Pre & Post Launch Mobile App Marketing Pitfalls to Avoid
App Builder Appy Pie, April 05, 2018: You are a proud owner of an awesome app, Congratulations! Guess what? Your app is one of the million such other apps, quite literally. In your category alone, you would be competing with thousands of apps. As an app developer or an app owner, you are definitely building an app with the intent to make it a great success. But it is also quite common for the developers to understand the perseverance, efforts, and strategies that go into building up the success of your app.
Building an app is merely the beginning to building a successful business with it. The app that you build needs to be nurtured right from the inception and the care must continue all through the lifecycle of the app in different measures. The success and sustenance of the app depends on the ability of the developer to move with the times and capture the attention of the user base. It is your responsibility as an app developer and owner to keep updating and tweaking the app as part of an ongoing process. However, unless these efforts are channelized in a planned way towards the right direction, and this planning must take in to account both, the pre-launch and post-launch phase of the app launch. The app marketing strategy must be honed continuously so that the app remains visible to the target users.
While most of us may have gotten a lot of advice from a lot of people about what marketing strategies may be adopted for your app to gain success, however, Appy Pie has compiled a list of pre and post launch pitfalls that you must avoid.
The time before launch of the app is quite crucial and the strategies for this period of the lifecycle of the app play an important role in the path that it is going to traverse in future. There are a number of elements in this phase of app development that need your attention and failing to do so will only impact the app negatively.
1) Failing to Conduct Appropriate Marketing Research
Irrespective of the nature of business you are into and the product that you are offering to your customers, you are definitely going to need to conduct a thorough research. Your app is going to be launched into the market alongside a fair number of competitors. When you research the competitors well enough, you get great insights into the target audience value in an app. Not only would you get ideas about naming & branding the app but will also understand the difference between those apps that make a mark on the target users’ memories and those that do not. Study the competitors to understand which categories they are focusing on, which keyword rankings are they working to stay high on, and a whole lot of more information. With all this meaningful data in front of you, there is a need for a deep analysis so that you can expose the right kind of audience to your new app.
As you research the market and competitors, pay attention to the reviews that your competitors are receiving. This helps in a big way when you are trying to understand what it is that the users are enjoying in the app and what is it that they do not like. These reviews can also help you understand what new features or services that they are looking for in an app.
2) Ignoring App Store Optimization
The importance of App Store Optimization or ASO for the success of an app is paramount irrespective of the app or business category that you are planning to cater to. The app that you make and invest your whole soul into, needs to first be visible to the right audience for anything further to happen. A consumer possibly someone who is looking particularly for an app like you, would only be able to install it and use it, if they can actually see your app. It is through ASO that you can make sure that your target users can discover your app for the categories that you are building your app for. If you ignore this one aspect you are effectively blocking out one of the most effective channel of acquiring users.
This aspect deserves an entire post or rather a series of posts by itself, however, some of the most important aspects of app store optimization include the following:
- App Title
The title of the app should be something that would make you stand apart from the rest of the competitors. However, it is important that the title be easy to recollect.
- Description of the App
The description of the app must be formulated by keeping in mind the targeted keywords, the features that you are going to include in your app, and the descriptions of the competing apps.
- App Icon & Screenshots
The icon of the app and the screenshots that you are going to put in the description must be optimized in a manner that helps the users identify with your app
3) Failing to Conduct a Beta Launch & Not Utilizing Feedback
Using the app yourself, or getting it tested by friends, family, and employees would only give you favorable results, however, are they really your target users? Would they be able to help you understand what is it that your target users are looking for? It is of critical importance to be able to receive unbiased reviews, responses, & reactions to your app and for that you need to beta test your app. This is one step that simply can’t be ignored before launching the app.
Beta-testing your app can actually reveal valuable information that would allow you to tweak and update or edit your app before you finally launch it. The beta testers when chosen well, can help you find those flaws that might have escaped your attention and include such features that you might not even have considered. This feedback from your beta testers is instrumental in enhancing the user experience of the app. Clearly define your target audience, plan your strategy to find and recruit the right kind of beta testers, develop a trusted network that would help you make your app better.
4) Failing to Employ Efficient Content Marketing
Not using content marketing to its maximum potential can prove to be one of the most critical errors. The app owners tend to make an assumption that since they are only making the app for the B2B or B2C companies, hence they can afford to ignore the inbound marketing strategy.
One of the most efficient ways to build a market for your app is to get more and more people to talk about it. Browse through online communities, forums, websites, or any other groups and determine which ones are most frequently visited and followed by your target user group. These can prove to be great platforms for you to launch teasers and sneak peeks of your app to them. You can also release small snippets or videos about your app features. These little peeks into the app can help you incite some curiosity among the target users
5) Delaying to Start the Marketing
It is never too early to begin the process of marketing for your app. Your app can only be discovered if you market the app at the right time. There must be enough buzz in the market about your app, before it is finally launched in the market. There are numerous different techniques including the launch of a preview trailer, featuring in the right forums, and a beta testing blog that would inform your followers about a number of different developmental phases at an early product development phase.
6) Failing to Plan the App Release Date in Advance
Deadlines, or timelines are important, especially when you are launching your app. Plan a release date for your app well in advance, so that your marketing efforts can be planned properly, and your app gets a fair amount of coverage in the press. For an effective marketing strategy, plan a series of steps and plan each step in a way that would create positive exposure for your app. The app release date must be planned so that it does not coincide with any other big announcements or events in the technology industry. You would definitely not want to share the spotlight.
