Truths About Mobile App Marketing, Downloads & Retention

DZone 's Guide to

Truths About Mobile App Marketing, Downloads & Retention

An extensive look at marketing your mobile app.

· Mobile Zone ·
Free Resource

According to Statista, as of June 2015, 1.5 million mobile apps are available in the app world. This is a truly staggering number of apps fighting for space on your smart device.

It is a highly competitive space and it is very important to stand out from crowd. The mobile app development process is undoubtedly challenging - there are several factors to consider, right from UX/UI to functionality.

Big question is how to secure the coveted featured app position or top ranking app position. In order for your app to scale new heights of success, you need to ensure that your app is visible to increase the likelihood of improving download rates. It’s critical that you take steps to optimize your mobile app to appear in search ranking for the iTunes App Store and Google Play.

Build a Great App that Solves Problem

There are millions of apps out in Google PlayStore and iTunes. How does your app stand above the rest? Does it solve user’s problem? Remember, your app should solve a problem. You simply can’t replicate a competitor’s app and think it will stand tall among hundreds and thousands of app out there.

Your app needs to fill the gap that exists in your niche. You can identify popular app concepts that can transform your industry. For instance, the concept of social networking was successfully applied for job search and building social network by LinkedIn.

Email Subscriber List

It is important to create a buzz around your app and capture email address of your target audience. This goldmine of information will help you announce arrival of your app to people who are interested to download your app. You can create a landing page for your mobile app to capture email using several free tools. It is quick and easy.

Leverage Social Media

Never underestimate the power of social media and its role in improving app downloads. Social media has the power that allows you to connect directly with your audience and build trust with your brand. Use social media to weave a story and give your app a voice that’s truly unique.

However, there are unstated rules of social media app promotion. Don’t go overboard with your promotional strategies; instead show the value that your app offers to your prospective clients. As a rule of thumb, engage with your users on a regular basis or else you will have a hard time to convince users to download your app.

Write Great Content and Promote

Content Marketing plays a critical role in improving downloads of your app. However, there is a caveat that content marketing can be a painstakingly slow procedure. It takes time to win the trust of the audience through persuasive and meaningful content that helps them overcome problems.

Think about famous words of Bruce Lee, content is like water; it takes many forms and flows into all different containers. Whether it is blog posts, videos, ebooks, image or infographics, the key is to deliver valuable content that help users and promote content on your blog and social media profiles for a multiplier effect.

Don’t Ignore App Store Optimization

App Store Search is one of the most effective ways to discover app. Think about it there are nearly 2 million apps out there waiting for discovery. This makes App Store Optimization the best way to reach out to users. App Store Optimization is the process of improving the ranking of an app in the app world. The core focus of ASO is to drive more people to your app page and persuade them to download your app.

Screenshots and Descriptions

Your app screenshot and descriptions are the most vital tools to pique interest of your target audience and users. Make sure that you include images that are clear representation of your app and showcase your app in a persuasive manner. Select the best possible screenshots that instill trust in your app and persuade users to click on the download button.

When you are drafting your description, think about the terms users are searching and how your app fulfills the needs. You need to think about the relevant keywords that you want to focus on, and develop content that seamlessly incorporates those terms into the description. Never ever stuff keywords, rather logically present information to appeal users.

Pick Relevant Keywords

Whether it is the App Store or Google PlayStore there are millions of apps out there. The app world is very competitive and fierce. The most important thing to consider while improving your app’s visibility is identifying top keywords. It is imperative to select keywords that are relevant and represent your app effectively. Target keywords for which you can get high rank. Later, once your app gains popularity, you can target high-volume keywords.

Once you narrow down keywords, you can also use keyword analyzer tools that specifically provide difficulty level and traffic of keywords. Take a close look at the total number of keywords that you’re competing with and if there’s too much competition, aim for another keyword.

Long Tail Keywords Count

When you are trying to identify relevant keywords, don’t ignore long tail keywords or multiple keywords. Why? The reason is simple, multi-keywords or long tail keywords are not searched frequently and will be less competitive. You’ll automatically rank for combinations of your single-word keywords and target phrases because they are easy to rank for. Targeting long tail keywords is the most feasible option for new apps.

Heatmap Matters

How do your app users interact with your app? Think about where the users tap, swipe or pinch. Touch heatmaps will help you see where the users are focused on the screen and where they are not focused.

App Developers can get answers to several questions with Heatmaps analysis:

  • Which areas of screen are users touching the most?

  • Where should in-app purchase message be placed?

  • Which buttons are widely used and which ones must be changed with immediate effect?

Make it Free

Make your app available for free with a freemium model. There are chances that you might get more downloads in a free version of your app or alternatively you could make your app free for a limited period of time. Once your app goes free for a limited period, you can promote the deal on various tech publications and social media sites. There are several sites that allow users to download apps for free such as AppGratis.

A/B testing plan

A/B testing allows mobile developers to understand new designs right from signup flows, onboarding, new features to checkout. Mobile developers and managers are incorporating mobile A/B testing SDK to make apps more engaging. This also provides developers a chance to improve key metrics for mobile app.

Releasing new features in an app can turn out to be a precarious business. This means the stakes for app updates are high and PMs should do everything to ensure they are high quality. A/B testing lets you to try things in app without hurting user experience.

Get the Word Out

There is no better way to drive the download rates for your site compared to press recognition. It is important to approach blogging publications such as Mashable, Entrepreneur, and Business Insider. You can also consider approaching medium-sized blog for reviews.

Usually these guys are excited to see new apps. The process is simple just look up editors from each of those publications on social networking sites or websites, craft a email pitch on how your app will change lives of people, give them promocode to access your app and app screenshot to give a sense for how your app works.

Once you get a medium-sized publication to write about you, contact every other blog of your niche, referring to the first article on the medium-sized blog. They’ll be more than happy to write about you. Avoid stock mails and always customize your approach mailer. It works like a charm.

Regular App Updates

Always find ways to connect with your users and new ways to improve your app. This ensures great user experience. It is best to update your apps to improve the usability of app by constantly adding new functionality and eliminating bugs to provide a better user experience.

Regular app updates indicate that you are paying attention to what your audience is talking/disliking and making adjustments in accordance with their suggestions.


Remember, app marketing is not a one-time process rather a continuous activity. It requires deep focus and perseverance. Don’t expect windfall gains in few gains. Iterate and innovate to succeed in the app world.

app store optimization, mobile

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

{{ parent.title || parent.header.title}}

{{ parent.tldr }}

{{ parent.urlSource.name }}