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How easy is it to find success in the app marketplace?

Posted By: Jason Parker

With the app industry dominating software downloads, mobile app development is more in demand than at any other time. We are no longer limited to just one platform either: iOS may have ruled the roost early on, but recently competitors like Android and Windows have taken the fight to Apple, giving consumers (and by extension, mobile app developers) more choice and flexibility than ever before. This meteoric surge in popularity has led to a corresponding surge in the amount of apps being submitted to the big three, and as a consequence it is getting increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd.

The app submission process itself can also be something of an uphill struggle, so before you embark on your app development it pays to take a long, hard look at what you want to achieve.

Firstly, your app should be a labour of love: try to create an app you enjoy making, one that you could imagine using yourself. Sure, we all want our apps to set the download charts on fire and become the talk of the virtual town, but there is no guaranteed shortcut to success. Instead, focus on crafting something worthwhile and unique, something that offers utility over and above what consumers can find elsewhere. Don't just try to emulate what is popular; iterate, improve and build upon it in new, clever ways.

Once you've got an app, you're ready to push out into the world, it's time to let everyone know about it. Even the best app is going to fly under the radar without marketing, so make sure you're spreading the word on social media, write a press release, crank out some newsletters, and, if you've got the clout, stage a press conference. Smaller outfits can also try and build some hype by going the viral route, utilising teasers and countdowns to snare some attention.

Once you've got someone to download your app, give them a reason to keep coming back. In general, 40% of users delete an app within 2 days of downloading it, so try and keep them engaged with constant updates, news, offers and promotions.