The mobile app industry is growing fast. We've seen a number of app startups like Uber, Whatsapp, and Snapchat get billion-dollar valuations.These success stories have become an inspiration for entrepreneurs to solve problems using mobile app solutions. Not all of them will succeed, of course, but what can an entrepreneur do to substantially increase their odds of success?
Here are seven tips to help your mobile app stand out from the pack and succeed.
1. Get a Pointed Idea
Every startup stems from an idea. Generally, ideas come in two types: A new solution to an existing problem or an improved solution to an existing problem. Either way, the solution should be unique to make it attractive to potential users. If the idea itself is not unique, then its approach needs to be innovative enough intrigue potential users.
For example, if you are building a social networking app, it has to be innovative in design and should target unique users and situations, or cater to a completely unserviced user base. Every feature and function is important in your mobile app, but your results will be exponentially better if you're able to build features that produce unique experiences.
2. Know Your Customers (and Industry)
No matter how original your app idea is, or how good your app is, users will not buy it if they don't want it or believe in it. In order to be able to effectively speak to the potential users of your app, you have to intimately understand your audience, as well as the industry that they are in.
It’s crucially important to understand your potential customers and exactly how they would likely use your product. You should the types of people who will use your app, why they will use it, when they will use it, how they will use it, and how they will benefit from it.
Don’t guess. Get as close to knowing the answer to those questions as you can. Consider conducting a focus group study with 10 to 20 likely users to come up with feedback. You should also research to identify similar solutions and the pros and cons associated with them.
3. Develop a Truly Unique Selling Proposition
The sad fact is that most Unique Selling Propositions (USPs) are neither unique or believable. So if your solution doesn’t have a USP, then you need to build one into it. Without a USP, your product has no real reason to live. A strong, believable USP will attract attention for you and will differentiate your product in the minds of buyers. That will help you successfully compete with existing products or even forge an entirely new market for yourself. There is immense power in a good USP. No product survives without one.
4. Design Your App with Care
Think of a mobile app like a car. It can be efficient, dependable, and get you where you want to go, but if it’s Edsel ugly, no one is going to use it. Sometimes, aesthetics are not critically important. But mobile apps are in that personal-level of products for which appearance is important. Don’t skimp on design.
5. Develop Your App with Analytics and Scalability
As you start developing your app, make sure that it's able to grow in the future. Scalability enables an app to easily adjust to higher traffic demands and to incorporate new features and capabilities as needed.
In order to know what’s needed, your app should include analytics that can capture user behavior, such as how much time users are spending with it, what they are doing with it, how they are using it, and most importantly, why they are uninstalling it.
Analytics provide extremely valuable information about your app’s most popular features and greatest strengths and weaknesses — all of which should inform your updates and designs.
6. Follow Result-Driven Marketing Tactics
The mobile app market is a highly competitive business environment. A proper marketing strategy can put you ahead of your competition. The key to a successful app is effective digital marketing, especially social media marketing. Digital marketing includes things like App Store Optimization (ASO), SEO, and blogging. Social media marketing includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and the like. Not every social media will work for your app, and none of them will work if you take on too many social media networks to provide effective engagement. Social media marketing requires a lot of time, creative energy and effort. Focus on the few social media networks you can benefit from the most. Get a viral boost from your social media marketing by engaging your audience with content they will want to share with others. Social media marketing can be extraordinarily powerful, but it’s not easy. You have to respect it in order to exploit it.
7. Listen To Your Customers
Customers are the key to your business's success, so focus on what they are saying. If you want to know how to beat your competition, then ask your customers; they have the answers you need and might not be able to find elsewhere.
Constantly monitor and record your app store reviews and make sure you take the time to engage with anyone who reviews your product, especially if they leave a negative response.
Next, quickly fix defects as they are pointed out to you and express appreciation to those who like your product (For example, you can give them a small gift. Be sure to also ask them to suggest ideas that would make your product better for them). You should also have an easy, built-in way for users to provide feedback to you — right from your app.
Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither was your app's success. It's a multi-layered process that involves great design, surveying, feedback, and constant iteration. You can't neglect one. Each step matters if you want your app to be successful.