7 mobile app marketing mistakes to avoid in 2020

The app market is bigger than ever, so to stand a chance you want to avoid these 7 mistakes in 2020.

Published by 

Alexis Pratsides


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This is the year mobile apps hit over $188 billion in revenue. But…

The size of the app industry won’t guarantee you success. If you don’t know your mobile app marketing you don’t stand a chance!

Let’s look at the mistakes you must avoid this year in your app marketing.

1. Poor market research before developing your app

You’ll probably agree that the app market is intensely competitive. So you want to choose your battles wisely. Games, business, and education app categories make up 22.37%, 10.12%, and 8.62% of the apps launched in 2019, respectively.

But these are not the most used apps on the app store. So you want to find out the competition, demand, app management, and marketing costs you’ll be dealing with.

graph showing the most popular Apple App Store app categories in November 2019

It’s revealing that the apps most developers work on don’t correlate with what users want to download. The top three app categories that most developers work on are not in the top 12 categories that people use.

A graph showing Most popular Apple App Store categories in November 2019, by share of available apps

But these numbers change when you factor in your app user demographics. Millennials, for example, say that their top apps are Amazon, Gmail, and Facebook.

How to research the market before developing your app
Let’s explore steps you can take to research your app.

  1. Define the problem you want to solve

    What needs do people have and want to pay to solve? You can do this in two ways.

  2. Study your competition

    See what they already do and what they are leaving unsolved.

  3. Interview your potential customers and users.

    See what they already like and what they want.

  4. Get industry insights from authoritative reports.

    Know your facts!

  5. Talk to any investors

    (If you have access to them) Talk to them about your app, and listen to their comments, suggestions, and ideas.

Have you considered wht platform to use?

App development: Which Platform?

2. Skipping market tests and beta launch for your app

CPU usage graph

Serious marketers rely on launching products before they are fully ready. The goal here is to get a sense of what the market wants. At this stage, what you have is a minimum viable product.

That’s what apps in beta help you do. You’ll test what users want to experience and then incorporate those features and feedback into the app.

How to test products before launch

Ideally, you want to have 75 beta testers for our app. However, if you have more resources, you should consider investing in getting more data. More data from more users is usually better as you’ll catch most issues that the product might have before launch.

You can use platforms like UserTesting to recruit testers. Other platforms to consider include:

  1. Ubertesters
  2. BetaList
  3. Launchrock
  4. TestFairy
  5. Mobtest
  6. PreApps

Still need help in the planning phase? Check out our other article!

How to plan an app – part 1

3. Not optimizing your app for app marketplaces

Most people rely on the app store search to find apps. In one study, 68% of app users rely on app store search to discover apps.

a graph showing how iOS and Android customers discover new apps

Like how users rely on search engines to find information, app users search for apps that solve their problems on the app store. Hence, the need for app store optimization, ASO.

Just like you’d do with SEO when you create web content, you’d use ASO practices to optimize your app for app search on the app store.

How to optimize your apps for marketplaces

You can optimize your app using these simple steps.

Choose the right keyword for your app. You want to pay attention here as the wrong keyword will deliver no meaningful results for your app. Once you’ve determined the keywords with the highest search traffic, here are the next steps.

  • Put the keyword that has the highest search traffic in the title of your app.
  • Encourage as many downloads as possible from as many sources as possible. The more downloads you get, the better your ranking.
  • Effect automatic review requests from your app to encourage reviews from users. Apps with higher reviews enjoy more recommendations in their respective marketplaces.

4. Leaving your app reviews to chance

An example of a positive review left on TrustPilot

You can go wrong in three ways with your app here.

  • Not driving reviews
  • Not responding to reviews when they happen
  • Responding poorly to reviews

You want your best app users to share their experiences with your potential users. When people leave reviews, acknowledge those reviews. If those are negative reviews, reply to them with an apology and remedy to the issue.

How to take control of your app reviews

Set up an app invite to ask for reviews. Once a user downloads your app, they get an invitation to review the app.

Respond to reviews. Makes sure that you address each negative comment and provide plausible solutions to your users’ issues on time.

5. Not having a website and landing page for your app

You need a website and landing page to attract and gain SEO, email, and content marketing traffic for your app. Ignoring a website equals leaving out these potential users you could be capturing.

banner from Aaptiv showing the app of the day

How to create and use a website to promote your app

Your site should ultimately encourage your visitors to download your app. Hence, you will increase the chances that these visitors will download your app by doing the following:

  • Using a video to show what your app does and how it benefits them.
  • Providing app screenshots.
  • Lists and explanations of your app’s benefits, features, and functions.
  • Download links to your app’s download pages on relevant app marketplaces.

6. Ignoring social media and paid promotions for your app

Josh Rose

Your app is unknown, so you want to create awareness for it. You don’t want to ignore this critical step. So you’ll run social media promotions, search engine ads, and leverage other promotion channels like influencer marketing to attract users.

How to leverage social media and paid promotions

Here are some ideas you can use to leverage social and paid media to promote your app.

Find influencers that match the solution your app provides and reach out to them. In one study, influencer marketing showed that it returned $6.5 for every $1 spend.

Other paid promotions are Google Ads, Facebook ads, and marketplace promotions. You can use paid promotions at marketplaces to attract users.

7. Ignoring blogs, communities, forums, and publications

Wikimedia Commons

Ignoring blogs, online communities, forums, and publications is like ignoring authorities that could help you reach your audience. These platforms are usually as authoritative as influencers.

But, unlike influencers, you don’t always have to pay or compensate these platforms to get featured. You can:

  • Write guest posts
  • Engage in community discussions and debates on Reddit
  • Answer questions on Quora
  • Write for local, national or international publications

These channels can drive awareness for your app and traffic to your download page.

How to leverage blogs, communities, forums, and publications

Since most platforms have unique requirements for publishing or writing on them, you want to address each of them separately. However, these are activities you can do here.

William White

Communities and forums: Find forums and communities where your potential app users hang out. Sign up or join these communities.

Make sure your profile complies with community rules. But if allowed, includes a link to your app’s landing page in your community profile.

Next, start interacting with the community. Reply to questions, join discussions, and start getting as active as possible.

Rogers Cadenhead

Blogs and publications: Find out who the editor responsible for accepting pitches should be and the person’s email address. Craft a good pitch highlighting what you do and how it benefits your audience.

If you have any notable successes, mention them in the pitch. If you’ve been previously featured on any publications or recognized for any awards, include them there.

In your pitch, show the target person that your offering benefits their audience. Don’t just say it. Show it.

Wrap up: undo or avoid these mistakes

If you haven’t made these mistakes yet, congratulations! You’re in luck. So, avoid making them.

But don’t feel lost if you’ve made these mistakes. It’s hard to stay clean from all these errors. So, you can undo them by taking the recommended actions.

If you’re still having trouble with your app marketing, why not get in touch to discuss how we can help!

Created by

Alexis Pratsides

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