Mobile App Marketing: The 7 Biggest Mistakes

mobile app features

What are the biggest mobile app marketing mistakes that companies make in the rise of mobile consumption, and what can they do to fix them? Keep on reading for more!

In 2017, mobile traffic surpassed desktop traffic for the first time ever – and since then, it has been hovering around the 50% mark with no signs of slowing down. In the meantime, the number of smartphone users grew to 3.5 billion users worldwide in 2020, a number which is estimated to reach 3.8 billion by the end of next year.

And yet, despite the solid statistics that show an unprecedented growth of mobile usage, many companies have been struggling with getting their app in front of their target audience – and even more retaining it after they’ve downloaded the app. Today, we will see the biggest mobile app marketing mistakes that businesses make – and more importantly, how to avoid making them.

mobile app marketing
Statista: Percentage of mobile apps that have been used only once from 2010 to 2019

In 2019, 1 out of 4 apps showed a devastating abandonment rate after being used only once. And, considering the fact that more than 60% of all apps in an app store will never be downloaded at all, it has become more crucial than ever to develop an effective marketing strategy that not only attracts customers, but is also capable of retaining them.

But of course, developing an effective marketing strategy for your app requires having a good understanding of what not to do. These are some of the biggest mobile app marketing mistakes that businesses need to avoid doing if they want to reach success with their app:

1. Not paying enough attention to mobile experience

The first on our list of mobile app marketing mistakes is also one of the biggest – and that is, treating mobile experience the exact same way as desktop experience. Many companies fail to see some of the crucial differences between both, and treat mobile as if it was just a smaller version of desktop – by enabling the exact same functionality, except that it is shrunk down to fit the smaller screen.

Providing a seamless mobile experience that adapts to the screen size and functionality of the user’s device is crucial for a marketing strategy that works. After all, it serves you no purpose to make a great digital campaign if you aren’t able to deliver what you promised. In fact, mobile customers will quickly discard overly-saturated designs that blindly mimic desktop content.

A common error that companies make with their app is that they try to fit the same amount of content on mobile as they would fit on desktop. However, in most cases this is simply not necessary – one of the perks of mobile is that it allows you to focus on what’s important without overwhelming the user with too many details.

An exception to this rule are progressive web apps – because they are essentially websites with the look and feel of a native app, they have the ability to combine both mobile and desktop experience in a harmonized way that adapts to the user’s screen and device automatically. On native mobile apps, however, this isn’t as easy, and mobile experience should be carefully crafted to make it convenient for the user. So, trying to mix both would be an error.

mobile app marketing mistakes

What to do instead

As we just mentioned, native apps typically don’t require the same amount of content and functionality as desktop – in fact, simplifying your users’ lives by focusing your attention on what matters is much more important, and will deliver better results for your mobile app in the long run. If you already have an app, make sure to pare down the functionality to a few core, but powerful tasks.

Then, focus on understanding your app analytics and getting continuous feedback from your users to figure out what are they actually missing from the desktop experience. From there, you can work on slowly and carefully adding more functionality – or you might find out that users aren’t actually missing anything from mobile.

2. Not having clear marketing goals for your app

Our list of the biggest mobile app marketing mistakes that companies make continues with a very common error – not having clearly established marketing goals for your app. In other words, what are you trying achieve with your app and your marketing strategy?

Get as many app downloads as possible? Get less downloads, but from users of higher quality that could potentially drive more revenue for your business? Of course, you might be thinking “well this is obvious, every company wants more app downloads and more revenue from them”.

However, you might be surprised how not having clear business and marketing goals could be preventing you from achieving success with your app.

Mobile app marketing mistakes: not having clear goals

What to do instead

Whether you already have an app, or are looking to build one for your business, it is important to establish goals that are SMART:

  • Specific – do you have a highly-specific endpoint?
  • Measurable – how are you going to track your progress?
  • Attainable – are you being reasonable with your goals and deadlines?
  • Relevant – is your goal pertinent to your chosen field?
  • Time-bound – do you have a timeframe for your goal?

For example, your marketing goal could be to achieve 100 app downloads from a variety of marketing channels, and you might want to achieve it in the course of a month and a half. Setting attainable (but not lazy!) goals, and establishing the right KPIs (key performance indicators) to measure their efficiency will be key for the successful performance of your app.

3. Not understanding your audience

Not doing a proper research to get a good understanding of your target audience is one of the biggest mobile app marketing mistakes that you could make as a company looking to gain visibility with your app.

