Marketing your app in less than $5
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Go Ahead and Market Your App in Less Than $5

App Marketing

Okay! That was a desperate title begging to be clicked but the truth is; many great ideas die in solitude and so do many great apps. As the famous Marketing Guru puts it;

For a business not marketing is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing but no one else does.
—Stuart H. Britt

For people developing apps, budget is one major concern, always. Advertising needs money, at least through the conventional mediums. Keeping all of that in mind, what if I told you, you can market your app on Facebook for less than 5$. Yes, less than 5$.

Firstly, you wouldn’t believe me and you’d have every reason to do that but I would also tell you that you are assuming a few things and they’re all irrelevant when it comes to marketing you app in Facebook.
I am talking about Micro marketing. If you have built a smart mailbox that can give even Gmail or Outlook, a run for their money, would it be relevant if the ad for it is shown to a hippie, high on life and chilling in Manitou Springs. The answer is No.

You would like your ads and your customers to be people living in the fast paced cities, wanting everything on the go. Showing ads only them would the sane and economical thing to do.

What is Micro Marketing?

Marketing has evolved from ‘one message to all’ to ‘one message to some’ and now to ‘one message for one.’ The latest stage of marketing is jargoned as ‘Micro Marketing.’ Through micro marketing, a tiny group of people, sometimes filtered down to individuals are targeted with a specific message tailored made just for the audience.
Micro marketing campaigns are built around information around the audience that is to be catered. The information is more intricate in nature than those used in traditional marketing campaigns. The data comprises of the work, demography likes, dislikes and even the music taste of people. The data gathered is churned and sliced down into numbers to gauge the mindset and the message is crafted in a way to swing it in the favour of the campaign.

How President Obama used it

120522_VL_obama_rd_small.jpg.CROP.article250-mediumObama, in his 2012 campaign majorly used two tactics. First, he delivered a campaign targeting Romney negatively aiming at suppressing the voter turnout of Romney’s supporters.

Second, he mobilized key voter blocks to register early and vote. 18-24-year-olds; African Americans; Latinos and single women in the key swing States. Voter turnout for these four key demographics was about 70% thereby giving him the numbers he needed to push him over the edge.

Both of these had Microtargeting at their heart.

Obama’s campaign team worked tirelessly to gather and interpret data for as many voters as they could. They built up voter files that included voter history, demography and many data points around interests and dislikes. The data like the charitable institutions they supported and the magazine they read or the Netflix they rented, all were collected and studied. This resulted in identifying a group of ‘persuadables’ to target.

That data was able to be drilled down to zip codes, individual households and in many cases individuals within those households.

The analytics revealed so much about the voters that they could create messages that could resonate with them and activate them to either spread the word or at least consider Obama for a second term. The following image shows an email restructured to hit the voter much more than before:


Even the selection of Sarah Jessica Parker as the celebrity host of the fundraising dinner in New York was based on the analytics the data gave. The micro-targeting, in this case, was done on the people aged between 40 and 49, and Sarah was the most appealing celebrity to them.

Trump Too Used Facebook Ads to Win

Facebook Ads

Let’s talk about the latest too. Even Trump campaign built an identity database and won the election using Facebook Ads. Throughout the election campaign, President Donald J Trump is said to have invested in Facebook Advertisements to reach his supporters and to raise donation. Trump’s win proves the power of Facebook Ads.

Reports indicate that in one of the days during Trump’s campaign, his election campaign Ads were spewed out at Facebook users that led to 100,000 different WebPages. This is the typical example of micro-targeting different segment at the same time. Precisely proves the power of Micromarketing.

Facebook Ads


How Can You Do It for Your App

I am sure, you’d be wondering how could you do it for your app? Neither do you have a budget nor a team like Obama had nor are you a famous person like Obama? My answer to that is: You do not have to win the national elections, you just have to market an app and it can be done with a computer with an internet connection and a meagre budget.

Using Facebook Ads for Less Than $5

With 2 billion monthly active users, 1.15 billion mobile users, and 1.28 billion daily users, I think Facebook if not underused then the most misused platforms for marketing today. Facebook ads have an option for broadcasting your message to all of your target audience but that does not necessitate that you must do it that way. In fact, by treating Facebook Ads differently from other forms of marketing, you can greatly increase your conversion rate and discover all sorts of insights about your target market.


Since the ads are CPM, you pay only for the clicks you get which will automatically reduce your cost while giving you a lot of digital real estate and awareness for your app.

There are two basic ways to engage in Facebook Ads. The first is to send your brand message out to your entire target audience with the hope that you will get some takers. The second is to break up your target audience into lots of little micro-segments, and then send targeted messages to the micro-segments, explaining how your brand relates to them.

As you’d have guessed already, I would always suggest the second way. The segmentation has been beautifully explained in a post by Isabel Crouch where she gives us the following criteria for segmentation:

  • Very specific age ranges
  • Hobbies
  • Sports
  • Interests
  • TV shows, video games, movies, books
  • Locations
  • Life events

Steps to create a Micro Targeting ad

Create Personas

Create a persona of your prospective customer. You can do this either by interviewing the existing customers for a running app or by deciding the customer you want to target for a newly launched app. The persona consists of details like demography, occupation to likes and dislikes of the individual.

Break down your market

Break down your market as far as you think you can in terms of ages, hobbies, interests, and locations. Think about what micro-segments could be in your target market. Once you have a micro-segment, create your advert aimed directly at them. Think about how this segment would use your app and what imagery would catch their eye.

Use interesting content

When you write your advert, tell your little micro-segment why they, specifically, need your product. Tell them what they will gain from it, and use the kind of language they will find familiar. Learn the lingo of your micro-segment by looking at other pages that target them.

Measure and iterate

Even after cutting the campaign down to such small pieces, chances are there that it would not work. There always lies the possibility of a human bias in crafting personas or even analyzing the product market fit. The only way, to overcome, is to tweak your campaign either in terms of the message you convey or the audience you cater.

There are ways for creating eye-catching content with the help of Google Trends, Topsy Analytics and Newswhip, which I would cover in the coming posts. If I have left anything valuable and you would like to share it with the community, you are always welcome to comment on the thread.

So, if you have a brilliant idea, have a word with our experts at OpenXcell and understand how your idea can transform into an app.

App Industry

Meenakshi Krishnan

Meenakshi Krishnan

Meenakshi Krishnan is a Content Consultant at OpenXcell, a pioneering Mobile App Development Company in India and USA. A techie at heart, Meenakshi is passionate about the start-up ecosystem, entrepreneurship, latest tech innovations, and all that makes this digital world. When she is not writing, she loves to read, cook and paint. Prior to this, she was working for a technology marketing company based in Norwalk as a content contributor. You can reach Meenakshi at LinkedIn and Twitter