Why Word of Mouth Marketing is Vital for App Success

When you think of marketing for mobile apps, the first forms of advertising that might come to your mind are in-app banner or interstitial ads, native advertising and social media. While these are all excellent forms of marketing that you should explore, you would be wise not to forget about one of the best forms of marketing that many app developers neglect – Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM).

You may be wondering what makes this form of marketing so special. The main reason why word of mouth is so effective is that most people believe what they hear from friends and family. In fact, according to research from Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe the recommendations they receive from family and friends over all other forms of advertising. That percentage may seem astounding, but at the same time it really make a lot of sense. Think about it: How many times have you tried a product or a service based on the recommendation of someone you know and trust?
However, what’s interesting about this finding is that in a study conducted by the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) and the American Marketing Association (AMA), while 64% of marketing executives believe that this form of advertising is the most effective, only 6% actually said they had mastered it.

two happy young girlfriends talking over white

So why aren’t more marketers focused on WOMM if they believe it’s effective? The main trouble is that over the last couple of years, more value has been placed on “colleting” consumers rather than “connecting” with them. Of course, this isn’t true of all companies, such as Mazda, which has connected with their customers in a wholly unique way by using a new method of identifying influencers through the use of their customer profiles.

Still, “connecting” isn’t the strategy that most companies take, especially small business app developers. After all, what’s the fastest way to draw attention and get more users to download your app? Offer them a free reward that they want!

The problem with this methods is that while it might result in a lot of traffic and downloads at the start, in the long run this doesn’t lead to effective user retention rates. Why? The simple reason is that you had to buy your users. They didn’t come to you naturally or based on the recommendation of a friend. These users were never interested in you or your product; they wanted the free gift.

What should you do? If you want to jump on the Word of Mouth marketing bandwagon for your app, you need to create a strategy that allows you to engage with your consumers, equip them with knowledge about you, your brand and the industry, and encourage them to talk about and share your brand and your app. You might find that if you target the right KPIs (Key Performance Indicators – measuring your performance against key business goals), you’ll be able to effectively evaluate your apps success at reaching your targets.

Also, word of mouth marketing aside, always remember that a less is more approach is often highly beneficial to app developers, especially first time developers new to the game and seeking to break into the market. For this reason, it’s often best to focus on a single SDK to learn, engage, and monetize.

It’s not enough to make fast money if you want to survive in the saturated mobile app industry.  You need to find a way to create meaningful revenue and this comes from premium monetization methods. Your best chance at generating meaningful revenue is to really connect with your users and provide them with marketing that’s relevant to your content.

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