What's in The DNA of Successful Apps: Part III

Your app has a solid, engaging design, and you’ve prepared yourself for any legal requirements that may arise… Now what? Is it time to finally release your app? Not quite! The DNA of Successful Media & Entertainment Apps wouldn’t be complete without a business strategy. With the final infographic in our Media and Entertainment Working Group’s series, developers will grasp the importance of pricing plans, as well as pre- and post-launch marketing campaigns.

Pricing Plan

Even if you are an independent developer creating apps for the simple pleasure of flexing a creative muscle, pricing plans are an imperative step in the planning process. Decisions about app pricing should be made consciously and deliberately, as these choices will undoubtedly affect potential revenue. In fact, users often use price as a deciding factor when choosing to download an app. According to Flurry, “the truth is, contrary to the desire for an ad-free experience, when faced with the choice between free apps with ads, or paying even $.99 for apps without ads, consumers overwhelmingly choose the free apps and tolerate the ads.” App marketplaces also have specific rules and regulations that apply to pricing plans, which developers need to be aware of before making any lasting decisions.

Pre-Launch Marketing Campaign

App stores are crowded, and grow more so every day. Most developers leave their app’s success to fate without even announcing a launch or drumming up excitement from a potential community. To enhance the likelihood of their app being discovered and ultimately downloaded, developers should create a strategic pre-launch marketing campaign. While these campaigns can be as simple or as complex as desired by the developer, they often contain some of the same elements, including media coverage, social media, and ASO.

Media Coverage

Despite the existence of many games similar to Flappy Bird, this game rose quickly to popularity after being featured in a YouTube influencer’s video. Word of mouth often carries an app to success, but someone needs to start that chain of communication. Media coverage can achieve this effect for app developers. StartApp notes, “PR could in fact be your most powerful channel for acquiring new customers without spending a fortune – and you needn’t hire a PR agency to do it.”

With a brief pitch of their app as well as some marketing materials–think images and a game trailer—developers can identify and contact relevant media outlets about app promotion. Often, once one outlet picks up the app, others will do the same.

Social Media

Social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, also help potential app users get excited about the coming launch. By posting promotional materials to these channels, developers can begin to create a community and support around the app before it’s even released. Giving others a chance to interact with the developer and the brand also humanizes the app, creating a personal and emotional connection.

ASO

Perhaps most importantly, developers can prepare for the app marketplaces themselves without investing in paid ads. By implementing App Store Optimization (ASO) techniques, developers can give their app an extra boost toward discoverability. Using appropriate keywords and screenshots often result in the largest payoff, with 60% of Google Play downloads coming directly from users who discover apps through an organic search.

Post-Launch Marketing Campaign

Marketing campaigns don’t end once an app has been published, but the focus does shift. While keeping up media coverage and social media efforts, developers can also focus on creating loyalty programs, updating the app when necessary, and talking to customers.

Loyalty Programs

Remember that card you carry in your wallet that gets your 10th coffee free? App loyalty programs recreate the same effect; they keep customers coming back for more. While these loyalty programs can be quite similar, they can also contain a social element, such as providing a game player a certain X amount of in-game currency when the app is shared with friends on Facebook. Coupons present another option for loyalty programs, such as a certain amount off the next in-game purchase. “Coupons and giveaways act as great prizes for contests and rewards to your community and social networks,” says AppPromo.

App Updates

Keeping an app updated is crucial to keeping the app engaging for existing as well as new customers. Whether a developer is responding to changing system requirements or fixing a bug, the app should look cared-for and well-attended. If customers believe that no one is paying attention to the app in a timely fashion, they will likely stop using it and move on to apps that are more frequently updated.

Customer Conversations

Feedback from app users may seem like a one-way street, but developers can also take the initiative to contact their app users. Much like the humanizing effect social media can present, customer conversations can make the app more personal and the developer can seem more approachable.

Although business strategy is the final link in The DNA of Successful Media & Entertainment Apps, practice makes perfect. Every app will present various challenges and obstacles, and this infographic series can serve as a best-practices guide again and again throughout the process. Good luck, and develop on!