Is Mobile App Discovery Being Avoided?

Mobile apps have been around for years now, so it isn’t like it’s some groundbreaking new market. Yet, the mobile app world is lost on the topic of discovery. Proclaimed experts won’t even touch the subject. If they do, then its just the same old stuff. In the mobile space, marketers seem to avoid the topic of mobile app discovery. The marketers who have touched on discovery, focus on mobile marketplace optimization. App Store Optimization is awesome, but it’s not the only way.

Why isn’t anyone talking about this topic? Is the marketing community both web and mobile full of those without solutions? Is mobile discovery something where only PPC is viable? Are you not tired of marketer’s saying, just use Facebook ads?

I am, it is complete bullshit. Zombie marketing is not something I subscribe to. When you think about it, the lack of mobile marketing talk is a bit shocking, but I think I know why…

A mobile growth strategy that performs well requires “actual” personalization, which is hard work. Hard work is something most people don’t consider part of their daily agenda. They value time wasted on pretending to be busy. Attempting to dent a somewhat new major niche of technology is just too much work. Overall, from what I read about mobile marketing gurus and founders, discovery is hard. Discovery isn’t a topic most people understand. It doesn’t seem to be something anyone feels like producing knowledge for apparently.

So, I am here to change it. I love mobile marketing. I think its awesome and unique. It’s much more personal than web application marketing. It requires a level of psychological comprehension that most don’t have. By the way, when I speak of the current mobile marketing scene. I am not talking about typical consumer apps. I am talking about apps that professionals and organizations use. You know, the busy individuals looking to make life easier in one way or another. There are plenty of popular apps out there, but nobody talks about them. Unless they have a strong presence as a web application, I find this conundrum fascinating; I think times like these are the best times to innovate.


Since most non-web based applications targeting busy professionals and businesses, don’t perform sufficiently. Not nearly as well as their fun and inspiring counterparts. Unless they’ve built a strong following with the web-based version, what will we ever do?

Should we plan our business strategy around the doppelgängers of the industry? Just copy Evernote most would say indirectly and politely. If you were to backtrack and create a web-based version, would it even be the same business? That would be the pivot of pivots. Overall taking that risk would be unthinkable! Your app may be excellent on mobile but not on a desktop. It might not even be viable on a desktop. You could always give up, but I hope you are ready to be defeated the rest of your life and labeled as a quitter.

How about this, instead of copying the historical unicorns of business related mobile companies. Let’s brainstorm together. I will even share some NOMNOM sauce of what I know works for mobile app discovery growth marketing in 2016.

Here are a few ways to help your audience, discover your app, without using ads. Yes, these strategies work. It is not the same old BS on These are tried, tested, and true.

(Isn’t that what they all say? I know right, its like I’m reading your sarcastic, cynical mind.)


Content Marketing: Yes, who would have guessed… Content marketing, genius right? When thinking about content, you need to obviously write 1200 words on why people should buy your app. I am kidding. It needs to focus on the solution you provide, then the types of customers looking for that solution. You need to take those groups and segment them by consumer data points. Don’t guess either; this isn’t 2012. They’re plenty of ways to analyze and segment audiences.

It needs to be of interest to the category of consumers and it cannot be the same old crap everyone is saying. You need to provide actual value to the read to gain a download and an advocate. So, before you even start writing. Ask yourself if you actually understand the types of consumers you appeal to. Develop archetypes before building your content strategy. It’s important; you might as well be writing about the color blue because nobody will care.


Now that you have crafted some badass content let’s talk about phase two. Start conducting influencer marketing campaigns for your content. If you don’t know what influencer marketing is, you can click here to download my overview. Influencer marketing is all about building relationships. Its also all about monetizing other relevant audiences you didn’t have to work for. Don’t bribe an influencer or give them a free product; unless your feeling charitable.

Focus on providing value. If your branding, story, and content doesn’t suck, then this should be no problem. Also, if you are crafting awesome content as instructed, then you should have a content bank of value. Start repurposing your content several times and even mix content together. Be creative, content isn’t always a long form article. Make an infographic or something. This stuff should be obvious in 2016. It works, no BS…


You now have a content strategy and influencer strategy. Start working on your funnel. Conversions come in many forms. They come in the form of subscribers, downloads, referrals, and etc. When you have content built out, start thinking about how to syndicate with influencers. If you cannot syndicate with influencers than your product is not relevant.

Since your app is relevant and you can syndicate, its time to focus on funnels. Start to plan out a funnel based around the syndication per segment. Syndication will allow you to create a personalized engine of conversions. Your funnel incubates and assists consumers through the discovery phase. If you’re not familiar with funnels by now, then I am not surprised you are reading this article. I have a couple of funnel strategies here, if needed.


Get creative; you now have the funnel, the content, and the syndication among influencers. It’s time to work on retaining those readers and converting them. I recommend retargeting. Retargeting is almost always used incorrectly in most marketing strategies. Retargeting is a form of ad buying but in my opinion, it differs.

Retargeting is ad buying to retain value from readers. It focuses on those who have visited the top level of your funnel. If they bounce, then ignore them. If they actually spent time and absorbed value, chase them down! Don’t be annoying though, do not make ads with pictures of your apps or products. That’s how basic newb level marketers retarget. If you are looking for that, then go to adroll and have their team set it up for you. It works, just not very well. I personally like to retarget by promoting content through ads. I would rather have my audience looking to the brand for advice then promoting downloads. Downloads will work though, so if you want to do it half-assed way, be my guest.

If you are consistently offering value, through content. They will remember you when the time comes and even perhaps recommend it to a friend or client. Be smart, don’t waste ad dollars on crappy brain-dead marketing solutions.


In the end, it is all about doing work. If you are just another app company looking to buy your way to the top, be my guest. It’s never what I would recommend. Marketing is all about personalization now.

Every company needs a personalized growth strategy for themselves. Every business needs a customized marketing strategy for customer segments. If you aren’t willing to provide quality marketing, then be an ad buyer, have fun. Just make sure you don’t complain about mobile app discovery being so expensive. If you think you are the unicorn who can half ass your way into the hearts of consumers, then that’s awesome. I prefer a business who has a story and passion behind what they do and represent.