If you’re a teacher, student, or administrator, you’ve probably thought about how you can make a custom mobile app for your community. You’re not alone. Education as a whole has certainly caught the mobile bug. Rightly so, considering parents are more likely than non-parents to download apps of any kind on their smartphones and tablets according to a report by PEW, interestingly three in ten (31%) parents mostly download apps that are oriented towards learning or education.
Schools around the world are looking into how to communicate better and engage their communities through apps and mobile devices. If you’re one of the front-runners of an industry changing revolution and have created a mobile app for your school’s community, then keep reading…
Schools that have developed a mobile communications solution are often wondering how to get the word out to parents, students, staff, alumni, etc. so they can download the app and take advantage of such a great resource. It’s new. It’s exciting. But people have to know about it to take advantage of it.
Here’s a quick guide to some simple and effective ideas to help you market and advertise your mobile app to your community:
1. Leverage your website
- App logos on the homepage – The home page of your website is likely the most visited page. Make good use of it. Put your app’s images on the home page of your website and be sure to link each of the app store icons to your app on the various app stores.
- Create a separate page for the app – This is an extremely helpful resource for you to refer your current and prospective families. You can create a new page on your website (typically under the About or Parents / Families section) that has a description of your mobile app, what people can do with it, and where they can download it.
2. Create a short video
Videos are the most consumed media online. They are fun, shareable and grab enhanced attention. Create a simple video clip about your app. You can use slides of app screenshots or clips of students / parents using the app; add some music to make it catchy and easy for folks to share. Put this up on your website and other social media outlets.
3. Write a blog or press release
Make it easy for your community to discover your mobile app online. A press release or blog post is a great way to advertise your mobile solution for little to no cost. Your press release can be emailed to your community, put on your website, submitted to various local newspapers and online education news sites.
4. Print a flier
You can create a 1-page flier advertising your mobile solution that can be distributed to enrolled parents or included in the admission packet for enrollment/re-enrollment. You can also post this on various local community boards or on campus.
An email communication is extremely helpful in getting the word out about your mobile app. Design an email template, or just draft a simple e-mail announcing the launch of your organization’s mobile app and urge everyone in your community (parent body, staff, and alumni) to download it.
6. Post on a few social networks
Posting about your Mobile App on various social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) is a great way to announce and remind your community of your mobile solution. This should be done repeatedly but with frequent intervals (we suggest at least twice a month). Sometimes your post might include a link to the iOS/Android/Windows app, sometimes it might be just a textual reminder that it’s there, sometimes it might ask for feedback, sometimes it might link to a separate blog / press release etc. Post away!
7. Get testimonials
Nothing sells parents on an idea or concept better than advice and recommendations from fellow parents. Ask a few of your parents what they think about your school’s mobile app and how you might make it better. Post their testimonials on your website, blog, social media, etc. to increase popularity and adoption.
8. Get app reviews
Another easy way to increase popularity and adoption is to have excellent reviews of your app on the various app stores. Ask parents, students, staff, etc. to write their honest reviews for others to know more about why your mobile app is so great.
9. Keep the conversation going
As frequently as possible, ask parents, students, staff and other members of your community for ideas on how to make your mobile app even better. This ensures that your community feels like it has a voice and that its opinion matters. And don’t forget to incorporate the inputs/suggestions which you think would add value to your app.
The more you announce your app, the more chances people have to learn about it, download it, and use it. Shout it out, repeatedly!
Alefiya Bhatia is the founder and CEO of Crescerance, a company that provides Mobile Communication Solutions to Schools and Education Communities across the country. She is a veteran educator and her experience in the classroom and as a part of school administration has helped her understand the challenges and importance of streamlined communication between parents, teachers, administrators, and broader stakeholders in a school’s success. This is what led her to embark on the journey of finding a way to address those needs through leveraging Mobile technology. Learn more about Mobile Schools at www.crescerance.com/clients or follow Crescerance on Twitter @Crescerance.