Viral App Marketing: How To Instantly Make Your App Go Viral

18 Jan 2023 | Mobile App Development

Every app owner hopes to see their app going viral. And indeed, getting your app downloaded a million times is the fancy — it means you’ve made it, and your efforts have paid off. App user acquisition is today’s question that’s puzzling many app owners, marketers, and developers.

So, how do you make an app go viral?

If you’ve asked yourself this question as many times as you can remember, you’re not alone. That’s why today we will dive deep into app viral marketing strategies to help you increase the odds of your app going viral.

To kick things off, we’ll start by defining what viral app marketing is. So, let’s dive right in!

What is viral app marketing?

Viral app marketing is a new way of promoting your app to allow users to spread the marketing messaging, encouraging more and more of their friends and family to install and try your app.

An app going viral means your app is reaching beyond your target audience and the public at large. It always happens when users are willing to share the app with their friends directly or on different forums or social media pages. Thus, your messaging will spread faster, prompting thousands of users to install your app.

Every brand wants its app messaging to gain so much exposure. Getting their app in front of many people without spending much on advertising costs is every brand’s dream — exactly the results of viral app marketing. But is it easier?

How do you build your app in a way that’s likely to go viral? How will you create an ideal app marketing strategy that makes your app go viral? Let’s find out.

Seven effective ways to make your app viral

Make your app easy to share

It might seem obvious, yet many app owners and developers forget this incredible feature. It is arguably one of the most critical factors that determine if your app will go viral. If users do not find a way of sharing or recommending it to others, it will be difficult for your app to gain more app users.

An app that makes users want to share it must also provide a way of sharing or recommending it to others. Developers can add this feature directly into the app through a share button or an invitation. Also, they may include a short post or content that can be shared via email or social media platforms to invite or attract users to try the app.

Some popular apps provide custom functionality to invite friends and family directly from the app to encourage more users to download and install the app, which can make your app viral. For example, WhatsApp and Snapchat provide in-app share functionality to invite their user’s contacts to join the platforms.

Ask your users for app reviews

App reviews are powerful. A few sentences about your app with a higher number of stars can have more influence on potential app users than your entire marketing scheme. Nowadays, apps compete fiercely, and it may take just the difference of a star or less to make a potential user decide to download your app over another app.

More importantly, getting as many positive reviews as possible will boost your app store ranking, which is a great opportunity to gain more impressions and downloads. A better app store ranking will also help you reach more potential users, giving them a great first look at your app ranking.

But how do you get more reviews in the first place? Simple, just ask for them! In order to encourage users to leave their reviews about your app, you need to ask your current users for app reviews.

You need to ignore the feeling of awkwardness or selfishness that comes up when you need to ask for reviews. Many people would generally want to share their opinions about their experiences using your app, but they need an extra nudge to take the action.

To ensure that you will get positive reviews when you ask users, check to know if users are getting enough value from your app to justify their urge for a good review. Also, your requests should be personalized and not pushy or overwhelming to guarantee more and higher user ratings.

Leverage the power of contextual deep linking

There’s one way to provide exceptional user experiences that can’t fail to amaze new app users — the use of contextual deep linking to provide custom information after the user installs your app. It’s a powerful feature that, when used accordingly, users gain a seamless app experience that delights them and motivates them to share your app.

Using contextual deep linking provides a much more personalized and targeted app experience for new users. When a user clicks an invitation link to install your app, the user will be correctly redirected to where they intend to land on your app. This link may also include several other information about the user, the referrers, or promotion codes.

Contextual deep linking is not only beneficial to users. Also, markers can use these links to gather critical information about their marketing campaigns that they can use to inform their strategies. They can offer personalized promotional campaigns, like sharing promotion codes based on the information they have about the user or their referring marketing channels.

This contextual deep linking is one of the most important features that allow for great user onboarding, which is our next tip to make your app viral. So, let’s discuss it.

Provide a great user onboarding

A perfect user onboarding experience is another great factor that increases your chance of making your app viral. Don’t see the link between onboarding and app virality? Let’s discuss this.

User onboarding can allow you to capture your audience’s attention, provide captivating experiences, and increase your app’s retention rates. The more new users become delighted with your onboarding, they’ll much likely to share your app with their friends and family.

