Everyone wants a piece of the mobile app market. But as of now, only a handful of app developers are making real money. For example, an est. 25% of Apple’s iOS developers earn over $5,000 per month,” according to Fueled. Meanwhile “16% of Android app developers earn over $5,000 per month in revenue.”
“With an estimated global revenue of $25 billion in 2014 and an estimated total global revenue of $46 billion by 2016, apps are big business.” Yet, a vast majority of apps struggle to break even.
So, if you want to launch a successful mobile app it’s important to learn and practice what works and stay clear of things that don’t.
Is your app useful?
Ask any aspiring appreneur or app developer about the merit of their app idea and 8 out of 10 will turn crimson with pride. It’s easy to give our best marks to ideas and forget the tremendous responsibility of shaping that idea into an actionable and useful app.
This is the story of countless apps that fail to couple innovation with user experience (UX). The biggest success factor for any app boils down to one simple notion: usability.
In order to boost engagement the user interface should be simple and easy to learn. As soon as a new user downloads the app, they should know (or be shown) how to use it.
Even after building an app, only half of the work is done. You need to follow up with equally innovative marketing.
Marketing your app
App marketing is a battlefield as developers vie to get discovered and gain quick traction. This is why first-hand marketing experience is invaluable.
App marketing should start right alongside app development all the way to the latest update. However the priorities during each phase will be different. For example:
Start marketing early during app development to create buzz and secure a sizable launch
Focus on user retention and ways to create loyal app users
After initial metrics are achieved focus on user growth via organic channels, instead of paid channels
A user-first approach
Every successful app entrepreneur has one thing in common: a customer-centric approach. Focus on user-centric app design.
For example, if your gaming app’s target audience prefers an in-game chat option, offer it. Similarly, if your target audience is comprised of older adults who seldom respond to push messages, find some other way to communicate instead.
User preferences should dictate app design, feature set, and in-app marketing. The deeper the user knowledge the higher likelihood for success.
This article has been edited.