Why Marketing of a Web App Starts Before Actually Building It

January 28, 2019

Tony Zipparro

“Build it and they will come.”

As anyone who’s ever published an app can tell you…

That’s fantasy.

Something people WISH would happen.

In reality…

“They” won’t know you exist – even if your app is amazing.

Every day, there are over 2,500 apps added to Android alone. Crazy right?! It’s not enough just to build something good. You need to tell people about it – preferably with giant, burning letters.

Most developers think of how to get users AFTER they’ve built the app. Far too late.

Do it before you start instead, and not only will it have an immense synergistic effect on future growth and every segment of the user funnel…

It Can Nearly DOUBLE Your Chances Of Building A Sustainable App Success Almost Immediately.

70% of businesses fail within the first 10 years of operation. Some say it’s higher.

You probably know this – these numbers are quoted all the time.

What you might NOT know is that 42% of those failures are because of one reason

No market need.

Think about that for a second.

Nearly HALF of all startups invested incredible amounts of time, money, and energy into building innovative new products…

Only to realize that nobody actually wanted them!

This is because…

Too Much Development Is Done Backwards

“I have a great idea.”

That’s how it starts.

Someone thinks of something cool they can make that would be interesting, or would solve one of THEIR pet problems…

Then they go off to build it.

But there’s an incredible risk with following this method…

It encourages you to build out the solution before you’ve even found the problem!

Does your app solve a problem with real market demand? Do people share your pet peeve? Do ENOUGH of them do so?

Without doing that initial market research, you have no idea.

You might strike gold blindfolded, sure. More likely, you’ll end as you started – with empty hands.

That 42% failure rate isn’t nearly as surprising as it might seem.

Validate Your App Idea And Long-Term Potential First

  • Who would benefit most from your app?
  • What would they search for in the app store?

Find out, then search it yourself.

No competition is actually a BAD sign.

A big problem usually has someone trying to solve it. A lack of results could indicate a lack of a substantive demand.

That’s not always the case.

A tool like Google Keyword Planner will let you see the actual search volumes for keywords your prospects might be searching.

In rare cases, they’ll be huge demand with no one fulfilling it.

In others, you might find TOO much competition.

A Crowded Niche Can Easily Crush A Newcomer…

Unless you have a way to stand above it all.

Ensure you have something SO special about your app that people will instantly be able to see why it’s superior.

If you want ideas on how to differentiate, peep on your competitors. Particularly, their reviews – the bad ones. They’ll tell you what your competitors LACK.

Give people what your competitors can’t, and you’re in business.

The ideal scenario for you would be if you found strong demand and some apps trying to solve a problem…

But doing it BADLY.

It would mean a market that’s open to a stronger solution…

Yours.

Ultimately, The Bottom Line For Maximizing Product-Market Fit Is This…

Verify that you have a problem you’re solving. Make sure it’s a big one that enough people that care about. Build an app that’s different.

That all sounds easier than it actually is.

But a doubling of your chances is well worth it.

Of course, that’s not close to the only reason you need to start thinking about your users BEFORE development.

Ranking your app highly in the app store leads to long-term organic traffic. Good news for anyone without millions to throw away.

The discipline of helping that along is ASO.

But unlike with SEO, it’s far more popular uncle…

ASO Isn’t About Keywords. Not Really.

Oh, they matter.

You’ll still need to awkwardly cram your product descriptions with the keywords people are searching. And they’ll be a dozen other tricks that’ll help you rank higher.

Those are EASY.

With the right knowledge, it’s a matter of changing a few words here, a few there. It’s not something you need to do months in advance (usually).

Much harder is altering how your app actually WORKS.

Keep in mind the end goal of Apple and Google. They want the apps that people enjoy using most and find the most useful to float to the top of searches.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that how people actually use the app HEAVILY affects your ASO rankings.

Therefore…

Great ASO Starts Before You’ve Stuffed Your First App Store Description

  • How many times to people launch your app in a week?
  • How long do they keep it open each time?
  • Do they spend money? How much? What do they say in their reviews?

These are just SOME of the variables the app stores consider.

To get on top of the rankings, you’ll need to demonstrate your app is something people use all the time (and actually enjoy using).

User activity is hard. WAY hard, as shown by the fact that most apps lose nearly 80% of their users within three months.

So, here’s…

A Way To Avoid The Shock Of Those Uninstall Numbers (And The Medical Bills)

Go for the quick wins first.

A solid walkthrough for newbies that really shows them the HOW and the WHY makes a big difference.

Give them an “AHA!” moment.

People who perform that first action are far more likely to stick around for the long haul, and to perform subsequent ones.

That first action needs to not only blow their mind – it has to be REALLY easy to do.

Gamifying your experience can also be extremely powerful, encouraging people to login daily and keeping them engaged – both important variables in ASO.

There’s a reason “Clash Of Clans” is crushing the rankings.

And of course, there’s UX.

Major functions need to be so intuitive as to be almost thoughtless.

To do this…

Get People To Test Your App. Seriously.

It doesn’t matter what your budget or what stage your app is in – there are ways to get some preliminary user testing done.

For instance, these guys grew their SaaS company to $5MM with a linked PowerPoint presentation.

If you have the money, a real user test through a professional service would be best…

Or maybe set up a bootleg system through Mechanical Turk and a survey service.

But simply making your most-used actions easy to perform will have a huge impact on everyday user activity (and that all-important first impression).

Essentially…

Development Is The Ideal Time To…

  • Ensure that your idea satisfies a market demand…
  • Guarantee that you have a powerful USP…
  • Maximize your apps engagement through great guided interaction, UX, and gamification…

All which will lead to a strong and active user base.

These are all things every app developer eventually has to do.

It’s not an “if,” but a “when.”

The least stressful time to do this is before you’ve actually put down the code. Breaking things you’ve already built isn’t much fun, and skipping it will also save you SO much effort and money.

In other words, you can either take that extra time to do it on the front end… or regret that you didn’t.

And this is absolutely critical, because a strong active user base doesn’t just lead to good ASO…

It’s Also The Direct Path To Growth Hacking Referrals And Monetization.

Referrals are an amazing way to grow your app.

Some companies have achieved ridiculous results taking advantage of them.

Here’s the thing…

People generally only recommend things that they really like using.

They recommend a restaurant they can’t wait to go back to. A movie that kept their eyes glued to the screen. A hike that stunned them with its beauty.

If they don’t actually use your app regularly they’re sure as hell not going to recommend it.

And the same applies to getting them to spend money.

The more they use your stuff, the more open they’ll be to shelling out the cash to enhance or maximize their app experience.

Start Thinking Of Your Users Before You Build…

It affects everything.

From the speed at which you acquire users, to how much you’ll pay for them, to what they do and say.

At the same time, this is a lot to absorb.

Each one of these pieces of the puzzle can probably take up several blog posts, so let’s be clear…

You DON’T need to be a master of every one of these to put your app out there in the world. Nor should you let perfection paralyze you.

But give a little love to aspects mentioned above.

The difference can be astonishing.

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