Supply & Demand for Apps in 2019 (And How to Get Started)

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The rise of mobile marketing

As digital marketers, we’ve heard about the “rise of mobile” for years. And for good reason, as numerous studies have concluded that as much as 67%, or 2/3, of all digital media interactions now come from this platform.

An under-prioritized segment of mobile: Apps

Yet many of us (in-house and agency side) are guilty of still limiting their efforts to mobile web – neglecting the other, equally valuable facet of mobile – apps.

While mobile web sees 3x more visits/month than apps, apps receive 20x the engagement.

What’s more, app store revenue (in-app purchases, app purchase, and app advertising) is projected to hit 71.7 billion dollars by 2020. And I’m not just talking about games. App stores have over 20 different categories for apps, including shopping, lifestyle, productivity and more.

App marketing is for businesses of all sizes, and digital marketers of all specializations

No matter what size your client’s business is – from the Amazons to the Mom and Pop coffee shops of the world – experts agree that a business’ most loyal customers WILL download and use its app.

The best part? ASO is an easily integrable facet to many digital marketing specializations.

  • SEO Specialists: Like search engines, app stores (like IOS, Android and Amazon) have ranking factors that marketers can optimize for to improve app visibility and UX. Research studies have found that between 48%-63% of users find new apps through general search – making ASO a great extension of your current area of expertise.
  • Social Media Specialists: There’s a strong correlation between social signals and ASO rank, and many experts consider it direct ranking factor in ASO indexes. Many companies have seen huge bumps in trending hashtags by promoting them via their apps.
  • Content Marketing Specialists: One of the greatest driving forces in app downloads is the promotion of the app through other mediums. Plus, backlinks are a direct ranking factor for ASO. Examples include promoting branded blog content that complements your app’s buyer persona values, as well as reaching out to influential industry bloggers and app review websites.
  • Email Marketing Specialists: Amplify app downloads by adding the app into branded email templates. Your email list is made up of some of your most loyal customers, who are most likely to be interested in the app. Many email marketers have had success creating email campaigns dedicated to app promotion – highlighting updates and incentives to download, log in, or leave a review.

The truth is, jumping on the ASO bandwagon is less cutting-edge than it is keeping up with the times. Feel free to leave feedback in the comments below.

The growing supply and demand of Apps in 2019

The number of apps available for download in the Apple and Google Play stores have grown exponentially over the past decade – with 2.2 and 2.6 million available respectively, as of 2018. Meeting this increased supply is an equally increasing customer demand waiting to download them.

According to 2019 a research study outlined by Statista, an incredible 205.4 billion apps were downloaded worldwide in 2018. Up 27.3 billion from the previous year, experts predict this number to balloon to 258.2 billion by 2022. Americans’ app download behavior is particularly active – with 27% of adults downloading an app once a week or more, and 61% downloading an app once a month or more.

How to be competitive in the app marketing space

These app trends mean two things for online marketers. One, that app stores are becoming an increasingly valuable channel for your clients to invest in. And two, they’re becoming an increasingly competitive channel to stand out on. Which means it’s in your clients’ best interests for you to get serious about app store optimization (ASO). Assuming your client already has an app, what is the next step to truly stand out and compete in this space?

Start with a Strong First Impression

While there are numerous worthwhile elements to optimize within an app store listing the best place to start is literally what ASOs call the “first impression frame”, which is the cumulative elements that live above the fold in an app listing: feature graphic, icon, title, subtitle, ratings, preview video and screenshots (see visual below).

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Visibility

The reason to start with the first impression frame simple, it gets the most visibility. An estimated 60% of all app store visitors decide to install or leave without ever engaging (e.g., scrolling further down) on an app’s page. Meaning, its the only section they get exposed to. By making above the fold items look as best as possible, online marketers will be making the biggest impact in helping drive visibility and downloads.

Creative Assets Above the Fold

Research has indicated that optimizing elements from the first impression frame alone have been known to increase CVR of downloads up to 26% from both stores. with particularly impressive lift associated with creative assets such as the app icon, video, and screenshots. 

Importance of Ongoing Testing

My last and most important tip for online marketers is to not view app optimizations as a ‘one and done’ responsibility. Like other digital channels, success takes ongoing tweaks and testing to discover what works best.

Learn more about Successful A/B Testing here.

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