This is the Part III of the series – MAKING YOUR APP CROSS 1 BILLION DOWNLOADS and it talks about sowing the sees of virality within the app. We explore in-depth the various out-of-the-box approaches that you can use to make the growth of your app effortless and unstoppable. The following is the full list of blogs in this series:
Part I: Building Habit-forming Products
Part II: Pushing the Envelope on UI & UX
Part III: Sowing the Seeds of Virality within the App
Let’s get started.
Part III: Sowing the Seeds of Virality within the App
Did you know? You can embed virality into your app right at the stage when you are conceptualizing it. This means that you are boosting the probability of your app gaining immense traction and by incentivizing or subtly prompting the user to get the word out in her/his network.
1. Design a great referral scheme for your app
Ask yourself this – what will your users get in exchange for promoting your app?
Now turn this question into a tangible benefit that your users find exciting enough to use to their (and your) advantage!
Example: Dropbox’s example is a celebrated case study on how to make worthwhile user incentive schemes that stick and perform. On launching Dropbox, users signing up for the first time were offered the option to get an additional 500MB of space for every successful referral. The scheme worked – Dropbox’s user base leaped from just 100,000 users to 4,000,000 users in just 15 months.
Tip: Positive word-of-mouth is significantly more effective and long-lasting than paid ads, so remember to whip up a great referral scheme for your app before splurging on digital ads.
2. Localize your app experience for your users
Imagine pushing content about Halloween in India or a running Diwali-based campaign in the U.S.
Not just countries – localization is a strategy that works wonders even across states and regions. Localizing the content, experiences, messaging, campaigns, and offerings to a well-defined geographic audience is demonstrated to garner wider acceptance, relevance, and shareability. To succeed, make your app a local delight and a global favorite.
Example: In 2019, Evernote released a Japanese language version of its app to capitalize on the Japanese market through localization. eCommerce companies like Amazon tailor-fit their discount offers, product combos, language options, etc. to fit the unique needs of a geographic customer segment.
Making language tweaks, adopting geofencing features, and opting for proximity-based localization go a long way in making your app a local success. You can then replicate this recipe across multiple regions to emerge as a global winner.
Localizing your app to the socio-cultural needs of the region where you are promoting it is great for engaging customers across geographies and borders. Addressing new complexities in the app functionality and evolving the app through updates over time can make the app a lead-magnet in the long run.
3. Adopt gamification to enhance user engagement
If you thought that gamification is only for gaming apps like CandyCrush and AngryBirds, you are in for a surprise!
Gamified elements in apps are a tactic to leverage the user’s achievement needs by creating a feeling of accomplishment within the app environment. Gamification is a powerful tool in the hands of an app-maker to design experiences that get users to feel strong emotions like success, fulfillment, and progress.
A typical gamification workflow has three elements: 1) Information 2) Action 3) Reward. First, the user receives information about the gamification feature and how to use it. The user is then motivated to take the action of participating in the game. Rewards can then be given to users through various design elements such as badges (commonly used in eLearning apps), points (used in eCommerce apps like Amazon), performance charts & scoreboard points (used in fitness apps like HealthifyMe), and more.
Case Study: How Digicorp Embedded Elements of Virality in Cricheroes – an Innovative App for Passionate Cricketers to Score their Local Cricket Matches and Tournaments Digitally and Broadcast Scores LIVE Ball to Ball.
Cricket is a religion in India. However, before Cricheroes, there was no record-keeping application for passionate cricketers playing at the local level, regional level, or district level to aggregate their performance records to become a ‘hero’ in their own right.
Digicorp first pitched the product as a free platform to local Cricket clubs that organized tournaments and matches. The key value proposition to them was to record ball-by-ball scores in real-time and get insights on match performance statistics by each player. Cricheroes was positioned as Cricbuzz for local and regional players. The product rapidly gained huge fan-following due to the comprehensive and easy access to the player, match, and team history, and in-built motivational messages every time a player performed well.
Soon, we started receiving an influx of inbound queries. Simultaneously, the users themselves began to share their feedback on the extra features that they wanted to see in the app. For instance, we added the feature of enlisting all the locally available grounds in the city for users to view, shortlist, and book.
This way, the app continued to evolve as per the needs of the users and virality happened on its own as more and more players flocked to the platform. We invested the least in marketing this app as it marketed and sold itself, despite being a completely disruptive innovation. Learn more about Crichereos here.
In the next article in this series (Part IV: Marketing Your Product Story the Right Way), we share with you proven unconventional approaches to create steady excitement and buzz around your app.