With over a million apps in both the Apple and Android app stores, you need to give your app the competitive edge it needs to truly stand out and make it valuable for your users. The 3 apps featured in this article have done exactly that. From fledgling apps to success stories, they prove that simple marketing strategies can make a big difference for your app.
Here are the secrets behind some of the industry’s most and apps – and what you can learn from them.
Their simple strategy: Keep things simple and easy
Founders: Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger
Released: October 2010
Instagram has undoubtedly unleashed everyone’s inner photographer. Chances are, you know someone (it could even be you!) who’s hooked on it. Instagram’s simple concept — take/upload a photo, apply a filter, and share it with the world — is simple but clear. The simple concept translates into a clutter-free interface that makes it even more engaging to users: a chronological feed, easy way of liking photos, and an array of filters that don’t take a professional’s knowledge to apply.
Instagram ultimately focuses on photos and what people are saying about them.
Takeaway lesson: Users want nimble and easy-to-use apps. Complicated features that don’t really serve a purpose are a waste of time. Always keep in mind your users’ convenience.
Their simple strategy: Know your target market
Founders: Bobby Murphy & Evan Spiegel
Year released: September 2011
Time and time again, we’ve emphasized the importance of knowing who uses your app. Users are the defining element of your app’s success. After all, they create value for it. Snapchat knew that their target market was mostly young people (millennials). These people wanted a messaging that’s easy-to-use, expressive, and keeps their privacy. Snapchat gave their users what they wanted – whip out your phone, take a photo, decorate it with photos/drawings/emojis, and send it to limited recipients. Messages (called snaps) self-destruct within 24 hours and are deleted from their servers. In addition, signing up for Snapchat is such a breeze that creating an account only takes seconds.
Unsurprisingly, Snapchat’s popularity is steadily growing and its market is expanding across all age groups.
Takeaway lessons: If you know who’s your target market and what they want, they’ll love your app. Start with a single, definite market, focus on it, and eventually expand.
Their simple strategy: There’s a way to make money without ads
Founders: Line Corporation
Year released: October 2011
This messaging app, originally from Japan, is now taking the world by storm. According to TechCrunch, Line already has 100 million users 19 months after its launch. Line differentiates itself from its competitors, like WhatsApp and Skype, by being a little more fun. Line features a variety of silly emojis and stickers that inject personality in otherwise boring, plain texts. Some of these stickers can be purchased within the app. In fact, these stickers are credited for Line’s financial success. Fast Company says, “Users bought a total of 1.4 billion of the stickers…for a gross of about $30 million.
Takeaway Lesson: If you don’t want ads in your app (users probably won’t like it, too), look for other ways to monetize your app. In-app purchases and upgrades are some of your options. People are willing to pay for these if they love your app.
Ready to create your own successful app? Let’s collaborate.