The App Store Landscape: Major Players and the Discovery Challenge

Apps are a major part of everyday life for a large portion of the population. There are billions available across multiple app stores. How do you get yours to stand out? First, let’s start with an understanding of the current App Store landscape.

Discovery Challenge

THE RICH GET RICHER

The biggest challenge to any app developer is visibility in the incredibly competitive space. There were 70 billion app downloads between 2008 and 2013, but over 50% of those downloads went to 0.1 percent of the available apps. The problem makes sense (show of hands: how many readers have Facebook, Yelp, and Twitter installed on their iPhones?), but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to overcome.

OPTIONS FOR DISCOVERY

App marketers have five main options for discovery:

1. Paid campaigns that enable e-commerce and push their products via organic and paid social media, AdWords, etc.

2. Distribution platforms that push apps with certain themes or mega portals (Android) to bypass app stores

3. Recommendation algorithms that tie app marketing to the information that consumers and their friends reveal online

4. Search engines (e.g. Google, Bing, YouTube) that scour the app store by topic and keywords

5. Search within App Stores

In this post, and in a follow-up post on App Store Optimization, we’ll focus on App Store search since 53 percent of app shoppers find apps by searching directly in the App Store for their device. You can increase the likelihood of yours being seen (and downloaded) using a process that’s very similar to SEO.

Note: it’s important to make the distinction between app store search and search engines; while you can absolutely benefit from organic discovery in search engines like Google and YouTube (pro tip: YouTube is hugely important, so make sure to create a video that enhances awareness and discovery), it’s a relatively small piece of the discovery pie.

google

SEARCH FUNCTIONALITY BY APP STORE

Just like other search engines, search functionality is different for each of the stores, and we’ve scored the different app stores based on how comprehensive their search is.

image001
Google is the best at search (surprised?), and search is vitally important. The Google Play Store rankings are based on downloads and search criteria, implying that you can’t just rely on download volume to attain and keep top status.

Yet the search functionality in all app stores, including Google, leaves much to be desired. Furthermore, making changes to any of the ASO parameters (keywords, conversion optimization) is fairly difficult in the app stores, particularly with Apple’s. It’s best to try to nail it as well as you can the first time.

image003

In a nutshell: the landscape of the different App Stores is… not great. You can definitely get by with effective App Store Optimization, but none of the stores are really built for you to have success right out of the box. Look for our next post, which will cover the basics of App Store Optimization!

ASO is the new SEO – App Store Optimization Webinar – Sept 17th – 2pm

ASO Sep 17thApp Promo and 3Q Digital are pleased to present a one hour webinar on Thursday September 17th from 2-3pm on the topic of #ASO is the new SEO -Tips and Tricks on Getting your Apps Discovered. Mark your calendars for this date and listen to Gary Yentin, CEO of App Promo and Craig Weinberg. Vice-President Mobile Strategy of 3Q Digital discuss the timely topic of #ASO.

The business skills app developers need now.

App Developer Association’s OpenX, Millennial Media and more walk through idea generation, feature selection and monetization.

Smith

“You’ll hear these guys say, ‘We weren’t even thinkingabout monetizing. We were just making something we really liked. Now we’re billionaires!'” said Smith, CEO of mobile game developer XMG Studios. “If that were true it would have been free and it would have no way to make money.”

Smith, whose firm’s titles include Fashion Star Boutique and Drag Racer World, was speaking at an event recently hosted by the App Developers Alliance that took place in Toronto, one of several stops it has made in a tour across North America where it has been trying to teach app makers to act less like hobbyists and more like entrepreneurs. For Smith, thinking about apps as a business from the outset is a must.

“If you think you’re just going to build something from a great idea and ‘the money will come to me,’ it won’t,” he said.

