Around 1.6 million apps in Google playstore and 1.5 million apps in Apple’s appstore have made their presence till this date but only a few thousand of them have been successful in leaving an impression in the minds of its targeted audience. While increasing brand awareness, reach (as more people are now using mobile devices to access internet than PC) and recognition is the main motive behind developing an app for a business, monetization of the mobile app takes it to a next level by enabling you to actually generate revenue from your big idea.
WHAT TO AIM FOR?
- Brand awareness
- Gain new users
- Cultivate loyal customer
- Generate revenue
While keeping these things in mind you should decide one thing straightaway whether you want to earn quickly first or want the more number of users first?
Once you build your app keeping these points in mind, it will be efficient enough to generate the traction as well as the revenue. Although a balance should always be maintained between your need to gain users & the need to earn revenue.
HOW TO MONETIZE?
Monetization is more than what meets the eye. Apart from being a constant source of revenue it creates a path to boost your profit share and will help you stand out in the market. There are a few well known models which have been used extensively by many app developers to generate revenue and increase their app’s popularity as well. A few of them have been discussed here in detail.
Free to download with in-app adverts:
This model is very much efficient in growing the user base. Since there are no user charges involved to download the app people don’t hesitate to give it a try. Advertisements are displayed in the app based on the information collected from the user, their interests and likings. This type of advertising is known as data-driven advertisement. User’s in-app behaviour and location is recorded and concerned ads are displayed to them. This model is effective only if moderate & targeted advertising is used instead of haphazardly displaying unnecessary ads to the user. Also your application must be very engaging with an attractive UI so as to retain the maximum number of users to the app.
Freemium model with gated features:
This model is similar to the free to download model but in this initially only a few features are opened for the users. The premium features are, however, locked and can be opened up by paying a predetermined amount set by the developers of the app. What is attractive about this model is that user gets to experience the exquisite features of your app and hence gets hooked to the app. This entices them to unlock the premium features of the app. These people are the loyal customers of your app and hence a constant revenue generation is ensured through this model.
Paid apps model creates unpredictability for the developers since many people are unwilling to pay upfront for an app which they have not heard of or have never used it. Success is achieved in this model if your business has a great brand value. In addition to this, your app should speak of its unique features which probably a horde of free apps doesn’t provide. There should be stellar five-star reviews and rich screenshots to convince the users that your app is the best among its free substitutes. This model will get you more loyal users and will generate revenue on each download. However, there must be no in-app adverts in this model hence a cleaner UI should be there for a great user experience.
Through in-app purchasing you may incorporate selling of virtual goods or in-app currency in the app based on the theme of your app. Also, consumer goods may also be sold through this model but one should always keep in mind that these in-app purchases must be a natural extension of the app. This model ensures a deeper level of engagement of users and may turn your app into a sales channel hence generating a high profit margin for the developers.
White label your code:
Apart from the traditional advertising and marketing techniques, you may also license your code to other developers which will generate revenue for you. This is a recent offset technique but surely it brings in more business.
Partnering with the right brands is very important to create referral programs in your app. This initiative not only increases your user base by many folds but also creates interest among the customers to use the app more frequently to redeem the coupons and avail more exciting offers.
Multiple payment options:
In-app purchases are very exciting for the users but it puts them off if there are not enough payment channels for them. Hence it is very important to provide flexibility to the users such that they feel comfortable and make easy payments through these channels.
This model is almost similar to the Freemium model but more focus is given on gating content rather than features. Only a predetermined content can be accessed by the users, for further access they will have to subscribe and pay a set amount. This model is best for service oriented apps and allows brands to earn revenue as well as loyal subscribers.
All the methodologies discussed here are efficient in generating revenues in their respective field of operations and when coupled with a good marketing strategy they will help you carve out the best design plan for your app. A blended or hybrid model, perhaps will be the best approach to monetize your app with, as it will include all the profitable features of different models as well as will be more focused on generating loyal customers and improving the user experience for them.
So, in this article I’ve tried to cover different popular methods of App-monetization. If you think I’ve missed some of them or you have some additional inputs to add, please get in touch in the comments section.