It would be quite risky to start developing a new product based solely on your own ideas about what the market and potential audience need. As a consequence, you can lose time and money, and even suffer damage to your reputation.
It would be better to validate your mobile app idea. By adhering to this simple rule, you can get a rough vision of future app prospects and growth potential. Most importantly, you’ll find out if it is worth developing at all.
The main reason you need to validate your app is to discover your target audience’s needs more accurately, which saves time and money. Here’s a look at five ways to accomplish this.
1. Interview potential users
It’s time to verify whether your target audience has needs and pain points your mobile app idea will satisfy, how people satisfy it now, what, in their opinion, is convenient or inconvenient about it, and so on.
As for your idea, determine whether users desire to meet their needs using your planned product and method and whether they will pay for it–and if so, how much.
You can create topics on niche forums, use online surveys, or query people in focus groups on social networks. Ideally, after you have conducted interviews, it would be best to offer a preliminary purchase deal in some suitable form in the event the product is released.
In other words, users should clearly confirm they are ready to spend their money on it.
2. Estimate potential demand using keyword research tools
If you know nothing about online marketing and particularly SEO, it can be challenging to estimate search demand. However, some tools are rather user-friendly even for beginners.
Ubersuggest is a useful keyword research tool that uses Google autocomplete to produce good keyword ideas. It is a convenient method for estimating search query statistical data. It allows you to specify a particular region that interests you, find out the competition level, and learn a lot of other useful data.
KeywordTool.io is another useful tool. The free version of Keyword Tool generates up to 750+ long-tail keyword suggestions for every search term. Keyword Tool helps you employ Google Suggest for keyword research. It extracts Google keyword suggestions and presents it to you in an easy-to-understand interface. However, the free version is limited in capabilities and complete data is accessible for paid users.
Google Trends is another outstanding tool. Google Trends is a website by Google that analyzes the popularity of top search queries in Google Search across various regions and languages. The website uses graphs to compare the search volume of different queries over time.
It does not provide statistical data in absolute numbers, but it does allow you to understand the demand for a particular topic. It can also compare two topics, accounting for their popularity during a period of time.
3. Study the App Store for competitive analysis
This is one of the most simple and obvious tips that many entrepreneurs and app developers frequently ignore. Search for apps in categories relevant to your future product. Enter keywords you think potential users would search for and research the recommended apps section.
If you are interested in a specific platform, such as iOS, it does not mean you have to ignore the Android platform. Spend some time researching Google Play as well; perhaps you will find something useful there, too, or even some new app ideas.
Analyze your potential competitors’ apps for consistency. Pay close attention to ratings and feedback, as this data will help you understand what people like, want and need. Lastly, check all the pros and cons users mention in their comments; this will help you avoid app development mistakes.
4. Create a basic landing page and drive traffic to it
The method is quite simple, but it requires an investment.
- Create a landing page announcing and describing your app idea. Add several mockup screenshots of the app. You can order them from a designer.
- Add a lead generation form where users can leave their e-mails to receive notifications about your future app release date.
- Launch an advertising campaign using search engine marketing platforms like Google Ads, to create a paid search campaign, or social media advertising platforms like Facebook Ads.
- After the campaign is complete, analyze the percentage of users that signed up. At the same time, you do not have to develop the product right now – you will work with these sales leads later when your app is out in the market.
- Next, estimate your startup expenses and forecast revenues, including marketing and advertising costs.
5. Post your app idea on Product Hunt
Product Hunt is a website that lets users share and discover new products. It’s a great platform for startups to list projects and encourage users to vote for their favorite, raising them to the top of the list. In recent years, this service has become one of the main information sources for new technology products and is a perfect platform to assess the popularity of any startup idea.
Even if you haven’t started your app development, it is useful to get feedback from an engaged community. To do this, post a page about your mobile app idea. You can make relative conclusions about the potential of its popularity based on “likes” received.
To create a page on Product Hunt, prepare a product description, a desktop icon, good visual content (include video if possible), and a few comments from developers. You also need personal accounts on the platform to respond to comments and discussion questions.
6. Create your MVP
Your MVP, or “Minimum Viable Product,” is a lean product development approach to launching an idea with a limited set of the most necessary functions. Then, you track your audience’s response to it and collect feedback from the first users.
For example, if you plan to create a mobile app, develop the most basic version within a minimal budget (skipping the bells and whistles), and try to sell it.
If user acquisition costs are lower than the profit margin, complete the product, conducting A/B testing and/or in-depth interviews with users at the same time. This way, you can quickly check your app idea in field conditions and establish what to do next and how to go about it.
Proving mobile app ideas
Any experienced entrepreneur or expert will confirm the best way to create a successful product is to reduce risks prior to investing significant resources into development. It is not difficult if you prepare and determine the steps you should take.
Nowadays, the main question is not how to do something but whether it should be done at all. This practical guide will help you check your app idea before you spend time, effort, and money on its development.
Petro Kovalchuk is the founder and CEO of Lvivity, which specializes in developing software for customers around the world. He has 10 years of experience in the IT industry and specializes in .NET development. Petro enjoys helping entrepreneurs make their ideas become a reality.