Mobile apps have gained enormous popularity in the last decade and still are.
“87% of Millennial smartphone owners stated that their phone never leaves their side, day or night.”
Thousands of apps are released every day in Apple App Store, Google play and other platforms. With a plethora of options available for people, it comes off as no surprise when many mobile apps quickly go in and out of the market every day.
“By 2020, mobile apps are forecast to generate around 189 billion U.S. dollars in revenues via app stores and in-app advertising.” (Source)
“As of June 2016, there were 2.2 million available apps at Google Play store and two billion apps available in the Apple’s App Store, the two leading app stores in the world.” (Source)
As options have increased, people have become choosy about what they would want to glance at their phone screen. Many businesses forget about what’s critical to the success of a mobile app. It takes a lot to build a successful mobile application that can fetch you long term business revenue and growth. Here are some important tips and tricks to build a successful mobile app:
Your app should solve a problem
People will only download your app if it makes their life easy in some way. Your app should solve a problem and that too quickly. Sometimes companies develop apps only because their competitors are doing so. Well, that’s not the right way to go about it.
Without a specific use or purpose, your app will just end up being irrelevant and unused by the target audience. Have a clear vision about your end goal for the application. The app will only be relevant if it can engage its users.
Create a checklist for your app idea and then use it to verify if you are in the right direction:
Is the application different from those that already exist?
There are quite a few applications available in every niche. What is it that you are developing that is different from others? Analyse the core functionalities and UX of existing apps and then compare them to your offering. Make sure you are giving your app users something they would value over other apps.
Who is your target audience?
It is important to understand your target audience and gauge if your app fulfils their requirements. You can conduct surveys of a sample group to understand their reaction to the product. Ask these people to rate the features of your app in comparison to your competition. This will surely help you get direction while building the right product.
Does the app save time/money or entertain and engage?
You need to judge your app on a variety of parameters. Make sure it saves costs and time for your users. You also need to ensure that if its a paid app then it is reasonably priced so that it can compete in the market more effectively. If the USP of the app is entertainment, then you must judge it on this parameter. Your app must engage with your users, irrespective of the niche you are developing it for.
Simple & Intuitive
When it comes to mobile apps, simplicity and usability are the keys. Users like to have a smooth experience. Your app should be intuitive and free of bugs and crashes. If your app has too many unnecessary features, users might be deterred from using it altogether.
Build a product with few core features and promote these features to ensure your users are comfortable using it.
An alternative approach would be to build a minimum viable product for your app. Once you release it in the market, you can get to know your users’ reaction and feedback. From their feedback, you can work more on your app and add features that are important to your users. Usability of every feature you incorporate in your app is an important factor to take into consideration.
Planned Marketing Strategy
A well-planned marketing strategy before you launch your app in the market can do wonders for your business. Companies often forget to apply a proper marketing strategy to mobile apps and fail to realise how critical this can be for the success of the mobile app.
You need to have a plan to market your app. The idea behind this is to make the target customers aware of your app and what difference will it make to their lives. You can divide your marketing campaigns into pre and post phases. Marketing strategies can range from PR to marketing it via existing ads to sponsored messages on social media platforms to pay-per-click marketing and beyond. Also comprehensively describe your app in the app stores and use fantastic screenshots to attract attention. Create a landing page for your mobile app and add interesting and engaging content on it
Here are some of the essential elements of an app engagement and promotional strategy:
Integrated push messages are a useful way to reach out to your app users and engage with them.
You can run custom push notification campaigns with your app users and send them discounts and offers on your products and services. You can also update them about the newly released features of your application and encourage them to use the app more frequently. An automated push notification strategy is essential for marketing your app to your existing users.
A referral program is a unique way to market your mobile application. You can create a program wherein you can reward your existing customers to share your app with peers. This works really well for a newly developed application which does not have too many users onboard. You can use, in-app messages, push notifications and email marketing to promote the referral program to your users. An integrated referral program is a very useful tool, for getting your app users to become more loyal to your business.
Make use of Metrics
You need to use the right metrics to gauge the performance of your app in the market. By using tracking tools, you can find out what users click on and the features they use most. This will help you to redesign your app as needed and make sure that your app doesn’t go out of the market.
Here are some of the important mobile app metrics that you must keep track of:
The number of app installs your business is getting, is the most crucial metric for your business. The more users your app gets, the better it is. You must have predefined targets for this metric. Make sure you analyse the results and review your promotional activities so you can improve on them. The metric lets you know about the awareness level of your application but you need to go further and keep a track of your active users to understand if the app installs are actually converting into repeat business for you.
Reviews and Ratings
App store reviews and ratings are an important metric to track the acceptability of your application. You must make sure that the app store reviews are replied to – positive or negative. Bring in new features to your app and encourage your users to add positive reviews.
You need to constantly work on your app to improve its overall user experience and workability. Make sure you keep getting positive reviews on your app, and the ratings improve over time as well.
You need to analyse the frequency of your app usage and duration of the app user sessions. This helps you to understand the engagement level of your app. The time your team takes to provide support to user queries must also be tracked. These metrics help you to improve your app performance-over-time and improve user-affinity.
The pricing of your app plays an important role in its success. Free apps are usually preferred overpaid ones. You can do a market research to find the price that competing apps are charging. It will help you to develop the appropriate pricing model for your app. A free app will surely get more installs, but you need to have a strategy to earn revenue. You can also offer a free trial of the app with premium features that are paid. In-app advertising and in-app purchases are other revenue models that you can explore.
Distribute your app strategically
With the many distribution channels available for apps today, you have to choose a combination that works best for your target audience. Try to get your app featured in popular app lists such as Apple’s What’s Hot, New & Noteworthy, Top 25 or 100 apps lists. In this way, you can get your app noticed and favoured by customers.
Developing a mobile app that’s successful may seem like an uphill task. But, if you work with a professional app development company and approach the process in a strategic manner, you will surely get good results.