7) Allocating an unreasonable budget
No matter how great your app is, if you have not planned a solid budget for app promotion, you are adding a handicap. In all the hullabaloo of working on app development and allotting required (massive) chunk of the funds to it, it is important that you also allocate optimum funds to your marketing or promotion efforts for the app.
It’s not fair if your app just sits there in the app store without getting any visibility for lack of marketing budgets.
After you have launched your app, your responsibility doesn’t get over and there are still quite a few things that you must look into so that the app keeps performing at the best level. There in fact are a great number of metrics that must be an ongoing focal area. What do you think will happen, if you launched your app and forgot about it? You are only going to set it up for disaster!
#1 Failing to Focus on Engaging & Retaining Users
Paid user acquisition is a lucrative deal but relying solely on it might not be a great idea. Pay attention to user engagement and keep an eye on the convenience and effectivity of the entire user experience of your app and keep a track of the number of app users that you have been able to retain. This is what would form the basics of your financial benefits of a successful app. It is absolutely critical that you can stimulate your users and motivate them to download the app and then keep going back to using it which is only possible when you enhance the user experience.
#2 Not Paying Due Attention To ‘Personalization’
Personalization makes everyone feel special, taking the relationship to greater heights and carves out a special place for you in the heart of the users. It can actually help you retain your customers and stay in love with you, even as numerous other players might be coming in and out of the market. Personalization does not end at simply addressing your user by name, it goes beyond that. Showcase only those elements that a certain user prefers or enjoys and personalize the whole journey of your users with your app. Following are some of the points that can help you build your strategy of offering personalized services.
- Design a personalized marketing campaign that is based on the preferences of the users
- Create a personalized user onboarding experience
- Personalize the in-app conversions
- Send out personalized push notifications to enhance user engagement
- Personalize all the post conversion communication with the users
- Ensure localization of the app experience
#3 Failure to Utilize App Updates
Planning updates for your app is an ongoing activity, where you are perseveringly working to improve your app and enhance the user experience. However, what you might not realize, is that this also a fabulous opportunity for you to engage your users. Your users must be pretty tired of coming across ‘bug fixes’ that you recently took care of in your recent update and might even be wondering ‘again?’
Wouldn’t it be interesting if you used this update to let your users know about the new things that you have done with the app, how are these changes going to enhance their experience with the app, and which issues have you taken care of with this update. When you dispense this kind of information, you are definitely going to bring back inactive users while reducing the risk of your app being uninstalled as users might feel that the incessant updates aren’t really doing much for them.
#4 Failing to Take Customer Support & Reviews into Account
It is natural that we lean on references, reviews and feedback about any product that we plan to buy. Your users too are going to do the same and go through the ratings and review that people have written for your app. It is natural that you receive some bad reviews, but how you deal with them is important too! A negative review that hasn’t been responded to, does more damage than the one where you take some time out and respond to them. Maintain a clear communication with your customers and establish an image of an app that cares what people think about them.
#5 Failing to Incentivize Referrals & Social Media Sharing
Whether it is their progress in a game, the benefits of a fitness app, or any other app, not many people would simply share because you would like them to. Design an awesome referral campaign because you can then bank on the trust that your users have built in their circle of friends and increasing your user base. However, simply designing a referral campaign is not enough, incentivizing it is important too! Whether you want your users to share an update from within your app, or like & share your app’s page on the social media.
#6 Not Measuring the Right Metrics
It is a common misconception among app owners that the number of downloads and installs are the only numbers that matter. However, there are some more metrics that must be monitored for continued health and success of your app including Daily Active Users (DAU), Monthly Active Users (MAU), Retention Rate, Average Revenue Per User (ARPU), and Lifetime Value (LTV). It is important that you determine the right metrics that need to be monitored for continued success of your app. These metrics can give you valuable insight about what works in favor of your app, and which aspects need to be monitored.
#7 Not Offering the Option to Opt-In or Opt-Out of Push Notifications
We cannot emphasize enough on the importance of push notifications in staying connected with your users. However, there is a certain set of users who do not like to be bothered with these notifications and when they receive regular push notifications, they are not only going to feel annoyed, but may even uninstall your app. It is important that you plan your push notifications well, and make sure that you offer your users an easy ‘opt-out’ option if they wish to.
#8 Failing to manage customer expectations
Like any other product, in case of your app, it is always a good idea to under-promise and over-deliver. Try not to get carried away with your marketing efforts and promise things that you would not be able to deliver. If you fail to match the expectations you have set for your customers, you are not only going to get bad reviews, but lose the confidence of new customers right at the start. A recipe for disaster!
#9 Excessive Targeting
There is too much marketing noise today and while targeting and retargeting may sound like a swell idea, too much of it can ruin the whole thing.
This means you should of course target a certain demographic or a certain group with similar psychographics, but refrain from bombarding with your ads. You do not want to lose a prospect, just because of their frustration of being almost followed everywhere. Not everyone responds well to nagging, you see!
The one thing that I am sure of, is the fact that the app stores are evolving. This is why there is a need for you to stay updated with the marketing requirements for your mobile app. As a marketer, it is of absolute importance that you keep in mind the pre-launch pitfalls while you are strategizing the launch of the latest mobile app. When you begin well prepared, you are half-way there, already!
It is also of great importance to understand that the job of a marketer is not over after the app has been launched on the app store. The job actually intensifies post app launch and it is of absolute importance to ensure that your marketing efforts for the app are in tune with the changing trends and requirements of the app store. Prepare a checklist that is customized to your targets and app goals that you intend to acquire.
Meanwhile, it is time to get started with the app creation process and all it will take is three steps, once you click on the ‘Get Started’ button on Appy Pie AppMakr!