How to market your app to merchants
Over 6,000 mobile apps are released through the Google Play store every day. How can you stand out from the crowd? Developing the right marketing strategy and differentiating your sales channels is crucial to ensuring the success of your app. We’ve put together a list of tactics to consider that will make your app stand out and enchant merchants:
1. Develop your app story
Write down the app’s feature list and description. Start by listing every little thing that can be done with the app and what makes it special. Focus on how it will improve the merchant experience and the main differentiators from other apps. Use this list of qualities to create a short, powerful description of what your app is for and why a merchant should download it. This shouldn’t be more than two paragraphs. Focus on the experience, the benefits, and what makes your app unique. Likewise, create a strapline and tagline. Every app store or marketplace will ask you to have these details ready. These should be composed of a few powerful words that hit on the primary benefit.
Make sure these descriptions are not written in overly technical language – to determine whether it’s easy to understand, show it to someone non-technical, outside your industry. Not every merchant is tech savvy. You should never expect them to understand the terminology and acronyms you use. If your grandma can understand your descriptions without any further explanation, you’ve done a great job.
Top tip: Don’t forget to keep the description updated – how else are people going to know about any new features in your app.
2. Create a PR kit
While you may have the best solution out there, it’s important to invest in good communication tools to ensure it looks appealing, connects with customers, and sparks interest.
The PR kit should have:
- An app summary guide (description and feature list)
- A quick overview of your company and the app strapline
- Design collateral (icon, logo, banner)
- A one-page description of the app and its benefits.
These should reflect your brand, mission and values. As the maxim goes, ‘You only make a first impression once.’ With so much choice out there, your information needs to be snappy – most people spend a very short amount of time analysing whether an app is right for them, so make sure you quickly spark interest with everything you say.
3. Create a promotional video
A recent Cisco annual report projects that by 2022, there will be almost a million minutes of video on the internet and that 82% of all consumer web traffic will be from video. It’s important to invest time in creating a promotion video and you shouldn’t underestimate its power. At the same time, it doesn’t need to be a Hollywood production.
Although investing in a quality video is worth considering if you have the funds, a low budget shouldn’t deter you. Ensure they are not too technical and easily understandable for people from a variety of backgrounds.
4. Improve your discovery
Depending on your app and how you plan to go-to-market, you will need different strategies. You may or may not wish to list your merchant app in an app store but, as the graph below shows there are multiple channels by which users discover apps:
5. Building a good looking website
Your website is your only Salesperson who works 24 hours a day, and should be informative and enticing, but also attractive to customers. If you cannot hire a graphic designer, you should make use of the website building tools available from your hosting provider. Many already have all the insight needed on how to create a striking website that is pleasant and professional, mobile friendly and covers all the basics. There is no need to reinvent the wheel and try to create your website from scratch.
Make sure to describe your merchant app and provide screenshots and pictures, videos, and customer reviews. Populate it with all the information a customer needs to easily find out what they need to know about your merchant app.
According to Forbes, Google’s first page results capture 71% of search traffic clicks, has been as high as 92%.
- Create a great, easy-to-navigate website that has relevant content.
- Use keywords that represent your type of app, repeating those words on various places such as titles, URL, page body, and so on.
- Get links to your homepage from other websites.
- Provide a blog that is informative and not too self-promotional.
6. Don’t be afraid of feedback!
Whether in app stores or asking merchants directly, listening to your target audience – and answering them – is the key to ensure you have a bright future. After all, their insight is important for improvements and future versions!
If your merchant app is listed on an app store, make sure to answer every comment. This can be a simple ‘Thank you’ for a positive review or, for a bad one, an ‘I am sorry you didn’t have the best experience. We appreciate your feedback and will continue to work on improving the app’. Take note of any suggestion and try to implement them on future releases.
If your app is not listed on a store, make sure to develop strong relationships with your customers and ask for their feedback on improvements they’d like to see.
7. Diversify your sales channel
With many tech savvy merchants accustomed to apps on their smartphones, you cna be sure that they’ll value apps that help out in day-to-day management and improve customer service. Many may already use a tablet with a point-of-sale app, obtained either through app stores or direct selling. But these are not the only ways to get your app into their hands.
Banks, merchant acquirers and larger point of sale companies realize that simply inputting orders on a tablet doesn’t go far. They want to provide more value to the point of sale by integrating other functionalities. Partnering up with them can help minimize your legwork and give you more exposure as they are already knocking on merchant’s doors to sell their solution.
Although marketing can be daunting to some developers, the right strategy and execution can be the differentiator to ensuring your app becomes successful. Investing in the tips above are just some of the ways to get the right results from your marketing campaign. Don’t forget to always update your content in every channel to ensure your customer has the best depiction of what you are providing.