ALK Digital Marketing Solutions

The Ultimate Guide: Marketing a Google Workspace Add-On

The Ultimate Guide for Marketing a Google Workspace Add-On

As a digital marketing freelancer, I’ve crafted marketing strategies for diverse industries, ranging from tourism to nonprofits and healthcare. However, the most distinctive and innovative space I’ve ventured into involves marketing services for Google Workspace Add-Ons.

Over the past few months, I’ve been strategizing and consulting on marketing approaches for my client, John, who owns Automagical Apps. He graciously agreed to be featured in this article.

Initially, while I had a grasp on Google Workspace products like Google Docs, Gmail, and Google Drive, I wasn’t well-versed in Google Workspace Add-Ons.

In essence, these add-ons are third-party applications that seamlessly integrate with various Google Workspace applications, enhancing efficiency and simplifying tasks for business owners. Many offer free plans and the option to upgrade to subscription-based models for advanced features. These applications are accessible through the Google Workspace Marketplace.

For example, Automagical Apps has developed popular tools for one-click translations of Google Slides, transforming Google Drive files into Google Forms, and more.

When I began collaborating with John, I scoured publications by marketing experts for resources on raising awareness about Google Workspace Add-Ons, building traffic, devising subscription strategies, managing reputation, and optimizing listings. To my surprise, I found very little information. A quick Google search for “google workspace add-ons marketing” yielded no results on performing traditional digital marketing for a Google Workspace product.

Given the scarcity of shared knowledge online, I aimed to create a comprehensive guide for other marketers and Google Workspace developers to reference.

Publishing a Google Workspace Add-On

To be clear, I am not a developer. The purpose of this article is to advise on marketing for Workspace Add-Ons, not building or publishing them. 

With that said, the first step to marketing a Google Workspace add-on, of course, is to get it published on the Google Workspace Marketplace. Tidis Ventures has created a fantastic Complete Guide to Publishing a Google Workspace Add-On that I recommend reviewing if you are starting from scratch. The steps break down in the following way:

  1. Review your app to be compliant with Google’s guidelines
  2. Create a standard Google Cloud Platform project
  3. Set up the Oauth consent screen
  4. Create a Google App Script project & Deploy your app
  5. Enable Google Workspace Marketplace SDK
  6. Create a store listing
  7. Publish Oauth consent screen for review
  8. Making the Oauth consent screen video
  9. Publish your store listing and app for review

Google also has guides for building add-ons and publishing add-ons.

Understanding the Google Workspace Marketplace

Screenshot of the Google Workspace Marketplace

Before we go any further, it’s important to understand the setup of the Google Workspace Marketplace. 

What we now know as Google Workspace (formerly GSuite) was introduced in 2006. The Google Workspace Marketplace launched in 2010 as an online store for free and paid web applications that work with Google Workspace services and third party software. 

Add-On product listings are organized in the following way:

Home

The default landing page is the Home page, which displays 2-3 featured apps in each of the Editor’s Choice Categories below.

Editor’s Choice

  • Intelligent Apps: These apps are AI-powered apps to help you work smarter and save time.
  • Work from everywhere: These apps help your organization be more productive.
  • Business essentials: These apps help increase workflow productivity.
  • Apps to discover: These apps are new and innovative.
  • Built by Google: These apps are built by Google.

Learn more about how to get featured on Editor’s Choice.

Top Charts

  • Most Popular: Organized by number of installs.
  • Top Rated: Organized by average star rating, with number or reviews and recency of reviews being additional factors in positioning.

Categories

  • Business Tools
  • Productivity
  • Education
  • Communication
  • Utilities

Within each category, users have the option to filter by Workspace App compatibility (Google Docs compatible, for instance), free or paid, and star rating. The Google Workspace Marketplace also allows users to search for apps by keyword. 

With the exception of Editor’s Choice, which is curated, where your add-on listing is placed on any of the above category pages is driven by an algorithm. Google’s algorithms tend to be quite complex, and the Google Workspace Marketplace is no exception. 

