After the stressful and long process of developing an app — which takes, on average, about eight to 10 weeks and costs at least $150,000 — creating an app PR strategy probably seems like a piece of cake. After all, your development team and investors already know how awesome your program is — how would consumers be able to ignore it?
The truth is, even the best mobile apps are overlooked by consumers not because the app itself is flawed but because marketing an app isn’t typically seen as an important step in mobile app development. It doesn’t matter if this is your first app or if you’ve already designed dozens of successful apps — there’s always a better way to promote your app, and the first step is to figure out which app PR mistakes you’ve been making:
- Creating one design for every mobile platform. This is essentially a design detail but it has a strong influence on how successful your marketing strategy is. iOS and Android platforms are surprisingly different, and Apple is notorious for being picky when it comes to allowing apps into its coveted App Store. There’s no better way to kill your energy than to realize you’re marketing an app to users who can’t access it.
- Thinking about your marketing strategy after you’ve built the app. Yes, the development process itself should be your focus if you’re pressed for time and money, but the most successful app developers typically work with a public relations agency for this very reason. Take advantage of the space you already have while you’re hard at work; a small “Coming Soon!” graphic on your website or a spotlight interview in an e-magazine can do wonders for building anticipation.
- Forgetting about user retention marketing. So you’ve convinced smartphone users to download your app and use it once… but what now? A 2015 WhaTech survey found that 80 to 90% of all mobile apps are used just once before being uninstalled, even though a retention rate of just 5% can boost profits by as much as 125%. Back in 2011, the millionth app was added to the App store, and it’s estimated that about 19,000 new apps are published each month now. App developers can’t afford to let the app do the talking for them — not when there’s so much competition and such a big potential for increased profits.
So now we’re looking for some additional input from our readers: If you’ve developed an app before, what marketing mistakes did you make? What advice would you give to someone marketing an app for the first time? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!