How to Plan for Successful App Launch
Dot Com Infoway - Whitepaper/ Mobile Apps MarketingHow to Plan for aSuccessful App Launch?Make your Apps Discoverablewww.dotcominfoway.comWhats Inside?Lay Down the GroundworkSetting Yourself ApartThe FundamentalsGenerating HypeDont Make these MistakesThe Number One KeyHow to Plan for a Successful App LaunchNUMBER OF APPS AVAILABLE ACROSS VARIOUS STORESmobile apps have been developed in 3 years.300,000+585,000450,00082,234DAILY SMARTPHONE APP CONSUMPTION, MINUTES PER CATEGORY 24%27%12%11%7%Games Social Media NewsEntertainment Otherwww.dotcominfoway.comSOURCE : FLURRY ANALYTICS 2012SOURCE : MOBITHINKING STATISTICS 2012Everyone and their brothers seem to be launching new applications. The app market is booming in concert with widespread smartphone dissemination. Statistics on this matter suggest that the saturation point is still well into the future, and that the market will continue to be very strong for a long time. Its not surprising that many believe applications will continue to become increasingly central to peoples lives, nor is it much of a stretch to agree with them. Many applications serve very usefulfunctions, while many others are remarkably even impressively useless.Everyday, new applications are introduced, and more and more consumers cant function properly without these things that didnt even exist a few years back. Interestingly enough, the degree of an applications utility doesnt really have any relationship with that same applications popularity or pricing. Both the useful and the silly have the same potential for profit and notoriety.LAY DOWN THEGROUNDWORKwww.dotcominfoway.comLAY DOWN THEGROUNDWORKMuch of the popularity and success of an application lies in the preparation that goes into its launch. Many potentially killer apps have fallen by the wayside because of lack of such preparation. A poor launch will generally translate into poor overall dissemination, which will end up spelling the death of such a venture.What can you, as an application developer or marketer, do in order to ensure that your application launch will be a highly successful one? There are several general points to consider. We can definitely take a look at scores of examples of successful launches and glean commonalities from the data. We also need to keep in mind that ingenuity and creativity shouldnt stop with the development of the app itself.SETTINGYOURSELF APARTwww.dotcominfoway.comSETTINGYOURSELF APARTWith millions of applications in existence, you need something extra-special to put your own app front and center on the public stage. Launch marketing is more important than ever for application success, and will continue to be as long as this market is a moneymaker.Thousands of the applications in existence nowadays are exceptionally ingenious dare we say revolutionary but very few of them are going to make it anywhere solely on inherent strengths. The primary key to a successful application launch is good marketing. In this paper we will be discussing several key aspects of such marketing. Hopefully after reading this you will have a very clear and well defined idea of thedegree and scope of preparation you need in order to put together the best application launch you possibly can. THEFUNDAMENTALSMaybe you think youve got something special with your app, and maybe it really is. But without a very specific launch strategy its not going to be that golden ticket to fortune and success for which youve been praying. The small things are very important; there are several of them that must be fully considered and executedbefore your launch will be feasible. www.dotcominfoway.comwww.dotcominfoway.comNumber one, you need a good brand name for your application. Angry Birds probably wouldnt have taken off the way it did without its evocative and funny title, so think of something that sums up exactly what it is but is fun and memorable as well. Make it short and sweet, and youll probably have a better time of things. You should come up with a list of five possibilities, and then run them by your colleagues, family, and anybody else whose opinion you value. Also invest thought and money into the creation of your logo and icon. You probably already know from experience some logos just ask to be clicked, while others languish in anonymity. Make yours something fresh, eye-catching, and pertinent to the nature of your application. Youd 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.BRANDINGBRANDINGwww.dotcominfoway.comCompetitive Analysis Figure out what your closest competition is out there, and the best way to compete with them. Youd think that having a unique application would be the best thing, but honestly its much easier to market and launch an application that serves a familiar function. This being said, dont imitate or ape the competing applications. Find a way to set yours apart as different, better, and innovative when compared to the others. App Store Submission Tips As of the writing of this paper, the App Store online is the place to launch applications. If there happen to be any others by the time you read this, then you should gear your launch for as many of these other stores as possible. The most important part of putting your application on the App Store is selecting which category to put it into. There are several subcategories as well. Figure out which one is suitable, as well as which one will best allow your product to stand out. Pricing Your App: Factors to ConsiderYoull need to decide on a consumer price for your product. Make sure you put both market research and basic accounting to work here dont just come up with a random figure. See what other apps in your category are priced, and what those apps offer compared to yours. Figure out how many people you think will want to purchase your app take a low estimate. Then do some math and figure out what the gross profits will be at different price points. Of course you shouldnt overprice, but you should be aware that underpricing will make your product seem insignificant too. Find a happy medium.FIND YOUR PERFECT PLACE IN THE MARKETwww.dotcominfoway.comIt 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. You