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7 tricks to launch a successful app

Blog post   •   May 08, 2014 18:28 BST

Do you have an app that requires some marketing? Are you planning to launch it successfully and effectively? I have come across a lot of tips both online and offline, and let me tell you, some of them are completely ridiculous, which means they are just a waste of time and energy. On the other hand, the rest of the good ones can be summarized into these seven points:

1. Determine the USP of the app

Any app developer who wishes to market his app must be able to develop his creation’s unique selling proposition (or USP). It’s more than about branding. It’s knowing that specific characteristic or attribute that makes the app different from all the others. For example, Angry Birds is very popular because it introduces the idea of using physics in the dynamics. Evernote is a great tool for organization because of its simplicity and interface. The USP should be one of the main foundations of your marketing campaign. It’s the one that adds value, or the reason why users must download the app.

I am not saying that your app should be pitch-perfect—such an app doesn’t exist. What you can do, however, is to strive to make it close to perfect. It begins with a very clear software development approach. It also helps to perform tests in every level, as well as to consider beta testing on a select group of users and reviewers so you will know beforehand what to polish before its official launch.

2. Know the rules

When you create an app and upload it in stores like iTunes or Google Android, it doesn’t get approved immediately. This also means that there’s a huge chance your app will get rejected or denied, and these stores can give you 101 reasons behind the decision. But one of the main reasons why it can happen is because you fail to follow instructions and terms and conditions. These stores have set up rigid guidelines in app admission since they want to avoid apps that can get them into legal trouble (e.g. apps that concentrate on online casinos or the selling of prohibited drugs and other illegal activities), or make users more vulnerable to mobile threats. Over the last two years, malware has become a major concern among app users and stores alike.

In fact, I suggest that, before you design and build an app, you should already be acutely aware of the guidelines. They inform you more about the size of the icons, the quality of the video uploaded, etc. These policies can be found on the app stores’ websites.

3. Read the guidelines of the app store

Even if you have the best app out there, if you don’t fit the requirements or criteria set by the app store, there’s no chance your app will see the light of day. The huge app stores such as iTunes and Google Play already have software development kits that serve as guides and bases on which the app is built. They should make app creation easier, more convenient, and more efficient for you.

4. Perform app store optimization

When is the best time to perform app store optimization? You should begin BEFORE it is formally introduced to your users. You don’t wait until you’re out there before you start doing so. It’s much like having your own retail store. Before you invite customers, you should have already identified the commercial space and filled it with shelves and inventory.

5. Prepare your marketing materials

I already emphasized a few pages ago the need to gather reviews for the app. They can help boost your rankings in search engines and app stores, as well as increase your chance of being featured or be one of the most top-rated apps in the market. However, you cannot be successful in this endeavor when you don’t have the proper marketing materials. Two of the most essential are the press release and the app pitch. Again, you can bundle these together to make them more comprehensive. Now, before you send them out, make sure that the objectives you wish to obtain are clear in these materials. You should have also correctly identified their recipients.

6. Measure

Never run an app promotion campaign without measuring variances. Take the time to compare objectives and results. This is how you can identify if the strategies are working well, if they need improvement, or if you have to consider other options. With more available analytics tools, generating vital data for assessment must no longer be a major concern.

7. Make the necessary corrections as soon as possible

The first 24 to 72 hours are the most critical times for the newly launched app. You should be focused on its performance and reviews. If there is negative feedback, assess its authenticity and claim right away. Be aware of bugs and create patches ASAP.

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