How to Launch Your Business App Successfully
John Boitnott wrote this article
Remember the highly popular slogan, “There’s an app for that,” which Apple first coined in 2009? Ten years later, and the saying rings even truer today.
Mobile device usage is continuing to grow aggressively with no signs of a decline anytime soon.
According to the U.S. edition of the 2018 Global Mobile Consumer Survey, the average American consumer checks their smartphones approximately 52 times each day.
In this technology-driven world, “not having an app for that” is almost “wrong.”
On average, US users use apps for 2 hours 57 minutes per day, out of 3 hours 43 minutes of mobile time.
Despite these trends, some remain hesitant to create and launch a business app. Where does one even begin? It is often the uncertainty that makes the road to success an even longer one.
To shorten the journey, let’s dig into how to launch an app successfully.
3 Reasons Why You Need a Business App
Before you start step number one, you must first fully commit yourself to the process. As a small business owner or entrepreneur, you may need to collaborate with a co-founder or investors before you can create a business app.
If you’re wavering on if you even need to create an app, here are four compelling reasons why you should:
1. Powerful Targeting
Mobile apps have robust targeting capabilities. They use a variety of mobile-specific technologies and segments.
As an excellent addition to any marketing strategy, apps provide effective means to engage with their customers. Geo-targeting is a perfect example. It is a function that allows mobile marketers to segment target audiences by geographical location through an app.
Another not-so-obvious segment might be whether the user is using Wi-Fi, which might be an excellent opportunity for them to watch a video or sit down and browse content.
2. Provides Customer Service Opportunities
To ensure customers are happy with your service, offer them new and exciting ways to interact with your team. Mobile apps enhance customer service by making your business more accessible. Minimize friction, and people might be happier as a result.
Of course, you can escalate to more interaction whenever it is needed.
Mobile apps provide convenience, and they give your business the ability to scale. Chatbots can take the load off of introductory information before a member of your team steps in to assist.
Mobile Apps Provide:
Customer-facing technology, like interactive chatbots
3. Apps Provide Multi-Dimensional Value to Customers
There are countless ways mobile apps help companies improve customer interactions. Don’t only offer a catalog, but provide distinct value to help users accomplish their desires using your app; moreover, your brand.
Apps provide your customers (and prospects) compelling value in the following ways:
Accessible app with vibrant images and product info
Loyalty rewards and coupons for future purchases
Effortless access to payment methods (Apple Pay, G Pay)
Helpful product resources, FAQs, and videos
Customer service functions like chat, call, or email
Share-with-a-friend functionality for sharing content natively
4. Apps Provide Multi-Dimensional Value to Your Bottom line
Not only do apps deliver value for your customers, but they also provide your business with significant returns as well.
There’s a stampede of people that flock to their phones instead of websites for shopping or product research. You can bet that consumers are shopping around the clock, even when you’re asleep. Non-game app downloads will exceed $182 billion in 2020, accounting for a quarter of all app store downloads. People love their apps. The total time spent in apps on Android phones grew a whopping 63 percent in just one year.
Apps ignite your company’s bottom line by activating a new marketing and sales channel
Improving your sales and revenue by targeting and serving your most profitable customer segments
Driving brand awareness by enhancing your mobile marketing strategy
Enhancing customer service by offering accessible ways to engage
Gathering app usage data and collecting suggestions for new revenue opportunities
The takeaway here is that apps are so much more than games or time-wasters.
Think about the apps you have on your phone right now.
Starbucks, Delta, Credit Karma, McDonald’s are just a handful of apps that are likely to grace your screen. It’s not hard to understand that these apps drive much more than engagement for the business.
Use the following steps to get on board the app creation process. It can be much easier than you think. Stay focused on your goals, and you can realize the success, too.
6 Steps on How-To Launch Your App Successfully
Once you catch the “there’s an app for that” fever with your business, start laying down the foundation and build an app.
Step 1: Design Your Business App
When designing your app, it demands your creativity and planning to flourish. It is during this step that you uncover what you want your app to do and how to do it.
Stay unique and fresh with your app design concept. Make sure you do some investigating to create an app that is truly one your business can call its own.
Below is a list of fourteen items you will need to develop and plan before you build.
1. Define a clear goal for the app
2. Sketch the layout of the app
3. Conduct extensive research to refrain from creating a duplicate app
4. Find out the technical requirements for your app
5. Create a storyboard of a mockup or prototype of your app
6. Draw the backend of your app – your servers, apps, and data diagrams
7. Test your prototype – call on friends, family, and colleagues to test the app
8. Pick a name for your app
9. Define features and functionalities
10. Identify your target audience through market research
11. Determine the problem your app solves for customers
12. Study the competition to outperform them
13. Develop a price strategy: Decide whether to offer a free app or one with monetization
14. Plan your app release date
In the next step, you will choose how your app will work by deciding on which application software to use
Step 2: Choose an Application Platform
Apps can do many amazing things to make our lives better. For instance, they help us stay on top of our (never-ending) tasks, make business phone calls, or even shop ’til we drop at night. Underneath the critical functions of an app is the vast codebase that instructs your phone to display everything you see along with all the data you can’t.
Thankfully, not everyone has to start from scratch writing assembly-level code. (Yay!) Numerous frameworks exist that empower developers with ways to build apps quickly and efficiently.
