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In 2020, digital marketing climate is packed with information. To get the information that matters the most, you’ll need to connect with customers in ways that matter.

2020’s Top Mobile Apps to Market With

David Bosley

Today’s updated mobile apps answer much more than our need for convention: In Quarter One of 2020, the top 250 sellers experienced a 34-percent higher download rate than last year. For new, mobile-bound startups, constant improvements to apps like Zoom, Netflix, and Babylon level out the playing field. If there’s anything we’ve learned in the past few years, it’s that App Store reviews matter—both for a marketer’s mobile approach and strategies at large.

Mobile usage has risen significantly, making customer feedback, social media usage and app store preferences the best metrics to watch.

Quality Common Ground: Data Privacy

With so many apps to utilize, it can be tough to double down on a singular platform. Most marketers prioritize robust UX experiences and awesome UI features—which are certainly good places to start. Fostering a fan population of avid users, however, requires one to custom-tailor everyday app experiences alongside purchasing offers, however. Because positive reviews and ratings are often tie-breakers, personalization is the key to success.

This year, customization pairs itself with another factor: app security. While data protection has always been a concern for both app makers and users, recent mobile-before-all trends have heightened concerns:

-64 percent of smartphone carriers worry about app-based identity theft.

-98 percent of the world’s mobile app revenue, surprisingly, stems from free apps.

-Mobile apps share a 97.6 percent market penetration.

Privacy concerns aren’t necessarily formed around individual data thieves. Rather, they’re directed towards larger entities known for collecting consumer information. Facebook, chief among these entities of concern, owns the industry’s three most downloaded apps: Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp. As of three years ago, more than 80 percent of smartphones had the Facebook app, itself.

At the Forefront: Tech Transparency

Beyond the realm of social media, if such a place exists, Google Search and Google Maps sweep across the world stage. While Maps is today’s most used mobile navigation tool, Gmail has become the most-used email app. Despite these massive adoption rates, statistics suggest that approximately half of consumers are likely to delete an app upon finding a data privacy concern—even if the collected data is unrelated to daily life.

New consumer tech preferences rarely spring up overnight, even if the new tech is innovative. Despite mobile app predictability predicting the common digital marketer’s app marketing strategy, however, our reemerging mobile privacy concerns are interesting.

The reason for the shift is easy enough to ascertain: 2020 has been a year of remote work, remote classes, and remote hangouts. Apps might’ve supplemented daily life before—but now they’re synonymous with it. After all, only 39 percent of this year’s smartphone owners reportedly use their devices for social media. This is a sizable population chunk, no doubt. This said, the 1.6 trillion cumulative hours we’ve spent on our devices, this year, puts things into perspective.

Time Flies—But Where To?

Find out where your customers spend their time.

In April 2020, the average smartphone user spent about one-fourth of their waking hours immersed in mobile technology. Where e-commerce is considered, digital marketers could do worse than acknowledge a great shift in the way we’ve turned to online purchases: This year, consumers have spent more time on shopping apps than they did over the holidays.

If one could point in a general direction, what’re the core ‘service’ today’s shoppers pursue? In terms of service interest, where does the time go?

It’s anyone’s guess, as our understanding of today’s buying behaviors is best left to hindsight. The 2021 holiday season is unpredictable, as it is: When even the most significant annual sales driver can’t be prepped for with certainty, few mobile marketing outlooks can.

But we’ll point in a general direction, all the same. If you’re creating a mobile marketing strategy, consider taking a closer look at these apps in particular:

Facebook Business Manager

The Facebook app, as well as the Messenger app, are already major tools on the modern marketer’s utility belt. Those well-versed in cross-channel marketing strategies eventually graduate to FacebookAds Manager—the application for streamlining branded page management. When it comes to link insertion, comment response, and industry networking, however, FacebookAds only has so much to offer.

It’s too bulky to handle today’s demands for comprehensive social media strategies, as its primary use is one of enterprising chore management. This is where Facebook Business Manager steps into the spotlight, providing a wealth of in-depth statistic collections pre-organized for your business’s unique approach to Facebook.

