While you’re finishing the final lines of code for your app, you may be wondering what your next move should be. Before marking your calendar for the launch date, you need to be sure that you’ve considered some critical points. After all, launching an app isn’t what it used to be! From delivery to dating apps, there’s a whole ocean of apps out there for you to compete with. In fact, Forbes estimated that in 2018, there were over two million apps in Google Play and Apple App stores, respectively.
If you want users to see that your app is the bomb dot com, you’ve got to think your strategy through. Of course, we know that your digital lovechild is brilliant! Still, it’s your job to let the rest of the world know that. By being systematic, thorough, and dedicated, you can ensure that your app launch will be crazy successful. Let’s look at twelve critical points you ought to consider before launching your app.
Do Your Research
Researching an app’s market may seem like a given, but you’d be surprised how many skimp out this step. Before you spend time and money developing an app, you should make sure you’ve analyzed every angle. While there may be interest for your app, jumping in head first is never a good idea. Consider the British app Hailo, the pre-Uber taxi-hailing app. While they had a market, the app failed in the US because most taxi drivers didn’t have smartphones.
If those developers had spent more time researching, they would have realized that Hailo was not ideal for the US. They would have also saved themselves from bankruptcy. How did they expect an app to work for a target audience that didn’t even have smartphones?! The moral of the story is this: don’t be like the developers of Hailo. Spend plenty of time researching every minute detail of your market to make sure your app will flourish.
Test, Test, Test
You’ve seen those memes of expectation versus reality floating around the internet. The truth behind the meme doesn’t just apply to haircuts and hamburgers, it applies to apps as well. App developers expect their apps to work correctly and be a hole-in-one, but, that’s not always the reality. The reality is there are glitches, bugs, and even considerable holes in the code they didn’t predict. That’s why testing over and over and over again is vital to an app’s success.
Beta testing is an ideal way for developers to get an idea of an app’s real-world capabilities. However, the conduciveness of beta testing depends on having the right users. Do a bit of digging to find beta testers that fit your app’s demographic. An invite-only beta testing session can be more intimate and provide in-depth feedback on your app. Conversely, public beta testing will bring in more data for you to analyze, so decide which approach you’d prefer.
Allow for Feedback
People love to put their two cents in, especially when it comes to new apps on the market. Use human nature to your app’s benefit to grow from the feedback you’ll receive down the road. By providing an in-app feature that allows for feedback, you can quickly address any pain points. Users who feel their feedback has repercussions will be more likely to continue using the app. They’ll also be less likely to write a negative review on the app store, which can be really damaging.
Whether you have an automatic feedback channel or customer service on the job, make sure you are listening! You can even build a form into the app for users to leave their comments on how to improve. What’s important is that you don’t ignore what app users have to say. If you keep your promise and take user opinions to your virtual heart, you will only gain loyal fans and increase downloads. Not to mention, your app will continue to improve, and that’s always a plus.
Check Out Your Competition
Creeping on your competition is not just for Gen Z teens, it can be what helps your app grow. By seeing how well your competition is doing in the app store, you can efficiently improve your app. That’s right, you can use your competitions’ successes and failures to your advantage! What they’ve done well is equally as important as what they’ve done wrong. Take note of all of that by asking yourself these questions:
- What’s their marketing strategy, and is it working?
- What are they doing well?
- What are they doing poorly?
- Are these apps missing anything?
- Why do people want to use these apps?
- Do these apps leave a gap in the market?
- How can your app fill that gap?
An easy way to find out this information is by reading blogs and reviews. Although, you can also use word of mouth or personal experience with an app to your benefit, as well. Be sure to use this information to build a different app instead of replicating the same app. If you provide app users with real value, they will come a-running! Everybody loves apps that satisfy needs other apps don’t.
Schedule Your Launch Date
There’s nothing worse than announcing your birthday party to find out it’s on the same day as a million other events. Turns out your app launch can be a similar situation. Avoid being stood up, holding a lonely slice of cake, by planning your launch date well. First of all, you need to find out when significant upcoming tech events are. You don’t want to get your thunder stolen by tech giants like Google, Samsung, Apple, or others.
Furthermore, properly scheduling your launch date can actually have a monetary benefit. Of course, every app needs to have a marketing strategy in place before launch. Well, it turns out that marketing is cheaper or more expensive depending on the time of year. Think big holidays like summer, Valentine’s Day and even Chrimbo. Spend time thoroughly evaluating the best date to release your new-born app into the shiny and expansive digital world.
Ensure that your app can continue to grow and improve by including analytics. Analytics help gives you insight into the user experience, as well, your app’s performance. When you have a more comprehensive idea about the user experience your app provides, you can market better. In fact, you may realize that your marketing strategy doesn’t even highlight what app users love most. In-App Analytics help by answering developer’s burning questions like:
- What features attract users?
