If you build an app that’s creative, time saving, interesting, fun, or useful in any way, there are going to be people out there who want to buy it. The hard part is finding them and letting them know that your product exists among the millions of other fun, creative, and useful apps that are out there all vying for their attention.
Marketing and advertising are the best ways to make yourself known, as we’ve been over recently. But, where are you advertising, and who are you marketing to? To answer these questions, you need to determine your target audience.
This is a step that’s skipped all too often. Unfortunately, many app creators don’t want to spend the time and resources trying to figure out and narrow down a demographic to advertise their product to. The belief is that, if their app is clever and useful enough, it will have broad appeal, and they’ll be able to market it to everyone. However, broad appeal really only works if you have a big enough name. If you don’t, you’ll be lost in a crowd of other apps that have the same basic idea.
Instead, you need to figure out who is going to benefit the most from your app, and target your advertising and marketing efforts toward them, specifically. This allows you to create a focused message that speaks to a specific customer, rather than creating vague advertisements that target everyone. Here’s how:
1. Analyze your product
Start thinking about the benefits your product offers, and the kinds of people that would be able to take advantage of those benefits. Would it benefit them more if they were older or younger? Single or married? Kids or no kids? Why?
You can also concentrate on their pain points. What gives them headaches on a day to day basis that your app can relieve? Who stands to gain the most value from your app?
Once you have a rough idea of who will get the most out of your app, move on to the next step.
2. Sketch out your ideal customer
This exercise might seem a little strange, but it’s actually very helpful when it comes to visualizing the type of people you’ll be marketing toward.
Essentially, using the rough ideas you’ve gathered from step one, write out the identity for a fictional person that would be your ideal customer. Someone who stands to benefit substantially from your app, whether it be money saved, knowledge gained, or another resource that’s either attained or preserved. Figure out their sex, age, profession, hobbies, and location.
If you have trouble figuring this part out, try thinking about your last major purchase, and the deciding factors that led to it. What made you determine that it was worth spending your money on, and why? Apply these considerations to your fictional customer, and keep them in mind when you begin creating your advertising campaigns.
3. Survey your existing client base
If you already have a decent-sized group of people using your app, they can serve as a great indicator for who you should focus your marketing efforts on. Just find a way to survey them without interjecting too much. For instance, if you have their email addresses, you could append the survey to an email that details your next update. If you don’t have many clients yet, consider requiring some basic information from customers who sign up to get your app. This info could come in handy later.
4. Research your competitors
If you’re competing with any businesses that are offering a similar product, investigate their audience and analyze their marketing strategies. What’s their message like? Where do you see their advertisements popping up? What demographics are they appealing to?
You can use this information when you build your own advertising campaigns. If your competitors seem to be having success with marketing toward an 18-30 year old demographic, try aiming at the same target.
5. Advertise and market with this information in mind
Now that you’ve built a model of your ideal audience, it’s time to put this information to good use. Start thinking about the day to day habits that your target audience exhibits. How do they make decisions? What other products and services do they use?
For instance, if it’s a young target, they probably spend a lot of time on Facebook or Twitter. That means that you’ll want to advertise your app via social media. However, older demographics might respond better to an email or even a radio commercial.
Remember to think and talk like your audience. Speak to them about things that affect their lives. The more specific and personal you can get, the better connection you’ll make, and the more interest they’ll have in your product.
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Additionally, if you have an iPad and have always wanted to make your own apps, check out the beta for our upcoming app, Apptory!