Developing an app is not an inexpensive, easy, or short process. After you spend months of development and anywhere from $10k-$250K, you would assume that the process is over.
However, just because the app is in the app store, does not mean that the work is over! This is actually the time where additional funding could be needed.
The two areas of focus that can require a substantial amount of effort and money is the marketing and maintenance of the app.
The marketing component is critical; users are not going to just start downloading your app, they need to hear about it, and be aware that it exists. If your app is beautifully designed, and functions perfectly, it does not matter if it has zero users.
Additionally, continual maintenance of the app is an important aspect in order to make sure the user experience and features offered are the best possible.
Marketing the App
The jump from launching an app to achieving success is not a small one to make. When you look at the proportion of the total number of apps in the App Store in comparison to the ones that are actually downloaded and frequently used, it is relatively small.
How can you market an app in an incredibly dense space? Here at Codal (UX design and mobile app development agency), we recommend that business owners spend at least double of what they spent on their application development for marketing spend.
Many of the most successful apps around, such as Uber, AirBnb, PayPal and Dropbox have grown to their present size because of their extensive referral programs. A mutually beneficial referral program, where both users benefit from the sign up, is when the referral program is largely successful.
The cost of customer acquisition is at its peak when the app has recently launched and is still new to the market. The initial investment of providing each user an incentive to sign up will result in a large ROI if the app is well developed, especially if the customers maintain loyalty.
In general, referral programs are one of the strongest ways to acquire more users without doing much work. Start a stellar referral program, and let your users do the marketing work!
Provide valuable and shareable content
As a new app and a potentially new business, it is important to share rich content either about the app directly, or related to what your newly launched app offers.
This not only shows potential users that your app is legitimate, but that it is satisfying a need or desire of the user, as well as emphasizing the competitive advantage of the app.
This content can then be shared on a wide range of different channels such as social media platforms, personal blogs, or guest blogs. The more you expose your users to the content, the more influence the content will have in user acquisition.
Allowing users to find your app in the Apple’s App Store + Google Play
According to Statista, as of June 2016 there were 2.2 million apps in the Google Play store, and 2 million in the Apple App store.
With around 2 million users in the app store, you cannot expect users to just come across your app and download it. Every app has huge competition, which is why companies like Gummicube are here to help you optimize your application in the app store.
Maintenance of the App
Being dedicated to the maintenance and improvement of an app is the difference between an average app and an amazing app. For example, Snapchat started off as a simple platform for sending pictures from user to user.
With time and significant maintenance, new features such as chat, filters, and stories were added to improve the overall user experience.
Since maintaining an app can cost 1.5 times the cost of the initial development it is important to make sure that new features and changes being made are considered valuable to the user.
Below are some of our recommendations for keeping the app up-to-date.
Add features of real value
Although it may be tempting to add new and innovative features to your app, it is critical that each feature provides value and not just visual effect. More importantly, you want to add features that drive the most engagement.
This may require a trial and error approach in the maintenance process, but a focus on getting the app right will make a significant impact. A great way to validate your new feature idea is to conduct user interviews and surveys to explore what your users actually want.
This way, you are not shooting in the dark. Any experienced user experience agency can help conduct these surveys or even focus groups to make sure your ideas are in line with your user’s needs.
Keep add ons and changes consistent with your brand
When you are adding features or additions to the app, they need to be consistent with the brand. Aesthetically, with every new release, the app needs to continue to evoke the brand’s identity.
It is also important to keep your updates consistent. You don’t want to be updating your app every month for a year, but then completely stop with new features and updates for another year. Slow and steady is the way to go.
The development process of an app is just the beginning of your new mobile app’s journey. It is important while the development is still underway that you consider the next steps and start planning your marketing campaigns.
No users means an unsuccessful app, so this phase is really mission-critical.
Both the marketing and the maintenance of the app are extremely powerful components that can determine the success of an app.