customers, fans, followers – the audience who already have a connection with your brand.

In this guide, we will explore the basic app marketing tactics that you can use to launch your mobile app successfully and gain your first users.

What Kind of an App Marketing Strategy Do You Need?

Before you start promoting your app, it’s good to have an overview of the activities you’ll do. Still, you don’t need to come up with a totally new “app marketing strategy” for an app launch. Rather, the building blocks of your strategy – audiences, messaging, positioning, branding – should remain the same with the rest of your marketing activities, just adjusted to promoting your app and demonstrating its value across channels.

In marketing your app, the value of your existing audience is crucial. It’s less common for people to find your brand through your app. Rather, they’ll discover your brand elsewhere and your app is an “upgrade” to the customer experience.

Your existing audience already has a level of trust and familiarity with your brand, making them more likely to download and engage with your app. When launching your app, focus mostly – or even strictly – on them.

We advise you to make a simple plan that you can follow when launching your app.

Let’s proceed to the key tactics and channels you can utilize, and put into your plan:

Highlight the App on Your Website

Your website is a crucial touchpoint for engaging with your audience, and the homepage is where visitors often land first. Take advantage of this prime real estate by placing eye-catching app banners prominently on the homepage.

These banners should immediately grab visitors' attention and pique their curiosity about the app. Use compelling visuals, vibrant colors, and concise, persuasive copy to create an irresistible call-to-action for downloading the app.

Visual elements play a significant role in capturing users' attention and conveying the value of your app. Create visually appealing graphics, screenshots, or even a short explainer video that showcases the app's features, user interface, and benefits.

Pair these visuals with compelling copy that clearly communicates the unique selling points of your app. Focus on the problem it solves, how it enhances users' lives, and what sets it apart from competitors. Use persuasive language and storytelling techniques to create an emotional connection and generate excitement.

Miss Universe promotes their app heavily all over their website. The Miss Universe app is one of their primary digital platforms to interact with fans.

AFTV – a digital sports media focused on Arsenal FC – has their app CTA on the right side of their website main menu.

Helsinki Cup – the 3rd largest junior football tournament in Europe – has a prominent banner of their apps on their homepage.


Create a Search Engine Optimized App Page

On your website, create an app page where visitors can easily find and download your app by providing clear and prominent links to the app store listings. Include buttons or clickable banners that lead directly to the respective app stores (Apple App Store, Google Play Store). 

In today's digital landscape, search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for improving your app's visibility and organic discoverability. Optimize your app page for search engines. This way you’ll increase its chances of appearing in relevant search results, attracting potential users who are actively searching for apps like yours.

Start by conducting keyword research to identify relevant terms that your target audience may use when searching for apps like yours. Incorporate these keywords strategically throughout the page's content, headings, meta titles, meta descriptions, and alt text for images. This will help search engines understand the purpose and relevance of your app page, increasing its chances of ranking higher in search results.

The content on your app page should be concise, informative, and well-structured, incorporating relevant keywords naturally.

This streamlined user experience reduces friction and increases the likelihood of conversions. Additionally, consider adding social proof elements such as app store ratings and reviews to build trust and further encourage downloads.

Eerikkilä – a popular sports and outdoor in Southern Finland – published a SEO-friendly news article when they launched their app in late 2022.


Optimize App Store Listings

Search engine optimization plays a big role in app store listings as well. The keywords that are used in app stores might differ from other search engines. That’s why it’s essential to conduct a specific keyword research for the app stores.

Identify relevant keywords that your target audience may use when searching for apps similar to yours. Use App Store Optimization (ASO) tools to find popular and less competitive keywords. Incorporate these keywords throughout your app store listings to improve your app's search rankings and visibility.

Craft compelling and informative descriptions and app titles that effectively communicate the value proposition of your app. Highlight its unique features, benefits, and what sets it apart from competitors. Use persuasive language and concise messaging to capture the attention of potential users.

Visual assets such as screenshots and videos are essential for app store optimization. Create captivating screenshots that showcase the most appealing and important features of your app. Use high-quality images and ensure that the screenshots effectively convey the app's functionality and user experience. Additionally, consider creating an engaging app preview video that demonstrates the app's core features and benefits. These visual elements play a crucial role in attracting users' attention and convincing them to download your app.

