The market for mobile apps development is growing at a phenomenal pace and consequently the business of apps development can mean some serious bucks for developers. According to a study by research2guidance, the total amount spent by players in mobile / OS developers business on apps development was a whooping $20b in 2012.
With apps developers being able to charge high rates, a growing army of software developers is extremely interested in garnering a share of this tasty pie. If you too are lured but don’t have a clue on how to embark in this rewarding field, here are some much needed tips for you.
Take a Course in Apps Development
A degree or certificate in mobile apps development will lend credibility to you as a developer. Although there are no industry recognized courses, a basic degree in computer engineering, augmented by a few specific certifications in mobile apps development is all what you need to be accepted as an apps developer on the market.
Choosing the Right Professional Partner
As a certified apps developer, you can look forward to hone your skills professionally. There are broadly two options at your disposal –
1. Join a company into the business of apps development, or
2. Engage yourself as an individual apps developer with the likes of Apple or Google.
As a beginner, a better approach would be to engage yourself with less popular operating systems like Windows Phone 7 or Hewlett-Packard’s WebOS, as this will allow you earn the right attention required to be noticed. Engaging with an Apple or Google would imply competing with an army of apps developers who are already well established. So initially your strategy should be about being a big fish in a small pound.
If you choose to associate yourself as an individual developer within the space, the sky is the limit, subject to the condition you are able to prove yourself. As a developer you will need to first focus on the development and once it is done, you can place your apps for distribution on the apps store. This is not all done, and I would say developing an app is the just the first step in the right direction.
Marketing is Very Important
There are thousands of apps already listed on the apps store and hence it becomes crucial to let people know and understand the benefits of your apps. While you write the description of your apps, use the right keywords and ensure the message is conveyed in crisp and effective manner. If you are not able to effectively communicate the value of what you have, it is a disaster. Remember, your description should make your app stand ahead of the competition.
Deploying Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Marketing Optimization (SMO) can be pretty helpful for you to grab the initial attention.
If you have a really good app that is going to appeal the masses, you just have to ensure that a decent number of customers download your app. If customers love the app you create, then there is no more effective marketing tool than word of mouth publicity. You will be surprised to see the demand of your apps going viral. But as it is not easy to predict what consumers would like, to improve your odds for success it is advisable to develop a portfolio of apps.
Paying for Downloads
Although not everybody would agree with idea of paying for downloads, but it certainly makes commercial sense. There are firms who charge a fixed fee from developers and guarantee a certain number of minimum downloads.
Downloads are driven by providing incentives to customers. The incentives are not real but virtual, like if a user is in the middle of a game, a pop up would appear which would give the user an option to download the app and in barter get a few extra lives or weapons. As more people download the app, it will gain popularity and as we discussed earlier if the app is appreciated by users, success will follow. A practical drawback with this methodology is that many users tend to ignore or delete the apps after downloading and hence the app may not even be noticed.
While marketing plays an important role in the success of an app, ultimately it is the quality of the app that drives its success. So, work on developing a quality app first and then devise a strategic marketing plan, fame and money will follow you.
This post is contributed by Nilesh Talaviya, who works as a mobile strategist for Cygnet Infotech, A CMMi Level 3 and ISO 9001:20071 certified mobile game development company based in India. Facing any issues with game design or development Feel free to get in touch with him at firstname.lastname@example.org for useful answers and advice.