5 Marketing Clichés to Avoid When It Comes to Your Mobile App

September 26, 2016

12:30 pm

Marketing takes a lot of different forms. Whether it’s developing complicated softwares to meticulously lure customers to your website, or barking at them on the street to check out your newest product, there’s no end in sight to the marketing evolutions of the business world. And when it comes to keeping people interested in your mobile app, there are plenty of strategies to facilitate attention. However, marketing is all about making a unique impact. And clichés aren’t going to have that effect.

If you really want to make a difference with your startup, you need to be interesting and creative. That’s why you need to avoid these five app marketing strategies that may have worked in the past, but are no longer effective today:

Focusing on Installs

Ultimately, when you release an app, you want people to install it. And while installs are a good way to measure the success of your app, retention is better for everyone. Focusing on what happens post-installation is more important now than focusing on installs alone.

“Companies should look at post install events, which are most indicative of future app profitability,” said Jennifer Shambroom, CMO of YouAppi. “Though the best post install events may vary per app, focusing on events such items purchased or placed in the shopping cart, levels reached, or in-app purchases for a game, are better and more profitable in the long term.”

Having An App Is Enough

With the myriad of apps coming out everyday from creative and innovative developers, gone are the days when having an app is enough of a marketing strategy. You need more than an app to make your marketing efforts worth your time.

 “Early on with the iPhone and smartphones in general, just having an app was reason enough for people to download it and test it out,” said John Turner, CEO and founder of QuietKit. “You would get a fair amount of traction just by letting people know your app was in the store. And while that used to give you a certain boost in downloads, now it will impress no one. What was once a marketing tool advantage is now an obstacle to overcome.”

Although having an app can be impressive, it does not mean it’s enough to get you to the top of the ranks of the app store. Your app should be something that users will actually find interesting, entertaining or beneficial to their lives to get you to the top.

Long App Titles

A couple of years ago, app publishers could find success with clones and poorly made apps by using App Store Optimization, essentially SEO for the app store. Recently, Apple has released a 50-character rule, meaning app titles exceeding 50 characters will no longer be allowed in the app store. In addition, Apple also sent an email to developers saying that it will start removing “problematic and abandoned apps”.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if more decisions are announced in the near future, so my tip is to stop using spammy titles and descriptions and focus on natural content and growing social relevance of your app store listing through organic link building on social media,” said Fernando Ballester, country manager at Yeeply.

Out-of-Home Advertising

OOH or out-of-home advertising is the type of marketing that you usually see on benches, buses, cabs and billboards. Although this particular type of marketing works for real estate, restaurants, and local services, it is not effective when marketing an app.

“Out of Home advertising adds additional steps that aren’t necessary, forcing consumers to proactively search your app on Google rather than clicking through a digital advertisement or blog link. Not to mention the fact that out of home advertising is more expensive,” said Alexandra Domecq, Media Relations Specialist at THR33FOLD.

Following The Trend

Black hat ASO and keyword stuffing are just a few trendy app marketing strategies that are frowned upon but marketers use anyway because of its effectiveness. However, while these strategies can provide a short-term boost, it may not be a prudent methodology in the long run as keyword stuffing as shown.

“Of course, you should definitely optimize the app in the store – it is the absolute foundation of running a successful app marketing campaign! However, you should also make sure to do it the smart way – no keyword stuffing or black hat techniques involved. Otherwise, your app might only live for its 15 minutes of fame, before it is severely taxed by the app store’s algorithm and/or the user reviews,” said Alexander Grosu, a digital marketer at inSegment.

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I started building apps in 2011 and my first app hit #8 under educational games. I started making a few hundred dollars a month, but had no idea what I was doing. Then in 2013 I decided to start a podcast so I could pick the brains of app creators that I admired including the co-founder of Shazam, Tapbots, Crossy Road, etc and that changed everything. Now I run an app PR agency,, where we’ve helped clients get featured by Apple, hit the #2 paid app overall, and get coverage on TechCrunch, Mashable, VentureBeat and other major publications. I also write about apps on my blog