Creating an app is the easy part. Let’s talk about achieving continuous growth.
March 20, 2020 6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Since the release of the first iPhone in 2007, millions of apps have risen and fallen in popularity. There are currently more than two million apps available for download in leading app stores. It’s not difficult to create an app; the tricky part is acquiring users and achieving continuous growth for many years.
So, how do successful apps manage to grow their user base year after year? App store optimization is key.
It’s vital for users to be able to easily find your app. This is easier said than done when app stores have millions of apps available. It’s not enough to have a strong app. A lot of great apps are hidden from search results by lesser apps with better optimization. You must make sure your app is optimized for app store search results.
Related: Bringing Apps and Start-ups Together
Until recently, Amazon was not able to achieve a top rank in the Google Play Store’s shopping category. It seems incredible that Amazon, a company with 197 million website visits per month, would struggle to achieve a top ranking with their app.
Amazon’s problem was due to a change in a Google Play Store policy. The policy determined how to classify apps based on their descriptions. Surprisingly, the Amazon app’s description did not contain the word “shopping” in an optimal location.
Keyword optimization plays an important role in an app’s success. Simply by adding the word “shopping” to the name of the app, Amazon was able to achieve nearly four times the amount of traffic.
In addition to using a keyword, improving your ratings will help boost your search results in app stores. Boost your ratings by carefully listening to the feedback people leave for you in the review sections and implementing that feedback to improve your app. Fix the problems users are complaining about. Enhance the things users love. And be sure you never stop improving your app if you want to continually grow your number of users.
Retargeting campaigns increase ROI
Retargeting campaigns (also referred to as remarketing campaigns) are a highly efficient way to convert excellent leads into new app users. Retargeting uses cookie-based technology to target potential customers who have shown some interest in your app by visiting your page, but have not yet downloaded or purchased your app.
To start a retargeting campaign, you must track visitors to your webpage as well as the completion of app downloads. Google Ads, Facebook ads, and most other ad platforms can do this for you. These platforms can then target ads toward the customers who did not complete the download of your app. To begin your retargeting campaign, simply choose the retargeting or remarketing option from your chosen ad platform.
According to AppsFlyer’s Performance Index for 2019, Facebook has done immensely well at retargeting, going as far as gaining the number one position in the Global Retargeting Index. Needless to say, smaller app businesses would do well to follow the masses and use Facebook’s highly effective and affordable retargeting ads as a key aspect of their user acquisition strategies, as well.
Related: The Top Apps for Businesses in 2020
The best way to acquire users is to ensure the app makes lives more convenient — not more confusing. Difficult-to-use apps rarely catch on, so it is imperative your app is user-friendly. Ease of use is not only essential for acquiring users from the beginning, but it is also important to remain the leader in your space when competitors appear down the road.
The rivalry between Spotify and Apple Music emphasizes the importance of a user-friendly app. These two apps have been in direct competition with each other since Apple Music launched in 2015. Despite strong efforts from Apple, Spotify is still the streaming giant due to the nature of the intuitive user interface.
Compared with Apple Music, Spotify’s player has more options featured prominently while music is playing. Users can choose to play, skip, shuffle, and repeat, while Apple Music leaves out the shuffle and repeat options in favor of a volume control feature. This feature is not very useful because most users adjust the volume with the buttons on the sides of their phones.
Additionally, Apple Music and Spotify both have a Discovery feature, however, the Apple Music’s version has been unremarkable, while Spotify’s version has been so successful Google Play imitated it.
Apple Music’s user-base is impressive with 60 million subscribers worldwide, however, Spotify retains the music-streaming leadership position. In late 2019, Spotify reported 248 million active users with a 29 percent increase in revenue from the previous year. You can be sure that Spotify can thank the user-friendly interface for its current advantageous position in the market.
Increase the length of the product life cycle.
Every product has a life cycle; knowing how to increase each stage of that life cycle is the key to success. Products generally go through four stages of a life cycle — introduction, growth, maturity, and decline. The goal is to prolong the growth and maturity stages as long as possible, repeating them many times before ever reaching a decline stage.
During the introduction stage, your priority should be securing customers and learning everything you can from those early adopters. This is the time to build brand loyalty and create a buzz about your app. Take user feedback very seriously, and work hard to improve your app based on that feedback.
After the introduction stage, you will reach the growth stage. If you are strategic, this can be the longest stage of your app’s life cycle. During this stage, you should be doing research to understand as much as you can about what groups of people have been hooked by your app and how you can best meet the needs of those groups.
It’s also imperative to anticipate competition during the growth stage. Other people may attempt to copy your successful app idea. To combat this problem, know your strengths and weaknesses and aim to highlight the advantages you have over copycat competitors.
Once the growth stage has leveled out, you’ll reach the maturity stage. This is an excellent time to expand to markets you have not yet reached. To do this, you may need to develop new uses for your app as well as new marketing mixes to reach customers you haven’t before.
Successfully reaching a new market can propel you right back into the growth stage. With some skill and strategic planning, these two stages can be repeated indefinitely.
Article curated by RJ Shara from Source. RJ Shara is a Bay Area Radio Host (Radio Jockey) who talks about the startup ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investments, policies and more on her show The Silicon Dreams. The show streams on Radio Zindagi 1170AM on Mondays from 3.30 PM to 4 PM.