What’s the Perfect Timing to Start Mobile App Development?

It’s amazing to learn that only 50–60% of all mobile apps have a marketing budget. For this reason, any marketing efforts targeted at promoting your mobile app are very likely to pay off. For the best results, it’s essential to find the right momentum to publish and spread the word about your product. But how can you integrate your marketing communications between when the app is approved in the store and your first press release? If you get customer reviews, press release coverage, and reviews from popular bloggers all at the same time, you’ll see the best results. Pay attention to your deadlines and timing because 65–80% of your mobile app sales can take place within a month or two depending on seasonal factors. What, if any, experience do you have with mobile apps promotion?

First, let’s look at buying cycles. The cycles can be different for each user; some users buy and install mobile apps daily for a couple of weeks, and then they just quit buying new apps and forget about the AppStore for several months. Others regularly buy and install 1–2 apps once or twice a week. Some users buy one mobile app a day, while others don’t have a system at all — they just drop in and out the AppStore every now and then. The most active users are those who just got a new device, but over time, their buying activity decreases.

The problem with most mobile apps is that customers only use them only once or twice and then forget them. Users don’t have enough money to buy every app or enough memory storage to keep every mobile app they download installed. Thus, users become extremely picky about the apps they download, even free ones. After they reach satiety, they use only the mobile apps that make their day-to-day lives easier.

Even if someone you know has downloaded 148 mobile apps onto a 128 GB device, it’s likely that they use less than 10 of them. From time to time, customers perform app revision and delete all the apps they are no longer interested in. To make sure users download your app and don’t delete it, think about the following three questions.

1) Is your mobile app seasonal?

Some mobile apps are heavily influenced by seasonal factors, such as weather, holidays, and fashion trends. The publishing deadline plays a large role. Imagine making a mobile app dedicated to the Olympic Games or a mobile app informing users about Super Bowl news. The mobile app won’t be relevant if you are too late, or your competitors will beat you in getting to the top 100.

Photo credit: sgs_1019 / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Some productivity apps are also influenced by seasonal factors; for instance, tax payment apps enjoy greater popularity from the beginning of the year until the tax deadline in April. Different countries have various deadlines for taxation procedures, so you should consider them when you market and publish your app. On the other hand, finance and banking apps are always popular because they are used every day. Health apps also sell well throughout the year, with the exception of apps for sports or water activities that require certain weather. For example, skiing apps are popular during the winter. The table below shows the seasonal influence on sales volumes for specific mobile app categories. It’s very basic, but it will give you a good understanding of how the seasons can affect your sales.

2) What superstar marketing tools can you use before publishing your app?

To guarantee a sufficient level of sales (which is much better than nothing), you should think about your marketing strategy. Even if you don’t get skyrocketing results, you’ll still be successful.

  1. Think about creating a type of mobile app that has never been published. Dig deeper, and try to develop an original idea. Mobile app development is about uniqueness.
  2. Create mobile apps that recommend other mobile products. For instance, some applications count the number of mobile apps published in the AppStore. They search through the store and recommend the best of the best in each category.
  3. Make a sponsorship deal. If you create an app that sells well, find partners related to your topic. You can consult with them on many other activities, such as identifying their marketing message or share advertising campaigns. Partnerships work great in all forms of marketing, including mobile app promotion.
  4. If your app has a narrow niche, find editors and interested users who are eager to write about your product to fill the gap in content available about the topic. Contact MacWorld to see if they will write an app review.

3) Other timing tips and tricks

First, check to see if any huge corporations are launching new apps or releasing an update. You don’t want to get lost in the background with your new product, right? For instance, if Apple is going to make an important announcement on your app launch date, plan to release your own posts and announcements a day before or a day after their announcement. As a last resort, publish your release at 8 a.m. London time to make it the first one people see.

Photo credit: wok / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Your press release should be attractive to other news agencies so they become interested in telling more about you through their own content. Their focus should be on you, so make sure only a few important apps will be published the day you make your first announcement.

When you send your mobile app for approval to the AppStore, you can specify the publish date. If your app doesn’t have any serious drawbacks, the AppStore experts will take a week or two to evaluate it. This knowledge can help you tie your press releases and promotion campaigns to the actual publish date in the marketplace.

I’m all ears for your comments!