Why a Successful App is About More Than Just Having a Great App
You painstakingly developed a killer app that that you know people will love. You prototyped, designed, developed, and launched, and now it’s time to sit back and watch the downloads pile up. Not quite. You may have thought that the hurdles were all conquered before you launched, however launching your app is really only just the beginning.
There are almost 2 million apps available for download in the Apple Store and close to 3 million available on Google Play. That is a lot of obstacles standing between you and a download. With so much competition out there, how do you get people to choose your app?
Mobile App Marketing
Like any good product, or any popular product, earning brand recognition requires an effective marketing strategy. If you want to see your app hit land in the top 10, you’ll need a mobile app marketing plan to get it there and keep it there.
Know Your Audience
To get viral status for your app, you need to get the word out about it to as many of the right people as possible. A blanket marketing campaign is rarely effective; in trying to please everyone, you’ll end up pleasing no one. And a lot of your marketing work will begin before your app ever has a line of code written. Some ideas start with a target audience and others start with an idea; either way your app should be designed for the people who will be using it.
Likewise, your post-launch marketing strategy should be tailored to your target audience, based on key demographics such as age, income, education, and gender, as well as other important factors such as lifestyle, interests, and spending habits.
Scope Out the Competition
Pre-launch is a perfect opportunity for you to a) investigate the competition and b) find out what worked for them, what didn’t, and to make changes accordingly. Your competitors probably did a lot of the same research you are doing right now, however you have the advantage of being able to learn from their mistakes.
Hype Up Your Release
Don’t wait until after you launch to get people excited about your app, start building the buzz around your app before it’s released. Develop a website for your app, create a blog, solicit support from potential users, set up a social media campaign – anticipation builds excitement, and the more people talking about your app the better.
App Store Optimization (ASO)
Users scrolling through the app store will make a decision on whether or not to download your app in less time than it took to type this sentence. Keyword optimization will help boost your position and make you more discoverable, however strong visuals, including images and video, an appealing icon, an evocative title, and clear app description are what’s going to get you the download.
Incorporate and Encourage Reviews
If you’re awesome and you know it, don’t be afraid to show it. A whopping 79% of users read user reviews before downloading an app. To help build your credibility, encourage existing users to review your app and incorporate these reviews in your app. But don’t be too pushy with your requests, good reviews are often the result of good timing, and if you can, offer reviewers an in-app incentive for leaving their feedback.
Use Social Media to Your Advantage
You used social media to generate a buzz about your app before it was released, and now you can use it to keep the conversation going. Target specific platforms based on your audience, and use a mix of blogs, videos, images, and creative content that will appeal to your users. You can also help your current users, and yourself, by adding native elements to your app to make it easily shareable with friends and family.
There is a big difference between having an app and having an app that goes viral. With millions of options to choose from, just being good isn’t good enough. In order to be successful, you need to incorporate smart marketing from the earliest stages of development right through your launch and beyond.