digital marketing, Entreprenuership

How to market your Mobile App

mob-app-banner

 

 

Marketing and cross-platform promotion are incredibly important in creating brand awareness, acquiring users, and building an audience for your app. If you’ve already spent time, effort, and money on conceptualizing and building your app, the next step is to market your product and make it a success.

A product has three marketing life stages:

  • Pre-launch: build awareness
  • Launch: focus on app store optimization
  • Post launch: build and maintain user engagementPre-Launch

Ask yourself the following:

Who is your target market?
What outcome are you seeking?
It’s important to refine your target audiences precisely even if you already identified these target markets when you researched your idea. Reaching a niche audience—one that will respond positively to your app—may be the most effective way to spark word-of-mouth buzz.

From there, decide what your primary objective is: Do you want to achieve the widest possible reach? Focus on building active users? Maximize revenue? The answer to this question affects what marketing channel choices you should make—to buy reach or to encourage repeat visits.

Identifying your main objective will help inform your budget and investment requirements. If your app is initially free while you focus on building the largest possible audience, you’ll need the funds, via investment or otherwise, to support this approach since you won’t be generating revenue at the outset.

Take the time to carefully think through this process; your decisions will drive your marketing program. Your marketing plan must be closely aligned with a business plan that can fund it; both are crucial and shouldn’t be considered in isolation of the other.

 

banner145

When creating your marketing plan, you should research and set out the following items:

An analysis of your current market
Your business objectives
Key marketing strategies
Steps to achieving your objectives
Proposed budget
Timing
The key marketing strategies you should consider are:

Public Relations (PR)
Building an online presence through a website
List building
Engagement via social media
The launch party
Launch

You’ll need to fight hard for your place in the app store. According to Distimo, only 2% of the top 250 publishers in Apple’s App Store are “newcomers.” It’s a similar story in Google Play for Android apps—only 3% of publishers are new.

The app store launch should be your main focus at this point since getting it right is likely to be the single most important factor influencing the success of your app.

App Store Optimization

Making sure people can discover your app is crucial.

App store optimization is your positioning and how people will find your app in the app stores. It consists of five main elements:

The name of the app
The app icon’s design
The wording: the right keywords, description, and what’s new sections
Useful screenshots
App reviews
It’s a good idea to find at least 10-12 of your friends and family members to help you test and improve on the iterations of your app. Once your launch date draws closer, encourage them to spread the word about it and help build interest in your launch.

 

Post Launch

Once your app has been launched, you’ll need to continue to create awareness and engagement. If you’re really lucky, early adopters will like some aspect of your app enough to talk about it and recommend it to their friends. Word of mouth is the holy grail of marketing. It’s not only free but also has been measured to be 2-3 times more effective than a promotion you’d run directly because people assign a higher level of trust to a referral.

In addition, you should be prepared to monitor reviews in the app store to pinpoint bugs or issues and resolve them quickly. If users experience bugs, it will result in low ratings for your app and can impact your search visibility. Newly updated apps are more discoverable—and potentially more visible—which is why a focus on fixing bugs can give your app a boost and contribute to future success.

Also, continue to monitor and maintain your social media channels. Be sure to mark milestones with PR efforts and engage with your users. Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing and consider how you could improve upon it. Take note of any good marketing efforts you see and think about how you might replicate them.

The goal is to ensure the people who would be the most interested in your app know about it. By maintaining this focus, you’ll be able to get the best achievable return on investment no matter if you’re measuring it in dollars or time.

Advertisements
Entreprenuership

SECRETS TO START-UP SUCCESS#1 : TIMING

time

 

There are so many things to consider when thinking about starting your own business.

Things to consider like

  • Business Plan
  • great team
  • Finance
  • A market
  • Understanding competition

There is one critical element, however, that many business owners fail to consider when embarking on their business startup.  Timing!

Creativity, motivation and drive can get you far, but is now the best time to take the risk?  You must ask yourself several key questions to determine if your idea will work for you in current market conditions. I am from Zimbabwe  and I see young people with great ideas but it is the right timing to launch the product?

Although the idea sounds good and seems to solve a problem, I believe start by asking yourself the following questions

  1. How is the current market and local economy? 
  2. What is the current competition like in your industry? 
  3. Do statistical market trends seem favorable for the start of your business and its future growth?
  4. Do you understand the timing involved in customer outreach?
  5. Is this the right time for you?

