By Sydney Stone

You’ve just gone through the development and QA phase and now you’re ready to introduce your awesome mobile app to the masses. You may think the hard work is already done and now it’s time to reap the rewards. But marketing your mobile app is every bit as important as building it in the first place, and there can be just as many challenges.

If you’ve done your homework, you already have a great marketing plan that has been in place from the very beginning of development. And hopefully you’ve done a bit of pre-launch marketing as well. Now it’s time to tell everyone about your application and hopefully experience a high level of success while minimizing any marketing missteps.

Here are six things to avoid while promoting your mobile app.

1. Avoid the tendency to focus on downloads rather than retention rates.

It can be easy to get excited about seeing a high number of downloads in the very beginning. That means that people are aware of and excited about your mobile app. This is good news, right?

Downloads are important, but your real focus should be on retention. You don’t just want a user to download your app. You want them to use it on a daily basis. You want them to fall in love with it and tell their friends about it, too.

Pay very close attention to retention rates during the first year of launch and watch for any signs or trends that may spell trouble. The sooner you’re aware of a decline in engagement, the sooner you can take steps to solve any problems.

2. Avoid dropping the ball when it comes to app store optimization.

This should go without saying, but so many startups create amazing apps and detailed marketing plans and then forget the basics of app store optimization.

From the name of your mobile app to the description, every single keystroke in both the App Store and Google Play matters.

It’s best to begin with the end in mind and do your research on app store optimization at the very beginning of your mobile app development process, as this can actually influence what you decide to name your product.

3. Avoid missed signals from your fan base.

One of the biggest mistakes that mobile app creators make when it comes to marketing is not asking for feedback from their user base early and often.

Creating a continuous feedback loop is crucial to the overall success of your application. Plus, asking for and encouraging feedback will make your fan base feel like they are involved in the direction of future updates and improvements and can make them become “super fans.”

Don’t fall into the trap of releasing your app and thinking just because you’ve done extensive QA that the app is perfect. This is rarely the case.

4. Avoid being too humble.

It’s time to shout it from the rooftops and create as much hype and buzz as you possibly can about your new mobile app. Just because you built it doesn’t necessarily mean “they will come.”

Having a robust social media marketing plan is vital to the early success of your app. Ask users to share, ask for reviews every chance you get, and seek out social media influencers and bloggers in your space for promotion.

Now is not the time to sit back and be humble. Talk about your app to anyone who will listen and encourage them to do the same.

5. Avoid customer complaints.

The best way to avoid customer complaints is really by having a bug-free app with a friendly UI. Hopefully you’re already at that stage when you launch.

Once your app is out there for consumption, the best way to avoid complaints is by making it easy for users to contact you with any problems. You should plan to beef up your customer support during the early stages of launch to handle any types of complaints or concerns.

If you combine a really good app with really great customer service, you’re pretty much guaranteed success.

6. Avoid complacency.

So, you’ve done everything right. Your mobile app is a huge success and users are absolutely loving it. You’re getting great reviews and everyone is talking about you.

Congratulations! Now get back to work. In order to keep this type of momentum going, you need to commit to avoiding complacency and never-ending improvement. What new features can you add in the next update? What type of feedback have you gotten that you can take action on? How are you going to make your fan base love you even more?

Take every single thing you’ve learned during the development and launch phases and build upon that knowledge. That’s the key to mobile app success.

In conclusion, just remember that age-old question about if the tree falls in the forest and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a noise? Don’t invest a serious amount of time and money in creating a killer mobile app and then not invest the same type of effort in promoting it. Make a plan to make some noise.

Photo credit: App store on tablet from ymgerman/Shutterstock