Deciding when to start marketing your app can be difficult.

Your app is finally all grown up. You've nurtured it from the development phase to pre-launch, and now you're ready to send it out into the world for the moment of truth. If you're familiar with the Android app market, you know that world can be especially inhospitable to new apps. Every day, more than 200 new apps hit the Android marketplace.

The result is a dog-eat-dog climate that makes it impossible for casual observers to keep up with new releases. Strategic app marketing is the key to cutting through all the noise. The following PR strategies will uniquely position your Android app to outshine countless other apps in your genre.

Target A specific device or platform

One of the biggest selling points of developing an Android app is the staggering number of supported devices and platforms. In fact, the PDF document listing the names of the devices supported for use with Google Play is 322 pages long, with about 30 devices per page. While that's a goldmine of potential users, you'll shoot yourself in the foot if you try to market your app to them all from the start.

The better initial PR strategy is to aim for precision before ubiquity. As a marketer in the Android market, you can choose exactly what mobile devices and platforms you want. That way, you can target the right people with the most relevant PR. If you aim small, you miss small.

put your best foot forward in google's play store

Don't underestimate the persuasive potential of your app's icon and description in the Android marketplace. Known as the app-store optimization of your product, this process involves explaining and depicting your app so users understand and are attracted to what your app does.

Your first impression on users begins with your icon. Your icon determines whether the user goes on to read your description, look at your screenshots, and even download your app. Your icon should clearly depict what your app does — users should remember it, not be confused by it. For tips on designing Android app icons, check out Google's Icon Design Guidelines.

Your app's description and screenshots are equally critical. Your description should tell users what's unique about your app, not what it does that everyone else's apps can do too. Remember to include a bulleted list of functions and a call to action with a sense of urgency, such as "Download our app before [date] to get 50% off the retail price." For your screenshots, upload all the screenshots Google allows — eight, currently. You might also customize them to the platforms and languages in which your app is available (e.g., tablet screenshot, Spanish screenshot, etc.).


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aim for high-quality engagement on the right social media sites

Android and iOS users are different people when it comes to social media use. According to data-management startup Onavo's study of mobile data, 90 percent of iPhone users use the Facebook app, with it accounting for 10 percent of their data usage. By contrast, 63 percent of Android users use the Facebook app, with it accounting for 5 percent of their data usage. Compared to iPhone users, Android users more strongly prefer Twitter (25 to 22 percent) and Google+ (35 percent to eight percent).

Obviously, as an Android app marketer, you want to send your message on the social media platforms where Android users are. But you can't stop at the right platform. Your engagement on that platform needs to be of the highest quality as well.

For example, Instagram is the second-most-downloaded free social media app in the Google Play store. Android users now make up half of Instagram's 100 million monthly active users. To succeed on Instagram, you have to speak the native language — aesthetically appealing, artistic pictures. Don't fall into the trap of just posting screenshots. Try posting pictures of fans using the app or fan artwork, for example. 

reach out to journalists in the niche android app review scene

This strategy requires a DIY approach. Your best bet is to reach out to journalists with an established presence on Android app review sites, such as:

•    Android App Review Source
•    Androinica
•    Android Apps Review
•    Life of Android
•    Android Tapp

Many of the sites will promote your app for free if they feel it's warranted, but others will ask for compensation to give your app priority. You can find these Android-specific journalists on social media, professional sites, or by commenting on their existing work. Don't reach out to just any journalist — follow bloggers on social media to see the app niches that interest them.

While conception and development of an app are by no means easy, your work has just begun. Prior to launch, these PR strategies will recruit the influencers and users who will help you cut through roughly 1.5 million Android apps.