Our App Promo Fall 2013 newsletter is now out for everyone to read, learn and connect with us. Enjoy!
Our App Promo Fall 2013 newsletter is now out for everyone to read, learn and connect with us. Enjoy!
Thanks to a great audience who attended @Apppromo’s presentation today at FTIC #screen#13 in Toronto. As promised, please find enclosed a copy of the presentation for those who wish to download it. If you want to continue the conversation, please feel free to tweet us @Apppromo or reach us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you and good luck! 🙂
Your product description is arguably the most difficult of all of the product page assets to put together. Its no wonder than that most app publishers resort to one or two sentences in this field when they usually have up to 4000 characters.
Writing about your product can be difficult – especially when you are faced with a blank page and you are more keen to write code than marketing copy. Lucky for you we have created a formula which can help you create an effective product description which is aimed to sell your app and gain the download.
Before we break down the formula, the first thing you will want to do is refer back to the list of search terms that you created when considering a name for your app (Part 2 of this series). Your product description is a great place to use any / all of these search terms as long as they make sense within the copy. This will help ensure that your product description is not just effective at explaining to potential downloaders why they should download your app but it will also be working to attract traffic to this page via search.
It is important to maximize all available characters in the product description. As well you will want to make use of features such as embedding video. Investing in a YouTube video to demo your app or getting a video review site to review your app and using this in your description is a great way to use the free tools the app stores are providing you.
Now for the formula. A great product description is made up of five elements:
The Elevator Pitch is a short, succinct description of your app that answers these questions:
We call this the elevator pitch because you should be able to articulate this in a few sentences 2-3 at most. Readers should be able to get a clear picture of what your app is all about and most importantly why they should download it from this statement. If this was the only thing they were able to read about your app it should compel them to download it. This is why your product description will start with this statement.
The Pricing Statement articulates the costs associated with the app. If it is free then state this – even if it is also obvious from the pricing label in the app store. This area becomes increasingly important when your app is using a freemium model. In this way, you will be setting expectation for the user that your app is free to download but that there are premium areas offered inside they need to be aware of. By clarifying pricing up front, you will be reducing the number of downloads which will result in customer complaints.
The Review or News area is a great spot in the product description to pull out a comment or rating from users and/or app store review sites or even chart success from the app store. This area helps balance out the marketing copy you are creating as the owner of the app with feedback from credible and more social resources that potential downloaders will listen to as part of that community.
The Features and Functions section is an obvious addition to the product description. We suggest that in this area you list out the main features of your app. Using an actual ordered list will make it easy to read in the product description. Here you will want to focus on the core elements of your app and highlight those that make your app differentiated in the market. As you grow your product roadmap you will want to keep this list updated in your description.
Finally the Sales Pitch is the last statement in your description. This statement should echo again the reason why users should download your app. It is also an area to market your website, social networks, videos and any other apps that you want to include as part of your brand or product offering.
One important thing to remember once you have your product description up and live in the app store is that your product description should not remain static. You should revisit your product description with every product update to make sure that your copy reflects new features. In addition, any news or new ratings, reviews or successes should be celebrated here.
@Apppromo very excited to be selected by @advertisingweek to be an Exhibitor for the Mobile Track on Mon 9/23 #NYC. Check out the enclosed exhibitor map to find out where @Apppromo is located and make sure to stop by and meet and greet Gary Yentin or Nikke Slight for some tips on #ASO (App Store Optimization) as well as some special prizes.
Outside of your app icon, the most powerful visual element of your product page is your screenshots. People are more visual in nature and so when a user visits your product page or any other product property you have online (landing page, social network etc.) they will gravitate towards your icon and screenshots before reading any copy describing your app. Since this is the case, it is a missed opportunity if you are just taking random screenshots of your app and submitting them when you’re ready to go live. You must be strategic with the selection of your screenshots in order to maximize their effectiveness in your marketing.
The three most common mistakes that developers make with their screenshots are:
To avoid making the first of these mistakes its simple. Use all available spots provided by the app store for your screenshots. Leaving any of these blank is a missed opportunity.
