Ready, Set, Launch! (Interview 8, Part 2): Nauman Akbar Announces New Services Offered by MessageMuse and Gives you the Scoop on their Mobile App Marketing Services.

Interviewer: We continue our interview with Nauman Akbar, the founder and owner of MessageMuse, a full service digital marketing agency. Nauman, we are continuing our interview today to discuss the new app launch marketing plan that MessageMuse has created for its app customers. I know this is an exciting new feature you are now providing. I would like to talk first about some of the basics related to app marketing services.

Nauman Akbar: The basics are the best place to start. Many of my customers that come to me for mobile app development services are so focused on the task of designing and creating apps that they forget about a mobile app marketing strategy. At MessageMuse we understand that our customers can’t be experts in all things. Part of the job of a digital marketing agency is to educate the client so he has the powerful tool of knowledge.

As an initial discussion about an app marketing plan, I like to talk about the starting top six understandings related to creating a successful app launch.

The first is budget and understanding that the cost of mobile app development is not the end of expenses. No doubt apps are expensive to create. That is why it is important to have a budget for promoting them. I tell our clients to protect their investment. Generally speaking, mobile app promotion should be no less than 40% of the cost of mobile app development. Clients can stretch their promotion dollars by using an offshore company such as MessageMuse but in the end money is needed to market an app.

Secondly, apps are as time sensitive as designer clothes on a fashion runway. What many don’t realize is that app styles change routinely. If you wait too long to launch your app, it will look “last season” in no time. Things that age an app are subtle—screen designs, features and how they are presented, fonts and colors all contribute to the feel of the app. It is these same features that tell the user that your product is stale. If a client waits too long to start mobile app promotion services, he may significantly diminish the popularity of his app.

Digital marketing agencies see this a lot even before the launch of an app. Clients will start on their mobile app development project and then stop for a while. By the time, they re-engage with a digital marketing agency to finish the app, it looks so outdated. And my clients on more than one occasion had to start over with the design of the screens. So, remember time is the enemy of mobile app development and marketing your app.

Interviewer: So the budget for app marketing services is very important to the process of launching a successful app and timing is critical as well. What are some other basic understandings that need to be considered?

Nauman Akbar: Knowing the audience for your app is so important. Some clients use the spaghetti approach for their mobile app marketing strategy. They think that if they throw activities against all platforms that something is bound to stick. That is true but not a very efficient use of their money. The other pitfall is that some app clients have a preconceive notion about which platforms they should use for promotion. Some of this has to do with the client’s comfort level with the platform rather than the appropriateness of the platform for what the app was meant to do. If your app is clearly geared to those who are under 30 then you need to focus on the platforms that are for younger audiences…not for those in their 50s. While you may not abandon some platforms completely the bulk of your budget should be spent in spaces where you find your audience. Your mobile app marketing strategy has to be, well, strategic. This is where your digital marketing agency will be your guide so that you target your audience correctly and get the best use out of your promotion dollars.

Another topic that I talk to my clients about is that you can’t just do one thing at a time. You should never wait until your mobile app development project is completed to start thinking about your app launch marketing plan. The pre-launch activities need to begin a minimum of 4 weeks prior to that depending on what still needs to be done to launch your app. As an example, there are very few apps that don’t need a website. Why wait to develop it? A full service digital marketing company like MessageMuse can provide concurrent services so that you will be ready on Day 1. There is so much to be done before launch. Press releases should be prepared, decisions about how you will promote the app have to be made, blog articles have to be written and SEO and ASO activities have to be mapped out.

Along those lines, I like to explain to clients that they, too, may need to hire staff to help with the launch of an app depending on some of the activities that they want to have. For example, if the client wants to have an app launch party, those preparations have to be made. If giveaways will be provided to promote the app, then someone has to acquire the gifts and manage the distribution. In effect, you need office support if you want a big launch. And as a footnote, most digital marketing agencies rarely provide these services. So plan ahead and hire your own administrative help.

Interviewer: So there are a lot of basic steps to consider. What else do you discuss with clients when you are preparing a mobile app promotion?

Nauman Akbar: Probably one of the most critical pieces of information a digital marketing agency can impart to a client is how rankings on the app stores work. A lot of clients are fixated on the number of downloads that an app gets just out of the gate. But there are a number of other components to consider when looking at a successful launch and how the app will be ranked by the app stores. This knowledge will likely lead an app client in a different direction in how he plans his mobile app marketing plan and how he will design his promotions to accomplish critical milestones for the app.

Downloads are important, of course. But this is not the only indicator that an app store looks at for ranking. The app’s functionality and ease of use are also crucial to get these stores to take notice of your app and give them top ranking for search returns. A clumsy, shabby looking, and difficult to use app will die quickly and app reviewers will kill it off with brutal reviews.

Another component that is tracked by the app stores these days is not just the downloads but how many actually engage with the app, how often and how long they use the app when they open it. App stores have included these parameters recently to ensure that people are actually engaging with the app and the owner isn’t just paying for downloads. The information is important to consider when you are creating your app marketing plan. Imagine how differently structured your promotions and contests will be if you are trying to get people to use your app after they download it.

Finally, the app stores actually track what happens over time to apps that have been downloaded. It is the dreaded “uninstall” statistics that will cause a lot of challenges. The reality is that most app downloads have a very short life unless they have an extraordinary functionality. But most “social” apps have only a 90-day life. While you are still in the launch phase trying to get people to download your app for the first time, within that period you are also losing users because of the uninstall rate. This phenomenon can be very frustrating to an app owner as he feels that even with all his efforts he is still losing ground. But if a client knows about his phenomenon, then he can prepare for it. Just as with designing engagement activities that will get people to use an app, slowing the uninstall rate with an effective and robust mobile app marketing strategy will put you ahead of the pack and will get you noticed by the app stores.

Interviewer: So those are the fundamental understandings that will help with an effective app launch marketing plan. Now I am realizing the complexity of the process. Let’s stop at this point but I want to talk to you more about some of the tools that MessageMuse uses to launch apps.

This article is brought to you by Nauman Akbar, founder and owner of MessageMuse, a leader in offshore digital IT services. We are a full service digital marketing agency offering website development, enterprise app solutions for businesses, mobile app development, reputation management, logo design, and branding. We currently have customers internationally and in the US. We are now expanding our services to South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, and Virginia. We are a registered business with the Delaware Secretary of State. We welcome individuals, businesses, and brokers to check out all the services and skills we offer. Give us a call at +1 (704) 315-2120 or check out our website at https://www.messagemuse.com/ or send us an email at agency@messagemuse.com. Let us help your business find creative digital solutions at any price point.