Even a great app won’t achieve any success if it’s not marketed properly. What is your application about? What are its most important features? Why should people bother to download it? You should ask yourself these questions and take time before answering. A well written app description might greatly increase your chances to conquer the App Store or/and Google Play.
Basically, three things need to be taken care of - the app’s name, its description in the app stores and screenshots (graphics). While there is no holy grail / insta-feature solution, making a good application description might definitely boost your chances to make waves in the app stores (or at least won’t harm them).
There are literally millions of apps available in the leading app stores (Google Play and the Apple’s App Store) to choose from right now. In one of our articles we already talked about some ways of increasing the application’s chances to get featured. Well, if you want your app to be easily found through search, writing a good description is a must. Let’s start with the first part then - how to find the right name for your app?
Write a proper name
The very first things your potential users will see are the app’s name and icon. As far as the icons are concerned if you’d like to get some inspiration I recommend checking this list of great app icons and the guide to design them.
How about the name? Well, first of all it should be as explicit as possible. The competition is stiff, so you don’t want your app’s name to be irrelevant to the app’s mission - people should know what it’s about from the get-go.
What about the app’s description?
This is another key step in achieving app store success. How to approach writing the app’s description that sells? Try to empathize with your potential users - basically try to browse the stores for some interesting apps and find out which descriptions draw your attention and which don’t.
Let’s take a look at some of the best tips when it comes to creating well-written app descriptions:
Usually the first impression is everything and that’s also true when it comes to mobile apps. How to take advantage of it? Use the first three sentences (225 characters max) of your app’s description to show all the potential users what kind of problem your product solves. Take a look, for example, at the Facetune’s description:
“Facetune helps you look your Hollywood best, even in photos taken on mobile phones.” - Roy Furchgott, The NY Times
Facetune is a fun and powerful portrait&selfie photo editor!
In 178 characters they highlighted exactly what the app is about and what type of problems it solves. Right now Facetune is a featured app in the App Store.
Another good way of amplifying your description is mentioning achievements, awards the app has managed to get and worthy reviews. A good example is Down to Lunch , a social networking app:
Mentioning achievements and reviews
Created by Stanford students and used by students at: Stanford, Harvard, Duke, Yale, MIT, Princetor, UGA, and hundreds of other colleges around the world
Featured in newspapers at Notre Dame, BYU, UGA, Lee University, University of Rochester, and more.
Featured in TechCrunch and Brit+Co!
The main part of your description should really consist of these 2-3 paragraphs which highlight all the characteristic features of your app. Musixmatch might be a great example here:
Highlight all the characteristic features
Listen to your music with synced lyrics
Discover the FloatingLyrics feature to enjoy synced lyrics while playing your favorite songs with Spotify, Pandroa, Play Music or any other music apps.
Search lyrics for any song you love
Instantly get the lyrics searching into the world’s largest lyrics catalog.
Can’t remember song title? Simply type the part of the lyrics to find the song.
Identify lyrics for music playing around you
With a simple tap you can magically identify the song and the lyrics from the Radio, TV or any other audio source.
Your favorite identified lyrics will be stored in your personal profile.
The app’s description should also give users information about all the most important features. I believe that one of our clients - el Grocer, an iOS and Android grocery app, does it pretty well:
Free Delivery in 60 minutes from the best supermarkets and grocery stores nearby
Price guarantee. Same store prices
Search easily for any product OR navigate quickly the supermarket aisles
Order tracking and customer service support
Reorder your precious baskets easily
Add favorites for quick shopping
Also, when releasing an update do not forget to include information like new features, fixed bugs etc. Periscope is a great example of how to do it:
What’s New in Version 1.3.7
In this version it’s easier to see if you’re watching a broadcast with someone you know. Whenever one of your mutuals (someone you follow who follows you back) joins a broadcast, their name will appear in chat. We’ll also prioritize their name in the viewers list, and show you how many of your mutuals are in the broadcast right now.
While broadcasting on your iPhone, you can now tap the screen to adjust the focus on your camera
While broadcasting from a GoPro, you can now plug in your headphones to use as a microphone (instead of using the GoPro’s microphone)
Decreased the time it takes to load a replay (under worse network conditions).
The broadcast’s local time is now visible for replays as well as LIVE
Bug where the broadcast’s local time wasn’t updating
Bug where replays always said they ended “just now” if you entered Periscope from Twitter.
Missing translations for push notification actions (special thanks to @operateurdefron)
Last but not least - there are three rules of “good app’s description” - SLAP, KISS and WIIFM which might help your app’s chances.
SLAP - Stop, Look, Act, Purchase. What does it mean exactly? Intrigue potential users with simple, short sentences. Don’t let people assume too much - be concise and send a clear message instead.
KISS - Keep it Simple Stupid. Make your message clear and to the point - no beating around the bush or hard sell.
WIIFM - What’s in it for me? If your clients-to-be ask themselves this question, what will be the answer? How can your app be really helpful?
How about some screenshots?
Just like it’s the case with description - you won’t get a second chance if the first impression is mediocre. Bear that in mind and carefully select screenshots which will represent the app. Snapchat does a really good job here...
They basically show what Snapchat does and that you can expect a great joy using it. It goes without saying that great descriptions also amplify this effect.
As you can see, creating a good app description is not a very difficult task, but it definitely requires some time and attention. There’s no doubt it’s worth the hassle, though - the odds are that your app’s downloads counter will embarrassingly stop on a double digit number if you don’t optimize the app description. To cut a long story short, you should remember the following:
- Design an icon which reflects the app’s mission
- Choose relevant, descriptive name
- Make sure the first sentences of your description are appropriate and enticing as they will be visible in the search.
- Write about the app’s awards, valuable mentions etc.
- Highlight all the characteristic features of your application.
- Inform potential users that your app is still getting better - write about fixed bugs, new features etc.
- Select some enticing screenshots.
If you have any more questions concerning the app marketing, just drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or write them in the comments section. Good luck!