Know the Elements of App Success
An app is a business. If no one needs what your business has to offer, you’re going to struggle to get customers. If your app doesn’t meet a need of smartphone users, you’re going to struggle to get downloads.
Too many entrepreneurs feel like they can build any type of app, release it, and enjoy endless success. Creating a successful business isn’t like “Field of Dreams.” You can’t build it and wait for customers to just show up.
If you’re worried about the launch of your app — and especially if you aren’t — take a look at these five steps to see whether you’ve done everything you can to create success.
- Solve a pain point. The first element of a successful app is to solve an actual pain point in the marketplace. Something that looks cool or is unique isn’t good enough. You have to be a painkiller. Make sure your solution fixes the problem better than any competition out there. A clone of a popular app is going to fail because you’re not providing a reason to switch.
- Focus on one feature. This might seem obvious, but the App Store is littered with negative reviews of apps that crash, freeze, or otherwise fail to deliver on their promises. One big way to avoid that is to keep the app laser-focused on the need that it’s meeting.
Extra bells and whistles might be nice, but they won’t be used if they don’t support the main feature. It will only cost extra money to design and add visual noise to your app, making it harder for people to find and use the core feature. Remember: A painkiller hidden in a haystack will leave the pain unsolved.
- Get the word out. Good marketing starts with premarketing. Once you’ve got a solid beta version of your app, don’t wait. Start building buzz on social media to let potential users know the app is coming. Tease screenshots, features, and what issue it resolves as soon as possible. Anticipation is one of the best tools for hyping up an audience.
If you can, hire a great marketing agency, and build a targeted campaign to let users know why your app is the best and how to get it. Keep in mind that people can’t download your app if they don’t know it exists.
- Create a solid landing page. Make it beautiful. Drive home the central purpose of the application. Make visitors sad they can’t buy it today, then — and this is absolutely critical — offer an email sign-up for people who want to be the first to know when the app comes out.
This is the best way to catch lightning in a bottle because the people who visit your site are interested in downloading your app today, but without a reminder, they likely won’t return to your site when the app launches in three months. So get their email addresses, and remind them.
- Launch a countdown. Don’t release your app as soon as it’s approved for sale. Wait a few days so you can build up the hype. Create a countdown. Put your marketing and PR into full swing. Give reporters early access to review and write about the product to get as many people excited about your launch as possible. Timely media exposure will drastically improve your download numbers.
These are simple techniques you can use to make sure your app finds a market niche and your audience finds your app. The app marketplace isn’t any more risky than any other business venture, but it’s certainly not a “can’t lose” proposition either.
A good concept that is well-executed and well-marketed can explode up the charts.
Image credit: CC by AdamPrzezdziek