Phase One: Choose (And Assess) The Right Idea

According to Greg Blackman, senior director of business development with Los Angeles-based ad tech company OpenX, the best way for developers to start is by “scratching their own itch.” In other words, think about an app or game that meets a need that hasn’t otherwise been met, and start from there. Don’t stop there, though. Blackman suggests doing a round of interviews with potential customers to ensure you’re on the right track.

Blackman

“Once you present it to enough people, you can see your target audience, and you see how much they light up,” he said. “When you put the idea in front of them, you should see a pattern where they light up every single time the value proposition is made clear to them.”

Of course, this doesn’t mean total originality has to be core to every single app. Smith said it’s more a case of picking a project with which you, as a developer, would engage as a consumer.

“If something already exists that you want to do, find that and ask yourself if you could do it better,” Smith suggested. “More than likely it’s out there. If it’s not on the app store already, it’s web-based.”

Phase Two: Choose The Features That Matter

An app has to do something, and in some cases it will do a lot. Developers may sometimes stumble over figuring out how much to pack into that first release, said Gary Yentin, co-founder and CEO of Toronto-based marketing firm App Promo. The easy answer is an economic one: If you create a business plan around the app, the numbers should provide some insight into what can reasonably be available at launch.

Yentin

“You can afford thousands of features if you have thousands of dollars,” he said.

Blackman recommends a “less is more” approach, particularly for developers who are new to apps or to a particular category.

“Boil it down to one thing, get it out as quickly as you can, then see if the code you put down can prove the value prop works,” he said. “All of the additional bells and whistles, the social hooks, they don’t matter if you can’t get the one thing down that makes a dollar from the app.”

Phase Three: Establish The Metrics Behind Your Monetization

James Hughes, associate director of publisher sales at Baltimore, Md.-based mobile ad firm Millennial Media, says developers and even publishers sometimes look at him as though he has two heads when he asks about their revenue strategy before an app is created. The problem is that too often monetization isn’t considered until after the fact, even though there are so many options to choose from. This includes push notifications, in-app purchases and display advertising.

Although some degree of experimentation might be necessary, Hughes said doing careful analysis of the first crop of users can help determine the best long-term approach. For example, those who are already looking at mobile ads may not want to be presented with in-app purchases, but that’s okay if they’re already generating revenue. Instead, target those who aren’t helping monetize the app at all.

“Experiment with your friends and family. Put it out to your beta users,” he said.  “Segment and understand who’s spending time where.”

Yentin agreed, adding that developers should ensure they have the right SDKs built into their app to track things like downloads and retention, even if they haven’t gotten a lot of users yet. “If you don’t have the tools, you’re not going to be successful.”

Also think about how much friction you want to put in your app, added Blackman. In other words, how often do you want to interrupt the experience with ads or in-app purchase offers?

“There’s often a pattern that everybody follows. Learn, understand and exploit that pattern as much as you possibly can,” he said. “Watch the behavior rather than listen to what they say.”

This is probably the biggest business lesson for developers to remember. As Smith suggested, there isn’t an app user alive who will advocate for a particular monetization approach.

“They want free, with no ads, forever,” he said.