Understanding the economy is one critical thing entrepreneurs tend to neglect. the reason why in Zimbabwe we do not seem to have foreign investors nor local banks investing in startups it is because of the instability of the economy. A little bit of economics can give you foresight of how the product will be accepted by the customer. It can give you  a hint of the future demand. ( demand is determined by the number of people who are willing to buy the product)

The chances of a startup failing especially when  there is an alternative are very high.  understanding competition and sub substitutes is something Start-ups  fail to consider.  At the same time having a product which is highly technologically advanced is something that can make a start-up fail. One needs to understand

  • the environment ( are the potential customers technologically literate)
  • if it needs data ( is there internet access and the cost)
  • What value does it have to the user

Sometimes competition can lend credibility to an endeavor.  You can use competitors as tools to improve on a product or service by identifying the weaknesses and strengths of what they are providing.  Then you must ask yourself if you can surpass them.  Do you have the ability and resources to stand out against the competition?  On the contrary, perhaps there is too much competition at the time.  If this is the case, it might not be the right time to join the competition.

You are the one who ultimately has to make your business succeed, regardless of market conditions, the economy, competition, and trends.  So, perhaps the most important question to be honest with yourself about is if you are truly prepared right now. Falling in love with an idea and ignoring the environment you want to operate in can lead you to destruction. You might be the first to launch but is the market ready? Do they have the money to buy the product? Do they understand technology and is the environment technologically advanced? Do you have the time to put into making your business a success?  Forecast your own future to determine if you have the availability, support, funds and readiness to take on what could be the most challenging, and hopefully most rewarding, venture of your life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Entreprenuership

Startup Business Ideas for Computer Experts

If you have experience with computers and related technology, you’re well on your way to becoming a successful startup founder. There are so many potential small business opportunities out there for computer experts. So if you have the relevant experience, here are 50 potential small business ideas for tech entrepreneurs.

Web Designer
Businesses of all shapes and sizes need websites. So if you’re experienced with design and the tech aspects of building a website, you can offer your services as a web designer and work with all different types of clients.
IT Consultant
You can also offer your services to different businesses by working as an IT consultant that they can go to for a variety of different tech related issues.
Tech Blogger
If you want to share your expertise with a wider audience, you can start your own blog and write about computers and other aspects of the tech industry.
App Developer
Mobile apps are becoming hugely popular. And many of the same aspects of web and software development can also be applied to the mobile world, though some of the tools vary. So you can build a business creating your own mobile apps or even working on them for outside clients.
Computer Repair Service Provider
Computers experience technical issues fairly regularly. So you can offer services as a computer repair business, either one that goes to your clients or one with a physical location where they can come to you.
Tech Support Call Center Operator
For simpler IT issues, you may even be able to offer your technical expertise over the phone. Start your own call center where people can phone in with their questions or issues and you can talk them through the solutions.
Software Developer
There are many opportunities for you to create and develop your own software programs to later sell and build a business around.
Software Programmer
If you want a smaller focus but still want to help create software programs, you can offer your services as a programmer to software firms and other companies that want to sell software programs.
Software Engineer
Engineers can also be an important part of the software building process. You can offer your services to look over programs, test any bugs and help companies come up with solutions to any issues that may arise.
Technical Writer
If you have some writing skills, you can build a business as a technical writer to help others understand certain tech products or services.
System Analyst
Systems analysts work with hardware and software programs to solve any potential problems with the technology. You can offer your services on a freelance basis to a variety of different firms.
Web Developer
Web developers are programmers who specialize in websites and web based applications. If you enjoy working on the back end of such programs, you can offer your services in this area.
Database Manager

