App marketing in Nigeria

The dream of every business is to sell its products/services to customers.

However, satisfaction is rather derived when a customer does not only buy but use that product or service.

And such satisfaction is achieved when your app delivers a digital experience that move hearts before wallets. 

This makes app marketing in Nigeria very critical, as it involve specific app marketing strategies to increase downloads, engagement, and usage. 

As you'd know, it's when customers buy and use your products that they can leave feedback, which in turn, brings exciting reviews to generate referrals.

Unfortunately, most businesses today focus on just getting people into their sales funnels as the primary prerequisite for generating sales.

Regarding selling your health technology products/services, it doesn't work that way.

I for one, fall under the category of customers that may get into your funnel but fall off along the way.

In short, it is one thing to ignite my interest in your product or service and a totally different thing to get me to use it.

For example, a few months ago, I downloaded the Branch Personal Finance Loans app.

Wanna know why?

It's because I kept seeing ads on my phone which were increasingly becoming a nuisance and getting quite annoying, sometimes they'll pop while I was chatting or doing something on my smart phone.

I eventually downloaded the app and signed up for an account, I got the welcome email and a few follow-ups, and that was it.

Fast-forward to last week, I uninstalled the app.

Now don't get me wrong; the app solves the problem of the rigorous processes involved in obtaining loans by its feature of 'Loans on the go'. Although they were able to make me sign up with them; they couldn't stay with me through the 'using' process.

Most businesses face this same problem, and it cuts through every industry; healthcare, fashion, education, information technology, and many others.

Particularly in the healthcare technology industry, whatever you bring to the table as a product or service must:

  • Identify a particular problem
  • Solve a problem
  • Add value to your customers, firstly, and
  • stay with them to earn their loyalty.

Statistics showed that Nigeria had over 23 million smartphone users by the end of 2018 and this figure is estimated to reach 145 million smartphone users by 2025.

With the advancements in mHealth all over the world and its recorded success in the delivery of fast and effective healthcare services, many countries are adopting this innovation and companies are developing new and better products and services.

In an article titled "Mobile Health Technology is Key to Repositioning Nigeria's Health System," Sola Ogundipe identified the problem of the health sector in Nigeria and how mobile health technology was a pathway to solving the problem of inadequate health care facilities in the country.

Sola's article has put us through the first step: Identifying the problem.

He went further to proffer a solution, which highlighted that innovative products in this sector would produce some thriving mHealth businesses, thus signifying that there is a market for your product in this health technology industry.

What's left?

Your consumers.

How do you get them to use your product? More specifically, how do you achieve that for a mobile health application?

There are over 20 major digital health startup companies in Nigeria who have ventured into developing mHealth apps, yet these apps lay barely unused in mobile app stores even though a good number of these apps have remarkable features for patients and clinicians alike.

For example, the Kangpe app is a mHealth app that facilitates connection to doctors, consulting, helath record keeping and in-visit bookings on a smart phone.

Sadly, since its launch in 2017, the Kangpe app lies relatively unused with only 1k downloads on the Google Play Store.

Another one is the Hudibia mobile app that provides healthcare services such as consulting, connection to doctors, prescription, keeping health records and booking appointments with a doctor.

More so, Hudibia has a language-translate feature for translating significant languages within Nigeria. Unfortunately, like the Kangpe app, Hudibia also has had only 1k downloads on the Google Play Store, since its launch in 2017.

Obviously, with those disheartening stats, there emerges the inevitable question:

If there are 23 million smartphone users in Nigeria, how come these apps have such a sparse number of downloads?

So, how can Kangpe, Hudibia and other emerging apps similar to them (like yours) make you and I know know that their apps add value to us and solve a problem?

You're right!

Marketing!

App Marketing in Nigeria (a case for mHealth apps)

Monthly, "wellness" alone receives about 368,00 search queries; "stay healthy" gets up to 110,000 search queries, while "healthy" gets up to 81,000 which is a clear evidence that people are researching these solutions online.

Nigerians can't be left out either. We also seek ways to solve our health challenges, and this directly relates to why we are one of the most prominent foreign health care service seekers.


It's little wonder why even wellness apps are also on the rise in Nigeria. 

So, to help you get the most out of your mHealth app business, while also helping end users find and use your solutions, I've put down strategies to apply to get people to buy and use your mHealth app.

These are researched, tested and trusted strategies.

Before we dive in, it's important to note that there is a difference between 'promoting' your app so that users can download and 'influencing' your users' decision to make them download and use your app.

Remember how I kept seeing ads from Branch finance App on my smartphone and eventually downloaded the app?

Several other apps are using the 'in your face' marketing strategy. However, that only promotes the app and maybe drives download but do these people use the apps eventually?

You guessed right. No!

So, below are some proven strategies to employ in getting your mHealth app into the hands, hearts, minds and wallets of your target customers.


7 App Marketing Strategies in Nigeria

1. App Store Optimization (ASO)

You need to know your ASO.

It is pertinent to optimize your app in any store you're launching it on so that once people perform searches related to the problems it solves, as well as the solution it offers, they'd find it quickly.

Also, good app optimization ensures that your application would receive relevant suggestions to people who may likely download and use it by the algorithms on these app stores.

