I've launched a mobile app… what comes next?

I've launched a mobile app… what comes next?

Downloads could skyrocket when you launch your business' app, but if you aren’t putting in the work to keep it at its best, what’s to stop users from pressing ‘uninstall’?

Your app has to keep delivering relevant and useful products, services or information to keep earning its place on a customer’s phone screen.

While lots of attention is given to planning an app’s creation and launch, its long-term maintenance often gets overlooked. Whereas, in reality, maintenance is just as important as the initial build, so a maintenance plan should be thought about before building your app.

Here’s what you should consider when pulling together your app’s maintenance plan.

Feedback is everything

Once released, your app should start receiving customer feedback, in the form of reviews on Google Play and the App Store. This is essentially your customers telling you exactly what does/doesn’t work, and what they want to see improved. The smart solution? Changing your app to meet their needs. Always read reviews, look at analytics, and adjust your app accordingly. Whether it’s tweaking or removing features that get no use or adding something new to improve the user experience; make sure you’re always checking what’s working, what’s not, and what people are saying about it.

As a business owner, staying on top of trends is important too, so check out MobileAppDaily for the latest in the app world. Just remember good apps are selective with their features, so if a new trend isn’t going to bring value to your customers, there’s no point including it.

Focus on marketing

The content you launch with can become outdated pretty quickly. Make sure to establish a process to keep the information and products up to date with the latest in your business. If you have a marketing team, this is where they’ll come in, as an app’s essentially a direct marketing channel for them to use. You’ll also need to put together a plan for marketing the app itself. Whether you lean on social media or in-store advertising to encourage downloads, make sure you continue putting your app in front of customers.

Plan for the annual iOS/Google Play update

Once a year, Google and Apple release an update to their operating system. For your app to continue working seamlessly, we recommend making updates alongside it. Don’t worry, you’ll be told about it before the update is released publicly and given a beta (test) version of the update to test your app against. This means you’ll have time to squash any bugs or glitches caused by the update before it goes live. Although this happens yearly, it’s important to update your app often to keep the content fresh and valuable. Just make sure you plan for a yearly review alongside the operating system update – at the very least.

Test and monitor, always

Testing regularly will help you spot any problems in-app – and there are tools you can use to help, like New Relic and Firebase.

It’s important to remember that bugs can appear unexpectedly, especially when you introduce updates, so allocating time or resources to find them is crucial. What’s more, to keep a good reputation, your app needs to be error-free, so it's best to test your app regularly throughout the year.

How often should I update my app?

For it to really thrive, we recommend updating your app at least quarterly. By taking a little-and-often approach, you'll make the update process shorter and easier to carry out – and you’ll stay ahead of glitches as well as customer demands. It’s what the top apps do: 66% of the top 1000 iOS apps and 63% of the top 1000 Android apps are updated monthly.

It’s also important to bear in mind that apps that don’t get updated regularly are at risk of being deleted from the Apple and Google Play stores, so it’s worth making the time to do so. With limited space and lots of competing apps fighting for users’ attention, giving your app regular attention will keep it in good condition and help you spot smaller problems before they become a bigger job to fix.

Whether you’ll be managing it yourself or hiring a dedicated team, starting with a plan is the best place to begin to make sure you’re constantly innovating, marketing and maintaining your app.

Or if you’re interested in finding out how to put mobile-first when it comes to your website too, read on here.

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