Month: June 2016 (page 1 of 2)

Step By Step Post-Launch App Marketing Plan

BY: SIYA CARLA

Launching an app is not as simple as just creating it and making it available for download. I mean, sure, you can do it that way, but it will get no attention and hardly anyone will ever download it or rate it well enough for it to make it to a visible spot.
Since the number of downloads is what sets good apps apart from the bad ones (ok, maybe not technically, but in the eyes of the customers, it does), every member of the team behind the app has to be included in making a plan for the app’s launch, which includes instructions on what to do immediately after the app has been launched.

 

Step by step post-launch app marketing plan


Since people tend to put a lot of effort pre-launch and then just seemingly forget about their apps once they have launched, we have decided to provide a plan for after the launch, since you need to focus more on this area if your app is going to be a success.

One – three days after launch

During this time, it is too early to look at the analytics. For analytics, you need numbers and, during this period, your main task is to increase the number of downloads.

– Facebook mobile install ads

Facebook provides you with an opportunity to easily market your app. The Facebook mobile install ads are a pretty basic marketing tool whose sole purpose is to have people download your app. You can either go for this basic program, or utilise some ninja tactics that will help you reach out to more people at a lower cost.

Step by step post-launch app marketing plan

– Instagram sponsored posts

After you’ve set up the initial boom with Facebook ads, it is vital that you keep the momentum going. Utilising the second most used social media network, Instagram, and by partnering with a relevant influencer, you will be able to break your app into the top ranks on the market. Just make sure that your Instagram posts look less like promoted content and more like the general content that it will try blend into. Instagrammers hate ads, but will appreciate someone trying to blend in.

– Try giveaways

In the beginning, you will benefit more from an increased number of downloads than you would from increased profits. This is why a lot of fresh apps and their developers go for giveaways in order to boost their downloads. This is an easy way to go big with numbers, while sacrificing a small portion of early profit. Giveaway campaigns have to be properly set-up, though, so make sure you do it right.

Four – seven days after launch

By this time, you should see your numbers increase, depending on the success of your ad campaign. Promotion should still be your primary focus, but you also have to look at how well the app fares with your customers.

– Continue with giveaways

If the giveaways are producing good numbers and are boosting your download numbers, then you should, by all means, go with it for another few days. If not, try switching giveaway tactics to see whether it works under different conditions. This also requires a few days, so just be patient with it.

Step by step post-launch app marketing plan

– Start looking at customer comments

After having three days to use it, the users who were among the first ones to download will start leaving comments and reviews for your app. Make sure to view them all (while filtering out spam, of course) and understand your strong and weak points from the customer’s point of view. After all, it is them that you have designed the app for, so their opinion is what matters the most.

– Write a blog post or two with app linked into it

While you may think that not a lot of people pay attention to blog posts (especially if you know that there are so many blogs nowadays), when it comes to apps, people are actually attentive. Lists go especially well. If you don’t have any content writers at your company, find someone online who already has blog posts about apps and have him write one where he/she will review your app and compare it to others. It will do wonders for your exposure.

Seven+ days after launch

At this point, you can definitely start looking at the analytics and drawing conclusions from it. Also, the marketing campaign continues nonetheless.

– Start looking at the analytics

With enough people having (hopefully) downloaded your app, you can start looking at different stats that are vital for drawing conclusions for the future of the app. Pay special attention to these: DAU and MAU (Daily and Monthly Active Users), App Retention Rate (for how long the users use your app before uninstalling), and ARPU (Average Revenue Per User). They will help you determine how well your app will fare and what needs to be changed to keep it useful.

– Updates and their description space

With the analytics and the comments, you will have a clearer idea as to what you need to change in your app. Once the bugs are fixed and the updates are rolled out (if there is a need for them, of course), make sure to utilise the description space for updates to offer something more for your app, like a 20% discount for some things, or a free trial of the app, or something similar. Many apps just have “bug fixes” under update description, and this is technically just a waste of valuable marketing space.

– Social media campaigns and pushing for shares

Make sure to put share buttons inside the app, so that the users can share their in-app achievements or the app’s performance. This will give you even more exposures and, in a way, turn your users into brand ambassadors, which is probably the best marketing that you can find. Augment this by a professional social media campaign and you should be seeing a steady flow of users for many days to come.

