How To Launch A Mobile App
Mobile applications have been the heart of smartphones for over a decade. According to Statista, the mobile app market’s revenue was around $430bn at the end of 2022, about three times bigger than five years ago. It’s not wrong to say that it has been one of the fastest-growing segments of the mobile industry. And there are many reasons behind the growth of the mobile app market.
First, many years have passed, and smartphones have become accessible with different price ranges.
Second, our needs and expectations from mobile phones and mobile applications are endless. We now use mobile applications for everything from streaming movies to staying focused on our work and studies to buying goods or booking a flight.
Certainly, with our endless possible needs, there are endless possible solutions. And with endless solutions from app developers that are all around the world, the competition is harder than ever. In today’s world, you cannot win with a clever idea that has not been done in the past only. To stay in the competition of mobile applications, you have to know how to market your product to your target audience.
It’s never too early to start thinking about the marketing strategy for your app if you are in the early stages of development. Nor it’s not too late to think about how to launch your app successfully even if you’re done developing.
We have compiled the basics of launching a mobile app and how to market it to reach most of your target audience in a complete guide. Enjoy reading!
Three Stages of Mobile App Launch
There are three stages of launching a mobile app:
The first stage is about what to do before developing a mobile application. If you’re looking for expertise during this phase, consider the option to hire an application development team. But, don’t worry if you have already developed your application or if you’re in the middle of the process. You can still catch up or review what you have completed before the launch day.
The second stage takes place as you are developing and ends with your application launch.
Finally, the last stage contains what you can do after the launch of your app, and how to update it according to the outcomes you can get by following the steps we have prepared for you.
Launching an App: Pre-development Stage
1. Market Research
Coming up with clever ideas for mobile applications is hard. With the Apple App Store having almost 2 million apps and Google Play Store having approximately 3 million apps available for people to download, it’s not wrong to say that there are many fishes in the sea. Maybe your clever idea has been made hundreds of times or has never been thought of. The only way to know for sure is to market search.
Why is Market Research Important?
To put it shortly, you have to know the competition. Conducting market research before you start your developing stage will be beneficial for you and the work you will create. With market research, you can decide on your target audience, change features to your desired application, or get to know what your competitors are lacking or winning.
How to Market Research?
There are two different types of market research.
One is primary research, in which you collect data directly via interviews, phone calls, surveys, or focus groups.
And there is secondary research where you use existing data that is available.
Although primary research can give you good insights regarding your target audience and the market, you can also get clear insights just from secondary research if there is no available budget or time for you to conduct primary research.
2. Set Goals
There is always an option for not expecting success on your first try at developing and launching an app. But, it is always useful to set clear goals according to your expectations. Setting the right goals you can reach out to is important for your motivation.
While setting goals for your success, always remember to make your goals measurable with data so that you can go back and see how far you have come in the competition. You can start by setting goals for your first month of the launch, or the week or two. Some clever data that you can set your goals between are retention rates, number of reviews, rating of your app, and simply, download rates.
3. Open Social Media Accounts for Your App and Create Content
Before the launch date of your app, you can claim your name on social media platforms. The next thing you need to do after you’ve decided on your app name can be claiming your name on social media. Open accounts dedicated to your application on multiple platforms and start posting.
Though, you can always start creating content for your app even before the launch date. Publish some trailers to your target audience, start posting about your app, announce your launch date, and create giveaways if your app is paid. You can get email addresses from your potential users before the launch date and let them know that you’ve launched your app via email marketing, or share discount codes personalized for your first potential customers to make them feel important.
If you’re thinking of launching a complex app and people will need some time to get used to how to use it properly, you can think about posting videos on social media platforms to show how to use your app. You can answer frequently asked questions via videos, and explain them to your customer one by one. If you cannot think of any questions that can be asked when people are using your app, return to your potential customers. The simplest way to do that is to call your friends and family and ask them to use your demo and make sure that they share their experience with you.
Another way that you can use social media is to post the stages of your application on platforms like Reddit, Twitter, or Pinterest to get some reviews from different developers or UX/UI designers, and even from your potential customers! Remember that your idea is not unique, and it cannot be real if you start speaking about it.
4. Claim a Domain for Your App
Your website should be ready for your launch. After you open a website for your app, start by adding your social media links to it, and add your demo videos to your website for your target audience to watch. Explain your application on your website and add a countdown for the launch date on your main landing page. Plus, you can ask viewers to give their email addresses with a button that simply asks them if they want to be notified when your app is fully launched.
Launching an App: Launch Stage
When you have checked everything on our previous stage of pre-development, we assume that now you have an app that is ready to launch to the whole world.
Launch Stage starts with finishing development and ends with your launch date. There are several things you can do in this stage that can help you gain more downloads or customers, according to your application.
1. Run Tests
When you reach a certain level in your app development, stop and take time to test your application. The best way to do this is to create focus groups with volunteers and ask them to use your app. This way, you can get insights from your real target audience.
Let’s assume that you have an e-commerce app that is ready to test. In your beta test, you ask volunteers to buy five items using your app. You don’t give them any instructions, and start observing their paths. Are they comfortable with your application? Did they see any errors? What did they think about your app? Is it easy to use or not? Start searching for answers in your observations and clear out any mistakes you encounter about your app before the launch date.
