What does it take to launch an app?
The question seems a bit ridiculous, we know. After all, you don’t really need anything to launch an app, except for an app of course.
It may sound like a simple thing, but trust us when we say, it is not. The launch phase of an app is what follows after an app’s development, and it is an incredibly important phase for your app’s success.
So no, “how to launch a mobile app?” is not that much of a ridiculous question after all.
Now if you are someone who is looking for a good launching strategy, or want to know how to launch an app, then you are at the right place.
We are going to delve deep into the world of launching strategy for mobile applications and invite you along with us. But before talking about anything, let’s see why you really need a launching strategy.
Importance Of A Launching Strategy
There are still some people who are not yet convinced that an app really needs a launching strategy. For them, the best way to launch an app is to develop and put it on the stores.
So let us talk about the importance of mobile app launch strategy in brief.
1. Creating A Momentum
The first importance of a release strategy for your app is creating a momentum.
People are not going to automatically know that your app is in the market. They are not going to find out about it unless it shows up on their app store homepage, or someone tells them about your app. Which is why, with a proper strategy, you can create momentum before the launch, to get the users excited, and hyped up about your app.
The momentum you build before the launch of your app is going to define what kind of success your app has after being launched.
2. Getting Downloads
Obviously, the point of creating an app is to get downloads from the users.
With a strategy in place before app release, you can notify more and more people about your app. And the more people know about it, the more downloads you will get right out of the bat. It is tedious to just launch an app and then wait for the download numbers to come creeping in. if you want a high number of downloads from the very beginning, you need to figure out how to publish an app.
3. Gaining And Retaining Users
Once you have got those download numbers up and high, you want to get more users and preferably retain them right?
All of us have installed at least one app on our phones that we have uninstalled within the first 10 minutes of use. Now you don’t want that to happen to your app. Which is why you need to know how to launch a new app idea to make sure that users actually use your app regularly, rather than use it once and uninstall it.
4. Growth Of Business
The success of your app is important for the growth of your business. You don’t want to end up like Vine, do you?
The problem with Vine was that it failed to keep up with the market of video sharing apps and the growth of its own popularity. Which is why you need a proper mobile app launch strategy to make sure that your business faces proper growth, and you can balance that growth with your app.
5. Developing A Better App
The launching phase is going to include a lot of feedback from early users. And this feedback is going to help you better your app.
The beta testing process during the launching phase is going to point out a lot of things that can be tweaked in your app to make it a better one. And at the end of the day, delivering the users with a better app is the key to app success.
6. Providing Value To Your Users
An app without value is only going to be a waste of phone memory.
Seems harsh, but it is true. Whether you are making a utility app, or a gaming app, at the end of the day it needs to provide some sort of value to the users. And the understanding of what kind of value your app is going to bring to the table will only come to you during the making of the launching strategy.
While conducting target audience research, you will understand what they need and your app will take shape according to that need of users. This way your app is going to get a proper value proposition for the users.
So How To Launch An App- The Stepping Stones
Now we come to the launching part.
It may seem surprising, but the making of the mobile app launch plan begins before the development phase has even started. Here is a brief outlook:
Let’s find out these in details.
1. Why Do You Need Market Research?
The smartphone app market is a dynamic place that is changing every day. What is trendy today, may become outdated tomorrow. Not to mention that the market is crowded with millions of different apps. If you don’t believe then check out the below graph that will show you the number of apps on different app stores.
With such a high number of apps in the market, you have to find your niche. You need to find a point of need among the users that you can fulfill with your app. If you can’t find a need, then create one. And to find that niche, you need to conduct market research.
Here is a step by step approach to conduct a systematic market research.
- Identify what people need but are not aware of
- See how much that need is in demand
- Look for existing apps that address the need
- Check their success rate and for how long they’ve been in the industry
- Check for opportunities you can use to penetrate the market
2. Who Are You Targeting With Your App?
A businessman is not going to use a makeup tutorial app, and a makeup artist is not going to use a stock trading app.
There are always going to be exceptions to the above point, but by and large, it is true. Every app caters to a specific group of users. So if you want to know how to market an app successfully you need to figure out which group of users your app caters to.
The users are central to any app company. Before you learn how to launch an app, you need to learn who your target audience is. Knowing your user-base and their mindset is instrumental in steering your app’s performance.
Once you have identified your target audience, it will become clear how to market your app to them, and once you have that figured out, your app will get popular in no time.
3. What Will Define Success For Your App?
What is going to define success for your app? Is it the number of downloads? Or the amount of revenue generated? Or the app store rating? Whichever it is, you have to determine the success metrics for your app, and then work on building it up.
Not determining the success metrics early on is going to leave you with no direction. Sure you will have an app in the market, but how are you going to decide whether it is earning enough success or not? What if the app ends up with a 100% good rating (improbable, but still) on the app store, but earns little to less revenue? That is barely success.
But if you have the right success metrics defined, you won’t feel lost. For example, if the success metric for your app is the revenue generated, then you can put more emphasis on generating proper revenue.
4. What Is Going To Be Your Monetization Strategy?
The upkeep and management of your app are going to not only cost you time but money as well. And to generate this money, you need a monetization strategy.
Monetization is obviously important for your app. Without a proper monetization strategy, you won’t be able to generate revenue, and eventually, your business will fail. At the same time, you also have to think about the pricing strategy.
The pricing strategy and monetization hand in hand. The consumers want a free app, but you can always include in-app purchases to bank on users who are already satisfied with your free services. Besides learning how to market an app, you should strategize a price that would fetch optimum profit, you should look for:
- How much your competitors are charging?
- Are they offering free software upgrades?
- What kind of subscription plans are they offering?
