The app is GRADLIKE, for college students. I had thousands of flyers handed out on campuses hoping for .25% or so returns, but nothing came of that. I've been advised to rewrite the app store description with new keywords, but I'm hoping for some advice on what can really work before I take next steps.
Checked out your app. Stop spending on marketing before you fix these things:
1. App name - Add some keywords to the name. E.g:
GRADLIKE - Advice for college students
2. App screenshots - First two screenshots are not good. Why would you promote that it's a pain to register for the app and you have to enter email and Facebook. This is part of onboard that users hate and you are putting it front and centre! Also, I'd strongly recommend not having the splash screen as a screenshot. Again this doesn't communicate value from the app.
3. Description - worry about this last. There's no evidence tha the description has any effect on ranking in the store and very few people read it.
I think the key problem here is messaging. You are not answering the question: "Why would I want to download this app?".
Hi, that's because you're marketing it all wrong. I checked out your app and the free content doesn't seem compelling enough to want to pay for the rest.
Your messaging is all over the place trying to target every possible audience within the college environment. An app like this should be native. Look for ways to couple college living with tips and answers that would benefit students.
Pick channels and stick to one goal/audience per channel.
Today's marketing is not about throwing ads at people and expecting growth.
Ask yourself -
How can I efficiently reach and had a conversation with my customers?
How and where can they best reach me? My services?
How and where can I facilitate my customers/users reach each other? (Promote word of mouth?)
How much time did you spend with students validating the concept and materials before putting the app together? It's important to know who your target audience is before choosing the appropriate method to reach them.
Regarding the specific ASO side, don't worry too much about the app description beyond the first couple of lines for getting the core USP across. Definitely work hard on your keywords and screenshots though, and keep a close eye on your App Analytics account to see how many visitors you are getting to your page and the conversion rate to installs.
It really depends on how much you have to spend but in my experience, the lowest customer acquisition costs come from influencer marketing (non-organic word of mouth). I'm in no way affiliated with them, but Neo Reach (neoreach.com) has a scalable influencer marketing model that is genius. It's pricey, but genius. I can make an intro to one of the co-founders if necessary.
I'd love to help you strategize a plan to increase app downloads. Shoot me a message because I checked out your website and have a few ideas on how you can make some small tweaks to your website and marketing to separate yourselves from your competitors. I'm confident I could be of some help to you as I have a lot of success hacking experience like the situation you're finding yourself in.