How to Promote Apps for Students -

How to Promote Apps for Students

If you’re considering creating and marketing an app, students are among the best audiences to target. Students are always looking for new apps to try out, whether they’re for helping them in their academic life or managing their personal life. While these audiences are worth connecting with through your app marketing, you need to take the right approach to both app creation and promotion to reach these users.

Why Market Apps to Students?

Students, particularly in today’s younger generations, continually look for the perfect app experience. Today, 79% of teens between the ages of 13 to 18 own a smartphone, and college students are even more likely to carry them, with 93% of individuals with a higher education owning smartphones as of 2021. If you want to establish a relationship with these audiences, you’ll find them to be a lucrative market for your app. 

Generally, targeting students is a great way to drive app installs and downloads, particularly if these audiences find your app to help them with their educational experience. 

Student using a smartphone in a campus.

Steps for Promoting Apps to Students

The key to connecting with teenage and young adult students is to develop a marketing strategy that appeals specifically to them. Unlike audiences who aren’t attending school, students have unique needs that you must address in your campaigns. The following are some specific ways to promote your app to students and convert them into satisfied loyal users.

1. Create a Plan

Before you can begin marketing your app to students, you need to have a clear plan in place. Otherwise, you won’t be able to determine how successful you are in your efforts, and you may find that you’re wasting your budget on ineffective campaigns.

The first step to take here is to establish well-defined and realistic goals that you can achieve. Also, make sure you have the ability to reach these goals within a reasonable timeframe. You can do so by developing a detailed timeline that helps you track your progress and determine where you are compared to where you should be.

2. Encourage Word-of-Mouth Advertising Through Testing

Word-of-mouth advertising is one of the most effective ways to promote your app without direct involvement. This form of marketing can complement the rest of your campaigns as students recommend your app to others. The fact is that 92% of consumers still trust recommendations from friends and family over strangers and brands, and students are no exception.

You can drive word-of-mouth advertising by selecting a group of students to test your app and reward them for participating. You can then encourage them to share their experience with people they know and their social media connections, offering a reward in exchange for spreading the word about your app.

3. Connect with Influencers

As you approach your app’s public launch, try to reach out to relevant influencers and bloggers in your industry. The best time to connect with influencers to market your app to students is when you’ve prepared all of your marketing materials, before the official release. 

Many influencers have large followings consisting of students, which is why you should take the time to perform some outreach to build relationships with these individuals. You don’t need to go after big influencers with millions of followers, either. Micro-influencers within narrower niches often have hundreds or thousands of loyal followers.

When getting influencers involved, you can offer them a free premium version of your app or a free product in exchange for videos and live streams discussing their experience. This is a great way to generate excitement and build trust among these influencers’ audiences.

4. Offer Incentives to Maximize Engagement

When students start using your app, give them in-app incentives to continue using them. These rewards could include points that contribute to savings, free in-app items, and others that drive engagement. This will help establish your app as part of students’ daily routines.

5. Get Creative With Social Media

Students and social media are as inseparable as ever, which is why you need to take advantage of these platforms when promoting an app for students. Although younger audiences still use Facebook, students are becoming increasingly loyal to Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok, which offer a more visual experience.

Using social media, you can raise your brand’s awareness while nurturing relationships with prospective users. On platforms like TikTok and Instagram, you can share screenshots and videos of your app that entice students, while ads supplement them. You can also offer free trial periods, behind-the-scenes footage and details of your development teams, and other ways to engage with these audiences.

Three happy students dressed casual using tablet for school project and sitting at desk in library.

6. Gain a Deep Understanding of Your Audiences

While you may have an idea of what students want from your app, you should take steps to gain an even deeper understanding to ensure you connect with them. Keep in mind that the students of today are different from students even a few years ago, with rapid changes in technology and trends making it important for you to keep up with them. 

It’s not enough to research audiences online—consider physically visiting campuses to speak with students in person and get their input. In addition, you could attend conferences in the education industry to help further promote your app.

7. Maintain Good Communication

Good communication is vital for your app’s success. By effectively communicating both internally and externally, everyone will benefit from developers and marketers to end-users. 

You can communicate with audiences via social media platforms, requesting feedback from users while responding to comments or complaints. You should also make sure your communication is personal, with email content and other messaging that speaks directly to prospects and users. 

To facilitate good communication, you also need to pinpoint where your audiences spend their time. What social media platforms do they use? How much time do they spend on various educational websites? Do your audiences read blogs or view video content on YouTube? Answering these and other questions can help you determine how best to communicate with students.

