The mobile era has taken over the world and apps have become the most quintessential source of help. Though websites were considered the most happening place to be, they are now only second to the increasing popularity of apps.
Each year, the business involving apps is gaining momentum as one of the most compelling economic forces in today’s global economy. App usage and the increasing revenue are definitely here to stay.
According to latest statistical reports, in 2015 alone, global app revenue reached as high as $41.1 billion. This figure is expected to increase to a whopping $101 billion by 2020, if not more.
In most of the cases, apps are successfully replacing websites as the most preferred source of information, eCommerce, entertainment, news, sports and everything else that you can imagine. Considering the massive business opportunities you can explore using the app, there cannot be a better time for getting into this business than now.
If you have created an attractive and useful app that has earned certain amount of popularity or is viral already, it would help you to create a steady source of revenue. In addition, it can even fulfill other vital business goals of the company such as enhancing brand recognition, creating visitor funnels, increasing advertising revenue and much more.
As per Nielsen’s report, consumers spend over 63 per cent of their time on apps today than they did even two years back. With more than millions of apps getting released every day, consumers can find an app for everything.
However, building an app is just one aspect of the vast challenge – it is even more important to get the app business running and viral in this competitive market. There are some key steps involved in building as well as growing the app business today. Read on to discover more.
The How’s and Where’s – Before You Begin
If you do not have in-house development resources to begin app development, you have to find a suitable and reliable vendor online. Partnering with a vendor ensures that your app meets basic guidelines and is ready to face challenges.
Before beginning, you must explore all the vital avenues in order to gauge the price as well as specifications of the type of app you wish to build. However, do not allow price to be the only deciding factor. Find a proficient app developer with expertise in user interface/user experience (UI/UX), which is also the fundamental requirement for the end-product.
Always consider the design specifications based on the platform for which your app is going to be launched – Android or iOS or both.
Spending quality time to research your app’s scope of development can be crucial for its success. By effectively researching and surveying, you can also gauge the future prospects of your app.
You would also be able to know whether the idea gels well with consumers or they are simply disinterested. Both ways, it can help you understand your user base depending on their interests.
When you are doing your research, try to get answers to these following questions:
- Is your app similar to other apps, doing exactly what you intend to do?
- What could be the preferred designs of users? Is it possible to emulate a similar design for your app?
- What are the technical requirements for your app?
- What are the procedures for marketing and monetization of the app?
It would be wise to take some expert opinion from ace players in the field of app development and business.
Choosing Your App Design
The app design is one of the first few features that draw user attention. The design, layout and presentation of your app, thus, remain the key. Select visually attractive and appealing designs only. Today, users decide the fate of an app based on the first impression – just a glance. Any annoying colors or pictures can chase away users. Based on the first glance, you should prioritize the app design first and then consider functionality.
With over thousands of apps being installed daily only to be opened once and forgotten or deleted, first impression remains critical. So, an aesthetic layout with apparent usability is needed.
A Niche That Users Love
Don’t follow popular subjects or any overcrowded niche. Rather, you should try to narrow your market segment and pick up an obscure subject that would be profitable.
Contrarily, in order to achieve a competitive edge over millions of existing apps across app stores, you should aim to provide a master feature that no other app did.
Messenger apps, for instance, are facing tough competition. With WhatApp leading the world, WeChat, Hike, Vibe and similar ones have succumbed to vulnerabilities. However, QUAD is one of the few apps that banked on something that WhatApp doesn’t feature – bulk messaging! And, since then, QUAD aggressively marketed its app to target user groups like students and ended up with a place for their business even in this most cut-throat competitive segment of messenger apps.
Like SEO used for websites, apps also should be optimized with specific keywords to boost its rankings across search engines. The best and tested practices reveal that you can apply this same strategy in case of an app. For that, your app description in Google Play or App Store should be perfect.
Always include a title in the app with keywords that would help users search specifically for your app or for the niche. And, you should aim for medium-searched volume and unique keywords when you are deciding the title for an app.
Plan an Early Launch
To make sure you can have a wider user base and attract more and more investors, launch your app a little early.
Firstly, you should launch some of the key features of the app to create a community of loyal users. This can give you invaluable data and you can know who your real users are and what they prefer to get in the app. It counts because it is more than what you believe users want. So, it gives you real data.
When done efficiently, as the app grows and your business proliferates through successive iterations of user base, you would know which group to target. You can also learn what features need more concentration.
App Promotion through Review Sites
App development projects, in general, are projected as big budget endeavors, though it is not. The original budget forecast is often bigger than the actual requirement.
You should note that your aim is to play a longer game and stay there. To achieve that, you have to consider promoting the app through popular brands like Apps Zoom, Android Pit, App Annie etc. Most of these companies would be happy to give you economical packages that can be appropriately used for a specific marketing budget.
App contests are happening everywhere, such as Best Mobile Apps awards bait. It can give your app the much-needed exposure gains, which can be vital for business expansion. Also, your app can reach out to a global audience base.
For an app to exist amongst several thousands of apps launching every day, it is very important to have a user base. The only practical way to market your app is through user testimonials and word-of-mouth recommendations. To make sure your user base grows, it is necessary to test the waters before releasing the app. So, always release the core features first, offering a free version of the app, and see if it gains market.