TIP: Create a Wave of Activity to Spike Downloads

Spread out your app releases and marketing efforts to spike download and usage activity, especially if you find yourself in the charts. Timing is key for marketing and you will want to make sure that you don’t waste valuable marketing opportunities on an overstimulated audience. Don’t be afraid to let your chart rank or buzz come down a bit before you hit the market with another reason to use your application.

TIP: Choose your Category Strategically to Help Users Find You

Do your homework when it comes time to choose the category your application will be placed in within the app store. You want to consider both the logical choice as well as where you will make the most impact. Take a look at where you competition is and is not. If your app straddles a line between two categories and you feel one has less competition, use that as an opportunity to stand out.

TIP: Choose the Right Screenshots to Sell Your App

The old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words has never been truer than in the app store. Apart from your icon, your screenshots are the only other visual the user has to make their decision on downloading. Avoid wasting shots on loading screens and head right into showing your content and functionality. Put screenshots in sequence of what sets you apart first rather than trying to be true to the flow of the app. If your USP is video then put video first. And don’t bother with your loading screen, unless it is something really out of the box to showcase.

What is Split Testing and How Do I Use It?

If you are thinking about purchasing paid media to advertise your mobile application to increase downloads, you are definitely going to want to spend your dollars wisely.

To ensure that you are getting the best bang for your buck, you will want to employ a common technique in the digital ad space called Split-Testing. By employing this technique you will drastically improve your app marketing efforts.
What is Split-Testing

Split-testing also known as A/B testing or bucket testing is a marketing technique to test out variations of an ad in order to compare results to determine what ad elements works best to get maximum results.

Basically, split-testing is when you run two ads competing against one another to determine which one produces the best results and is ultimately the one to continue trafficking.

To properly split-test, you will want to create variations of your ad that include changes to elements such as copy, images, font style and size, colors and layouts. Comparing results between the ads will confirm whether your change has made a positive or negative impact. You will want to continue with the ad that is doing well and stop with the ads that are performing less.

Split-testing is done to help you better your results from your ad campaign. By better understanding what is working and what is not with your ads, you can make immediate adjustments to improve results and your ultimate return on investment.

 

How to Split-Test

To split-test you will need to first start with an ad. Create an ad for your campaign that is compelling and conveys your messaging in an effective, easy to understand and powerful manner.

Take a look at this ad and create a variation on one of the elements. Perhaps you will use a different image or change a word in the copy or bold the call to action. Whatever you do, keep the changes effective but to a minimum as too many changes will not allow you to determine what modification has produced different results.

Run both of your ads with the same configuration in your network and watch the results of both. You will want to let your original (control) and variation (test) ads run for a fair amount of time to really start to understand how the audience is reacting to them. You will also want to make sure that a significant amount of the audience has been exposed to the ad before making any conclusions.

The amount of time you take to make the decision on which ad to continue with depends on the data that you are receiving but you should be able to start to make a decision within a couple of days.

Once your ads have had some time to live on the network, you will want to look at the data gathered during that time to decide which ad is doing better. For the most part, the metric you will be looking at here is the CTR or click-through rate. But if you are able to (as some networks have this capability), for mobile application advertising, your key metric should be downloads of your application.

Regardless of the metric you choose, compare results between the original ad to the test ad and continue with the one that produces the best results.

Depending on the length of time of your campaign, you will want to continue the split-testing process, creating variations off of the ad that produces the best results from the previous test.

 

Why Split-Test

Split-testing is definitely proven to help you produce the best results from your ad campaign but using available data from ad network reporting to gauge the impact of small variations to your ads.

It is obvious that as you take the time to improve your ad based on actual data you will only be left with higher conversion and click through rates for your campaign overall.

But beyond increasing immediate results, the learnings gained from the split-tests you perform in your campaigns will start to educate you on what direction to take your future advertising for the same audience. This information is invaluable as it will help to elevate your future ad decisions right from the start of the campaign. Of course, no campaign is ever the same but the more tests you run, the wiser you will be.

 

TIP: Don’t Waste Keywords When Submitting

iOS applications only allow for 100 characters for your keywords when submitting your app. This poses quite a challenge when you have a list of words you would like to include. To give yourself room, don’t enter words that are already in your app name as your name will already be counted as metadata. Additionally, there is no need for spaces between commas in your list which should help free up some more space.

