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Soft Launch vs Hard Launch: What’s the Right Step for Your App? Part 2

Your app is now done and you’re wondering how to release it to the world? Do you spend a ton of money to market it aggressively? Do you just throw it at the app stores and hope for the best? What’s the best course of action for your app? Let’s discuss the difference between soft launch and hard launch and how different apps can benefit from each:

If you’re reading this article you’re likely here because you’re checking out the site, or you were curious from my last post since I dropped a lot of hints that hard launching your app is the way to go if you want to see a quicker result. However, before we get into the finer points of a hard launch lets recap a little bit:

Soft Launch

A soft launch is the release of a new product or service to a restricted audience or market in advance of a full launch. This can also be thought of as a quieter launch when the company doesn’t want to draw too much attention to the product or service in question.

Hard Launch

Bring on the cameras and fanfare, a hard launch is described as fully releasing (a new product or service) to the public. Think of every single new iPhone that gets released to the public, you know exactly what the product is and it’s release date to the world long before it happens.

So why doesn’t everyone just hard launch all the time?

Great question, naturally you’d think the right way would be to simply hard launch absolutely everything you complete but that’s not necessarily the case. The title of this blog is actually a bit misleading, think of these two launches not as competitors, but as steps in a timeline. There’s a time for a soft launch, and a time for hard launch. A good marketer, iOS Developers and Android Developers in Canada will know the difference.

The Hard Launch

There are a couple of benefits when it comes to hard launching such as:

Make Money

Yes, it’s true that you’ll have to spend a little more money to get the news of your app out into the world but if it’s a solid app idea, then you’ll be in business. The quickest way to see a turnaround in results is to begin marketing and advertising your app. This doesn’t have to be as daunting or scary as some people build it up to be in their heads, it also doesn’t have to be nearly as expensive. Facebook, for example, will let you choose how much money you’re comfortable spending per day on advertising, so if you want to spend $10 or $100 a day on advertising, then do it! The point I’m trying to make here is that sometimes you have to spend money to make money, but when it comes to a hard launch, you should expect to see some sort of monetary feedback one way or the other.

See Faster Results

Faster results? Here’s what I mean… When you roll out the red carpet and sound the horns for your apps arrival, people are likely going to leave their impressions of it very quickly. If you’re advertising your app and there’s some sort of bug, glitch, or problem that stops it from functioning, people are going to notice and leave feedback immediately. This isn’t something to be afraid of and if anything, if you’re spending money on advertising, you would rather know any problems sooner rather than later. Feedback doesn’t have to be something you dread either, if your app is fantastic, people will love it and will likely tag their friends, and leave great reviews about it on your ads or in the app store. Either way when it comes to advertising you’re paying for feedback either through words, or even numbers. This will help you better your app, and your marketing.

So How Do I Market a Hard Launching App?

As the best iOS Developers and Android Developers, we are efficient in all things apps but not so much hard marketing. We do however have a new division: VOG Digital Marketing, that houses some of our best and brightest talents for marketing apps! We chatted with those guys and here are a few quick tips they gave us:

Web Presence

A critical step when it comes to advertising is to lock down your web presence. Establish your website as the hub of information, news, and support. This gives your potential users a place to check out your legitimacy, get support for problems, learn more about the app, and Search Engine Optimize (SEO) your app’s keywords. If you don’t already have a website for your app, I guarantee once your app takes off that your users will come looking for one. make sure it’s up to date, relevant, and ranking when they do, because once your app takes off, the last thing you want is for your web presence to fail because you set it on the back burner of priorities.

Social Media

Have you ever complained about something on social media before? Of course, you have. Whether it be how you were treated by an employee at the mall or the late arrival of your pizza from your favourite pizza place, I will bet that you or someone you know has gone onto that business’ social media page and complained. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing, in fact sometimes a bad situation such as this can be turned around to work in your favour. Establishing your social media accounts early can pay off in the long run when your popularity picks up. If people on your page see that you are taking the time to calmly and politely address people’s problems in a timely fashion that will pay off huge for your reputation. Above all, you make an app to solve a problem and showing your customers that you care about their problems will do nothing but help your business.

Keep people engaged on social media, stay trending, and be interactive. Build your community strong and your app will benefit. Smart marketing will establish the need to follow your social media in order to receive the latest news, promotional offers, or something else entirely that will help their app experience. The worst part is when people search for your app/business on social media and can’t find you, so get to it early!

Digital Advertising

Depending on your market, more and more companies are making the switch to full-time digital marketing compared to traditional billboard/yellow pages advertising. If you’re in the app industry, it only makes sense that most of your advertising efforts would be geared to the digital space. The reason is simply because your product is digital, you can integrate it into your advertisements like never before. For example: if you are advertising an app of some kind and want to begin running Facebook ads, you can link your app with your ad and have them click over to the app store for an instant and convenient download. People love simple, easy, things.. and digital marketing now allows us to place our products and services in front of people like never before!

Summary

So What’s the Right Answer? Soft Launch or Hard Launch?

If you guessed “there is no right answer” then you’re correct! Instead of comparing the two as different types of launches, consider them as steps towards a successful marketing campaign.. the hard-soft launch. There is nothing wrong with soft launching your product, letting it gain a few users while you work out the bugs and budget, then going straight into a hard launch to gain a surge of users! Your only deciding factor on how you do this is time, if you need to produce results right away, then shrink your soft launch time and get started planning your hard launch right away. Remember, you might be pressed for time, but releasing an incomplete app will only hurt your business further than not meeting your deadlines. Take it from the best iOS Development and Android Development teams.

If you are interested in getting started with either building an app or marketing it, then we would love to help you out! Visit the Contact section of the site and we will get to work setting up a time to discuss how we can help you with your app project. If you’re interested in marketing your app or business, then check out our Digital Marketing division. The work doesn’t stop once the app is built, so let’s launch your app the right way!

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