Here are a few tips you can use on the marketing side of things to turn your beta-testing phase into a true marketing goldmine
The bet- testing phase is a crucial rite of passage for every app. Getting feedback (including negative) for your product is essential and could prevent you from making fatal mistakes that'll hurt a lot more later on.
Recent beta-testing updates from Google and Apple prove once again how serious this phase is for mobile developers. However, not enough mobile marketers take part in this part of the process, and that is a shame.
Here are a few tips you can use on the marketing side of things to turn your beta-testing phase into a true marketing goldmine:
Get the geeks
When searching for beta testers, many will focus on getting valuable feedback and insights in order to develop a great product. But techies can be awesome from a marketing standpoint as well — and a bump from this community could really boost your app's reputation. Make sure your product is pretty great from the get-go, as these pros cannot be fooled. Also, stay away from specific elements that might cause serious backlash (gamers aren't huge fans of the freemium model, for example). It entails some extra work, but rave reviews on popular forums and subreddits just might be worth it.
Turn users into ambassadors
Beta testing is not just for new apps but also for existing ones that want to introduce new features or a fresh version. At this point, app marketers should already know who their power users are and understand how important it is to strengthen their relationship with this group. Approaching your app's most loyal users with an exclusive invite to test a new feature that is not yet available in stores is a great way to do that. Make sure to stress exactly why this specific user was chosen and let them know how much you care about their input. You will not only get great feedback and keep your VIP users happy with the changes you make to your product, but you'll also gain shares and word-of-mouth advertising from excited testers.
Build a critical mass
Some apps are simply worthless without a solid user base. If that is the case for you, beta testing could be helpful in forming your first community before the official launch. But even if social features are not at the center of things for your product, you will learn a lot more about your app from reviewing users' interaction with one another. As a marketing tool, the first critical mass of users will create great buzz and trigger outsiders' sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) just enough to make them want to join the party. Build a circle of users with certain influence and always "leak" details on what's going on in your closed beta circle to make people curious, and even jealous.
A new lease on the press release
When an app is first launched, it receives a certain amount of media attention that soon fades away. It is hard to keep reporters and editors interested in your product without something newsworthy to say, and your new beta-testing phase could be it. If you recently came across an article discussing a new feature that is now open for beta – there's a chance that the marketing minds behind the scenes suggested that. Much like tech geeks (and in some ways even more), members of the press cannot be manipulated and expect professional and fascinating items, so don't try and sell a bland new feature as the next app store earthquake. Yet another reason to give this method a shot is to keep your relationship with the media alive, which will assist you the next time your startup does something truly interesting.
When it comes to mobile marketing, if you keep an open mind and get the right people on board, anything and everything can be a valuable tool. The best advice I can give is to always look for the marketing angle, and if you're convinced there isn't one, get marketing experts to do it for you.
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