I've always wondered how the biggest apps out there, that sometimes start with little to no funding, become so huge and get so many adopters (like Snapchat).
If you've been successful in that space and had to do it all over again:
which platforms, strategies, forums, etc. would you launch on to get early adoption and then mass appeal?
It's very hard for me to understand how to execute and get a clear path, there's just so many things to do at once, that you can become scattered.
I would say simply: a patience.
Build the momentum much before the release, months or years.
Release when people rave about your app.
If you are solving a big problem through your startup then people will love you and will definitely use your app. Necessity is the mother of invention and failure is the mother of success. So don't be afraid to fail, just build it and present it to the consumers.
For a massive launch, you have to do Growth Hacking. It's a combination of engineering and marketing. This is the practice that is common in leading startups for the app launch.
I am sure, I can help you if you wish to setup a call. I am an expert with multiple skills :)
My best wishes.
I was the lead on the App Store in Canada and 90 emerging markets up until mid-2015 so I can help a bit as it's a great question. In general apps don't have huge launches, they build a base over the course of a few months. The most popular games for example tend to launch in a country like Australia first (lots of similarities to the US), and then learn and understand their metrics around engagement, retention and spending (both user spend + customer acquisition). Once the formula is right, then there's a better story to be told around bringing it to the larger markets, both for the media and possibly App Store editors.
PR certainly feels great but doesn't tend to drive a lot of downloads. App Store featuring is huge, and then word of mouth from users is really important. Make sure you're responsive to consumer reviews in the early stages, and show consistent updates to your app.
Focus less on the huge launch, and more on a great product that gets those key performance indicators around retention and engagement right and you'll be in a much better position.
My strategy would be:
- Test in another market outside your core market with similar customers (Australia is great for an English market)
- Build a 3-4 page deck showing the early learnings in that market, plus your plan around marketing and product roadmaps
- Let key PR and influencers know about the launch
- Find an App Store contact (via LinkedIn - just 1, don't send the same email to 10 of them) and share the short deck
- Spend a bit on paid marketing (FB, in app ad networks) to understand CAC (Customer Acquisition Costs). Spend more only when you know LTV > CAC
- Keep updating the app every month at least