So You Think You Can Sell
Our team at Myriad Mobile has worked on 350+ mobile and web projects. We’re a well-oiled machine when it comes to building custom software solutions. Along the way, we’ve also learned what ultimately makes an app successful after it’s been built. Here are a few of our learnings, inspired by Justina Perro’s article, “How to Build a Stellar App Acquisition Plan.” We’ve distilled what we believe to be quick tidbits to keep in mind (and maybe get you to that million-download status).
Congratulations! You’ve worked hard to build a beautiful, functioning, fun, useful app. You’ve done user testing. It’s in the app store. You’ve prayed to the app store gods for downloads.
And you’ve gotten ten downloads in the first month. What happened?
Well, first things first. Did you create a plan for after your app launches? Let’s start at the beginning.
Know Your Audience
Getting caught up in the product, sometimes it becomes lost in the frenzy that real-life people will be buying your app…making it worth your while to get to know these folks. It’s not just a simple “male or female” demographic anymore. Create a more beneficial audience knowledge base by including:
- Age: How old are they? An app assisting with insurance won’t be applicable or attractive towards 13 year olds therefore marketing it in a universal way is not most efficient.
- Location: What is popular and attractive where they live? Market based off of that.
- Daily Behavior: Is there a need for this app for this specific audience?
- Interest : How do they benefit from the provided value?
Get an Audience
Perhaps before you can start to get chummy with your audience after finding out so much about them, you may want to start from square one and acquire an audience. Organically gathering an audience serves as the most impactful route. A few strategies in doing so include:
- Go to where your audience is. Reaching your audience makes new stride when you are able to market where they are. Think “multiple facet approach.”
- Practice a soft test and beta test. By “guinea pigging” the initial targeted demographic group on a smaller scale, you’ll get some feedback to work with without taking that final-product launch.
- Have a discussion board. Means of communicating ideas amps up the creative and analyzing process.
- Perform two tests with the launch of your app. Having more than one test saves room for error. Having one test to analyze how well an audience responds to the app creates an opportunity for improvement in the next launch. Test for 1) Technical details, including bugs/functionality, and 2) Marketing, for user experience.
You need not put your app on a billboard across every interstate exit to direct attention towards the app. There are a number of key, useful tools to get you where you want to be in viewership.
- Social media is key here. Social media is a game changer when it’s used properly. Get your name recognized by being present in the most effective social media channels.
- Forums. Forums are helpful as an informative source in promoting your app. A few notable ones are Reddit, Android Central, and Macrumors.
- Local / National PR Campaign. Make the most out of local media sources as a way to get the right people informed about what is to come.
- Bloggers. Connections with someone who will write about your product in a contemporary and effective way is huge. Find that person who will shamelessly pump your tires.
- Partnerships. Two is better than one, right? Find strategic partners who have a genuine interest in your app.
With the implementation and religious use of these sources, there is one important factor to remember: Time is important. Rome wasn’t built in a day as the saying goes, neither will your app stardom.
Now that your app is ready for the world to see, the development behind keeping it out there never ceases. Much like your house or your company’s website, you’re never really done maintaining your app. There is a kind of science in maintaining a strong presence.
- App Store Optimization: How much thought are you putting into the app’s name?
Include target keywords. While short and sweet may be the first thought in naming an app, take SEO into consideration. Though a mouthful, the longer name may help you out in the long run
Leverage keyword tools like SensorTower. This will make you a smarter app store optimizer.
- Description, Design, and App Icon
Description: Remember those keywords for SEO? You’ll want to keep those in mind while writing your description. Write the description for the user who is seeking to download it.
Design: Create clear images that will exude sleek and professional.
App Icon: This will be the poster child of your app and all it entails, make it attractive with both uniqueness and simplicity.
- Update of App: Remaining vigilant in making your app better shows users you don’t settle for good and strive for the best. But make sure to let them know what’s different, especially with update icons.
- Ratings: A “rate my app” campaign goes a long way in getting direct customer feedback.
- Pricing: While this factor is near and dear as a creator, keep in mind that the startup of your app is focused on ratings and views.
- Inbound Marketing: There’s an app for that — but is there a website for that app? Making a website for the app shows dedication to promoting the app, as well as another place users can find information about it. A step further? Hire a blogger to write specifically about the app.
Maintaining the Buzz
After a successful launch, you’ll take some time to bask in the glowing newness of your now public app. However, as that fades you’ll want to remember to continue the push in publicizing your app. For starters, the efforts of paid campaigns in the end truly pay off. By putting down some cash for some space to commercialize your app, a tidal impact is made in views.
A few MVP’s of paid campaigning include myriad social media functions. Here are the golden ones.
Facebook ads: Most effective.
Twitter ads: Gotta make the characters count.
Instagram ads: Works with parenting company, Facebook (two birds 1 stone)
Google Ad networks: Google is popular
Ads in themselves weave into the campaign. Some rules of thumb include:
- Be Clever and Succinct: Be efficient but different.
- Branding and Visuals: People like to associate things to create a sense of order. Establishing a unique brand in correlation with sleek visual representations creates a recognition relationship with the user.
- Click Through Action (CTA): Implementing actions for the user increases interaction.
Deep linking: Links directing to the app store gets the user.
Link into app / app store: Having a direct link to the app store is the bluntest way to get users to the source of purchasing.
Ratings: Ratings speak for themselves. Give users the option of clicking through app store ratings (# of likes and # of followers) to get credibility.
Reading the Numbers
There’s an art to taking in data and making use of it. Learning what data to focus on and exactly how to apply it will boost your app’s success.
- Measure Campaign Success: How are ads performing? How are channels performing? How are ad networks performing? Are you attracting “quality” users?
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Define the metrics you are going to measure. See what you are doing well and do, well, more of it.
- Average Session Length: How long are users staying active within your app? Where are they dropping off? That might give you insight on where to improve your app’s functionality.
- Retention: Retention demonstrates longevity and dedication from the user. This concept is crucial in keeping momentum for the long haul.
- Channel Success: What channels drove the most downloads?
- Campaign Success: How are you measuring your campaigns? Visitors reached? Conversion rate? Downloads? All are important metrics. Know which ones to pay attention to.
Creating a great app was half the battle. Getting your prized work’s name out there takes effort. Knowing the tools and best practices for marketing your app is your most important battle. Step up to the plate, marketers, and swing for the fences. Just make sure you know what fences you’re trying to hit.