With 230 billion apps downloaded globally in 2021, the app market is becoming increasingly competitive every year. When you combine figures from all the leading app stores, the total number of available apps exceeds 8.9 million. So as an app owner or marketer, how do you leverage a solid app promotion strategy to thrive in this competitive market?
Correctly harnessing the marketing power of TikTok is key to any successful app promotion strategy in this era. You must know how to make your app stand out among the millions and find a way to reach your target market without breaking the bank. It might seem daunting, but it’s still possible to make a name for yourself in the app world, even in 2022. In the following article, we walk you through the marketing minefield of digital media and discuss some of the most creative and productive ways to boost your app installs.
How Are Brands Currently Marketing Their Apps?
The app development lifecycle is a grueling process, and most developers spend months, if not years, trying to perfect their creation. If your app promotion flops shortly after release, you’re throwing a huge amount of time, effort, and money in the bin.
The harsh reality is that even if you have created a fantastic app, it’s not going to get downloaded if nobody knows it exists. So, what are some of the most popular ways developers are getting their apps out there? How do you convince people that they truly need YOUR app in their life? Learn more below.
App store optimisation
Every app store has its own internal search engine that allows users to find the apps they want according to the search terms they use. Like Google, these search engines have their own algorithm that you need to harness to make sure your app gets seen. Over 65% of apps are found by direct searches, so make sure you include high-ranking keywords in your title and description in a natural way.
App review sites
Getting your app on review sites and relevant lists is a very useful app promotion strategy. These websites already have an established user base, so you’re guaranteed to boost downloads if you can get leading reviewers to talk about your app positively. To do this, you need to be able to write a convincing cold pitch email that conveys the features of your app in a way that’s compelling.
Get featured in the app store
Like getting listed on a review site, if you can get your app featured by the app store itself, you’re guaranteed to improve your downloads. The app store provides your app with social proof and raises your profile dramatically. To get featured, you need to pitch your app directly to the editor who curates the list.
Social media marketing
Social media is the most formidable tool the marketer has in his pocket. Nothing beats the ability of social media to spread an idea, a concept or a brand. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram all have billions of combined users who interact with their platforms daily. But if you’re looking to get the best possible results on your limited budget, you need to leverage the power of TikTok! TikTok influencers and TikTok ads!
Why is TikTok Such a Powerful Marketing Tool for App Promotion?
Yes, there are lots of popular social media platforms that facilitate marketing but if you’re trying to get ahead of the competition, nothing is going to compare to TikTok. Here are a few key facts about TikTok that make it stand out in 2022 as one of the most powerful marketing tools available for app developers and brands in general:
- TikTok has over 1 billion active users every month
- The platform has one of the youngest user demographics of any social media app (the majority of its users are under the age of 34).
- TikTok was one of the most downloaded apps in 2021
- Partnering with TikTok influencers is significantly cheaper compared to other social media platforms
- Pay-per-click ad campaigns are also cheaper on TikTok
There are two main things you can take away from this data; TikTok is a cost-effective form of advertising, and it will allow your app to be seen by a younger generation. And why does this matter? The most prolific app users are under 25 years of age, and this happens to also be TikTok’s largest audience.
There are many creative ways to advertise on TikTok. The best thing about it is that they won’t even feel like ads for your viewers. As TikTok themselves say, “Don’t make ads. Make TikToks”.
The Best Ways To Market An App On TikTok In 2022
Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to market your app on TikTok in 2022:
“By partnering with a TikTok creator, you can use their platform to inspire their audience to try your app. This creates unparalleled social proof and allows you to creatively demonstrate your app in action to a targeted audience of your choice.”
Partner with a TikTok creator
Influencers have thousands (or millions) of followers that are highly receptive to their content. By partnering with a TikTok creator, you can use their platform to inspire their audience to try your app. This creates unparalleled social proof and allows you to creatively demonstrate your app in action to a targeted audience of your choice.
Create a TikTok ad campaign
TikTok ads integrate seamlessly into users’ “For You” feed. If you create a captivating campaign, it’s likely your audience will not even realise they’re watching an ad. TikTok makes it easy to target your campaign towards very niche demographics, so you can make sure the people most likely to download your app are the ones who will see your ads.
