Version 1.0 of the amazing app that you’ve created, you know Uber/Tinder/AirBnB for pets, is almost ready to be shipped out, all that remains is a week for testing and a week for submission to the Apple store.
So, what now? Regardless of which technology, such as Xamarin, NativeScript or React Native, you’re using or which platforms you’re launching on, a question remains. How are you going to get the users (“Over 9000” is Internet for a lot) who will give you the data and revenue to get some Series A investment?
Will you be utilizing multi-channel synergies for consumer illumination? Ok, so you’re not into marketing nonsense. Got any seed money or savings still in the bank? How about a blitz of TV advertising, celebrity endorsements, and some great PR?
A bit outside your budget? Ok, but you’re still going to need to make your app stand out from the crowd in an over saturated market, here’s 5 ways to do it.
1. Pitching to bloggers
Blog authors need something to blog about and have a lot of followers. Look for blogs that feature a broad range of content with a high number of followers, these are the ‘key influencers’ who will be able to drive users to download your app. Targeting bloggers for some gratis PR, however, requires mastering the art of the cold pitch email and understanding how to make your app sound interesting. Here’s what a good pitch needs to include: the name of the app as it’s spelt on the App store and Google Play Store, what it does, and how it’s different, the price, one link to your product website, one link to the app store product page, one or two screenshots, a video – ideally no longer than 30 seconds, a concise description of who your audience is and what your app does, what sets it apart from the crowd, your contact email and social media profiles associated with the app.
2. Encouraging content sharing
An app that creates shareable content for a user’s social networks gets free publicity every time a user shares something. An obvious example of this is Instagram. Instagrammers’ pictures are always popping up in Twitter and Facebook news feeds. The reasons for sharing a photo are various, either to share some humorous picture of a cat or to show others how much richer/beautiful/better they are than everyone else. More vanity focused sharing is illustrated by running apps that track and record the users runs each day, giving data on distance covered, calories burned, etc. Users share this data on their social network to show their achievements to their friends and increase their sense of moral superiority over others.
3. Referring (bribing) new users
Everyone remembers the moment when their friend started going on about this new app that orders a cab at the touch of a button. For the people who were skeptical there was the promise of $20 credit for signing up and for the Uber evangelist there was a kickback of the same amount. After using their free ride most people were hooked. This is a great example of getting existing users to add new users to your user base. Paypal did the same thing offering $10 cash to new users and to the person who referred them. A less sexy version of this campaign was Dropbox offering 500mb (more online storage, oh yeah!) to users who got friends to sign up to the service, this led to a 60% increase in registration for Dropbox.
4. Incentivised liking on social media
Another thing that Dropbox did well, although the storage increase was a minor 125mb, was giving more space for sharing on Twitter or giving a Like on Facebook. This gives users a reason to share their social media capital with companies. My personal favorite version of this is when pubs offer a free pint for liking their Facebook page, however, this demands to be taken advantage of and I will always get a free pint from liking and unliking their when there’s someone new working at the bar. Please drink responsibly.
5. Excellent customer service
Whenever I go to a restaurant or cafe there’s a chance that it will join the list of businesses that I have blacklisted and will never patronize again. Excellent customer service is vital and on those rare occasions when I’ve had problems with Uber or complain to Tinder that I get no matches I am always astounded at the level of customer service offered. This makes a negative experience become a positive one and creates a renewed sense of loyalty for an app that didn’t exist before.
I hope this helps you launch your Uber/Tinder/AirBnB for pets. Based on these points I might suggest writing up a stellar pitch, getting users to share their hilarious cat photos, offering credit for a pet owners first use, giving free dog treats to users who like the page on social media and giving excellent customer service.