30+ days after launch

After the 30-day mark, your app should be faring fairly well on its own, without the need for you to further interfere. However, you still have to pay attention to all the analytics, work on providing regular updates and fixes and the social media coverage to keep your app high above the others. Just remember, the more users, the more profits, which is why customer drawing and exposure enhancement should always be your top priority.

Get a tailored Marketing Plan with our Mobile Experts here ! 

Siya is a social media enthusiast with a background as Web and UI designer, and is Social media manager of Finoit. She has deep inclination towards writing about emerging technologies, Web and Mobile app development and other technology related stuff. Twitter: @Finoit.

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6 Digital Marketing Predictions For The Rest Of 2016

Get in touch with us here to get insights from Mobile Experts !

Digital marketing is fluid. It is always changing and brands have to be able to adapt to that. Take StickerRide as one example of a company that has adapted to 2016. Using a dedicated app, brands can have their stickers placed on cars of ordinary people, who will drive around and passively advertise your brand in exchange for rewards. Successful elsewhere, it has recently launched in the US.

2016 has already started and we have seen numerous changes to the way the landscape works. This article is going to take a look at some of the trends that will take up the rest of 2016.

Video Advertising Will Continue to Dominate

Video is on the rise. It was on the rise last year and it is on the rise this year. YouTube predicts that hundreds of millions of hours of video are watched on the platform every day. Facebook is continuing to promote video advertising and all major search engines are looking to accommodate video.

Just because you operate with video doesn’t guarantee success. There’s no one size fits all strategy, but video will undoubtedly help.

Live Streaming is Rising to the Top

When Meerkat was unveiled this year, it had other social media networks scrambling to get involved in live streaming. Twitter acknowledged it was in the middle of creating a new platform based on Periscope. And the two have competed ever since.

Social live streaming is no longer a novelty. It will become the norm.

Mobile Wins the Day

The big change was that mobile only surpassed desktop only in the US for the first time. Mobile is going to press its advantage and desktop is going to enter a state of terminal decline. This is a time in the history of the web that every marketer should be watching closely.

The rest of 2016 will see a further thrashing, and that’s going to force companies to reevaluate their strategies.


Virtual Reality is Growing

Virtual reality is something that has been on the cards for years. The release of the Oculus Rift in the gaming industry has only ramped up excitement for what virtual reality can do. More and more brands are looking at this new technology and wondering how they can make it work for them.

By providing a client with a full 360-degree experience, there’s no telling what you can achieve. And 2016 is the year where brands are about to find that out.

Relationship Marketing is Here

The concept of building a relationship with your target market is not a new one. What is happening for the first time is that brands are dedicating entire marketing campaigns to it. This strategy is designed to provoke loyalty.

This is why a number of prominent brands have already started to work with StickerRide. By allowing their target audience to market for them, it’s hoped that these brands will be able to build closer relationships, while at the same time earning rewards for their efforts.

Social Marketing Hasn’t Gone Anywhere

The last major prediction or trend for 2016 is that social media marketing hasn’t gone anywhere. It’s here to stay and it should still be your main priority. The name of the game is to build solid relationships with your target audience. Building up your social media marketing plan will ensure that you are best placed to take advantage of this continuing trend.

But what has changed about social media?

Mobile ads are king and geo-targeted ads are even more powerful. One study says that $15 billion will be spent on mobile ads targeted by location by 2018. And the number could increase even further in the years afterwards, as marketers aim to become more specific in their targeting.

Conclusion – Getting Ready for the Year

Do remember that getting ready for the year is all about making sure that you have a strategy in place. Take StickerRide as an example. They gradually scaled up in other parts of the world, before finalizing a US launch. They already have a good idea of whether they will succeed or not, and to what extent.

Make sure you have a plan and make sure you are scaling your efforts to ensure that you are not wasting any money on a cause that won’t benefit you.

Testing is the key to making sure that you succeed in the realm of digital marketing. What do you think is the biggest marketing trend for 2016?

Get in touch with us here to get insights from Mobile Experts !

