Developing a mobile application is not just programming. The success of your app depends on the marketing strategy put in place.
We’re working on a cross-platform mobile application with Flutter to create a community of Lebanese online stores focusing on selling local products.
Here are some insights on the strategy that I applied to my startup:
1. Validating the Idea
Idea validation is the process of testing and validating your idea before launching your mobile app.
When I first got the idea of creating a platform for local online stores, I focused on finding flaws and possible mistakes, so that we could, later on, avoid them. I did so for almost two years before starting to act on the launching of my app.
Later on, I started to talk about it to some of my friends. It, however, wasn’t a great idea, since friends won’t necessarily give you their honest opinion. So as I met new people during the summer, I decided to tell them about it and ended up with great feedback. At first, I was afraid to talk about my startup, worried about someone stealing it. However, I considered the fact that almost everyone procrastinates, so even if someone would try to take my idea, he would not necessarily act on it.
Finally, I conducted some research using Google Forms and created a survey to gather some insights on the idea. I asked questions like:
In your opinion, do you think that finding all online stores on one platform would be more convenient?
How often would you use our platform to find all available online stores in your region/country?
The results then pushed me to validate my idea.
That was the primary step of our startup.
2. Creating a Prototype
You won’t need coding for this part. Most people think that you need to develop at least a part of the application to test it. But to create a prototype for your application, you can use any tool that offers the features of your app.
We’re using Instagram to test our prototype by creating a page where we expose the stores’ products and stories, and digital marketing tips & tricks. This way, we’ll be able to grow our community and perfect it before launching the app.
We needed a logo and a branding first, then, we developed a landing page where we started collecting emails to alert people when we launch our app. That will help increase the number of downloads at the beginning as they are essential in the first 24 hours, first week, and the first month of your launch if you want your app to rank high in the App Store.
3. Starting a Blog
Sharing your story and your startup journey will create bonds with your future users.
Here we are, on Medium, sharing our story with you! Starting a blog on Medium is easy. Plus, you can get paid from blogging and generate extra incomes.
4. Growth Hacking Marketing
You’ve probably heard about referrals on almost every platform. That is called Growth Hacking Marketing. It attracts more users organically, thus without paying anything.
Your app would benefit from a growth hacking marketing strategy. Our strategy is to give a free month of premium features for stores, for every friend invited to use our app. As for other users, we’re planning to offer a $5 credit when they invite a friend, so that they can purchase any product on the app.
5. Reach Out to the Press
If you want to attract a lot of users, you’ll have to share your story with the press by contacting local journalists or writers. Finding them, however, can sometimes be a bit tricky. You can use LinkedIn! Search for “Writers” and click on “People”; you will have a list of local writers that you can add to your network.
There’s a lot of writers and journalists that search for new stories, try to see which one would be interested in writing an article on your startup.