App Marketing 101 Series: Social Media (Pillar 4)

Social Media has become the holy grail for marketers and it’s no wonder as if done properly a brand can see tremendous success for significantly less money than traditional marketing and advertising.

Where social media saves you in money, it makes up in its need of significant time and effort. If you choose to use these as part of your marketing strategy for your app, make sure you are invested to keep your networks active.

Social networks need constant and consistent attention if they are to grow and be a successful part of your marketing strategy.

Facebook Page

The first thing that comes to anyone’s mind when you mention social media is Facebook.

The effectiveness of Facebook comes from its social reach. Interactions with your product Facebook page by one person has a ripple effect with their entire network, meaning you only need to convert one to instantly communicate to many.

Facebook’s made it pretty easy for brands to market their products through Pages. Your first step is to create a Facebook page for your app. If you already have a page for your brand, update it to market your app.

Some key marketing opportunities to take advantage on this page:

  • Create an effective cover photo for your page adhering to the Facebook Guidelines about marketing products with this image
  • Use your Info About & Description fields to highlight what your app is and the benefits they will provide to your user
  • Update your Info Website section to include download links to your application
  • Create an album featuring screenshots of your app as well as the QR codes
  •  Take advantage of defining a username (or vanity URL) for your Facebook page after reaching 25+ fans

Your Facebook page will only be effective if you have traffic and fans so you will need to include plans to grow this page as part of your marketing. Running Facebook ads is one way to do this. But also be sure to include mention of your Facebook page in all of your marketing collateral including your website.

As you gain fans to your page, you are going to want to interact with them. Some effective ways to keep them engaged are:

  • Create a poll surveying the most utilized scenario for your app
  • Start a discussion topic related to your app’s subject matter or asking for feedback
  • Ask questions to your fans via your wall
  • Post your announcements and product releases
  • Leverage your Tweets and YouTube videos

Facebook’s “insight” reporting is extremely useful and, beyond the social reach factor, is the other reason marketers and brands gravitate towards using it. Be sure to review your Facebook reports often to get a good understanding of your demographic and use this information to better your marketing and your product.

 

Twitter

The key to Twitter is to see it more as a broadcast tool than a community builder. You still have an opportunity to grow a following and interact with your audience using this social network, but it is less personal compared to Facebook.

Be sure to update your profile on Twitter with your app logo. Use the 160 characters they give you to state what your app is about and include the download URL. You can also take advantage of the background and new cover photo which are available visual assets on this page to market your product.

Once you are up and running start following to get followed. Follow people and brands that align well with your offering. The secret to growing your Twitter community is to follow others. When someone follows you, follow them back.

You can increase the discovery of your Twitter page through the use of Twitter directories but avoid opportunities to pay for followers as Twitter heavily frowns on this and could suspend your account.

Like Facebook, you are going to want to keep your Twitter feed active. And also like Facebook, you aren’t going to do well by hard selling your audience. Make sure you treat your tweets like micro-blog posts – something meaningful to you, your brand and what your app is all about.

It’s best to construct your tweets even shorter than the 140 characters Twitter gives you to set them up for re-tweeting. Re-tweeting is basically re-posting somebody’s tweet in your Twitter feed as is as commonly done as creating new Tweets. Your feed should be a good mixture of Tweets you write and re-Tweets from your followers.

You will also want to make sure that you are using hashtags in your Tweets. Hashtags are used by Twitter to organize Tweets. This makes it easy for users to search and find Tweets related to a certain topic or subject matter. Become familiar with the hashtags your followers use and incorporate them into your own posts. The use of hashtags will help introduce your Tweets to an audience outside of your following providing an opportunity for you to gain more followers.

 

YouTube

If a picture is worth a thousand words than a video is worth a million. YouTube is undeniably the powerhouse of online video that is why it is a fantastic marketing opportunity for your app.

Create a YouTube Channel for your app making sure that your app brand/icon; description and download links are in your profile.

Next, shoot and upload your videos.

You are definitely going to want to create a demo video for your app. These are becoming exceedingly common and can be leveraged in some app store product pages as well as your other social networks and your website.

For any video you upload, take some time to write a description that will convince users to view but is also packed with keywords to help your video show up in the search results.

