You can get first users way before launching - for example, if you build a community around the target topic, have a blog or YouTube channel. It’s easier to use a community and viral potential around free, available, and quality content. Anna Weber, the founder of a Pomelody app and music education programme, took advantage of this tactic by creating Mama Lama brand and connect the recipients of the content corresponding with her strategy.
The same is applied to Facebook groups: it’s important to choose a specific subject or theme, which will interest (gather) prospective users of your app. For example, if you work on an online shopping list, your target group can be women who are housewives, but also professionally active, efficiently using smartphones and the Internet. Perhaps, they don’t have enough free time, but it’s valuable for them to prepare a simple, healthy meal for the family, at least a few days a week. That’s why they need effective actions, trusty strategies, facilitations. Maybe a Facebook group with quick, one-pot meal recipes would be a good idea?
If you already have a functioning business: a shop, a blog, a web app, for which a mobile version is to be an extension and a channel to reach new customer groups, definitely use it by building tension, an expectation atmosphere, and even by engaging them in work on the final version. Who better help you verify an idea, validate business assumptions and test the MVP than your current users gathered around your brand?
And now, here is a bunch of quick ideas, which should result from the strategy described in part 1. A well-prepared strategy is a starting point for tactics and marketing plan, therefore to find answers to questions about details, such as “which influencers to choose?”, “which communication channel guarantees the greatest ROI?”, “around which values and benefits to build communication?”, we should dip into a previously prepared Lean Canvas model or another document describing our concept.
Product Hunt Campaign- (https://conversionxl.com/blog/product-hunt/ )
Landing page with a valuable content, diverting conversion to the app. And it’s important to reconsider UX from a conversion standpoint and to create a publications plan to maximize organic traffic onto keywords that are important for the app; it’s worth to boost it by Google Ads or Facebook Ads.
Internet monitoring enabling active participation in discussions around a problem, which is solved by your app. Facebook, Quora, Twitter.
Personal Marketing using contact networks, promoting an app by the brand founders - see how it’s done by Michal Sadowski from Brand24.
Professional Media - not necessarily relating to apps, startups, new technologies, but those read by your prospective users. Mothers, teenagers, gardeners, cat owners, lawyers - do proper research, talk with them and learn, what content they consume most often.
Conferences, events - tell about yourself and your project in a creative, valuable way.
Educate: especially, if your app relates to a professional, niche, B2B theme. Use SlideShare or Udemy, prepare a valuable presentation or an online course on topics relevant to users. Example: you work on a calendar for lawyers; you can create an online course relating to technical aspects of a lawyer’s work or time management in this industry. Seize the opportunity to tell about your app.
Lead magnet: a one-time content campaign planned for conversion. The model can be simple: we create an interesting, free, downloadable product (eg. e-book, freebie) in exchange for the newsletter subscription. We design the product in such a way, that provides value and includes references to our app, we remember about consistent visual branding (logotypes, colors, fonts). After a while, we launch a newsletter campaign to promote the app.
Engage bloggers and influencers - a previously developed strategy and knowing your target group will provide you a bunch of ideas to be implemented.
Testers: as above, but at an early stage of the project development. Besides gathering feedback, an additional benefit is building relationships and gaining perspective brand ambassadors.
YouTube channel - creating valuable videos, such as tutorials and thematic, expert or lifestyle vlogs.
An application development case study, transparently showing the backstage and the intensity of work on the project might be an effective and interesting way to reach users from technological or business industry. A well-thought-out and properly done case study, which provides a certain substantive value, can have a great viral potential.
App-internal command system - motivating to invite other users by offering discounts or an upgrade of the account (check Infakt, Booking or Airbnb).
Advertisements - Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Apple Search Ads - assuming before you spend whole budgets, you precisely calculate the CAC/LTV ratio, an acquisition cost (in this case - clicks) to average or even expected value of the user.
Try, test, hypothesize and verify quickly. Be consequent, but do not go into ineffective actions - especially when they generate costs (eg. preparing freebies, creating a very extensive content, Ads campaigns). Analyze efficiency, measure ROI - many great analytical tools for apps are already available, for example Firebase; draw conclusions and optimize. Because any advice or any idea found on the Internet will not provide you as much as (wise) experiments done on your own product.