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Every Tuesday App Promo will be providing tips on app marketing and promoting applications based on their experience leading marketing campaigns for applications across platform. These tips are like regular marketing vitamins aimed to boost discovery and visibility for app publishers to better succeed in the business of their apps.

TIP: Add a Personal Note When Submitting Your App

Although the app submission process is automated, add a personal touch by leaving a personal note in the release notes area of your submission. Highlight what you feel sets you apart. Indicate what new APIs you may have used. Give the reviewers on the other end a reason to remember your app, it could work in your favor.

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Every Tuesday App Promo will be providing tips on app marketing and promoting applications based on their experience leading marketing campaigns for applications across platform. These tips are like regular marketing vitamins aimed to boost discovery and visibility for app publishers to better succeed in the business of their apps.

How to Be Friends with Bloggers

Just a few years ago, the average joe didn’t know the word blog. Today, you would be hard pressed to find an individual who accesses the world wide web who doesn’t visit blogs on a regular basis.

Blogs have been the webs answer to inspiring writers and communicators everywhere who have something to say about a certain topic.  No longer do you need to worry about the formal publishing process to be noticed as a writer on the web, you simply need a WordPress account and the ability to put together thoughts in a cohesive manner to be today’s journalist.

Audiences have embraced blogs as they have increased the point of views available on topics. They have become authorities on the subjects they cover and in a lot of instances have eclipsed the formal publications from which most the blogs have been inspired from.

Blogs are particularly important to the developer community as they serve as a key communication method to promote and distribute their applications. As such, the relationship between the developer and the blogger is especially critical.  Getting reviewed or written up by the right blogger will not only give you industry cred, but will dramatically increase the number of downloads for your application.

As you can imagine, however, bloggers are inundated with tons of requests to cover stories on various topics. Knowing this, it is extremely important to stand out from the crowd and build a relationship with bloggers so that you can partner with them to give them credible news while you benefit from much needed visibility.

Here are a few tips to get you started on your much needed blogger friendship to improve your app marketing.

 

Find Your Most Influential Bloggers

There are millions of blogs out there. You want to make sure that you choose the blog that is right of the app that you are developing. The bloggers you want to connect with need to be interested in your product and your product needs to make sense with their blog.

Most often these are the blogs you are already following. But if you are not an avid blog reader you are going to have to do your homework. Use search engines to find blogs that relate to your keywords. Make sure you read some articles and about the blogger/blog to decide if it’s a good fit.  See if the blog recommends other blogs to introduce you to other prospects.

Once you have selected the blogs that you feel your product is best aligned with, you are going to want to prioritize them according to reach. Often times a bloggers audience information is listed in their advertising opportunity section so check that out to help you understand what the reach is for the blog. You are going to want to put most of your efforts on blogs that will allow any posts on your app to be read by the most amount of people.

 

Get Introduced

Now that you have your list, find out who the blog owner is or in the case of larger blogs who the key bloggers are that you need to contact in order to start building a relationship.

Most often blogs don’t provide an email address or phone number so don’t be afraid of using the feedback box to reach out to the right person.

Keep things extremely personal. Bloggers want to talk to real people. Let them know who you are and what you do and what you are working on. Most importantly let them know what you feel you can offer to their blog and why they should be interested.

It’s best to reach out to a blogger as early on as possible to start introductions rather than right when you need them to post something for marketing purposes. Contacting them for the sole purpose of introducing yourself and asking if they would be interested in you sending them updates and information on your product will most likely produce the best results in terms of response and in forming a positive relationship.

In this way your first contact with a blogger is not coming from immediately wanting something from them but more that you have identified them as an influential part of your ecosystem and value their cooperation.

Getting bloggers to know you on a first and last name basis is half the battle in getting published.

 

Get Published

When the time comes for you to get the word out for your app – whether this be for launch, a major update or perhaps an important accomplishment – the contact you already established with the blogger community will come in handy.

Hopefully you have gained an email address from previous contact with the blogger, but if not, send them information on your “story” via the feedback form making sure you mention that you had previously connected.

If you are contacting them to get a post written about your app, be direct and ask for this. Include all the necessary information they would need to develop the story including screenshots, facts and links to your application.