Considerations for Gaining Visibility on the Google Workspace Marketplace

From what I have learned, these aspects seem to be most important to consider when attempting to gain visibility:

  1. Number of Installs
  2. Average review rating
  3. App Compatibility
  4. Quality of Add-On Listing

Number of installs has a great impact on visibility, especially without Editor’s Choice selection. So the first priority for any new developer launching an add-on should be to maximize exposure and increase the rate of user installs.

Understanding the Google Workspace Marketplace

Screenshot of a Google Workspace Marketplace Add-On Listing

Your Google Workspace Add-On listing is your product page. And Google Workspace Add-On listings can be optimized for visibility within the Google Workspace Marketplace in similar ways to how ecommerce products might be optimized for visibility across Amazon marketplace or Google Shopping. 

Every Google Workspace Add-On listing has the following components:

  • Logo
  • Title and Brief Summary/ Description
  • “Works With”: A List of Icons for the Apps Supported 
  • Call to Action: “Install”
  • Average Rating, Number of Ratings & Number of Installs
  • How-To or Promotional Designs and/or Videos
  • Permissions
  • Reviews
  • Description
  • Additional Information: Pricing, Link to Developer Website, Support URL, Privacy Policy & Terms of service, Link to Report, Certifications, featured, etc.

Optimizing a Google Workspace Add-On Listing

Once a listing is published, developers should optimize it. As with product pages and website homepages, Google Workspace Add-On Listings should be optimized for user experience, traffic and conversion rate.

Branding

As with any product, recognizable branding builds consumer trust. Consider having a logo and brand guidelines professionally developed before launching your product. Ensure that your logo, screenshots, videos, website and description elements are consistent.

Optimizing the Title and Summary

Because Google Workspace Marketplace has search features, it’s important to optimize the title and description of your listing for keywords that they might search for. For instance, searching “pdf to google form” brings up Automagical Apps’ listing for Automagical Forms in the first position.

Another consideration is character limits. While character limits allow for more characters, developers should try to communicate the value of their product in the first 25 characters of their title and the first 80 characters of their add-on description, which is where the snippet cuts off on the category listing pages.

Here are optimization for titles recommendations from Google:

  • Use title case.
  • Avoid punctuation, especially parentheses, unless part of your brand.
  • Keep it short—15 or fewer characters is best. Long names may be automatically truncated in the Google Workspace Marketplace listing and elsewhere.
  • Don’t include the words “Google”, “Gmail”, or other Google product names in your add-on name.
  • Don’t include the word “add-on” in your add-on name.
  • Leave out version information. 

Optimizing Listing Visuals

Google Workspace Marketplace allows developers to upload images and videos to their profile that display to the user how their add-on works.

The graphics dimensions are 1,280 x 800 px. All videos should be 16:9 ratio and hosted publicly on Youtube.

The best graphics include:

  • Screenshots of the add-on in use displayed via a graphic design (one screenshot per slide)
  • Minimal text (two sentences or less to communicate the screenshot)
  • Large font size for easy legibility
  • Branded colors and text

Optimizing the Listing Description

The best descriptions for Google Workspace Add-Ons do all of the following:

  • Explain the value of the add-on within the first two sentences
  • Include trademark indicator wherever Google product names are mentioned (Example: Google Maps™)
  • Are organized into clear sections
  • Provide bullet points for features
  • Are less than roughly 1000 characters in length
  • Provide how-to instructions in 5 bullet points or less
  • Provide a few examples of who could make use of the add-on and what they could use it for
  • Provide at-a-glance pricing
  • Utilize emojis or visual elements sensibly

Here are optimization for description recommendations from Google:

  • Use sentence case (especially for buttons, labels, and card actions).
  • Prefer short, simple text without jargon or acronyms.

All of these details working together will help to grow traffic and convert users. 

Google Workspace Add-On Developer Website

Automagical Apps Website

In addition to fulfilling the requirements of a successful marketplace listing, Google mandates that developers have a website with specific publicly accessible information. This includes links to details about the developer, customer service support, and legal documentation like a privacy policy.

Given these prerequisites, most developers opt to create a comprehensive website to showcase their add-ons. This not only meets Google’s criteria but also serves as an additional channel for potential customers to discover your products.

