Many believe that if you build an app and launch it on the App Store, users will automatically flock to it, and you’ll quickly become a successful mobile app entrepreneur. While that would be nice, the reality is that you need to invest in marketing efforts to attract and retain users. And this doesn’t mean that you need to wait until your app physically launches to get those marketing efforts off the ground. Rather, if you take that approach, you’re likely to kickstart those efforts too late and you will find yourself trying to play catch-up rather than getting the user demand you anticipated on launch day.
So, we’re telling you that you need to market your app, but what does this actually mean? At a high level, marketing your app means that you proactively leverage marketing tactics to a) make users aware of your app who previously didn’t know it existed, and b) extend users’ understanding of what your app offers. Without these efforts, you’re assuming that users will find their way to your app without any direction or guidance at all, which is infrequently the case.
You likely don’t want to start aggressively marketing your app several years before you plan on launching. This will just result in a waste of resources. However, about six months in advance of launch, once you align on the basic problem your app is going to solve and map out the basic user experience, it’s not too early to start thinking about your basic messaging.
About six months prior to launch, you can start pulling together some basic documents to support your marketing efforts. This might include things like a one page company overview, some content generation ideas, basic bullets regarding how you want to talk about your app on your website, etc. Once you’re in the thick of your development efforts, you might want to start physically investing in the development of formal marketing channels.
When you sit down to develop a pre-launch marketing roadmap, it can feel overwhelming at times. There are so many possibilities at your fingertips; yet, it’s impossible to tackle everything at once. Hence, you must prioritize because you simply need to start somewhere. So where should you begin?
Step 1: Articulate the problem you are trying to solve and how your business sets out to solve this problem. This lies at the heart of all of your marketing efforts. If you don’t know what problem your business sets out to solve, your target user won’t be able to identify it either.
Step 2: Once you’re able to clearly articulate your target problem and solution, start developing some key business documents. Sample documents that you should develop at this stage include a one page company summary document and a basic pitch deck. Within these documents, focus on describing how your solution addresses the target problem, the key features that your product offers, and the basic user experience.
Step 3: Build out a basic landing page so you have somewhere to drive users to. You don’t need to build anything super fancy at this stage, and you can even leverage some no-code/low-code platforms to minimize costs. The purpose of the landing page is to have a digital home base so you can point your users to a place that can start getting them excited about what your product will offer once you launch.
Step 4: Once you’ve built that landing page, set up an email capture component of the page to start building an email marketing list. Set up an email marketing software solution that this list funnels into to make sure the lists of emails is being stored in a way that you can leverage to launch email marketing campaigns. Once you have a sufficient list of emails, start building out some basic email content to get users excited about what is to come.
Step 5: Set up a basic blog and start trying to publish related content. You don’t need to publish all that frequently in the beginning. Try aiming to post once per week in the beginning to start building out your brand voice and learning to position yourself as a thought leader in the space. It can take some time to build a blog following, so it’s important to start early to give yourself the time you need to attract user interest pre-launch.
Step 6: Choose a few key social media platforms that you think will be a strong fit for your business goals, and set up the accounts. Focus on getting a company description set up across all platforms and share out some of the content you’ve developed for the blog. You might also give users a sneak peak into different app features to get them excited about what they can expect when you formally launch.
In order to give your app the best chance of succeeding once you formally launch, you need to plan early both to decide when you want to formally start marketing your app and how you want to go about doing so. If you wait to start marketing your app until it hits the App Store and you formally launch, it’s likely too late and you’ve lost a lot of time that you could have been using to build an audience and extend your reach.
Building up marketing channels when getting them off the ground from scratch takes time. Therefore, it’s all the more important to give yourself sufficient time pre-launch to figure out who your target audience is, decide which marketing channels you want to target, and start investing in getting these marketing channels off the ground.
It’s not enough to just build a high quality app and hope that people will magically find their way to it. Rather, you need to develop a strategic marketing plan and go-to-market strategy to make sure you’re intentionally getting your app into the hands of the right users. As we’re building your app here at Camber Creative, we can also develop a pre and post launch marketing roadmap that we can help you implement to give your app the best chance of succeeding. Reach out to our team today to get started!