After all, if you don’t know who can benefit from your app, how are you supposed to send the right message to the right audience at the right time (which will convince them to download and use your app)? Knowing your audience – age, lifestyle, spending habits, recreational habits and other factors is absolutely essential for building Marketing campaigns that work.

A huge mobile app marketing mistake that companies often make is trying to cast a net as wide as possible, and hoping that they will capture everyone – and that everyone will be interested, and will benefit equally from their app. Which is simply not true. Mobile app marketing requires careful planning, and personalizing your campaigns for a smaller, but more targeted audience will be much more efficient for your revenue. For this reason, you need to have clear Marketing goals as well.

What to do instead

Take your time to research your audience. If you have a progressive web app, go to your Google Analytics account – or, if you are working with a native mobile app, make sure to leverage the data offered by your app analytics. Study the demographics profile of your audience, their habits, what pages they visited and how long they stayed – even if you don’t have an app yet, analyzing data from your website is a great place to start from.

If you have a Customer Relationship Management tool, take your time to analyze the profile of your existing leads and customers. What do they have in common? This will give you excellent ideas for refining your targeting for mobile as well. Every piece of data adds up – so, if you have any other tools that you might be using, make sure to study them as well. You can also revise the analytics dashboard from your social media channels.

Another tip is to use Hubspot’s buyer persona creation tool – it is completely free, and very fun to use. It can help you define and visualize your audience in an even better way for a more successful mobile app marketing strategy. Remember, there is no use of data if you are not using it to your advantage!

app analytics benefits

4. Ignoring social media and paid promotion

Next on our list of most common mistakes that companies make when it comes to mobile app marketing is ignoring social media and paid promotion. Once you have established clear and measurable goals, and you have a good understanding of your audience, you now have an extremely valuable information that can get you a lot of app visibility if you use it the right way.

And ignoring Digital Marketing is definitely a recipe for failure – considering the fact that more than a half of the entire world’s population is using a smartphone, the chances are that you can reach them on at least one digital channel.

For this reason, building brand awareness and promoting your app to gain more visibility and drive app downloads is absolutely essential if you want to reach success with it. Leaving your app to collect dust in the app store will not simply drive downloads by itself – people need to know that it exists in the first place.

mobile app marketing

What to do instead

There are multiple digital channels that you can explore to find out the right one/s for your business – Google Ads, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, (both paid and organic), and Email Marketing are just a few of the acquisition channels that you can try out for your app.

You can also look out for influencers that match the solution your app provides, and reach out to them for a mutually beneficial collaboration. In fact, a report co-released by Twitter and Annalect found that companies are earning $6.5 for every $1 spend, which is a great reason why you should give Influencer Marketing a try.

You can also use paid promotions at marketplaces to attract customers, and get them to download your app. Mobile app marketing is all about constant testing to see which acquisition channels drive the best results for your app and business.

5. Not leveraging the power of data

Probably one of the biggest mistakes that companies make when it comes to mobile app marketing is not leveraging the huge potential that data offers in today’s digital world. In the 21st century, the world is all about data – and, as we mentioned previously, it serves no purpose for you to have it if you are not going to take advantage of it.

Imagine that you invest heavily in app development and paid promotion, but you have no idea which Marketing channel brought you the highest number of app downloads – or the highest app revenue. Not getting the right insights into consumer behavior and channel performance will mean that you are wasting your money away in a completely blind manner.

What to do instead

For this reason, it is extremely important to leverage your app analytics data to understand key performance metrics such as:

  • Number of app downloads per channel;
  • Average cost for a single download;
  • Average cost per ad click for channel;
  • Conversion rate for different channels;

And other KPIs that might be relevant for your business. Take advantage of all the tools you have – Google Analytics, app analytics, and so on. If you are investing in Google ads or social media channels like LinkedIn and Facebook, do not forget that they also have their very own analytics dashboard with extremely valuable insights about your campaigns.

Taking the time to carefully analyze your data and use it to your advantage for optimizing campaign performance is absolutely key for having a successful mobile app marketing strategy – and avoiding any mistakes that come with not making use of your data. In today’s highly digital world, companies that don’t pay attention to it will not only lack on competitive advantage, but might not even survive in the hyper competitive market.

And that was all for us from today when it comes to mobile app marketing mistakes! Thank you for taking the time to read our article, and we are looking forward to seeing you in the next one!

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