With over 300,000 mobile applications in existence and downloads in 2013 expected to get close to the 16 million mark it’s impossible to ignore the app market. It seems like having a mobile app for your client’s brand/product/cause/campaign is a necessity but creating a mobile application doesn’t necessarily mean mobile success. Like moths to a flame, PR Pro’s, marketers and clients are still drawn to these shiny new downloadable objects. As you think through solutions for your client an app idea will most likely cross your path. Before you pitch this fantastic idea, ask yourself these three questions to ensure a successful app.
1. Is your app educational, entertaining or resourceful?
Just like a Youtube video, your app needs to fit within one of these rather broad categories. If it doesn’t, rethink your idea as it’s going to be hard to have an app that gets downloaded and used if it isn’t educational, entertaining or resourceful. All three of these categories can share similar elements but an app that’s meant to be entertaining really needs to be a game.
2. How will users know about your app?
An app can easily get loaded up on iTunes or Android Market but how will people find it? Yes, an app can get “optimized” for app store visibility but a clear and concise app promotion plan will need to get thought out and executed. Keep in mind that a educational, entertaining or resourceful app is easier to promote too. Incentivizing an app download is one method to build awareness but not entirely recommended. Incentivized downloads can get costly and users will most likely only use the app once to claim the incentive and never use it again.
3. Does your “app” even need to be an app?
You don’t need to be an app developer to know if your app idea needs to be a full on iOS or Android developed application. With technology ever growing, immersive app-like environments can now get created within your phone’s web browser. If your idea revolves around the motion of the phone, camera or geo-location you will most likely need to go down the app road. For general information, interactivity or if you are trying to leverage web based content a web based app can get created.
The great thing about a web based application is that this one app will work on both iOS and Android devices. No need for two sepereate apps to get created for two separate operating systems. Just as with a native app, a web based app can be downloaded through iTunes or Android Market. The benefits of a web based application are numerous and if applicable should get pursued as it will be easier to update and more cost effective.