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How to Launch and Grow an App in 2023: A Detailed Guide

Welcome to Enesien Software's blog, a hub for practical advice, strategies and tactics to help you navigate your startup journey. Today's guide will delve into tried-and-true ways to launch and grow an app in 2022.

This guide centers around the experience of Heini Zachariassen, the founder of Vivino, a popular wine app that has scaled from zero to nearly 60 million users worldwide. We also have valuable insights from Gavin Johnsen, the CEO and founder of Enesien Software in Nashville. As the engineer behind many different apps accounting for million of users worldwide, Gavin certainly has a wealth of knowledge to share.

Whether you've just finished developing your app, or you're still brainstorming, this post is for you. Let's get started!

1. Strategic Partnerships

businessmen handshake

Despite sounding like the ultimate growth hack, strategic partnerships often prove to be a groundwork for disasters. Many startups naively depend on partnerships for growth, only to find they usually fall through.

Alignment is the major issue here. Can you offer as much to the big company as they offer to you? Often the answer is no, and this results in partnerships failing.

"Wait till you have something you can give them that they cannot get."

For instance, Vivino now successfully works with the likes of Samsung and Snap, but only because it has something unique to offer: a massive database of wine reviews and ratings.

So, the advice here is to forge partnerships when you can benefit both ways, not when you're solely on the receiving end.

2. Organic Social Media

holding phone social media

While having a social media presence is essential, don't expect organic posts on social media platforms to be a major source of growth. These platforms are more about keeping the existing audience engaged and testing rather than bringing new growth.

There are also two different paths when it comes to social media and launching an app. You can build the app first and then work on your social media presence, or you can build your social media following first and then launch an app. Both methods work, but they carry different challenges and considerations.

Make sure your social media strategy aligns with the true nature of your app's audience for best results.

3. Paid Offline Marketing

Think old school marketing tactics can't work for an app? Think again. With online marketing proving expensive and competitive, offline marketing is gaining momentum for its surprising ROI, especially in the early stages.

This strategy is particularly effective for app-based businesses with limited geographies. So, while it may not help you conquer the entire U.S. market, paid offline marketing can definitely help you get the ball rolling!

4. PR Press

PR often results in a short-term spike rather than long-term growth, but that doesn't mean it's useless. It's all about finding a medium that communicates directly to your target audience. If you can pinpoint that, PR can positively influence your growth graph to a considerable extent. However, beware of vanity metrics - a rush of downloads does not always equate to a healthy increase in active, long-term users.

Remember: In the beginning, niche is the way. Target a small audience initially and then scale up.

5. Paid Online Marketing

Paid online marketing works, but it's not without its pitfalls. Over time and with increased spending, you'll likely reach less valuable users. What feels like riding a plane can quickly turn into managing a nosedive. But this doesn't mean you should completely rule it out.

Online marketing is an excellent tool for testing and learning. Use it to identify messaging that works and to discover what you need to build in your app. However, don't rely exclusively on this for growth.

6. Influencer and Creator Marketing

Influencer marketing, if done right, can provide a fantastic opportunity to reach your target audience. In fact, combining influencer marketing with strategic partnerships can be a game-changer. The key lies in finding the right influencers and creators to relay the message to your exact audience.

7. App Store Optimization

ui ux mobile device

Optimizing your app for the App Store is key to attract the best users. People searching for an app to solve their problem are the best customers you can get. Despite the challenges in scaling this method, these users hold high long-term value.

8. Content Creation and SEO

Content creation (including blogs, LinkedIn posts, YouTube videos, etc.) can actively drive users to your app. Coupled with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), this strategy can create a steady stream of incoming traffic.

Keep in mind, though, this strategy requires patience and consistency. The results might not be immediate, but the long-term benefits are worth the wait.

9. Product-led Growth and Word-of-Mouth

Finally, the cream of the crop: product-led growth and word-of-mouth. The best way to grow an app is by making it so good that users recommend it to others. Those personal recommendations are worth their weight in gold.

Pro-tip: Build the best product for a small group before trying to cater to everyone. Once you hit product-market-fit for that group, you can start to expand your audience.

The path to success involves leveraging multiple strategies, not putting all your eggs in one basket. Use a combination of these strategies to ensure stable and sustainable growth.

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Gavin Johnsen, Owner of Enesien Software

Gavin D Johnsen

(615) 905-6801Phone number
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(615) 905-6801Phone number