You may not admit these words aloud, but if you’re an app developer, you’re probably hoping your app is going to be the next Snapchat or Uber. You’ve got an insanely disruptive and exciting idea, and a great product.
You’ve done the work to build slowly, and used feedback from your users to create an awesome user experience. You’re certain your app helps people, and you’ve worked hard to nail down a clear and powerful value proposition.
The problem here is that you’re in good company. There are millions of other apps out there, that have been built by designers who have done everything right, too. The truth is that in today’s competitive marketplace, those things just aren’t enough. If you want to engage and monetize your customers, you’re going to have to work harder and smarter than everyone else.
Consumers now spend 86% of their time on their mobile devices using apps. Each person has on average 36 different apps installed, but they only use 26% of them on a daily basis. Worse, 25% of downloaded apps are never even used. When million of apps are being created and made available for download, how can you possibly make the cut and get onto that coveted list?
In many cases, it’s going to come down to your marketing strategy. If you’ve done the work to create a stellar product that you know there’s a demand for, and ensured you’re providing the best possible user experience, the next step is to get your marketing on point.
Your app marketing strategy needs to include:
Your value prop: why should people buy from you? A monetization plan: what revenue model will sustain your business? A marketing plan: think pre-launch, short-term and long-term; this will be continuous. A development path: each new release should be the starting point for your next. In addition to ensuring you have a plan for revenue, development, and continuous marketing, you’ll want to have a solid marketing strategy that includes these crucial elements.
LAUNCH PLANNING Ensure your launch plan includes pre-launch, short-term, and long-term marketing plans. Don’t wait until you launch to start marketing, and don’t stop marketing once you’ve launched. This is the long game if you want to survive.
APP STORE OPTIMIZATION There are more than 4 million apps available right now - how are you going to make yours stand out in the app store? Make sure you optimize specifically for the app stores you’ll be in, otherwise you won’t get noticed.
NEW CUSTOMER ACQUISITION What’s your plan to create a constant stream of new customers? Consider what marketing channels you can use to remain top of mind for your target customers. After all, 65% of your customers are likely to top using your app after 3 months. Yikes.
USER BENEFITS Many experts will say that your number of downloads is purely a vanity metric and what really matters is engagement. If you want to retain users and both become and remain profitable, you need to entice people to keep using your app. You need to give them a reason to stick around. This can come in the form of events, gamification, discounts, new and improved features - the list goes on.
CUSTOMERS COME FIRST What do your customers need and want from you? This is absolutely crucial to understand. If you don’t invest the time and energy into figuring out what people truly want from you, you will never be able to give it to them. Everything you do - every new release - needs to be putting the customer’s needs first, above all else.
If you want to do more than limp along, ensure you take your app marketing plan seriously. Creating an awesome product just isn’t enough in today’s competitive landscape!