So you built a great app, but you are not getting as many downloads as you expected. This is of course a valid reason for re-thinking your approach to marketing and delivering a product to the market.
In today’s article, we will look at 3 possible reasons why you are not getting enough downloads. Not meeting your goals and key metrics will have a significant impact on your revenue and popularity of your brand as a whole, therefore it’s essential to reconsider what is not working and why.
Before we dive in, it’s important to note that the sheer amount of apps added to app stores on a daily basis is pretty astonishing. On average, there is close to 2, 000 apps added to the app store on a daily basis.
As this research from Statista shows, the Android users can choose from more than 2.2 million apps, closely followed by the Apple App Store with around 2 million apps.
Regardless of what market you operate in, it’s extremely likely that your app is not entirely unique, and someone is competing with you on some level.
If this is not the case, you need to figure out how to point people to your unique app and educate them on the value you provide. Either way, these tasks are not easy.
Apart from looking at the volume of competition, there are other reasons why you are not getting as many app downloads as you expected. It’s very likely you neglected some of these vital aspects:
- Your market research
- Not creating enough interest around your app
- Not optimizing your App Store
1. You are not getting enough app downloads because your app is not good enough
Before you disregard this option, pause for a second and think about it. Is your app truly delivering a tremendous amount of value to your ideal customer?
There is the possibility that your app is not acquiring as many users as you want simply because it’s not good enough. This is the case for an overwhelming majority of apps. The creators simply fail to correctly identify the needs of their audience, and hence don’t create a solution suitable for their ideal customers.
How to do market research for your app idea
Determine who will use your app
Great! So you have an idea for an app. Although simply determining who will use your app sounds very basic, it’s important. You need to very clearly identify the most rudimental segment of the population who you aim to target. It would be impossible without this step to continue further.
How broad or niche do you want to go?
The next step you need to take it to identify how niche, how deep do you want to dig into your segment. Going deep into your niche can mean a variety of things. You will essentially target a specific group of people based on a common characteristic that will want to download your app.
If you are wondering whether this will limit your audience size, it will, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. While you decrease the number of people you target, you also decrease the competition. More importantly, you are decreasing the number of unqualified potential users you’d normally target.
A large group of people is likely to have very varied interests, needs, and desirable outcomes. However, if you decide to target a smaller audience, you are likely to offer value and solution to more specific problems.
Identify trends more app downloads
You need to have a general idea of the current situation. In your market, in niches impacting you, but also in the world as a whole. Many aspects of the global economy are tightly interlinked, so keeping on top of trends is essential for competing.
Identify App Store trends
Your research and attempts to understand what is going on should start in the App Charts section of your App Store. App Charts are specific to your geographical location, however, it can be changed. Because this section changes relatively frequently, you want to regularly monitor this to keep on top of trends.
Next, you want to access the following sections and analyse what apps are performing the best:
- Top grossing chart
- Top paid chart
- Your category
- And of course, top free chart
It’s quite likely that you’ll see the same apps claiming the top spots for a significant amount of time. Try to search for app that has similar functionality as yours in this charts.
Identify trends outside the App Store
Apart from the App Store, you can also monitor what’s popular on the social media. Being present and active will help you to quickly identify what is popular. Given that the majority of segments of the population use some type of social media, you are very likely to tune in and gain valuable insight.
The second source of trends for your app’s features are platforms and groups where your audience hangs out online. These could be various niche specific forums or Reddit or Quora.
Next, Google Trends will allow you to identify long-term trends in popularity of topics, indexed by the search frequency. You can see what matters to people now, how it compares to historic data, and make educated guesses where will the trend go in the future.
You could do this for instance, and compare if people are more interesting in yoga (a very famous exercise in the western world for decades) or crossfit (a relatively new sport taken on primarily by the younger audience)
Lastly, you should think about taking advantage of the larger, geopolitical and societal shifts. Combining various smaller segments can niche down your audience even further, but it will guarantee smaller competition and a very targeted set of features your app can offer.
For instance, think about the changes in society due to crises, influx of new cultures, statuses gained of various minorities in the world and so on.
Conduct a competitor analysis
Another step in your market research is competitor analysis. Firstly, you need to look at the features your competitors offer and how they compare to yours. There is a variety of techniques to visually map the execution of their features in order to find gaps and room for improvement and developing a superior solution application.
You want to look at their solution and ideally use it too. But don’t rely only on your opinion. Use data from other users to gain understanding of what is important to them and what isn’t. Aggregate app users’ reviews and do a content analysis to find out patterns in satisfaction and dissatisfaction.
If you are interested in how to do this, we described this process in our article about developing viral applications.
