THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT APP MARKETING – PART 1: BASIC PRINCIPLES
The importance of app marketing and in particular app store optimization for any mobile strategy is derived from an overwhelming smart device user preference for apps.
In the last quarter (Q2 2014) alone, over 150 million apps were downloaded from the Google Play Store and 100 million apps from the Apple App Store. Android is a constantly growing market that has outperformed Apple in the number of downloads. The five biggest markets for Android were USA, Brazil, India, Russia and South Korea. But Apple is still far ahead in app revenue.
All marketing tactics need to keep the target audience in mind, but also need to take tue purpose of the app into consideration. Google suggests 3 basic characteristics of apps: Entertainment, productivity, life enhancing (Google I/O, Patrick Mork Marketing 101 for developers) link. Depending on their character, apps need to be marketed differently. But most important for the understanding of app marketing is the knowledge of how to apps are discovered in principle and what channels are most important to explore new apps.
How Apps are found
The current studies of Apptentive and Intelligent BI show a similar picture: How new apps are discovered (according to Apptentive, differences in Android and iOS):
1. General browsing in an app store
2. Speaking with friends or family
3. Browsing “top rated” or “most popular” apps lists in an app store
4. Application(s) was already installed when I got my phone
5. On a social networking website
6. General browsing on the Internet/ on other websites
7. Searching via an internet search engine
8. Seeing an ad in a magazine or newspaper
9. Reading Blogs
Therefore it is important for app store marketing and app store optimization that the app is found in the app store search results and to get on the top lists. In addition, it is also important to conduct marketing campaigns outside of the app store.
How app ranking works
To make it to the top lists or even to be recommended by Apple or Google, following criteria has proved itself helpful:
• Total number of downloads plus high download numbers within a short period of time
• Reviews and ratings
• Number of uninstallations and how fast apps are uninstalled (Android only)
The position in the ranking is not only vital for download numbers but also for app sales. The difference between 1st place and the 50th is actually a factor of 50 when it comes to sales figures.
It takes 12,000 Downloads a day to hit the top ten list
According to a study by the app store analyst Distimo, apps need at least 5,000 downloads a day to get in the top 25 list. Those seeking a coveted spot in the Top Ten list, require at least 12,000 downloads a day. However, this differs from country to country. Particularly successful or innovative apps are used as a flagship and get recommended by the app stores. But what exactly can you expect from these recommendations?
How much does it help when an app is featured?
Apple offers three different areas where apps can be featured. The featured area at the top, the “Best app” category and the app collections. While the featured area at the top delivers the best app download results, the app collections are frequently used by app store visitors to discover apps. Not only new apps are listed in the featured categories even older apps, that are successful will be selected. In general, Apple contacts the app developers of an app directly, offering them to feature their app. This can happen more then once, like in the case of “EPOS” from Axel Springer, that was implemented with our Purple Publishing Suite. The first time, when the app was new in the store and the second time, when a new issue was released. The app downloads rose sharply after being featured. The conversion rate for in app purchases for recommended apps decrease due to the high installation rates. But this is more than far compensated by the download boost.
For Google Play app featuring has a different impact. The most popular apps are listed in an “Editor’s Choice” list, but since this list is only updated irregularly, it has almost no positive effect. However the list of “Trending Apps”, which already rewards successful Apps, further increases the number of downloads and provides an additional boost. More often underrated categories are “similar apps”, “customers also bought” and “more from this developer”. App Store Optimization helps significantly to be listed under “similar apps”.
Read Part 2: The most important facts about App Marketing – Part 2: App Store Optimization (ASO)