ASO Tip #3 – Screenshots Sell Your App

Welcome back to the App Store Optimization Series (ASO).

In this series we are focused on better positioning your app within the app store environment to increase the saleability and discovery of your app which will ultimately help you succeed. We’ve covered improvements on your app name and tips to better your app icon and in today’s post we will tackle selling with screenshots.

Like your app icon which is another illustrative asset on your product page, your screenshots go along way in telling prospective downloaders what your app is all about, even moreso than what you explain in words in your product description.

Here are 3 things you should be considering when creating your screenshots to ensure you are representing your app in the best way possible to help it gain downloads.

1. Start by showing the “meat” of your app

If your app is a game, start with a screenshot of game play. If its a recipe selector, start with a screenshot showing how a recipe is selected. Whatever your app is, your first screenshot should focus on the “meat” or the core action the app has to offer. Often times prospective downloaders scroll to the bottom of the page to review screenshots and don’t bother to scroll left and right to see more than what the few that are immediately available leaving your first screenshot with the heavy burden to depict your app in one still image enough to get the consumer interested. Don’t waste this opportunity with a settings page, a splash or title page or a shot of your app that doesn’t resonate what your app is all about.

2. Use High Quality Images

Work with your design team to use the original design assets to create screenshots using the correct aspect ratio and sizes dictated by the particular app store your are submitting to. Stretched, low quality, fuzzy screenshots will degrade the impact these selling assets have on your product page and may ultimately detract from the download.

3. Give some context to your screenshots

You don’t have to just use a screenshot still from your app. Use this opportunity to layer on some marketing copy and branding on the image before submitting. Adding short, impactful phrases which put the screenshot in context are extremely beneficial and go along way to communicating to users what your app is all about. Additional branding elements like brand colors, game characters or fonts also reinforce the style and flare of your product to the user adding a professional and polished look to your shots.

Here are some great screenshots from our client, City King, which we worked with them to apply ASO tips to maximize their effectiveness in the app store.

City King Screenshot  City King Screenshot

ASO Tip #2 – An Icon is Worth a Thousand Words

App Store Optimization Tip #2 - Icon

Welcome Back to our App Store Optimization (ASO) series.

Last week we took a look at how to improve discoverablity of your app by using keywords in your app name. This week we will focus on another key branding element of your app, your icon.

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. The impact of your icon, being an image or picture, is extremely powerful. In many ways, your app icon is even more important than your name is as it is the first thing a user will notice in the list of applications and is often the element of your app branding that is most remembered by a potential downloader. This shouldn’t come as a surprise seeing how much real estate and prominence app icons get both in the store and on device.

Your app icon is like the packaging for your app. It is there to catch people’s attention and communicate in seconds what your app is all about. Its in those seconds that a potential user will make their decision as to whether or not they will want to download or pay for your application.

In our experience a potential user is factoring in the following when they look through a list of app icons to decide their next download:

Design: Is the icon overcomplicated or crowded? Is there text or an image that is hard to make out. Your app icon is pretty small so don’t try to fit the entire app in it. Avoid just using a screenshot and if you have a long title don’t even bother trying to squeeze that in. Work with a graphic designer to create an eye appealing icon that is easy to read and even more importantly recall.

Color: Are the colors of the app appropriate for the genre or subject of the app? Do they stand out from the crowd? Are they too dark and bland? Choosing the right colors is just as important as the right design. You want to make sure that your app stands out from the crowd while not selecting colors that take your app too far out of the genre norm.

Quality: Is the icon fuzzy? Are the images pixelated? Are the colors faded? A poor quality app icon can make or break a decision against you and your competitors. Take the extra time to create high definition icons that are crystal clear and meet the specs of the devices that are out there. Keep this updated as screens improve. It will go a long way to selling your application.

Context: What is this app all about? Does this icon make sense to the user in context to the category they are in and in reference to the name that you have given it? Often times users make their decision right at the list view so you will not have the chance to explain yourself like you can when they hit the product description. You will want to make sure that your app icon relates to the core features of your app so that there is no confusion what this app is all about.

 

 

ASO Tip #1 – Use Keywords in Your App Name

App Store Optimization Tip 1 - App NameOne of the most popular services we provide at App Promo is ASO or App Store Optimization. Our App Store Optimization service includes a thorough review of how your app is positioned or will be positioned within the app store and recommendations on potential changes that would better serve your app within this environment to increase discovery and sales.

