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Perfecting Your MVP Pitch

Crafting The Perfect Pitch For Your MVP

Businesses do not start from nothing. No, rather, a business forms from a thought. Sometimes, a single thought that undergoes nurturing and care until it’s a full-blown business operation. Think about Steve Jobs starting the behemoth that is Apple out of his garage. That’s some all-star thought-nourishment. As with any venture, a vital step is taking that thought, and turning it into a tangible prototype. This is the epicenter of an MVP when it comes to app development.

Designing a prototype that exemplifies the core concepts and values that your idea offers is integral to gaining traction; not only with investors and potential partners but with users as well.

The Ins and Outs of an MVP

MVP stands for minimum viable product. However, an easy way to think about MVPs is like they are the prototype of the application market. In that way, they share many of the same responsibilities and functions that a prototype serves in other industries. For example, MVPs often contain core components of the ultimate design, function, and user experience so that investors and potential partners can get an idea of how your app will deliver its value to the end-user. Now, that’s an extremely important word when it comes to MVPs – ‘value’.

The value-proposition is what should really drive the development of your MVP. When asking yourself or your team which elements need to be included in the MVP, consider which components you would regard as a core aspect of the value proposition. Asking and answering this question acts as a guide that yields a well-crafted MVP that contains the core aspects of your application and demonstrates the value that it will bring to users.

Building Value With Investors and Partners

Investors and potential partners are often akin to NFL coaches in a sense when it comes to “seeing it on the field”. In other words, ideas and potential are just that until they’re proven and tangible. This is what an MVP offers to your investors – the proof they need to sign on the dotted line and hand over the rest of those start-up funds. Plus, by having an MVP to show to interested parties and partners your team will be generating more buzz around the exciting new project that’s being developed.

Doubling down on this point, an MVP should also contain aspects of the user experience and design intentions. This will give investors a more immersive sense of what to expect from the final product, which keeps everyone aligned to the same value proposition and expectations.

Pitch Tips and Tricks

There are many pitching techniques and sales strategies that developers and programmers use. However, the most potent strategy in delivering an impactful MVP pitch is the integrity of the MVP and the value-proposition themselves. A strong MVP speaks for itself.

Wrapping Up on MVPs

The minimum viable product, or MVP, is an extremely important aspect of the application development world to grasp and master. For more information on MVPs or anything else related to app development; continue browsing NS804. NS804 is the proud app developer of the everyday person.

How A Minimum Viable Product Helps You Identify Opportunities

Building a minimum viable product (MVP) is a smart move. Not only will it help you identify opportunities, but provide valuable insight into what your users truly want. And if you plan your MVP carefully, you’ll complete it successfully while keeping your development costs low.

1. The Minimum Viable Product Is A Powerful Tool In Your Arsenal

Every smart appreneur or enterprise takes advantage of the most effective tools available to them. Such a tool is the minimum viable product, which helps determine whether or not an app will be successful. Since an MVP is far cheaper and quicker to develop than a full-featured app, it’s a less risky option. The developer only focuses on the bare minimum features and tries to solve a problem that app users face.

But even with this reduced cost and risk, it’s vital to treat MVP development seriously. Don’t be self-indulgent with your ideas or implement trendy concepts that don’t align with what’s best for your business. An MVP is supposed to reveal whether users find your app appealing while you gather analytical data and feedback. Moreover, this MVP should diminish fears and concerns from investors and stakeholders about the prospects of your upcoming project.

2. Carefully Plan Your MVP To Reduce Development Costs

Before commencing with your minimum viable product, you’ll need to assess various factors. Firstly, understand what’s best for your business and what your long-term goals are for the app. Secondly, map out how app users will find your app and what pain points they may experience. Thirdly, decide on which features to prioritize based on the pain points and opportunities your target users present.

Use a prioritization matrix to help you determine which features to implement and which to leave out. Implement high impact and high urgency features while leaving out or revisiting low impact and low urgency features. By doing this, you’ll reduce development costs by building an MVP that strictly delivers the bare essentials.

3. Understand The Project Management Methodologies

From the most successful mobile app developers to elite business schools, the MVP has become indispensable. Undoubtedly, it can yield phenomenal results, provided it’s used for the right reasons and not as a panacea. That’s why it’s vital to understand project management methodologies, especially when running a lean startup enterprise. As an appreneur, mobile app developer, or even a business releasing its first app, you should have a handle on Agile practices.

Nowadays, many developers utilize the Agile methodology for delivering their products to app users quickly. But quick doesn’t mean bad, as Agile requires that each developer’s code is tested and passes code review before it’s added to the main branch. Furthermore, the development team will regularly engage the community and deliver updates continuously.

4. Your MVP Will Let You Know What App Users Want

Once you’ve released your minimum viable product, your users will start using it and give their feedback. Of course, you should be encouraging reviews and be engaging with users on as many channels as possible. You should also set up an analytics pipeline to effectively collect and analyze user data. All this information will let you know if you’ve created an MVP that’s worth scaling into a full-featured app.

And while developing an MVP may be less risky, this doesn’t mean that you should attempt it alone. For the best results, partner with an experienced development company that will help release your app within budget. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can assist you in creating MVPs that will appeal to new users.

When Should You Create A New App Versus Updating Apps?

When deliberating over updating apps versus creating an entirely new app, appreneurs face a serious dilemma. Will updating their existing apps continue to excite users, or will a new app take their business to the next level? We take a deeper look at both and answer several questions that you may have.

