No matter what objectives you want to accomplish with your app, coming up with a unique idea is no longer sufficient due to the intense competition in the mobile app market. It is becoming more difficult to stand out, and doing so requires a significant financial and time commitment.
Unpreparedness throughout the mobile app development stage can lead to costly, annoying, and brand-damaging errors.
But if you take the time to put these pieces together, you’ll fundamentally simplify the development process and significantly boost your competitiveness. To have a successful app, some work is required, but it is well worth it.
1) Research your market thoroughly
You need to understand the current market offering in order to find a gap your app will fill and provide a fresh, complete solution to the problem you’re solving.
Check out the Apple App Store and Google Play Store to see what else is available. A few apps might not fit the description, which is either good news or bad news. On the one hand, there might not be a market for the app at all. There might also be a void in the market, allowing for new app businesses to thrive.
2) Identify your target audience and elevator pitch
What is your app’s specific purpose? What makes it different from your website? What are its specific use cases? This is probably the most difficult step for business owners and marketers. One of the most important steps to ensuring the success of your app is to boil down all your ideas into a few sentences that have a clear purpose.
Now is the time to define:
Your elevator pitch should also be confident by now. If you were sat in front of a potential investor and asked about your project, how would you convey your mission in just a few sentences in less than a minute? Don’t miss the opportunity to be precise and clear about your app’s purpose at this early stage in the process as this can amplify your success in so many ways.
3) Choose between native, hybrid, and web apps
A few technical decisions need to be made early on, and this is one of the most crucial ones. The choice between native, hybrid, or web apps has a huge impact on your future development and maintenance. You should use your market research, as well as the purpose and functionality you’ve just defined, to make the best decision possible.
Native, hybrid, and mobile apps differ in the following ways:
Your budget, desired timeframes, and expertise will affect the programming language used.
Native API access will depend on the device’s functionalities that your app needs to access.
Market your app and define your promotion strategies based on the distribution method.
This will depend on your target audience and the market you wish to penetrate; most often, you will want to be present on both Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store.
On the other hand, web apps are perfect for solutions that require easy updates, but don’t require any access to the device’s native capabilities.
These two types sit on opposite sides of the spectrum, with native apps being most expensive to develop and findable in different app stores, and web apps being very quick and low-cost to develop, but you can’t amplify them through app stores or have your users download them to their devices.
The best of both worlds are hybrid apps: they use the same code base for both platforms, they can access device features, and they live in both app stores. By building both iOS and Android apps at once with a single build, you can accomplish most app goals and purposes, including productivity, utility, and enterprise applications.
Your entire development project will be much easier to plan once you have decided what type of app you are going to develop.
4) Know your options for monetization
Having an app can benefit your business in many ways. Obviously, the app can generate revenue directly from your audience, but others may serve as a resource for your audience, or indirectly assist other stages of your sales funnel and increase your brand’s reach.
Is your app going to play an important role in your business model? If so, now is the time to consider app monetization options:
Apps with freemium features – These apps are free to download, but certain features must be purchased to access.
Due to the cost barrier, a mobile marketing strategy is essential to demonstrate the unique, superior value of these apps compared to free apps. Paid apps (premium apps) – Apps are purchased through the app store.
Using the app as a mobile commerce sales channel, users can purchase digital or physical products within the app.
A subscription model is similar to freemium apps, but it has the benefit of recurring revenue.
As with any advertising space, it’s always important to never sacrifice user experience for more advertising space. In-app ads are the most simple model of them all.
This model allows you to partner with specific brands or advertisers. It is a win-win situation because brands pay for user actions and your app generates further engagement.
You may change your mind later, but it’s important to gain a solid understanding of all the options first, and steer your mobile app development based on what aligns with your business.
5) Build your app marketing strategy and pre-launch buzz
In order for your app to succeed, you must prepare to market it and amplify it, including branding, PR, pre-launch efforts, outreach, and simply overall web presence.
While you might think it’s too early to think about app marketing before you’ve even started developing your app, your efforts will multiply in the long run if you start creating buzz before you launch.
Let’s begin with these points:
Make sure your name, logo, colors, and tone of content set you apart from the millions of other apps and businesses. Ensure consistency across your app and all platforms.
Find out where your target audience hangs out most often. Do they prefer social media or email? Do they prefer video content over written content? How much time do they spend on their mobile device?
You now know what content your audience craves and where to find it. Start planning out your written or video content and share it on selected channels based on the answers you provided in the previous point.
Begin your outreach. Who are the influencers in your industry, both big and small? Provide them with lots of value so they will promote your app.
You can even create an app landing page that you’ll ultimately use to drive app installs and promote all the features. Even if you just have the app title right, it’s worth getting this page built. You can even use the graphic design concept of the app to create nice landing page graphics. All of this will help you market your app better.
When the launch time comes, you will have a warm community to launch to, making promotion easier.
6) Develop an app store optimization plan
The steps you have taken so far, such as market research, your app’s unique purpose, and your marketing strategy, are vital to app store optimization. More than 60 percent of all apps are found through organic search in the app store; this is the key to discoverability.
Use this as a great opportunity for your app to shine with its visuals, features, and distinctive purpose by respecting both app stores’ requirements.
You won’t be able to complete all ASO tasks at this stage (nor should you), but now is a good time to sketch your final app store look and feel and ensure that the development follows.
7) Be aware of your resources
To create buzz around your launch and get people excited, you should announce your launch date ahead of time.
Kinvey’s report estimates that most businesses need seven months up to over a year to develop and deploy a mobile app.
As a result, you should begin conversations with your developers and technical teams as soon as possible. This will enable you to allocate appropriate due dates to various planning and development stages, such as:
The best time to revise your budget is now. App development costs can range from under $10,000 for a simple iPad app to six figures for a more complex, full-spec app, depending on the complexity, features, infrastructure, and many other factors. Aside from agency size and expertise, there are also a number of other factors to consider, such as the timeframe and required expertise of different agencies and developers.
8) Make sure security measures are in place
Security is an important step whenever you make an app or start a new app project. However, many mobile app developers focus so much on the app idea itself, that they neglect crucial security features.
Final words on how to launch an app
How do I launch my app? There is no solitary response to this query. Here, the app concept alone won’t be sufficient. To ensure long-term success, you must act appropriately early. Therefore, spend a few hours concentrating on how users engage with your app before you begin to consider new features and app updates. Close your eyes and picture a well-crafted native app’s user interface.