The mobile apps market continues to grow at a staggering rate. It is expected that the size of the market which is close to $25bn now will be worth $46bn by 2016. The growth is fuelled by a fast increasing penetration of smartphones and a rising popularity and acceptance for apps among masses. No wonder, there is also a growing community of apps developer who are lured by this developing market. Currently, there are close to a million apps on the two most popular apps store – Apple Apps Store and Google Play.
As we can understand, there is a great opportunity if one is aspiring to enter the apps development market. On the flipside, any new app that comes to the market needs to compete with a million apps which are already there on the apps store. With such intense competition, it is important that developers are aware about the nuances of the market, so that they do not fall prey to competition. The need of the hour is to have a well defined marketing strategy, so as to be able to successful sell your apps. The vital aspects, which I believe developers should include in their marketing strategy, are discussed below.
1) Customer Expectations – Even before you decide which apps you need to develop, what consumers expect from apps should be right there on the top of your mind. So always remember that any product idea that you conceive, should be overlaid on this background for a preliminary check whether or not your apps can be successfully marketed. It has been found customers primarily appreciate an app that brings them convenience, saves time/ money and is also easy to use.
2) Target Market and Differentiation – Once you have decided on the functionalities of your app, you also need to be aware who your customer is going to be. You can define your target customer in terms of their profession, their location or their hobbies or anything else. It is important to have this objective defined early in the development cycle as this will help you to be more focused while you get into the process of development.
If there are too many apps on the market addressing the same need as you are looking to, it is best to have some differentiating features that are likely to improve a customer experience of using the app. These attributes need to be well defined and also brought to the attention of potential user.
3) Promotion – With so many apps competing for user attention, it is important that you are able to ensure that your apps are noticeable in the target market. There are quite a few effective promotional techniques which you should implement.
a. Have a webpage – First thing is to have a blog on your apps and make sure that you keep it updated. The blog should communicate absolutely everything about your apps, that you want people to be aware of. The information on the blog should be well structured. The more important attributes from a customer perspective should easily come out. It is best to have a video that explains to user the functionality of your apps.
b. Advertisement in Social Networks – Social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter can help you in promoting your page effectively to exactly the same target audience that you may be aiming at. Hence it makes immense sense to post ads on your apps through these networks. Apart from these ads, also make sure you have a Facebook Page on your apps, through which you can connect with people and let them know about its functionalities.
c. App Store Optimization – Placing your apps on the Apple Apps Store or Google Play is not enough. Remember there are millions of other apps competing with yours for user attention. Hence we are seeing apps developer opting for App Store Optimization. An App Store Optimizer will help you gain better visibility among potential customers. Just like what SEOs do to improve your page ranking in search engine, these guys help you get more traffic on your apps page by achieving a high ranking in apps search results. They do so by optimizing your app's name, keywords, icons, and the description you would have on your apps.
4) Pricing – Last but not the least, pricing is critical for success. An analysis of what drives a decision of a customer to purchase your apps reveals that pricing has an important role. Even if you have the right visibility, but if the pricing is not what customers would be ready to pay, you may not be able to convert the visitor traffic into customers. An analysis by Distimo (an apps analytics firm) reveals that a downward revision in price of apps helps drive sales significantly upward. There is usually a disproportionate positive impact on sales value, when compared with the percentage drop in price.
While there are a hundred specific things you can do to advertise your app, these are the four pillars you need to strengthen in order to market your app successful and drive downloads. Give equal focus to all these aspects and the chances of your app making it big will multiply.