1. Should You Ever Stop Updating An Old App?

There are several reasons why you’ll want to stop updating an old app. For one, it’s so old that the user base has dwindled significantly, and it’s no longer feasible to provide updates. Secondly, it doesn’t run well on newer hardware, and an app update won’t take advantage of modern chipsets. Thirdly, your codebase has become bloated and unmaintainable that your app would benefit from a complete rewrite.

Of course, there’s always a risk that you’ll disappoint your loyal users if you stop supporting a much-loved app. Ensure that you don’t alienate these users by communicating that you’ll create an entirely new and improved app that will replace the older app. And make it easy for them to move to the new app via an effective onboarding process.

If you’ve invested heavily in an older app, it’s not necessary to abandon it. You can still refactor the codebase and keep releasing it to your existing customers. But even if you do a complete rewrite of your app, you can still launch it with the same bundle ID and app name, and your users would get it.

2. Is Updating Apps More Time Consuming Than Starting Over?

If you’re working with an experienced development team, then updating apps shouldn’t take much time. The team should regularly provide minor and major updates throughout the year to keep these apps relevant. And these updates will take the form of additional content, bug fixes, enhanced functionality, new monetization options, platform compliance, and security patches, to name a few.

However, it’s important to mention that it takes several weeks for Apple’s App Store and Google Play to approve bug fixes and updates. A competent team will make several fixes before submitting a revised app to the stores. Thus, saving valuable time and ensuring that users have the most up-to-date app available.

3. Are Your New App Design Ideas Limited By Old Code?

Whether we like it or not, a piece of software will always face obsolescence at some point. No matter how advanced and innovative your app is, it’ll become obsolete eventually.

For example, you may want to implement new app design ideas that take advantage of the bigger screen real estate of foldable phones. But your older apps were designed for smartphones with single and smaller screens. You decide to roll out an update that resizes your app for foldable phones, but users complain that it feels shoehorned and that the User Interface (UI) doesn’t feel native to their phones or that the User Experience (UX) doesn’t feel quite right.

You may be able to implement these new features with an app update. If you’re refactoring your codebase and following software best practices, then you should be able to make the necessary changes. However, if this isn’t the best solution, consider rewriting your app to take advantage of the latest smartphone features.

4. How Often Are Users Updating Apps?

Every time you release an app update, ensure that you’re monitoring how often your users are updating your app. Why this is so important is because it tells you if users are still interested in your app. If they’re not regularly updating, then it’s likely that interest is waning.

Furthermore, you must gather and analyze user feedback to determine what users truly want. Perhaps, they’ve grown tired of your app, as it no longer provides them with features they find valuable. Or your app’s lagging behind competing offerings, and you’ll need to create an entirely new app to remain relevant.

5. Is A New App More Profitable Than Updating?

It largely depends if your app can retain user interest over a long period. Consider the costs associated with updating your app every year, which is approximately 20% of your initial development costs. Within five years, you would’ve spent about as much on updating an existing app as you would on a new app.

If an existing app can retain profitability over five years or more, then updating makes sense. But if an app doesn’t retain a sizable user base over this period to ensure its profitability, it’s better to create a new app. Moreover, you’ll likely attract more potential users and expand your user base with a new app, provided you also properly market and promote it.

Another side benefit of releasing an entirely new application is for listing purposes in the app stores. When you launch an app for the first time, it will get listed in the ‘what’s new’ section. Inevitably, this will enhance your app’s visibility and help you draw new users that you could never reach before.

6. Did A Major App Update Perform Well Or Not?

A major app update will increase brand loyalty as long as you provide users with the features they want. But it can also go horribly wrong if you’re not careful. When you’re implementing additional functionality, this inevitably increases your costs. Ideally, you’ll want to monetize these extra features, especially if users find these valuable. However, it’s also possible that users don’t want to pay for these features, meaning that you won’t see a meaningful ROI.

7. Can You Transfer User Settings To A New App Easily?

Do keep in mind that there are often compatibility issues when attempting to run older apps on new hardware. But compatibility issues don’t end there. If an older app uses a different file format from a new app, transferring user settings will prove difficult.

Of course, a competent developer will offer a workaround that allows users to transfer their settings. However, it’s always good practice to implement commonly-used data formats such as JavaScript Object Notation (JSON). All your apps should parse data with this format to make it easy for users to move to your latest app without inconveniencing them.

8. Is It Too Difficult To Add New Features To Your App?

It shouldn’t prove too difficult to add new features to a well-designed and engineered app. If you’re working with an experienced developer, such as NS804, updating apps won’t be a problem. But if your app has become bloated after several updates or suffers from technical debt, it will become hard to maintain. Moreover, adding new features will only make your app more unstable while negatively affecting its usability.

It’s crucial that your projects allow you to implement your new app design ideas. Users are always looking forward to features and improvements that make their favorite apps more engaging. Therefore, an outdated codebase can become a liability if it’s hindering you from moving forward with your ideas.

9. Will A New App Boost Your User Base?

There are no guarantees that your latest app will succeed if you release it out in the wild. It’s always easier and less costly to promote an existing app than an entirely new offering. But if you want to know if your new app design ideas are feasible, then it’s best to create a minimum viable product (MVP) to measure interest. After all, it costs less and takes less time to make an MVP than a full-fledged app, which inevitably reduces your risk.

Once you’ve ascertained that your MVP has gained traction with users, it’s time to scale. You can now move ahead and implement more of your ideas that’ll differentiate your app in a crowded marketplace. Be sure to market and promote your latest app to reach new users and increase your user base. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you create a new app that engages and excites your users.

Why You Need A Digital Marketing Plan To Promote Your App

Digital marketing is one of the most effective ways to promote your app in a crowded market. And it starts with a carefully drawn-up plan that contains all the strategies to help you reach your audience. Below, we provide a few handy tips to help you build your brand the right way.

