You have a brilliant idea, and you are ready to storm the mobile application market by developing your own unique app. Stop. Are you ready to risk your brand by going into this unprepared? Do you think your level of preparation is enough to sustain you – even help you stand out – in this competitive app market?
Look at some statistics.
We have reports that
- There are likely around 5.07 billion mobile users in the world now.
- The Apple app store ought to be having more than 1.5 million iOS apps.
- Google Play store must be having 1.6 million plus Android apps.
We see how steeply the demand for mobile apps is rising. But let us not forget that along with the rising demand for mobile apps, another demand that is burgeoning is that for QUALITY. And UNIQUENESS. You should not be compromising on this.
You should have to ensure, therefore, that the app you come up with is more useful, easy, desired, and – above all – potentially successful in this competitive market.
Knowing what everyone else, and especially the competition is doing is not enough.
You MUST know – and AVOID – the mistakes that your competitors are making.
Read on to achieve your goal.
Research the Market Extensively
Find out what the market has to offer at present. Look for a gap. Is there anything that users want – and cannot get – that you can provide? Make an app out of this possibility. Present a complete, fresh solution to the problem that your app is out to solve for customers. This can enable you to win over your competitors’ customers, too.
As you research the market, you are likely to know –
- Your Competitors
- Their USPs
- Their Strategies
- Their Strengths
- Their Weaknesses
- Customer Reviews about the Competition
The knowledge of this will, directly or indirectly, teach you how to avoid the mistakes your competitors have made or are making, yet.
Tip: Pay special attention to the reviews that your competitors draw. Especially the negative ones. These show you their weak points on which you can build your app’s future. What do users find annoying or lacking in your competitor’s apps? Your app can offer them solutions to that, and attract them to your brand. If your competitors make the mistake of not paying attention to negative remarks and reviews, and delaying or neglecting correction, you can take advantage of that – and make a note about avoiding this mistake in your case.
Be Precise about Your App’s Purpose and Your Target Audience
This is one of the trickiest steps for businesses, and marketing departments – a step where many of your competitors might have faltered, or might falter. To avoid stumbling, put together – in a couple of sentences – the core purpose of your application, and its use cases. Answering these questions will help:
- What would be the key functionality of your app?
- What would the audience and users achieve from it?
- Which is your target audience?
- What does your target audience crave and demand?
- How much of your target audience’s expectations can your app meet?
- Which business goals shall you attain through your app?
If you answer these questions clearly and honestly, you shall be able to avoid
- Addressing the wrong group/s of people
- Wasting your resources on unnecessary app features
Tip: Be ready with and confident about your elevator pitch. Stay prepared to state, in less than a minute, and in a sentence or two, the mission of your app and project – just in case you happen to come across a potential investor.
Know and Decide Your Budget well in Advance
As you know, every step of developing a mobile app involves money. Where many businesses falter is not knowing, deciding, and / or adhering to a budget. You, therefore,
- Decide on a budget in advance
- Allocate money from the total amount decided upon to each stage of app development
Tip: It would be best to entrust the care of your budget to a reliable and responsible person who can ensure that the budget is being maintained and the right amount of money is being utilized for the right purpose.
Select Smart between Web, Native, and a Hybrid App
This is a crucial technical decision that you have to arrive at post meticulous deliberation. A wrong step here could cost you most dearly. This decision would be influencing the quality of UX, the maintenance of your app, and more. The reason why we had advised you to carry out your market research, and underline the functionality and core purpose of your app.
We have discussed what your business should choose between Native and Hybrid Apps, when, and why, at length, elsewhere, which you are most welcome to refer to. We shall, however, mention some of the core differentiations here:
- The programming language each type of application is built in will differ. The programming language you choose can depend largely on your budget, team’s expertise, and available timeframe.
- Platform support, which will be in accordance with the market you want to penetrate and the audience you target. Often, a company wants to be present on Android’s Play Store as well as Apple’s App Store.
- Access to native device APIs will depend on which functionalities of the device you would want your app to access.
- Method of distribution. This will define your strategies for promotion, and affect the way in which you market your app.
Tip: Choose your type of app with forethought. Think of maintenance, updating, and user expectations. This could well be one of the most important decisions for you to take before mobile app development. It would do you good – or BETTER than some of your competitors, perhaps – to become a master of one platform before venturing into multiple platforms.
Describe Your App Wisely
Put a lot of thought and effort into presenting the most appropriate and attractive description for your app. A user selects or rejects an app, often, by reading its description.
Tip: Make it a point to put the core of your app’s plus points in the first 2/3 lines of its Description. Why? Because Apple App Store / Google Play Store usually keeps the first 2 / 3 lines of a Description on display; after which people have to click on ‘Read More’ to continue reading, if there is still more matter. Many skip the ‘Read More’ – therefore it is always wise to make the matter on direct display catchy enough to convert readers into users.
Develop Your Pre-launch Buzz and Marketing Strategy Well in Advance
Knowing the right time to create your pre-launch buzz, and starting to act on your marketing strategy is crucial for the success of your app. Remember: Many businesses, and mobile developers, fail to execute the marketing effectively.
