In this guest post, Logan Merrick (pictured below), co-founder and director at Buzinga App Development, offers some top tips on getting your app right and noticed in this smartphone addicted era…
Australian businesses are struggling to supply the mobile experiences that consumers are increasingly demanding and expecting of brands. Looking at mobile payment capabilities alone, 71 per cent of Australian consumers use mobile devices for payments, but only 49 per cent of businesses are mobile optimised. Marketers and businesses need to start getting ahead of consumer trends, and stop playing catch-up.
With Australian consumers now spending 10 hours a day on internet connected devices, their expectations of the experiences brands deliver are higher than ever, and this is particularly true for mobile apps. There’s nothing worse than spending tens of thousands of dollars (if not more), extensive staffing resources, and months of work on developing a mobile product, and then seeing it fall flat on its face.
If your mobile product strategy is to complete the product, put it on an app store, and hope for the best, it’s time to re-assess your pre-launch phase and how to get optimal impact from your product before it becomes publicly available.
Here are some important, yet simple, actions to take before launching a mobile app to ensure the launch and post-launch phases are set up for success:
- Create user personas to define the target audience
A user persona is a fictional representation of your ‘Perfect User’. User personas are based on real data about real users and their behaviour, along with educated speculation about personal histories, goals, motivations, and pain points.
Based on research, surveys and interviews, user personas help categorise and identify the most appropriate type of user for a product. They’re quintessential during the pre-launch phase because they help identify the most accurate and appropriate target audience for a product, saving businesses time and resources down the track, and ensuring optimal success during the launch.
- Start your digital marketing engines and generate buzz
To stand out among the other 2.5 million applications on both the App and Play stores, businesses must generate ‘buzz’ that resonates. Buzz can be generated on any marketing budget, and should be tailored to specific user personas and target audiences.
The best tactics for creating pre-launch buzz include:
- Creating a website with more information about the app, options for users to sign-up to an email list or future product notifications, video previews, screengrabs, and more
- Building a blog with relevant and valuable content to engage with customers and build brand loyalty
- Starting a social media campaign with varied content, providing opportunities to start open dialogues with customers and potential users
- Inviting influencers of your target audience to test, use, and promote the app
- Posting the app to PreApps and leveraging feedback from early adopters and testers
- Crafting a compelling press release outlining the key features and benefits of the product, the story behind how it was developed, and an outline of the impact it will have beyond that of similar or competing products in the market
- Build a pre-launch database and maintain continual engagement
Once your target audience is defined, and a strategy is in place to start engaging with them to add value, gain feedback, and generate buzz, it’s important to leverage the wealth of data now available and build a pre-launch database. This should include email addresses of blog subscribers, social media followers, and website enquiries.
This pre-launch database will hold the keys to your first group of app users and loyal evangelists. Show your appreciation of their support by sharing exclusive content and updates prior to launch. Ideally, direct them to a pre-launch landing page 2-3 months prior to the app’s launch to gain buy-in and support before competitors get the chance.
The most impactful landing pages are:
- Straightforward and transparent
- Emotion-driven and problem-focused
- Creative, with more than ‘sign up here’ as a call-to-action
- Non-intrusive, not asking for much more than an email address
- Incentivising with exclusive content, free trials, early access or giveaways
- Openly and genuinely grateful for visitors’ support
- Social media friendly, asking for social shares and referrals after sign up
- Designed with the target user in mind
- A/B tested for optimal headings, call-to-actions, button designs, and layouts
With almost 90% of all mobile apps discarded in just two weeks, it’s worth allocating time and resources in the pre-launch phase to laying the foundations for launch success. Taking targeted measures to build, manage, and engage with a dedicated fan base before launching will help ensure an app becomes one of the winning 10% and achieves long-term success.
Look out for Part 2 of this content series to find out how to optimise an app’s success during the product launch phase.