Follow AJ Agrawal on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ajalumnify

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Mobile Networks and Acquisition: The Bible

DSP, SSP… Sometimes it feels like a bewildering blur of acronyms. Columnist Craig Weinberg is here to help with an explanation of the main types of networks and their pros and cons.

mobile-phones-smartphones-network-ss-1920Mobile ad networks are one big reason mobile remains one of the hardest facets of digital marketing to master. We can’t scale without them because most mobile media is purchased through them, but they are a huge source of headaches, since they tend to be black boxes.

Mention “networks” to a good share of mobile marketers, and you’ll get a glare; all too often, it feels like the network/client relationship is heavily skewed towards lining the vendor’s pockets, not doing what’s best for the client.

That said, there’s a tradeoff there; networks have to be good at working within the client’s goals so the client keeps spending money.

Get In Touch With Our Mobile Experts Here!

An aside: Using “network” as a blanket term could tick off many of the providers under that blanket, so we’ll go with the following: Networks are companies that use basic technology to aggregate media buying, and third-party media vendors cover related companies like SSPs, DSPs and every company that buys media.

Clear as mud, right? Well, let’s break this down further. In this post, we’ll outline the main types of third-party media vendors (with pros and cons for each); then we’ll define the single biggest dirty tactic that marketers might encounter with these vendors; and we’ll close with some advice on insuring yourself against that tactic.

Breakdown of network (OK, third-party media vendor) types

SSPs

SSP stands for supply-side platform; these vendors manage media monetization via SDK (software development kit) or API (application programming interface ) connectivity to the media sources. Their main interest is maximum media monetization; they will run your campaigns as long as they are meeting the media’s eCPM target and will pause as soon as someone bids higher on their media.

Pros:
Direct access to media.

Cons:
They don’t have your best interest in mind; they work for the supply, not the demand.

Bids and rate card:
Your campaign should perform within the SSP’s eCPM target.

Transparency:
Most SSPs are fully transparent, and you can see exactly who you are buying from. MoPub is by far the most advanced exchange.

DSPs

DSPs (demand-side platforms) have the ability to bid on real-time bidding exchanges. They have developed a bidding system and integrated it into the RTB (real-time bidding) exchanges (MoPub, Rubicon, Smaato and others). Most of them have developed an optimization algorithm that allows them to make educated decisions when it comes to the quality of the traffic they are bidding on.

Pros:
Quality media.

Cons:
Media is usually expensive. DSPs don’t have any unique access to media sources. All DSPs are bidding on the same sources; they differ only by the quality of their bidding algorithm.

Bids and rates:
The DSPs should use your CPI target to buy traffic. It’s their job to get back to you with feedback, and you can discuss bid changes. NEVER ask them for their rate card. They are bidding systems — they will bid with whatever you provide them and should recommend a higher or lower bid based on current media availability.

Transparency:
Depends a little on the exchange they are connected to. (You can ask to buy from transparent sources only.)

Media aggregators (also sometimes known as networks)

Media aggregators (Millennial Media, Google, Opera, ironSource, InMobi) allow you to buy from other small networks or directly from publishers.

Pros:
Scaling and optimization abilities — you can build scale quickly and ask them to work within your CPI and CPA targets.

Cons:
Remember that black box we mentioned? Here it is. You will rarely know where the networks are buying from, whether they are tapping into the same sources you are already buying from, and whether your brand is safe with them (i.e., whether it’s racking up some unsavory placements). The quality of the traffic can be very inconsistent.

Bids and rates:
Again, never ask a network for their rate card; they don’t have one. Let them know your target CPI and CPA, and ask them to work within your targets.

Transparency:
A huge hurdle. Some of the networks have no idea who they are buying from, since the offer is re-brokered (more on that below). You can ask to buy from transparent sources only and pass the destination name on the link — but know that this will likely decrease scale dramatically.

Get In Touch With Our Mobile Experts Here!

Self-serve systems

These systems (StartApp is the best-known) allow you to set your own campaigns, set up your bids and control your spend.

Pros:
You take control.

Cons:
You take control — if you don’t set up the campaign right or experiment and take risks, you will never get the most out of the system. In the meantime, the risk remains on your end.

Bids and rates:
Your call.

Transparency:
These are mostly transparent.

Rewarded media

On these platforms (Tapjoy, Chartboost, Vungle, AppLift), users are rewarded for downloading or using the app.

Pros:
Best scaling abilities in the market.