YouTube also equips you with the ability to embed links in your video through the use of annotations. This is especially effective in your app videos to help drive users to download the app right from the video.

App Marketing 101 Series: App Store Marketing (Pillar 3)

Welcome to the third article in our 10-part article series on App Marketing. Last week we covered everything you need to know about Pricing your product and the use of Pricing as a Promotional Vehicle. This week’s marketing pillar covers this ins and outs of better use of the app store to market your product.

Since it’s inception, the application storefronts have been the most powerful merchandising and promotional vehicle for app discovery. With the app stores so influential, it is incredibly important to understand how to use them to your advantage.

App publishers need to look at their product page and other areas in the app store not simply as a distribution center but as powerful marketing opportunities which, if utilized correctly, will assist in increasing discovery and downloads for your app.

Your Product Page is a Marketing Opportunity

Be sure to put some thought into the elements that make up your product page in the app store. Don’t treat this as a just a mandatory step in the submission process, but rather an important marketing opportunity.Remember, all parts of this page need to be geared towards one goal – download. Your name, icon, description and screenshots are tools you have to convince the user to download your application. Make sure you use all options available to their full potential.

Some quick tips:

  • If you are not an already established brand, then choose an app name that is relevant to your app’s purpose
  • Your app icon is your logo so make sure it is creative, high quality and represents what your app is all about
  • Upload as many screenshots as possible, prioritizing those that showcase your features and content
  • Don’t waste screenshots on loading screens or standard device processes like calling, texting or shutting down – focus on your app
  • Include a video if the store allows it, a well done demo of your application goes along way to converting the audience to a user

 

Don’t Forget Your Keywords

The app stores search algorithm’s and their use of metadata is still somewhat a mystery. What we do know is that optimizing your description and utilizing keywords does make a difference.  Some app stores like provide fields to input keywords up to 100 characters.  If this is available use it!

When selecting your keywords:

  • Start first with keywords you may already have from your web SEO efforts.
  • Don’t need to include your app name.
  • Many developers believe that you only need commas to separate, not spaces, which should free up some characters.
  • Select keywords that will maximize results – avoid general terms and use words relevant to your app’s niche and purpose.
  • Additionally, write your app description including all of your keywords.  List your features, your content and even go as far as include the types of users or scenarios you feel your audience may use to search for an app.

 

Choose Your Category Strategically

When it comes to choosing a category for your app within the store, do your homework. Perform searches to see where your competitors show up. Look in the categories you feel you would most fit to see what apps are featured.You will want to choose a category that is a logical choice for your audience to find you. But be on the look out for opportunities that will allow you to stand out. Categories with fewer total apps or that have little to no other apps with your offering may be better suited to provide you the visibility you need.

 

Reviews & Ratings Can Be the Key to Climbing the Charts

When a user enters the app store they make most of their download decisions in the list view. Here they are given only a couple of things to help them make their decision: app name, icon, price and the rating and number of reviews.Ratings & reviews aren’t just great vehicles to collect feedback on your, they also help your app standout in the list. Apps with more activity (ratings & reviews) are more apt to be tapped on than those that have no star ratings or comments.Additionally, app stores have started to factor in activity (ratings & reviews) as part of the criteria used to build the merchandising areas – like the top chart.

Actively encourage feedback from users. Include a call to action in your app, your webpage and social networks to request reviews and ratings.Create an area in your “About” or “Info” area of your app that has a link to review and rate your app. Consider a timed pop-up to appear in the app while the user is interacting with it to remind them to give feedback.Make getting feedback from your users a core part of your ongoing marketing efforts for your app.

 

Add a Personal Touch When Submitting

The app store submission process is automated and for the most part the thousands of developers and product owners who submit their app have no visibility or access to the people behind the process.Just because you don’t have a name, doesn’t mean you can’t differentiate yourself by personalizing your submission using the notes & comments. Don’t leave this optional area blank. Use it to highlight how your app is unique. List new APIs that you are using. Spell out features or design that you feel differentiate your app. What you want to do is create a reason for the reviewer to remember your app. This is a great first step in building a relationship with this team and could help increase your chance of being featured in their marketplace.

