As if getting your app from an idea into development wasn’t enough, you need to think about marketing it to get it to your audience as well!
From experience launching all sorts of apps for a variety of businesses, we’ve got a few important considerations that will be helpful regardless of which stage of app development you’re in. Especially if you’re just getting started, here are the top five things we recommend you plan or do before folks start downloading your product:
Talk to your customers
Hopefully, you have an email list and are in touch with your customers or target audience, already. Use your usual communication methods to gather insight about the particular pain points that your app can resolve. Do they want/need a faster way to re-order from you, or to integrate updates more easily you offer?
Do the research necessary to decide what features your app must have to be most appealing to your end-user. This can also avoid launching an app that nobody needs!
Be mindful of the value of their time and information. Maybe it’s worth it to you to offer them some kind of incentive. Maybe the incentive – which will help build anticipation for the app – could be a discount or ‘founders’ membership to the app!
Stalk your competitors
Key to a successful app launch is conducting competitive analysis early in the process. You’ll want to learn whether your competitors have a similar product already out there or not. If not, be sure to consider whether there’s a need for it. If something similar does exist already, in what ways is yours faster, cheaper, or just better at resolving the users’ problem?
Use this knowledge to determine the features that will set your app apart from the rest, in both the functional, usability aspect, and in the words and methods used to market it.
Develop user persona(s)
A persona is a fully formed, hypothetical character that embodies all the characteristics of your ideal end-user. If your app is to be used by management and staff, or parent and child, you’ll need to develop a persona for each type of user. This will give you an extremely specific picture of your audience and guide you in how best to address them.
You should know your persona’s gender, age, occupation, etc… and also, envision their hobbies, what they do with disposable income, where they meet up with friends and the social media platforms they use most frequently. Give them a name, like Adam or Anastasia Appuser. Now, you can target your messages to appeal to Adam/Anastasia, specifically, including on which channels they’re delivered.
Maximize your visibility
If you don’t have one already, create a website. (You do have one, right?) Here, on a well-crafted landing page, you can offer teasers about your app-to-come.
Strategically use social media content to drive people to your site, where you can have: videos, letting them know what to expect and when; blog posts where their problems are magnified and worked out by your app; and other content that demonstrates your authority on the subject.
Speaking of social media, it’s easy to start a Facebook group of people with a common interest in your upcoming app. Keep the community active and engaged, and you’ll have customers in line waiting for the app’s release!
Have a strategy
You will have been so focused on getting the app built and out there that once it’s developed, you’ll feel like you made it! As with most valuable things in life, that’s really only the beginning. Set yourself up for success by mapping out a strategy for the launch of the app and retention and growth of your users.
Depending on your focus, you‘ll want to have blog and/or social media posts ready and scheduled to post. Maybe you need podcast speakers or guests lined up to coincide with an ad campaign in the first week of launch. You’ll definitely want to be prepared with an email campaign.
Whatever it’s going to be, don’t leave promotion of your app to chance! Plan ahead to gain and sustain adoption momentum.
This is not all there is to do before launching your app. However, if you’ve got these in place, you’ll be in better shape than most!
And, if by chance, you’re just reading this now, and your app is already out there being downloaded, we’ve got your back. The next post will be marketing considerations at Launch and beyond.