Your website provides an adaptable online space where you can share extensive information beyond the constraints of character limits or style guidelines set by the Google Workspace Marketplace. It’s an opportunity to present your add-on in its best possible light, fostering trust and potentially enhancing user conversion rates.

Moreover, establishing a support center, whether integrated into your website or hosted elsewhere, is crucial. If you’re uncertain where to begin, consider leveraging tools like HelpCrunch, which streamlines the process of building a knowledge base that seamlessly integrates with your website.

As with any website, your site should be well optimized for user experience. Website design is its own beast. If you need help with designing a website, contact ALK Digital Marketing

The best Google Workspace Marketplace developer websites include:

  • Featured App(s)
  • Call to Action (Install and/or Learn More)
  • Selling Points, such as number of Installs or high rating
  • Featured Reviews
  • Use Cases
  • Support FAQ articles and how-to guides
  • Information about the developer

Monetizing Your Google Workspace Add-On

The Google Workspace Marketplace provides four pricing options: free, paid with a free trial, paid with free features, or simply a paid plan.

Most add-ons tend to lean towards either a paid plan with a free trial or a paid plan with free features. The free trial serves as the “hook” for an add-on, enticing users to explore the product before committing. Typically, users aren’t immediately ready to convert to paid users — they need persuasion.

Free Trials

For add-ons that can be quantified by usage per day or interactions, a smart approach is to limit usage before prompting a paid plan. If quantification isn’t feasible, offering a set number of days for a free trial is effective.

To determine the optimal usage or trial period, tracking your add-on’s installs and usage via an analytics platform like Google Analytics (now GA4) is crucial. John from Automagical Apps has penned an insightful blog detailing the rationale behind setting the cutoff for the Form Creator add-on’s free plan, worth exploring.

Paid Subscriptions

When contemplating the cost of a paid plan, consider whether your add-on caters mostly to individuals, enterprises (domain users), or a mix of both. Customizing pricing structures for each is key. Enterprise users often hold the most value, so prioritize offering them the highest value.

Conduct thorough competitor and product research to determine a fair price range that benefits users while maximizing your profits. Experiment with different pricing models and gather user feedback.

Understanding your audience is pivotal. Educators, for example, might have less disposable income for educational tools compared to an e-commerce business. Successful creators cater to both budget-conscious users and those seeking premium options.

Adaptable Pricing

If over half of your reviewers lament high costs, it might be time to reconsider pricing. An effective in-app conversion rate for IOS apps averages around 2%, so if less than 2% of your trials convert to paid users, reassess pricing strategies.

Communicate the value of your paid plans clearly to trial users and ensure they stand out or excel compared to competitors. Regular competitor audits are essential in this rapidly evolving space — adaptation is crucial for staying relevant.

Remember, discounts and promotions aren’t exclusive to retail industries! Google Workspace Add-On developers should explore timely promotions or reward loyal users with exclusive discounts.

Analytics

As a digital marketer, analytics will always be my favorite subject. All successful businesses need clear and insightful analytics. Operating without them is like driving blind. 

Google Analytics

Although your installs happen off of your website and on the Google Workspace Marketplace platform, the marketplace allows for Google Analytics connection to track app listing, user and installation metrics. You can read the full guide here

Google Analytics includes the following information:

  • How many visitors have viewed your app listing for a specific time period. 
  • The geographic distribution of visitors.
  • How visitors reach your app listing, for example, from a Google Search.
  • The average time spent viewing your app listing.
  • Install events that are created when users start and finish installing your app. These events let you determine how often an install process was aborted and how many installs were completed over time.

In addition to these add-on tracking events, I would also encourage developers to create an Analytics property for their websites. Together, these two Analytics properties will paint a picture of how users are interacting with your add-on from end-to-end.

For developers offering a paid plan, the next step would be to integrate usage info with your licensing or billing server. 

With billing and subscription information, you can adequately analyze pricing strategy and calculate crucial metrics like ROI and user conversion rate.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a tool that allows developers to measure a website’s Google Search traffic and performance, fix issues, and make a site shine in Google Search results. 

