App Promo tip #1: Understand your product

Starting today, we’re introducing App Promo’s developer 101 tutorial series, where we’ve asked our friends at App Promo, a leading app marketing and strategy firm, to share some of their best hints and tips for developers. We’ll be sharing their tutorials as a summer series of blog posts that will be published weekly for the next 10 weeks.

App Promo’s first tip focuses on the importance of understanding your product. In order to create a truly successful product, you must take a step back and look at your app from outside-in. What is the purpose of the app and why would a user in your target group use it? Have you defined a target group? If you spread too thin when defining your target group, you might not get any pickup in any demographic groups. If you instead target a well-defined group, you’re improving your chances a lot of getting successful with this group. From there, you can widen your scope. This concept and much more is explained in this article. Learn more…

When you take into consideration that over a million applications are available in app stores today, what’s the best way to navigate the marketplace in order to ensure your app has the best visibility possible? This is where App Promo comes in. As leaders in app marketing and strategy, App Promo’s goal is to assist developers and app owners in succeeding in the business of applications. We recently collaborated with them to bring you a series of tutorials – tips and tricks to guide you and help take your app to the next level. Our first developer success tip is to concentrate on your product.

No matter what marketing efforts you put behind your app, the success of any campaign will come down to your product. Being a product owner, it is extremely important for you to understand your app’s purpose and demographic and translate these ideas into a working product that has the utmost quality for your user.

Define your app’s purpose

Regardless if you are building a game, utility or a communication tool, the key to app success is to understand what you are building and why it will benefit your user. Your app’s purpose should be extremely focused. Don’t try to accomplish too many things at once or you risk confusing, overwhelming and losing your user. Look to your competition to help you define things. What are they doing well, what are they missing at and what can you do better?

A great exercise to help you fine tune your objective is to explain your app in six words or 140 characters (like a tweet) or less. This is not only a great way to clarify your concept but the output can also be used to create your marketing messaging in your upcoming campaigns or your unique selling proposition (USP).

Put yourself in the user’s shoes

Once you have determined WHAT you are building take yourself through the remaining 4 Ws to help understand your demographic.

Ask yourself:

Who are you building this app for?

Why will they use it?

When will they use it?

Where will they use it?

It is extremely important to know who your user or users are and to continue to think like them throughout the idea, design, development and especially testing phases of your app project.

Keep this demographic in mind when it comes to your marketing. Target your paid media to this audience. Cater and create your marketing messaging using the answers to the questions above. Maintain a consistent vision of who your user is to be sure that you end up with a product that your users want.

Don’t cheap out on quality

Marketing is there to bring visibility and traffic to your application. But it can backfire if your application is not ready for the spotlight. Be sure that when you kick-off your marketing efforts your product is available and working. Your project timeline should have a strong emphasis on testing – both from a code and user perspective, to flush out bugs that will cause the app to crash and give a poor user experience.

It is often wise to schedule a marketing launch a time after the actual production launch of your app (or general release). This will give you time to see traffic and usage of your application from real users in a manageable volume. The feedback you gain during this time will help determine how ready you are to continue promoting your app.

Use your product roadmap as a marketing tool

The app ecosystem is an active one. Users expect to see updates to their apps and look forward to fixes, design changes and new features when it comes to their favourite applications. These updates act as a form of marketing to your current users as the notification they will receive will keep your product top of mind and will spike usage. Be sure to spread out your updates to allow for usage to drop before you release another version to maximise its impact.

Keep on top of new operating system software updates and update your product with features that utilise them if it makes sense. Updates to your app are also a great reason to establish a marketing campaign outside of launch so start to view them as more than just code releases. Also remember to incorporate your users’ feedback and comments, as this can improve your app or service.