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About the Episode
Do you think you have to build a free app supported by ads to find success in the app space? Well today’s guest has been featured by Apple across multiple apps and he shares the strategy that has helped him build a thriving app business. Also, listen to the part of the show where he shares how he decides whether an app idea is worth pursuing.
Building a Thriving App Business
This is a two-step process that evenly divides creating the app itself and then marketing it later:
Step 1: Create one template app. Building an app requires both time and effort. Depending on its complexity, an app can take weeks or months to develop. Building an app template and then just improving on it by launching more and more apps using the existing template is practical, sensible and will take less time. It will also save the developer money. By the app’s very iteration, the next app becomes easier and faster to build.
Step 2: Marketing the app. Prepare an audience eager to download the app on launch date. This is done by looking for influencers in your app niche and researching on their number of followers in any of the social media platforms, i.e, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram. These influencers may not necessarily have the biggest following but pay special attention to audience engagement. How committed are the followers in providing feedback, joining discussions and sharing opinions? Pay attention to the quality of the content. Anyone looking to launch an app is encouraged to have a number of these influencers identified and finally selected. The developer then invites these influencers to team up on launching the app. Be sure to have a good sampling of influencers as the batting average is about 50/50 for positive and negative responses on any team up invitation.
A developer’s pitch in convincing an influencer to team up with him to market the product is to point out the history of success the developer has previously enjoyed, if any. Another benefit to the influencer is the additional traffic the app can provide to his blog site. The developer is also advised that it is best to negotiate directly with content creators and not pass through an agency. An agency usually charges an arm and a leg so it is inadvisable to deal with agencies if the developer is just starting out.
As an added tip to the successful marketing of an app, Andreas advises to monetize every step of the way. The free version, for example, should have advertising. Subscriptions should have matching rates. Provide killer value to users who are after real value. It is impossible to keep all users happy. The ones who go for the free version will not be happy being sold the version at any price. It is Andreas’ observation that the best users to keep happy are those who go for subscriptions because this is where the app will get its sustainable business.
Is that App Worth Pursuing?
Basically, any app worth pursuing must have a resounding “YES” to two key questions:
Key Question 1: Is this app actually going to be useful to a big enough group of people?
The developer must always get the mindset of the user. It is cool to make an app that the developer thinks is useful but is it useful to a lot of people? This must be a resounding “YES!”
Key Question 2: Is it marketable?
The developer is advised to always couple “idea” with “market.” Thus, the “ideal” app is something that either has an existing audience already or it is something that will go viral and journalists will want to write about it. In other words, is there a ready audience that a developer can easily tap into to market the app? This must be a resounding “YES!”
– App: Runtastic
– Blog Post: Getting an app in to the top 10 on the app store