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5 Common Mobile App Marketing Mistakes

The Apple slogan “There’s an app for that” has become a part of everyday speech and is true for so very much. Every company appears to have a mobile app or is at least seriously thinking about building one. However, many companies are making very basic mobile app marketing mistakes. Avoid these five common errors for successful mobile app marketing.

Building a Mobile App Without a Reason

Just because so many other companies have mobile apps does not mean your company should. Take time to think it through. A mobile app deserves the same strategic consideration as any other aspect of your marketing. Make sure it complements your digital and physical brand experience. Most importantly, a mobile app needs to provide value to the users.

No Mobile Marketing Plan

You cannot rely on the Field of Dreams method of marketing. People will not instinctively know you have a mobile app. Multiple methods are available to market your app. For example, you can leverage your digital presence with website links, social media mentions, email lists and pop-up notifications on your mobile site. I found out about a department store’s app from a simple door sign. App stores are also common marketing outlets, but you need to optimize the app’s title, keywords and description.

Walgreens prominently places its mobile app notice in its left hand navigation:

Walgreens Mobile App Website Notice

Mistaking a Mobile Site for a Mobile App

A mobile website and a mobile app are two different digital assets. Unfortunately, so many mobile experiences are smaller versions of the desktop experience. The smaller screen requires you to focus on what is essential, the core tasks. Unlike mobile sites, mobile apps can also provide unique features like directions from a user’s current location.

The current NewsChannel5 Nashville app is an example of what not to do. As you can see, you are directed to the website when you open the app. I have since switched to using their primary local competitor’s app:

NewsChannlel5 Nashville mobile app pic

User Retention

How many mobile apps have you downloaded and only used a few times? A large number of downloads means zilch if very few people are using it. If you understand what people want from your app, you can keep users. I use GasBuddy to find the best gasoline prices near me, especially when traveling. Further, create reasons for users to engage with exclusive content, benefits and special features. I kept my Macy’s app longer than expected because I could use it for price checking sale items that often get mixed in with other items. App updates also remind people about your mobile app.

Two-way Communication

Most user feedback is presently done via ratings and reviews at app stores. That does not allow for issues or questions to be directly addressed. In today’s hyper-connected world, people expect to be able to directly communicate with brands. Add a way for people to provide in-app reviews or feedback. This way you can handle problems and questions before a user gets so frustrated that he or she leave a review or rating at an app store that you cannot address. You also gain insights into how people are using your mobile app and how to improve it.

Avoid these five common mistakes when creating your mobile app marketing campaign if you want to be successful mobile app marketing. Instead, carefully plan your campaign, include user-friendly features, allow user interaction and foster app retention. Happy mobile app marketing!