React Native is one such pervasive framework. It lets developers author code that functions natively across iOS and Android, potentially slashing development costs to nearly half. It’s always a great place to start to achieve speed to market.
For more extensive mobile apps, you will likely want to invest resources in developing on the iOS and Android platforms.
Rest assured that hundreds more Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are available today. This advancement means developers can use approved methods to access data and perform critical functions—and avoid dabbling around experimentally. APIs today are light years ahead of where they were just a decade ago. With extensive documentation available, you won’t have to reinvent the wheel.
If you’ve been burned on app development before, this reason alone is cause to give it another shot.
Step 3: Choose an App Developer
Now that you’ve established your app’s goals and scoped out its core functionality, you’re ready to develop your app. No need to take out a second mortgage; you have a few different options to bring your app to life on a budget.
Hiring an in-house mobile app developer isn’t cheap. Indeed’s salary data shows that the average annual salary of an app developer is approximately $112,373, with top earners making $218,000. The plus is that you will have a dedicated resource who will work on your app every day to push updates out regularly.
Alternatively, if you have a tight budget, you can work with a dedicated app development company like Chop Dawg for a much lower cost without sacrificing quality. The plus here is that you can get a quality app built by professionals without long-term commitment.
Let’s say time is on your side, but you have no budget available. You can develop your app using a low-code platform. For less than $100 a month, you can build your app with pre-made templates. This approach reduces the risk and price of app development, but at the cost of originality.
Mobile app development is an investment to create a sales, marketing, and service channel for your company.
Save yourself the headache of hiring or trying to code it yourself. By working with a trusted app development company, you will have a decent app in the market with a much lower cost.
An app development firm works with you to support your business goals and phase in features when the time is right.
Step 4: Create a Pre-Launch Plan for Your App
It seems that launching an app is not as complicated as once thought.
Understandably, you do not want your mobile app to get lost in the sea of apps that exist. Between 2016 and 2018, developers introduced an average of 6,140 mobile apps every day to the Google Play Store.
Create a pre-launch plan to market your app before releasing it to the world. A pre-launch plan requires you to create performance-driven campaigns that communicate with potential users. You want to achieve a groundswell of interest for your app.
Not sure where to begin? Here are ten action items to address in your marketing plan:
Verify your app name isn’t already trademarked
Register your domain named after your app
Create a website landing page for your app
Develop an outreach list of contacts, bloggers, and tastemakers in your industry
Capture interest with a simple lead-gen form
Establish a presence on popular social media channels
Create killer video teasers about your app
Author compelling content to support your app emphasizing why it’s helpful
Prepare a press kit featuring official logos, screenshots, and copy
Encourage app reviews, testimonials, and feedback from existing user
You can’t just create an app and expect people to use it. You have to promote it. Your end-game is to satisfy users, but first, you have to actually acquire them.
Step 5: Launch Your Business App
The excitement has been building, and the time has finally come for you to launch your app. You do not want just any launch; you want a successful one.
There are two specific items to address when launching your app on a marketplace.
Research App Submission Guidelines – Make sure you research the guidelines of the different sites where you want to launch your app.
Marketplace Optimization – Next, you should optimize your presence on the platform marketplace. This effort builds excitement for your app, so it shows up for searches performed by potential users.
Similar to search engine optimization, you’re fine-tuning your app’s listing on each app marketplace.
Tactful use of a keyword in the title
Write a persuasive description focused on benefits
Include keywords strategically throughout your description
Use high-quality screenshots
Demonstrate action with video
Review App Store analytics regularly
Aggressively promote your app, so people download and use it
App Store Optimization doesn’t end there. Regularly promoting it to your audience and engaging your happiest ones to leave positive reviews is necessary.
Here is a helpful video from team Chop Dawg which go deeper into the mechanics of ASO.
Step Six: Create a Post-Launch Plan for Your App
After your successful app launch, your momentum needs to continue.
It would be best if you created a plan to gain the attention of iPhone and Android users. You want them to come across your app in the app marketplace and instantly decide to purchase or download your app.
Here are key areas to focus on after you launch your mobile app:
Update goals and objectives. Include Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and long term goals. You want to clearly define what items you want to track to measure success. Is it engagement? Is it reviews? Is it downloads?
Promote your app organically. It’s surprising to see how little companies invest in promoting their flagship app. They simply build it and hope users will arrive. Update your website collateral, promote it on your company’s phone system, and treat it like a massive product launch.
Articulate a product roadmap. Develop a vision and milestones for new features that don’t exist yet. Version one needs to grow and evolve with the needs of your users. Expect that you will need to revisit your user experience (UX) to better align with the vision and purpose of your app.
Establish a budget. For you to grow your mobile app, you’ll want to create a budget for development, marketing, and support. Your mobile app should support the business and not be a charity effort.
Mobile apps breathe life into businesses looking to reach and serve more customers. Today, consumers reach for the app more than the website for shopping. If you neglect the mobile market, you’re handing a win to your competitors.
With thoughtful planning and robust execution, you can build a successful mobile app.
Vet your ideas with your most prominent critics to solicit their honest no-holds-barred feedback. Partner with a trusted app development firm to develop it right the first time—ultimately, saving you tens of thousands of dollars later.
After launch, you have to commit to raising awareness and consumption of your app, so it becomes successful. Regularly review customer feedback and usage trends to align them to your business priorities.