Business Manager is constantly introducing new account safeguard tools via its Security Center feature. Cybersecurity is a major consumer concern in 2020, but it isn’t exclusive to professionals, either. Business Manager is designed, ground up, to leverage a business’s multiple account operators with some of the open-ended strategies Facebook marketing entails. From your Business Home, you can view notifications, manage account access, and view alerts.

Where startups are concerned, the quality of small networks has a trickle-down effect. Fledgling businesses are often immersed in their growing fanbases—especially if they’re starting off as remote providers. Asset management can be incredibly tough, especially when paired with vendor responsibilities and advertisements. So, even if you’re practically a FacebookAds native, now is the time to adopt Facebook Business Manager: Those currently using it today have access to the utilities of tomorrow.

App Store Optimization

Here’s an app beyond the bounds of big-business labels: App Store Optimization. Dubbed ‘ASO’ for short, this cool utility helps marketers get a better handle on cross-store download analysis—as well as new app discovery. This is a powerful tool to have, in terms of competition: Currently, 63 percent of consumers simply browse their app store of choice to find new downloads. This is a simple metric to define—but nearly impossible to record.

ASO arrives to help us optimize mobile app rankings with a focus on search results. It isn’t bound to the realm of app stores, either, as it’s ultimate goal is to drive traffic from app stores to branded websites. ASO isn’t a tool for the lighthearted, either, as its effective usage requires a firm grasp on SEO. Its tools gauge your target customer audience, then snapshotting adjacent marketing opportunities.

ASO also logs reviews, categorizing them by relevance, positivity, negativity, and keyword usage. Its aggregate score, here, is one of comparison: ASO can give you the lowdown on ‘what if’ concerns—offering insights into the potential costs of not using keywords at all. Today, few keyword-based tools are comparable, as ASO dives into the depths of medium-ranked keywords which are often overlooked—but much more prevalent during a mobile usage spike.

Mention

Mention is an app which loosely measures reputation. In most cases, its usefulness as a digital marketing tool is directly influenced by a brand’s established presence. It records a brand’s name usage across Tweets, Facebook mentions Yelp reviews, and more—aggregating this information to create insights for audience response, consumer segment analysis, and other meaningful factors.

Mention is useful, today because its usefulness is also driven by how much ‘noise’ exists on these platforms. With so much content available, this year, determining your brand’s current social standing can be nigh impossible without such a tool. You can also use Mention to intercept and respond to, any misinformation surrounding your brand. You can also use it to target hidden fanbases across lesser-used digital marketing channels like Quora and Reddit.

If you’ve passed up Mention in the past due to its brand size requirements, try giving it a second chance. Aside from empty brand mentions, there’s simply too much content to filter through in 2020. So get a better grasp on what’s being said, who’s saying it, and how your business can stay connected.

Bitly

Bitly has been around since 2008, helping e-commerce brands, startup managers, web devs and entrepreneurs get the most out of consumable content at its doorstep: URL links.

It’s a URL shortener, creating over 600 abbreviated links every year. While Bitly might seem like a digital marketing accessory at first, it can become one of your brand’s chief tools when used correctly. Short URLs increase link clicks, especially when the links are mobile-based. Even better: It doubles as a clickthrough tool—helping you identify your branded site’s most-used access points.

Bitly Enterprise users get an even healthier collection of robust data, allowing them to navigate across multiple, pre-defined consumer groups. Moreover, it features a user permissions tool for small marketing teams, startup partnerships, and kickstarters. Each of these approaches to business in 2020 undeniably face concerns spawned from the explosion in mobile usage. This hurdle is easily hopped, however, when abbreviated access points are implemented.

A Reliance on Relevance

Digital marketers, this year, need to optimize their vehicles of cross-channel navigation. More than ever, the ability to answer online concerns, close the Facebook-Instagram Gap, reach Quora users, and manage a small team is important. Some apps might’ve been pleasant additions to our strategies, in the past—but they’re quickly becoming irreplaceable cornerstones.

So, whether you’re still laying the digital groundwork or bolstering your brand’s online foundation, implementing new utilities is well worth the time.