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Mobile App Marketing Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Brand

Krunal Shah

Jan 28, 2020

7 min readLast Updated Dec 12, 2022

2020 is going to revolutionize the world with mobile apps becoming a part of nearly all human activities. With millions of apps competing for more visibility and more downloads, you can’t afford to make these mobile app marketing mistakes and damage your brand:

Mistake #1: Not Setting The Right Expectations

It’s important to market your app as a unique one but making wild claims about it is a huge mobile app marketing mistake. Using vague words like “amazing app” will not get your app enough attention if you don’t define the “it” clearly. This might also attract negative reviews from the users if they don’t find the app as good as you described. Negative reviews, especially during the initial phase of mobile app marketing, can greatly damage the reputation of your app. If there are many negative reviews, even interested users will not find your claims trustworthy.

What you should do: Sell your app but with integrity. Identify the best features and the strengths of your app and specify those to your users. Putting out screenshots and videos of how the app works adds authenticity to your message. Promise only what you can deliver so that you can meet the expectations of your customers.

Mistake #2: Not Optimizing Your App For App Stores

ASO (App Store Optimization) is to your app what SEO is to your website. No matter how many people have a genuine interest in using the kind of app you are making, it’s no good for you if they aren’t able to discover your app. There are nearly 1.9 million apps in the Apple App store and around 2.6 million apps in the Google Play store. So not having the right keywords in your app content can make your app go undiscovered amongst other numerous apps.

What you should do: Research and find the right set of keywords to optimize your app. Resist the temptation to write a fancy, cool title for your app. Instead, write a title and a description that’s relevant to your app and gives an idea of what it can do for your users. Then edit it in a way that it contains the keywords that can get your app to appear at the top of search results.

Mistake #3: Not A/B Testing Your App Page Content

Your marketing efforts towards app store optimization shouldn’t stop at adding the right keywords to your page. ASO is certainly helpful in driving traffic to your app page but it doesn’t guarantee conversions. If you aren’t A/B testing your content, you won’t know why your mobile app marketing efforts aren’t getting good results.

What you should do: A/B testing is experimenting with different versions of your marketing messages to find out what works well with your audience. Design two well-optimized app pages and show them to two different audiences randomly. This will give you quantifiable insights into which version leads to more conversions. You can then blend the best performing elements to design a highly appealing app page that resonates with your audience. This eventually leads to more downloads. However, don’t roll out random content. Develop a strong hypothesis backed by extensive research. Many free tools are available that can help you track the performance of each app page variant under A/B testing.

Mistake #4: Neglecting LTV

Lifetime value (LTV) is an essential metric for analysing how successful your marketing campaigns are in terms of monetary returns. LTV refers to how much value a user brings to the app by contributing to your app revenue, by engaging with your app and by bringing in new users to your app. One of the major mobile app marketing mistakes is to keep investing in acquiring customers without tracking their LTV. Without that, your marketing budgets will fall flat and you will struggle to continue implementing marketing campaigns.

What you should do: Use a mobile analytics tool for measuring LTV for all your ad spends. Identify which sources are getting you high-value users and which ones are getting users bringing low value to your app. This will help you refine marketing budgets so that you are spending more on campaigns that bring you high-value users. Cutting costs on campaigns that majorly bring you low-LTV users is essential for keeping your return on investment positive.

Mistake #5: No Communication Between Users and App Manufacturer

All your marketing efforts towards getting new users will go in vain if you aren’t investing in retaining those users. Regardless of the industry, over 70% of app users are gone within an average period of 90 days. The experience that your app delivers will vary from user to user. Many users will face one or the other issue while using your app or they might have some queries. In such scenarios, most of the app manufacturers lose these customers because of the absence of a proper communication channel that allows users to get their issues resolved.

What you should do: One way to deliver great customer support is through your social media channels. For example, Twitter’s “mentions” tool is a great way to know what the customers are saying about you. Invest in resources that can respond to customer complaints on Twitter swiftly and help users resolve their issues. Moreover, include an in-built communication tool that makes it easy for users to submit their feedback or ask questions. Frequent notifications to remind users that you are continuously working on improving the user experience also works wonders.

Mistake #6: Not Creating an Iconic Icon

Your app’s icon is the first point of interaction between your potential user and the app. The style and relevance of your icon are what create the first impression on your user. So a poorly designed icon can immediately make the user lose interest in your app. By creating an icon that doesn’t appeal to the user, you will be missing out on an increased conversion rate of 560%!

What you should do: The most important factor in designing app icons is relevance. Your app icon should give an idea to users about the purpose of the app or the need it fulfills. For example, if your app deals with emails in some way, your icon can include an envelope. If your app facilitates messaging, it can resemble a speech bubble or a chat screen. Secondly, your icon should be scalable. This means that it should look the same regardless of its size. Lastly, choose the right mix of colours for your icon after studying the psychology behind colour schemes.

Mistake #7: Not Using Social Media to Promote Your App

One of the most common mobile app marketing mistakes is not including social media marketing in your app marketing strategies. Even if your app is performing well, you are reducing the chances of widening your customer base if you aren’t promoting your app on social media. Telling a story about their experiences and tagging the concerned brands on social media has become a norm for users. If they can’t find your account handles, they might choose to not share the story at all. Also, having a strong social presence with lots of customer reviews and comments adds authenticity to your brand and the reverse is true too.

What you should do: Adopt a persona for social media and carefully craft a tone that will strike the right chords with your audience. By posting engaging content on your social channels, you can get the users to look forward to your app launch. Moreover, you could offer a variety of incentives to your buyers for sharing their feedback about your app. This way, they will be more than happy to hit the download button as soon as your app is launched. If they like it, the feedback that they share on their social handles will effectively increase your brand presence. You can also run ads on social media platforms targeted at your potential users. This is helpful in spreading the word about your app and getting more downloads.

The Bottom Line

Your mobile app marketing strategy should be your focus even before the app goes into the development stage. Consider the various ways you can market your app, study which ones will be the most beneficial for your category and finalize the right mix of promotional activities you are going to use for your app. Without well-planned strategies, it’s very easy to fall prey to a number of mobile app marketing mistakes that can sink your app despite its efficient functionality.

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