 

Think Beyond the OEM Application Stores

 The manufacturer and carrier storefronts are not the only places users can find your app. There are many app catalogs, third-party app stores and app search engines you should utilize as part of distribution. Search these out and make sure you submit your applications so that they are available.

The alternative app stores usually have additional marketing opportunities you can take advantage of such as advertising and paid features. They also provide analytics and reports that can provide further insight into your users to feed back into marketing. The more places your app exists, the better chance your audience can find and download your app.

App Marketing Series 101: Pricing (Pillar 2)

App Marketing Pricing

Welcome to the second article in our 10-part article series on App Marketing. Last week we covered the importance of understanding and being able to clearly articulate your product. This week we will talk about how to price your app and using pricing as a marketing tool.

Determining the price of your app can be as complex as coding it, especially with the growing options available.

Free, paid or freemium? In-app purchase or subscription?

Pricing is not just a mandatory step in the submission process but is also an important part of marketing your app. Users will factor in price when making the decision to download and use your app, so choose wisely.

Determine Your Revenue Expectations
Start with understanding your revenue expectations.

Are you trying to recoup the cost of developing the app?  Or are you looking to turn a profit? Do you see this app as your primary business? Or will this app drive sales for a business already established?

Once your expectations are clear, it’s time to ask yourself how your app will meet these needs and what monetary goals will you set to gauge it’s success.

Do Your Research
To help with your pricing decisions, look to your competition to understand what pricing models and figures they are using.

Position yourself against these apps and make sure that your app is able to hold its own if not stand out from the crowd.

If you are expecting to make your app premium when other apps with the same offering exist as free, for example, you will need to either rethink your pricing model or modify your offering to ensure the value is there to increase your chance of success.

Price to Sell
Don’t forget the user when you make your pricing decision. Will your user pay for your app? Would they be annoyed with ads?

This is a good time to leverage your networks, existing database, social networks and forums if you have them. Getting some feedback directly from your potential users will help guide you in the right direction.

Test, Test, Test
Once you make a choice, give your pricing decision some time before making any changes.

Price changes should be planned and should be rooted either in marketing or as a reaction to your market.

If you do decide to modify your price, keep in mind that changes in price will have an immediate impact on volume (increase or decrease) so let things cool down before you make the call as to whether your decision was a successful one.

It’s Easier to Take Away than to Add
When setting your price, it’s better to err on the side of more then less.  Users are more apt to accept a price reduction than they are an increase so if you are teetering between two numbers it’s better to select the higher amount.

Starting high will also give more room for promotions.

Use Pricing as a Marketing Tool
Planning changes to your price in the form of sales, discounts, coupons and giveaways are great promotional opportunities for your app.

Sales & discounts work well to stimulate known lulls in purchase behavior as well as to spike growth related to calendar events and holidays that fit well with your product.

Coupons and giveaways act as great prizes for contests and rewards to your community and social networks.

Introducing the App Promo 10-part App Marketing 101 Series: Product (Pillar 1)

Marketing 101 - App MarketingWith such a positive response from the community for our App Store Optimization 5 part series, we have decided to continue offering a marketing series via our blog to help add to the conversation and education of the importance of marketing in the business of apps. We are pleased to introduce to you our 10-part App Marketing 101 series which has been constructed to provide you with tips, tricks and information on all 10 major pillars of app marketing.

Our first article focuses on the most important element of any successful marketing initiative – your product. Knowing who your audience is, defining your product to better articulate it to the market and ensuring your product meets the needs and the quality desired by your audience are topics we cover in our first of our 10-part series.

No matter what marketing efforts you put behind your app, the success of any campaign will come down to your product.

Being a product owner, it is extremely important for you to understand your app’s purpose and demographic and translate these ideas into a working product that has the utmost quality for your user.

 

Define Your App’s Purpose

Regardless if you are building a game, utility or a communication tool, the key to app success is to understand what you are building and why it will benefit your user.

Your app’s purpose should be extremely focused. Don’t try to accomplish too many things at once or you risk confusing, overwhelming and losing your user.

Look to your competition to help you define things. What are they doing well, what are they missing at and what can you do better?

A great exercise to help you fine tune your objective is to explain your app in six words or 140 characters (like a tweet) or less. This is not only a great way to clarify your concept but the output can also be used to create your marketing messaging in your upcoming campaigns or your unique selling proposition (USP).