5. A Landing Page For The User To Land On!
A crucial point of app marketing plan, the landing page is going to be the entry point for your website. It is going to help you to create a two-way communication channel between you and your clients.
With a properly designed landing page, the visitors to your app website is going to find out about your app. Not only that, if you can interest them enough, they might even end up registering for the early access for the app, so don’t forget to add the proper CTA buttons.
For example, you can see the landing page for Spotify, the most famous music streaming app. The single line “Music for everyone” conveys the purpose of the app, and the perfect placement of the CTA button makes it easier for the users to start engaging with the website.
Landing page also helps you to collect customer details. This is going to help you to get familiar with them, as well as identify their potential desires that even they might not be aware of.
6. Get A Website For The App
Of course, you can’t have a landing page without a website.
The app website is going to be an absolutely important part of your launching strategy. Where else are the potential users going to find out about your app? A well designed and marketed website attracts huge traffic, which means more users when the app is finally launched.
Once the app is launched, that huge number of traffic is going to readily download your app and some of them might even be interested in becoming registered users. And that’s how a well-designed website is going to bring you ready users from the genesis of your app. Just make sure to make the website really attractive.
7. Enhance your Social Media Presence
Even puppies and cats have Instagram profiles today. So it goes without saying that your app to needs a social media presence.
Today social media platforms have become the modern marketing powerhouse. People of all social classes are part of the social media today, so no matter who your target audience is, social media platforms are the best way to reach them.
You need to start with the official social media page on every platform. Don’t forget to add social media sharing features within your app, so that people can share it directly on their timeline. This way your app will get an increased viewership.
Keep posting images and promo videos on social media accounts. The goal with an enhanced presence on social media sites is to keep in constant touch with the viewers there. This way some viewers might even get interested enough, that when the app launches, they will install and check it out.
Another way of building a prominent presence on social platforms is through a partnership with influencers. These social media influencers have a huge follower base and these followers look up to their posts and updates every day. If you, in fact, make a partnership with such influencers, your app is sure to be exposed to hundreds and thousands of people, becoming a global sensation.
8. Creating A Press Kit, The Last Minute Prep
So your app is developed, the stage is set, and now it’s time to get the press involved.
The ending of the above sentence may seem sinister, but there is nothing sinister about it. Getting the press involved, and by that, we mean informing important bloggers and journalists about your app and when it launches is going to give your app the exposure it needs. Getting sufficient press coverage is an important part of app marketing strategy
When your app is being covered in the articles of famous tech blogs and websites like The Verge or Wired, people will easily become curious to check out your app. But these websites are not going to cover your blog just like that. For that, you need to create a press kit.
A press kit will ensure that anyone wanting to cover your app doesn’t have to explore the internet to find information. In a press kit you need to include the following:
- App information: logo, screenshots, promo video, etc.
- App description (preferably the one from the app store product page)
- Public marketing and social media links
- Links for recent press release coverages
- Contact information
Compiling this press kit will help the influencers, bloggers, and journalists to quickly scan the information about your app. This way they can easily cover your app since all the information is right there in the press kit.
9. Aesthetic Screenshots For The App Store
When you search for an app and click on the one at the very top of the search list, you will not only find an app description, but you will also find screenshots of the app. These screenshots are usually of very high quality and serve as a visual description of the app.
The screenshots are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they will let the potential user know what they look like on the phone screen. So you are launching an app on iTunes or Play Store, visuals are a must. Take the youtube music app screenshots for example:
Each of the above screenshots features a different screen of the app, and it gives you a clear idea of how the app will look on your phone.
On the other hand, these screenshots also provide you with a short description of how the app works, what it is used for. If you look at Bumble’s google play store screenshots:
The three screenshots, with the words “dates” “friends” and “network”, gives the user an apt idea on what the app is going to help you. Even though videos and gif files have taken precedence over the visual descriptions today, a bright, and aesthetically pleasing screenshot goes a long way to let the people know why they should really give your app a try.
10. Optimize Your App Store Presence
App store optimization is going to be an important part of your app launch marketing strategy.
ASO or app store optimization is the process of optimizing your mobile apps so that they rank higher on the app stores search results. The higher your app is ranking on the search results, the better the number of downloads you will get. The increased visibility is going to get you more traffic on your app page on the app store. So if you are thinking about how to launch an app in the Google Play store or how to launch an app on the app store, then you have to pay ASO enough attention.
Most of the apps are discovered through the app store searches. So how are you going to optimize the app store presence of your app so that it ranks higher in the search results? Here are a few ways.
- App Name: the first thing anyone notices about an app is the name. The app name is going to carry the essence and meaning of your app. The audience will know with the name what the app does. So make sure to properly name your app, and include relevant phrases with it. Having a catchy and properly relevant name will make it easy for the users to find your app.
- Keywords: keywords play an important part in the process of ASO. keywords are basically the phrases users use to search for a specific app. For example, if the user is searching for a meditation app, then they are definitely going to see apps with meditation in their names. Like:
Having the word “meditation” included in the name, Headspace makes it easier for its app to rank higher on the search results.
Last But Not The Least, Use In-App Analytics
It is important to monitor the app’s performance once the app was released. This way you can evaluate the app’s performance and make changes according to the requirements of the app.
The app analytics tool helps you to find out how many people are using your app, how they are using it, how many have installed it once and then uninstalled it. The app analytics will identify and analyze the core issues of the app. So it is absolutely important that you employ an app analytic tool before you go on to launch an app in the market.
So it turns out app launching is not that simple.
Sure there are plenty of hoops to jump through to get your app successfully launched in the market. But once you have a proper launching strategy in place then you will see that at the end of the day it is not really that hard.
Just follow all the mobile app launch checklist we have mentioned in the article and you will find the entire launching process to be simpler than it seems to be.