Writing a success story by NGOs mobile app

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ngo mobile app planning

People enjoy helping. How to help them help?

This isn’t news. We, as humans, enjoy helping other people, animals, causes we care about. People feel satisfaction when helping others and this kind of satisfaction is difficult to compare to anything else. Why isn’t the world perfect then? Why aren’t we all volunteering?  For starters, it often seems just too difficult. Choosing among all the causes and then taking the action is overwhelming and often feels like too much trouble, maybe beyond the abilities of just one person. Until we just do it and get hooked. Then we tend to want more and more. But where to start? And how to help others start?

Mobile apps in the service of the right aims

There are thousands of answers to the question asked above but we, as a mobile development studio, will try to answer it with what we know best. Mobile apps.
We’re so used to using technology for fun and communication that we often forget that it can serve another purpose. That it can actually bring some more good to this world, using what’s already here – social media with billions of users around the world.

Development of success. Where does it start?

Just like with any kind of application it starts with a need, a niche to fill in. Then comes the idea and a draft of a strategy for the product. The truth is that behind every successful application, there are more then just the people with the idea but also those who know how to turn ideas into functional products. Execution is what makes goodwill into actually good work. Even the best idea can be ruined by bad implementation. Product and software development processes are, therefore – more important than the idea and marketing that follows: The vision behind the product matters but if it’s not pleasant to use as a final product, this vision will never be seen by those who may care about it and that’s where we come in.

The modern mobile app market is oversaturated and heavily competitive. The average number of published apps on Google Play reached 4,415 per day and the iOS App Store has an average of 1,377 daily launches! The situation is difficult enough for regular startups, the NGOs are in for much more trouble when facing the market. Every success story is written either by the lucky few or the well prepared. The question isn’t – which do you want to be. It’s what do you need to have to write your story.

In this article, we’ll shed some light on both useful strategy elements and some examples of companies that made their mark out there. We are proud to have had the chance to work with them, because the lessons we all learned and knowledge we used since are invaluable.

The most effective user acquisition strategies.

Your product needs to be seen and it has to look good. Let’s focus on visibility first.

Over 2.7 billion people have social media accounts. This makes social media the best place to be for any product. Building a strong presence there can help you deliver your message across any distance and the most effective way of transmission is there are two methods of delivery: organic and paid. Organic is most useful for boosting brand awareness, developing a company personality, and sharing content you’ve published elsewhere (like from your blog or videos). This is how you inspire your followers to drive your advertisement through your viral content and influencer marketing.

Going viral is never easy but a sure bet to get noticed. Unfortunately, as all bets, creating viral content is a gamble – there’s no guarantee that you’ll make it. You can, however, increase your chances by:

Tap on newsworthy current events relevant to your industry or niche.

These consist of scientific discoveries, sports events, and pop culture references

Use the right emotions to drive your communication

Always try to engage your audience with emotional content. Feelings are very incentivizing when it comes to sharing. There’s even research showing the strongest emotions behind most shared content.

Explore how your product connects to the current event.

When done properly, the event will become a perfect excuse for your product, not the other way around.

As far as influencer marketing goes we have a great example:

Ubrania Do Oddania is an NGO startup that uses smaller-reach influencers and various charity foundations to generate a strongly engaged community supporting a project aimed at both recycling of old clothes and helping others.

Movie Guide Dog is an example of a brilliant idea got stuck because of a lack of reach and funds. We assisted a foundation in creating a startup focused on an app to allow visually impaired and partially sighted people in Europe to watch movies. This great idea never launched because it failed to advertise enough on crowdfunding services and, even today, remains in limbo. We’re still hoping Movie Guide Dog will launch one day. Not because we’ve delivered the MVP using 9 different technologies, machine learning and custom hardware in 30 days. We were really happy to help in improving the lives of almost 30 000 000 people. It goes without saying, that your product has to visible. Even the best, most needed or desired app will not sell on its own.

Building the winning team

The second part of the success is more complex than that, it’s twofold and the hidden meaning isn’t a metaphor. It’s about the inside of the product – your app. Building it requires knowledge, skill, and passion but it’s difficult to have a team with all those traits on a limited budget. Best case scenario, you can pick two out of three traits. The way out of this impasse is outsourcing. Where you get to hire teams dedicated to filling specific roles for maximum efficiency and keep the costs low. Of course, there’s the question of quality control, but with the right team – you can be certain of the outcome, no matter the goal.

The first step in selecting a potential partner is to know their background. For example, a company with experience in working with an NGO will know the specifics of its work style and will be able to better adjust their timetable and workflow than a company unaccustomed to this work environment. After four projects with NGOs, we not only flexible, but also willing to share the experience to benefit the next partnership.

The decision to outsource can be beneficial when it comes to sharing ideas. Opening to a broader spectrum of like-minded people will help the engagement in the process, through its entirety. This is doubly important with at technical staff losing their engagement after a while. It’s very difficult to stay financially competitive to giants like Google or VC Startups. By carefully selecting your partners during the initial talks, you can easily determine how close a fit you might have.

Art Fund is an NGO whose purpose is to assist the British museums in art acquisition and distribution. They hired Entropy, a London based app developer (Ruby on Rails!) to create a mobile app for tourists. Entropy’s CEO, Eddie Vassallo was looking for some outsource hands to help his company in this process. Luckily for him, he knew us. After a lengthy (and understandably, very careful) selection process United Ideas got chosen to help in web and mobile development, product design and desktop version of an app that would allow over 700 UK’s museums to get so much more visitors.

We worked with Entropy before, thus we knew how they work and think, how they approach the problems and which way they take when coming up with solutions. It worked out fine: our team of 6 was a fit made with flexibility in mind: designers at the beginning, testers in the end we had a PM to watch it all go smoothly.

Last, but not least

The last part of looking good is measured in numbers. A lot of numbers. Nowadays, every company uses its own key performance indicators. Yes, retrieving the data is easier than ever, but its multitude makes less and less sense to an untrained eye. What are we looking?

App downloads:

As impressive as it may look, keep in mind that statistically, you lose up to 95% of all app users in the first 90 days of an app download. This isn’t a completely uses stat – it’s can be used to estimate how well your marketing works.

Retention rates:

If you want to know, how good is your app – this is what you look at. Basically, the retention rate shows the percentage of users who return after their first visit.

User Lifetime Value (LTV):

This helps you track the potential and future revenue that a user can bring. Looking at this stat, you can predict the future for your app’s success.

App Performance Analytics:

Very important data. It allows seeing, how well the app works. Beautiful design or user experience won’t help much when the app crashes all the time.

App Ratings and Review Analytics:

We live in a world where ratings and reviews represent one of the most important factors in making a purchase decision. 88% of users look at reviews before engaging any business.

User Conversion Points:

User conversion points and frictions to the user conversion flow are critical for the use of any application. Where and how a user converts is important because it tells you how quickly you can convince a user to buy something from you.

First-time User Drop-off Points:

This shows the onboarding of a customer. It takes time and careful planning and then patience to get it right.

The last sentence

The last sentence actually applies to the entirety of analytics. With the ever growing abundance of tools and ways to measure apps performance… It’s safe to say, it’s better to let the professionals take care of it.

Remember when we said that the question isn’t  which do you want to be, the lucky one or the well prepared one? It’s about who you have with you. Because if it’s a professional, your success story might just become the next bestseller.

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