Cons:
User quality can be poor. Our recommendation: Stay away from buying rewarded traffic unless it’s rewarded video. If the user is rewarded for watching a video but is not incentivized to download the app, you are more likely to see quality users.

Bids and rates:
Usually very low — we’ve found it to be around one-third of non-rewarded media.

Transparency:
Not an issue; these usually run on offer walls.

The dirty little tactic: re-brokerage

Re-brokerage is the industry’s biggest fear. As mentioned, when working with networks, you can never know where your creative is actually being presented. This intimidates advertisers for three important reasons:

• Brand integrity: Zynga doesn’t want its banners on porn sites; Citibank can’t have its banners shown on sweepstakes pages. I’m guessing those scenarios make you shudder as well.

• Rate fight: Eventually, most networks end up buying from the same sources because networks all buy inventory from one another, from exchanges, private marketplaces, web and in-app, native and IAB and so on. This means that while you may buy with three networks, for example (tip of the iceberg), one or all of those networks are often buying traffic and inventory for your campaign from multiple, perhaps unknown, other networks, aggregators and third parties (beneath the iceberg).

Now, the media can ask the networks for higher rates, and the networks, which want to stick to clients’ budgets, cut down their margins and increase the rate. The advertisers get caught in a vicious cycle in which they keep paying more for the same traffic.

• Low quality: With every network the campaign is being re-brokered to, the bid is carved up; in some cases, three or four networks are getting a share before the media actually presents the ad.

As a result, the advertiser pays a $4 CPI but actually receives $1.5 in media value, with the rest going to the brokers.

Steps to prevent re-brokerage

Start at the beginning: Sign partners to a non-re-brokering agreement and enforce it. But don’t assume that’ll take care of the issue. (Unfortunately, I’ve seen agreements breached all too often.)

You also should make a habit of randomly checking referrals — the click ID links sent by the media. In many cases, these links have the sub_aff name, and that’s a flashing red re-brokerage light.

Ask for screen shots of your ad; this forces the networks to account for your placements. It’s easy to hide behind non-transparent media. It’s not easy to do that when the advertiser demands visual transparency and confirmation that its ads are running where and how they should. Most importantly, your brand and the enforcement of brand guidelines, look and feel and so on, stop with you.

Finally, constantly remind the networks of their liability should they get caught re-brokering.

If this post has sufficiently persuaded you not to work with any of these parties, I’ve done a poor job. You should definitely test these partners; it’s how you build mobile scale and performance. But go in with your eyes wide open (and consider hiring an agency if you don’t have time for testing and policing).

Wants the best users for your app ? Visit our website here !

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4 Things You Should Know About App Store Optimization

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Think back to the last app you downloaded for a brand you knew, how did you come to find it, and what was it that made you want to download it? Did you find it while browsing an app store? Did you have it recommended to you by a friend? Or did you see an ad for it in-store or on their website? These methods all may seem like luck, but the skilled mobile app marketers behind these brands are now using tricks to help increase downloads for their apps. Since browsing app stores is still the number one way apps are discovered, it is important to pay attention to how you rank in them. This process is referred to as App Store Optimization (ASO) and is basically SEO for app stores. A good ASO strategy can help optimize an app’s ranking in app stores, increasing visibility, and hopefully more downloads.

So what do you need to know to ensure your brand is being positioned correctly?

1) Defining Objectives
The first thing you must do is create a list of measurable ASO objectives that you can track. Examples of these goals could be:

  • Can my app be easily found in app stores by my customers?
  • Does my app rank higher in app stores than my competitors?
  • How high does my app rank in app stores for specific keywords?

2) Keyword Optimization
All too often developers wait until the 11th hour to pick keywords and write descriptions, but their importance cannot be understated.

  • Think of how consumers would search for your brand and use solutions such as Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends to decide on the ones with the most return
  • Use A/B testing to try out different combinations of keywords, and use platforms (Google Analytics,App Annie) to see which ones are most relevant for your brand
  • Localizing your keywords for multiple regions/languages (if applicable to your brand) is another great way to ensure your brand’s app is getting discovered by the highest percentage of possible customers

3) Asset Optimization
The asset on your app store page has minimal effect on your likelihood of being searched, but it can still increase how likely someone is to download your app.