1. Have A Digital Marketing Plan From Day 1

Months of hard work creating your app should eventually lead to returns that justify its development. But how certain are you that this will happen? If you’ve developed your app without a marketing strategy, then your chances of success are murky. After all, the app stores have a plethora of quality apps in almost every genre and niche imaginable.

But if you’ve drafted a digital marketing plan at the start of the development cycle, you’ll likely release an app that gains traction with its target audience. The marketing plan will help you attract, convince, and convert customers. Furthermore, it will contain all the strategies to attract these customers and how you’ll segment your marketing campaigns.

2. A Digital Marketer Will Identify The Best Ways To Reach Your Target Audience

If you’re an appreneur that wants to build your brand, you’ll need to work with the right people. Ideally, you’ll either have a digital marketer on your team or work with a company that offers marketing services. The marketer will draft a document that outlines your marketing plan in detail and contain the following:

  • List all relevant business goals
  • Detail the strategies to achieve these goals
  • Digital channels to use to reach your audience
  • A comprehensive plan of the development cycle
  • Budget considerations
  • Milestones and roadmap

Furthermore, the marketer will conduct a SWOT analysis of your company relative to its competitors and the overall market. This process will help identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that your company faces.

3. Don’t Neglect App Store Optimization (ASO)

Your digital marketer may have suggested that you produce YouTube videos and do content marketing to reach your audience. However, this doesn’t mean that you should neglect app store optimization (ASO). Why this is so important is because the app stores are where your audience is.

For the best results, compile an app store optimization checklist, utilize app store SEO tools, focus on top keywords, and study your competitors. And don’t forget to design an engaging icon, use stunning screenshots, showcase your app with videos, pick a catchy app name, and encourage user reviews.

4. Build Your Brand On All Relevant Platforms

It’s always a good idea to push your app to as many platforms as possible. While the mobile app market is large and lucrative, don’t focus on Android and iOS exclusively. Try and build your brand on all platforms where your app can potentially find an audience.

The web offers budding appreneurs new opportunities, especially with the growing popularity of progressive web apps (PWAs). Furthermore, Apple’s M1 and Microsoft’s SQ2 processors are gradually transforming the desktop space and creating demand for apps that take advantage of these ARM-based systems.

5. Digital Marketing Can Also Benefit Your MVP

Conducting market research is usually the first step before commencing with a minimum viable product (MVP). You’ll want to identify the pain points that users experience and provide them with a solution that solves these. Thus, a digital marketing plan covers these pain points in detail so that the MVP developers can comprehend them. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help your development and marketing endeavors for a successful app launch.

Beat App Building Competition With Thorough Research

Spending time on research will give any appreneur an edge in the app building competition arena. It’s an overly competitive market out there, and developers need to do their homework if they’re going to succeed. Moreover, extensive research should always precede the app development and marketing processes. Below, we provide several handy tips on how to conduct research before developing your next app.

1. App Building Competition Doesn’t Mean Give Up

Many appreneurs build an MVP to beat their competitors to market and enjoy a leading position. But with a deluge of apps in the app stores, it’s not always possible to be the first to market. Now, that may demoralize many budding appreneurs entering the market in 2021 and beyond. They may feel dissuaded from developing their app and testing out their cool ideas. However, it’s possible to succeed even in an excessively competitive market with the right approach.

The app marketplace is always giving us signals about what works and what doesn’t. But many of these signals seem cryptic or obscure, especially to inexperienced developers. Quite often, they don’t even know what to look for and where to begin their research. That’s why it’s critical to have a plan of action based on tried-and-true research methodologies.

2. Market Research Gives You An Edge

If you’re serious about making an impact in the app marketplace, you need to conduct market research. But why is this so important? Well, once you launch your app, you’ll likely only get one shot to make an impact. While users may download your app, this doesn’t mean that they’ll use it for prolonged periods. According to Statista, 25 percent of downloaded apps between 2010 to 2019 have been used only once, globally.

What this data reveals is the fickle nature of users. But it also tells us that many developers don’t take the time to research the marketplace. Given the low bar of entry, many developers throw everything at the wall hoping that something sticks. But that’s a bad strategy and only leads to failure in most cases.

Thus, an effective way to gain an edge in such a competitive marketplace is to do your homework. By conducting extensive market research, you’ll determine if your app idea is feasible, frame your business model, and solidify your marketing strategy.

3. Research App Stores

The App Store and Google Play are the first places you should check out when conducting your research. Start by browsing the store pages of all the highest-ranking apps and those in the same category as the app you’ll be making. Then, carefully study the screenshots, wording, and user reviews of these apps. Narrow down your closest competitors and use analytics tools such as App Annie to gain greater insight into what makes them so successful.

4. Build An MVP

In the app building competition game, it makes sense to use the most effective methods. You may have come up with several good ideas that could lead to a potentially lucrative app. But these ideas aren’t worth much if they’re only theoretical and remain untested.

One of the best ways to see if your ideas can gain traction in the marketplace is to build an MVP. An MVP reduces the risks and costs associated with releasing a full-fledged product. Depending on the complexity of your app, an MVP could cost between $ 25,000 to $ 100,000.

5. Use MVP As A Research Tool

A key reason to build an MVP is that you’ll gain invaluable feedback and insight from your users. Without a doubt, this user data will give you a clear picture if you’re on the right track. Furthermore, you’ll have an opportunity to iron out the kinks before your product’s final release.

