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How to Get App Downloads 101

By collegemktgrp | August 10, 2015 | Brands/Advertisers

Believe it or not, we started out slinging newspaper ads. Covering the entire nation, College Marketing Group, founded in 2002, grew into an advertising behemoth in the college marketing space by adapting to the latest trends of technology. One of the latest of these is the rise of the mobile app. While many people find themselves building or commissioning them with shocking ease, only a small handful of people have mastered the art of app promotion. We’re happy to share, 100% free, our industry experience through countless partnerships with web and mobile startups and large corporations looking to step up their campus advertising.

What you can do…

App Store Optimization:

There are a number of things you can do by default to increase your app downloads, app store optimization (ASO) being #1. This easy “Growth Hack” is key to letting casual browsers of any of the mainstream app stores and those looking to fill a need find your app. Similar to SEO, proper app store optimization simply raises your app in the ranks of app store search results and category menus. Given that app stores are the primary venue of finding applications, it’s easy to see why this is a big deal.

There are two main ASO metrics, keyword optimization and asset optimization. Following the best practices and standards to maximize these are crucial to getting downloads for your app, improving your chances of making the “next Facebook” rather than the “next flop”. Keyword optimization is easy – plan out and tailor your app’s name, description, and other app store indexed copy using keyword research tools. They’re available for free across the web, though my favorite is here.

Asset optimization is a little more complex. There are countless products and tools out there that can be used for A/B testing, but assuming any traction and proper keyword optimization whatsoever, an app of at least moderate maturity can be optimized in-house. This can be done by A/B testing individual variables in-house and measuring performance in the app store, though this may take some time as only one major variable should be changed at once. These variables can be anything from screenshots and the app’s icon to the title and copy within the listing itself.


Localization is an obvious helpful hack. If you’re hosting a city or country-specific application, or perhaps one where multiple languages could be supported, it’s advantageous to put instances of your app in the app store that are relevant to every demographic possible. Similar to a Google Search, localization plays an important role in the results of search. The market for music streaming apps may be packed in the United States, but hosting a French-language version of the app may let you gain a foothold in a new, underserved population. That said, it’s also a lot of work to translate everything from the written copy to the actual app dialogue, buttons, etc. so this isn’t always everyone’s first step.


If you’re seeing that people like your app, then boosting ratings/reviews factors heavily into the organic discoverability of your application. Have you ever wondered why modal windows asking for ratings are present in almost all of the major social networking applications? It helps them as they jockey for position to be above the fold in app store searches.

How we can help…

Outbound App Promotion

App promotion isn’t just an inbound endeavor. Advertising your app, especially to the busy youth and millennial market, is among the most important marketing activities even if your main product isn’t solely an app. Since the majority of millennials are rapidly shifting to mobile devices for their primary device, promoting a well-designed app can open up the floodgates for new business from the largest generation in American history.

College Marketing Group often runs and has seen the most success from mobile in-app and Facebook’s proprietary “mobile app promotion” advertising, which harnesses the power of a colossal network of advertising real estate across thousands of top ads to target millennials where they already spend most of their time – on their phone! When it comes to outbound ROI, there’s nothing more efficient and we’re among the most experienced in the ad world when it comes to successfully executing these sorts of campaigns. Want to beat the competition to the top of the market? Drop us a line to discuss your options.

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