Your app is not alone. Right now, there are more than 1 million apps in the App Store, vying for users attention in nearly every category.
Building a great product isnt enough to make your app the next Angry Birds, and Apple AAPL -0.15% knows it. Just last month, it introduced a “Best New Updates section to improve the discoverability of apps long after their initial release. But to create a sustainable app, you need to build in solid marketing and distribution strategies to get your app into the hands of the people who need it most. So read this guide from Nathan Olnick.
Grow Users and Keep the Lights On
Here are five strategies to capitalize on the marketing and distribution of your new app:
Release early and release often. You may have heard this refrain before, but its vital for growing your user base and attracting investors attention. Release core features, then leverage communities such as Hacker News and Product Hunt to grab early adopters before building out the kitchen sink. Look at it this way: If you dont have a user base, how can you be sure youre building something people want?
Find your niche. You can differentiate your app in a crowded market in two ways: Introduce features that no one else has, or target a specific niche. These strategies arent mutually exclusive. Take QUAD, for instance yet another entrant in the crowded mobile messaging market. QUAD focused on its unique ability to message more than 50 people and has heavily marketed its app to college groups like fraternities and sororities that have a real need for a bulk messaging system. By doing so, its enabled itself to live alongside other messaging juggernauts like WhatsApp and GroupMe, rather than compete with them.
Be exclusive. Nowadays, it seems like everyone uses Spotify, but it wasnt long ago that the company was just starting out in the U.S. and only available by invitation. While Spotify used invitations to make it easier to scale in a new country, it also had the added benefit of creating buzz around this exclusive new app. By capitalizing on word-of-mouth marketing, Spotify helped itself stand out in an arena that companies like Rdio and Rhapsody had been occupying for years.
Optimize for the App Store. Much like the need to optimize your website for search engines, its important to make sure your app has the right keywords in its title and description so users can find you. It sounds minor, but if your app doesnt come up when users type relevant keywords into the search bar, then it might as well not exist. Thats why app design and development companies like Fueled have started making App Store Search Engine Optimization an integral part of their development process.
Build in social calls to action. Social word of mouth is one of the best ways to grow your user base. Build in social sharing so users can brag about what theyve just accomplished, whether thats leveling up in a game or logging miles in a running app.
Its easy to assume your app can become the next Snapchat as long as you build a solid product, but what makes that app successful isnt the fact that it exists its the efficiency’s it creates. By focusing on marketing strategies alongside product development, you can create an app that not only makes life better for your users, but also makes a profit for your startup.