Marketing apps is the worst…
That’s how app developers feel when it’s time to launch. Most of them take the conventional route, using ads, ppc and content marketing to promote their app.
They struggle to get customers.
So, they decide to try influencer marketing.
But when it comes to influencer marketing, most app developers are unprepared. They approach the wrong influencers with a vague or fuzzy idea of what they want.
They drain their marketing budget, without getting results in return.
At the end of their expensive and horrible experience most simply give up on influencers. “It doesn’t work” they tell themselves. Their app continues to struggle as it dies a slow, painful death.
Influencer marketing succeeds with the right strategy
Thousands of startups use influencer marketing to attract customers and cost-effective installs.
Successful developers use influencers to dramatically accelerate their apps growth, giving them the initial push they need to boost organic growth.
What are they doing differently? How do they approach influencers?
Influencers are connected to community tribes, other influencers and industry groups. They’re connected to your target audience – customers in the market for your app.
- They’re thought leaders
- Industry or topic power brokers
- Individuals with connections and access
- Successful or accomplished entrepreneurs.
Long story short, influencers hold an incredible amount of power. They can send a flood of downloads your way or use their audience as a weapon against you.
Screw influencers, who needs ’em?
You don’t. You can spend money on ads, content marketing or app store optimization.
There are plenty of ways to get downloads and they don’t involve influencers. And that’s the problem. Most marketing methods don’t create a whole lot of leverage.
You purchase an ad. Someone clicks, you pay for the click or the install. Profit! Well yeah, if you know what you’re doing. But you still have a problem. You’re still responsible for the marketing details customers look for.
- It’s easier to create shelf space in a customer’s mind when an influencer walks you past the customer’s mental gatekeepers.
- Social proof. Working with an influencer gives your app instant credibility.
- If a well-known influencer trusts or recommends your app you must be trustworthy.
- “Who’s using this?” or “I respect and admire this influencer. I want to be like them.”
Those other marketing methods, they work. But customers look for these details before they buy into your app. Influencer marketing gives you more leverage. When it’s done right, you’re able to attract a whole lot more downloads for a whole lot less money.
How many other marketing channels can do that?
Here’s the problem…
Most developers aren’t all that great at finding and approaching influencers.
What does that mean for you?
You’ll need to know where to find influencers, who to approach and how to sort the good from the bad.
So, first things first.
Where do you find influencers?
There’s a few reliable ways to find influencers, but one method allows you to build a list of potential partners fast.
You look for people with an audience.
Here’s a few steps to guide your search.
- Sources: Which topics, niches or markets complement your own? If you’re promoting a to-do app for example, you could target influencers in the productivity and life hacks space.
- Location: Where do your influencers spend their time? When you identify influencers you’d like to add to your list, take note of the places (social networks) where they spend their time. Add each social network to the list.
- Audience: Influencers by definition have an audience. How large that audience is depends on the approach you have in mind. Are you looking for a few influencers with very large audiences or are you looking to spread your risk by targeting lots of smaller up and coming influencers?
- Followers: State the minimum number of followers an influencer needs to have to be worth your time. If you’re targeting fewer influencers with very large audiences your minimum follower count could be 1.5 million. If you’re targeting more influencers with smaller audiences their minimum follower count could be as little as 50K.
- Authority: Individuals with strong authority may not always have a large audience. But these authority figures often have the attention of several influencers with large audiences of their own.
Have a list of potentials?
Great! You’re ready to refine your list.
A large majority of “influencers” lie
They lie about their engagement and follower counts, their reach and the level of influence or control they have
Which is why you’ll need to do a little bit of sorting.
You’ll want to separate genuine influencers from the pretenders in your list. Pretenders are individuals who…
- Don’t have a close relationship with their audience
- Don’t have an audience to speak off
- Have abused or neglected their audience – this can be caused by posting or reposting to many ads that are irrelevant to the audience
You’ll want to flag pretenders and save them so you know who to avoid in the future. Once you know what to look for it’s easy to weed pretenders out of your list.
