Our startup is stuck in a rut after developing our 1st product. We've got our friends & family on board and now growth has stagnated. How can we grow?
Our 1st app is called Radial and is a music streaming service for your smartphone. Our motto is 'Socially Ubiquitous Music'. We're working out of Trinidad in the Caribbean so we chose to use Trinidadian music as our niche market for now.
We want to acquire more users and we've tried Facebook ads, Google mobile ads as well as approaching people within our own networks. We have Facebook & Twitter accounts for Radial as well.
It seems like quite a few people have rallied around your question!
If you're working out of Trinidad and focusing on Tridadian music, you couldn't be at a bigger advantage! Think about the big mobile tech players in the industry right now: what do Rdio, Uber, and Snapchat all have in common? Not only are there gigantic social aspects to their technology, but these guys show up to so many different events each year, it makes my head spin!
The bottom line is this: when it comes to targeting users for growth, a few things need to happen. Not only do you need to know exactly who your customers are, but you need to adapt your experience enough to build something that they deem "sharable." People are afraid to look dumb in front of their friends with a less-than-apt application, so they'll be hesitant to do so until the experience knocks their socks off. Keep generating feedback, creating positive incentives for users who have stuck around, and NEVER, EVER stop tweaking your software to make your customer experience a delight.
Additionally: show up places! Sponsor different events in Trinidad where you think valuable users could be, and give them a reason to sign up to use your application. When Rdio started their first growth initiative, they gave every single customer a free month of premium, ad-free service. Since then, their growth has exploded, because people referred their friends to Rdio instead of Spotify, simply because the customer experience was more worthwhile.
Let me know if I can be of any further assistance.
Referrals, referrals, referrals. You need written testimonials and referrals to grow. Since I do not know about your app, then I would say that these two items are the most important. If it is a paid app, then give it away for free for up to 500 users...then charge for new users to use it.
The question doesn't state platform. If its droid i can prolly help you out. Haven't seen your app yet, but i'm giving you a set of most common issues in 'first apps'.
Some quick pointers:
1. Compare average session length to other apps in your category. If its longer, its good. If its shorter, your flow prolly needs rework.
2. make sure the user gets what they want in not more than 3 interactions.
3. On droid its all about ASO (app search optimization). If you're getting getting over 1000 downloads each day, its a good start. else you may want to think about renaming/rebranding your product depending on search trends in your target market. IMHO, the only guy looking for 'radial' in trinidad would be a caucasian looking to buy spare tyres on his mobile (which too is hardly a possibility).
Just checked droid, you're there. I'd strongly recommend a lot of work on your pre- installation marketing. what the app actually is, is not half as important as whether users are searching for it or not. For a startup, you need to go with a recognized search term/name in your target market, you dont have the funds or the resources to build brand recognition from scratch.
Feel free to message me in case you need further pointers, no strings attached. All the best,
The unfortunately reality is that building a good app today simply isn't enough. App Stores have now become a crowded space where the best apps don't necessarily rise to the top. Having said that, there are creative ways to get people onbaord. The best way to start is to engage prospective clientele with a simple and easy to digest description of what you are offering. A good way to do this is through an Explainer Video. Explainer videos allow you give a brief, simple, and engaging 60 seconds description of your product. Checkout PowToon (www.powtoon.com) to get a better ideal of how Explainer Videos work etc.
On another note, getting traction involves having a laser tight focus. Take your first wave of people who are not in your circle of family and friends, engage them by inviting them to be involved in improving your app and, most important, find out why they were drawn to your app. Too often we assume that we know why people are using our products. Another good approach is to seek early adopter types. The reality is that there are early adopters out there who try things just because they are new or different. An explainer video could help you to find some of those early adopters.
I'll be sure to checkout out your app now and give some other useful tips.
You'll need to create 1-2 more niche markets outside of Trinidadian music or find a trend-setter outside of Trinidad and a place where Trinidadian music is well received. Easier said than done, but it is possible and there are alot of variables.
Freebies are a great way to gain critical mass. Read The Tipping Point. How about turning your business over to your end users. Ask the end user customer to purchase app...???....then ask them to find 3 more users. When they have their third customer signed up their app is free....or they get a free upgrade. You can work it out from there. Now you have turned your customers into advocates. Strongest form of advertising you can buy. All the best - Casey
I would suggest looking at target communities in metropolitan areas globally and seeing if you can't offer your service on an existing product to get the word out. Providing authentic new music perhaps to a float at the Notting Hill carnival, or a freebie membership on a new Caribbean focused food might be possible ways forward. Most of all you need to focus on Provenance Marketing and the most likely early adopters whilst you establish your identity.
Andre - there is a lot of great information provided here and I'm hoping I don't simply echo what ha been said. I quickly scanned the comments. What we don't know is what kind of information are you gathering from current users. Some questions you could answer that may help this forum help you more might be:
1. What were your goals for new users and what have you experience? Has reality exceeded plans?
2. What is the demographic you are aiming for? How big is that group and how can you segment it?
3. Have you surveyed current users to find out how their experience has been?
4. What are your usage numbers? Are users using the app often, not so often, etc.? Are these numbers what you had anticipated?
5. You mention that since you're working out of Trinidad you chose that music style and niche "for now". That suggests that the music isn't the focus here but the app. Is that correct? If so why?
6. What is the mission for the company? Does your service meet that mission statement.
Hope this helps...
Okay, so you are a startup and its your 1st product. How long have you been operating? What is your focus area - the app or the business? Think over it. If you see downloads and likes and some great comments from people in this forum, you have nothing to fret over. You seem to be on the right track with your business theme. What you should now focus on is (1) spread the word about your 'business' and (2) reinvent your app thru features based on feedback. Remember, this app is not the business, its the start of your business.