For the second issue, we recommend that you use the proper tools to take screenshots to avoid degradation in quality. More importantly, you shouldn’t be afraid to edit the screenshot to make it look as professional as possible – this includes removing the carrier and battery information if it is included. It is suggested that you use Photoshop or other photo editing tools to ensure that the file quality and image will represent your app well within the store. Also, we suggest that your screenshots are taken on the device that is being featured in the app store. Using mobile screenshots when the platform for your app is a tablet will just confuse users and may give them a reason to decide not to download.
Finally, it is extremely key to select screenshots that articulate what your app is all about. Many app developers select their title screen of their app as one of the screenshots and which is not the wisest choice. The title screen doesn’t show your app in action and this is what is going to convince the user to download. If your app is a calculator app – show the 5 key features and functions of that calculator – one in each screenshot, for example. The point is that users should be able to see what your app is all about in your screenshots. Selecting those that show your app in action will do the best job.
To make sure that users clearly understand what is being depicted in each screenshot, you can also update your screenshots with headlines, taglines or captions. To do this, you will need tools like Photoshop to create an overlay to add captions and even designs to your screenshots. Be sure to keep captions short and to the point – this is a great time to go back to your list of keywords you developed when creating your name. Although this is a great addition to your screenshots, remember that the focal point should still be your app in action so whatever is added should not detract from this.
In addition to adding captions to your screenshots, you can optimize their use by making sure that they are prioritized and displayed in the proper order.
Selecting the right screenshots is an important aspect of ASO. Like many of the ASO activities, you will benefit from improved screenshots both in and outside the app store and are one step closer to improving the success of your app.
App-Promo is very proud to be selected as an exhibitor for Advertising Week 2013. App-Promo will be exhibiting in the Mobile Showcase on Monday September 23rd, 2013 at the Times Centre in NYC. App-Promo also be attending the seminars and booking meetings for the week of Sept 23-27. Looking forward to meeting clients new and current as well as friends so please tweet out to us @Apppromo to book time with our team!
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.
Users are making app purchase decisions based on icons similar to how they often judge a book by its cover. With mobile download behavior being very impulsive 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 help with conversion to download and may also play into the decision making process for a user to consider which app to open from the device home screen – impacting then both your downloads and usage.
It’s for this reason that App Store Optimization exercises tackle the quality and effectiveness of your app icon.
The first step is to look to your competitors. Go to the App Store and search for other apps similar to yours in the App Store. Take note of the colors, the design, the style and the characters or icons that they are using and make a list of these to inspire your deisgn.
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 blind 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 optimizing 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.
It goes without saying that the name of your app is extremely critical. It is the first place metadata is collected for all search engines and will be the branding for your product for its existence (unless you are brave enough to risk a rebranding which could result in a loss of users). It also factors into the decision making process a potential downloader uses to decide whether to get your app
Naming your app is one of the most exciting steps of application development. Often publishers have an idea of what they want to call their app even before it is developed. The initial reaction with a name is to get creative and make it personal but this is the exact opposite of what you should do if you wish to optimize discoverability for your app.
When determining the name for your app you will want to be less emotional and more logical. You will also want to err on the simpler and straightforward side of things. Your name should reflect the functionality of your app in some way.
The best place to start when considering a name for your app is to make a list of search terms your potential users will use to find an app that has functionality like yours. You can create this list of keywords by doing some research yourself and leaning on some digital tools for some help.
Starting with a list of keywords will help ensure that your app is rooted in search – a key discovery method for users. It will also help make sure that your app name is incorporating terminology which people attribute to your app’s main functions. In addition, you will be able to leverage this list for your product description which we will tackle in a later article in this series (Part 5).
Once you have this list of keywords, you can use them to create a name. In some cases, using some of the actual keywords in the name will make better sense. For example, if your app is a calculator app then you will most likely want to include the words calculator or numbers or math in the app name. For other app categories, like in the case of games, you may wish to use these keywords as more of a sub-title. For example Move and Shake – a Puzzle Game for Kids.
Using a sub-title in your name is a great strategy to include more metadata for your app but will also help to clarify an app that is given a more creative name for branding purposes.
Choosing the right name is a critical component of application development. With the help of this ASO exercise, you will improve your chance of selecting a name that will work for you rather than work against you.