When Uncle Ben said, “With great power, comes great responsibility,” little did he know about the mammoth effect his line was going to have on the world. Within a span of five years apps have taken control of the entire consumerism and changed the realm as we know it. People carry connected devices with them all the time and use them to watch TV & news, socialize, make purchases, and navigate . . . in short, for everything.
As an app marketer you must have figured out by now how omni-channel is a very powerful medium to connect with the consumer. Of course mobile and tablets are very personal things, it will not be surprising if you end up making mistakes and consequently losing your customer for good. I will help you identify those mistakes and get rid of them before you set out on marketing your app:
1. Stop treating your app like it’s a mobile version of your website
Apps are supposed to be very quick, interactive, and a fun way of letting your customers explore your product. Sure, you have a wonderful and successful website but mobile and web are two completely different platforms. It is easy to assume that a mobile app should exactly look like the website, the content should be similar, and the flow should be a replica of the website. WRONG. A consumer mostly uses an app to save time or in a crunch situation when they cannot just log on to the website, so making the user flow on the app tedious and hectic is not a smart idea.
What should be done
Stick to the point. Simplify the user flow by focusing on only those things that are actually important. Take a survey and figure out levels that would slow down the functionality on the app and mercilessly kill them to stick to just core tasks. Using bright and vibrant colors smartly in your CTAs would totally prompt your user to click and convert. You will be surprised to see the conversion rate.
2. Improper understanding of app analytics
By now, if you are not using analytics of any kind in your app before its release, you are in a bigger trouble than I can possibly imagine. But, since you are, there is a slight chance that either your choice of analytics is not delivering desired results or you are not sure how to use it to its potential. Let me explain the latter part—it is imperative that you ensure that your app is healthy enough to be downloaded onto various devices. By healthy, I mean are you sure your app is developed in a way that, by itself, it gets more and more users; keeps them engaged and retains them?
What should be done
First of all, it is vital to figure out the key data metrics essential in making your app a success. Then the ideal step is to integrate a good analytical product to those metrics. A smart marketer/developer would be one who actually knew what to do with the analytical report received. Remember, when you are tracking every consumer action, then and only then would you be able to take an informed and successful decision.
3. Lack of monetization strategy during development
With the number of apps available on various stores crossing millions and millions and the cost per install getting expensive every passing day, it has become extremely challenging to generate revenue out of your app. There are exactly four ways for you to choose from, in order to make money:
The most commonly used method by marketers across the globe is by allowing ads of other products and apps onto theirs. This allows them to overcome the cost of eCPM and the manpower to strategize monetization plans and to design ads. But the thing to keep note on here is to not bombard the users with frequent and too many ads lest it may impact the user experience.
Out of 100 top apps in any store, only a handful of apps are paid. Rest of them generate revenue using In-App purchases. If your app has the potential to get as many downloads as you dream of, the rule of thumb says to keep the primary features available for free for the users to get hooked and then tempt them later on with the rest of the important features. Learn how to implement in-app purchases here.
Although only a small percentage of apps are paid, it is best to put a price tag and make your app premium from its first release. You might not get as many downloads as you would have with a free app but your consumer base will only consist of cream users. As the joker said in The Dark Knight, “If you’re good at something, never do it for free.”
The most complicated and risky way of strategizing monetization in your app is to have the users subscribe to your features. This will give you the best life-time value and cost per user but it will only do so when you give your users really good “value” such as storage, related content or other benefits.
4. Selling more than you can offer
With so many competitors in any industry, customers are extremely quick to judge your app within seconds of the first usage. Now, how do they come across your app? You attract them using your marketing skills and content. Overstating and not being able to deliver is a sure shot method of your app failing terribly as users will give poor ratings and reviews which in turn will impact search results and form a negative first look.
What should be done:
Understating and over delivering always brings you brownie points. Never promote anything you cannot offer. By all means you should highlight key points of your app but never oversell it.
5. Ignoring app store optimization
App Store Optimization best practices vary from platform to platform. Common mistake is to get confused or ignore platform specific set of rules. Also, from my experience, I have seen that people focus so much on their keywords being present in the description but they miss out a point that it only matters in Google Play and not on App Store. Adding to that, a poor icon design will give your competitors an added advantage of scoring ahead of you in searches.
What should be done:
ASO is mostly based on assumptions—neither Google nor Apple have given away much details on actual volume of searches on their stores. That being said, there are a whole lot of experts out there with their months and months of research available to read for free. Read them—they know a thing about ASO, or two. Focus on the two key components—Keyword Optimization and Conversion Rate Optimization. Rest, patience is virtue—things will not happen overnight.
6. Executing a poor viral loop, or not executing at all
When marketers are asked to come up with virality ideas, very little time is spent on the philosophy of it and mostly they strategize just the technical part of it and come up with content like, “Invite your friends to download this app,” or like, “This is the best app in this industry so help us grow.” More often than not, the virality feature is added deliberately in the app which looks forced.
What should be done:
Understand the terms viral loop and hook—a loop is how your consumer becomes a marketer and helps your app grow naturally without spending any extra buck, whereas a viral hook is something that makes your consumers retain so that they themselves become marketers. Play with the need of your users and tempt them to get something for free if they share your app among your friends and see your downloads grow. Learn more about virality and growth hacking here.
7. Not caring your customer
Understand this—suppose you are a consumer and you download my app for some reason; now you like it but you think there is some issue with it and you want to suggest something to me, or worse, you have questions on the usage of my app but there is no way for you to communicate with me. Would you really appreciate the app after all? Would you not think I don’t care for anything except my app downloads? Would you not go and rate my app as terrible and write a painfully bad review on the store?
What should be done:
Customer engagement should be always be amongst top priority tasks when the app development is in final stages. You must include in-app communication tool for your customer to contact you anytime they want. Also, you prompting your user to leave a feedback on the stores from time to time is not a bad idea and it helps the app to personalize the user. If you think you lack the resources to build these tools, consider outsourcing this service and believe me your ROI will never fail if you manage your customers smartly.
All these points do not come from any app marketing rulebook—they are deduced mainly from the experience and engagement I have had with app marketing. That being said, since you now know the secret to successfully market your app, might I suggest you to check out App42 MA—a comprehensive and really powerful real-time actionable analytics tool that saves you from all the coding hassles and smoothens out the process of increasing user acquisition, engagement, retention and conversion?
Learn more about why you should focus on omni-channel presence now more than ever. For more queries, feel free to shoot mails to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to connect with you. Good luck 🙂