Mobile App StoreBy Dave Bell

Stop me if you’ve heard this: 

Mobile adoption has moved quickly.

Companies across industries are trying to understand how to best address the needs of their new ultra-mobile target market. 

It raises questions, such as:

  • How are they using apps?
  • How are they searching for apps? 
  • How is our target market interacting with our advertisements, products, and services?

All Marketing is Mobile Marketing

Prospective clients are reading your blog posts, researching your products and services, viewing your ads, and even finding your competitors via their mobile devices. 

Developing a mobile marketing strategy really means acknowledging that your current marketing efforts are being viewed on mobile devices, and optimizing your campaigns to that truth.

New Data = New Opportunities

Mobile apps are a big part of what has driven the mobile explosion. And they all live in app stores such as Google Play and the Apple App Store.

The way users search for apps, and the specific words and phrases used provide new insights into your user base and target market.

Simply, app store search and behavior data provides new opportunities to connect with your market.

The Birth of ASO

Users search the app stores differently than the web, which makes search there inherently different than on the Internet. 

This has created a brand new field of data called App Store Optimizationor ASO.

ASO is optimizing your app listing for maximum exposure to relevant users in the app stores. 

This includes identifying which keywords and phrases are most relevant to your app by understanding how your target market is searching for apps like yours.

With this search data informing our target keywords and phrases, we can also decide which features to highlight in both the app title/name and in screenshots, videos, and the description.

App Store Data is Essential to Your Marketing Strategy   

Let’s say your goal is to increase downloads of your mobile app by optimizing the app listing.

There are two ways you can do that:

  1. Optimize your app listingThe math is simple. The more times your app shows up in a relevant user’s search, the more downloads your app should receive. That is to say nothing of A/B testing your icon, screenshots, or description. But where do you find which words and phrases relevant users are using in their app store searches?  You can’t use web data (Google) as app store search and web search are different.
  2. Target two to three word phrases that focus on features. The vast majority of app store search is for two to three word phrases, for specific features. Relevance is much more important that trying to grab traffic where your app is not the best fit, as users will simply move past your offering to something relevant. This approach of targeting short phrases leads savvy app marketers to approaching ASO from the perspective of managing and optimizing a keyword matrix. How many relevant phrases can you target with the current mix of keywords in your keyword bucket?

If you do the work to focus on keywords or phrases that focus on features, you want to get very specific.

For example, “game” may be a too general of a word to use as a stand-alone target, as there are hundreds of thousands of competitors for that keyword.

But if you are targeting “Tower Defense”and “Medieval” “Knights” and some other related keywords for your middle ages themed, tower defense game, adding “game” to your keyword bucket creates all the following combinations:

  • Tower Defense Game
  • Knights Game
  • Medieval Game

Without adding the very broad and competitive keyword such as “game” to your keyword bucket, you miss out on appearing in some very specific and relevant search results when combined with other relevant qualifiers (keywords).

The Apple keyword field is limited to 100 characters, and can only be updated when the app is updated. 

Building your ideal keyword matrix by finding relevant app store search words and promoting your best features related to these words is the best strategy.

App Store Data for Ads

Why limit the app store data you have on how users are searching the app stores?

Why wouldn’t we use trending search data to help us craft more relevant and targeted ads?

Relevant, trending search phrases can help marketers emphasize or prioritize “frequently searched” features in their ads and copy.

Let’s use the example of creating advertisements and calls-to-action for installing your amazing “Photo Album” app.

Targeting the exact words the market is using, to refer to the features of your mobile app, can even provide a new stream of ultra-relevant impressions—with ads speaking in the language your prospective users are using.

Trending Words to Inform Product Development

App store search data provides information directly from potential clients about what features they are looking for. 

Use this data to build and prioritize your list of potentials features and functions.

One thing that makes app store search so unique is that is oozing in “intent.” 

Users are searching for apps that solve a specific problem, or include a specific feature, using specific language. 

How well you can tap into that and address these needs to determine the relevance and longevity of your mobile app investments.

Mobile Marketing, ASO, and a Data Partner

Mobile usage has moved faster than anyone expected, and even the biggest players in the industry are working to catch up to the explosion.

We have already witnessed no less than 25 companies valued at $1 billion or more that are mobile-first or primarily mobile app driven. 

Mobile is disrupting entire industries, reaching demographics that desktop computers couldn’t and shows no signs of slowing down.

Taking advantage of the shift to mobile means much more than just complying with the Google mobile-friendly requirements. 

Understanding how app store data is different, and developing a mobile marketing strategy that includes mobile and mobile app data is what the winning businesses of next year and next decade are doing today.

Dave Bell

Dave Bell is co-founder and chief executive officer of Gummicube, where he oversees the business strategy for the company, driving growth and market development. Dave is a pioneer of the mobile entertainment industry with more than 15 years of experience publishing, marketing and distributing mobile applications and games across carrier, direct to consumer and app store channels.

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