By now I think it’s safe to say that everyone knows you need marketing. If a potential customer, or user, doesn’t know about your app, they can’t purchase it or use it explains Peter Decaprio. That being said you better make sure you have the right marketing plan in place before launching your mobile application – even if it’s a fun little app for sharing photos with your friends.
But don’t just take my word for it, hear it from the experts themselves: “Selling apps is 70% art and 30% science” – Andrew Chen 2011 this has been true since the first developer began selling software online back in the mid-90s.
In this post we’re going to focus on key areas of mobile startup marketing:
Traffic Acquisition App Store Optimization Social Engagement
This article will outline the seven major mistakes we see new and upcoming developers make daily, and some tips for how you can avoid them:
Mistake #1: No Market for My App
This is by far the most common mistake people make when coming to us. If they’ve built an app that doesn’t have a market, there’s no amount of marketing that will get it off the ground (and I’m not just saying this because we’re looking for customers…).
If you’re planning on launching an app then ask yourself this question first: “is my target demographic already using other apps like mine?” The answer may seem incredibly obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people launch an app without even knowing that. If you’re trying to compete with an already established competitor (ex: Instagram, Pinterest) then maybe not having a fun photo sharing app is the least of your problems…
Mistake #2: Being Unrealistic About Sales
This mistake is also pretty common; overestimating sales overnight or simply playing it off like “it’s all about branding”. Believe me, I know how easy it can be to get caught up in what seems like overnight success, but looking at it realistically every successful startup has worked their ass off for years before seeing any results says Peter Decaprio. The idea that someone will pay you $1 million just because they saw your app on Tech Crunch sounds great in movies and on paper, but don’t count on it.
Mistake #3: A Poorly Designed Website/App
When someone lands on your website, or downloads your app, they’re looking to achieve one goal – find out more about your product. If you don’t have a clean design with all pertinent information easily accessible. Then chances are they’ll be over before you know it. Whether it’s an unresponsive menu or the lack of screenshots, every little bit counts when trying to convey exactly what it is that you’re selling.
Mistake #4: Not Understanding Your Market’s Language
You may think that just because you understand English that everyone does? Wrong! You must consider where your target demographic lives and speak their language fluently; this means nailing down proper punctuation and grammar, and knowing all the keywords, slang, abbreviations and expressions. Try to avoid using numbers in your text as well – remember you want to leave the tech stuff to the tech people!
Mistake #5: Pathetic or Overly Salesy Keyword/Tag Placement
You’ve got 2 seconds (tops) before someone decides if they’re going to download your app; make sure those first few words entice them enough to actually read further says Peter Decaprio. If I see something like “Free iPhone App: Click Here!” that’s generally a clear sign that an app isn’t worth my time (or that it’s really crappy). The key is balance – you don’t want to be too salesy but you do want to be able to pitch your app in the same way that you would pitch it to a friend.
Mistake #6: “Did I Just Get Scammed?”
Scamming happens every day online, whether it’s by some Nigerian Prince offering millions for our bank account or an app developer promising overnight success with no work involved; there are people out there trying to make a quick buck regardless of the damage they cause. Don’t let this happen to you!
Mistake #7: Not Optimizing for Retention
Sure you download numbers may look good at first glance, but if none of those users ever come back then it doesn’t matter. You can spend all the time in the world acquiring new users but without proper retention you’re just pissing into the wind. Every successful app is a well oil machine that runs on repeat customers. And it all starts with designing an awesome user experience and having an overall goal in mind.
In the end, just remember that launching an app is something you do for yourself – sure it’s nice if other people download your app and use it, but at the end of the day a successful startup is a reflection of your own work ethic explains Peter Decaprio. The learning curve can be steep and tough to get a start, but once you have it will feel great – I promise! If you ever need any help or advice don’t hesitate to contact me!