If you’ve developed and launched an app before, you’ve already learned the lesson that there is PLENTY of work to be done before you ever come close to making your official launch.
If you want to have a successful launch, the work you do beforehand will be just as important. Here is a rock-solid strategy to set your app up for success:
CREATE AND DEFINE YOUR CUSTOMER AVATARS
Everything you do needs to be tailored to your ideal audience, so this is a crucial step you don’t want to skip. Who is your ideal customer? You may have several segments of your business, and you might find there are a few buyer personas for each aspect of your business.
Spend the time upfront to decide who these people are, and try to build an understanding and awareness of what they want and need from your business, and your app. This is the only way you can be truly relevant, and this will come into play with marketing, community building, and more.
CHECK OUT YOUR COMPETITION
Pay attention to what others in your space are doing. Who are their customers? Which apps are the most popular and why? How are they marketing and community building? What do their customer reviews say, and are there gaps you could be filling? NAILDOWN YOUR CORE MARKETING PIECES
While your marketing will eventually become a fluid and moving strategy, there are some core elements you need to iron out at the very beginning. Don’t wait until you’re ready to publish your website to decide on things like brand colors and a business name.
Key items you want to finalize before putting yourself out there are: Your app name and business name Keywords you want to be found for A press kit A product demo Branding
BUILD A WEBSITE OR LANDING PAGE
Now that you’ve created your buyer personas, decided on some crucial marketing elements and crept the competition, it’s time to create yourself a basic website or landing page. This is where you want to drive anyone who’s interested in being an early adopter, and start collecting email addresses for your big launch day. Without a landing page, it’s nearly impossible to start building an audience for your app.
GET ON PREAPPS
Preapps is an excellent place to gain the attention of early adopters and potential beta testers. It’s one of several communities for app developers to gauge interest in their developments and grow your email list. Before you register, you’ll want to have the basic marketing elements finalized and also your app icon and screenshots.
FIND YOUR TRIBE
Use your buyer persona as a starting point to find out where your people hang out. Maybe it’s Reddit, maybe it’s LinkedIn. Start creating content and trying it in new places, to start finding and building your tribe.
DECIDE ON YOUR RELEASE DATE
Your release date is pretty important, and here’s why. What if you pick a date that is months down the road, and the day before you realize that Apple or Google are also launching something huge that day? Don’t just pick a date - research it. Make sure you’re not going to drown in someone else’s noise on your big day.
CREATE A CONTENT MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
If you want to win the long-game, you are going to need a content marketing strategy. If you want people to find you, and come to you, it starts with a solid content marketing strategy and plan.
You’ve already started on this, whether you realize it or not. You’ve got your buyer persona, marketing elements, and a landing page or website. You’ve already tested out some content, to see where your tribe might be lurking. Use this foundation as the starting point to create and launch a solid content marketing and social media strategy that will attract your ideal customers.
KEEP ALL YOUR HARD WORK GOING
You’ve been going full-speed up until your launch date, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to relax. Keep going. Keep executing on your strategies, to keep driving business to your website. Communicate regularly with the email list you’re building, and with the social communities you worked so hard to create. Keep the buzz going throughout the entire pre-launch and launch stage, and continue to build relationships with your audience as a regular part of your business activities.
If you want to rock your pre-launch and be ready to nail it on your big day, follow the strategy outlined above. Good luck!