Is there an idea bubbling in the back of your head for an app that just has to be created? But, then, perhaps you’re thinking, “why create an app just to enter a marketplace already crammed with over a million apps? Is it even possible to get your app noticed any more?”
The above image shows the rapid growth of the apps market (thanks to the telecomblog and Chetan Sharma consulting).
The mobile app industry is booming, and since the one-million-app mark was reached in late 2011, the competition to get your app noticed in the marketplace is fierce. However, there is space for your app, and, if marketed correctly, your app can and will succeed.
Factors To Consider Before You Launch
Marketing an app is often treated like an after-thought, left to after the initial idea has evolved and is placed in the market. It is at this point that the full-scale marketing plan goes into force. Stop!
Marketing planning should start at the very beginning of app development, well before it is launched. There are a number of factors that you must consider in the early stages of your app development, including branding, keywords, and competition.
Your brand is what represents you and your company. It doesn’t matter if your business is within the financial or gaming sector, branding is equally important. When you are developing your app and designing your brand, you must take the following into consideration: the name of your business, the style of the app and, of course, the icon that will represent you in the app market.
The brand that you develop becomes transferable to other mediums; it will remain static in new apps that you may later develop — a new website, or merchandising and so forth. Your brand is how your clients will recognize you and connect with you. The initial impression your potential users will get of your app and brand is on your app’s download page, your screenshots, brand identity and app description; this is what will convert possible users into downloads.
What is a keyword? In the app world, a keyword is a word or phrase that your user will look up to understand what your app does. If your app is a children’s game called Donkeyman (this is a purely fictitious name), the most appropriate keyword would not be [donkey] or [man], but something relevant to the game, like [educational children’s game]. Having a keyword in your name helps your app get found. It’s also important to have it in the description.
Wondering which keywords work for your app? There are companies out there that specialise in ASO (App Store Optmization). Try their free trials to see what works.
Using your knowledge from your keyword exercise, you are now equipped to find out who your main competitors are, find out what their other keywords are and see how they rank in the market.
From this exercise, it is also easier to determine which category you should be placing your app under. Choosing the right category is difficult, and you will need to take a calculated risk. If your competition is fierce in one category, it may make more sense to choose another relevant category that was not your first choice but will get your app ranked higher and, therefore, more likely to be downloaded.
Once you have launched your app, the second stage of mobile app marketing takes over. The first thing I recommend clients do, is to connect to an apps store analytic program, like Millennial Media or App Annie. This enables you to view the progress of your app.
Submitting your app to app review sites will increase your brand awareness, allowing potential clients to discover your app while they are reviewing similar apps or while they are searching for an app they are considering downloading.
Encourage your users to review your app after download. Positive app store reviews will build trust in prospects who are wondering whether to download your app, especially if the app is not free.
Creating apps has become increasingly easy, especially with companies offering free app creator programs. Coupled with the right marketing strategy, the app market is still a place that offers successful business opportunities. What are you waiting for?
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.