 

Put Yourself in the User’s Shoes

Once you have determined WHAT you are building take yourself through the remaining 5 W’s to help understand your demographic.

Ask yourself:

  • Who are you building this app for?
  • Why will they use it?
  • When will they use it?
  • Where will they use it?

It is extremely important to know whom your user or users are and to continue to think like them throughout the idea, design, development and especially testing phases of your app project.

Keep this demographic in mind when it comes to your marketing. Target your paid media to this audience. Cater and create your marketing messaging using the answers to the questions above. Maintain a consistent vision of who your user to be sure that you end up with a product that your users want.

 

Don’t Cheap Out on Quality

Marketing is there to bring visibility and traffic to your application. But it can backfire if your application is not ready for the spotlight.

Be sure that when you kick-off your marketing efforts your product is available and working. Your project timeline should have a strong emphasis on testing – both from a code and user perspective, to flush out bugs that will cause the app to crash and give a poor user experience.

It is often wise to schedule a marketing launch a time after the actual production launch of your app (or general release). This will give you time to see traffic and usage of your application from real users in a manageable volume. The feedback you gain during this time will help determine how ready you are to

 

Use your Product Roadmap as a Marketing Tool

The app ecosystem is an active one. Users expect to see updates to their apps and look forward to fixes, design changes and new features when it comes to their favorite applications.

These updates act as a form of marketing to your current users as the notification they will receive will keep your product top of mind and will spike usage. Be sure to spread out your updates to allow for usage to drop before you release another version to maximize its impact.

Keep on top of new operating system software updates and update your product with features that utilize them if it makes sense.

Updates to your app are also a great reason to establish a marketing campaign outside of launch so start to view them as more than just code releases.

2 Must Have Tools to Help with App Marketing Success

A big part of marketing any product is gathering, analyzing, assessing and learning from the data that is collected during any promotional efforts. In order to properly understand what elements of your campaign are working and which are not and especially to judge the overall success of your campaign it is imperative that you implement tools to measure key performance indicators (KPIs) or success metrics which are defined at the start of your marketing project.

Two common success metrics that are used in App Marketing are downloads and chart placement. Here are two FREE tools that you can use to help measure these metrics for your app when marketing.

 

1. Distimo Monitor

Distimo are leaders in app data and often publish industry standard reports on success of applications across platform. Outside of their industry reports, Distimo also provides a free dashboard service called Distimo Monitor which analyzes and tracks your apps download performance across platforms: iOS, Windows, BlackBerry, Nokia and Android are a few of the major platforms they support. This tool becomes increasingly important to help track mobile apps that are on more than one platform making it easier and more efficient to check the status of downloads for your app in one single place rather than logging in and checking it out individually. In addition to download, Distimo Montior can also track revenue, rankings and reviews, allow for drill-down by country and also allow your ad networks to be plugged in to ad them into the mix. To start using Distimo Monitor, visit monitor.distimo.com and sign-up for a free account.

2. AppAnnie

AppAnnie is a free website which also offers analytic services to help track and measure your app download success. But what AppAnnie really excels at is helping you track changes in chart placement for both iOS and Android applications. Their store stats allow you track the changes in the Google Play and App Store charts daily, highlight your highest rankings, identify the features that you may have achieved, and summarize the ratings that you have gained across all countries your app is available for. This tool is extremely useful in helping you understand day-by-day what impact your marketing has on where your app stands in the marketplace against others in the your categories. To start using AppAnnie, visit www.appannie.com and sign-up for a free account.

 

App Promo in Action: Cannes Lions Festival Photos

Our friends at Cannes Lions Festival have provided some great images from the workshop that we held in France this year and so we thought that we would share them with you.

The workshop, entitled, “The Secrets of Being a No.1 App and Not Lose Money” had over 250 participants at this year’s festival and walked participants through a series of activities to help them understand better the business side of applications. A copy of the presentation can be downloaded here.

Thanks to all who participated this year! If you are holding a conference or are an organization who would be interested in this type of workshop, please contact us.

