With continued technological advancements and increased mobile penetration, mobile applications are also growing in popularity. An App is only as good as the people using it and people will not find it themselves. It seems like there is an App for almost everything you ever needed and for everything you didn’t. In this increasingly competitive space how do you get your App noticed above the rest and ensure it is relevant to your potential audience?
Mobile apps are generating more and more interest in Smartphone users; from social and messaging applications which recorded over 203% growth in 2013 alone. Overall app usage registered over 100% growth, with entertainment, sports, games and shopping driving this growth. This growth, which is set to go all the way into the future, means intense competition between players in the industry. As the market gets stronger and more saturated, user tastes and preferences keep changing and the developers of these apps find it difficult to know where to place their bets.
The benefits of Apps
Apps are popular with business owners and their customers. With modern business going digital, apps help you keep pace by offering your business and your customers valuable benefits. Here are some of the benefits:
Businesses build lasting relationships, reinforcing brand loyalty, visibility and accessibility. Increased exposure across mobile devices connects a business to consumers on the go, generating repeat business even from social networks.
Customers receive easy access to business inventory, notifications of special events, launches, and more one-touch access to business contact information, fast, seamless appointment scheduling and many more benefits to customers.
Generally a Mobile App is much better than web browsing applications because it is faster, flexible and more accessible. Apps are the essential element that all mobile hardware needs, can be easily customized to suit the developer’s needs and can reach a wider audience than is often possible with just a website.
Building a Unique App
Mobile apps have grown into a multi-billion-dollar industry with large corporations have adopting an increasingly hefty presence in it. This fact may worry some independent developers and startups, especially those that find themselves in direct competition with much bigger, better-capitalized, better-established enterprises. The fact that innovative ideas are always inconsistent with prevailing logic and beliefs means that for you to innovate, you need to must change what others think and believe.
You do this by being original, a virtue which when lacking, means that your chances of success are very slim. You need to be the first developer to come out with your type of app or present an existing category of app in a new, unique way. It might be difficult to come up with an entirely new idea or category because there are just too many of them in App Stores already, but it is good to have several options and how best to package it. Study the app you want to focus on, what it is missing and how can it be improved. Differentiate yourself by adding that unique feature that will immediately push customers’ attention to it. That will help push up your reputation in any app store. And because developing a great app is no easy task, you have to protect your idea – don’t let your hard work go to waste by failing to copyright it.
Factors to Consider in developing an app
Many independent developers have made money creating mobile apps and others have struggled or failed along the way. With hundreds of thousands of games, productivity tools and other apps already on the market, and thousands more launched every week; many startups are finding that their ideas aren’t so unique after all. In this environment, well-heeled companies with big marketing budgets hold sway.
Surely there is no secret success formula that will make your app 100 percent a hit. But there are many little things that will make your app different – and at the end of the day will decide between hit and failure. It is not rocket science to build innovative and thrilling mobile apps, but getting the right approach is critical to success. It all starts with matching your everyday passion and interests to develop something that is different and exciting. It could be a solution that can solve a common problem in a much better, faster and convenient way.
Focus and attention is another important consideration. Concentrating on every detail, even the slightest of it, could be the difference between success and failure. Brand yourself to beat the competition by building a good but short logo and brand name for your application. Make yours something fresh, eye-catching, and pertinent to the nature of your application. You’d probably do well to hire out for creative input on this, but if you have excellent artists, drafters, or graphic designers in house, then get at it and enjoy the experience.
Every day, new applications are introduced, and more and more consumers can’t function properly without these things that didn’t even exist a few years back. So how to the apps marketers simultaneously keep pace what is popular now and keep track of what lies ahead?
Having a good marketing plan and implementing it to the letter is what counts. Use social networks to create the necessary exposure for your product. Plan the groundwork very well; make your application unique from the rest to create the excitement you desire. It is actually very simple – more reviews means more downloads. Remember that before an app can be considered successful, it requires a lot of thorough planning. It does not mean that after releasing an app, the creative mind that went into its creation should stop thinking on how the end user will get and use the product. Work the extra mile to get good results.
Focus on App Launch
A key step sometimes overlooked when developing apps is coming up with ways to market your app. It’d be great if the keys to success revolved around writing good code and having a nice interface, but if the public doesn’t know your app is out there, it won’t be successful. So how do you go about marketing your app? You don’t need a huge budget to fill competing products with advertisements for your app, and in fact, you may not want to deal with ads at all. Luckily, there are a number of low cost ways to market your app and try to win out in the battle for app supremacy.
First you must develop a website for your app and consistently update it to have positive site rankings in search engines. Developing a clean and bug-free product, writing a good description for your app, planning the release dates well in advance, offering a free version to test the customer reception and getting the app reviewed is a good start – but you should not pay for the reviews so as to get very honest views. It is a big plus if you are able to produce several editions of your application, each one geared to a specific type of customer. If it is feasible, make one for different age groups, types of employment, different language-speakers or ethnicities, etc.
Word of mouth, beta testing are other very strong marketing tools. Give your customers more than words.
Things to avoid
Mobile apps are the order of the day. People are slowly moving from laptops and desktops to the mobile devices and tablets and in such an environment if you don’t have any mobile app or your app is not mobile friendly, you are losing on your marketing front. But there is a bitter pill for the marketers here. If your app is not compatible with mobile devices, i.e. it is not running properly on the mobile devices or there is some usability issue, your app will turn out to be marketing disaster.
However, with great power comes great responsibility. Since mobile is such a personal medium, it is the easiest place for marketers to make massive mistakes that will turn off a customer forever. Make sure you get everything planned out ahead of time, thoroughly test the app for bugs or just any other problems. Customers are the ultimate judges as to whether an application will be successful or not, so carefully listen to their feedback on what they think about your product.
In short, make sure, the app does exactly what you say it is going to do. Any app problems indicate hurried and poor development as well as lack of proper testing. Be as thorough and methodical as you can possibly be, and your chances of reaping the rewards will increase tremendously. If you are qualified, do it yourself, but it is always good to look for an experienced and successful team of app developers and marketers to partner with you so that the job can be delivered well.