When it comes to starting a mobile app, you're always going to end up with some regrets.
Yes, building a mobile app is easier than ever, but just like any new endeavor, you're bound to run into mistakes and situations that you would like to have done differently the first time.
The good part about this type of trial and error is that people have come before you to weather the storm. They've crossed out the processes that don't work and highlighted the ones that do.
Seeing as how I've spent lots of time building, implementing and managing mobile apps, I want to share some of the things I wish I knew before starting my first app.
This way, you can bookmark the page and refer back to it when trying to figure out what decisions you should make.
There's Never an End to Ideas
Generating ideas to share on your mobile app often seems like a tough task. However, the well will never run dry. Your industry is constantly changing, providing valuable articles and information to share with your customers. Not to mention, a quick search on your Facebook or Twitter feed gives you ideas for posting on social sites.
You can find entire blogs dedicated to coming up with promotional ideas, and several forums are located online to chat with other mobile app owners and generate new ideas.
Experience is Not Necessary
Skills are different from experience. That's why we feel like having a solid set of skills behind you actually comes in handy when designing a mobile app. However, this doesn't mean you need a degree in mobile app design in order to make your app work.
The reason I wish I knew this for my first app is because building an app sounds so intimidating at first. People tend to push it off because they think they'll screw it up. That's not the case, considering services like iBuildApp provide templates and all the tools to launch a beautiful mobile app within minutes.
Design is Oh So Important
The overall look and feel of your mobile app establishes your mobile brand, giving customers a taste of what they can expect from your business. That's why design is so important, because if the mobile app looks poorly made or not functional, you're bound to send away tons of business that could have been yours.
Do yourself a favor and select a template when starting your design. After that, spend extra time testing out your buttons, tabs and pages to see if all of the content is filled in properly. Finally, check your media to ensure that it's not stretched out or hard to see.
Specific Content is King
Writing a blog post and sharing it on your mobile app is great for getting users to interact with your mobile app. However, there's already too much content out there that doesn't provide much value to users.
The point of a business blog is to get specific with your customers. From detailed tutorials to expert tips, the point is to master a certain subject so that users look to you for guidance.
Good Images Power Conversions
Chances are, someone else out there has an app that's similar to yours. Therefore, it's essential to produce content that differentiates you from the group. Share interesting promotions, send out useful push notifications and develop blog posts with lots of media.
Images are an essential part of this strategy, since an image on a coupon or blog post can be the difference between a conversion and someone leaving your app.
Social Interaction Gets People Back to Your Mobile App
From Facebook walls to Twitter feeds, these are some of the easiest ways to get users to interact and talk to your company. The iBuildApp platform is filled with features for social media, so it's crucial to play around with these and see how they fit into your strategy. Don't wait too long to build your social following, because even a few followers can have a huge difference on your margins.
It's a Marathon
If one blog post or coupon doesn't perform well, don't fret. Your app isn't going to explode over night, so your best bet is to create a content calendar, with items you're going to send out like coupons, promotions, contests, new products, social media posts and blog posts.
Set goals for every month and year, and make adjustments as you go along.
Looking back at the things I wish I knew before starting my first mobile app, it's easy to tell people what to look out for. You're going to run into other roadblocks along the way, so use these tips to prepare yourself the best you can.
If you have any questions about building a mobile app, let us know in the comments below.