I help companies turn mobile into net new revenue. Founder UNTETHER.tv, UNTETHER.talks, Thunder Rd. Communications, Filament Communications, getHOW! and a bunch more. Oh, I make a mean Cookies 'n Cream cheesecake and am a trained magician. Really.
You need to be using mobile as a way to generate NEW revenue - not shifting it from one pocket to the other. This platform has that potential and your business can't ignore it. If you are looking to grow revenue from mobile, you need to call me.
Mobile is more than an app, it is a series of strategic and nuanced integrations with your customers. I help companies understand where and when to be mobile and how to turn that interaction into net new revenue.
I have spent the better part of 14 years immersed in the mobile industry starting and running mobile companies as diverse as they come. The last 3 have been spent collecting my 10,000 hours through 700 episodes of UNTETHER.tv and helping transition Canada's largest publisher into a mobile-first company.
There is NO simple answer for this. Is the app a game? Is it a utility? Is it a social app? All apps have different advertising/launch strategies. On a broad level, Facebook's in-stream mobile app ads have proven to be very effective for conversions so I would probably start there. The key is to concentrate your efforts in the first 3-4 days of launch for advertising so you can drive up downloads and app reviews in a short period to (hopefully) be recognized in the "new and notable" and "what's hot" categories in the AppStore. Doing that effectively elongates your launch by getting in front of more people and increasing downloads.
If I had to pick a single efficient and affordable way of getting in front of a targeted audience I would have to recommend Facebook in-stream ads. You control the budget, the target group and the message and they are, right now, offering the highest conversion rates for mobile apps. Keep in mind that your app needs to be amazing - that's the most effective strategy of all...
Get a job :)
The viral strategy needs to be a natural extension to the app that requires SMS - not sure you want to just use it for the sake of it being viral (seems forced).
A perfect example of this is the Twist app. The app tells someone you are meeting with when you will arrive. When you set up a twist a text message is sent to the person you are meeting with (if they don't have the app installed). The message says you are on your way and if they'd like to know when you will be there, download the app. It has been effective because it solves a problem, gives the end user an option and extends the usefulness of the app's original purpose.
Hope this helps!
It is easy to gauge your chances - ask your target customer. The process is simple: Define who would use your app and why. The "why" is the hard part. If you can build something of value to a group of users, success happens. If you find something that is causing them pain and build an app that alleviates that pain, success happens. If you start with the "why" the rest flows. If you start with the "app" and your isolated thoughts about why YOU think it will be successful, it usually doesn't end that way. Start with the "why" then answer the "how".
Pretty generic question but I would answer what you consider "making it" is first. Are you trying to earn revenue? Is this an altruistic venture? Is this an extension of an existing business into mobile? Craft the strategy first. Whatever you do, DON'T do it because you "think" you can. That is surely going to lead to a disaster.
You can add a license component to the app that checks your server for validity when it launches (there are actually services that do this for you if you don't know how to). This way you can offer trials of varying lengths and leave the in-app stuff to for purchasing. I've done this set up with my previous company and it worked exceptionally well.
With the current state of competition in the mobile gaming world, $99 of every $100 spent should be in marketing. No joke. And that's if your game is good - produced well, designed beautifully and the game play is addictive. It is tough to break through. For example, SuperCell's Hay Day was released in 2012 and has been building towards success ever since. Takes time and the capacity to stick it out.
The other side of the coin is that if you are trying to start a company that will produce many games (because that's what you need to do today as earning a sustainable income off a single game is very very VERY difficult), the LTV changes. Your first game is about finding an audience, your second game is about building your audience, your third game is about expanding the audience, your fourth is about turning on revenue (when you have a big enough audience).
SO the moral is for you to be in it for the long game or not at all (unless, of course, this is a hobby).
Take a look at these 3 quick interviews and you'll hear right from:
Anamitra Banerji of Foundation Capital: http://untether.tv/2014/ep-522-what-it-takes-to-get-funding-today-with-foundation-capital-partner-anamitra-banerji/
Will Young of of the Vegas Tech Fund: http://untether.tv/2014/ask-vc-vegas-tech-fund-partner-will-young/
Moe Kermani Of Vanedge Capital: http://untether.tv/2014/ask-vc-moe-kermani-vanedge-capital/
Answer that very question.
Also, this article may of interest to you as well, written a few years ago by Rick Segal (founder of FixMo): http://untether.tv/2012/the-secret-vc-handbook/
Hope these help!
Take a look at this video to get started in the right direction. Lots to figure out before code hits screen:
Press releases are a good start...but not really a full launch strategy. It takes a bit more coordination and intent. This link (http://untether.tv/2014/pr-mobile-application-cheap/) is to a video that highlights a few concepts on how to launch right with PR and this link (http://untether.tv/category/mobile-app-minute/) has 20 other similar episdes on how to launch and market your mobile app.
Hopefully these help! Good luck.
Rob gave some new insights into doing advertising research on a budget. Nice man. Will talk to again.
Rob knows his stuff. Great conversation and feedback!
Wow, one of the best mentoring sessions I had in recent months! Rob is a real strategist, approach him as soon as you have an idea for your business.
Rob has brought Rove to a whole new level. He knows how to fuel the growth of a company and build a team of very qualified people with a very clear strategy. He's not afraid to make the hard decisions and rally the entire team in order to make things happen.
Rob is a motivating and sensitive leader whose passion, enthusiasm and positive outlook are contagious; he is always available for help and guidance when needed, and is attentive to resolving challenges. Rob creates an awesome working environment – one that readily rewards hard work and dedication.
Rob is one of the coolest and most fun people I have ever met in an office. He is also one of the handful of people I still admire and consider to be an example of what a professional and an entrepteneur could be. Easy to be around, hilarious, and perpetually innovative. He and our former colleague Stephen Daze set me up for disappointment, because I've never met a better pair of people to learn from and work with since. Malcolm Gladwell had better watch out.