In a week’s time your smartphones and digital clocks will show “2016”, marking the presence of the New Year. You must have planned a lot of things to do in the year, starting right from resolutions (which are so hard to stick with, aren’t they?).
If one of your plans includes developing a new application, 2016 is the right time to dive in- thanks to the ever-increasing penetration of smartphones and tablets, especially in developing economies. (The right time has always been and will always be NOW.)
Whether you have decided to code the app yourself or rather want to concentrate on the business side of the things by outsourcing the development part, there must be a well thought-of strategy. Getting your app on major app stores is just the first step, and if you are not a well-known developer, you may not get a thousand downloads overnight, unless you have developed that amazing thing people have always been waiting for.
Actually, there goes a lot in making users know that your app does EXIST…..for good.
Start With The Meaningful
With “Meaningful” I mean to say a product or service that adds values in the people’s life. Sometimes we are so enticed by our ideas that we forget those we are aiming to cater.
Your app should make people’s life easier and/or more joyous, in some way or the other. Developing an app and then pushing it to the smartphone users through paid marketing is not a sustainable business. You should have an idea that truly makes a difference and that makes people say, “Oh! This is something good”.
Seth Godin has coined a term (and has written a book on it) “The Purple Cow” in which he discussed about the phenomenon of creating a spectacularly different thing people cannot stop talking about.
Deciding the Platform
It is an iOS vs. Android battle (assuming you want to develop a mobile application). Both these platforms have their pros and cons.
Android has no standardized approval process while the same could take more than a week’s time in the case of iOS. Android offers no restrictions on advertising, data sharing or user interaction methods; on the other hand, Apple’s app market is highly moderated with many gate-keepers in place.
Does that make Android more lucrative?
According to a recent study by AppGenie, Google Play store does beat iOS app store in the total number of app downloads but it is a laggard in terms of revenue generation for developers. This means that profit/app in Google Play Store is way lower than that in iOS.
This trend is quite understandable as Apple users or potential customers generally have deeper pockets while Android surging market share is due to its high-adoption rate in relatively low-income economies.
Dedicate time in researching the practical usage of your app. Is it aimed at low or middle income group or high-income group? Is it free or paid? How in-app purchases could be positioned? And this takes us to the third step.
Free or Paid?
Start by asking, “What would you pay for the utility if you were not the developer of the app?” Remember the step 1? You must figure out the true value.
If you are just starting out, there are good incentives associated with offering the app for free, no matter what the platform is. The number of downloads is a bigger motivation than the few times when users took out her or his card to install your app.
With time, and of course after a bit of marketing, you will find the utility of the application. You can always come up with its pro version or update the app for extending some more benefits to the users, albeit for a small price.
In-app purchase method has long been the favorite of app developers.
You can also monetize by placing advertisements at right places. iOS app store is extremely vigilant at the promotions’ front of the applications. You must keep the user-experience on top of revenue-generation agenda. Money will follow.
Use your Notebook, Note, iPad, or paper and draw your hearts out. You must have the clear-cut idea of how you would like to see your idea seeing the lights of the day.
Draw the interfaces and basic designs, and make sure you do not keep on improvising when the app’s development process starts. This is especially true when you outsource the application development.
Get in Touch with Influencers
Although this step can be taken care of after completing your app, it is a good idea to prepare yourself in advance to get a good kick-start. Find out the top-rated blogs that review applications and post related articles. This will not only allow you to get some insightful information regarding some of the apps that are doing well but also give you a chance to build a rapport with the blog author (through commenting and sharing insights).
Don’t be too pushy in the progress. Building relationships takes time, so does finding the right influencers. Take the help of Linkedin, join groups and be patient. There are high chances that you would win the trust of industry-experts willing to write about your application whenever it will be launched.
Create a Landing Page and a Blog
Creating a “coming soon” page is a nice way of generating some interest. Couple it with a blog that touches upon the issues your app addresses.
Offer an incentive to the visitors. It could be a free e-book with a correctly aligned call-to-action. This will build your email list with time. Keep sending relevant mails to your list and inform each of the subscribing member when you launch your application so as to get the initial traction every app needs.
These were 4 simple (and not so simple) things you should take care of before starting the process of application development.