Google Search Console can only be integrated with a website, not Google Workspace Marketplace. But it provides key insights on the queries that users are searching in order to discover your website. 

These queries may identify opportunities, such as questions that can be answered from your support center, keywords that you may have potential to hold top rank for in search results or key phrases that could be bid on if you choose to perform paid advertising.

Optimizing User Communications and Email Marketing

All optimizations to pricing, promotions and research would be moot without effective communications in place with your users. 

You’ll want to carefully choose a customer relationship management tool based on price and the ability to support the type of automations you are looking for. For developers of add-ons, the ideal CRM should provide the ability to utilize an API or webhooks to create triggers for automated messages. 

For instance, when a user installs your app, a webhook will carry over that user’s email address into a pre-made segment for “New Users”, which will trigger automated emails. Again, I’ll point you to John’s fantastic blog for an overview of how he accomplished this with the tool Mailjet.

Ideally, your automated messaging would cover at least all of these bases:

  • Initial Install Welcome Message 
  • In-App Calls for Reviews
  • Free Plan Expiring Message
  • Notifications for add-on updates
  • Upsells and Other App Info

For those who want to take it one step further, consider including an opt-in form on your website and starting up a semi-regular email newsletter. This newsletter can include tips on how best to use your add-ons, newly released add-ons, promotions and more.

Be sure to test your emails regularly to ensure they are performing as expected and lacking any errors.

Social Media Marketing for Google Workspace Add-Ons

Maintaining a semi-regular email newsletter proves highly effective in engaging supporters and sustaining awareness among potential users yet to convert. Another impactful strategy is establishing a robust presence across social media platforms.

In today’s landscape, we’re inundated with options for social media channels. Succeeding in this realm demands substantial time for engagement and community management, so it’s crucial to be discerning about the platforms you prioritize.

LinkedIn

As Google Workspace primarily caters to businesses and enterprises, leveraging a business-focused platform like LinkedIn is a natural fit. LinkedIn’s allowance for text-only posts alleviates the demand for graphics, unlike visually oriented platforms such as Instagram.

LinkedIn users seek educational content to enhance their skills, so ensure your content caters to their learning needs and aligns with your target industry audiences.

Meta (Facebook and Instagram)

These platforms boast widespread adoption, making it easy to establish and nurture a community. However, the heavy emphasis on visuals might pose a challenge for software or add-ons.

Moreover, Instagram’s algorithm demands consistent posting and active engagement. If this seems daunting, prioritizing LinkedIn might be a better choice. Yet, if you’re confident in your graphic design and content creation abilities and can commit to engaging relevant communities consistently, Meta and Instagram can effectively maintain awareness and foster a supportive following.

Social Listening

Even without a dedicated business social media account, it’s essential to regularly scour social platforms for individuals seeking solutions similar to what your add-on offers.

Communities on Reddit, Facebook, X, Threads, and elsewhere often voice frustrations matching the exact problems your add-on solves.

Encourage these users to explore your add-on through a free trial. Engage in conversations naturally and approach users as you’d want to be approached. Avoid any semblance of spam—aim to assist users in solving their problems rather than driving them away.

Paid Advertising

So let’s say an add-on that’s performing well on the Google Workspace Marketplace. You’ve successfully cultivated a community of engaged users and advocates through regular newsletters and active social media presence.

Currently, you’re converting users at a rate of 2% or more. However, you sense there’s still an untapped audience waiting to discover your product, and you don’t have the patience to wait for SEO or referrals to take you there. Plus, you have a budget to allocate.

This might signal that it’s time to venture into paid advertising. Platforms like Google Ads and LinkedIn Ads wield remarkable potential in broadening your reach to potential customers.

While I could delve into explaining the intricacies of setting up these ads here, it’s a topic that warrants a blog of its own due to its complexity. It’s best to entrust this aspect of marketing to a seasoned professional who specializes in such strategies.

2 Replies to “The Ultimate Guide: Marketing a Google Workspace Add-On”

  1. You are truly an accomplished webmaster. The launching speed of your website is remarkable; it almost seems as though you’re performing some sort of magic. Furthermore, the contents are flawless; you’ve done an excellent job with this subject.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *