As I have already mentioned in my previous post app marketing should start the moment you start developing the app.
The problem is that we always think that the most important thing is a high quality app. If there is an app that solves a problem and it has a great design, of course everyone will download it. Truth is, people might not even hear of your app, because of all the “noise” in the App Store/Play Store.
Let’s go through the app development process from the beginning till the very end.
1. You got an idea!!! What to do now? Naturally you would like to know if you are the only one with that idea or not, right? And that is the first thing to do. Conduct a small internet research to see if there are similar ideas, how many downloads they have? What is their rating? What do their users think of them? How can you be better?
2. After figuring all this out, open a blank document or take your paper and pen and clearly write down your idea, as detailed as possible. Think of the who the potential user is, what is your business model, what platform do you want to be on, what is your goal, what is your vision, how are you different from the competition? When you have all these ready, start talking to your potential users about the idea. A good way to engage in conversations with these people is to join Facebook groups and become part of the communities they are in. Engage in conversations, help them out and they will help you when you need. All this can be done online, but you can also attend Meetups to have a face-to-face discussions with you market and get feedback from them.
3. Ok, now you have built a community. The mission is to keep them around you. How to do that? First of all, make a simple website: a nice landing page with a subscription form, so that you can leave their emails for updates. And please do not forget to update them once in a while! Be active on the social media. As much as you might dislike Facebook or Twitter, they work and you’d better be part of the buzz there. Twitter is great, because it is full with tech savvy early adopters. Free tools like BuzzSumo, Social Crawlytics and Topsy can help you identify the most important people in your industry as well as the industry content important enough to tweet and share. Just make sure to keep your tweets focused on your customers as well as their problems (and potential solutions).
4. Now you have an idea about the market, your customers and what they think of your idea. It’s time to prepare some mock-ups and start the design and development process. Keep in mind, your goal now is to develop a Minimum Viable Product to test in the market. Make sure the MVP has only the essential features of the app. This is for your early adopters, who do not care much about the “fluff” you will add later on. What they care about is the core functionality of your app, its uniqueness and your vision. Make them believe in what you do and they will become your number one sales channel in the future. Also, ask for feedback all the time and iterate accordingly.
So, to cut short here is what you should consider in the pre-launch phase:
- Engage potential customers, users, and other interested people early and often.
- Do not underestimate the importance of the emails and collect as many of them as possible
- Get sneaky about your sneak peeks
- Beta tests will make your app better and more marketable
I know it’s easier said than done, but invest some time in thinking about your vision, strategy, monetization and marketing before you spend your valuable time and money on the development. Let’s be the 0.01% who succeed.