Most importantly, make sure that you address again why you feel your app or app’s story makes sense for their publication.

 

Thank Them

Once your story has been published, don’t forget to reach out to a blogger and thank them. Sending an email to thank them is an important step in building that relationship with them.

In addition to sending a thank you, show your support for their blog by tweeting, re-posting on social networks and on your own blog if you have one their blog post.

 

TIP: Use Available Analytics to Understand Your OS Demographic

A key part of knowing your demographic is the operating system of your user. Analyze your downloads, site traffic and other reports which can break down traffic by OS to help determine which platforms are doing well and which need some help. Use this informaiton to cater specific campaigns to these audiences.

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Every Tuesday App Promo will be providing tips on app marketing and promoting applications based on their experience leading marketing campaigns for applications across platform. These tips are like regular marketing vitamins aimed to boost discovery and visibility for app publishers to better succeed in the business of their apps.

TIP: Send your App Live Before Marketing

No matter how great your marketing efforts are, they will be overshadowed by an app that is not working well or has poor user experience. Make sure your app is tested both for quality and for useability before you send it live. It’s often wise to send your app live days or even weeks before the start of the marketing campaign to catch any tweaks or changes that may improve your app before you bring it a lot of attention.

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Every Tuesday App Promo will be providing tips on app marketing and promoting applications based on their experience leading marketing campaigns for applications across platform. These tips are like regular marketing vitamins aimed to boost discovery and visibility for app publishers to better succeed in the business of their apps.

The Power of App Icons

If a picture is worth a thousand words then your app icon is worth more than any other asset for you mobile application.

Your app icon is the most evident element of your branding both on the home screen of the users device and in the app store where they make the decision to download.

Consumers are making app purchase decisions based on icons similar to how they often judge a book by its cover. With mobile shopping behavior usually being extremely impulsive, even guttural, it is extremely important to be able to stand out from the crowd and convey as much about your app as possible in an instant.

How compelling and clear your app icon is for a user will translate not just to acquisition of new users but will also factor into the decision making process for which app to open from the device home screen.

When it comes to your app icon think how can I convey what my app does while making sure the icon says DOWNLOAD ME.

The first step in knowing what to do in designing your app icon is to understand what not to do. The best way to do this is to visit the application store of the platform you are developing your app for and browse. Look through categories you feel your app should sit within to see what your competitors are using. Take a look at the top applications to see what their app icon includes.

It’s best to keep your app iconic. Avoid being overly wordy. In fact avoid words at all. Using objects, symbols or letters is best to achieve a clear and easy to digest icon. Consumers should see your icon and be able to identify the imagery you are illustrating. But beyond recognition, they should get a sense as to what your app is all about or what type of app you are providing from your icon.

Keep your design simple. Clean, high quality icons will present your brand and product as a professional offering in the marketplace. As real estate in an icon is at a minimum you want to avoid cluttering your icon that will only confuse or frustrate consumers.

Don’t be afraid to be different or bold, remember you want to draw attention to your app amongst a sea of applications in the storefront. Use strong colors. Choose imagery that conveys a mood, tone or emotion indicative to your app’s purpose.

Give yourself choices by creating a couple of concepts for your icon before selecting the one that you will go forward with. Socialize your concepts with colleagues, business partners, family and friends and get their honest feedback. Getting an outside opinion is extremely important seeing that this icon is being created for your audience’s attention and not your own, so be sure not to skip this step.

Be open to any feedback you may receive regarding your app design – good or bad. Being overly committed to your app icon too early on could close you to some much needed opportunities to make your app better. It’s never too late to make changes or start over. Since icons are what users will look for to identify their app on their home screen, icons are rarely changed, so you will want to make sure you get it right the first time.

If you are not a designer and have the budget, seek professional help. Find a graphic designer who can help walk you through their process. A good graphic designer will meet with you to discover what your business is all about, who you are, what your app’s objectives are and what existing ideas or brand elements you may have already accomplished. Be sure to select a designer you trust. You will want to rely on them completely as your counsel in this field and in some instances you may not see eye-to-eye so someone you know is an expert in their field will be necessary.

Regardless of what you do when it comes to your app icon, make sure it is not an after thought. It may be small, but this icon could make or break the success of your app in the marketplace.

 

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