Make something people can share
Using paid marketing to make an app visible in the app stores is very expensive. That is especially true for a freemium app like TextingStory. Only about three percent of users make in-app purchases in freemium apps, making user acquisition costs difficult to recoup.
Virality is a good way to overcome this issue. Think of something users can share from your app. Even better, make sharing something the purpose of your app. TextingStory’s focus on sharing was inspired by the initial success of the Dubsmash app.
TextingStory’s description and design were inspired by what the Dubsmash team did. Users are encouraged to share videos of their stories. They’re absolutely not forced to and, in fact, many TextingStory users don’t, but I’m guessing more videos are getting shared because of this nudge. Just add a watermark with your app name onto every video and voilà!
When researching the Dubsmash app I also noticed they had built a custom sharing screen with buttons for each of the big social networks. It turned out that doing the same in TextingStory had a huge impact on the number of videos being shared. Removing just a tiny bit of friction from the sharing action can apparently do wonders for virality.
The Mojo app is another good example of an app focused on making sharable content. It’s not an indie app but they generated $1M MRR, mostly with organic growth and only seed funding which is impressive!