We have created a series of articles that break out 5 tips we have found to be most useful when it comes to optimizing your app within a storefront. This is the first post of the five. In this post, we will take a look at one of the critical marketing elements of your product in the app store – your App Name.

Your app name is at the core of your product brand. This along with your icon act like the cover of a book for your app. It is essential that your app name be creative, thoughtful, enticing and indicative of what your app does but often times app publishers forget that it is also critical that the name itself contains keywords which are core to your app.

The name of your app is one of the strongest areas search engines both within the store and outside the store online will use for search discovery. For this reason, it is important to think about what your user will search for when they are looking for your app and consider using some of these keywords in your name. If your app is an Apple Puzzle game that be sure to use Apple or Puzzle in your app name somewhere, for example.

In addition, as mobile app store users make most of their download decisions within the list of apps they scroll through on their device, it is essential to grab their attention with your name. Using keywords which accurately and succinctly describe what your app is all about will help users understand in the a small amount of time what your app is all about and will help increase downloads but more importantly qualified downloads of your app.

Here are some TIPS when selecting a name which is optimized to market your app using keywords:

  1. Select a name that has something to do with the core offerings of your app – don’t be afraid to state the obvious here
  2. Be creative but don’t sacrifice clarity for cleverness (again a spade can be a spade)
  3. Identify keywords for your app by thinking like a user and figuring out what they would search for and include some of these keywords in your name
  4. Look to your direct competitors to understand the format and keywords used in their app titles to learn from those around you
  5. Utilize a two part name separated by a dash or a colon to free up room to use keywords e.g. Monkey Madness – Kids Puzzle Fun

Look for the next post in this App Store Optimization article series next week at www.app-promo.com.

TIP: Master Your Elevator Pitch

Master your elevator pitch. Be able to pitch your app in 140 characters or less – which will come in handy for Twitter. Make sure you can get right to the point of your app. Highlight why you are different and what problem you solve. Once you have this nailed down you can echo this messaging in your app marketing to keep your positioning consistent.

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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: How to Measure Online Buzz

Measuring your marketing can be tricky. Downloads and impressions are an obvious method. But how do you quantify word of mouth and press? Set-up alerts using Google Alerts or tools like Social Mention to track what people and the press are saying about your app. Input keywords that match your campaign and your app and let these tools do their job.

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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: Maximize Your Reach by Making Your App Global

Sounds simple but it will make a “world” of difference. When you submit your app be sure to make sure that it is set to release to “Global” distribution. Even if you feel your content caters to a geographical niche, you will be surprised by what other areas may be interested in your app by giving them access. The only way you will know is if you remove the cap. Of course, if there are legal limitations such as content rights, these will need to be removed prior to your change. You may also wish to release your app first in smaller countries that are not your own in order to test out the app or app marketing tactics prior to the full launch.

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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: Attach Excitement and Urgency to Your App

Contests are a great way to create some excitement and urgency for your campaign. If done right, they are guaranteed to to increase activity and downloads. Your contest prizing should always include free downloads of your app (if your app is premium) and the grand prize should be relevant to your app or branding to help make sure that the audience you are attracting are still your users.

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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: Make it Easy to be Published

Make it easy for the media and bloggers to pick up your story by doing some of the work for them. Include a media kit with your press release. Send some hi-res logos, screenshots and the QR code to download the app. If you have a video for your app, include this as well. Your kit should include all the additional information a blogger would need to put the story together.

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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: Sync Your Price Promotions to Events

Tie discounts and giveaways of your app to holidays and events related to your niche or product focus. If you are an education app – mark your price down for Back to School, for example. Christmas is an especially great time to discount your app to leverage the purchasing behaviour of the general audience at this time. Speaking at a conference? Make your app free to download for that day only and make sure your audience knows about it.

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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: Use Software Updates to Climb the Charts

Be on top of upcoming SDK updates and plan to use new functionality as soon as it is released. This will not only allow you to stand out from the crowd but it will increase the chance of being highlighted in the app stores as many OEMs are looking to showcase the new features of included in software updates. Using new technology will also provide an additional hook for bloggers and other media to run your story making it easier to be picked up by the press.

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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.

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