6. Discover If There’s A Real Need

You may be obsessed with some of your ideas and eager to implement them in your upcoming app. These ideas may seem great to you and your team but not necessarily to your target audience. Therefore, it’s better to take some preparatory steps before embarking on such a costly and potentially risky endeavor.

It’s vital to discover if there’s a real need for your app, and you can do this with a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis is a simple procedure that allows you to determine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, as these pertain to your app and organization.

7. Understanding ASO Research And Development

One thing that sets apart successful appreneurs is their extensive knowledge of ASO research and development. ASO stands for App Store Optimization and is powered by keywords similarly to search engine optimization (SEO). Several years ago, you could be forgiven for not knowing much about ASO. But app stores have matured, which makes ASO a mandatory field that no appreneur should ignore.

A crucial part of ASO research and development includes researching and implementing keywords. Initially, you’ll find out what keywords your closest competitors use and what works well on the app stores. Then, you’ll implement 2-3 keywords, but as your ASO campaign matures, you may even implement up to 5 keywords.

8. Look At Trends In User Needs

We’ve already mentioned that app users tend to be fickle. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as users’ ever-changing needs drive innovation. That’s why it’s essential to keep abreast of user trends and respond with apps that will engage them.

You should regularly peruse reports and white papers that track these trends. Read user reviews to pinpoint common problems and what features users commonly request. Also, make it a habit to read blogs from tech insiders and other authoritative sources that reveal upcoming developments.

9. Test User Engagement Strategies

Ideally, your app should be solving pain points that users regularly experience. But you’ll only know for sure if your app’s meeting expectations by testing user engagement. Make onboarding as frictionless as possible and give your users clear instructions of what to do next, and encourage them to unlock content and additional features.

Add analytics, then collect and analyze data to see how users are engaging with your app. A few things you’ll be looking out for include how often users open your app, how long sessions last, and if any anomalies occur. And implement personalized push notifications to aid users when they experience specific issues.

10. Develop For The User, Not The Brand

While it’s vital to build your brand, don’t prioritize this over your users. After all, most users seldom care about the brand behind an app. What keeps them using an app are its features and any benefits they derive thereof.

If you’ve properly researched your target audience, then you’ll know what engages and repels them. For example, if you’re developing a streaming app for audiophiles, then you should ensure that music streams run at a high bitrate. And since audiophiles tend to pay for content and expect a premium experience, they don’t want to deal with disruptive ads. Thus, give them the option to pay to remove ads, even if your business strategy revolves around the ad model.

The Bottom Line

Thorough research makes all the difference in the world when trying to beat the competition. It’s a long and complex process, but it’s worthwhile since you’ll gain a better understanding of the market and if your app actually stands a chance. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you develop an app that leaves the competition in the dust!

Build An MVP: 8 Mistakes To Avoid For Success

If you’re about to build an MVP, then you’re going to face several challenges. You’ll want to implement a ton of cool ideas, but you’ll probably pare these down for project feasibility. Then, you’ll have to consider Waterfall methodology vs Agile and choose the right model. And, budgetary concerns may make you spend too much or too little on your upcoming project. The wrong decisions could potentially derail the success of your MVP. Therefore, we’ve compiled this handy list of 8 mistakes to avoid to keep your project on track.

1. Build An MVP Too Complete Or Slimmed Down

Everything in life is about balance, and the same applies to building an MVP. Quite often, developers get excited about making a mind-blowing MVP and go overboard by adding unnecessary features. They waste company resources by spending time on these extra bells and whistles, hoping that they’ll wow clients. But the result is an unfocused product that confuses clients or doesn’t deliver basic functionality as it should. Small or inexperienced teams usually have trouble implementing complex systems with robust functionality.

However, it’s not a good idea to build an MVP that’s too slimmed down either. While it makes sense to keep things simple, this doesn’t mean that it should be too basic unless that’s what’s specified by the client. Ideally, you want to create an MVP that delivers all core functionality in a near-flawless manner. But you also want to implement the user interface (UI) & user experience (UX) to make your MVP feel complete. Ultimately, you want the MVP to give the client a clear picture of how the final product will look.

2. Choosing The Wrong Methodology

Developers are a passionate lot, especially when it comes to their favorite programming languages, tools, and methodologies. You’ll catch them feverishly debating the Waterfall methodology vs Agile on Stack Overflow, Quora, or around the water cooler. You may even have a hotshot developer on the team that’s eager to dive into an MVP agile project. Thus, it’s easy to be swayed by popular opinion of which methodology to adopt in your upcoming MVP.

The best course of action here is to consider all benefits of the Waterfall methodology vs Agile. Moreover, you’ll have to decide on which model suits your MVP the most. If you need to get deliverables out to clients quickly, then we recommend the MVP agile approach. But if you’re working on a larger or very defined project, then it’s better to apply the Waterfall methodology. Keep in mind that it’s difficult going back and making changes after commencing or testing a project with Waterfall.

3. Build An MVP That Costs Too Much

We don’t recommend that you skimp on costs to build your MVP. After all, you want an MVP that’s of reasonably good quality. But don’t burn through your entire budget, as your project may prove unfeasible in the long run. By working with an experienced developer, such as NS804, it’s possible to determine costs beforehand and avoid nasty surprises along the way. Moreover, a competent developer will deliver the MVP on time, implement best practices, and meet expectations.

4. Spending Too Much Time On Research

It makes sense to do your homework before building your MVP, but don’t overdo it. One of the reasons you’re making an MVP is to determine its validity in the marketplace. Ultimately, it’s your target audience that will decide if your project is worth scaling into a full-fledged product. Researching too much will also give you plenty of ideas, which may tempt you to apply all these in your MVP. Overloading your app with too many features will make it harder to develop, maintain, and scale.

