What we see with a lot of start-ups today is that they have a brilliant idea, they have the technical prowess to act on it (through us, of course), and they are firm with their vision for the product. But where they fail, is in the marketing aspect of the application.
Marketing activities for your mobile app should begin well before the app is released. Some activities, as you’ll see, need to start even before tech work is started. There are quite a lot of technical tweaks that should be done through feedback from the marketing activities, and this is where most start-ups fail. The prospect persona, for example, will tell you who your model user is and this helps the UX and UI designers design the app to match their temperament.
In this article, we cover the most important marketing activities every start-up must follow before launching their mobile app.
P.S. We also have marketing strategies to follow once your app is released: 6 Strategies to Propel App Downloads
Pre-checks to perform before launching your mobile app
1. Market research (for competition and user sentiment)
We say do your market research even before beginning work on the iOS or Android mobile application. The purpose of market research is to learn about existing apps which offer similar functionality and features, understanding how saturated the niche is, what prices current users are paying for these features, etc. This will help you understand how much you should be charging your app users, and consequently will determine how much you should invest in building the app (to get a positive ROI).
Cheat Code: A simple technique to see if users actually like the features these apps have (the ones you are going to incorporate as well) is to read customer reviews of these app in the app store. You will also learn about customer pain points through these reviews, problems that you can solve through your app.
2. Defining your audience and user persona
The next step, and again a step we suggest you execute even before beginning technical build, is defining your model user persona. People from what age group are likely to use your app, is it going to be used predominantly by a particular gender (an app that sells women’s lipstick for example), by people of certain ethnicity, etc. Understanding who is going to use your app is the key in designing the ideal UX and UI.
Cheat Code: Young users respond to a lot of colours, emojis, and movement, whereas the older generation prefer things to be simple and for options to be clearly laid out. Define your UI and UX accordingly. For a broad audience, merge the two styles.
3. Define and design your brand proposition
You brand is ultimately how your users are going to recognize you. That could be your company, or your application itself. The brand name, logo, colours and messaging is extremely important. It makes sense to hire a branding company to help you define your brand.
Cheat Code: It helps for the founders of the start-up to speak publicly (through videos). This brings about a human element to the brand, something that was non-existent 10 years ago.
4. Begin promoting your mobile app early
It takes weeks to months for your brand name (or your application) to gain visibility with the audience. Beginning outreach marketing after the release of your app can be fatal, with your start-up shelling out money with zero ROI for weeks (or months). Be smart about promotions and start early, by building hype and buzz around your app well before release. With social media, digital marketing, and influencer marketing, it is quite easy to generate awareness. Build a website and create social media handles, and stay active in the online community. Give sneak peaks of the product, release use case videos, etc.
Cheat Code: It helps to pay someone popular to endorse your product. Today you don’t need to pay big bucks to have a Hollywood or Bollywood celebrate endorse you, popular stand-up comedians, YouTubers, etc. also can help you take your application to a massive audience.
5. Determine, publicize and stick to your app release date
You won’t believe how easy it is for hype to die down. If your audience isn’t sure about when your app is releasing, they’ll get bored pretty quickly. The app’s release date is a silent clock that ticks at the back of your audience’s minds. Decide on the date after factoring in all activities AND add buffer time (remember Murphy’s Law; anything that can go wrong will go wrong). Announce the date early on in your marketing material, and then work towards it.
Cheat Code: Make a ‘coming soon’ video and promote it, and when the audience interest is just about to plateau create and promote a video with the release date. Spiking interest is a great way to be remembered.
6. Collect prospect information
It helps to have a pre-qualified audience list, people who are waiting for your app to release and are likely to install it. With every marketing activity you deploy, add a CTA that collects interested users’ contact information. Usually an email address suffices. Create a list of potential users, and also a list of maybes. Build different approach strategies for both and keep it ready for when your app releases.
Cheat Code: Push notifications work great to reach out to your audience directly on their mobile phones.
7. Test your app on a focus group (beta testers)
Finally, once your app is ready and before release to the world, have a group of people who fit your model user test the app. You’ll be surprised by how much you can learn from a diverse group of real-world users.
Cheat Code: Have your beta testers test the app on a device you own, and set up a screen recorder to record the navigation around the app. You can learn what pitfalls your app has through these recordings.
So there you have it, the 7 marketing activities you MUST perform before releasing your mobile app. At Getafix, we have worked with scores of start-ups who have reached success because they have focused on both, the technical and the marketing aspect.
If you have an idea that needs technical wings, reach out to us. We’re here to turn your vision into a working mobile application.