5 Steps to Choosing the Best Way to Monetize Your App

May 12, 2017
By: Matt Tubergen

App monetization may seem overwhelming at first, but it isn’t!  To help ensure that you choose the best strategy, this guide provides easy to follow steps that will help you define a path that is perfect for your app. 

Step #1: Decide how your app will be published. This is critically important since this decision will affect the monetization options available for your app. Will it be a placed directly on the home screen via a native app preload at the factory by an OEM? Will your app be available on the OEM’s retail app store, like Samsung’s Galaxy apps store for its Galaxy line of phones? Or, will you publish your app to the likes of Google Play, Apple Store, or other retail app outlets?   

Step #2: Define what type of app you are planning to monetize. There are a lot of different of apps available through retail app stores such as Google Play or the Apple Store. Using one of those stores, do some research!  Look at apps similar to your own. This inspiration will help you categorize your app and give you insight into how other developers are successfully monetizing their apps.  Make note of the different ways other developers are monetizing their apps, highlighting the most popular monetization strategy

Step #3: Decide on a monetization strategy. Before automatically choosing the most popular strategy for apps similar to your own, take some time to carefully research and evaluate current monetization strategies to determine which one will work best. You may find a different strategy – or even a combination – is what will work best for your app. Regardless of the monetization strategy you decide upon, it’s really important to get it right the first time — changing your approach after your app is published can be difficult and expensive.  

Step #4: Publish your app. After you publish your app, give it some time to be ‘seen’. This may take a few weeks or even months, depending upon how you chose to publish. To help make it easier for your app to be seen, you may want to perform App Store Optimization, which is similar to SEO, only you find keywords that will help you get your app listed at or near the top of app store search results. The keywords are then incorporated into your app’s name and description. 

Step #5: Track monetization activity and revenue. Set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for your app monetization strategy. Monitor monetization activity and revenue, tweaking your strategy for optimal ROI. Keep a record of your strategy’s details for future reference when monetizing other apps. If, after 90 days or so, you find a particular monetization strategy isn’t working as well as you like, you may need to revise your strategy to include other app monetization strategies. For example, if you have a paid app, you may want to offer premium features on a subscription basis – such as up to a maximum amount of storage capacity for a monthly fee. The fundamental idea here is to mix and match monetization strategies until you find the strategy that works best for your app.    

Monetization is a critically important part of an app’s overall success. Choosing the right monetization strategy will largely determine the overall success of your app. With the right monetization strategy, your app can meet and even exceed business goals. 

By Matt Tubergen
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