App Keyword Research vs Market Research – The HUGE Difference

Hey guys – here’s a new style of post that overviews a topic I’ve been getting a lot of questions about. Check it out!

What’s up ladies and gentlemen, this is Carter Thomas and I am doing a blog post video about market research versus keyword research.
Now, very quickly, this is not a sales video, there’s nothing salesy about this. I’m just doing this because this format is a lot easier for me to explain things and to collect my thoughts. Sometimes it can be hard to structure within a blog post or in a live video.
So hopefully, this helps you with the idea of market research versus keyword research.
The reason I’m doing this is because I’ve been getting a lot of emails, Facebook messages, whatever else you wanna call it, people that are really saying this:

“Carter, oh my God, help me. I don’t know what category to pick. I don’t know where to start. I can’t find a market. I’m doing all this research and I just don’t know what to do etc., etc., etc.”

And people are typically coming to me and they say, “I’m doing market research and I’m going on and I’m trying to find all these things. I’m looking at Sensor Tower, I’m looking at App Annie, I’m trying to find everything.
And what they really mean is they’re doing keyword research. That’s not market research, they’re doing keyword research. So I wanna make sure that it’s very clear what the difference is here. So we’re gonna start off by defining what this is, keyword research.
You can see the screenshot, many of you who probably know about Sensor Tower, have used Sensor Tower and it shows you…you can see that you type in specific keywords and it will give you the difficulty, how much traffic, how many different apps are ranking for that keyword and it just gives you an overall score.
When you’re doing keyword research what you’re looking for ideally is high volume and low competition. It means a lot of people are searching that keyword and there’s not a lot of competition.
This is very hard to do because there’s a million-plus apps in the App Store, but there are still some of these pockets out there. And the goal of this keyword research is trying to find hidden keywords that you can rank really well for.
So what happens is when people email me that message and say, “Oh my God, I don’t know what to do.” They’re spending their time trying to find this golden ticket of high volume, low competition. So they can just take a template, they can take their source code and they can wrap it up into that, match those keywords, put it in the App Store and then capitalize on some of that search funnel.
That’s the idea and the reason why they get so frustrated is because that is a flawed model. That doesn’t work at least…It works very, very, very rarely. It’s not a real powerful scale and full business model.
Now, I also wanna define what market research is. Now, this is a screenshot from Facebook audience insight which we’ll link to below and this is where you wanna go if you wanna do market research. It covers almost everything you need.
On the left you can see I pointed out, I typed in interests in Ferrari and if you’ve never used Facebook audience insights what this does is it gives you all the outlying information about people that fit the criteria you put in. So you can get as specific as you want.
I just put it Ferrari. People who are interested in Ferraris and you’ll notice that it’s 80% men, 20% women, and compared to Facebook that’s disproportionately higher men and lower women as you would expect.
When you do market research, what you are learning about is the people. You’re learning about the demographics, how old are they? What, are they male or female? Where do they live, what cities do they live in? All that sort of thing.
You learn about their behavior. What sort of pages do they like, what sort of products do they spend money on, how much money do they spend? What are they doing differently than the average person that makes them unique? And then the market research also tells you the interests, so beyond being interested in Ferrari’s, what are these people interested in? Well, maybe they’re interested in luxury vacation houses, maybe they’re interested in Air Jordan sneakers.
I mean I don’t know but it gives you an idea and you wanna find out what those interests are so that you can answer the question “Who are these people?” Who are the people in this particular market? In this niche? Now, the reason you wanna do this is because very often we can have these assumptions where we go and then we say, “Well, this is who I think a Ferrari owner is.”
Let’s say a 50 year old guy styling, doing his thing, maybe single, bachelor life, loves fast cars. But when you do the research, you realize it’s actually guys who like to dress up in costumes and put Bitmojis all over their Ferraris.
You never know. I mean obviously this is a ridiculous example but my point is that market research will tell you all about the people. It’s gonna define who are the people that are all interested in one thing whereas keyword research tells you all about the searches, it tells you about what people are looking for in the App Store and that difference is huge.
Market research, it’s all about people. Keyword research is all about the App Store searches.
Now, let’s say you have an app and you go and you do market research and you do keyword research, what are the benefits of doing this? Well with market research, now you have this customer, what they call a customer avatar.
You know who your person is. So if you have an app that’s all about Ferraris, you have a good idea of what updates to do because you know what kind of products Ferrari lovers wanna see. You know what language to use because you know who you’re talking to.
You know what kind of design they want. You would know all these other marketing techniques, you know that should use Facebook and not Pinterest because it’s mostly men and they like video more than they like the written word or whatever it may be.
But with market research because you know these people, for your app you now have this whole business strategy to feed this market.