get the idea people like customization. In addition, it would be wise to make Gold, Platinum, or Executive editions with more widgets and features for those discriminating types out there. Anything to make the customer feel that you have them specifically in mind is a good thing. Such diversification will also possibly make it easier for you to feature your application under more than one category in the app store.SPECIALTY NICHESGENERATING HYPEGive them More than Wordswww.dotcominfoway.comGENERATING HYPEThere are some ingenious steps you can take in order to get the online market buzzing about your product that involve a more nerdy approach. Other app developers and marketers have been using these successfully for themselves. First of all, you really need to set up a website for your app. Without this step, you cant really do much of anything else online. Put it all out there, but dont get too wordy attention spans are at an all-time low too long; didnt read is a popular critique these days.Aside from your impeccably written, terse, majestic and sparkling website, a couple or a few splash pages wouldnt be a bad idea as well. A splash page is like a satellite website that directs traffic to the main site. Splash pages work the best when they work different angles on the same product. Try to be as creative as you possibly can, and make sure the writing and design are on point. In addition, try to do some research into effective, contemporary App Store Optimization in order to generate more hits and increase visibility. www.dotcominfoway.comCreate Buzz Your sites should be consistently updated. Not only does this have a positive effect on Search Engine (Google) rankings, but it gets potential customers excited about the product. Word of Mouth Bloggy blurbs are just fine, but you really ought to give them something more than just reading material. Buzz is created with experiences, not just compelling literature. So give them some sneak previews. Screenshots of the application in action are always good, but dont give too much away. Put out some kind of video that teases potential customers, leaving them wanting more. Release promotional games, songs, stories, etc., as long as its not anything too lame. Have a promotional edition of your application available, and send codes to people who you think might help in generating word of mouth. These could be friends and colleagues, or it could be a professional app blogger (one of the thousands out there) with whom youve developed a relationship. Beta Test One of the most effective ways to generate buzz is to muster together a squadron of volunteer beta-testers. Internet nerds love and live for this kind of thing, as it sort of validates the months and years theyve spent in front of a computer screen. Get this group of independent volunteers to systematically test your app, providing them with a form to fill out and allowing for any other additional feedback. The more they get into it, the more theyre going to talk about their cool experience with others. GIVE THEM MORE THAN WORDSDONT MAKE THESE MISTAKESBe Nitpicky, and Serve your Customerswww.dotcominfoway.comDONT MAKE THESE MISTAKESMake sure you get everything planned out ahead of time. Things might not go completely according to this plan, but at least you have some type of template that will give you some structure. Without a plan, youre just winging it and are going to look exceptionally unprofessional. Nobody is going to know what is going on with your launch, not even within your own firm, and dissension is quite likely to make its way quickly through the ranks. No, if you dont have all your ducks in a row, your applications launch is going to be a big mess, so get a very detailed plan together. On top of this, you ought to make sure that your product is well tested for bugs and glitches. Theres nothing worse than an application on the market that causes more problems than it solves. Such a situation is indicative of an app developer who is more concerned with getting their product to market than with serving customers. Not a good way to be seen by the public. www.dotcominfoway.comCustomers are the ultimate judges as to whether an application will be successful or not. Whatever you do, do not let their feedback go unheeded. Make sure that customers have their own lines of communication, so that you can hear exactly what they think about your product. And actually listen to what they say! The fact that they themselves are not the developers is totally irrelevant, and is actually quite beneficial. Customer feedback is, quite often, exceptionally detailed and helpful a good way to avoid the need for expensive consultations which will tell you the same thing about your product. A lot of apps these days disappoint their customers. The developer will tout their new app as the greatest thing since Shazam, and it ends up being just some bug-ridden and insignificant waste of time and money. Customers dont like these types of situations, and will likely avoid anything you put out in the future. Bottom line: Make sure your app does exactly what you say it is going to do. Problems with poor delivery and improper testing usually, more than anything else, have a lot to do with a lack of adequate time for the applications development. So make sure that you and your staff give yourselves as much time as is necessary, and then add a month or two onto that. Be as meticulous and methodical as you can possibly be, and your chances of reaping the rewards will increase tremendously. BE NITPICKY AND SERVE YOUR CUSTOMERSTHE NUMBER ONE KEY www.dotcominfoway.comYoure not going to do much of anything if you dont get experienced and successful app developers & launchers on your side! You can do it yourself all you want, but if you dont have any experience in this field, your chances for success are slim. Experience counts in all fields, but especially in new, developing genres of marketing. If you pay attention to the approach your help takes initially, you may be able to do much more for yourself whenever the next launch rolls around, but youd be much better off with some good help this time around.