Feb 7, 2020

An app marketing guide for your start-up

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Start-ups have conquered the world! A non-standard mind and ambitiousness lead people to look for new solutions that will make everyone’s life better. We all know the famous platforms like Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter, which also started as start-ups. So, maybe your idea is the next TOP mobile app that brings you money and success? In this marketing guide, learn about the main steps that successful mobile start-ups go through.

Find your place in the mobile development market

A truly successful start-up is a global project. Obviously, the larger the market, the potential customers it brings. Therefore, the first main point will be the study of the mobile application market. It is developing rapidly and according to forecasts of leading companies, growth will increase.

Some interesting statistics. According to the App Annie service:

  • Mobile games account for 56% of all applications in the markets;
  • In 2019 people spend about 3 hours 40 minutes in mobile applications, which is 35% more than in 2017;
  • Advertisers will invest more than $240 billion in app advertising in 2020; 
  • Streaming services are gaining popularity more than ever;
  • Subscribers spend 95% of their spending on dating apps in video services as well.

Your goals

Determine what business tasks your app will solve, what is the target audience, and what results you plan to achieve with its help. There are more and more developers, companies, and the applications, so carefully study the popular niches and ask a few questions:

  • What makes the application unique? (what is the difference from a competitor)
  • Who will use it? (age category)
  • Why exactly your app?
  • Can the application solve the user’s problem?
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MDM example


For the MBARI start-up, we developed the design of the game quest. Of course, before work starts, we made research and determined the main audience. Our part of the research was mainly about UX, and since our specific user is a schoolchild, we decided to give children information in a playful way. It was the best way to interest young users and get them into exploring the underwater world. Now only the web version of the application is ready, but in the future, it is planned to launch a mobile game quest.

Call Master

Before the start, our team has done a good marketing and technologies research. We’ve checked tens of competitors, talked to hunters, and chose good and working technology that could teach and check the results. We also found that good weather conditions, predicted for at least a week, are really important for hunters.

What is an MVP and how it can help you?

You found a problem, and the app can solve it, a user is identified, and in the future, you can get enough customers and money? It is time to test the product or rather its MVP version, on users to make sure that they need your app.

What is an MVP? The abbreviation MVP stands for a minimum viable product. This is a service with a minimum of functions, the simplest prototype, which nevertheless can solve the problem of users. Don’t confuse the concepts of “minimum viable product” and “service with a bunch of bugs.” This is a quality service, that just has few functions or even one function which will work perfectly. Giants such as Airbnb, Foursquare, Spotify started exactly with the MVP version.

The term MVP was popularized by Steve Blank, author of “The Four Steps to the Epiphany: Successful Strategies for Start-ups That Win”. This is not just a business coach, he is an entrepreneur from Silicon Valley, who created several successful start-ups himself and teaches others.

The main tasks at the stage of creating MVP

To create a prototype, the technical task is signed for a clear work scheme. Having determined the priorities, taking into account the technical and software base used for the app, an interactive prototype is being developed.

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To understand the interaction of the user with the app, it is necessary to thoroughly work out the functionality, design, schemes of all screens and their relation with each other. I.e. the functions described in the technical task are implemented and all possible scenarios of user behavior are finally determined. Only after these steps a prototype should be released and tested. Now you have the foundation in which you can invest in the future.

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MDM example

For UK based start-up Petsquare we prototyped various ideas together with stakeholders, developers and the product owner. Paper prototypes creation accelerated the process of receiving feedback and revealing the accurate work style.

How to promote your start-up?

New applications invest a maximum of funds and efforts in development and design, so we will consider the most budgetary marketing ways to promote applications.

ASO (app store optimization)

The application page in the store is your selling page. Make it as user-friendly as possible. It is not necessary to indicate the entire history of the application in the description, describe its advantages. Create attractive thumbnails, screenshots, and videos for promotion.

Social networks

Make your social networks attractive, and they can be used as a promotion tool. Thanks to the technical capabilities of Facebook, you can configure the transition from the page to the marketplace. Additionally, targeted advertising on Instagram is launched, which will lead the target audience, and you will receive the necessary downloads.


This is an important component of promotion because they are always viewed by potential users. It is difficult to get loyal feedback for a new app, so get the support of friends or post the app on the forums. Such mobile app advertising increases the chance of getting a lot of feedback in a short time. Don’t forget to check the feedback, as timely eliminated negative reviews is a guarantee of effective promotion.

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If you have some budget, you can also work with opinion leaders who will review the app on social networks. For this purpose, contact popular geeks on thematic platforms and invite them to evaluate the product.

Landing page

The landing page is the face of your product. Make it easy if all the previous steps are completed. You know the target audience, the product itself, its features. It remains to arrange all the information so that the eye rejoices.

The transition to the landing is carried out from social networks, pop-up advertisements, email newsletters, respectively, the information presented on it should fully reveal the idea of a mobile application.

Analyze the product

Having studied and analyzed the data obtained during direct work with users, you are ready to develop, launch, and promote MVP. How to understand if the application is successful? Several key indicators are:

  • The number of downloads from the stores.
  • Where users found your application? Did they download it from the store or via a direct link from the site?
  • Payback on advertising costs.
  • App rating.
  • How long your app is delayed on the user’s smartphone?
  • Paid user actions. Are customers ready to make purchases in the service?
  • Competition. Who are your key competitors, what are their advantages?

You can develop strategies to further improve the application and its promotion, by analyzing these metrics.


Many successful companies started with a small startup. You have big chances to take your place in the mobile application market if you follow the proven advice from professionals.

Do not be afraid of a limited budget, intense competition or lack of experience. After all, for starters, you will not need funds, competition is defeated by the uniqueness of the idea, and experience can only be gained in the course of work.