So you’ve built an awesome mobile app. It has great features that you know users need, and the market shows real demand for it. You’ve crossed your fingers and launched it, and now you’re waiting. And waiting. And waiting. But you’re not hitting your revenue targets and you’re starting to wonder what went wrong.
Don’t fret! Perhaps you need to go back just a little ways, and look at strategy:
- When it comes to designing, building, and launching a mobile app, most developers think like engineers — they believe that a well-built product will sell itself.
- When it comes to making money from mobile apps, creators must think like marketers, and good marketers make moves only with solid strategies in place.
The best idea, product, brand, or app in the world isn’t worth much if no one knows it exists or understands why they should check it out. Making money from a mobile app requires first introducing the app to a target market and showing them why it’ll bring them real value — fun, entertainment, information, education, or insight. Further, that market has to know what they’ll get if and when they choose to pay.
Have you ever purchased a mobile app for your iPhone or iPad? Start the process of strategic planning by reflecting on your own experience as a mobile app customer. What made you explore the app in the first place? What made you explore the apps’ features? What encouraged you to sign-up and pay for additional features and levels?
Here are three important things to consider if you want the app you’re building to make you money:
1. Pre-launch marketing
Pre-launch marketing means planning out a strategy to get your app in front of your target audience. This includes branding, developing key messages, developing user and target personas, building an email database, and choosing which vehicles through which you’ll deliver these key messages (think: email, promotions, and advertising).
Once you’ve put your pre-launch marketing strategy together, find ways to create the content you need while incorporating the key messages you think best reflect the value propositions conducive to your app. Be honest and clearly articulate what your app does and why it’s so cool.
Keywords are important because, in search, like in the Appstore, this is how your users will ultimately find you. Do some research around keywords relevant to the platform on which you’ll launch your app.
3. Creating a brand
Creating a brand for your app, or ensuring that your existing brand is well represented within your app, is critical. Research shows that people relate to and recall brand images and brand names when it comes to purchasing behavior. From Apple to Louis Vuitton, the products of these companies have such pull and influence in the market because the brand value associated with the organizations that produce them is so high. Have a strong, professional brand that reflects the values, tone and character of your company and the products it sells.
These planning steps are best taken before you launch your app, but it is possible to go backwards. So if you’re the app developer described above, and if you’re so far disappointed with the performance of your app, do your online marketing strategic planning now.
And don’t hesitate to join the Mobincube community online for great ideas and inspiration (both in app development and strategic planning) from users and developers who live and breath mobile!