VIRAL MECHANICS IN APP PROMOTION
April 10, 2020

Mobile Development

Mobile app promotion №21. Viral mechanics in app promotion

By Alexander Sergeev

Word of mouth is such methods of promotion when it’s not you who advertize an app, but your clients. This approach is very effective due to one reason — people trust more to their friends and acquaintances than to banners, TOPs, and reviews. Today we’ll tell you about the main types of viral mechanics which you can and should use while promoting apps.

Social networks

A social network is a great environment for viral advertising of apps as it’s the place where all the user communication with friends happens. Approaches may be divided into 2 types: passive and active:

  1. In the first case, an app just informs user friends about his/her activity in an app. For example, it can be a post like that: “I’ve completed an IQ-test, my result is 87”. Games often use messages about achieving a new level or a victory. In suchlike cases they use people’s curiosity — their interest should stimulate to install an app.
  2. Mechanics of the second type should induce people to activity, i.e. they contain appeals. For example, “Help me to beat the leader of orcs” or “Let’s make an order together and get a discount”.

 

 

Main types of mechanics:

  • Help request — the scheme works perfectly in social networks but on one condition — a user shouldn’t be shy about asking for help.
  • Inviting friends — the tactics are created for messengers, social networks, and other apps where communication with friends is important.
  • Mutual benefit — a good way as users usually don’t perceive it as mendicancy. Such mechanics is usually used in games: if you invite a friend, then both you and your friend get bonuses.
  • “Selling” contacts — it’s simple: a user gives his/her contact-list to an app and gets some benefit (game currency, additional functionality, discounts, etc.). Such an approach is often used in dating services where extending a user base is a primary task.

 

  • competition — this mechanics is based on a call to compete with your friends. For example, such posts work great for games: “I’ve answered 26 out of 30 questions correctly! Could you beat my result?”
  • status purchases — it’s applicable to apps for selling fashionable clothes, for example. Many users would love to boast having an item from a new collection.

SMS

It’s another efficient channel for the viral spreading of apps. It works like this: a user is offered to enter his/her mobile number in order to get a promo code giving a discount. Along with a promo code, there’s an appeal: “Send this message to your friends and get an additional discount” in the message. Thus you can attract new users to your base. But this channel is good not for all the apps. And the offer should really be profitable for users as they won’t disturb their friends because of trifles.
Why this channel is good?

  • according to statistics, people open the majority of SMS in 3 minutes.
  • users read 97% of text messages.
  • users themselves carry out targeting. They send SMS only to those people who may be interested in it.

E-mail

Using an app where social connections are provided, a user is often curious about who also uses it (his/her friends). That’s how the mechanics of user attraction via e-mail is built. A user is offered to give access to his/her contacts. As result users find their friends and a developer gets an impressive contact base.

Such mechanics work great in dating services, social networks, and even games where social elements are present.

The above-mentioned mechanics can perceptibly extend your client base. But it’s difficult to foresee the result as it depends on many factors. You need to carry out thorough data analysis and testing.

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