5. Building An MVP Without Understanding Your Audience

One of the biggest mistakes you could make is building an MVP without understanding your audience. If you’ve never released an app before, you may think that all users will find your MVP appealing. But when you eventually launch it, you’ll come to the harsh realization that few users bother to download it.

Now, why does this happen to so many developers?

In most cases, they’ve failed to do market research to understand who their audience is and what they want. They’ve cast their net wide, hoping that they’ll attract a large mainstream audience. But that’s now how the app marketplace works! Users invest their time in highly-popular apps such as Evernote, Facebook Messenger, and Signal since these provide the features and functionality that people find valuable. Thus, only incredibly talented development teams with massive marketing budgets can compete with the above offerings.

Before embarking on MVP development, it’s critical to think about target market segmentation. Moreover, it’s necessary to ask several questions such as: Where does your user live? What’s their demographic group? What’s their general attitude or outlook on life? What hobbies and interests do they spend their money and time on? And what life stage are they currently in?

Also, it’s vital to understand the differences between a target market and a target audience. It’s’ easy to confuse the two terms since they often have overlapping meanings. Succinctly, a target market affects every aspect of an enterprise’s decisions relating to its product, pricing, and sales processes. But the target audience will only influence the enterprise’s marketing and messaging endeavors.

6. Using The Cheapest Option Possible

You’ve decided to forge ahead with your MVP agile project but noticed that your input costs are mounting. With months still to go before your MVP is out the door, you decide to cut costs. You let go of several key developers in your team and hire cheaper contractors from abroad. Furthermore, you forego unit testing in the hopes of reducing your time to market (TTM) and overall costs. And, when you finally release your MVP, you discover that it’s a buggy mess plagued with problems.

Choosing the cheapest option almost always leads to unsatisfactory results. That’s why we can’t stress enough how important it’s to work with an experienced developer when building an MVP. Not only will a team of professionals help you craft a professional MVP, but they’ll also ensure that it’s budget-friendly.

7. Striving For Perfection

You should complete your MVP within a reasonable amount of time. But don’t rush it out the door, as its quality will likely suffer. Instead, focus on building an MVP that showcases its core functionality and avoid adding any unnecessary features. And don’t waste resources on too much spit and polish, which is better suited for your final product. You’ll meet your deadlines and goals if you keep your app as simple as possible and not try to make it perfect.

8. Promising Something Impossible To Deliver

You may be working with a phenomenal marketing team that’s ready to set all your social media channels on fire. You’ve handed over marketing materials and screenshots of your MVP, hoping the marketing team to build an enormous amount of hype. But have you thought things through about how you’ll be conveying your message to your target audience? Are you sure that your MVP will meet expectations, or are you overpromising? If your app doesn’t live up to the hype, then you risk damaging your reputation.

In Conclusion

Building an MVP is a rewarding but often challenging process. However, it’s possible to make the process a lot easier by avoiding the 8 mistakes we’ve covered above. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can make your next MVP a roaring success!

The Toolbox of The Appreneur

The Tricks Of The Appreneur Trade Start With The Tools

Every trade has masters to look to for exemplary work. However, an important aspect to keep in mind when admiring these great achievements, is where those masters began. They certainly didn’t start their journeys creating masterpieces. In most cases, the greatest successes have modest and humble beginnings. Simply learning any trade takes years, and mastering a trade is a whole different story. There is hope, though. For instance, Malcolm Gladwell theorized that it only takes 10,000 hours of intensive practice to master any skill. In other words, practice does make perfect, even for an appreneur.

Before anyone masters anything, however, the fundamentals need to be conquered; and this is true regardless of industry, practice, or trade. In the context of appreneurs, though, it means reaching a deep understanding of the tools and resources available that will guide your application development process. From data to the complexity of the app stores, pitching investors, and much more, let’s start filling your appreneur toolbox so you’re prepared for your first day on the job site, so to speak.

The Importance of Learning The Appreneur Tools

It might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning that there is real value in developing a deep and meaningful understanding of the tools used by appreneurs. By taking the time to learn and understand these various tools you’ll have the wherewithal to set out on meaningful app-development projects. Learning these tools will also help prevent you from making the same mistakes as others before you. The app market is a relatively tricky one, and starting with a comprehensive knowledge base gives you an immediate advantage.

One of the most valuable aspects of having this knowledge is the mistakes it helps developers avoid. For instance, creating a relationship with and utilizing these tools helps developers and programmers from creating clunky apps; it provides insight into red flags for which to watch out on the development journey; and it will help you tune into the needs of your consumers and users more easily.

The MVP: Minimum Viable Product

Most app-journeys begin with the ‘aha’ moment. The moment that the great idea was born. However, this is far from the point at which investors are taking a stake, or there’s any sort of buzz about your app. No, at this stage; it’s almost always just you and your good idea.

Enter: the MVP. While this may sound like a deus ex machina, in fact, it is not a most valuable player to save the day – but rather, the minimum viable product. The minimum viable product is an early form of an application that displays its basic functionality, core concept, and some design elements.

Much like a prototype in more traditional markets, the MVP is absolutely vital. One of the main reasons it’s such an important aspect of an application’s journey and development is that it often generates funding. MVPs are commonly the first introduction that investors and other potential partners are going to have to your application. Therefore, developing strong MVPs that garner and accelerate interest is vital to success in app development. The MVP sort of acts as both a teaser and a proof of concept; and it’s no secret that first impressions last.

