Ultimate Guide to Mobile App Marketing

The Ultimate Guide to Mobile App Marketing in 2020

The mobile applications sector is a difficult environment. Year after year, it is harder to stand out from the crowd. The reason? The number of new applications that are released every month in the Apple App Store and in the Google Play Store. And that is exactly why it is so important to have a clear mobile app marketing strategy.

So, let’s start by answering this question:

What is the Mobile App Marketing?

The Mobile App Marketing is the way to interact with your users from the moment they find out about your application until they become loyal users. To do so effectively, you must define your target audience, know how to reach it, how to communicate with it and analyze its behavior within the app.

The typical way of using mobile applications is often divided into several stages of a funnel. This would be a simplified summary:

Stage 1: Awareness – The user has found your application for the first time.

Stage 2: Acquisition – The user has downloaded and installed your application.

Stage 3: Activation – The user has completed his first actions within the application.

Stage 4: Retention – Your application has become a habitual destination for the user.

Stage 5: Monetization – The option to convert frequent users into paid users.

Stage 6: Reference – Encourage loyal users to recommend your application to others.

Each stage requires different methods and tactics to form a successful mobile app marketing strategy. In addition, it is important to keep in mind that, in reality, users often move from one side to the other between the different stages. This is known as the mobile engagement loop.

What is the Mobile App Marketing

How to Promote a Mobile App?

Since 2018, almost half (42%) of small businesses had a mobile application, and 30% planned to build one in the future. In addition, almost all large companies also have an application, so it is much harder to compete. As mentioned earlier, it is very important to differentiate yourself with a mobile app marketing plan.

One of the most important things to do when promoting an app is to define the KPIs. Using the appropriate parameters at each stage of the process will help you identify possible bottlenecks that prevent users from moving from the first to the last stage. It is vital to focus on the data in real time and use it to analyze and optimize the performance of the app.

Let’s take a look at each stage and the KPIs to be measured:

1. The Awareness stage

At this point, the user has found your application for the first time. This is very likely due to your marketing communications or your ASO (App Store Optimization) or SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy to promote your app.

Key metrics for the awareness stage

The key metrics for this stage are the following:

  • CPM (cost per thousand) – This term is used to measure the number of times your ad has been shown on a website. For every thousand impressions your ad has, you will pay x amount of money.
  • Click Rate (CTR) – This metric is shown in percentages and indicates how many users click on the links and reach the landing pages you want. Think of a social media ad that takes you to a page where you can download your application.
  • Traffic source – This metric simply tells you where the user found your app. Use it to track your marketing communications and to see which channels work best.

These metrics will help you discover what marketing actions are contributing to your goals. If there is no interaction with the user, it is possible that you are addressing the wrong audience, that you are advertising in the wrong place, or that you are not using the correct communications. Based on whether something is working or not, you can adjust your mobile app marketing strategy.

2. The Acquisition stage

At this stage the user is familiar with your application. This means that your marketing communications motivated your target audience to download and install the app.

Key metrics for the acquisition stage

The key metrics for this stage are the following:

  • Demographic data of the users – These are used to understand and identify your main users. Have information such as your age, sex, income, spending habits, etc. It will help you address them more effectively with your mobile marketing plan.
  • Number of downloads – Knowing how many people have downloaded your application lets you know the effectiveness of your communication.
  • Cost per download – This is your total expense divided by the total installations of your application.
  • Devices – Track if your downloads come from Android, iOS or tablets. This information allows you to refine your targeting.

By detecting where the downloads come from, you can focus on the most profitable channels and improve the others.

3. The Activation stage

At this point, the user is interacting with your application. As the downloads are not enough for your application to be a success, you will have to follow up to verify that your target audience is really using your app. People often download many applications to their mobile, but only use an average of 10 applications per day.

Up to 90% of users will uninstall your application after the first use. To prevent this, it is vital that the user get that “surprise effect” and discover the value of your app. If this moment of impact does not occur, the user will probably stop using your application.

Key metrics for the activation stage

The key metrics for this stage are the following:

  • Shipping sequence – It is used to measure success in the activation stage. Depending on your application, this could be to create an account, add a first friend, make a first purchase, etc.
  • Activation percentage – It is the proportion of people who downloaded your app and completed the registration.

When users download the application but do not use it, it may be necessary to optimize the integration process. This can be done by simplifying the copies, adjusting the design, or adding incentives to encourage the user to act.

4. The Retention stage

At this stage, the user has installed your application and has completed the registration. Now is the time to measure how often the app is used. Once the patterns have been detected, the application can be improved to increase retention.

Key metrics for the activation stage

The key metrics for this stage are the following:

  • Active users – Track to detect if there are users who are using your mobile application on a regular basis.
  • Session length – It measures the time that a user is active for each session. This information will help to display screens or tasks in which users usually leave the application.
  • Uninstall rate – How many people are uninstalling your application? And most importantly, after how long?

Users may not be returning to your app. To avoid further distancing, consider implementing incentives such as push notifications or emails. This is a crucial time to prevent the user from uninstalling the application.

5. The Monetization stage

At this point, your application has become a common destination for the user. This means that you have used your application and liked the benefits it offers. Now you can choose if you want to convert them into paid users. Think of premium subscriptions or offer exclusive features. Users who have reached this stage probably see the value of investing a small amount of money for something extra.

Key metrics for the monetization stage

The key metrics for this stage are the following:

  • Free to paid conversion rate – It is the number of regular users that become paid users.
  • Terms of purchase – How long did it take users to become paid users?

6. The Reference stage

At this stage, the user is satisfied with your application and is likely to recommend it to others. This is the perfect time to encourage the user to leave a positive comment or a high score in the corresponding application store.

Key metrics for the reference stage

The key metrics for this stage are the following:

  • Reviews – Short comments from satisfied users of the app are excellent for attracting new users.
  • App rating – Five-star ratings on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store can positively influence the number of downloads.
  • Shares in RRSS – This is the number of times your app has been shared on social media channels.

Keep in mind that applications with the highest scores are more likely to be downloaded. Especially if you have an app and other similar ones available from the competition, it is important to stand out with an excellent score.

In addition, it is essential to think at the right time to request a review. A recommendation from a user who has just installed your mobile app and one who has been using it regularly for two weeks will probably not have the same value.

The Reference stage

How can I Market my App with Success?

The promotion of a mobile app should not be underestimated. If you want to do it right, you have to define your target audience, use the appropriate channels to reach them and most importantly, measure everything.

A data-based method and strategic planning will allow you to achieve your goals with the least amount of time and resources. The important thing here is to discover what your main marketing channel will be. Once this is clear, probably 80% of the downloads will come from there.

Whether you decide to bet on ASO, SEO, social networks, paid ads or a combination of different methods, you will only know if your strategy works if you measure it. And if a part of your tactics is not working you can avoid wasting time and money, focusing only on what works for your app.

The app marketing funnel is dynamic and requires time to understand it well. Therefore, it is advisable to establish a roadmap to promote and manage the growth of your app successfully.

Don’t you know where to start with your mobile app marketing strategy? We are happy to help you! Tell us what you need and we will put you in touch with the right expert.

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