Build your TikTok profile
You can create a TikTok profile, generate your own content and amass thousands of followers in a short space of time. Since TikTok is still in its early stages, its market is far less saturated than its competitors. This means that their algorithm makes it easy for new users to build up follower counts compared to other video sharing apps such as YouTube. At House of Marketers, we sometimes take control of our client’s brand profiles, so they don’t have to. You can learn about our TikTok Business Profile Content Creation service here.
How To Build a Brand Following on TikTok
So you want to jump on the TikTok train. How do you start building a brand following? Let’s take a look at a brand that was able to do it successfully, and quickly.
When the relatively young fitness and sportswear brand Gymshark decided to use TikTok to grow their brand, they were able to amass over 3.5 million followers on a budget a fraction of their competitors.
“There are endless opportunities for creative marketing methods that seize the viral potential of TikTok’s short-form videos and hashtags, without throwing in buckets of cash.”
So how did they do it? They saw an opportunity to harness the power of TikTok viral trends and challenges to create organic content that boosted their brand recognition. In 2019, they launched their “Change Your Life” campaign. It encouraged TikTok users to post videos detailing their fitness goals on 1st January 2019. 66 days later, the same users could post an updated video to show how they reached their goals using @gymshark and #gymshark66. From those posts, Gymshark then chose winners who got to take home a years’ supply of Gymshark sportswear. This one campaign garnered over 1.9 million likes, 12,576 comments, 45.5 million views for the #gymshark66 hashtag challenge.
This is just one example of a brand that successfully raised its profile through TikTok. There are endless opportunities for creative marketing methods that seize the viral potential of TikTok’s short-form videos and hashtags, without a huge financial investment.
How To Create TikTok Content For Your App
So let’s say you’ve decided you want to use TikTok to promote your app — how do you start making content? Firstly, determine what you want your brand to achieve. Are you simply trying to boost app downloads? Do you want to raise brand awareness? Or are you trying to increase in-app sales and purchases?
Secondly, decide how you want to get your content out there. Do you want to pair with an influencer or run a TikTok ad campaign? Or are you going to focus mainly on building your profile followers by posting frequent content to your own page?
There are many imaginative ways to make engaging and fun content that contributes to a powerful app promotion strategy without boring your audience. Let’s take a look at some of the best TikTok marketing tools:
Hashtags are one of the most useful marketing tools available on TikTok. They can be used to encourage organic content, raise brand awareness, and allow users to find your content more easily. The same concept can be found on other platforms such as Instagram and Twitter — you can tag your content with an existing hashtag or a new one, and when users search for that term, it will show all videos that have used the same hashtag.
Follow current TikTok trends and memes
TikTok users love viral challenges and trends. Sometimes they feature users doing a particular dance or answering a personal question in different formats. Common examples are “Tell me about a time when…” or “Tell me without telling me…”. Sometimes a particular audio sample or a song goes viral and users will create content that integrates it into their own video with a humorous or insightful twist. You can use these memes to create content that easily connects with TikTok’s audience.
Create a new trend
TikTok is all about starting trends, so why not start your own? Create a new challenge or trend that will capture the imagination of your audience and boost your brand’s profile. Dating app Bumble partnered with influencers to create the hashtag trend #datingislike. This encouraged users to create fun and relatable content about the difficulties they have faced in the dating scene.
@brettkelly1 I’ve got a date! 😱 @bumble #datingislike #bumblepartner ♬ original sound – Brett Kelly Official
“Not only can you utilise these effects to create trending content, but you can even create your own branded filter for other creators to use. These filters last for 10 days, which is more than enough time to gain significant brand exposure.”
Create a branded TikTok filter
TikTok has an entire suite of ready to use video editing effects and filters. Like TikTok trends and memes, particular filters can go viral and wax and wane in popularity. Not only can you utilise these effects to create trending content, but you can even create your own branded filter for other creators to use. These filters last for up to 10 days, which is more than enough time to gain significant brand exposure. Popular toothpaste brand Colgate created their own interactive filter which used the hashtag #colgatekiss to raise their brand profile among TikTok users in Thailand.
Make a TikTok using stitch or duet
TikTok’s stitch and duet features allow creators to incorporate someone else’s content within their own. The duet function allows you to pair videos side by side. Stitching videos involves taking clips from one video and editing them into another. Since the original creator is credited, this can introduce your brand to a large audience in a creative way. It also allows you to engage with your audience directly and share the stage with fellow creators. You could even potentially partner with other brands to create duets.
