Mobile App Marketing has never been more challenging. Here is what you’re up against marketing a mobile app in 2014:
Marketing mobile apps is hard work, even if you have the greatest app of all time. I have found it to be a worthwhile challenge, though. I wrote this post to share my insight on what you are up against if you are marketing a mobile app or thinking about developing a mobile app.
The 4 Biggest App Marketing Challenges
1. App users now have millions of choices. Choice is great for consumers. Choice is not-so-great for app developers because it is harder than ever to get your app noticed in the App Store. The rapid growth in the mobile app marketplace shows no sign of slowing down, either. In May 2013, Google announced that one million apps were available in Google Play. The number of apps increased 43% increase in seven month period. Apple’s App Store hits the one million apps milestone shortly thereafter in October 2013. This represented a 43% year/year increase for Apple’s App Store.
2. The ceiling for how many apps people use each month is 30. Being one of those 30 mobile apps is getting harder and harder. The big players, like Facebook, are creating app constellations. It’s not uncommon for a smartphone owner to have the Facebook app, Instagram, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp on their device. That means Facebook-owned apps can potentially take up 13% of that 30 number. Also, Instagram (owned by Facebook) just released another app called Hyperlapse. If that app catches on, Facebook could make up 17% of monthly app usage.
The big mobile app companies, Google, Facebook, Dropbox, Twitter, Yahoo!, and most recently, if you believe the rumors, Apple, are acquiring the leading mobile apps, further concentrating the list of companies that have apps on the leaderboards and apps on our home screens. [AVC]
3. Most smartphone owners download zero new apps each month. Honestly, this recent news surprised me. Sometimes I have to remind myself that the average smartphone owner doesn’t check Product Hunt every day or download any new app that seems half-way interesting. Dan Frommer’s explanation on why most do not download new mobile apps each month makes sense:
…people just don’t need that many apps, and the apps people already have are more than suitable for most functions. Almost all smartphone owners use apps, and a “staggering 42% of all app time spent on smartphones occurs on the individual’s single most used app,” comScore reports.
4. The bigger players are more dominant than ever. The cost of competing with the big boys is astronomical. Look at Snapchat. Snapchat competes with Facebook in the 18-24 segment. But they also have raised over $163 million. The apps with big funds can afford to invest in online display advertising. This creates a big gap.
Successfully marketing a mobile app isn’t impossible. If you focus on organic channels like App Store Optimization, you can achieve the kind of traction you need to stand a chance. If you want to learn how, please see my guide to ASO.