The Scoop on Mobile App Promotion and App Store Optimization (Part I)

August 21, 2014

A[[ Store IconPart 1: The Lay of the Land–App Discovery

Developing and launching a successful mobile app can become (and inevitably will be) a complex and laborious process. In what will be a four part series of blog posts, I’ll attempt to identify common mistakes, demystify popular platforms, and educate with recent data…all so we can better understand the latest trends and best practices available when releasing an app into the marketplace.

Most people don’t realize how challenging it is to market a smartphone/tablet app. Some brands think they need a mobile app because their competitors have one, or because it’s a new sexy thing. In many instances, however, a mobile-friendly (responsive) website would be the easiest way for their target audience to find brand content while surfing on their phones.

But let’s assume that you (or the brand you work for) have determined that your target audience is likely to find the space on their phone to install your app.

First, what goes into people finding your app?

The image shown represents the latest U.S. data regarding how people discover apps.

App Discovery

You’ll note, that the vast majority of app users search app stores or get recommendations from family or friends.

A couple of other fun facts to keep in mind when thinking about how users find your app and what they do with it after they do find it:

Fun Fact #1: The app market is flooded and your app needs to be awesome

Currently, App Store has more than 1.2 million apps, and it adds about 20,000 apps per month. Apple gets approximately 1,000 app submissions a day. The Google Play Store has over 1 million apps, and there have been over 50 billion downloads.

Fun Fact #2: Users ditch most apps they try

Only 5% of users keep the app after the first month, and uninstalls negatively impact your app being found in the app store. In fact, Google has mentioned that 80% of apps go unused after the first download.

In part two of the series I’ll address how to build an easy-to-find app with staying power.

Katherine Watier Ong works with clients to stay on top of the changing nature of search & social. She has 8 years of SEO and social experience, and is part of the 1 million visitors per month club after taking one of the websites she was promoting from 300K to 1.2 million in one month with an integrated 360 degree promotion program. She is VP, Online Strategy and Market Insights in Ketchum’s online strategy department, and helps manage a team that tracks the online consumer, online analytics, changing online platforms and algorithms, and develops strategies for clients to connect with their online consumer. Follow Katherine at @kwatier, Google+ or connect with her on LinkedIn.