The opportunities in the tech world today are simply mind boggling. There are already over 2 billion Android users and Google is targeting the next billion. So if you have an idea for an app, there is no better time to start than now.
But as the market is thriving, you will have a lot of competition. There are: 2.8 million apps on Google Play store, 2.2 million on Apple app store and 669 thousand on Windows store. Don’t let the numbers scare you, but simply understand that an app is a business, so start treating it like one.
Today, it’s not about just having a great product, it’s about marketing it right. For an app to be successful, you will need a solid marketing plan to reach out to those billions.
We have launched over 100 apps, and through our stumbles, we have learned what to do, and what not to do. So now, we’ll lay out 10 crucial steps to launch an app. App marketing has 2 main phases: pre-launch and post-launch. Both these stages are equally important, and without one, the other is ineffective and your app will crash.
PHASE 1: PRE-LAUNCH
1. An app is a business – market research and sales plan
“Before you build a better mousetrap, it helps to know if there are any mice out there.” Define your target audience. Research your competition to gain insights on app names, categories, critical keywords, descriptions, pricing, customer reviews, etc. Then research the channels through which your competitors are promoting and connecting with the target audience.
Once you have conducted a good market research, you know what to estimate from your app. Be optimistic at all points, but set realistic goals, such as pricing, install rates, average rating score etc. Then, finalize through which channels you want to market your app. Time is crucial, so maybe screaming out to all social media platforms isn’t the way to go. Select a few and converge your focus on them. Lastly, lay out a solid sales plan for 2 cases: app succeeds or app fails. Decide your pitch for your blog post, newsletter copy, press release, YouTube video and texts for social media. By the end of step 1, you should be mentally prepared for anything.
2. Create a catchy Landing Page
This step is crucial. A landing page is a web page where details about your app is revealed. You have to make the content gripping. Focus on selecting correct keywords, laying out an attractive design and adding soothing colors. But most importantly, be clear and direct. Some recommend using ‘bait’, such as offering freebies and discounts, while others advise against it. Finally, it’s your call. Lastly, you could use the following websites to help you build it quickly and yet have a great page.
3. Build a social media network
Now that your landing page is ready, you need traffic. Facebook and Twitter are must-haves, but apart from these, get accounts on Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Tumblr, Snapchat and Reddit. Post your landing page, put it up on groups, send it personally to all your friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances and followers, email it to all your connections – in short, go wild.
Additionally, a good press coverage is always a helping hand. If you can, find a reporter who covers app launches and would be interested in yours. If not, just send cold emails with your pitch. You got nothing to lose.
4. Pre-launch app on beta testing websites
To get some feedback, post your beta version on some beta testing websites. Try the following:
Make sure to get feedback on both UI and UX. Also, make sure you get feedback from people who are similar to your target audience. Pay specific attention to those reviews for obvious reasons.
5. Collect user feedback
It may hurt, it may be disheartening, but be tough and take it positively. Pivot and adapt. If required, modify your app. If things are really bad, consider pushing your launch date. Lastly, iterate. This process will not only help your app become better, but will also help with your SEO. Some excellent source to get feedback are:
6. A quick sneak peek and final setup
Few days before your launch day, release a tiny sneak peek to your app – a trailer. A video would be a great option. Make it catchy and exciting. You need to get your target audience gripped and excited about your launch. Lastly, again, go wild on social media.
Meanwhile, make sure you have everything ready for the launch.
For starters, launch your products on the following websites:
PHASE 2: POST-LAUNCH
8. PR Resources and Listings
Now that you have launched your app, you need resources to promote your app. Try out:
Additionally, here’s another great list of PR resources.
9. Paid Advertising
Apart from social media marketing, you can launch mobile install ads using Facebook. You could then proceed to Twitter and Instagram sponsored posts. If you have a bigger budget, you can find a good list of mobile app marketing resources here.
10. Fix bugs and Iterate
Constantly keep track of your reviews and feedbacks, and based on them, fix bugs and redesign to ease use. Simultaneously keep an eye out for the updates of your competitors, for you can gain insight to market trends and user preferences. Lastly, constantly innovate to bring greater user experience and continuously engage your users.
Creating and launching an app could be a challenging process, and yet, an exhilarating one. We hope that following the above steps will set you up on your quest for success.