For every million apps dreamed up by would-be tech entrepreneurs, only a few survive the journey to become truly great apps. There are a few reasons why:
Some fail due to the lack of a clear marketing plan and an inability to attract potential users
Some fail because they have no USP in an oversaturated app market
Some fail because designers don't understand that mobile app development is different from developing computer-native apps
Unfortunately, mobile app development isn't just about making a great product. You also need a marketing strategy that sets your product apart from the rest. Even the best specialists don't get the formula right sometimes and have to go back to the drawing board.
However, you can save your time and prevent beginner mistakes by applying these tips to your app strategy.
The 3 Rules of Successful Apps
Great apps for mobile follow these rules:
Great apps don't overwhelm potential users with in-app purchases
Great apps do invest heavily in software development for mobile-native apps
Great apps do have a marketing plan tailored for their target audience
Based on this list, you can see that successful app development requires a multi-pronged approach focused on software development and marketing strategy.
We'll cover how you can improve both components with these tips below:
Software Development & Design Tips for Successful Mobile Apps
Let's start with the software development phase before we move onto marketing strategy. From your landing page to your engagement with social networks, mobile-native apps need to prioritize accessibility and brevity. Here are our top tips for mobile app development.
1. Research Your Niche
A successful app either:
Fills a niche in the app market for which there is demand but no current supply
Meets a common need more successfully than other competitors in the app market
If you're entering a crowded part of the app market, research the competition. Analyze the experience of an app user in other successful mobile apps; see where they fall short. Research how mobile-native apps are optimized for the small screen and which features could use improvement.
Your UX designer has to create an experience for an app user better than other successful mobile apps every step of the way. Otherwise, you won't make a splash in the app market because your target audience won't see what makes your product different than the competition.
Software development is about problem-solving, and you can identify common problems before you even begin the software development process just by researching.
2. Mobile-Native Apps, Mobile-Native Software Development Team
Working with a software development team that is experienced in developing mobile-native apps is essential. A UX designer with no prior experience in mobile app development will be able to adapt — eventually. But you have no time to waste. You want your product to be a successful app that engages users the first time they use it.
Your UX designer should have substantial experience in mobile app development, but the entire software development team should be accustomed to working on mobile-native apps. From design issues like how a landing page is displayed when the screen rotates to avoiding content such as long-form text, every team member should know what differentiates successful mobile apps from computer-native apps.
3. Pay Attention to Your Landing Page
The landing page is one of the most important parts of a successful app. It should accomplish the following:
Present a clear click path
If an app user arrives at your landing page and can't immediately see where to click next, they will click back. The 15-second rule still applies to a mobile app user. Every time this happens, you lose one of your target users.
A landing page like this is a hallmark of great apps. All too often, a UX designer will miss easy conversion of your target audience either by offering too many click choices on the landing page — or by making them hard to find!
A clear, straightforward path on a landing page is what engages users. Easy links to social networks allow your target audience to link your service to other potential users and turn every app user into a marketer. A landing page should make it easy to engage and easy to share.
4. Keep In-App Purchases Prominent But Discreet
In-app purchases are a core component of many great apps. However, you need to consider:
What you're offering with your in-app purchases
How you're presenting in-app purchases
In-app purchase opportunities need to be visible, not overcrowded by social media buttons. They also shouldn't block the functions and features of your landing page with pop-up windows. Mobile screens are small, which means pop-ups are all the more irritating — successful mobile apps understand how to integrate in-app purchases with a smooth user experience.
This engages users and gently encourages them to make in-app purchases without putting your target users off early on. First-time potential users want an easy ride and probably won't make in-app purchases on their first visit. However, if your UX designer can create an engaging experience for your target audience, they'll become your regular audience and be more likely to consider in-app purchases.
5. Social Media Optimization
A good UX designer with experience in mobile app development will know how important it is to connect to social networks easily. 80% of users engage with social media on a smartphone. Make it easy for every user to share your app on Twitter or Facebook — it encourages word of mouth marketing and expands your potential user base.
Your UX designer should include subtle but ever-present social media buttons to boost the conversation about you on social networks. You can also include social media promo campaigns as part of your marketing strategy — this marketing plan drives potential users from social networks to your successful app.
Marketing Strategy Tips for Successful Mobile Apps
Great apps also have a solid marketing plan. In a hyper-competitive market, it's not just about top-notch software development — that's too much of a burden on your UX designer. Your marketing strategy conveys your app's best features to its target audience.
Here's how to strengthen your mobile app marketing strategy and get people interested in what you offer.
1. Know Your Target Audience
Before you even think about software development, ask yourself:
Who are my target users?
Where are my target users active?
What will attract potential users to my offering?
For instance, are your potential users more likely to find you on social networks or expert websites in your field? Your marketing plan should reflect this. Don't invest in a huge social media marketing strategy to target users better by placing ads on industry websites.
2. Speak the Language of Your Target Audience
Great apps understand how to communicate with their target audience. You won't engage potential users of a workplace productivity feature with bright colors and social media bubbles that explode into glitter when you click them. Well, you might, but that's on you if you try it.
From your landing page to your in-app purchases, consider who you're talking to and adopt a marketing plan that engages users you know will benefit from your services. Don't make your UX designer stretch themselves trying to create something for everyone; you should limit your target audience to people most likely to love your mobile app.
3. Do Use Social Media
Even if your target audience isn't as prolific on social networks as some user groups, you should use social networks to engage with potential users and existing users. Social networks are channels for customer engagement, so make sure your brand has an active, positive social media presence.
A social media marketing strategy for a successful app is about constant affirmation and isolated promotional campaigns. Make sure that of the million apps out there, yours is being spoken about at all times — and positively! A good presence on social networks engages users and helps build an accessible image of your brand that is often lacking in the app market.
4. Read Feedback and Respond
A successful app engages users, while a successful brand engages with users. It listens to their concerns, and great apps work tirelessly on their software development to address complaints from target users.
You can click on a million apps on the Google Play Store and see a balance of 5-star ‘works perfectly’ reviews — and just as many ‘doesn’t work at all' 1-star reviews. This is ultra-important for successful mobile apps: they have to be designed for all systems and interfaces your target audience may be using. Publicly address concerns with functionality and work to fix bugs quickly, or you'll never have a successful app.
Conclusion: 3 Rules for Great Apps
As you can see, so many factors make a great app. It's not just about the design but also marketing, and this requires a lot of people working together with passion.
If you want your mobile app to be as successful as possible, remember the three rules for great apps:
Mobile-native app developers need to know their target audience and continue to evaluate their target audience is evolving.
Connecting via social networks is essential.
Having a strong marketing plan and an experienced UX designer is non-negotiable.
But we get this can be overwhelming if you're in the beginning stages. Need some help designing and marketing your great app? Contact us to learn more about how you can create a successful app and stand out from the crowd!
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