8 Steps to Launching a Successful Mobile App

If you’re looking to take your start-up, small business, or brand to the next level, it’s time to consider getting a dedicated mobile app for your company. Not only will it boost brand awareness, help you connect with your customers, and drive high engagement levels, it will also help position you head to head with your competitors, who most probably already have an app. With an estimated 2.6 billion smartphone users out there (1) it’s a huge market to tap into.

Ok, we know what you’re thinking. What about the technical side? The hours of development, the wireframes, optimising the user journey, and honing the sales funnel?  Who’s going to build it? Well, don’t worry, you can leave all of that to us. And once we’ve brought your sparkly new app to life, here are some of the tried and tested ways in which you can launch it with a fanfare rather than a fizzle. 

Contents

Do your research

Sure, the word ‘research’ can be groan-inducing, but when it comes to launching your app it makes a huge difference. No less than 72% of new mobile apps fail to meet their performance expectations due to inadequate market research. (2) That’s because having an understanding of the current landscape will help you plot where your app fits into the marketplace, and how you best position it to stand out from your competitors.

As well as taking a forensic dive into your direct competition (such as reading their app reviews so you can avoid common pitfalls) market research will help give you an understanding of your target audience so you can develop a marketing plan that appeals to them.

Researching the market will help ensure the best possible User Experience for your mobile app, which in turn gives you the edge over your competitors.

mobile app research on paper

Define your success

Success can mean many things to many people, but what does it mean to you? Having a clear understanding of what you want your app to achieve lets you track whether or not you are hitting the target. So we recommend setting measurable goals or key performance indicators (KPIs) before launch. Here are a few popular KPIs to get you started:

  • General KPIs: the number of downloads over a given period, subscription levels, and upgrades (e.g. from a free to paid-for version of your app)
  • User engagement KPIs: how often and how long users are engaging with your app – plus retention rates: how quickly and how often they return
  • Growth KPIs: how often frequent users are inviting their friends to join your app – and how often those friends are then inviting their friends
  • Advertising KPIs: keeping tabs on what effect all of the above is having on your app’s ability to make money from advertising

Pick a platform

Let’s start by taking a look at the numbers. In the first quarter of 2020 here’s how many apps were available on the following popular platforms (3):

  • Google Play – 2,560,000 apps
  • Apple App store – 1,847,000 apps
  • Windows Store – 669,000 apps
  • Amazon Appstore – 489,000 apps 

What does that mean? Well, if your app is only available on one platform, you’re missing out on a lot of potential customers. A cross-platform app (e.g. iOS and Android) won’t just expand your reach but it’s more efficient as the same code can be reused by your chosen app design agency. Talking of which, did we mention we develop high quality apps for any platform?

mobile app use: google analytics

Market your app to influencers

There’s no denying the power of influencers. According to the Digital Marketing Institute, 70% of teens trust influencers more than traditional celebrities. (4) So the only question is which influencers are the best match for your brand? That’s where the r-word comes into play again. Research your sector for the key journalists and bloggers with the biggest sway (which usually means followers). Once you’ve got your hit list, it’s time to reach out to them.

A targeted approach is much more effective than a scattershot approach so tailor each pitch to the recipient to show you know something about them and what they do. This personalised approach can definitely pay off. 71% of companies using advanced personalisation report either a ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ return on investment. (5) Other top tips for increasing the chances of your pitch being read include:

  • Make sure your subject line is enticing so they want to read on
  • Include visual content and a link to a free download of your app
  • Keep it short

Another benefit of researching your target audience is you’ll have an understanding of which social media outlets they’re most likely to use. You can use this information to craft a targeted paid advertising campaign designed to get your app on the right people’s radars. Here’s a quick rundown of what the most popular platforms have to offer when it comes to advertising your app:

  • Google: Google App campaigns let you provide ad assets from your app store listing which Google uses to create ads across their network, including searching, Google Play and YouTube
  • Facebook: You can choose to run an ‘app install’ or ‘app engagement’ ad campaign, both of which link your adverts directly to your app
  • Twitter: Twitter uses ‘app cards’ which show up in a user’s timeline with an image, app ratings, and a link to install your app. The pricing model is based on cost per app click    
mobile app categories

App store optimisation

As we discussed in the ‘Pick a platform’ section, there are an awful lot of apps out there in the digital realm so how do you make yours stand out in search results? More apps are discovered through app store searches than other methods (6) and research suggests that if your app doesn’t rank in the top 10 positions for relevant keywords, the danger is it’ll never be seen. (7) The good news is there’s something you can do to boost your app’s visibility: app store optimisation (ASO).

ASO is where you optimise your app’s page on the app store with strategic keywords so it ranks higher in search results and drives more traffic to your app’s page. To get the most from ASO, you should research the keywords your target audience use the most when searching for apps similar to yours. Oh, and here’s a bonus tip: Once you know the most-used keyword, be sure to include that in the title of your app’s page. 

Consider affiliate marketing

Pat Flynn, the entrepreneurial mastermind behind SmartPassiveIncome (8) describes affiliate marketing as, “the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.” 

In relation to launching your app, it involves: 

  • Identifying the key influencers who can promote your app
  • Providing them with a unique trackable link to your app
  • Paying them commission if users buy your app via their link 

If visitors don’t make a purchase via the influencer’s link, you owe the influencer nothing. If they do, you and the influencer both get a share of the revenue, so it’s a win-win option.

developing a mobile app

Get reviews

Reviews can be the secret sauce to an app’s success. According to the Apple App Store they ‘help others decide which apps they’d like to try’ and research backs this up with 77% of people reading at least one review before downloading a free app, and 80% checking out reviews before buying a paid app. (9) So here’s our quick guide to getting more reviews:

  • Ask for them: it might sound obvious but if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Oh, and don’t forget to thank them afterwards
  • Add an incentive: encouraging users to leave a review with a reward (such as exclusive content or a voucher code) can be extremely persuasive
  • Respond to reviews: replying to reviews can increase user engagement – users change their ratings almost 39% of the time after a developer response (10)

Let’s make something great together 

So now you know how to successfully launch your app, would you like us to start making it? We specialise in creating high quality apps using cutting-edge technology optimised for any platform to deliver exceptional experiences to your users. Let’s chat.

References

(1) https://www.mobileappdaily.com/advantages-of-mobile-apps-for-business 

(2) https://www.chromeinfotech.net/blog/app-development-research-strategies/ 

(3) https://www.statista.com/statistics/276623/number-of-apps-available-in-leading-app-stores/   

(4) https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/blog/20-influencer-marketing-statistics-that-will-surprise-you 

(5) https://uplandsoftware.com/adestra/resources/blog/important-personalize-communications/ 

(6) https://think.storage.googleapis.com/docs/mobile-app-marketing-insights.pdf 

(7) https://www.businessofapps.com/insights/ratings-reviews-affect-consumer-decision-download-apps/ 

(8) https://www.smartpassiveincome.com/guide/affiliate-marketing-strategies/ 

(9) https://www.businessofapps.com/insights/ratings-reviews-affect-consumer-decision-download-apps/ 

(10) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283740929_Is_It_Worth_Responding_to_Reviews_A_Case_Study_of_the_Top_Free_Apps_in_the_Google_Play_Store 

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