When launching an app, a key objective is to ensure it is easily discoverable in the app store. For this you need to rank. Therefore, any launch strategy should work towards this goal. The app store algorithm takes into consideration user growth and app ratings/reviews. A marketing strategy utilising YouTube influencers is quick and cost-effective but it will also build the necessary buzz around your app to get the initial lift in the app store, and if scaled correctly will help you keep the momentum to gain enough traction to rise up the rankings.
- Be selective about your market
Pick your market. While it is tempting to try for world domination from the get go by collaborating with influencers from different countries/continents, in reality, unless you have the budget to work with enough influencers in your niche in those areas to make an impact in your market, your efforts will not be as fruitful as if you had concentrated your budget on a few markets of particular importance for your overall plan. Instead, don’t spread yourself too thin and aim to conquer a couple of markets, once you have ranked in the app store there and understood through testing which types of influencers and content delivers the best return on investment then you can expand your focus.
- Choose influencers with high engagement rates
When selecting which influencers to work with, the limiting factors should be that they are growing and have high engagement rates.
With a growing influencer, you are getting more reach for your budget because they are continually gaining viewers. The price you negotiated at the beginning of your collaboration is cheap for the reach you have by the time your sponsored content is published. In addition, even after your content is published, the influencer will continue to grow their audience and new viewers will watch their older videos which means your sponsored content will keep accumulating new views even after the influencer posts more videos.
An influencer with a high engagement rate is one where the proportion of the audience liking, commenting and sharing their content compared to the number of views the content gets is high. You want to work with these influencers because they will deliver the best click through rate – if their audience is already clicking and engaging with the influencer then the barrier for them to click the link to your app is lower. Generally an engagement rate of 4% or higher is good.
Both these factors will help you maximise your return on investment, however, an important caveat is brand fit. Always work with an influencer whose tone and library of content mirrors the feeling of your app and branding. Firstly, it increases the likelihood that their audience is in fact your target users and secondly it will make it much easier to engage the influencer themself to work with you as they will see the sponsored content as something their audience will enjoy and respond to.
- Increase your reach by working with several influencers
For a successful app launch you need as much reach into your target market as your budget will allow. The optimum strategy is to collaborate with both big and small influencers in your niche.
A big influencer, one with over 100,000 subscribers, is an effective ambassador to introduce your new app – it immediately grabs the attention of your target users because one of the most admired people in your niche is talking about it. But to widen your reach further and to re-target your big influencer’s audience more cost-effectively it is also wise to work with several smaller influencers with subscribers between 10,000 and 100,000.
Your big influencer’s audience are watching more YouTubers in the niche they are interested in, including smaller ‘undiscovered’ influencers, whose recommendations actually carry just as much weight, if not more, than the bigger influencer as they are just starting out and are therefore more selective about the sponsorships they take so as to continue building a loyal following.
Collaborating with smaller but growing influencers will help you cast the net as wide as possible and catch more target users who did not see your bigger influencer’s content, thus extending your reach. For their viewers who watch the bigger influencer, sponsored content with your smaller influencers will help cement in their minds that your app is the app they need to download right now – everybody is talking about it and it adds another valuable touch point in the customer journey.
- Gain quality installs with your content
YouTube is a uniquely effective medium to market an app because its long-form format allows for not only a run through of the app’s unique selling points but also a demonstration of the product. Educating your target users in this way is vital to gaining quality installs, that is users who download your app but also use it and stick. Showing a demonstration either with app footage or through the influencer displaying their use of it communicates exactly why the target user should download the app in the first place, acts as an instruction manual so they are not frustrated by a lack of understanding of the app which might drive them to uninstall it and manages their expectations so they are not dissatisfied with the product. Ensure your influencer content incorporates a demonstration to maximise conversions and gain users who stick.
- Build authenticity by extending your influencer partnership beyond your sponsored video
To further encourage your influencer’s audience to install your app, and to add another layer of authenticity to your influencer’s recommendation of your app, let them know their favourite influencer is actually using it. Give the influencer an account and negotiate with them to use it for a specified amount of time. Move the conversation off YouTube and onto your own platform. Do you have a related forum or chat the influencer can post in and respond to their fans’ comments about the app/topic? Get the influencer to share their handle, level, or progress on the app to show their commitment to your product. Can new users find the influencer on the app? Interact with them? If this approach is not possible, having the influencer be able to show they have been using the app for a month will result in a far more convincing sales pitch.
- Ensure you have reviews of your app on YouTube
App reviews are crucial, on the app store to boost your ranking, but also on YouTube where most online savvy consumers are looking for product advice. If you have enabled your influencer to use your app they are well positioned to write a review or give you a rating on your app store page. But their sponsored video should act as a review as well, try to let them do this in their own words to ensure it is convincing and genuine, spelling out exactly why they like your app. By working with multiple influencers, you will already at your launch have a host of reviews on YouTube people interested in installing your app can check out.
- Boost your conversions by lowering the barrier to install the app
If your app is free, then the barrier to install it is already low and your conversion rate will be above average, even for influencer marketing which outperforms other channels by as much as x8 ROI. However, if your app is paid for then sweeten the deal and boost your conversions by offering a free trial or discount in the call to action on your influencer content. Making your influencer’s audience (and influencer as they are able to offer the special deal) feel valued plus lowering the barrier to install will positively impact your results and generate the momentum you need to crack the app store algorithm.
- Get your new customers to review your app in the app store
Your app store ranking is not only determined by installs but also ratings and reviews. Again an influencer marketing campaign can generate these. Offer a prize or giveaway competition in collaboration with your influencers to encourage new users derived from these campaigns to go on your app store page and leave a review. For example, the influencer can ask their audience to leave a review under their YouTube username. They can leave a comment on the sponsored video that they have reviewed your app. Then after a week one can be picked at random by the influencer, their review corroborated, as the winner. Prizes could be merch from your app and the influencer, an in-app purchase for free for a time-limited period for instance. Depending on your budget and what prizes you giveaway you could also give prizes to the first 50 people who leave a review. The options are endless, the more creative the better!
- Scale your influencer marketing to increase installs exponentially
Make sure your presence through influencers is continuous. Work with more and more smaller influencers to spread your reach as wide as possible in your selected markets. Rehire your best performing influencers for follow-up videos and posts on their other social media to retarget their audience and generate more touch points on their customer journey. Working again with influencers also shows commitment to your app.
Always be testing new smaller influencers to grow your network of high ROI influencers. If you start with one smaller influencer collaboration a month, increase this exponentially with your budget to grow your users exponentially as well. When your selected market is saturated and you’ve achieved your planned app store ranking move budget into another one with the same app launch strategy and applying your learnings from your first app launch, to grow in other markets.
- Optimise your strategy and maximise your ROI
Analyse your results for every influencer collaboration. Check your data by using tracking links for your CTA and benchmarking your average user growth to build a picture of your organic growth per campaign and understand which collaborations delivered the highest ROIs. Then optimise from your learnings and copy what worked the best with your new influencers, for example, if a particular wording of your CTA, or a certain content format delivered better results reuse it. If some influencer collaborations are performing much better than others then those influencers’ demographics are the ones you should be targeting more. Don’t fly blind but continually tweak your process to optimise your strategy and ROI.
There you have it! Your 10 step strategy to launch your app with YouTube influencers and rise up the app store rankings with exponential user growth and positive ratings and reviews on your app store page.
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