As of July 2015, Google Play housed 1.6 million apps, the Apple Store housed 1.5 million apps, and Windows and Amazon app stores housed about a million or so apps each.
This is indicative of not only booming mobile app growth and variety but also an insane amount of clutter. One in four apps are downloaded and never used again.
The average user takes a reported 35 seconds to judge if they like an app or not before deleting it. While it is a brutally competitive market, there are plenty of factors at play that contributes to app success outside of market saturation level.
Particularly, how you market and build launch hype can give your mobile app that additional sense of credibility and visibility in the growing marketplace. Here, we’ll go over some of these strategies that you as a developer can do to ensure a successful launch.
1. Tracking Customer Milestones
By having a set of milestones, you can easily track where your customers are in onboarding, for example, have they signed up yet? Have they stalled at any point? Track total download numbers, average star ratings and your active install rate, which is basically your app retention. Track your App churn for signs of product deficiency. A quick 30-second turnover indicates some serious problem with the app itself. This way, your team knows when to jump in and contact your customer or potential customer, and give them the extra nudge to move further along in their SaaS journey.
2. Know the Rules and Protocols of Your Launch Platform
Each store has its own rules and protocols that need to be conformed to from usability and UX requirements to payment models. Google Play, for example, will let you change your app from a paid model to a free app, but not vice versa. If you're planning to release an app for both platforms, it may be prudent to focus and fine-tune one platform instead of juggling two or more unless your company has the resources and dedicated split teams to handle such a task.
3. Craft Story-Type Content to Create Pre-Launch Buzz
Demo videos are only one part of your content creation process. It's important to prepare stories regularly leading up to the launch, and then doubly so during launch week. Update multiple times a day letting your users know your product is finally out and ready for them to get their fingers on. The stories should be produced in a video, text and images.
More in-depth blog posts explain why and how users should use your product. Your value proposition should be made very clear. Highlight what makes your product special and different from the competition. Having this content available is important for pre-launch buzz, and to support customers over the long term.
4. Secure Product Reviews and Testimonials
Getting your product out to a professional reviewer is an excellent way to generate more visibility. Reviewers already have trusted followers and their opinions are seen as more objective as well. Do not limit yourself to large reviewers such as CNET. Nowadays there are plenty of independent micro-bloggers and tech review sites that review all kinds of apps and technology. Find one relevant to your sphere.
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5. Create Social Media Presence Linked Back to the App Store
Creating a social media presence gives you a place to showcase your demo videos, blogs, third party reviews etc. Don’t forget to create a portal straight back to the landing site on the app store for your app. You want to give yourself as many opportunities as possible to drive downloads. All social media and blog content should lead directly back to the app.
6. Shoot a Demo Video to Help Users Navigate the UI
In addition to app screenshots, app marketplaces allow for short multimedia clips. Before you discount this idea as only applicable to larger companies with fully fledged production teams, know that you can create a demo video using a basic smartphone screen emulator with voiceover capabilities. A good demo video will smoothly take a user through the interface and show workflow capabilities and features. Creating longer more immersed product tutorials and walkthroughs for YouTube are another option.
7. Paid Advertising During Launch Week, Esp. on Facebook
Creating additional visibility during launch week can give your launch numbers a boost. Setting up paid targeted ads on Facebook can lead users through your Facebook portal straight to your app. You can additionally connect with related app developers and advertise through their apps or sites. Advertising with well-established related apps gives your product a sense of legitimacy.
Linking up with other developers also does not have to cost you anything. You can offer to host related apps to advertise with you in exchange for advertising space on their app. If it is an app with a similarly sized user base this could be a mutually beneficial affair.
8. Integrate a Sharing Feature to Secure Referrals
Leverage the power of social networks by integrating a sharing widget into your product that invites the user to share the application with their friends. At WalkMe, where I work we use our own technology WalkMe Apps to incorporate social sharing widgets that allow the user to invite his/her friends to download the app, but there are other libraries to find them as well. Just make sure that you only integrate with the accredited and secured 3rd parties. Some of the social channels that are available are Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter etc. Users can also share the App via personal email.
9. Integrate a User Feedback Feature to Gain Credibility
Integrate an Applet that lets users rate your app so that you can begin to build a reputation within the developer community. User feedback is the primary way that users decide whether you're worth their time and can be trusted. Reviews not only drive your downloads but also give you insights into pressing problems that need to be addressed.
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Provide incentives to leave feedback, such as unlocking extra features. Star ratings, reviews, and download numbers are the first thing a new user pulling up your app will see, and this will drive their decision whether to download or not. This is especially true for users finding your app through an organic search, which of course your app should be optimized for.
That’s all for now. Hope you enjoyed the tips, and good luck with the launch.