Databases are important parts of many software programs and web applications. You can offer your services as a database manager to ensure that data is collected and handled properly.
Quality Assurance Professional
In many different areas of tech, quality is absolutely essential. So you can start a business offering quality assurance services to make sure that different programs and applications are up to company and industry standards.
UX Service Provider
You can also offer a specialty type of service where you test, or facilitate user testing, for websites, mobile apps or other tech programs to make sure the user experience is what the company actually expects.
Community Manager
For those websites and other tech programs that include community oriented features, you can offer your services as a community manager to update the service and keep the community engaged.
Game Developer
Online, mobile and social games are growing in popularity. So you can build a successful business by developing those games.
Social Network Founder
Social networks are also incredibly popular. While it may be difficult to break into that industry, there are plenty of niches where you can start social media sites or apps to get started.
SEO Consultant
Search engine optimization is an important part of marketing for any online business. If you have computer experience, you likely understand a bit about how search engines work, and can offer consulting or related services to businesses that need help with SEO.
Computer Cleaning Service Owner
Computers do need to be cleaned from time to time. So you can start a business offering those cleaning services to people in your area.
Computer Setup Service Provider
You might also want to help people who have recently bought new devices and want help getting them set up. In that case, stating a computer setup service could be the way to go.
Computer Refurbisher
You can also start a business from taking old computers and parts and refurbishing them to make like-new devices that you can then sell.
Computer Training Service Provider
For those computer experts who enjoy teaching, you can start your own training program where you provide the essential knowledge to individuals or even other professionals who are interested in learning more about computers.
Tech Tutor
Or you could work in more of a one-on-one setting and offer your services to specific clients who need some computer help.
Computer Store Operator
Of course, you can also open a local store that simply sells computers and other tech devices.
Computer Backup Service Provider
Customers like to have some security when it comes to saving their data and important files. In those cases, you can offer a service that specifically helps them back up their data.
Data Recovery Service Provider
Or for those customers who didn’t back up their data and then need help recovering it, you can offer data recovery services.
Domain Reseller
Anyone who wants to start a website needs a domain. And they need to purchase those domains from somewhere. If you purchase domains from providers, you can then sell them to interested parties later as part of a domain resale business.
Website Host
You can also provide hosting services to those website owners who need that type of function.
Web Content Provider
If you want to help people fill the actual content of their websites, blogs or other online spaces, you can offer services as a freelance content provider.
Online Marketing Consultant
You can also specialize in digital marketing and work with various online businesses to shore up their online marketing strategies.
Social Media Manager
Social media is a big part of digital marketing. If you’re familiar with the format, you can work with businesses as a professional who can manage and carry out their social media plans.
Desktop Publisher
There are also plenty of opportunities for you to use your skills in a variety of different computer programs to help companies create things like magazines, newsletters and reports.
Smartphone Repair Service Provider
If you’re skilled with repairs, you can start a specialty business where you offer repair services to people who have broken or malfunctioning smartphones.
Computer Manufacturer
You can also build your own computers to sell if you have extensive skills and the right equipment.
Computer Accessories Seller
There are also plenty of different computer accessories that you could make and sell separately.
Smartphone Accessory Manufacturer
Likewise, you can develop and sell your own line of accessories made for smartphones, tablets or other mobile devices.
WiFi Café Operator
If you want to start a local business where you may not work with computers directly, you can open a café that offers WiFi to customers who come in.
eBook Author
If you’re a skilled writer, you can put together a whole ebook about computer and other tech topics. You can even self-publish your work online.
Online Course Creator
If you think your expertise would fit better into a course, you can build an online course and sell it to customers on your website or other online platforms.
Tech Magazine Publisher
You can also set up your own magazine about technology and computers.
eNewsletter Publisher
Or you can focus more on sharing your message with an online audience through an email newsletter about computers and technology.
Podcaster
Podcasting is also becoming a really popular format within the tech community. You can start your own where you share your expertise.
YouTube Personality
In some cases, video may also be a beneficial format. You can share computer tutorials or even have a recurring show about technology.
Social Media Influencer
You also have the ability to influence people online via social media. If you build a significant following, you can work with brands to share their messaging to your followers.
Affiliate Marketer
If you have a blog, website, social accounts or any other online presence, you can build a business as an affiliate marketer where you partner with brands and earn a percentage of the sales that you send their way.
Ecommerce Seller
You can also use your tech knowledge to set up and run an ecommerce store. You can even sell computer related products if you so choose.
Tech Fair Founder
Fairs and events can be a great way for members of the tech community to get together to share ideas and products. So you can build a business around starting your own tech event.
Tech Rentals Provider
If you have computers and other devices at your disposal, you can potentially also build a business by renting out those devices to consumers who only need them for a short time.
3D Printer
3D printing is a growing sector of the tech industry where you can use computer files to generate and manufacture products from scratch. If you can work with those devices, you can potentially build a business selling 3D printing files or even the finished products.

