Posted July 12, 2011 3:12 pm by with 1 comment

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So you built it, but they didn’t come. It’s not surprising. Mobile apps may be growing in popularity, but they’re also growing in number and the latter far outweighs the former.

According to Deloitte’s new strategy insights called Killer Apps, creating a popular mobile app can be harder than it looks.

Just take a look at this chart showing the number of available apps over the past few years.

In order to stand out in this crowd, you have to have two things; a killer app and a great marketing plan. Common sense, right? Maybe not. In Deloitte’s study, they found that people often develop an app when all they really need is a mobile version of their website. Rule number one, don’t make an app just for the sake of making an app. Same goes for mobile games. They are the number one selling category of app, but simply slapping your brand on a repetitive or knock-off game won’t do.

The report references popular driving games created by VW and Audi. Both had success with their apps, but they were developed when there was less competition and lower expectations. Today, it’s much harder to make a splash with a game unless you have a lot of money to dump into development.

Deloitte suggests passing on the game idea in favor of a utility app. Any app that helps people do something smarter, faster or cheaper is on the right road. Think about what your brand represents and how you can turn that into a benefit for users – that’s rule number two.

The final rule is to approach your app page as you would a webpage. Use keywords in the name of the app and in the description. They even suggest listing similar, more popular apps in your description in order to ride that keyword wave. Reviews are also important, as is a reminder to “download the smartphone app” on all related materials.

If you have a few minutes, download the free report. It’s loaded with interesting information including a pie chart showing iPhone users by employment type. I’m not sure what you could do with that knowledge, but knowledge is power, so read the report if you want to launch your own killer app.