You are out with friends at the bar and all of the sudden it hits you like a ton of bricks. You have the best mobile app idea of all time. You have solved the greatest modern day problem for your generation since dial up internet and you intend to create a mobile app to become the solution. The issue is you were a few drinks in and so were your friends who could not agree with you more about how great your mobile app idea is. What do you do when your friends are laughing at the idea the next morning and you still believe the idea has a chance? Validate your assumption.
Build a Landing Page
The idea of the landing page is to create a valuable experience for potential users. This is a basic showcase of what you have to offer rather than a full blown working app that would take monumental time and resources, which in turn is a huge risk due to the yet to be confirmed value of your product.
Mimic the experience that a user would have on your app including everything from graphics to buttons. These buttons will become valuable calls to action that you can begin to track via Google Analytics or other analytics platforms. If your “Download Now” or “Click Here for More Information” buttons are getting a number of clicks you know you are on to something. If the clicks are more modest than you thought, do not give up right away. There are numerous studies out there proving conversion rates can be affected by something as simple as the button’s color or the text on the button. Play around with these to see your conversions rise.
Google’s Keyword Tool is a great way to reach search for what your potential users might be looking for. Browse around the keyword tool for concepts, phrases or the solution you propose to discover whether or not there is any traction to the category or sector that you are trying to build a mobile app for. For instance, if you are trying to build a favorite restaurant app, but there are minimal clicks and searches for keywords such as “great restaurants” or anything revolving around the industry, then you might want to begin looking for other opportunities. This tool can also be especially helpful if your mobile app is based around a small niche market, as Google Keyword Tool allows you to search via geography. This will allow you to really narrow down your search to ensure those nearby seek keywords pertaining to your app’s interests.
Another form of research is to simply go to the app store or stores in which you intend to build for and search around the different lists, categories, and most popular apps. If you see similar apps to yours it means you are definitely on to something. Of course, similar apps will require you to differentiate yourself somehow but that is a whole different blog topic entirely (stay tuned).
Where a landing page could potentially take some time to build depending on the approach you take, creating a pitch deck could take as little as a day. A pitch deck of a few PowerPoint slides showcasing your concept, features, and strategy is something you can easily pass around to friends (different than those you went to the bar with last night), family, and colleagues. These are the people closest to you, so if you are having a hard time selling them on your concept it might be a sign that the demand just might not be there. Be sure though, of course, that the people you show your pitch deck to are those within your target demographic that would be downloading and using your app.
Do not assume that because you think it is a great idea that it will be an instant hit or that you were the first person to think of something in the realm. Get your hands dirty and feet wet out in the marketplace to validate your concept before you pour loads of time and resources into it for nothing.