Creating and Marketing an iOS App as a Newbie: Answering all Your Big Questions

As a first time creator of an iOS app, it is only natural to have lots of questions. You want to know if it is something you should actively pursue to generate income, how you can spread the word about the app, and so on. In this piece, we are going to address some of the major questions on the minds of prospective app builders like yourself.


Which iOS app should I create first? I have many ideas

There is no telling which app will be most successful for you. Successful app makers often put out as many apps as they can, with as much strategic insight as they can, and then leverage on those that go on to become successful. Since you can’t know definitively beforehand which app will be successful, one step you should take is to release an app and nurture for a maximum of 6 months. If it isn’t successful by the end of this window, move on to the next one.

Where do I start when creating an iOS app?

The first step you should take is to get your ideas down as succinctly as possible. Create a wireframe of your app by using any prototyping tool you like. There are many on the internet.  After you are clear about your requirements, you can go ahead with your design or find a company that can do it for you.

How will I know if customers want my app?

The best way is to provide a prototype for the market as soon as possible. You don’t need to have the app complete with all the features included before launch. Only focus on the core proposition of the app. If you find enough customer interest, you can complete the design of the app and also get valuable feedback from all your paying customers. Doing concept trials shortens the cycle.

Is it best to develop in-house or outsource?

The vast majority of successful apps in the iOS world today, and indeed other platforms, were outsourced in the early days, and you should probably tow this path too.  In the early days, your key focus should be on getting the product down to customers as fast as you can. As soon as you can find a real demand for your product and begin to hit important KPIs, you can bring maintenance and development in-house.

What do I need to do to upload my app to the App Store?

It involves creating a developer account and paying a yearly fee of $99. However, the process of uploading the app will be undertaken by your developers.

Should I go with a free app and think about monetisation later?

It may be tempting to go the Facebook and Twitter route by waiting for a while before thinking of monetisation. However, it is always best to have your monetisation options in mind from the very first day.


What is the next step after launching the app?

Products are rarely ever sold on their own. You need to put in careful weighed effort into putting it in the hands of your target audience. “One good way to do choose a clever, catchy domain name and create a website to push the app” says Brendan at Umbrellar. “Our customers find it is much easier to market a website than it is to market an app in the store. Of course, you need to diversify your marketing efforts and see where you get traction best”.

What are other ways to market the app?

Third party endorsement is, perhaps, the best way to spread the word about any business, and your iOS apps are no different. Seek such endorsements after you’ve done your app-store optimisation.  Submit your app for review by tech bloggers, look for press coverage and encourage your current users to share with their social networks. Don’t forget to pay attention to reviews from your users and on the internet in general. Work hard to counter any negative reviews. If your app is not appealing enough to get spread through word of mouth, reviews and social media then it probably isn’t going anywhere fast.

How much should I spend to develop an app?

This should be determined by the features you are looking for. Just as it is difficult to put a figure on what constitutes a good amount to pay for a house or car, you can’t put a blanket price on apps. Some powerful apps can be put together for under $5,000, while others could cost as much as $100,000.

What if I fail to get enough traction to make my app successful?

Simply move on to the next one! Most of the big names you hear in the iOS world didn’t strike gold at the first time of asking. Be prepared to take the failure on the chin and do better in the next app.

Success in app development is about timing, persistence and great functionality and design. If you can bring those elements you have a chance. After that it is, to a certain extent at least, down to luck.

We’d love to hear from you about the best up and coming app that you think is the next big thing.