5 Examples of Apps that Used TikTok To Drive Installs
Here are five great examples of apps that used TikTok to drive installs.
Chime is a banking app that markets itself as an alternative to high street banks, with no monthly maintenance or foreign transaction fees. Their TikTok profile was created in April 2021 and with only 25 videos, they have gained over 28.6K followers. They started off making a video on the back of the still trending “no no no no” song. The video discussed common mistakes people make regarding credit cards.
In September 2021, Chime created the hashtag #chimehasyourback. They released a video of a girl dancing to their own original song, encouraging fellow TikTokers to copy the dance along for a chance to win $1000. This video gained over 64.5 million views and 183.3K likes.
@chime Want a chance to win $1,000? 💸 Join the #ChimeHasYourBack challenge to show how you’d live without fees! 💚💰 @Chime #chimepartner ♬ original sound – Chime
You Need a Budget
Created in 2013, Budgeting app YNAB realised early in 2020 that TikTok was the new place to be if they wanted to reach budget-conscious Gen Zers. Their finance-related content has amassed them over 2 million likes and nearly half a million followers. One of their most popular videos, which has over 1 million views using the popular hashtag #budgetingtips, discusses a relatable issue facing young people trying to budget their expenses.
@youneedabudget This is how I used to budget. 😬 #ynab #broke #budgetingtips ♬ Pieces (Solo Piano Version) – Danilo Stankovic
Hugely popular multiplayer game Roblox can be played nearly everywhere, including on your phone using their mobile app. They made a smart move on TikTok by partnering with another hugely popular but unexpected brand, Chipotle. Thanks to a marketing team with their finger on the pulse, Chipotle’s brand account on TikTok has an enormous following of over 1.7 million users. It might have seemed like an unexpected collab, but it more than delivered. By creating joint TikTok videos promoting a virtual in-app Chipotle restaurant, Roblox increased user engagement with their gaming platform.
@roblox Come hang with us & @chipotle this #Halloween season! Get your booritos today! 👻🌯🎃 #Roblox #Chipotle #Metaverse ♬ original sound – Roblox
Gamified language learning app Duolingo ran into a bit of a branding issue. This occured when a meme emerged involving their anthropomorphic owl mascot was being portrayed as an evil serial killer. The app developed this unexpected reputation due to the persistent and pushy notifications received by users when they didn’t keep up with their language lessons.
Instead of shying away from this potentially negative association, Duolingo’s marketing team decided to lean into it. They created a series of funny TikToks showing the owl chasing Duolingo employees around their office. The hashtag #duolingo has now been used over 280 million views times on TikTok.
@duolingo PR team really think you can lock me in a closet and I won’t break out? no one’s safe #run #bescared #Duolingo #comedy ♬ helllp the killer is ey scape ing – abi
The marketing team behind the popular dating app Tinder are prolific TikTok creators. The company account has acquired over 436K followers and 2 million likes. They have also created and led numerous popular trends on the platform. One of their successful TikTok series features influencers Rich Caroline, Nikita Dragun and Quenlin Blackwell offering humorous and insightful dating advice to callers.
@tinder you called, and we answered 🔥 Watch 1-888-Tinder-X on our YouTube ft. @richcaroline, @quenblackwell, and @nikitadragun ♬ original sound – Tinder
Harness The Underrated Marketing Power of TikTok For App Promotion
Compared to competitor platforms such as YouTube, TikTok is still a relatively young community, with lots of potential to grow. The user base is among the most engaged and their key demographic largely overlaps with the most prolific app users. If you start your campaign on TikTok now, you are still early to the game. From the perspective of app marketing teams, it’s one of the best ways to promote an app to a key audience. Most brands have not made the move to market themselves on TikTok just yet, so your campaign can flourish in a far less competitive market.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can use TikTok to boost your app downloads, get in touch with the TikTok specialists at our TikTok marketing agency. Simply fill in the form here and we will get in touch right away.
House of Marketers (HOM) is a leading TikTok Marketing Agency. Our global agency was built by early TikTok Employees & TikTok Partners, which gives us the insider knowledge to help leading brands, like Redbull, Playtika, Badoo, and HelloFresh win on TikTok. Want us to convert more of Gen Z and Millennials with TikTok? Get in touch with our friendly team, here.