Cannes Lions Festival App Promo Workshop

Cannes Lions Festival App Promo Workshop

Gary Yentin App Promo Cannes Lions Festival WorkshopGary Yentin App Promo Workshop Cannes Lions Festival

ASO Tip #5 – The Importance of Reviews & Ratings

ASO Tip #5 - Ratings and Reviews

Welcome back to the last of our 5-part series of App Store Optimization (ASO) tips.

The goal of this series was to help app publishers and developers with a critical part in the app ecosystem: the app store product page. So far we have covered off improving your name; looked at how important it was to get your icon right; reviewed what to do to improve your screenshots; and, last week, revealed the secret formula to writing a successful product description.

This week we focus our last tip on the importance of reviews and ratings especially as it relates to discovery and downloads.

We all know how important customer feedback is. Comments and ratings provides invaluable information direct from the consumers of our applications. This is obvious a great source of learnings which can be taken back to influence the application’s product roadmap whether its through a bug fix or feature enhancement.

What might not be well known is how important ratings and reviews factor into discovery and download of your app.

From a Discovery perspective: ratings and reviews are considered as metadata for search and can even help to categorize your app in search results according to news which broke this week on TechCrunch on possible enhancements Apple is making from their recent acquisition of Chomp, a leading app search engine, which uses customer feedback to influence discovery. If this is true, then gaining reviews becomes key for app publishers not only to get valuable feedback but also to ensure that their page is rich with keywords which can help them be found in search results.

From a Download perspective: ratings and reviews could mean the difference of a potential user downloading your app over a direct competitors – especially in list view on the device. We covered how important it was to stand out from the crowd with a great name and especially a killer icon. Well those little stars that get lit up when you get a rating and the numbers that grow when reviews are written are another way for your app to get noticed. If there is an app in the list that is similar to yours and you have stars (any stars) and more reviews, you are much more likely to be the one that is tapped on to continue forward and downloaded. Of course, when you start to be compared to others that also have many reviews and ratings, the importance of what your star rating and how many positive reviews you have become a factor.

So what to do? How do you get reviews and ratings? Here are a couple of ideas to get you started

  • Ask for them! Have a call to action to “Rate and Review Our App” on your product description, in your marketing materials, your emails and newsletters, your social networks – wherever it makes sense
  • Use pop-up notification reminders in your app to ask for active users to give their feedback
  • Build a resident area in your app, like in your menu, which prompts users to rate and review
  • Hold contests and promotions to gather feedback leveraging your social networks and databases

We hope you have enjoyed the ASO (App Store Optimization) Series. Please feel free to reach out to us directly at info@app-promo.com if you have any questions or keep the conversation going on our Twitter account @AppPromo.

 

ASO Tip #4 – The Secret Product Description Formula

App Store Writers BlockWelcome back to the ASO (App Store Optimization) article series.

We have covered so far in this series ensuring that your name and image assets: icon and screenshots are working hard to sell your app within the app store environment. Today we tackle the product page element which usually takes the most time to complete and because of this work effort is often left untapped – the product description.

App stores provide developers and app publishers with 4000 characters to tell potential downloaders in words what their app is all about. Since often marketing copy is not there forte, we find app descriptions with a few lines, incorrectly focused on providing support and FAQ or even left blank.

Product descriptions are powerful marketing opportunities for two reasons:

  1. They spell out what your app is and why the consumer should download it (in this way they are the word counterpart to your screenshots). A great product description will convince users who have tapped onto your app for more information to download.
  2. Descriptions, if done correctly, will also be keyword rich making them a powerful tool for search engine results helping fuel additional discovery.

So why do app publishers often resort to not utilizing this area properly? Bottom line is that they are often overwhelmed and don’t know how to begin writing it. In essence they get app store writers block.

To help you move past this block and to ensure that your app description is written to maximize conversions and search discovery, we break down our secret formula.

  • Start with your Elevator pitch – what is this app and why should the user download it (USP/Benefit)
  • Move into reconfirming your price or use this area for price promotions
  • Highlight ratings/reviews/awards/press – keep this area updated as you receive these
  • List Features make sure to include all core features and avoid being too technical
  • Wrap up with a final sentence which reconfirms why the consumer should download the app
  • Provide additional contact points – links to your Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and your website
  • Remind users to rate and review your app

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

Events

  • No events yet
New App Store Optimization Packages