Published on July 20, 2015 | By , Fierce Developer

Marketing Mavericks: 3Q Digital Interviews @AppPromo CEO- Gary Yentin

3Q Digital Marketing Maverick Series : An Interview with App Promo's CEO Gary Yentin
3Name:  Gary Yentin
Company: App Promo
Twitter handle: @Apppromo
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN YOUR CURRENT ROLE? 
Seven years.
WHEN YOU LOOK BACK AT THE LAST SIX MONTHS, WHAT WERE SOME OF THE BIGGEST SURPRISES OF YOUR JOB? 
The interest for apps in terms of development marketing and promotion continues to grow 
and turn into a mainstream business.
WHAT ARE 2-3 BOLD PREDICTIONS YOU’D MAKE FOR THE NEXT SIX MONTHS? 
Consumers will embrace the Apple Watch beyond predictions, and mobile video will blow out 
all numbers in terms of engagement.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE RECENT AD CAMPAIGN, AND WHY? 
Burberry has some of best campaigns in terms of creative and embracing mobile.
Burberry Pandora Ad
IF YOU HAD $10M, WHICH MARKETING PLATFORM (E.G. GOOGLE, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, ETC.) WOULD YOU INVEST IN, AND WHY? 
I would go to Snapchat and Instagram for reaching Millennials and go to Pinterest to reach women.
IF YOU HAD $10M, WHICH MARKETING TECHNOLOGY WOULD YOU INVEST IN, AND WHY?  
Mobile Video RTB and DSPs.
WHAT IS/ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT METRIC(S) YOU USE TO GUIDE YOUR DECISION MAKING PROCESS? 
Engagement.
WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT, ATTRIBUTION OR MOBILE? WHY? 
Both, not sure you have to choose one without the other.
ARE THERE ANY SPECIFIC BOOKS THAT HAVE HELPED SHAPE YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY? 
Old school going back to the books of David Ogilvy:
51fcdV6eksL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_

This entry was posted in CMO Interviews. Bookmark the permalink.

Plaza App Welcomes the World to the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PLAZA APP WELCOMES THE WORLD TO THE TORONTO 2015 PAN AM GAMES

Download The App To Discuss the Games, City Hot Spots & How To Avoid Traffic!

plaza app

(Toronto, ON) June 30, 2015 – With over 10K downloads since its launch this past May, Plaza App welcomes tourists and locals to share in all the discussion over the next two weeks for the Pan Am Games. Available in the App Store, it utilizes user generated comments, discussions and recommendations on what to do, where to eat, what’s happening at the games and most importantly how to avoid traffic while Toronto plays host to the world.

“Plaza App was created as a way for users to share content locally as well as globally,” said Spencer Graham, Founder, Plaza App. “What better venue than the international gathering of the Pan Am Games to showcase how technology and people can join together to partake in this global event.“

Created in Red Deer, Alberta, Plaza App launched in Canada in May followed by the USA, and is the destination for local and global conversation on the issues and topics most important to people. Join the conversation and download the Plaza App for you iOS Tablet or mobile device.

Plaza App Special Features:

  • Feeds from your city or from anywhere around the World
  • Choose from Hundreds of Avatars that best represent you
  • Post in local city or world categories
  • Use text, audio, photo and video to express yourself
  • Easily switch between public and anonymous posting modes
  • Create niche local categories to communicate in
  • Follow other users and friends anonymously or via Facebook
  • Change cities and see what’s happening somewhere else

Note: App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.

– 30 –

About Plaza: Plaza is the dynamic new social network that brings your city to life!  Discover interesting local content and share yourself with friends, family and the people around you. Plaza supports text, audio, photo and video, and functions like a local forum (think Reddit meets Google Maps). You may choose to post either publicly or anonymously. http://theplazaapp.com
Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/theplazaapp

Twitter
https://twitter.com/ThePlazaApp

Media Contacts:
Gary Yentin
App Promo
gary@app-promo.com
416-464-2223
Nikki Lamb Tudico
Lamb Creative Group
nikki@lambcreativegroup.com
416-878-2250

Five Of the Best #AppMarketing Agencies and AppPromo is one of them!

@AppPromo is pleased to be mentioned as one of the top five best #AppMarketing Agencies by MobileCommerce. We are humbled and very appreciative that our clients and colleagues see the value in the hard work that goes into #AppMarketing and #promotion. @AppPromo will continue to work harder to enable our client’s successes!

Mobile Commerce

 

App Promo

App PromoApp Promo is built from the ground up to push apps and games, be them iPhone or Android titles. They offer everything you could need to get your app off the ground, including more than just ASO (App Store Optimization) and guaranteed downloads, but rather more nuanced strategies that create lasting results and continued revenues. With games like Moto X Mayhem in their clients list, it’s obvious App Promo is doing something right.

Pages:1234567...25»

Events

New App Store Optimization Packages