How to Make Your App Stand Out In a Madly Crowded App Market

How to make your app stand

2 million new apps were launched in 2021 alone! To say that the competition is high would be an understatement.

Mobile apps are a way of life today and every business in the world wants a piece of the pie. To stand out in a crowded app market and compete on a global stage, you need a strategy. Mobile startups and app entrepreneurs consistently stay on top of the industry trends to make sure their apps get the visibility and traction that’s needed to drive success in the mobile app economy.

Knowing how the market is evolving is crucial to mobile app success in 2022. A keen understanding of data analytics, market segmentation, advertising and app store optimization, revenue channels, shifting business models, marketing landscape, and so much more is key to nailing the trends and rising above the competition.

The reality is fairly straight forward. Breaking even and making a splash in the app economy is tough. There are 1.96 million apps on the Apple App Store and 2.87 million on Google Playstore. That’s a fat deck to compete with. 87% of smartphone users use less than 10 apps per day. Even in those 10, the majority are big game players like YouTube, Amazon, Netflix and Gmail, leaving even smaller squeeze space for new entrants. Research from Forrester found that most users spend almost half of their mobile screen time on just one app. Also notable is that the lion’s share of their app use time (88%) is spent on just 5 apps.

app usage

Needless to say, making your mark in the madly crowded app market is a challenge for most. That however does not mean you shouldn’t try. It is also equally true that mobile apps continue to be a big business, and new apps are constantly arriving, succeeding, and making a mark for themselves.

Apna – A professional social networking platform based in India raised $100 million in a Series C round becoming one of India’s fastest unicorns, by achieving the feat in less than 2 years since being founded. TikTok is an obvious example as it took on giants like YouTube and Instagram, giving them a run for their money in a short time.

The point is, with a good understanding of the app development process and a definitive app marketing strategy, you can make your mobile app stand out in a crowded market, and build a strong user following.

Let’s talk about exactly what you can do to rise above the competition and make your mobile app a success despite the crowd and the download fatigue:

1. Research Your Competition

This could easily go without saying – you need to know your enemy. In order to outcompete your rivals, you need to know what they’re doing right, and where you could do better.

Whether you are building a new mobile app or already have an app that isn’t performing as you’d like it to, you need to start by collating a thorough rundown of your competitors and doing a detailed competitor analysis. Find out what makes their apps tick or why do users like them? Use the app yourself and find out what features you like and what aspects of the user experience make you want to keep using it. Find out how well they serve the original purpose that these apps were built for. Now juxtapose these findings with your own app and think about how you could make your app as engaging or efficient as those of the competitors.

Is your app fast enough? Simple enough? Attractive enough? Maybe you need a better design or a swifter checkout flow. Really drill down the details and use the intel to make your app more engaging and useful.

2. Build a Great Product to Boot

All of the strategies we will discuss soon are preceded by the one thing we are here in the first place for – a good app. You can promote the heck out of a mediocre product but it will never stand a chance against other quality products. So first, build the foundation of your mobile app development strategy well. Focus on creating value for the users. Identify and solve a genuine problem. Do it better than anyone else is doing right now. Have a UVP or unique value proposition that makes your product better than your competitors. To do that, you go back to the first point we discussed – competitor research. Do it well and pour your creative and technical prowess into creating a truly useful app, and you’ll be well on your way to outcompeting the current industry leaders and making a niche for yourself

3. Design a definitive marketing strategy

“If you build it, they’ll come” said no smart man ever. Every product in the world needs a good marketing strategy. You need to get your mobile app in front of as many people as you can, and make sure your marketing campaigns are strong enough to draw people’s attention.

From different types of advertising to social media campaigns, event promotions, collaborations and so much more, you need to really think long and hard about how you wish to go about your mobile app marketing.

We will go over the key aspects of a good mobile app marketing strategy in the following sections.

4. Understand Mobile App Advertising

At the very basic level, marketing is synonymous to advertising. You need to spread the word and get people to notice your app. There are different ways to advertise your mobile app and this is where you need to make the best decisions. You see, advertising can be super-effective, or extremely repellent. The quality of your ads, and where you place these ads are both crucial considerations.