2. Reach Out to Other Developers
One of the best ways to test your app is to send demos to other developers that you like or follow. Ask for their feedback and consider their thoughts. What did they think about your app? Is there anything they would change if they could? With simple questions, you can get powerful insights that you wouldn’t think of yourself. You can try emailing them, or simply hit their social media accounts.
3. Use App Store Optimization
We all know SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization. But have you ever heard of the term ASO?
ASO stands for App Store Optimization, which optimizes your chances to get recognized in the ocean of apps. Learning and executing ASO for your newborn app is highly important for marketing.
How to execute App Store Optimization?
There are many things you can do to get more chances for recognition. But, we will talk about some basic things about App Store Optimization that are easy to execute.
Firstly, you have to set the title of your app with relevant keywords. Secondly, make sure that you fill out the submitting form to an app store of your choice with the right categories. This will help attract users that can be interested in your app. Finally, make sure you have readable, plain, and simple screenshots for your app to serve the world.
4. Launch Your App
Finally! You have created your app and developed it further before the launch date. Now it is time to hit that launch button. For your launch date, we recommend that you don’t skip social media postings for recognition. Remember to always be on social media when it comes to marketing your product.
You can host a launch party with limited guests, and it does not have to be in the real world. Use Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, or any other platform you like to host a launch party. Invite people from your network, and send out invitations. You can talk about your app at the party, give the participants coupons or discount codes if your app is paid, and talk about your journey. It can be two or three hours long, and all you have to do is to be ready with a great presentation and a talk.
Launching an App: Post Launch Stage
It’s frustrating to have too many steps into developing and launching an app. But it does not end with launching the final product. Reaching out to the goals that you set up earlier for your app you have to remain active even after the launch. There are many things you can do to market your app even further.
1. Get in Contact With Bloggers, Content Creators, and Influencers Relevant to Your Application
Search for bloggers, writers, or creators of all kinds relevant to your application. Let’s say you have a recipe app for those who want to make delicious foods. You can try to contact food bloggers, food vloggers, chefs, or any other content creators on social media that cooks and gives recipes out there. Ask them to rate your app or create a video with a recipe on your app.
While contacting people that can boost your app, it is better to make a budget before and choose the best options you can afford. If you do not have enough budget to work with foodies that have lots of followers, you can always start slow. Promoting your app can be tricky, and sometimes takes a lot of money. But, there are ways to use influencer marketing with a budget. Sometimes, micro influencers do much more than a macro influencer can do, and getting a deal from a micro influencer is cheaper and easier.
2. Start Paid Advertising
There are many platforms to start and set up paid advertising for your application. Facebook is a great start for paid advertising. And since Facebook also allows you to set up paid advertising for Instagram, why not use both? To execute any kind of paid advertising, you have to set a budget for marketing your app on social media, and never underestimate the power of Instagram and Facebook. Again like the last step, you can always start little when it comes to paid advertising. Just with a few dollars, you can attract many people online.
Another platform that you can use for paid advertising is search engines. With a few dollars that are ready to spend, you can boost your app on search engines like Google, Yandex, Microsoft Edge, or any other search engines you like to use.
3. Pay Attention to Feedbacks and Reviews
Your customers are the key to development. Always make sure you hear what they say on your ratings and reviews page, and encourage your customers to drop a rating for you. Remember that an error you didn’t notice while developing, or any error that can happen after the launch can be detected by your customers faster than you. Or, by nature, your customers can give you great insights about customer experience and how to improve it.
Always hear what they say and work by their feedback. You can reply to their comments on the app store even if they are hurtful to your app with a one-star review. Try to express yourself with kindness and let them know you are working on developments.
Also, keep in mind that you can ask your users to rate you with feedback pop-ups in your app and direct them to the App Store for reviews only if they rate high in the first place. This can make sure that your app ratings are higher and reviews are more positive.
4. Be Transparent About Your Updates
While you are planning to update your app, it is better to let your users know what is changed or added to your features. And while you write your news about updates and features, try to be sincere and transparent to your users.
Take it from the example we have for an update that is made by bunq, a mobile banking app, and how they explained their upgrade was inspired by their user feedback. Any sincere messages you deliver to your users will make you more humanized. And with digital products that are available online, humanizing your presence is the key for success. Let your users know that there are humans behind every project and update, and create better relationships with your audience.
5. Talk About What is Coming
Have a section on your app, website, and social media related to what is coming in the future, and ask your users to express their feelings. If you are working on an upcoming feature to be added to your application, let your audience know that you are working on something. And also, ask them to give you feedback on anything related to your application. Do they have an idea? Is there another feature that they would like to see on your app? What did they think about your latest upgrade?
To have the answers to all these questions and more, add a “what’s coming” section on all platforms and on your app.
6. Grow Your App By Keeping Your Users Engaged
It’s not enough to have lots of downloads from users all over the world. The key to growth is to have users that engage with your app. After acquiring users through app downloads, you have to make an effort by sending personalized push notifications, in-app messages, e-mails, and SMS to keep them engaged and increase retention.
For this, you can have a look at Netmera. Netmera is an omnichannel marketing platform that allows you to engage with your users through different channels and helps you drive growth. Segment your users and create personalized campaigns, analyze your campaign data and increase your retention rates with Netmera’s marketing platform easily. You can contact us for more information about our platform.