How to Market an App

February 17th, 2015

How to Market an App
David Quinn

by David Quinn

VP of Strategy & Partnerships at Gummicube, Inc.

When we discuss how to market an app, we are essentially focusing on what activities maximize the ROI of app development and mobile app marketing investments. Vanity metrics like downloads are cast aside for metrics related to retention and engagement.

Daily Average Users (DAU) and Lifetime Value (LTV) are the focus.

We don't just want downloads, we want relevant downloads of users who find value in our apps. We want to optimize click-thru and conversion rates in our user acquisition campaigns. IMAGE: Mobile App Marketing with App Store Intelligence

Optimize for

Organic Installs

Users who find your apps organically (via Apple App Store and Google Play search) are generally the most sought after set of users. Organic users have proven to be both more engaged and produce a higher LTV than users acquired through ads. A strategy around optimizing your app for organic installs creates a long-term competitive advantage.

How to Market an App

We break our strategy into two parts:


(ASO) - maximize the exposure of the mobile app to potential users with relevant searches

Conversion Optimization


More than 50% of mobile apps are discovered via search. Ads, friends & family and top app charts all pale in comparison to the number of apps downloaded via mobile Apple App Store and Google Play search. This means optimizing your apps' name, keywords and description for ranking in Apple's and Google Play's search results is critical to your apps' success.

Investing in an ASO service that can help you rank for hundreds of relevant phrases can produce a much better ROI than almost any other user acquisition campaign.


Rate Optimization

Once you have your keywords strategy in place, the goal is to continuously improve the conversion rate of searchers to users. From seeing your app in the search results, to installing your app. The elements of a mobile app that impact whether an app is installed include:

  • icon
  • title/name
  • descriptions and call to action
  • screenshots/preview video

A/B & Multivariate Testing Creatives There is no better way of determining which icons, screenshots or videos resonate with your target audience than by asking them. Part of Gummicube's complete mobile marketing solution includes hosting live focus groups - providing feedback from 1,000s on which creatives and calls-to-action convert best. If you are not currently a Gummicube partner, you can leverage social media or your email list to test your creatives and make sure you are selecting designs that the market will respond to.

Paid User Acquisition

Mobile app user acquisition costs continue to increase with CPIs breaking $2 in 2014. As non-mobile apps continue to dump advertising budgets into mobile advertising, identifying channels for paid campaigns and optimizing those channels becomes increasingly important. Regardless of the channel, the numbers we are working with are:

  • Impressions
  • Click Thru Rate (CTR)
  • Conversion Rate (CRO)
  • Lifetime Value (LTV)

Given a high enough LTV, there are plenty of opportunities for impressions (example: Supercell's Super Bowl ad). What we want as mobile app marketers is for people who see our ad to click on it (CTR), to install our app (CRO), and to stick around and find value and purchase in-app items, see ads, .....monetize. Maximizing click thru rates, and optimizing conversion rates has a lot to do with getting in front of a relevant audience, with a clear call to action using their words. We need an understanding of:

  • the words prospective users are using when searching for similar/related mobile apps
  • the features prospective users are searching for

App Store Intelligence helps us understand how users are searching for mobile apps, enabling marketers to target new keywords and phrases in their paid campaigns, as well as offer ultra-relevant calls to action in the vernacular of the market.

Our app store data shows that the vast majority of searches are for 2+ word phrases and are almost all features related.

Highlight the features of your app you know the market is responding to to further increase CTR and CRO.

Add App Store Data to your Product Roadmap

The market is telling mobile app publishers what they want by the features they are searching for daily. Routinely monitoring trending searches related to your target keywords and phrases, and in your app's category can provide additional data on where to invest and what to prioritize. Ask and test your focus groups with new features, optimize based on results, and continue the app marketing lifecycle as your apps and the market continues to evolve. Want More Data-Driven, Mobile App Marketing Content?

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