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App Marketing – Understanding the App Store Marketing Funnel

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Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Kerry Mann from (www.yourappreport.com).  Please let me know in the comments below if you’d like to see more marketing related content.

Congratulations on creating your first mobile application.  Creating an amazing application is just half the battle. The other half involves marketing your application so that it can be found by your target market on the app store and search engines.  Getting your app discovered is becoming more difficult every day as the app stores become more and more crowded.

When talking about app marketing, consider two segments: off-page app marketing and on-page optimizations.  Off-page app marketing includes writing a press release for your app, creating a dedicated website for it, making a YouTube video demo of your app, building links to it & promoting it on social media websites – just to name a few of the numerous off-page optimization methods.  For the purpose of this article we are going to focus on on-page app optimization.

Assume you already have a great app developed, so the foundation is in place.  Before you focus on off-page marketing tactics that will drive users to your app, you want to be sure your app store page is optimized for success.  If your app store page is suboptimal then potential users (users that you worked very hard to get to your app) could be lost to your competition.

After running multiple test scenarios over many various applications- app marketers have found that there is a clear funnel that most app-installers flow through. This funnel is large at the top and becomes smaller near the bottom.  As the users flow through the funnel they can be lost at many levels on their journey to installing your app.

Top of the Funnel

The top of the funnel starts with App Store Optimization.  Say for instance that a user is interested in a “Word Find” type of game and they search the app store, and the first result is “ABC Word Find”, they are more likely to click on it over a name simply called “LetterZ” or some other short, catchy name that could be great for branding but has no relevant keywords included.  Often times, app names are short and interesting but provide no keyword value.  Instead of “LetterZ”, a name like “LetterZ | Word Find Game” would be much better because your app page will be able to potentially rank for the included term “word find game”.  The name also reinforces what most of your target audience already searched for.  If the user types in “Word Find” and sees “Word Find” in your app name, that user is far more likely to click that result over other results that don’t share the term they searched for.

The most important area for App Store Optimization is your app name. It’s also important to optimize your app description with the strategic keywords you decided to use in your app name.  When deciding on strategic keywords to use within your app consider using the Google Keyword Planner Tool to get data on monthly search volume and competition.  Also do manual searches on the app store for various terms you are considering.

Mid Funnel

After keyword searching for your app and scanning some app names, the next thing a potential-app-installer will do is look at all of the icons.  In terms of search results- the app store and Google drastically diverge.  Google is all about text, and having a strong call to action to entice the searcher to click your result is important.  In the app store it is all about design.  At this level of the funnel your app icon can help route a large majority of potential-app-installers either to your app or away to your competition.

Test several variations of your icon design.  Place your icon design alongside your top 20 competitor’s icons and randomly mix it in.  Then (without telling them which icon is yours) ask your colleagues, friends and family: “For these 20 icons please tell me your top 5 favorite icons and a reason for each”.  Design is very subjective, doing a test like this is a great way to get honest feedback and see what designs resonate the best in your particular app arena.

Lower Funnel

If your potential app-installers make it to this level of the funnel, odds are you can convert them – if you have a well optimized page (referring to your app landing page on the app store). Upon landing on your app page, most users will first  look at your app screenshots. They scroll right past your app description and try to get a preview of your app via the screenshots.  Include call-to-action or text blurbs over your screenshots to help explain what your app does and highlight the interesting features of it. Look at your screenshots and compare to your competitors screenshots.

Next, most users will take a look at your reviews & ratings and then scroll back up to read your app description. Consider starting your app description with an actual positive review of your app from a real user. Also consider ending your app description with a nice call to action, for instance: “Download LetterZ | Word Find Game Today!”.

Keep this funnel in mind when creating, optimizing and presenting your app. Consider auditing your existing apps against each level of the funnel to see where you have room to improve.  Understanding the app store funnel is important to the success of your app and can drastically improve your app install rate, growth, sales and downloads.

Kerry Mann Jr. has worked on over 100 app projects and he also is the creator of YourAppReport.com– an online App Marketing Service for iPhone and Android Apps.  Visit them today to get a FREE IOS App Marketing report.


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