App development is all fun and games, right? Mostly, yes! But you have to remember that there is probably someone, somewhere in the world having just as much fun developing a similar app. Chances are your idea isn’t new and there’s something like it already on the app store.
But, this is a great thing! You now have an opportunity to research the topic and see how issues in your app’s genre were tackled. There are thousands of guides and blogs online talking about starting a business or an app development team. To save you some time, we have summarized the key concepts into five quick steps. You’ll also find a handy competitor research template that you can use!
1. Know who your top 10 mobile app competitors are
To beat your competition you first need to know who they are, what they do, and how they do it. Since you’re in the business of making apps, this search should be relatively simple. Just search the theme or keywords for your app using Google or the app store available to you. See which apps show up. Are they doing the exact thing you planned? How are they getting new customers?
Here, at AGN, we like using a great resource, Apptweak, that lets you track all sorts of metrics for mobile apps both on iOS and Android. You can monitor how often your mobile app competitors update their app and can also look at their ranking history – are there sudden spikes? Study those too for possible insights and inspiration. Don’t leave any stone unturned; you need to investigate any clue that reveals exactly what brought success to these apps.
2. Analyze your direct competitions’ product
Download their apps! See how they work, find out what you like about them and should be improved. Add or remove these features to your mobile app. But make sure that your app doesn’t look too similar. If it does, your customers will see you as a copy-cat and will likely stick to the original app. Your goal is still to solve a problem but provide a unique, engaging user experience that will keep them coming back for more.
3. Check out your mobile app competitors’ social media
Half of all apps are found and downloaded through word of mouth. Most likely, you discovered your favorite mobile app by overhearing someone talking about this new wonderful app while you were getting your morning coffee, and you couldn’t help but do a little search on the app store. You were maybe further intrigued because you had seen an Instagram post about the app earlier that week. That’s why social media and marketing, in general, is crucial when it comes to app business. You want to find the most successful channels and the strategies that attract the most attention. Is your competition sending out newsletters and posting regularly on Facebook? Maybe you should too!
4. Research all of your competition’s keywords
While keyword bidding may no longer be as effective as it used to be, it is still essential to carving out a niche for your app and maintaining a certain brand image in the eyes of your app’s users. Research the keywords that your direct competition ranks for, maybe you can outrank them with a small budget. If not, maybe you’ll see a gap that you can fill with some keywords that haven’t yet been grabbed by the thousands of new apps released daily in the app store.
5. Listen to and USE user feedback
Sometimes this one of the most overlooked strategies. Remember that your app exists only for the people who use it. So the people who actually leave any sort of feedback are probably the most invested in your app. Find out what users are saying about your and your competitors’ apps. Do surveys, go through app stores feedback, do A/B testing for your icons and screenshots. Don’t leave anything to chance!
We decided to make a little table that you can use and fill out when doing your own research. Here it is! Add to it as many sections as you need to make your research stellar!
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