Pretenders can’t fake what’s real
That’s the wonderful thing about influencers. Genuine influencers send all the right signals. When you see these signals it’s a pretty good indication your time, money or resources will be well spent.
So what kind of signals are you looking for?
- Organic growth: If they’re following 100 people but have 250K followers they’re probably an influencer.
- No Spam Triggers: Do they retweet or reshare their own content over and over? Do they have a 1:1 follower to following ratio? Maybe their follower counts are abbreviated? One spam trigger is a bad sign. Multiple spam triggers? A serious red flag.
- Strong engagement: When influencers post tweets their audience should engage with them. You’re looking for lots of quotes, retweets, shares, likes, comments, etc. You’re also looking for proactive engagement – audience members who initiate conversation with the influencer, on a consistent basis.
- Credibility: Do they have credibility with their audience? With competitors? Are they taken seriously by those they work or compete with? Is there any third party validation or recognition? Do other influencers associate with them?
- Relevance: Is there a tight fit with their work and what you do? Does their content or topic complement yours? You’re looking for influencers who have access to your target audience,
At this point you know who you’re dealing with. Let’s say you’re dealing with a pretender. Scratch them off your list and move on.
What you’re left with at the end of your vetting process are the bonafide, legitimate influencers.
Most aren’t willing to peddle garbage.
Make sure your app is ready for prime time. If your app fails to perform, they look bad. Iron out any problem spots. Double check that your app is relevant or complementary to their audience.
All set? Great.
You’re ready to make your pitch.
Most app developers are terrible at pitching
They don’t do their home work. They spend a ton of time building their app, making it perfect. Then, when it’s done, they begin the long, never ending process of spamming influencers.
Which means they’re ignored.
Don’t want to end up like them? Follow these steps and you’ll dramatically increase your odds of success.
- Keep it simple. Don’t send influencers a list of bloated tweets or updates. Nothing loaded down with hashtags. Keep your pitch easy to absorb and easy to understand.
- Tell a story. Stories immediately draw our attention. Use images, words, even memes to tell a story. Give influencers a reason to care. Don’t give them a feature dump.
- Be fascinating. Be mysterious, rebellious, passionate, alarming, use prestige, but whatever you do, don’t be boring. Use emotion to attract attention quickly.
- Make it personal. Connect your pitch with their mission, purpose, brand, etc. Find a way to make it relevant to them.
Make sure your pitch includes:
- The app name
- Why it’s unique
- Download links (iTunes/Google Play)
- A short, yet fascinating description.
- Contact info
The pitch should be the basis of how influencers are going to sell your app. Keep it short, sweet and to the point. The audience should feel like the influencer did them a favor by posting about you app.
Take it slow and seal the deal.
You invest the minimum amount you need to test things out. In the beginning, you’re running a test. You need answers to two very important questions.
- Which ad copy perform best?
- Which influencers deliver the best results per dollar spent?
Keep your campaign in testing mode until you have answers to these questions.
Then, dump the losers and invest more money with the winners. Use the offers that perform best, rinse and repeat.
When it’s done right, influencers send customers who are willing and ready to buy.
Most apps struggle to get customers
They don’t get the customers, downloads or sales they need. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Your app doesn’t have to struggle, flounder and fail.
You can get the attention, downloads and sales you need.
Influencer marketing begins with the right strategy. Thousands of startups rely on influencers to deliver customers and cost-effective installs.
Successful developers use influencers to dramatically accelerate their apps growth, giving them the initial push they need to massively boost organic growth.
You can too.
Follow these steps, be persistent and soon you’ll find marketing your app brings the best feeling in the world.
About the Author
Victor Ricci is known for his work on Vine, amassing over 1 million followers in less than 7 months. From there he founded Trend Pie, an influencer marketing platform that helps app developers drive cost effective downloads and whose customers include Sworkit, Yahoo! Video Guide, Drunk Mode, Wedding Wire and more.