Increasing Downloads – Designing in Marketing

startapp.pngWhile arguments continue about Android vs iOS engagement/downloads/monetisation the sad truth is that on BOTH platforms these aspects are challenging for the long tail of apps. If you are a large brand then you have a huge head start. Everyone else needs to think about how to increase exposure.

Startapp has a recent infographic on just this topic that provides a few insights…


Yes, keywords are important but that’s obvious. Ratings and comments are actually very important. If the app has a low rating and poor comments, most people don’t even bother to download. Paying to pre-load is a pipe dream as there few such opportunities.

Here are just a few thoughts of my own…

  • Can you partner with a large brand to gain exposure? Is there something about your app that might be attractive for a large brand/organisation? Can you co-brand the app?
  • Think about your app presentation in the app stores and how it will look when listed against similar apps. For example, too many icons and app names look like an afterthought (or are similar) rather an opportunity to stand out. 
  • Can you use your app to encourage selected users to rate your app? The meaning of ‘selected’ depends on the app but a simple approach is choosing those who continually re-use your app.
  • Can you use the app to publish status messages on social networks to implicitly self-promote the app? You might also consider using Facebook’s Open Graph API to increase app uptake. Many of the top iOS apps already use this mechanism. Again, be selective rather than annoying.
  • Read your app’s comments in the app stores. Act on any that imply there’s a problem with functionality or look and feel. Obvious, I know, but it’s often overlooked as it implies extra effort.
Looking at the above, it’s obvious that some app marketing begins with the app design and having an overall mobile strategy. Adding marketing afterwards is much more difficult, costly and often too late.