40% of app downloads on Android take place through the Google Play Store, so you may want to prioritize that.

Although the search functions on the Apple Store doesn't function properly, Google Play Store is riddled with errors while the Windows 10 Store is drowning in disaster.

You somehow need to make the best out of all these.

The bottom line is that you must optimize.

You need to know your potential customers and be abreast with the keywords they are putting in while searching for apps. Consider exploring services such as Sensor Tower, App Annie, or Mobile Action.

When describing your app, be sure to include such keywords in your title/description that highlights the benefits of your app instead of its features alone.

Also, make your keywords short, precise and human-sounding.

Humans are the ones downloading and using the apps; you need to make your title legible and attractive.

2. Write a blog

No.

I don't mean just any blog.

With so much blog contents circulating the internet, readers already have their plates full.

Thus , it would be best if you wrote a blog that makes people throw all they've got in their hands and immediately grab all the value your blog is dishing.

Wondering how to go about that?

Pick a unique feature of your app and write a captivating blog that ends up not just adding value to your readers but influences them to check out your product.

It is also imperative to include links to your landing page in the blog and your bio, which means that even though what you have is a mobile app, creating a single website is essential.

To spur you on the importance of writing captivating blogs that don't just discuss app features but it's benefits to potential customers, in the first year of it's existence, Buffer added 100,000 users through staffers writing blog posts and contributing to other blogs and publications.

3. Seek Press Coverage

In Nigeria, press coverage has been proven to influence public opinion and decision making to a great extent.

Good for you!

There's nothing better than a third-party endorsement for your app.

Imagine having reputable publications such as ThisDay, The Vanguard or The Nation writing about your app.

How is that possible?

Identify a journalist who has published an article similar to what your product is about and pitch a brief detailing of why your app deserves a story.

For a mHealth app, Sola Ogundipe has an interest in mobile health technology and has emphasized on the need to adopt mHealth in Nigeria's healthcare.

He (as well as others) could key into your app.

PR works well in Nigeria, so this would drive attention to your app, not just visits but downloads.

4. Offer Referral Rewards

If you are familiar with the Nigerian society, you'll know Nigerians love 'Awoof'

They love bonuses and rewards on whatever product/service they buy.

mHealth apps cannot be an exception.

How about you offer a free consulting session on your app after someone downloads the app?

Not only would that motivate anyone to download and use your app, it would also demonstrate the usefulness of your app, as well as increase the chances that they would keep coming back for more.

What's more?

You can also give free consultation as a reward for referring the app to friends. Something you can do by sharing personalized codes for already registered users.

Check out PamDrive , the Nigerian online taxi service. They offer ride coupons to commuters as well as reward users with free rides if they refer the app to friends; it's a small cost to you, but word-of-mouth marketing can be very powerful.

It offers an incentive to your early adopters too -the ones who often download the app but don't install it, or install it but don't use it, or use it for a while and then forget about it.

5. Explore Social Media Channels

Do not neglect Social Media Channels.

Your prospective users are on on platform or the other, and they would gladly follow your page the moment you are offering something something that they relate with.

For instance, so many people are talking and reading about mHealth apps on every channel too.

Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are very suitable places to run targeted ads for a mhealth app, especially if you're targeting the millenial demographics.

6. Invest in Intelligent Marketing

Marketing that is done intelligently is very important.

Have you considered marketing offline?

The Nigerian health sector is still growing, and people need to be adequately sensitized on the convenience of mHealth apps so just running ads and promoting your app online may not be enough.

This is where traditional marketing comes in through other stakeholders in the healthcare sector.

Visit the hospitals.

Of course, before the advancements in technology, which has birthed mHealth, telehealth and the likes, hospital were the first thing that comes to mind immediately a health issue arose.

Have you sought collaboration with hospitals?

You need to discuss your app with doctors and possibly include them regarding recommending the app to patients.

Patients would value an app that helps them stay in touch with a healthcare provider via mobile and doctors can access patient records and track patients progress as well as deliver consultation via mobile.

7. Use Word of Mouth

Without any doubt, word of mouth remains the bet way to create traction for your app. It won't only drive traffic but it creates a viral effect.

People will trust your product when they listen to others give positive reviews about their personal experience with your product.

Word of mouth works very well in the Nigerian business space and it would work well for getting people to use your mHealth app.

To get more people talking about your app, I recommend you concentrate on adding the most value and solving the problem it says it solves most efficiently.

Good products sell themselves; invest a better part of your resources in bettering your product and adding only features that improve the lives of your end users.

There you have it!

Be sure to put these strategies to work.

Use them to build credibility and influence your potential customers' decisions before they even get to your app download page.

The mHealth sector will soon be popularized in these parts of the world; you want to be on the minds of every health care provider and beneficiary when that time comes.

Still uncertain about which mHealth app would sell better?

Check out my articleSeven Most Attractive Health Sectors for mHealth App Companies.

Got any questions?

Please, share with us in the comments below.

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Therrie Eduoh

Therrie has a BA in English & Communication and has a strong passion for health technology. She creates engaging stories to help B2B MedTech brands get more leads, sales, and revenues.

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