Whether it is reading the news, socializing, shopping, navigating and more, mobile apps have enriched our daily lives and enabled us to do almost everything from our phones. As of June 2016, Android users had 2.2 million apps to choose from on Google Play, while the number of available apps in Apple’s App Store was roughly 2 million. As the number of apps in the market continue to skyrocket, having a mobile app marketing plan in place will be essential to the success of your app – don’t count on it becoming an overnight success! Here are the top five pitfalls of mobile app marketing and how to avoid them during your app’s pre- and post-launch phases.
#1 – Building an App Without Market Research
So you’ve got an amazing app idea! While that’s a good start, if you really want your app to succeed you will need to perform some market research to validate your idea. First you will need to identify your target audience or niche and how your app can meet one of their needs. You can validate your app idea by speaking with business owners in your target audience about their pain points, and which issues they would be willing to pay to have resolved. You can also reach out to opinion leaders and ask for their feedback on your app idea. Next, you should assess the marketplace for your app by researching the key players in your app category. How are their apps named? Which keywords are they ranking well for? This will provide useful insights on how you can get your app discovered by the right audience. Reading competitors’ customer reviews is an excellent way to gauge whether there are key features that your competitors have that you may have missed, or vice versa.
#2 – Not Planning the App Release Date in Advance
While you may want to get your app out as soon as possible, planning a release date in advance will ensure that your marketing team can get involved early enough and that your app gets sufficient press coverage. For example, your marketing team can plan the best channels to promote your app and create a timeline for all the promotional activities that need to be carried out. They can also generate a preview trailer in advance of your app release to generate buzz and get early adopters onboard. Building this curiosity and anticipation around your app and getting it previewed by influencers in your niche can really help your app achieve early success.
#3 – Not Beta Testing Your App
You may have spent a lot of time developing your app and building out its features, and even your entire development team has weighed in with feedback. But are they your actual target audience? If not, then beta testing can help you gain some unbiased feedback from your target audience. Focus on recruiting the right beta testers (aka your early adopters) through Twitter, Reddit, and a host of other websites that serve this specific purpose. Next, distribute your app through platforms such as TestFlight and Google Play Beta Testing. Engage your beta testers and aim for getting as much qualitative feedback as possible. To motivate them you can offer incentives such as gift cards for in-app purchases or even the app itself for free.
#4 – Not Focusing on User Engagement & Retention
According to Apptentive, 90% of the people who download your app are gone within 6 months. What this shows is that people return to your app only if it provides ongoing value for them – not just because you want them to! To start you should focus on designing your app around a recurring use case. Offer frequent updates to remind customers about your app, exclusive deals only available on mobile, and highlight how you are continuing to improve the app. In addition, your mobile app offers an excellent opportunity to listen to your customers and engage with them on a personal level. Customers are bound to have questions, issues and suggestions when using your app, and simply leaving ratings and reviews to get their feedback across won’t meet their needs. By creating a means for two-way communication within the app, you can make the user feel more valued, helping them convert into loyal customers.
#5 – Measuring Too Little or Too Much
You may be delighted by the amount of revenue that your app is bringing in, but revenue alone doesn’t necessarily define the long-term success of your app. Paying attention to other metrics can help you measure what’s working and what you need to work on. Here are some KPIs that you should be looking at:
- Number of daily and monthly active users
- Retention rate (after 1 day, 7 days and 30 days)
- Average revenue per user
- Lifetime value
On the flip side, don’t get caught up trying to measure everything. Instead, only focus on the metrics that are important for your business and continuously improve those areas for your app.
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