App Store Data

The next tool to add to the box is data. Specifically, app store data. The app stores are important for appreneurs for a variety of reasons. Obviously, they represent the main marketplaces in which users can actually purchase, download, and discover applications. However, there’s much more to its value for an appreneur than that. For appreneurs, the app stores are rich mines full of data that covers a whole spectrum of categories.

Following the app store from week to week, for instance, sheds light on multiple factors. Firstly, it gives insight into the app store’s algorithm that rolls through and ranks apps. Secondly, and arguably, more importantly, it paints a portrait of user behavior and consumer trends. No matter which market you find yourself in, consumer behavior is one of the most telling elements that helps identify the next big success.

There are plenty of places to look within the app stores to find pertinent and valuable data. One of those places being direct competition.

Learning From Competitors

No one wants to reinvent the wheel. And for good reason. The same principle is why crafty appreneurs take the time to look at their direct competition before jumping into app development, or even MVP development. Since applications are designed to basically be as accessible as possible, appreneurs can use this to their advantage. By downloading and learning the ins and outs of a competitor’s application, you’re able to take notes on what you would improve as a designer or developer in your own version. The learning doesn’t stop there though.

Going a level deeper, examining user feedback, both positive and negative, will provide an elevated level of insight into the elements for which users in your specific niche market are looking. These elements include but are not limited to, functionality, design, the look and feel, the overall usability, and much more.

Taking lessons from the competition will give you and your team insight into features to be sure to include, as well as features that certainly should not be included. This sets your application on the right path, as you’re already taking consumer demands and needs into consideration before you’ve even released your first iteration.

The App Launch

Once you’ve built your all-star MVP that’s garnered enough interest and investment to take your app idea from concept to reality, it’s time for one of the most exciting stages in any app’s life. The app launch. The app launch is exciting for a myriad of reasons, but most notably, because it’s the first time that your application will actually be live on the app stores. Users will start seeing it in their feeds, and with the right marketing plan, downloads will begin in no time.

The app launch isn’t all fun and cocktails, though, as it’s another opportunity for your team to promote the app. After all, you’ve worked this hard to bring it here, there’s nothing wrong with getting a bit hyped up. Taking the time to plan an app launch, even a virtual one in this remote economy, helps push the word out about your app, drives early downloads, and theoretically builds an initial userbase that has a slightly higher sense of loyalty.

Leveraging and Implementing User Feedback

The app launch is in the past, the initial user base is cemented; you’re starting to wonder about what to develop next. Before you jump on that train, though, remember that applications are all about the user experience. User feedback, therefore, is one of the most valuable tools that any appreneur can access once their app is launched. By listening to the reviews that users leave, and giving strong consideration to the feedback provided by users, your team will have the knowledge they need to create valuable updates that don’t nuisance the users and continue to improve the user experience.

A Quick Wrap Up On Appreneur Tools

Learning any trade takes time, commitment, and practice. It’s no different with appreneurship. After reading this article though, you should at least have an understanding of which tools are important to learn, and why they offer so much value. For more information on mobile app development, appreneurship, or anything else app development-related; keep browsing the NS804 content library.

Mobile App User Acquisition: 9 Tips For Attracting New Users

Embarking on the path of mobile app user acquisition is undoubtedly challenging. It’s especially tough for developers launching their first app and have limited or no experience in marketing. And, even seasoned developers may struggle to attract new users in today’s competitive marketplace. To help demystify the process, we offer nine handy tips for attracting new users to your upcoming app.

1. Why Do You Need To Create An MVP First?

It costs approximately $ 37,500 to develop a simple app and over $ 500,000 for a complex application. Now, let that sink in! For many appreneurs and enterprises, it’s a significant amount of money that shouldn’t go wasted. The last thing you’d ever want is to invest in an application that fails to deliver ROI.

Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common occurrence for many enterprises launching their apps in today’s marketplace. And this happens because they release applications without having a grasp of what users truly want.

But there’s a smart way to gauge user interest without spending too much time and money on a project. Focus strictly on the essential features of your app by developing a minimum viable product (MVP). If your MVP gains traction, then you know that your app has potential and worth developing further. A typical iOS MVP example is releasing an app only for iPhones on launch day. Once the app has gained traction, it makes sense to release a future iteration on tvOS with additional features that suit this platform.

2. Why Should You Focus On App Store Optimization?

A critical app marketing strategy that you shouldn’t ignore involves app store optimization (ASO). Now, why is that? In simple terms, over 50% of users who choose to download an app do so by browsing through the App Store and Google Play. Thus, spend time and effort optimizing your app store page as you would your website.

There are several key ways to go about this that will bring about positive results. Firstly, come up with a catchy title and tweak your description so that these resonate with your audience. Make sure to keep these simple so that it’s easy for users to remember and understand what you’re conveying. Secondly, ensure that your icon and screenshots are visually pleasing and that your unique selling proposition (USP) is on point. Finally, keep a close eye on your metrics and tweak your storage page when necessary.

3. What Types Of App Marketing Work Best?

There are numerous ways to market your app, but you need to be careful about how you go about this. The type of app you make and the platforms you target will undoubtedly affect your app marketing strategy. Therefore, you’ll need to do extensive research before embarking on your marketing endeavors. Be sure to find out as much as possible about your target audience and competitors.

We’ve already mentioned the importance of ASO, which every app developer and marketer shouldn’t neglect. However, there’s more you can do to cut through the noise and get your app noticed. Start marketing early by publishing blog posts and creating videos showing how your app is coming along. A side benefit of this is that it allows you to gauge user interest and even receive feedback. Take things further by running polls and surveys to learn more about what features your potential audience wants.