Create quality ads

Be sure to use the best copy, messaging, graphics, and video to create engaging ads that showcase the best features of your app, highlighting the value your users will receive. Advertisements are not about enlisting brags about your app. They are about understanding a problem your users face and showing them how your app can solve it. Show your users how amazing, easy, or awesome their life will be after they begin using your app. Show them how much time they’ll save or how comfortable their life will be, or how much fun they’ll have, when they use your app.

Ad placement

Over 3B installs have been driven by Google’s app promotion ads to date.There are many ways to get your ads in front of people. You can display banner ads on other apps or websites. When you do this, pay attention to choosing the right apps and websites for your ad placement. Choose host apps or websites that are frequented by the kind of people whom you wish to attract. For instance, game apps advertise on other game apps, and sometimes on shopping apps that young demographics visit. There isn’t much value in advertising games on parenting apps or jobs portals.

Understand different advertising models

In-app ads, banner ads and video ads are the most popular ad formats there are. Use prominent ad networks like Google Adsense to perfect your ad placement and increase your mobile app’s visibility.

5. Master the Use of Social Media

Consumers spend 145 minutes on social media every day, and often prefer to shop right from there. That is why a lot of app developers integrate social media right within their apps. They enable social media logins, invite a friend, in-app messaging, share on social media channels, etc. Develop features that can launch your app straight from platforms like Twitter and Facebook, or share snapshots from their app usage straight to their Instagram or snapchat. All of these strategies allow users to seamlessly involve your app in their social media usage which happens to one of the highest app use categories.

There are other ways to use social media in mobile app marketing to increase the visibility of your app and getting users excited about it. Design consistent and attractive social media campaigns that tap into trending conversations and help you get conversing with your target demographic. Once you make your way into their conversations, you begin to get noticed. Associate with causes they care about like saving the oceans or going green. Use social media to support issues your target users stand for, to raise your voice and be heard, to resonate with the people you want to attract. The possibilities are endless.

6. Invest In Content Marketing

Good content doesn’t come cheap. Unless you are a pro yourself at creating compelling content, (and even if you are), you may need to hire excellent content creators, writers and SEO strategists to help bolster your presence on digital landscape and social media. From catchy snippets and emails to engaging stories and long form blogposts, content marketing takes many routes to success. You could use any of the several content marketing formats like

  • Social media posts
  • Blogposts
  • Podcasts
  • YouTube videos
  • eBooks
  • Webinars

All of these formats can be mind-opening’ly amazing or extremely boring. Hiring the right content creators is what makes the difference if you wish to make your app stand out of the crowd and outcompete your rivals.

7. Understand App Store Optimization

65% of app downloads come from organic search in app stores. You need to pay attention to increasing your apps discoverability on the app stores. When people search on the app stores, they use keywords and rely on details provided on the app page such as description, screenshots, and most importantly, user ratings and reviews. Leverage each of these to maximum potential to ensure your app features in search results and looks attractive enough to entice your target users. This process is called app store optimization.

Start with your app’s name and logo. Use an attractive and clear logo. Use a keyword in the app description. Use the best screenshots that logically depict what the users can expect from your app. Invest time in creating a detailed video showing everything your app can do for your users. Use this video to truly showcase the best parts of your app. Make it so attractive it makes your users feel compelled to download it.

Finally, pay attention to the user reviews. Interact with users, thanking them for positive reviews, and genuinely helping those who have had a negative experience. By promptly resolving an issue and apologising publicly for the discomfort, you can actually turn a negative review into a positive one, assuring other users to download your app and give it a chance.

Conclusion

The competition is sky high when it comes to building a standout app. However, that’s what makes it rewarding and fun. The market size is just as high and there’s always room for a good app. So do your research, build a quality product, and develop a killer marketing strategy. Once you nail these, there’s no stopping you from making your app stand out of a madly crowded market and possibly make millions from your mobile app.

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Hiral Atha is the Founder and CEO of MoveoApps. She started coding even before she entered high school and today, she helps clients develop impactful mobile apps for their business. With over a decade of experience in mobile, she leads a team of young and experienced developers. When not leading an ambitious app development project, you’ll find her playing board games with her 6 years old son and piquing his curiosity in computer programming.

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