- Is there anything users find unappealing?
- How often do users actually use the app?
Armed with this knowledge, developers can ensure that their app will continue to improve. Furthermore, you can create better marketing campaigns that highlight the best part of your app’s user experience. As the saying goes: if you’ve got it, flaunt it. Ensure that your analytics strategy is effective by taking time to decide what it should measure. Remember to only include the most critical metrics for your app’s business model.
Set Up a Website
If you don’t have a website, do you even exist? While that may sound terribly petty, it’s terribly accurate for the tech world of today. People want to be able to Google you and find out everything about you in a few scrolls. Earn their trust and give your app visibility at the same time by setting up a website. At the beginning of your app-developing adventure, you may not have much to share.
That’s totally okay, just be sure that your app has a dynamic and informative landing page. A simple landing page can educate prospective users and build the hype for your app. The more impressive your landing page is, the better. All information should be as complete as possible with any relevant images or videos, as well as links. Work to direct traffic to your web and watch as the buzz around your app builds.
Having a social media presence is sometimes more important than having a website. Oversharing and posting pictures of your lunch, also known as social proof, are cornerstones of modern life. Therefore, you should fall in line and use these platforms to broadcast your app to the world wide web. App developers can use social media to connect with prospective users, build buzz, and drive traffic to the app stores. Although, it’s important to take social seriously as it can provide real benefits.
By starting early and setting up social media accounts at the beginning, you can save yourself a lot of work. That’s because social media can help build brand awareness. It can also help developers identify their target audience and interact with them. When you are finally ready to launch, you can use social to boost downloads and engagement. Consider integrating a social media sharing feature into your app to allow users to promote your app for you.
Networking is always a good idea in business. While it might be slightly different in the world of apps, it’s still very possible. Taking the time to contact influencers and journalists in the tech sphere can have a big payoff for your app. Merely sending an email to a tech reporter about your app can help increase awareness. Reporters generally love to flaunt their exclusive news, so they’ll be happy to pass your information onto their readers.
However, if you’re not quite sure who to reach out to, do a bit of research. Scan through blogs, newspapers, and other publications that publish content about your app’s field. Try to only contact influencers and journalists you think will be really wowed by your app. You want your work to be met with enthusiasm, not an awkward ‘meh, it’s okay I guess.’ Remember to clearly communicate when the app will be launched and be sure to follow-up on the day of!
Market Your Content
Content marketing is half of the battle when it comes to successful apps. Make sure that you have a stellar strategy in place to help your app get noticed. While social media is essential, there are plenty of other factors that go into excellent content marketing. The more different kinds of content you create, the more of a reach you will have. You want to try to make your app present in all gathering places both online and off.
Get busy filming how-to videos or reviews for YouTube. Take some time to write blogs posts and be creative with them, there are now many businesses like Trust My Paper that will have all your posts written for you. You can even try your hand at being a guest blogger on a popular tech website. Convince prospective users to sign up for your newsletter and stay in the know about your app’s developments. Whatever you decide, do it consistently, as that is what will draw users in and keep them interested.
There are about 7.5 billion people in the world. While not all of them may have a smartphone and be able to use your app, a big chunk of them do. By thinking globally, you can significantly increase your number of app users. That means moving beyond regional thinking and allowing for various forms of your app, depending on location. Localizing your app helps users who are located in other countries have access in their language, culture, and locale.
Consider that there are over 6,500 languages spoken throughout the world. By being inclusive and opening up to different cultures, your app could become world famous. Granted, this can mean a lot of work (and server space) at the beginning of an app’s life. Still, be sure not to rule this option out as it could increase your downloads exponentially. Most consumers will tell you that they are far more likely to pay for a product that comes in their own language.
Choosing Your Mobile App Platform
While a small number of app developers focus on iOS or Android, the vast majority develop their apps for both platforms now — it just makes sense to capture the larger audience. Using cross-platform resources like Flutter, React Native, etc. are now making the entire cross-platform development process much easier. An amazing complementary tool is Codemagic, developed especially for Flutter cross platform apps. This company offers tutorials, video, podcasts and more, related to Cl/CD development. Another tool for exploration is Nevercode CI, a super useful tool to test and run analytics on your app.
Building a successful app is not for the faint of heart. There’s a lot of research, coding, testing, and hair-pulling that goes into the process. However, before launch day comes knocking on your door, you need to make sure that you are ready. With these twelve critical points to consider, you’ve certainly got your work cut out for you. Of course, as most app developers would say, it’s a labor of love.
Successful app launches require time, dedication, and money. Although, if you don’t put in the right work at the beginning, you will also be wasting your money. Save yourself the headache by taking time to think things through during your development process. You don’t want to end up kicking yourself when tech blogs are tearing down your app with poor reviews. Ensure that your app launch is the event of the year by taking time to follow these twelve steps.