There’s a lot floating around on the internet about how to make a successful mobile app. Some of it is accurate, but much of it isn’t. So how does someone who is interested in creating their own mobile app empire know what advice is hokum, and what’s actually useful? The easy answer is learn from people with actual experience in building actual apps. As such a company, SDI has been almost two decades building apps in hundreds of industries. We’ve built internal Corporate apps, we’ve built Business to Business apps, and we’ve built consumer facing apps. There isn’t a roadblock we haven’t encountered, there isn’t a problem we haven’t solved. We’ve built literally thousands of apps; in other words, we know what we’re doing. So let’s get right to it then and talk about 3 must-have elements for a successful app. Keep in mind, we’ve narrowed this down from a list of 25 essential features. The things discussed here were selectively chosen for both importance and uniqueness. 1. Keep Evolving There are a few things known about apps and modern consumers: A. One, they’re fickle. Most apps lose over seventy-five percent of their users in the 90 days following a download. Even more to the point, most apps that that are downloaded are never used more than once; B. Two, modern consumers love a Unique Experience; but nothing can be simple, so they want apps (and websites, software, and so on) that provide a Unique UX/UI – without changing things to the point where it’s unrecognizable; and C. Three, creating a long term strategy for app success means constant updating. One of the best ways to kill an app’s support and then to never update it. Basically, all three of these things relate to engagement. They’re all different ways that, when neglected can spell disaster. But on the flip side of that, they’re also ways to improve user engagement. A successful App strategy needs to engage users immediately. Launch is peak app download time, so plan on getting users excited before your launch and keep them excited afterward. Both design and coding are industries in flux. We’re always learning to code better and we’re always creating better designs that to improve UX. Engaged users appreciate updates to the newest and coolest (plus can improve time spent in-app). Plus disengaged users can be brought back into the fold through push notifications informing them of new updates. Plus new methods for monetization are coming out all the time, so updating potentially improves revenue generation as well as engagement. 2. Remember Big Data The first 2 decades of the 21st century have represented a quiet revolution in the field of Big Data. At no point in the history of this species have we had a greater potential for data collection. It would be like if someone just domesticated a horse, then woke up the next day with a car out front. And we say quiet revolution because, despite it being a buzzword, most people don’t quite grasp just how much a service can learn about its consumers. This has led to a second revolution in our understanding consumer behaviors and patterns. Having the tools for collection and reporting hardwired into an app is necessary to a successful enterprise. App analytic tools abound on the web, with MixPanel and Google Analytics being the most well known, but there’s more to it than having the tools. After all, a screwdriver is only effective if you know how to use it. Understanding Big Data means understanding your business. Identifying and implementing Key Performance Indicators, industry metrics, and comprehending how it all fits together is necessary. 3. The Importance of Social Media Recently, a report on the industry of Mobile Apps showed that most people spend the vast (and we do mean vast) majority of their time in Social Media apps. Social Media is not something any business owner can afford to ignore, whether their in the App game or not. But if you are in the app game, social media is crucial to your success. First, there’s the undeniable market size. Literal billions of people use Social Media, whether it’s Facebook, SnapChat, Instagram or Twitter. Social media provides business owners with the world’s largest pool of potential consumers. Not only that, Social Media already segments these consumers with tools like Facebook Groups. So not only do you have access to billions, but you can easily find people interested in your service. It’s also one of the best ways to research your market. There are the aforementioned Facebook Groups; as we stated, they provide you with a ready made pool of interested consumers but you can also use these to study said consumers. Plus, you can learn from competitors and their own Facebook pages: who has engaged followers, who’s not doing well – and, of course, why. Finally, Social Media companies are not only aware of their ability to help businesses, but most are actively doing what they can to get better at it. You don’t have to look any further than Facebook’s ChatBots to understand how they’re doing that. SnapChat and Instagram both offer ways to help build brands, and Twitter is rewriting what marketing means. Of course, you could always build a social media app or website yourself; when done right they make money hand over fist! The trick to a successful app enterprise isn’t a trick. It’s hard work, due diligence, blood and sweat. It comes from utilizing the proper tools – including the experience of those who have built successful app enterprises time and again. Give us a call at 408.802.2885/408.621.8481 – or click to contact us!