There is a lot more to an app than getting it developed. You have your idea, contact an app development company, and then hire them to build it. Although that is very important there are many other aspects that are involved in creating an app. Don’t worry though, any good app development company can help you complete all these items so make sure you hire the right one. Here is the ultimate list of items that should be completed BEFORE you move forward with your app store submission. App Store Requirements 1. Before you start the design phase you need to choose the right name. Make sure you search on the app stores to make sure it’s not already taken. You also want to search for a domain name. Make sure it is available in .com or at least some variation of the name in .com. For example, adding app at the end of the name like www.nameapp.com. However, the best would be www.name.com. Determine the searchability in Google. All of these factors need to be considered before you finalize the name. 2. Once the design phase is complete its time to start putting together the screenshots you are going to use for the app store. You want to pick the most important screens in your app that really show people what it’s for and the most enticing parts. This is the first impression of your app, so make sure the screens are perfect. 3. Create a 1-page website. If you were already planning on creating a website that works with the app then you are fine but if your app works all by itself then you need a 1-page website. For this, you will need to purchase the domain and sign up for hosting. Also, ensure the design will attract users as it will also be a part of your marketing. 4. Sign up for an email where customers/users can contact you. This email should match your app name. Ie: firstname.lastname@example.org or even email@example.com 5. Think about how you want to earn revenue. This will not only need to be incorporated into the design and development of the app but the app store will also need it. Make sure you set up any banking accounts where you want funds to go. 6. Create your app icon design that will be seen on the mobile devices. 7. Create your end user license agreement if you need one. 8. Get your app analytics tools integrated into the app so that you can track where users are downloading from, what screens they go to and for how long, and much more. Once you are just about ready to do the app store submission you will need to gather the following information: 9. Create your app store provisioning profile 10. Write a full description of the app. It should go over all the most important features. You don’t want to be too lengthy or too short but you want to cover everything. 11. Select your primary, secondary, and sub-categories. When you look at an app on the store you will see what category they are under. Make sure you pick the ones that fit your app best so the right users find you. 12. Determine the keywords associated with your app. You have a limit of 100 characters so stay within that. When choosing your keywords, search for them first on the app store to see what results you get. That will help you decide if it is a good keyword or not. 13. Choose your app rating 14. Decide on your copyright attribution 15. Select the countries you would like your app to be available in. Make sure you figure this out during the design process so if any adjustments need to be made in order to accommodate other countries it can be done. 16. Create an SKI number. Your development team will help you with this. These tasks are for the Apple store as they are very strict about what they need app owners to do before you can submit and get approved. Android is a bit easier. If you are only submitting to Android then the tasks that you do NOT need to do from the above list are: 1. App store provisioning profile. You only need a simple Google Play developer account. 2. Secondary category and subcategories 3. Select your keywords 4. Create a copyright attribution 5. Create an end user license agreement You may think Android is the better route to go because there is less work to do but there are many reasons why Apple may be better for your app versus Android and vice versa. If you need help deciding that then check out tips on how to choose between Apple and Android first. Get Help Looking at all these tasks may seem overwhelming and it can be if you are going to do all this by yourself. Nobody really has the time to do all those items. The best way to get them done is by having your app development team do them for you. Any good professional app development company can do all these tasks. All you have to do is give the final approval. All of that is requirements from the app stores in order to complete your app store submission. However, there is also marketing activities that need to be prepared ahead of time. After all, what good is an app if no one can find it. Users won’t just magically appear a download your app. Efforts have to be made to attract users to download. Marketing Materials About 3 months before you decide to submit the app you want to identify who your target audience is, what their problems are and how your app is going to solve those problems. Think of it this way, who is your app for, what benefits will those people get out of your app, and why are you better than your competitors. Your answers are the foundation of all your marketing activities. Everything you do should be based on those answers. Create a 1 line statement that reinforces your brand so that users instantly recognize it. When it comes to your website whether it is 1 page or 20 pages, the content, images, and overall design need to be right. There is a reason why UI/UX is so important. You should have a way to entice people to follow you in some way like subscribing or following you on Twitter. Your app developers should be able to design and program this website for you. Social media presence is important which is pretty obvious in this day in age. Setting up an account on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest is crucial. There are so many social platforms out there beyond just these. You can discuss with your marketing team to determine which could work best for your app. Create Buzz You can create buzz before your app is even ready. Many times people think let me wait until my app is live and working correctly on the store before I start marketing. You don’t have to wait. Create a 1-page marketing website which gathers emails. The content should be very interesting and entice people to want to use your app and therefore enter their email to receive updates about it and when it is launched they can download it. You can also create videos for Youtube and use screenshots of the app to explain it in a fun and exciting way. We’re not talking about typical boring explainer videos, it’s all about funny energetic entertaining ones. Of course, if your app is about a serious subject this approach will be done differently. Use your inner circle to create buzz from word of mouth and have them share your videos and website or any other materials you have prepared. You can use message boards and blogs to grow your inner community. Right Before Launch Make sure you have a group of beta testers set up within your circle. Your development team should work with you to get this to everyone. You want to get all the bumps and bugs fixed first before you go head first into marketing. Build Your Lists There are a lot of people you will want to contact about your app. You’ll want to find people that are in the realm of what your app is about. Start creating lists of people that are within certain categories. Those lists should include: 1. Influencers – There are many social media users and bloggers who are very influential. Finds those influencers who relate to what your app is about. 2. Facebook Communities – Gather a list of groups and communities that discuss the topic that your app relates to. 3. Bloggers – You can easily send bloggers information about your app and they may talk about it. You want to focus not only on subject related bloggers but mainly app and technology bloggers. 4. App review websites – there are a lot of app review websites out there. You can submit details about your app for a chance to have it reviewed and published. 5. Journalists – Find those who are in the app and tech realm as well as what your app is about. You can gather a list of major publications as well as local ones. Make sure you have a press kit ready to send out to all the people listed above. A press kit encompasses all the information people might need about your app. You want to list all the functions and features of your app. It should also have your logo, some screenshots, description, and URL links you have to websites and/or social media, press contact info, any explainer or promo videos, and put url’s to any exposure you already have. This helps in the case that any of those writers decide to write about your app then they have everything they need to do it in 1 spot without wasting time going back and forth with you. As you can probably see, there are a lot of things to consider and do before you launch your app. If this is your first app then there is a lot you need to know about getting it developed too. It’s not an easy process but you don’t have to do it all by yourself. There are some app development companies like SDI who not only offer technical services but also have marketing services. Not all companies offer this so make sure you choose one that can do it all because it will save you time and money. Having a well-rounded team at your disposal makes creating and launching an app much easier. If you have any questions about creating an app, marketing an app, or anything else contact Sakshi Sharma at 408.621.8481 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.