2. You didn’t create enough buzz around your app
An effective pre-launch strategy for your app will help you to gain traction from the start. The first few users are essential for creating a positive upward spiral that can last for a considerable amount of time, especially if you optimized your app for sharing.
However, if you didn’t spend enough time creating and executing your pre-launch strategy, the day of your launch was likely to be just OK at best, followed by a progressively lesser amount of downloads.
Aspects of an effective pre-launch app strategy
You need a strong, congruent message
Pre-launch is all about priming your launch. It’s about getting people excited about what you created. As we go through the pre-launch strategies, you will see that you will strive to occupy many communication channels.
Because of this, it’s important to have a strong, unifying and congruent message across all platforms. Your message of what you intend to deliver needs to be aligned across all touch points with your brand. The most common example of this is McDonald’s.
As you go to different McDonald’s, you know what to expect. Their message is the same, their values don’t change, and you know what to expect when you hear about them on their website, social media or the information in their store.
For more app downloads you too need to have a well-crafted message, matched to your audience, delivered consistently.
It’s never too early to start building a brand
Essentially, how you position your brand should define a lot of your subsequent activity. It is the core of your business, where everything else will be aligned in accordance. It’s very likely that you won’t be very enthusiastic to start writing down what your brand behind the app stands for, what values it holds and other (important) brand exercises.
However, make sure that you start building an identity around your brand and app. One of the best ways to communicate your brand essence, and what you stand for in terms of service, quality and professionalism is producing high-quality content about your app. Having a blog prior to launch will highlight your expertise and attract potential users.
It’s never too early to your email list
Once you attract people to your site through blogging, use this traffic and collect emails and other information from your visitors. Email lists hold an enormous value when leads are nurtured properly.
You can use landing pages and compelling calls to action to collect emails from potential app users, in exchange for a piece of content or premium features of your application. Using email lists as a way to finally announce the ‘big news’ about your aunch consistently leads to more app downloads.
Be active on social media
Social media channels present a very effective way to stay in touch with your audience. As you build your brand and nurture your leads, keep sharing information about your app. Priming people to having your app before it goes live will build up the anticipation. While you can use social media channels for ads to get more downloads, nurturing prior to launch is also extremely important.
Being active on social media will also allow you to test the most effective channels for your audience. This information will become even more important once you go live. You will be able to optimize the most effective channels for more app downloads.
Sneak peeks and teasers
Sneak peeks are great for creating hype. A great way to do this by publishing screenshots with explanations of functionalities your app will offer. This will show your audience what is waiting for them once they download your app. Emphasizing the value you receive, and highlighting how it’s solving your problem will make people excited about the solution.
You can also include behind the scenes sneak peeks to how your launch is coming along. This will build trust with your audience and provide an additional layer of transparency and genuineness to your brand.
3x your expected PR and media outreach
If you thought that writing just a few press releases and then hoping for the best will get your more app downloads, you are wrong. Many people don’t give PR the attention it deserves. You should focus on high-quality press releases distributed far and wide to as many relevant distribution channels.
There is a number of great free press release distribution services that will create buzz around your brand and lead to more downloads. Namely:
You should also tap into other places and publications relevant to your app. When writing a press release, you should have a firm understanding of what to write and how to get more downloads for your app out of it. The best practices for writing a press release are:
- Have a great understanding of the audience
- Spend time on writing a great headline
- Make the ”who” and ”what” very clear
- Provide background information
- Include relevant information for the audience
- Tell a compelling story
- Use data, but package it in an enjoyable format
3. You didn’t spend enough time optimizing your App Store
Good news, you launched your app! You are generating traffic to your App Store, but people are not downloading! One of the main reasons can be that your App Store is not optimized. This is when app store optimization comes into play.
Similarly to search engine optimization (SEO), ASO deals with understanding of the algorithms of App Store. There is a variety of elements you need to take into consideration. Here are the main elements you need to optimize to ensure that people will download your app, and not simply leave.
If you are wondering how to get more app downloads, you need to optimize the following:
Your app ratings
Luckily, we created a checklist which allows you to go step-by-step through each section to check whether you optimized your store according to the latest ASO practices.
Get The Ultimate App Store Optimization Checklist now for Free
We went over 3 main reasons why the majority of apps are not getting enough downloads. If nothing else, this article showed that having a popular and useful app starts with research, and that it’s a continous process.
Here we showed mostly apsects that need to be taken care of prior to launching, but there are other post-launch strategies you need to keep working at.
Hopefully, you were able to go through this information and realize where you can improve. If you want to receive content like this in the future, make sure to sign up to our blog
Did you do these mistakes? Were you able to correct them? We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments section below.