Building your first mobile app? That’s great, but there’s one problem: with so many apps out there, yours might easily get lost in the crowd.
Not to mention, starting to develop an app unprepared can result in frustrating and quite costly mistakes that could seriously hurt your brand.
The good news is, the process of building a mobile app can be organized and designed to become much easier and give you plenty of competitive advantage.
Read on to find out how to create an app from scratch that will help your brand stand out among the competition.
1. Conduct Market Research
Conducting thorough market research will help you to get valuable insights into your competitors, as well as the current market condition.
Your research should help you identify who your main competitors are, what their weaknesses and strengths are, and what their strategy is. Knowing this will help you avoid their mistakes and come up with a unique solution to customers’ pain points.
2. Identify Your Target Audience
Developing a mobile app without knowing your users is like taking a shot in the dark. In order to build a successful product, you need to be aware of your customers’ needs. Your mobile app won’t be able to find its way to users’ smartphones if it doesn’t add any value or solve a problem.
Ask your target customers what they’re looking for. Evaluating the real demand will definitely help you make all the right decisions.
3. Determine the Cost of Developing a Mobile App
The cost of developing an app depends on a number of factors and these factors should be carefully analyzed before deciding on your budget:
- The crucial element is to establish a platform. This choice will influence the developers, as well as the scope and flexibility of your app;
- Decide if users will be required to log in. You’ll also need to make a decision of integrating login with social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook;
- If you plan to blend an app with your website, this will require making an API;
- Determine the design standards for your app. Your app can be just bare-bones or you can decide to scale it up and make it look beautiful and enhance the user experience.
From a technical aspect, the cost of developing an app is based on hourly rates which vary depending on the size of the work that needs to be done. Geographical location also plays a crucial role in determining the cost of building an app. For instance, companies based in the States generally charge $50-$250 per hour, Western European app developers charge $35-$170, Eastern European companies $20 to $150, whereas Indian developers are most affordable with $10-$80 per hour.
4. Make a Marketing Plan
Having a marketing plan is crucial for your mobile app’s success. After all, you have to find a way to let users know that there’s something important they need to check out in the app store.
Some of you might think that planning your marketing before the app is even developed is too early but in the long run, your efforts will multiply if you start creating buzz early on.
Your marketing plan should include various strategies related to PR, branding, outreach, and overall web presence. You can:
- Start by defining your branding. Think about how your logo, name, tone, and colors can set you apart from the crowd.
- Leverage email. Email is the perfect marketing channel due to the fact that it has immediacy. Use app pre-launch emails to build awareness of your mobile app, launch emails to drive app downloads and use, and post-launch emails to keep users updated about changes in your mobile app. Such emails will create a sense of urgency for potential app users, convincing them to take immediate action to download and use your mobile app. If you decide to go with email marketing, make sure you have a good automation tool. An automation tool will make the whole process much easier by helping you send emails in bulk, personalize emails based on name and email address, allow you to mail merge with data from Google Sheets, track clicks and opens, etc.
- Focus on creating content. Based on your target market research, you should be aware of what type of content your potential customers want and where you can reach them. Start coming up with ideas for video and written content and share them on selected channels.
5. Think About App Store Optimization
This step is crucial to your app’s discoverability as more than 60% of mobile apps are found via organic search. App store optimization will give your app a chance to stand out with its features, visuals, and specific purpose. And even though it’s probably too early to complete all optimization tasks, you can begin sketching out your final app store feel and look and make sure the development follows your ideas. Here are a few ASO elements to have in mind:
- Make sure your app name is unique, relevant to your app, easy to pronounce and spell, and that it fiits the length limits (30 characters for Android, 50 for iOS);
- Pay attention to keywords. It is vital to choose keywords that describe your app’s core functionality and main purpose. The conversion rate has a strong weight in keyword rankings and the algorithm will boost them if you have a good conversion rate.
- When it comes to your app’s description, your main focus should be on the first three lines. This is where you have to convey the key points and include a CTA;
- You should also pay attention to your visuals. Use all 5 screenshots (make sure they’re high-quality) and leverage caption texts to highlight your app’s benefits.
Planning an app development process takes some effort, but these 5 tips should make it slightly more organized and less ‘painful’. Once you’ve covered all the preparation steps, you’ll be ready to start building your app and lead it to a successful launch!