With keyword research if you have an app, all you’re really being able to do is go find people that are already searching in the App Store.
Yes, you can go and you can potentially get some information off that keyword research to help you with the updates and language and all that but you’re really just searching for the people that are already in the App Store, that are you specifically searching for that. So you can imagine that that is a very, very small piece of what the greater pile looks like.
When you’re really looking at the people that you’re researching, keyword research is only a really small part of the overall picture.
Now, what do you look for when you do market research? If you open up Facebook audience insights where do you start?
Well, you really just start anywhere. You type in anything that you’re interested in or maybe your friends are interested in and then usually the best customer demographics have communities. They’re enthusiastic, they have associations.
I think Ferraris are a great example of this. There people that get together with their Ferraris and they just wanna show them off because they’ve customized them, they have different types of Ferraris and they all get together, people get together and it’s just, it’s a community of that and they love it. They just post like a million pictures of it which is great.
It’s great to see people that are stoked about something, they’re really passionate about it, they create associations whereas something like people that are interested in frogs, and this is a random example. You might not have as many people starting like the Tree Frog Fan Club or a hit note tree frog enthusiasts.
You don’t see that as much which makes it harder to create products that they’re really gonna care about because they don’t have that connection. They don’t want, they don’t like it as much.
So when you’re doing market search, this is what you wanna think about and you really wanna cater to those people, the people that have that community, that passion, that real love of whatever the product or interest is.
Now if you’re gonna do market research go to Facebook audience insights, that’s the best place to do your market research. If you’re gonna do a keyword research do all the things that you’ve already been doing with Sensor Tower, with App Annie, with Mobile Action with all the big ones.
Now, I wanted to go through an example because I think that this helps gel everything together. So a good example is with sticker apps. So a lot of you out there, let’s say you have access to the Tiger Stickers app or even the emojis app it was just essentially a stickers app and you’re asking yourself what category do I choose?
How can I go find the keyword so that I can just put this in the App Store and it’s gonna get a lot of downloads? And I’m gonna tell you, you’re probably never gonna find any keywords that tell you what people want a sticker app for, or, you see what I’m saying. If Ferrari owners are not going into the App Store saying, “Oh Ferrari sticker app.” Or “Ferrari emoji app.”
They’re not looking for this kind of stuff. If you go into Sensor Tower you will never see 98% of these markets like searching for what you’re looking for.
However, if you went on Facebook and found these communities of people like the Ferrari lovers who are obsessed with the topic and you said, “Hey, I know that you love Ferraris and I’m gonna build this app specifically for people that love this topic and then I’m gonna show you this emoji app, or a sticker app that you can use because I know what Ferrari lovers want.”
They’re gonna love a sticker but they’re not necessarily searching for it but because you know that market, you can take any template and apply it to that market. As opposed to just taking the template and hoping you could find a little pocket in the App Store that you can grab on to.
So you use the market research to find the people that you can market to. Then you use the keyword research to get unique or get specific. So for the Ferrari people once you’ve identified that Ferrari people, Ferrari lovers are a great demographic of market research to go after, then you go into keyword research, maybe you got Sensor Tower, maybe you go to Google Keyword tool and that’s when you find out what types of Ferraris are they looking for?
What problems do they have with their Ferraris? Are they looking for new parts? Are they looking for places to meet up? Are they looking for ways to trick it out? I mean, look for those searches and go to the keyword tool to see, all right, now I know I can rank the problems that these people have. I know exactly what to go build because then you can go rock it out.
So real quick overview, the market research is really important because you go find the people that are really passionate about a topic, then you go take a template or source code and you customize it specifically for that market and then you get it in front of that audience.
You can do it in the App Store but you also go and do it on social media, you do with a website, you do with emails, you do it in person. You can go to these trade shows and show them your app and people will respond because you’ve done the market research.
This is so much more powerful. This is so much more long-term than when you get an app and then you go to the App Store and you try to find the unfilled demand and sneak your app in to pick off the pieces and that’s why so many apps out there get like 100,000 impressions on the iTunes page and 100 installs.
It’s because they’re not going after the market first, they’re just going after the keyword volume. So it’s really important to go up to the people, research the people, go find the people, go find those communities and then take any template.
I mean you could any template out there and cater it and repackage it, redesign it for that specific audience and then just get it in front of the audience both inside the App Store and outside the App Store. That’s how you’re gonna see big success.
So I’ll see you guys later. If you have any questions I’d love to hear them. Leave a comment below and I hope that this has been helpful. Peace.


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