While App Store Optimization will get you more downloads when done correctly, you have to consider all of your options when it comes to increasing the visibility of your app. Luckily, if you have an app that has a lot of user or publisher generated content, all the publicity you need could be sitting right under your nose.
This post will give you some ideas on how to turn that content into high quality material to post on multiple marketing channels. We have purposely left out posting content on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.
You are probably doing that already. If you aren't, you should be. However, there are already hundreds of posts out there with tips on how to do that. Pick one and set up a simple schedule.
But if you are ready to get more creative and stand out from the crowd, keep reading...
Let's begin by defining a content based app. We will give you three examples which will be used throughout this post. While we cannot cover all of the content based app types out there, these are some common ones.
One thing to note is that these apps are already associated with big brands and you may think that they are poor examples of apps that could benefit from creative marketing on multiple channels.
That may be partially true, but we have chosen these apps because they are well known and most people will already understand how they work. In addition, we will show that the people behind these apps also use some of these techniques. But if they don't, implementing these ideas could help you compete, regardless of how popular your app currently is.
Recipe apps such as Jamie Oliver's Recipes are great examples of publisher generated content. There is a potentially endless supply of recipes that can be created and these apps lend themselves well to in-app purchases of niche recipe collections.
Apps like Instagram are the best examples of apps that feature user generated content. People love to share photos and that may seem a little one dimensional from a content standpoint, but we will give you a few ides for going beyond a single medium.
An education app like Duolingo is a little of both. There is an educational curriculum, but there is also a user generated element where people enter their own translations of short paragraphs. There can be some great human interest stories behind these apps and you can highlight them outside of the app.
There are two things that you can do with the content you have, either repackage it or expand on it. That may seem too simple, but as you will see, the possibilities are potentially limitless.
If you are using user generated content, it almost goes without saying, but just be sure that you get the approval of your users to use their content in writing. Otherwise you could have an rebellion on your hands.
Although SlideShare tends to be a more business focused website, there is room for content of all types. You just have to figure out how your content can be adapted to a slide show format.
The education apps would have the easiest time because everyone has been in a class that featured Powerpoint slides or slide-like presentations. If you have an education app, you could create very short lessons on a particular area, then refer people to your app to learn more.
Since Duolingo is a language learning app, they could create a presentation on how to say the five most common tourist phrases in German, for example. Since you can embed SlideShare presentations on other websites, language learning or travel websites could use these presentations in blog posts, thereby increasing the visibility of the app.
Recipe apps could give out free sample recipes along with pictures on how to prepare the dishes. Pictures of the top 10 most popular dishes in various categories could also be popular. People love food pictures.
Photography apps could release tutorials on how to get the most out of their app or interesting studies on what people photograph the most. A "best photos of the month" feature could also be popular.
Here is an example of a collection of photos from a particular geographic location:
A previous post, we showed that allowing users record their gameplay and post it to YouTube can be a great way to get the word out about your game. But that isn't all that you can feature in videos.
Video is a great way to go beyond the content in your app and show people using the app or highlight success stories. This can create an emotional connection with potential users of your app.
Here is a good example from the Duolingo YouTube channel:
Consider doing in-person interviews with your users or posting video from things that they might be interested in. Photography apps could feature the best cities to take pictures in, while recipe apps could show people actually cooking the dishes in their kitchens.
While YouTube will give you access to more eyeballs, Vimeo videos are generally of higher quality. So you should post the bulk of your videos on YouTube, but for those few select videos that you really want to pop, put them on Vimeo. Since YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, you should certainly consider at least posting a few videos.
This may not be a platform that you think about to post content on because it is primarily a music hosting site. But there are other categories that you can post your audio in.
Think about interviewing your users to find out how they are using your app or doing short audio versions of your content. Short language lessons or recipes could be content that our example apps could upload to SoundCloud. Also consider using the audio from your videos as another way to quickly create for sites like SoundCloud.
Any audio that you post on SoundCloud should also go on iTunes as a Podcast. The wide reach of iTunes and its thriving podcast ecosystem will make it likely that people will find your audio content. If you have an iOS app, getting people to jump from an iTunes podcast to the App Store is a small step since they already have iTunes open.
For some inspiration, check out Jamie Oliver's podcast. Notice that it has a very specific purpose: to start a revolution in Britain that gets people cooking fresh food.
Think about how you can niche down your content to make it appealing to people in your target demographic. As you can see, Jamie only created 10 episodes for this podcast back in 2008.
You can also experiment with different themes to see what works best. Even if it isn't a success, you can still leave the content out there to continually attract new interest in your app or brand, just like Jamie did.
Even with one of these content types embedded in a blog post, there is still an opportunity to write additional text to supplement the audio/visual content or they can be transcribed for better SEO value. On top of that, you can feature content that is not available on any of your other channels.
So if your app is based on content, you are potentially sitting on a gold mine of marketing material that just needs to be molded and repackaged to suit the different channels out there. While this could potentially be a lot of work, the payoff could be huge.
Strike the right chord with your audience and you never know...one of these ideas just might go viral. While the chances of that are slim, at the very worst, you will start producing quality content that will increase awareness of your app and make it more likely that people will download it.
Just like anything else in app marketing, you will need to try out different things and keep what works for your audience and cut what isn't working. Even if you don't have a content based app, think about how you can use these ideas to market your app.
Did we miss something? What is your favorite way of promoting the content in your app? Let us know in the comments below...