When you’re building an app, marketing mistakes can cost you big time.
Well, your pre-launch marketing will determine the overall opinion and popularity of your app when it launches, which can dictate how many people decide to download it. And even after your app is launched, you need to continue marketing in it a way that entices people to download it. Otherwise, you could see a sales slump and a bad overall return on your investment.
Don’t let that happen. Instead, take a look at the following 6 app marketing mistakes you should avoid at all costs, and you’ll learn what you should do instead to successfully market your app.
1. Not setting the right expectations for your app
You’ve probably heard the saying “under-promise and over-deliver.” That definitely applies when you’re marketing an app.
Think about it – if you market your app as the greatest in the world but can’t back up your claims, you’ll disappoint the people who download it. That means they might end up leaving negative reviews like this:
That being said, don’t sell yourself short. Talk about the benefits of your app and highlight its unique selling points, but don’t exaggerate. That way, your customers know exactly what they’re getting when they download your app.
You may also want to include screenshots of your app, like Whatsapp does:
Doing so allows people who are interested your app to see exactly what it looks like and how it is used before they commit to downloading it.
2. Failing to optimize your app for the app store
You’ve probably heard of SEO (search engine optimization), but have you heard of ASO (app store optimization)?
If not, it’s time to start learning. Take a look at this data and you’ll see why:
That’s right – most people discover apps simply from browsing the app store. So, if you haven’t optimized your app in a way that allows it to be found easily, there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on lots of sales.
Now, before you start optimizing your app, make sure you have a deep understanding of your target audience and how they’re likely to search when looking for apps similar to yours. After all, if you optimize for the wrong key words, you won’t see the results you’re looking for.
Once you’ve chosen the best key words, here are a few ASO steps you’ll want to take:
- Place the key word with the most search traffic in the app title. Make sure you perform extensive research to determine the best key word before you do this. You don’t want to have to change the title later because that will make your app more difficult for people to find.
- Market your brand and app. The total number of times your app has been downloaded will affect its ranking in the app store, so prioritize marketing and make sure you’re building a strong social media presence.
- Try to get good reviews for your app. Add an app review plugin to your app to automatically ask people for reviews. (I’ll talk more in-depth about this later in this post.)
Tip: Use the tools listed here for help deciding on app key words, improving your app search ranking, and more.
3. Failing to drive mobile app reviews
Regardless of what kind of app you’re creating, you’ll probably find that you’ve got lots of competitors. One way to make your target audience choose you over the competition is to get lots of good reviews.
Because social proof plays a huge role in app purchasing decisions, and high ratings will give your app a better ranking in the app store.
Bottom line: the more positive reviews you can get for your app, the better.
Now, you’re probably wondering how you can encourage users to review your app. One of the easiest ways is to use an app review plugin like Appirater. When you do, users will be prompted to review your app, like this:
A word of warning: avoid giving users incentives for positive reviews – Apple has started to remove apps that do this.
4. Not creating a microsite for your app
A microsite is a web page or group of web pages that exists independently from your main company web site. Typically, microsites are used to promote one specific product or service.
You don’t have to create a microsite to promote your mobile app, but doing so could definitely help your app gain more visibility. Plus, if you decide to pitch your app to blogs and other media outlets, your microsite can help them quickly understand what your app does and why people would want to use it.
Take a look at this microsite developed to advertise the Shyp app:
Visit the site here, and you’ll notice several things:
- The design is simple and draws attention to the main benefits of the app.
- The page includes links to the Shyp social media accounts so people who are interested in it can connect with the brand.
- The green “sign up” button is immediately visible above the fold when the site loads, making it easy for people who are interested in the app to sign up quickly.
Pretty effective, if you ask me.
When creating your microsite, you should follow Shyp’s example and use a simple, intuitive design that makes it easy for potential customers to connect with your brand and sign up to use your app.
Here are a few things you may also want to include in your microsite:
- A video that advertises your app
- Plenty of information about what the app does and how it works
- App screenshots
- App store download links
Remember, your microsite design should be easy to use and your copy should be broken up with plenty of white space and images – no one wants to spend time trying to figure out a difficult site or reading giant walls of text.
5. Failing to use social networks to promote your app
You’re probably already using social media to connect with your target audience, but have you considered creating a separate social media marketing strategy for your app?
If not, you should. Here are a few tips for promoting your app on social media:
- Give people an incentive to connect with you and download your app. For example, if your app is a game, you could offer extra lives/levels. Think about which in-app purchases you could temporarily give away for free to get people to download your app or follow one of your social media pages.
- Write in a human voice in all of your social media posts. When you’re writing, consider your target audience and use a tone that you think will attract them. Whatever you do, avoid writing in a robotic tone – no one wants to read something written that way.
- Schedule your social media posts to save time. Posting to social media can be time-consuming, so it’s best to automate using Hootsuite or a similar tool.
You can also use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram ads to spread the word about your app. Figure out which social network is most popular with your ideal customers, and spend most of your time creating ads for that social network.
6. Not getting your app featured on a high-quality blog
The harsh truth is that not many people will care about your app when it has just been released. That’s largely because your app probably won’t have been talked about by credible bloggers and news outlets.
The obvious solution? Reach out to editors to see if they’d be willing to feature your app in a post/article.
But you can’t just email an editor on a whim and expect them to be thrilled about featuring your app. You’ve got to take specific steps while pitching your app if you want to increase your likelihood of hearing back from them, including:
- Get to the point quickly. Editors are busy people, so try to keep your email as brief as possible without excluding necessary information.
- Give them a reason to want to work with you. For example, if you have built a following of people who are eagerly anticipating your app release date (if it hasn’t been released yet), let the editor know.
- Give them a sneak peek of your app. If you’re still beta testing your app, send the editor the beta version so they can take a firsthand look at how it works.
- Avoid being overly sales-y. No one likes to be sold to. While you should talk about what makes your app awesome, also try to focus on making a real connection with the editor. After all, editors are people too!
And, if possible, try to get a referral. Think about your network – if someone you know could introduce you to the editor you’re emailing, you’re much more likely to see positive results from your email.
When you’re creating an app, make sure your app idea is marketable to begin with – otherwise, the tips I’ve outlined here may not help you.
On top of that, your app should offer the user something that retains value for a long time to keep them from deleting it within a few months. Apptentive data shows that over 90% of people who download an app delete it within 6 months, so really think about the value of your app before you spend lots of time and money developing and marketing it.
Have you made any of these app marketing mistakes in the past? Share in the comments section!