Prepare both a physical press kit (PK) and an electronic press kit (EPK) to hand out to the appropriate groups, such as bloggers, influencers, and the media. These press kits should include a company description, staff bios, contact information, main features of your app, screenshots, relevant case studies, press coverage, and any awards received. Also, ensure that its graphic design is high quality and in line with your brand identity.

Distribute your PK to the appropriate parties at conventions and trade shows. And send your EPK via email or a file hosting service such as Dropbox. When approaching influencers and journalists, always establish rapport before sending your EPK in an unsolicited email. By reaching the right people in the industry, they’ll likely spread the word about your app to millions of potential users.

4. How To Encourage More Referrals?

Once you’ve launched your app, you’ll gradually start acquiring users and building up a fanbase. And it’s these loyal users that can potentially become ambassadors of your app. According to recent studies, approximately 83% of satisfied users would recommend a brand, but only 29% follow through. But that’s because most apps haven’t implemented the right tools to run a referral program. So, consider utilizing AI that identifies these loyal users and incentivizes them to refer your app to their friends and followers.

5. How To Increase Positive App Reviews?

Today’s users don’t have the time and patience to download or purchase lackluster or unappealing apps. Thus, they always read through reviews to decide whether or not to install yet another application on their smartphones. That’s why you must encourage your audience to leave a review after using your app. Include a pop-up notification that asks your users to leave a review and rating on your store page. If your app offers them a satisfactory experience, then it’s likely that they’ll leave positive reviews.

6. How To Improve Mobile App User Acquisition With Demos?

If you’re developing a paid app or subscription service, it becomes much harder to gain users. But you can sweeten the deal by offering a free trial or demo of your app, making users feel more confident to try it out on a whim. The trial version allows users to access all your app’s features for a limited period. Once the end of the trial period draws near, it notifies them to upgrade to the paid version so that they can continue enjoying the app’s key features.

7. What Are The Best Organic Mobile App User Acquisition Strategies?

Several effective organic mobile app user acquisition strategies can make a difference to your marketing endeavors. Start by leveraging all your social media channels by regularly engaging with your followers. Post engaging and relevant content that leads your audience to your store page. Furthermore, improve your website and SEO by creating articles, ebooks, infographics, and videos that provide value. Make sure to rank for the right keywords to drive traffic to your website and app organically.

8. How To Find Influencers To Test Your App?

Ideally, you want to find the right influencers and build long-term relationships with them. Not only will they promote your app to their followers, but they can also test your app and offer valuable feedback. Now, it’s relatively easy to find influencers on all social media platforms. But you’ll need to contact individuals that will actually be interested in working with you. Thus, only get in touch with influencers, which are in an industry or niche where your app will be useful.

9. Why Should You Create A Demo Video?

No app marketing strategy is complete without creating a demo video. Many users, particularly young adults in the 18-34 age demographic, enjoy watching YouTube videos. They prefer watching short and engaging videos instead of cable TV. Moreover, they’ve become accustomed to watching 30-second mobile ads and love to share videos on social media. That’s why it’s essential to create a short demo video for your mobile landing pages to drive interest.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to marketing apps and acquiring new users, it makes sense to utilize various methods. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach since your app, audience, and budget will largely determine the best course of action. Contact NS804 today to find out how we can help you acquire new users for your upcoming app.

The Ultimate Guide To Creating an MVP for Your Startup

The Ultimate MVP Guide

Put up or shut up. Put your money where your mouth is. Actions speak louder than words. These phrases have earned their place in history by speaking to a commonality in all of us: the desire for cold hard evidence. Because seeing is believing, right? Therefore, these little quips and phrases point towards the importance of business tools like prototypes, product proof-of-concept, or an MVP.

Prototypes, a proof-of-concept, and an MVP are all tools companies use in a variety of ways. Two of the main functions of these tools include investor recruitment and target market feedback. Plus, developing these tools and making use of them will lead to further insights that will help inform the rest of the product development lifecycle.

Understanding MVPs

No, we aren’t talking about Patrick Mahomes possibly leading the Chiefs to a second straight superbowl, for the first time in the history of the NFL. No, in mobile app development, an MVP stands for the minimum viable product. In other words, this is the bare-bones product that your developers build as a sort of shell-demonstration. This demonstrates the core functionality of the application. However, the MVP is still very much a predecessor to the application’s full-blown vision.

Although, that doesn’t always stop the MVP from being utilized. See there’s a whole niche market of app-development where the bells and whistles are just that: bells and whistles. The end-user isn’t so much interested in the seamless UX or the brilliant design; but rather the solution that the application provides. This is often the case when it comes to business-oriented-applications, or industry-specific applications.

In these environments, the end-user may be an early-adopter or a professional simply looking for a solution to their problem, if your MVP contains that solution – the extra functions and features that get added might just be icing on the cake.

While an MVP may sound very similar to a prototype, and they are in many ways, there are a few key differences between the two. The biggest and most obvious difference between an MVP and a prototype is the form it takes. An MVP is always going to be a lightweight version of the application.

A prototype, on the other hand, can come in a whole variety of shapes, sizes, and forms. The most basic prototypes, in fact, are simple sketches. The form your prototype takes will largely depend on a variety of factors. Aspects like your industry-expertise, technical ability, and access to resources.

The Development

While it may seem like one of the first steps in mobile app development, there’s actually quite a bit of work to be done before your firm can tackle the MVP. The very first step in mobile app development is identifying a problem and a potential solution. This is by far the most critical question that needs to be answered at the onset of a mobile app development project.

