Brands, businesses and corporates have all jumped on the mobile bandwagon this year. As we step into 2017, there is already an app for almost everything but still there are no signs of the app market slowing down. With close to 2.6 million apps in the Google Play Store and another 2.2 million apps in the iOS store the mobile app market is buzzing with activity. Add to that thousands of app being uploaded on daily basis. It is instantly clear that marketing a mobile app is a big challenge that every marketer today has to deal with. To master mobile app marketing, it is important to first identify the challenges with mobile app marketing.
Let us look at some of the challenges in marketing a mobile app –
Challenge 1 – Increasing competition makes App discovery tough: The biggest challenge in promoting a mobile app is driving discovery of your app. Users look for apps for their everyday use through app store search and would download and install only those apps that appear in the search results. With millions of apps in the store, how do you get noticed ?
What you can do?
(a) Optimize for search: You need to make sure your app is optimized for search. Implement these App Store Optimization (ASO) techniques to get discovered. However, with millions of app out there, app discovery through organic means is next to impossible.
(b) Invest in paid marketing: Relying on organic installs alone is a risky strategy. App marketers will need to invest in paid mediums to drive awareness and installs. You can use several paid mediums to drive awareness – email campaigns, social advertising, in app advertising on other relevant apps, app promotion services. Remember that you need to reach people wherever they are, while they watch, surf, search, work and play. However, remember that paid install customers are less loyal than their organic cousins.
(c) Reach out to the community: Reach out to bloggers, app reviewers and influences and ask them to review your app. Identifying the right reviewer for your app from relevant industry or domain. Provide them promo codes for full access as an incentive to review your app. A good review from an influencer is worth 1000 downloads.
Challenge 2 – Downloads don’t lead to users: Though you got users to download your app, there is a very high chance that they never use your app. According to recent study, more than a quarter of the apps are used only once and then abandoned. This typically happens if you are running meaningless CPI (Cost per Install) campaigns with app advertisers who promote your app to irrelevant target audience. This could also happen if you do not have a clear on-boarding message for your users. They do not know how the app functions or how to signup ?
What you can do?
(a) Have a clear on-boarding strategy for your new users: Simple and clear on-boarding message gives users information on app capabilities as they signup or login. Check leading apps like Facebook, Pinterest and linkedin for their on-boarding page and messaging
(b) Provide a great First experience: Users will come to you again if they like what they see for the first time. So gun for a great first experience and make it superb.
Challenge 3 – Retention and Driving Engagement: There is just so much space on a user’s mobile decide to accommodate few useful apps. The uninstall rates for apps are extremely high. In fact, 80% of apps are abandoned within first 30 days of install.
What you can do?
(a) Push Notifications: Push notifications are a time tested way of driving engagement. If used properly, push notifications can drive up to 200% increase user engagement. Find the right times to engage with your users. Some A/B testing should help you figure this out for your audience. Users need to opt-in for push notifications, so make sure you wait until users are familiar with you app before request for a push opt-in
(b) Customized offers: It is no secret for marketers that a one size fits all approach doesn’t work any more. Give the users exclusive offers based on their behavior, past purchases and lifetime value.
(c) Allow social sharing: Provide users with an opportunity to share their achievements, opinions, awards etc on social media rather than just asking them to like your page or application. Social sharing helps in word of mouth publicity.
(d) Reviews and ratings: Remember the basic rule – No one ever recommends anything that they don’t like. Ratings work as a great publicity tool for apps. The more positive ratings your app has, the higher the chances of getting more installs and word of mouth recommendations. Request for reviews from users who are more engaged, they are more likely to give you a good rating.
It is safe to say that developing a great app is just 10% of the app store game, rest 90% is all about marketing your app. It would not be far fetched to say that app developers not knowing this could be the biggest challenge to be successful in launching an app.