8. Target Local Magazines and Newspapers

Although online platforms are still critical, students still read physical media such as on-campus newspapers and magazines. Try to secure ad space in these publications to further increase brand awareness and earn people’s trust.

9. Harness the Power of Gamification

Like other younger audiences, students enjoy competition. You can appeal to this through gamification in your app. For example, you could track users’ progress in time management apps. You can also provide in-app rewards to users for achieving goals they have set in budgeting, planning, or other types of apps. This will drive more engagement and keep users returning to your app on a regular basis.

10. Form Partnerships With Local Businesses

It may be worth it to work with local businesses in certain ways. For instance, you could offer schools the opportunity to advertise in your app in exchange for having them advertise your app on campus. This will mutually benefit both parties, further extending your app’s reach and increasing its reputability while helping promote local colleges and other institutions.

Types of Apps to Create for Students

If you’re not entirely sure what type of app to develop to reach students, there are plenty of types of apps that these audiences will find useful. Offering the right solution for students will make your app popular among students or even other audiences, such as professionals with busy schedules.

Some of the different apps that resonate with students include:

Productivity Apps

During their time in school, students will want to make the most of their experience and avoid wasting their time. You can help them achieve this through a productivity app. For example, your app might enable students to set specific goals to achieve by the end of a particular period, such as a semester. Students can set these goals based on their personal schedules and aspirations, tailoring these goals specifically to them. Students would then be able to track their progress on a regular basis to see how close they are to achieving or even surpassing their goals.

Time Management Apps

In an effort to be more productive, students also want to manage their time wisely. Through a time management app, students can set aside specific blocks of time each day for different activities to make sure they’re getting the most from every hour of every day. Again, users could track their progress and see how well they’re managing their time based on goals they set for themselves. Apps could also alert students when the allotted time for a particular activity has passed, keeping them on track and on time.

Study Tip Apps

Ahead of finals or other quizzes or tests, students often seek all the help they can get to make studying more efficient and effective. Study tip apps can give students all the advice they need on a single platform. 

Study tip apps can provide helpful tips regarding many aspects of studying. They might offer tips around productive studying, study settings, memory, exam preparation, lecture comprehension, writing, reading, and exam day prep. These apps could offer tips regarding specific subjects such as math, biology, and more. In addition, these apps could provide guidance around wellness, life skills, and organization, all of which further help students get the most from their study sessions. 

Assignment Trackers

If students have a lot of assignments, they can quickly become overwhelming and difficult to manage. This could lead to stress as students worry about being able to keep track of and complete each assignment on time. An assignment tracking app can eliminate this uncertainty and help students avoid any late assignments by sending them regular reminders about assignments. These apps could allow users to set periodic reminders at specific times, and users can gauge how much time is needed to complete each assignment, which can help them manage their time more efficiently.

Safety Apps

It’s also important for students to remain consistently safe on- and off-campus. Safety apps can help whenever students are out alone at night by keeping users connected with friends and family. These connections enable others to easily locate students based on the location of their phones, and they may allow users to send a quick call for help by tapping a single button in an emergency.

Alarm Apps

While students often set alarms for themselves, it’s often tempting for people to hit the snooze button and continue resting for a few more minutes, until they find themselves running late. Alarm apps for students can not only wake up users, but they can also ensure they’re effective in innovative ways. As an example, Alarmy: Sleep If You Can require users to complete certain small tasks to turn off the alarm when it turns on. This helps wake up the user by engaging them more effectively. Alarm apps could also include weather features that let users know how to prepare for the day, along with other helpful features that make getting ready easier than ever.

Lecture Capture Apps

Another type of app that many college students are likely to find handy is a lecture capture app. These apps eliminate the need for students to keep up with professors as they record manual notes. Instead, this app records lecture audio and makes it easy for students to listen back to any section, without the need for recording hardware. Some of these apps even allow users to photograph whiteboards and convert these images into different file formats that make them easy to compile and view.

Promote an App That Students Love With App Samurai

Students are rewarding audiences for many app owners and developers, which is why you’re likely to succeed with your app by targeting these individuals. However, you also need to make sure you have the tools necessary to effectively market your app and connect with potential users. 

With the help of App Samurai, you can connect with students and many other audiences through a comprehensive mobile growth platform. You’ll be able to develop, optimize, and manage campaigns to help ensure you maximize user acquisition, retention, and ROI. Using App Samurai, you’ll give your apps the boost they need for long-term success, regardless of your audience.


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