Being associated with a design-driven app and web development company, we often come across numerous startup ideas. While communicating with them during the design or development phase, I usually ask the founders, “What is your strategy to circulate the app and get initial downloads?”
I am astonished to see that many of them don’t have any. Today I am writing this article to share some advice with all the startups out there, something I’ve picked up over the years. Maybe you already have a few tricks up your sleeve (it’s not rocket science), maybe not, but the most important thing is execution. So here are a few tips to keep in mind that can help expand your audience:
This is the first thing you must consider after your groundbreaking idea, the sooner the better. While the product is in development, don’t just wait, but try to get your user gathering methods ready and in place. When the product is ready, you need to focus on execution, not strategic thinking about circulation.
If the strategy is clear, you might need something built in parallel to the product development phase, like building a lead capturing landing page. Before rolling out a beta, try creating a viral loop. In order to do that, you need a few development/integration tools at your disposal.
Let’s discuss some fast and proven user acquiring methods for your app.
Even if your logo is not ready, you can start with text as your logo. How easily you can convey your product to your end user will matter a lot. It will help you capture some email addresses even before you launch your product/service. Sending emails beforehand lets you share your product with those who are already interested.
You can contact your designer or developer to help you with this landing page. Also, you can use services like Launchrock, Lead pages, and Wix to create a quick landing page. But be sure to keep some key points in mind while designing the page:
Identify your customers well. The product UX/UI depends on it, along with the marketing/brand strategy. If your app is a product targeted at college students, you must discover where those students hang out. If your target is school students, you might want to consider where the parents will get the maximum visibility for your product.
Knowing your early adopters well from the beginning will help you identify niche online communities to target for marketing your product. Online platforms to keep in mind to push circulation of your app include Reddit, Hacker News, Product Hunt, BetaList, AngelList, Betabound, Facebook groups, and Google+ communities.
Once your landing page is ready you can circulate it to the prospective online communities. It will help you understand your prospective users’ mindsets. Sometimes you might even get questions to help you sharpen your product. Keep the following points in mind when checking out early adopter communities:
There are plenty of startups who have managed to crack their early adopters, resulting in excellent traffic and growth. Here are some examples:
Always keep in mind that to get a high-quality result from a community, you need to keep in mind several parameters, mainly uniqueness and usability of your solution, and the title and description of the post along with the timing of the post.
Don’t expect the same results mentioned above for your posts too. Success on user communities depends on lots of factors like the unique appeal of your product, USP, content crafting, time of the posting, niche forums you are posting in, etc. But be prepared and give your best always.
With simple text searches, you can find posts related to your target audience on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. Identify the posters who have good followers, are related to your industry and are evangelists themselves. Once you’ve identified the influencers who can possibly help you out, you need to tap them. Here are a few simple steps to get you started:
Top publishers with small blogs also play an important role in a startup’s journey. They are nothing less than great evangelists. Before and after a product launch, they can give you a continuous flow of traffic.
Here a great list of tech publications you can look into. Another trick is to provide backlinks of your competitor or similar websites. In the process, you will come across a large number of blog names. All you have to do is pitch to them via email or social media. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Once you start circulation, content will be your only saviour. From interactions to your social posts, people will keep looking at your content. Creating eye-grabbing, clickbait-y, descriptive, inquisitive content will allow people to interact. Let’s have a look at the content you must keep handy:
Product pitch line: Revise this over and over and see which one is best to convey your message. Try to make it interesting. Test it with friends or among peer entrepreneurs. Try various titles and sizes for Twitter, Facebook, influencers, Hacker News, etc. Each of them accepts different title sizes and post types, and in each case, your audience type will be different.
Product description: Apart from the tagline, you will need a concise description which will be able to convey your app details in a simpler way to make people more interested towards your product. You will need it in your website descriptions, app descriptions, forum discussions, and email pitches to help people quickly understand your product.
Your inspiration: To pitch to people on Hacker News, Reddit, or in media publications, you need to tell a good story, which you need to practice again and again. A lot of early adopters and influencers take a keen look at the inspiration behind how you got your idea. You may have to tell the story multiple times in many ways to make it heard.
Email subject lines: To pitch to media houses or influencers, email will your prime medium. When sending an email, the subject line is something that attracts the eye. Journalists get tonnes of email every day – your email needs to stand out, from subject line to the email body message.
Social circulation content variation: Social media doesn’t see all posts at a time. You need to post multiple times to capture attention. In order to do so, you need a solid social media strategy for each platform. Without going too deep into any of them, I can say that keeping some variations is always handy.
Associated images: In social media visuals are a very important factor. If you notice, a lot of posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin extract images from a URL and use them. Good images attract the audience, but be sure you have your copyright sorted!
Don’t waste time by trying to ace everything from the beginning. It will help to understand the market and interest via early adopters, and so capturing them matters the most. Be consistent, keep track of what you are doing, and the result will help you in the long run.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)