Series Growth Hacker? Marketing your app is not an extra task 4/6

Going viral

We now know that we must create the applications that fit our end users needs and that we need to find our own way to reach the first thousand of loyal and passionate users. In fact by now, it should be clear that the classic assumption “build it and they will come” does not work. You must acquire your users (your customers). Each of them has a cost and of course lower this cost is for you better it is. ‘Going viral’ is a natural step to achieve growth with measurable costs. In the ‘Finding your growth hack’ step you bootstrap your community of loyal users. With the ‘Going viral’ step you try to acquire as many users you can. How do you spread your product with the help of you core loyal and passionate users? To answer this question we give the floor to the ‘The old way’ and ‘The new way’!
Series Growth Hacker? Marketing your app is not an extra task 4/6 - Devenir viral

Le talk-show

MobileThinking: “Welcome to ‘The old way’ and ‘The new way’ that once again accepted to join us for a brief interview. Today’s topic is ‘Going viral’, what do you have to say to our readers about it?

The old way: “Viral? We have a very good health insurance that covers our employees.

MobileThinking: “‘The old way’ let’s hope to go viral without anyone getting sick! ‘The new way’, a thought about this?

The new way: “‘Going viral’ involves massive viral sharing. The question is why your customers should help you spread your app? Is it even worth for them to do that?”

MobileThinking: “Does it relate with the fact that the first users to acquire are the loyal and passionate ones with whom you achieved product market fit?

The new way: “Yes, if the product is worth to share and you put a disposal to the core users the right tools to spread your app they will naturally do that. The word ‘naturally’ is very important, because users sharing your app with the rest of the world should not perceive it as if they are doing you a favor. The tricky part is not only to share your product, but to retain new users and create the necessary conditions so that they repeat the same actions and the cycle repeats.”

MobileThinking: “So if we want users to share our app, it must be exceptionally good at providing a solution to their needs, but what about incentives?

The new way: “Incentives are the key, the app should not only be worth sharing, but you have to give your core users incentives to do that. The value you give to the incentive is up to you and relates to your context, but it will have a cost. An incentive must have a cost for you otherwise it is not an incentive that is worth the effort for your users.“

MobileThinking: “Understood! To conclude this interesting conversation, an example of an incentive?

The new way: “A good and extreme example of incentives is what PayPal did when they launched their service. They first offered people $20 if they opened an account and $20 if they referred anyone. As they acquired users they dropped it to $10 and then they dropped it to $5. They had to reduce the incentives as they were growing to not exceed what they could spend. Their users base was growing every day. At the end of the first month they had acquired 100’000 users!”

MobileThinking: “Oh that is impressive! You certainly need a lot of cash flow to put that to work, but we understand that in their business context, it was the way to go. There are certainly less costly incentive out there. Well, let’s thank once again our guests and we wish to have you here for the next discussion on ‘Close the loop: retention and optimization’.
As said by Ryan Holiday, one important point to bring home from the above conversation is that virality is not an accident, it is engineered. Going viral must be built in your app, the service it offers should make it worth spreading and you should properly compensate the users that do that. You need to provide to loyal and passionate users means to share your app and reasons to do that. With our one week Sprint you can naturally achieve all of the above (having an app worth sharing and engineer the means to do that) and test them immediately with early adopters even before starting the development. Since we are technically expert in implementing practical solutions to your innovative ideas, when developing your app we can immediately integrate ‘Going viral’ into you app following your learnings from the Sprint week.

In the next article of this series, we will talk about ‘Close the loop: retention and optimization’ which is the final and initial step of the growth hacking experience. You should repeat the growth hacking steps to evolve your app and therefore add only relevant features that can optimally fuel your users base growth.

Stay informed

The next articles in this series are:
  • Close the loop: retention and optimization
  • Conclusions
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