Entreprenuership

Why do most African Start-ups fail  (My view Point)

 

  1. The market simply isn’t there. The start-up could be way too early, too early, or just never was.
  2. Inability to change your business model midstream. Some start-ups fail to pivot their idea as they keep on persisting on a product which is not being accepted on the market
  1. BAD PRODUCT: I include vision, customer understanding, and user acquisition in this one because customer understanding should drive the idea/vision which should drive the selection and prioritization of features which should drive marketing and user acquisition. A great team and market is often enough to build traction and success, where as a great product in a bad market will almost certainly fail. Don’t get me wrong, product is hugely important but in the early days of a startup, there is no product. You just have team and a vision. Most startups never  make it to the part where they have a great product.
  2. Falling in love with an idea: this is popular amongst African startups. Crazy ideas and techno demanding tech startups are being started around. It goes back to my above point of TIMING. Some startups take ideas in the first world which are way to complicated for Africa, they do not keep it into consideration that Bandwidth is still expensive and in most parts of Africa we are too slow to adapt to technology

 

  1. Not paying attention to the economical/ Political Climate: Most African economies are not stable and this is another reason why banks fail to give startups funding because of the uncertainty. This point is quite critical for those who pour all their savings when the economy is plugging into the sea. This leads to the startup failing dismally and also losing that little bit of funding you got from your granny
  2. Lack of capital: this is a major crisis in Africa. Banks don’t support Startups. There are a few or close to none venture Capital in Africa to support young talent.
  3. No incubators – incubators help startups to network with other Entrepreneurs, Working with an incubator means that you have immediate access to all their facilities, including lots of experience setting up corporate legal structures, shareholder agreements and possibly even things like office space and other down to earth needs of a fledgling company. Most African Start-ups have got high costs and some of them are not even directly related to the product their launching
  4. Market: There are often times when great teams with great execution fail because they chose to innovate in a market that is not growing fast enough. You will often see a common trend in these situations. Talented team with great technology/vision start to acquire paying customers
  5. Bad luck : Your granny will be slaughtering goats and chicken so that you don’t succeed ( African beliefs)
  6. Building overly complex solutions: At times the market is not yet ready for that tech. before building a product one has to understand the users. Being a bunch of developers testing the product does not mean everyone is able to use it
  7. Not enough mentoring: Young Africans are facing a challenge of not getting mentoring from our elders. Most CEOs in Africa are above 40 years and will stretch their “reign” up to 60 or 70. This leads to the young not getting a chance to understanding strategic planning or management skills on how to manage a startup. The old guys fail to teach young kids on how to grow their startups. Therefore this is going to be a lost generation as they won’t get the chances to grow their careers and skills to their full ability. At times we want advice from those who have experienced something, this helps in not recurring the same mistake over and over
  8. Hand to mouth: most us become Entrepreneurs due to push factors (Poverty or unemployment). When the company starts ticking we end up diverting the working capital to salaries. The company won’t grow hence it dies
  9. Poor teams: the matrix of choosing other co-founders is a bit pathetic. Some choose co-founders through friendship or they are “beer drinking companions”  and fail to understand that it is  matter of sharing skills and assist each other on a task. When members are not motivated they quickly get pissed off with the idea and bail out real quick!!!
  10. Government Intervention: Most African governments seem to have laws and regulations that control a lot of things. Most governments don’t care when you making small cents but the moment they see that it is paying off they will be all over your throat. I will give an example of a government far away from me Jg. in Kenya the government didn’t care about bit coin start-ups when they were transacting a few hundred dollars until they started transacting thousands of dollars. The Central Bank came knocking and issued a statement against usage of bit coins in Kenya.
  11. Culture and lack of support: African elders do not believe in things like entrepreneurship. They believe in going to school, get degrees and certifications so that you get promoted. With lack of support in such things others bail out whilst they are still at it.
  12. Poor problem solving skills: Like I noted above, the issue of copying and pasting IDEAS in First world countries is the reason why most start-up fail. Africans need to do their researches and create products that are wanted by Africans. This issue of starting an “African WhatsApp” should stop!
  13. Low incomes: Some startups are brilliant but the problem the market has no purchase power. People want the product but cant afford.