You’ve strategized, you’ve designed, you‘ve developed and after all the hard work you finally have a great new mobile app. So now what? With the wealth of apps currently in the market, the mobile environment has become quite crowded; ABI research reports 1.79 billion apps across four markets—Google, Apple, Windows and Blackberry. Meanwhile, Juniper research forecasts global app downloads to double in the next four years, from 80 billion to 160 billion by 2017. In today’s crowded app market, it is critical to follow a few best practices to strategically position your app.
Forrester recently reported the most popular ways users discover apps:
1. General browsing in the app store
2. Speaking with friends or family
3. Browsing “top rated” or “most popular” lists in an app store
The study suggests that general browsing in the app store still dominates app discovery, however word of mouth and social recommendations are also key within the app discovery process. Similarly, InMobi found that just over half (55%) of US smartphone users routinely browse the app store to find new mobile apps. In this post, we will explore top three best practices on getting your app noticed within the ever growing and highly fragmented market.
Tinder co-founder Sean Rad claims that his app experienced exponential growth all without spending a dime on marketing, advertising, or user acquisition. Yes it’s true some apps become viral without investing any money in consumer outreach; but don’t take this exceptional case as the norm-marketing can substantially increase user acquisition and get your app noticed by early adopters. Here are a few outlets worth looking into.
One way to get Apple to spot your app is to generate press releases around the launch of the app. Apple takes note of positive coverage in the media, which could get you an entry to the New & Noteworthy list.
App installs have been one of Facebook’s best performing ad products, driving over 350 million installs to date. So if you’re trying to figure out where to place your ad, Facebook app advertisements have some promising metrics to consider.
If you’re not using ASO (App Store Optimization) to increase your app’s search ranking, you’re missing out on the largest discovery channel available to you. As previously iterated, the ASO process requires a crucial understanding of your target customer base, specifically what keywords they might be using to find apps like yours.Generally a precise 100-character description tends to see favorable results as well as providing high quality app screen shots.
Forrester’s research suggests that social media played a smaller, but still significant, role in app discovery: Roughly one in five respondents credited social sites like Facebook and Twitter for helping them discover new apps. Establishing social media pages for your app can be a cheaper advertising alternative. As a way of getting noticed, we recommend publishing news or thought leadership content that your target users may find interesting. Also try retweeting topics thought-provoking topics that have been shared by others.
Research indicates that between 14% and 16% of mobile phone users discovered apps through web-based search queries. Although this is the smallest percentage we’ve covered, users often utilize online search engines to find best apps to solve a particular problem. A microsite is an individual webpage that serves to provide information and promote a product. Within your microsite, clearly define the features, advantages, and benefits of using your particular application and write with consideration for your user personas’ needs. Additionally, including high quality screenshots of your app helps the user become more familiar with your brand as well as your app.
User personas should be continually refined throughout the app development process. After you’ve developed your app, we recommend proactively learning more about your user personas and further refining their needs, pain points, desires, and behaviors. Align the amalgamation of all your findings with your marketing efforts to help identify the right keywords, craft appropriate copy in your app’s description, and decide where to place your advertisements.
Creating a successful app is a journey that goes far beyond the initial app store submission. Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup, recommend that new app creators adopt a method called pivoting, or “a change in strategy without a change in vision.” The apps that succeed are those that adjust and pivot based on user feedback. Numerous apps fall short specifically because designers neglect to gather the feedback and insight from their early adopters and pivot their app accordingly. Pivoting shapes your product’s direction based on user adoption, thereby promoting scalability to new customer segments and tactfully modifying features based on user’s interactions with your app.
Integrating products like Flurry, Omniture, and Google analytics enable app developers to identify gaps in your application’s flow and discover which features are heavily used and which are overlooked. Post-release, the focus shifts to usage metrics, which uncover what screens people are spending time on and what buttons they’re tapping. By isolating the good and bad aspects of an app that’s in the field, you can better plan version updates and substantially increase your app’s UX. Continuously changing design trends require you to abandon the traditional concept of “final” designs and mandate you to create reusable and agile front-end code as well as interactive prototypes.