Without a firm-wide understanding of the problem that’s being addressed and the solution that’s being developed, a whole onslaught of issues will arise. These issues range from miscommunication, to inefficient processes, and misaligned development activities. In other words, one developer might be working on a user-interface that is completely incompatible with the overall solution that’s being developed. Therefore, time, energy, and resources were all wasted, which could have been avoided entirely with stronger communication channels.

Once your firm has identified the problem they’d like to solve, and how they’d like to solve it; then they can advance to the next step of the development process. The next phase in mobile app development, or MVP development is determining the core-features that need to be built into the application. The core features that are selected largely influence both the MVP and the design of the finished application.

This is important to note. The MVP, as mentioned above, is a tool your mobile app firm develops for a wide variety of reasons. Two of the main reasons for MVP development is end-user and target-market feedback, as well as investor recruitment. These are two of the most crucial phases in the entire mobile app development lifecycle.

Feedback and Investor Recruitment

As the age-old-adage goes, “money makes the world go round.” And as sad as that is to acknowledge at times, the practical utility of liquid assets is undeniable. Developing an MVP takes time, money, labor, and resources. Once your firm develops the MVP, however, there’s plenty of opportunity for your team to leverage the MVP into additional investments.

On top of leveraging an MVP into additional funding for your firm, or the specific project; an MVP also gives your company a way to conduct market focus-groups. This allows you to garner real end-user feedback on the solution provided and the overall direction of the application. These insights can be used to further inform your team on the features and trends most impactful to the target market, and how to finish the development process.

When garnering user-feedback or running focus-groups, there are a few important things to keep in mind. Keeping these elements in mind can help your team maximize the value that these activities in the development process yield. For example, when running a focus group with an MVP, your team should consider including a basic version of the UX. This will help the focus-group. It helps them understand the flow of the application, how the app presents information to the user, and more.

Running focus groups and testing the MVP in a variety of demographics is a best-practice by all considerations. This practice is important because it will help you and your team avoid common pitfalls in app development. One of the most common traps that mobile app developers often fall into is known as the ‘assumption trap’. This is the ‘trap’ that mobile app developers fall into when they believe they already know what the end-consumer wants.

Avoiding The Trap

Conducting a series of focus groups across a variety of demographics, therefore, is extremely valuable and provides incredible insight into consumer behavior, and consumer wants.

The end-consumer, especially today, has more power than ever before. Between the era of information and technology providing more widespread access to information, and the emergence of a very competitive marketplace, the consumer truly is king. Therefore, taking the time to understand the issues that are most significant to your target-market will benefit you greatly. Let the consumers and customers tell you what they want, then deliver. Otherwise, you may very well be putting the cart before the horse.

Final Thoughts on MVP Development

The mobile app market is booming. Ever since earlier this year when the pandemic was first beginning to rage and the first set of lockdown orders were issued, mobile app usership has boomed. Between March and April of this year, millions of first-time app users were downloading applications, log-times were skyrocketing, and the shift toward the digital age was officially underway.

In such a crowded market, it’s important to stand out, deliver on consumer wants, and offer new and unique solutions. Developing an MVP will help you and your firm do all of this and more. From investor-recruitment, to real-time consumer feedback, developing an MVP is a necessity.

For more information on MVPs, or anything related to mobile app development, visit NS804 today, and get in touch with an expert mobile app developer ready to turn your idea into a reality.

MVP Development: Competitive Analysis and Feature Sets

Developing a Successful MVP

Before developing a minimum viable product (MVP) developers conduct their due diligence to make decisions about the MVP prior to releasing it. That ensures the MVP includes vital features that display the core functions of the app. While there are many aspects to consider, two are especially crucial. Firstly, there is the competitive analysis.

The Competitive Analysis

The competitive analysis is a way to determine the specific competitive advantage of the mobile app. In other words, the comparison of mobile apps in the same market. Mobile app developers find valuable insight from these comparisons. Insights that highlight differences between mobile apps.

These differences then become differentiating factors. Enough of these factors form a competitive advantage. A comprehensive competitive advantage then informs the marketing strategy.

Another important aspect to consider when conducting a competitive analysis is the product-market fit. The product-market fit helps determine exactly where in the marketplace any specific app fits. Thus, leading to important insights that the marketing team leverages into different marketing tactics. In turn, forming the overall marketing strategy.

Feature Sets

Feature sets are also incredibly crucial in the development of a successful MVP. The feature sets of an app are the high-level pillars of what makes the app viable. In other words, feature sets make up the core skeleton of the app.

Another way to look at the feature sets of a mobile app is to define what solution the application offers the end-user. Essentially, what purpose does the app serve?

Defining the feature sets of the mobile app is an important step in the MVP development process for a spectrum of reasons. One of the most crucial is that some to many of the aspects defined as a feature set need to be included, to some capacity, in the MVP.

Moving Forward With The MVP

After determining the feature sets of the app the developer can begin designing and building the core of the application. Once the development process is a little further along, the app will be ready for the competitive analysis. Between these two components, an MVP is born.

While the MVP is being built behind the scenes, the marketing team surely is surely not sitting idly by. Once developed, the MVP needs groups ready to test it. These groups often include early adopters.

After the MVP undergoes testing, and the competitive analysis is complete, a mobile app is ready for it’s home-stretch.

At this point in the process, there is plenty of data readily accessible for mobile app developers to complete the app. Insights garnered from conducting the competitive analysis and the product-market fit. Additionally, extra aspects of feedback offered by test-groups from the released MVP.

Develop an MVP with NS804

NS804 is the mobile app developer of the people. NS804 brings mobile app development services to the everyday person with a good idea. With experience that spans the entire mobile-app marketplace and a team of expert developers and designers, bring your mobile app idea to life with NS804.