So, how do you create a powerful user onboarding experience for your users? It’s simple, follow the following onboarding best practices to increase your odds of making your app viral:

Wow your audience with great value and powerful user experiences

Users who experience extraordinary moments while using your app are most likely to become brand ambassadors for your app. These experiences often create strong connections for your app because they find that it provides so much value for improving their lives.

Various aspects of your app can provide wonderful moments that can leave your users always wanting to let others know about their experiences. These extraordinary experiences often led to a surge in downloads for apps like Face App and TikTok.

Think creatively to understand what can resonate with your audience and provide enough value for users to develop these feelings about your app. The more users can experience these feelings as early as their first launch, the more likely you will increase the chances of your app going viral.

Do not limit yourself to your app features to build great applications — sometimes, you need to create an exceptional app user interface and user experience for your app to go viral. Make every element valuable and emphasize those features in your app marketing.

Include strategic gamification in your app

Incorporating gamification techniques in your app allows you to insert gameplay elements to enhance user engagement and increase app shares. Gamification involves suitably weaving the fun features, like leaderboards, point systems, badges and other elements to infuse game-like experiences into your app.

A perfect example of an app with excellent gamification elements to increase user engagement and boost social sharing is Duolingo. Duolingo is a language learning app that allows users to tap into the power of their intrinsic motivation to keep them delighted to keep learning while competing with others.

Gamification may require more thoughts into the ideal activities that are unique to your app to make it work. You must ensure that these elements are suitable to fit into your existing features and do not interrupt or interfere with the user’s experience.

Understand and strategize on the hooked model

The Hooked Model is another great way to design your app to help you amass millions of users and still stay relevant in their minds. If you master it and apply this feature to your app, you will surely gain and retain thousands of users.

The hooked model is where tech companies capitalize on addictive elements of tech to engage their users more by building these habit-forming elements into their apps. The concept of the hooked model is the engine of many companies that continue to amass millions of users each month without losing their interest in the products.

Take, for example, the leading web consumer companies like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. These sites are so addictive that it would be impossible not to find thousands of users hooked and addicted to such platforms.

The concept of the hooked model is extensive. But basically, it is a way of describing a user’s interactions that a user goes through some phases as the user builds habits through the process. First, the user finds a trigger that prompts them to use your app. He does the action that satisfies the trigger and gains a variable reward for their action.

A variable reward can be anything that can surge a user’s dopamine. What value can the user gets when they open your app? What are they expecting? And the best is the variability of the rewards, which makes it more interesting. How can you create variable rewards for your app to hook users into opening your app again and again and spending more time? Once you know what to do, that’s the exact recipe for making your app viral!

Finally, the user will ultimately invest in the app, which makes your app more valuable for the user. The investment can be the user’s time, data, effort, money, etc. With this investment, the user will find your app even more valuable, so they will want to open it more and more. And with it, the users will be thrilled to share your app with others.

Gain massive exposure with influencer marketing

Partnership with influencers to promote your app is perhaps another great strategy to kick-start your viral app marketing. Influencers can quickly convince thousands of their followers to try your app.

And what’s best about influencer marketing is that once a few users start using your app and find it valuable, they will also be more ready to share the app with others. Thus, if you run enough campaigns through influencers to persuade users to check the app, it becomes easier for your app to go viral if the other factors favour your app.

There are several ways to find and partner with the right influencers in different media channels. Think about TikTokers, bloggers, Instagram influencers, etc. You can approach anyone on the platform and ask them if they are ready to help you.

Sometimes, many influencers are most likely to accept your offers for partnerships, and they will help you to creatively curate the content that would easily resonate with their audience to maximize the results. So, always discuss with your influencers how well you can push your app for a higher conversion.

Final thoughts about how to make your app viral

There you have it — the eight ways to make your app go viral. Driving millions of downloads and making your app viral is challenging for every app owner. Applying these few tactics to your app, while effective, is challenging.

Nonetheless, strategically applying all the tips we’ve discussed today will significantly increase your chances of going viral. You will save thousands on advertising costs and marketing efforts. Try them and see your user base growing.

Do you need to build apps made to go viral from the beginning? Let’s infuse functionality and features made to help your business grow. Contact us today, and we will help you deliver your app development projects.