It might not look like it, but a mobile app is a business all by itself. Even if an app was created for entertainment or as a game, it still means business.
No, there’s no factory behind the app. Most probably, there’s a very small development company or even an individual marketer or developer behind it. Yet, it’s business as usual. As for all businesses, your brand new mobile app goes through the usual stages of business lifecycle: the launch, the growth, the traction, the peak, and the decline (or continued growth).
Obviously, you’d want your mobile to succeed. You’d want it to grow in terms of traction and user adoption. You’d celebrate the day it makes it to the ‘featured apps’ or ‘popular’ apps list. You’d love it if your app gets rave reviews and grows in user count.
With more than a million apps on the Apple App store alone while Android apps being the most in number of downloads, it’s harder than ever to make a mark. It’s hard to stand out and get some attention.
To help you market your app better, think of a mobile app as a little startup. The app itself is the product or service. A few things work in favor of your mobile app even before you begin to promote it.
Here are at least seven qualities that your mobile app should have to make it successful:
The problem solver
Tear anything fancy out: the website, the app design, and the hype behind your app. Your app should be built to solve one specific problem. It should have whatever it takes to solve a burning need that your end users are likely to have. You can’t build an app just because you fantasized about a problem. Apps don’t succeed based on presumptions and perceptions. They work only when they can solve a problem - no matter how small or big that problem is.
You can’t build stuff for everyone – those days are long gone. Your app will cater to a very specific kind of audience. In fact, it’s so specific that you can almost design a buyer persona. You can visualize your smartphone toting customer busy twiddling with her smartphone. You can almost sense the frustration, need, or pain.
Your app, hence, is biased. It only caters to this specific audience. It’s not for everyone. Maybe your app is only for female teenagers interested in finding the best deals for female fashion accessories. Or it could be for LinkedIn professionals to help them manage their network better. Maybe it’s for self-employed contractors to help them send quotes and manage their invoices better.
You get the idea, don’t you?
Build a complicated app and will be the only one that downloads it. This is the age of simplicity. Since your app would be solving a well-defined problem, your app will have extraordinary focus. That’d burn everything you do into a surprisingly simple which does just one thing right. Looking for examples?
Evernote helps you take note of everything. Any.Do helps you create a to-do list. Uber helps you book great-looking taxis on the go. Other apps help print documents. Some others like Instagram help you take pictures, edit them, and share them with friends.
All successful apps are deceivingly simple. Build anything complicated and your app will bite the dust.
Of course, your app by itself won’t have an attitude; your marketing will. The design, the copy, and the way you promote your app should reek of an attitude that screams cool, functional, and simple. You should be able to drive the point home (as to what your app does) in seconds. One headline is all you need for those downloads to happen.
Now, the app will not do much for attitude, but you will help. Your content marketing - including blogging, guest blogging, and all other forms of content that you’ll develop – will help put this attitude up in the front. Develop a voice. Flaunt your personality. Make sure that you are there to back up the claims you’ll make. Be there for your users.
It stands validated
An app needs a business case. It ought to make money (or build your brand, if that’s what you are looking for). It needs a hungry market. To find a hungry market, you need your validate your idea. The first step is to do some research. The best place to start your research is within the app stores (Google Play or Apple app store). Additionally, you can set up a landing page, launch a survey, ask your previous customers, hustle, and ask around.
The key is to ask just enough to validate your idea. The important thing, however, is to start working on your app and then launch.
The more social proof your app has, the more downloads you’ll garner. It’s just the way we humans roll. If everyone’s talking about your app and raving about it, the app must be good.
Social proof has always been a historic popularizing tool. Do all you can to get initial users signed up. Now, that also helps with getting feedback and making changes to your to align it with exactly what your users want. Now, that leads us to:
Willingness to change, adapt, and pivot
Nothing is ever built perfect. It so happens that even the best of the apps in the market today were never perfect when they first launched. Just like all of us learn and grow, apps evolve.
App creators depend on user feedback, surveys, and general comments off the Internet to bring about changes and added features to the app. When you first launch your app, keep it in beta. Even Google first launches its products on beta before taking the veil off completely. Often, after the launch, you might want to change tracks. You would want to tear your app apart and build it back together.
Do it if you can justify it. If your user base asks for it, you’d not want to hesitate.
Ask, adapt, and grow. The best route for your app to take is the one users set up for it. The best kind of new marketing is to give customers what they want and not what you want them to pay for.
Do you treat your mobile as if it’s a startup company? What do you do to help put your mobile app in the profitability orbit? Whatâs so special about your app? How do you communicate that to your potential customers?
Tell us all about your new app. Share what you are doing to promote your app. Show off your apps to use. We’d like to come visit.
February 20, 2014 at 7:36 am
Nice list of apps. Thanks for sharing
February 21, 2014 at 4:29 am
Nicely you know what this can be singing competitors why don you role product your own personal kids and cease making excuses and judging others determined by look.
February 22, 2014 at 1:40 pm
Don’t know about what others think but for me startup mobile app should be simple.Simplicity is the key.User friendly apps with great service is enough to go all the way in the competitive market.Loved the blog as it will help the programmers or I can say the team to get success with their apps.
February 27, 2014 at 1:34 pm
Nothing fancy is good and most of the users will like that way.
February 27, 2014 at 9:01 pm
I think simplicity is the most important for me as a user. I’m often introduced to many apps throughout the week who want to do some sort of collaboration with my blog, but I simply can’t commit more than 10-15 minutes to figuring out how the app works.