December 9, 2016
You believe you’ve struck gold: You have a brilliant app idea which you feel has enormous potential. It is likely that you got the insight by resolving an issue that you or people you had. “Appreneurs” are a new age of entrepreneurs who leverage the immense distribution power of the App Store to grow their own revenue. As a successful entrepreneur, you’d want your mobile app to be popular in terms of sustainability, revenue, and the love of users.
But, how do you know whether there is a big enough scale of people that face the same problems that you’re trying to solve? It’s hard to tell by just observing a small pool of people– yourself or your friends.
Does your app have legs to scale? Instead of starting to build an app without any initial groundwork and research, try to validate your idea. This easy and simple methodology will help you save time, money, and energy before you start the ignition to building an app.
Implement the concept of micro-testing and apply it to the app development process. It not only helps you discard some bad ideas(which you might think are great!), but also gives you the confidence to go all-in on your first big app. Follow these four steps that will help in validating your mobile app idea:
Begin by Digging into Basic Research
Search for similar solutions that already exist in the market. Begin by listing main keywords or phrases that are most likely associated with your mobile app. Now Google em’ away! That’s right, it’s as simple as that. Look for how popular those search results are then make a leaderboard.
Examining and analyzing the App Stores will give you a brief insight into the potential competitors; their performance through the ratings, marketing strategies, comments, number of downloads, keywords, pictures, etc. Tools like AppAnnie and TopAppCharts.com can help you build your App Store Optimization(ASO) strategy, and decide the future steps on making your mobile app successful.
Create a Landing Page
Before developing your enormous piece of software, try something simple, like a landing page. A landing page is a single page that will ideally showcase your app. It’ll describe the primary advantages of your app, the key selling points, and the main issues it solves. The objective of creating a landing page is to mimic the experience future consumers will have when they view your app in the app store. It also lets you test how willing they are to buy your app.
The most crucial thing to do is defining your metrics (such as email subscribers, app survey completion, etc.). Make sure that your landing page has the following basic things:
Create your landing page as if the app has been already built, with a main Call-to-Action button. Track your metrics by connecting your landing page or microsite to Google Analytics or MixPanel. Also, make sure you mark your links through Google Analytics’ URL-builder and Bitly— you will know exactly what the sources were and how many times a specific link was clicked.
You can use the following resources to create a landing page:
Promote the Landing Page
Once your landing page is setup, you need to start sending traffic to it. You can opt for free promotion as well as paid campaigns to let the world know about your app:
> Friends and family can be one of the most basic ways to begin.
> Resort to social media, relevant subreddits or forums to spread out the word organically.
> Familiar with bloggers and social media influencers who are writing on something similar to your app’s topic? Ask them to share your app and idea with their community.
> Google Adwords and Facebook ads are basic paid tools that will help you validate your ideas. You can also use Product Hunt for hardware as well as software ideas validation.
> HackerNews is another great platform for you to post your app ideas, where the community will “lyft” the ideas, if found interesting.
> Attend meetups, especially the tech section and create a buzz with your app’s idea to engage the people around. This will help in spreading the word, and may also draw attention of few investors.
> Run small ad campaigns, even as low as $50, can give you a rough idea of how much it will cost you per download.
Track Your Results
Feedbacks are an important part of building your app. Make sure you take feedbacks on your research and pitch your idea to your friends and family. After setting up and running the landing page, build a short survey and distribute it. Tools like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms can help you do this, on every stage.
Pick the best, discard the rest– observe and record all the responses. Are people elated to use it? Do they feel their needs or issues are solved using your app? Is it seamless and easy to use? Take their feedbacks and tweak your strategies to revise the app accordingly.
There are millions of apps that have been abandoned because people don’t want it or do not understand how to use them. So, whatever path you take to make an app, make sure that your customers want it. Being critical and passionate in the entire mobile app idea validation cycle will help you evolve your app idea before you build it.