A viral App is one which is shared by millions of user in a very short span of time. There are many modes in which the App is shared pass-along based, incentive-based, trendy based, and etc. There is a lot of joint effort behind a viral App, from developers to marketing experts all put in their best efforts to give what it takes to keep the App at no.1 position. There are App specific features like functionality, design, usability etc., and then there are certain marketing strategies that help grab target user’s attention that is ultimately responsible for making the App viral.
First, let us talk about specific features, an App may offer many features but if it fails to deliver even one of them, it might tip off the user. The App design and ease of use are equally important as the user will only be able to appreciate the functionality and efficiency of the App if he/she will be able to use it easily. It should take minimal efforts from user to get things done, so that user may be able to indulge in the actual functionalities of the App. The user should have full control over what data will be shared and what they can prevent from sharing or uploading.
User engagement is necessary to keep their interest alive in the App, strategies like pushing notifications to draw users to open the App are one of the ways. It is important to make users know that they are not forced to follow the offered services, simple things like forced ads can irritate user to the point of uninstallation of the App from their phone.
Although a good App is meant to be a hit among consumers, an extra effort is needed in strategizing its release and marketing to help it go viral among consumers. There are a number of articles written by tech gurus sharing tips on making Apps go viral on the first day of release like strategies inspired by the study of human psychology, behavior patterns and habits, to better advertising and focus on marketing specific KPIs.
Let us first discuss the infamous Nir Eyal’s “Hook Model” for creating products that are able to hook users for good. There are four steps to “Hook Model”: Trigger, Action, Reward, and Investment.
Trigger sets the whole process in motion, in mobile marketing, it is the external trigger of pushing notifications to user’s Smartphones that attract them to download and install the App on their device.
Action is the goal of Trigger, the notification pushed on user Smartphone may take them to a single button install option with automatic authentication and account login functionality.
Rewards are what makes this model one of a kind, it is at this step that the future of App is decided, consumers are rewarded for installing the App may be with free credits to buy upgrades for a limited period of time, or chances to win exciting prizes by recommending the App to friends etc…
Investment in terms of time and data that user makes into the App further help in improving user experience, encouraging users to go through the hook loop again and again.
Advertising is a very important part of selling an App to the consumer, it is the first step where your App will be judged by the consumers before they actually use it. It is important to advertise Apps to its intended users to ensure more installs and shares, such users are the ones who can make the App go viral. Targeting users who are going to be affected most by your App should be at the focus and ads should be made to Appeal them. Regular marketing and optimizing intended user reachability should be a continuous process.
Effective marketing is important to make sure that the App is visible in key marketplaces throughout the year. Before the user can install and use the App for its known functionality, they need to know what makes the App different from others, the unique experience that App provides needs to be marketed.
Feedback loops allow users to share their experiences with Apps and help strategists to focus on specific user concerns, thereby improving the future user experience.