Five mobile app marketing trends expected to materialize in 2021

by App My Site DIY App Builder

Mobile app marketing is always in a state of flux. The success and failure of every campaign brings new wisdom to the field and changes the way marketers generally function.

2020 was a watershed moment for a large part of the digital space. The general reliance of people on digital mediums such as mobile apps and websites has seen a meteoric rise this year.

The end of a year is generally a good time to talk about the foreseeable future of app marketing.

2021 will soon be upon us. The beginning of a new year comes with a recalibration of goals and objectives. Before any of this happens, marketers must look at the prevailing trends and figure out which would have an impact in the coming year.

Trends like machine learning and AI have always been at the forefront of such year-end discussions. And yet, we haven’t yet seen them have a seismic impact on the way app marketing generally works. This is why we would focus solely on the specific changes that stand a chance to materialize in 2021 alone.

App development has been simplified with tools like AppMySite. Anyone without knowledge of coding can now create a WordPress app for Android and iOS devices. The next big challenge is mobile app marketing and professionals first need to understand the trends expected to shake up the current state of play.

This piece will provide insights on the five mobile app marketing trends expected to fully materialize in 2021.

Table of contents


  1. Use of websites to promote mobile apps

  2. IDFA opt-in requirements to hit iOS advertising and analytics

  3. Non-gaming apps to continue with organic reach focus

  4. COVID hit apps to make a comeback

  5. Rising CPI costs will lead to remarketing focus 

#1 - Use of websites to promote mobile apps

App marketing generally involves app specific practices like app store optimization and app install campaigns. Even practices like social media and email marketing are performed keeping in mind an app-only focus.

Marketing data points to an interesting trend that goes against the conventional style of app promotion. Almost one in every ten app downloads is preceded by a visit to the app’s official website. In other words, website traffic contributes to nearly 10% app downloads.

10% is not a small fraction an app marketing team can ignore. Moreover, it brings light to an unseen channel of app downloads - websites.

App marketing teams generally do not focus on bringing traffic to their official app website. Their main focus lies in funneling more people to the main app store listing. The numbers however tell a different story. Ten percent app downloads come directly from website traffic. This further establishes the need for app marketers to work on website traffic development frameworks like SEO, social media, and email marketing.

#2 - IDFA opt-in requirements to hit iOS advertising and analytics

IDFA is short for Identifier for Advertisers. It is basically a device tracker present on Apple devices. Apple enables advertisers to use data from IDFAs to serve personalized ads to their target audience.

While the personal information of the end user is not shared, Apple does share a ton of data on user preferences, behaviour, and actions. These IDFAs essentially help advertisers run highly informed and effective ad campaigns.

However, the free use of IDFAs has come under scrutiny due to rising privacy concerns. Apple decided to address these concerns with the launch of iOS 14.

This new update made it necessary for Apple users to opt-in for IDFAs. Most signs suggest that users will not opt-in voluntarily to enable advertisers to collect their data. This will significantly hit Apple advertisers who will no longer have complete access to user data across the board.

iOS is a fundamental part of the mobile app marketing matrix. Even those using a free online app maker can now build iOS apps. This opt-in requirement for IDFA will seriously affect app advertisers and drive user acquisition efforts to other major platforms.

#3 - Non-gaming apps to continue with organic reach focus

Non-gaming apps are expected to continue with organic marketing practices in 2021 as well. This is because of two main reasons.

The first reason is the rise in CPIs (cost per installs). App install campaigns have become exceedingly expensive thanks to growing competition in each app category. It is furthermore difficult to attract people to a non-gaming app through advertising.

The second reason is the overall success of organic app marketing. The United States alone saw organic app downloads to grow by 75% in 2020. This trend is expected to materialize in other app markets over the course of 2021 as well. Non gaming apps thus look primed for organic marketing in 2021.

#4 - COVID hit apps to make a comeback

Many apps were hit badly by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. This includes the likes of travel and hospitality apps that suffered major setbacks due to lockdown restrictions in various parts of the world.

2021 is expected to again start slowly for these apps. However, things could change later down the year when things settle back to normal. One can expect these apps and the industries they serve to come roaring back to life. Marketing teams working in such industries should thus maintain patience and prepare for a sudden burst of engagement later in the year.

It doesn’t take a genius to anticipate a sudden rise in the general use of travel apps and others in a similar position. Many people have resisted the urge to travel and indulge in a number of other outdoor activities thanks to the pandemic. A return to normal would naturally come with an overcompensation for some of the things people have missed doing.

#5 - Rising CPI costs will lead to remarketing focus

CPI costs rose 30% in 2020 and there are no signs that suggest this rise will end. Advertisers will naturally look for alternative marketing measures instead of abiding with these high costs. It is thus safe to say that remarketing would become fairly commonplace in most app install campaigns.

Why would remarketing become preferable? Companies are right to assume that the people who’ve engaged with them before are more likely to pull the trigger and download the app.

It is also wise to retarget ex-app users who uninstalled the app previously. Marketers can use multiple channels to reach out to such users and bring them back into the fold. Not all app users uninstall an app because of major issues like user experience and service. Even something as small as storage savings can lead to app installation. It is wise to again retarget old users and find an alternative to rising CPI costs.

In conclusion

Most year-end lists in the world of mobile apps cover fashionable topics like AI and machine learning. These trends however will take years before they materialize. Marketers generally focus on the present and need information on trends slated to materialize in the coming year.

This piece discusses key app marketing trends expected to bear fruits in 2021. It is already easy to build an app without coding with the help of tools like AppMySite. Subjects like app marketing thus take on greater importance and become more crucial in the success of an app.

The trends covered here are not exhaustive by any means. Readers should research marketing trends further to get a better idea. The points made here regardless set app marketers in the right direction.

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Created on Dec 21st 2020 04:16. Viewed 408 times.


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