Your company probably needs a mobile app.
And not in the “oh, wouldn’t it be cool if we had an app” sense. More along the lines of “we need a mobile app yesterday if we want to maintain our growth rate.”
Hey, we don’t make the rules. We just follow them.
Fortunately, making a mobile app isn’t rocket science. It’s computer science, and pretty basic computer science at that.
It also doesn’t take an entire team of developers to get it done. With no- and low-code platforms and a smart plan that doesn’t try to do too much, you can build your mobile app on a shoestring. If you already have an app that you want to make better, you already know this.
You do need to have a plan, though, whether you’re building an app from scratch or expanding one that currently exists. Let’s examine six strategies that you’ll need to use (or at least consider) to get it done.
Recommended: How to Sell an App Idea: A Beginner’s Guide
1. Understand the Audience for Your App
Table of Contents
- 1 1. Understand the Audience for Your App
- 2 2. Plan Features That Your Audience Actually Wants to Use
- 3 3. Identify the App’s Primary and Secondary Purposes
- 4 4. Determine Your Pricing Model (If Any)
- 5 5. Choose a Suitable Development Platform (If You’re Not Outsourcing the Job)
- 6 6. Make Sure Users Can Find Your App Online
First, know who your app is for. You’ll also want to know why your audience wants to use your app, but that comes just a little bit later in the process.
For now, you need to figure out whether your app is made for the entire set of your potential users or just a smaller group of them. For example, if you make educational products for K-12 kids, you’re not going to ask third-graders to use the same app as your high school audience. One group (maybe both) will be sorely disappointed by the result.
2. Plan Features That Your Audience Actually Wants to Use
Once you understand your audience, figure out what they want to get out of it. The key here is to plan and add features that your likely users actually want to use.
For example, if you’re developing an app that teaches young people about money management, you’ll want it to hold their attention long enough for them to absorb the lessons. You’ll want to take a page out of the playbook popularized by Goalswell, a financial fitness app supported by Andrew Nikou and other high-profile investors, and add game-like features that reinforce core financial concepts.
3. Identify the App’s Primary and Secondary Purposes
Now you’re ready to think tactically. What does your app hope to accomplish? What is its primary purpose? If it has a secondary and tertiary purpose, what are they?
You should never develop an app simply to develop an app. That’s a waste of resources. You should, instead, develop an app that is better at achieving a specific purpose than any other product you’ve created to date. In an ideal world, your app would be the best product that you can develop to achieve that specific purpose.
4. Determine Your Pricing Model (If Any)
You don’t have to charge anything for your app, to be clear. If it’s not your core product, if it’s additive rather than essential, then it’s probably best not to ask users to pay for it. You won’t get much uptake and could end up discouraging users who might be inclined to pay for core products.
5. Choose a Suitable Development Platform (If You’re Not Outsourcing the Job)
You don’t need extensive development experience to build an app using a low- or no-code platform. But you’ll want to make sure the platform you choose is flexible and sophisticated enough to achieve your goals with the app.
This is moot if you’re outsourcing app development, of course. The developer will pick whatever platform they’re comfortable with, and that’s probably best for everyone.
6. Make Sure Users Can Find Your App Online
Soon enough, your app will be ready for launch. Make sure it’s easy enough for your users to find online; it’s not enough to dump it in the App Store and Google Play. You’ll need to promote it heavily with a static page on your website that links out those store pages, with periodic social media posts before and after the launch, and paid advertising targeting users of similar apps (if your budget allows).
It’s a Mobile World Now
You already know that most Web traffic comes from mobile devices. You’re probably reading this on a mobile device right now.
“Mobile app” and “mobile Web” don’t mean quite the same thing. Not every mobile Web user is a dedicated user of mobile apps. Some people prefer the in-browser experience, and vice versa.
But that’s just it. If you don’t have a good mobile app, you’re missing out on opportunities to reach and convert people who prefer to experience the Internet through smartphone apps. Whatever your personal preference, it’s just not good business to ignore theirs.
Ready to get to work? It’s time to make a mobile app that your team can be proud of.