How to Launch an App Internationally (and not break the bank)
So, you’ve developed a brilliant app. You’ve hit upon something no one else has and initial beta tests have suggested that you were entirely right to forge ahead with your big idea. People love it. It’s ready to take the world by storm. The world is, literally, your oyster!
But how will it take the world by storm? After all, there’s just one of you and you have the smallest of marketing budgets. Even with the might of app stores to support your venture, how can you shout louder than anyone else?
With so many micro developers in existence, the thought of following in the footsteps of those lucky enough to have hit the big time and creating a revenue-per-employee figure that would make Apple swoon, can feel rather far-fetched. Standing in your way is endless competition, millions of apps and a potential user base that is quick to dismiss anything that doesn’t immediately grab their attention.
The good news is you can launch an app on a grand scale and head beyond the shores of your home, but it isn’t easy. A great help to get your value across can be this guide to app promotion video. They are an effective tool in modern application promotion.
In this post, I’ve got some simple tips to get you started on the road to launching your app internationally.
1. Pick your targets
There’s no template you can follow when launching an app internationally. Your creation won’t be suitable for every market, but there’ll be some for which it’ll be perfect.
Think about the purpose of the app, the audience it speaks to and, armed with that information, target the countries for which you believe it is best suited. If you can, just pick one, to begin with.
Take into account cultural differences and language barriers – both may require work on your part to tailor the app for specific audiences. It pays, therefore, to focus on regions into which the app can slot as-is.
If you’ve decided that you’ll need to translate your app, you can learn a lot from the process web developers go through to tailor websites for international audiences.
Localisation in app development isn’t easy, but this Mashable article offers some great advice on how to ready your app for an audience that doesn’t speak your native language. It boils down to concentrating on metadata, text strings, notifications and help tips.
3. Consider a local team
Your budget may prevent this during the early stages, but if it can stretch to building a local team (even if that team numbers just one foreign correspondent), you can make huge strides in promoting your app internationally.
Apps still need to be sold, regardless of the search tools available to users on app stores. Depending on the type of user or industry your app targets, a physical presence in the foreign country you’re targeting can be invaluable. It’ll break down language barriers, accustom you to cultural differences and provide in-roads to customers that you simply wouldn’t have otherwise discovered.
4. Position yourself as an expert
People devour online content and if you can come up with a content marketing strategy that speaks to your target audience by offering regular, actionable advice, you’ll break down international boundaries simply by blogging on your chosen topic.
Write regularly and share the advice you provide across as many social media channels as possible. There are very few international walls online, and if you go one step further by building a translation tool into your website, you’ll enable foreign audiences to view you as an expert (who just happens to have an awesome app, too!).
If you think you can simply publish an app on a service like Apple’s App Store or the Google Play Store and leave the big boys to market it for you, you’ll be sorely disappointed. That really isn’t the way it works.
The tips above will help you get started, but there’s no substitution for hard work and the desire to keep connecting with people who can help share the story of your app.
Good luck – it’s a wild ride!
Mark Ellis is a freelance writer who specialises in copywriting, blogging and content marketing for businesses of all sizes. Mark’s considerable experience at director level and deep interest in personal and business success means he’s ready to comment on anything from freelance writing to workplace dynamics, technology and personal improvement.