- Work on and define your branding. There are thousands of app businesses. You need to select your colors, logo, name, and content-tone such that your app can stand apart and get noticed. You also need to make sure that a consistency in the above-mentioned aspects is maintained across all the platforms that your app exists on.
- Find out how best to reach your target audience. Which are their favorite haunts? How to reach them the best – via email, or social media? Written content, or video? How much time do these people spend on their mobile devices?
- On the basis of knowing the sort of content that can impact your target audience, create your content – be that written or video – and share it on select channels.
- Reach out to people who influence your industry. Try reaching out in a personalized manner. Provide them with value for presenting your app suitably before audiences.
Tip: The marketing process should commence 2 / 3 weeks ahead of the launch, to prepare people for the app to come, and build expectations up.
Know the Options for Monetization
Decide which role you want your app to play in your business model. Do you want it to increase your brand’s reach by assisting phases of your sales funnel indirectly? Do you want it to serve as a resource for your audience? Or do you want it to generate revenue for you, quite directly?
In case you want to make money directly from your app, know your monetization options to choose right:
- Premium Apps: These have to be purchased from the app store to be used. Since these come for money, a mobile marketing strategy has to play the important role of demonstrating what unique and superior value these apps can offer, that others cannot.
- Freemium Apps: Free to download apps. However, there are certain locked contents and features that can only be accessed through purchasing.
- Subscription: Similar to Freemium Apps. Brings a recurring stream of revenue.
- In-app Purchases: The app is used as a mobile commerce sales channel for selling physical, or digital products.
- In-app Ads: This could well be the simplest model, as the user has to face no cost barrier. However, you need to make sure that gaining more ad space does not mean compromising on UX.
- Sponsorships: You need to have a solid user base to have this model. You get to partner with advertisers, and specific brands. You have a win-win situation before you, as your app generates user-engagement, while brands pay for user-action.
Tip: Know that your decision can be changed; but it is always helpful to decide on something that aligns best with your business. Knowing the options thoroughly is wise.
Be Aware of Your Resources
You need to know your development time frame well, so that you can decide when to create the buzz of promotion before your app is launched. In general, a business takes from 7 to 12 months for developing and deploying a mobile application.
Your planning and development stages would include
- Defining Use Cases
- Mapping Necessary Functionalities
- Selection of Platform / Programming Language
Tip: This is the best time for Revision of Budget. Ongoing support of the app is also an expensive factor to be considered, and would need constant monitoring. Keeping up to date with operation system updates, optimization for UX that is based on comments, and crash log reviews would have to be carried out, too.
Plan the App Store Optimization
Your App Store Optimization Strategy is your key to getting discovered in the app store. This organic search enables more than 60% of all apps to be found.
Let your app’s unique purpose, features, and visuals be evident. Respecting the best practices and requirements of both app stores is of importance.
The App Store Optimization Key Elements are:
- The Name of the App. It has to be easy to pronounce and spell, descriptive, and unique. It should also fit the length limits – 30 characters for Android, and 50 for iOS.
- Icon. Go for a simple concept, clear color palette, contrasting colors, and avoid intricate designs and details.
- Description. Keep it catchy and let the main points shine within the first couple of lines. Make use of bullet lists. Have a CTA (Call To Action).
- Preview Video. Has to be working in any localization. Concise. With a message having a universal appeal.
- Screenshots. Use all screenshots and caption texts to focus on the benefits of the app and convey a story.
- Keywords. Specify the search terms that are relevant to your mobile application in this extra space that is only applicable to Apple.
Tip: Sketch out the final app store look. Make sure that your ideas are being followed.
Have Security Measures in Place
The users’ data is a very valuable asset, and you need to ensure its safety. Make sure to organize processes for the collection, handling, and storage of this data. You should also have provisions to manage any security risks, if and when they arise.
Tip: Having security measures in place early will enable you to have enough time, should you need any legal consultation. You will also have sufficient time to plan and implement safety measures.
Determine the Right Price for your App
A developer needs to consider a number of factors before determining a price for an app. This task is crucial, and must be accomplished with care and wisdom.
Tip: You need to price your app such that users do not find it too steep to switch over from your competitors’ apps to yours.
Test App Thoroughly Before Launch
Your app needs to be tested thoroughly before it reaches the market, so that rectifications, if any, can be discovered and carried out. This is an absolute necessity, for you need to get a feel of what your users are going to think of your app.
Tip: Have a progressive indicator organized. Using loading indicators and images can prevent users from believing that the app is malfunctioning, or taking forever to load, while it is loading. Users do not like to wait, and can look upon it as a bad UX. Indicators and images can tell users that the mobile app is working, and waiting for the phone network.
Alpha test the app. Then go for beta testing. There are many app testing tools in the market to help you with the beta testing, you know.
Of course, we are always there, too, should you need to share your ideas, clear your doubts, or seek expert opinion. We have already advised you on how best to avoid your competitors’ mistakes, and succeed better. For more, you are most welcome to get in touch with us at Ascentspark, anytime, and consult us on developing mobile applications. Stay assured of customized solutions from us.