Positive reviews and ratings are key factors that influence potential users' decision-making process. Encourage your existing users to provide reviews and ratings for your app in the app stores. Implement strategies such as in-app prompts, email campaigns, or incentives to motivate users to share their positive experiences. Respond promptly to user reviews, addressing any concerns or issues raised, and show genuine appreciation for their feedback. Positive reviews and high ratings not only enhance your app's reputation but also contribute to improved search rankings and increased downloads.

IJF Judo – the official app for international judo tournaments – is popular among judo fans, and it shows on their Google Play app listing.


Harness the Power of Social Media

Social media platforms offer a powerful and cost-effective way to promote your mobile app to your existing audience and also expand your reach to a wider audience. Here we explore two effective strategies to leverage social media for app promotion.

Use your existing social media channels, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others, to showcase your mobile app. Craft engaging and informative posts that highlight the app's features, benefits, and unique selling points. Use visually appealing images, videos, and graphics to capture the attention of your followers. Encourage them to share and spread the word about the app within their networks. Increase app engagement by using features like voting, rating or surveys to activate your following and have them download your app.

While organic reach on social media platforms is valuable, consider allocating a portion of your marketing budget for targeted advertising. Boost your social media posts or create specific ad campaigns to ensure your audience sees your content. Utilize advanced targeting options to reach users who match your app's target demographics, interests, and behaviors. This targeted approach ensures that your app reaches the most relevant and potential users, increasing the chances of app downloads and engagement.


Miss-Universe-Instagram-01-min-1   Miss-Universe-Instagram-02-min-1   Miss-Universe-Instagram-03-min-1

A page from the social media playbook of Miss Universe. Standing currently at 5,6 million Instagram followers, the social media platform plays a big role in MU’s social media strategy. Miss Universe consistently directs their Instagram followers to their bio, to download the official pageant app.


Integrate the App into Events, Online and Offline

Events, whether online or offline, provide an excellent opportunity to promote your app and create buzz around its launch. Consider the following strategies to integrate your app into events.

If you're hosting or participating in events, position your app as an essential tool for attendees. Highlight how the app enhances their event experience, such as providing event schedules, maps, networking features, and exclusive content. Create awareness through event-specific marketing materials, including banners, signage, and promotional materials. Encourage event attendees to download the app and engage with its features to maximize their event experience.

Use Your Existing Channels and Resources

Don't underestimate the power of your internal resources when it comes to app promotion. Your employees and existing communication channels can play a vital role in driving app downloads.

Motivate your employees to become ambassadors for the app by sharing news about the launch on their personal social media channels. Their networks may consist of individuals who align with your target audience, making it an effective way to expand your reach organically.

Add a promotional line or a call-to-action banner about the app in the email signatures of your employees. This ensures that every email they send becomes an opportunity to generate awareness and downloads for the app.

If you have an email list, promote your app to your followers on the list as well. Craft engaging emails that highlight the app's benefits and features and provide a direct link for users to download.

My signature as an example. Along with links to my the social accounts of Choicely and myself, you'll find a link to our app along with the link to our website.


A successful app launch consists of using multiple channels in tandem. Incorporate various tactics into your app marketing strategy and you can maximize your app's visibility, attract potential users, and boost app downloads.

When you tap into your existing audience and networks, you’ll maximize your odds of success as you reach the audience that’s the most engaged with you and the most aware of your brand.

Here’s a checklist of the activities that you should do, or at least consider, when launching your app:

  • Create and optimize your listings in the app stores
  • Encourage users to leave reviews of the app
  • Create an app page on your website, link to the app stores, and optimize the page for search engines
  • Showcase the app visibly on your website, starting from your home page
  • Promote your app in your social media channels
  • Boost your social media updates with paid advertising
  • Promote your app to your email list
  • Encourage your employees to promote the app on their personal social media accounts
  • Put a link to your app in your email signature
  • Promote your app at your events, make it a staple of the event experience

With these activities, you’ll get the most out of your existing channels and following, with a small budget.

It’s also important to continuously monitor and analyze the performance of your marketing efforts to refine your approach and drive sustainable growth for your mobile app.

With well-executed app marketing efforts, your app can stand out and achieve a strong and engaged userbase.

Remember, launching a mobile app is just the beginning of the journey. Ongoing user engagement with content creation, push messages, marketing efforts, user feedback collection, and updates are vital to maintain momentum and continuously improve the app's performance and user satisfaction.

Read more: how to run a mobile app in your daily work.


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