App Icon: This is the first thing most people notice when scrolling through the app store, which means that to convince them to click on it it must be enticing, yet simple enough to convey your brand and what your app is offering.

App Description: Here you are trying to appeal to a human, rather than an algorithm, so make sure it lets the customer know why they should download your app.

Screenshots/Video: Your first two screenshots should be the most impactful since they are the ones that a potential user will see first. Videos are also great because they allow you to get more creative, since they allow you to go beyond in-app footage to express your brand’s offering. They are also important, because they reside at the top of the page and more people are likely to click the video then read the full description.

4) Ratings & Reviews
Downloads and ratings & reviews also play a large role in ASO, but are mostly out of your control. However, creating in-app prompts for users to rate & review, could be one way to improve this. As well, promoting your app through all advertising channels such as in-store, web, paid, and social media is another way to drive traffic to your page in the app store.

Another important fact to remember is that ASO takes time because it is still an inexact science. You have to commit to tracking your ASO plan, while also paying attention to what your competitors are doing. But if you feel your brand’s app is not reaching its full potential, and can afford to put in the time and effort, ASO is a great way to see a dramatic improvement in downloads.

Get a Free Audit from Our Mobile Experts here !

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7 Trends For App Store Optimization

OBDL1M0-01While App Store Optimization (ASO) continues to be a fundamental acquisition strategy, are we starting to see trends that point to it moving away from keywords to more elaborate strategies such as retention and app indexing?

With both Google and Apple getting more sophisticated with their ranking algorithm, developers can no longer rely on simply keyword stuffing their app name and description.

As ASO continues to evolve, I reached out to several experts in app marketing, and have also drawn on my own expertise, to bring you this list of future trends we expect to see in ASO for the new year.

1. App indexing will have a strong impact on ASO

According to Robi Ganguly, CEO and cofounder of Apptentive, the reaches of deep linking are just beginning to unfold. Ganguly points out:

We’ve only just begun to see how deep linking will affect the mobile marketing ecosystem.

One huge mobile change introduced by deep linking is app indexing, a system that allows people to click from listings in Google’s search results into apps on their Android and iOS smartphones and tablets through deep links. The change means that search results within mobile apps are beginning to replace mobile web results, which turns the way marketers have approached web search on its head as they transition into mobile.

This means app indexing will strongly influence app store optimization and app marketing in general. Search engine optimization will become more directly tied to ASO, and developers should start taking more advantage of the potentials of indexing their apps.

2. Reputation management will become more crucial

Liam Oliver, product manager at Total Loyalty Solutions, recommends merchants should start paying more attention to reputation management.

Ratings affect the likelihood of a user downloading the app once it is found. Today app ratings do not have a huge impact on app store search results. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if they begin to play a bigger role in 2016. It’s my recommendation that app marketers develop a strategy to drive positive reviews.

This means, most likely, an increase in the utilization of paid app review services, but there should also be more innovative ways of driving app store reviews for mobile titles.

Using a tool like Sensor Tower or MobileAction to mine your app store reviews will help you with user feedback and find relevant keywords to target in ASO.

3. Real-time mobile analytics will evolve

Serving customers better requires understanding what makes them tick. While the availability and general adoption of mobile real-time analytics tools might show a gap, Ganguly predicts that 2016 will see an evolution in the “expectations, ease of integration, and detailed reporting in real-time analytics tools.”

This evolution will make it easier to see what ASO techniques are working, and which ones aren’t. Through this knowledge, developers can better custom-tailor their keywords and long-tail phrases to what consumers are actually looking for.

Oliver suggests that more marketers will leverage app analytics platforms, such as AppAnnie and Sensor Tower, spending more time researching keywords and analyzing their competitors’ strategies.

4. An increase in ASO-savvy agencies and service providers

Oliver also believes that marketers from legacy non-technical backgrounds will begin to understand that the importance of ASO is just as crucial as SEO is for websites.

He expects to see an increase in the number of agencies and specialists offering app store optimization services, which should help app developers take advantage of the crucial strategies to drive downloads.

While ASO is something that any marketer can learn and execute, full service agencies such as ours (Supreme Media) can help you leverage ASO as you scale your apps. 

5. More real-time A/B testing on mobile

The Web has seen A/B testing for years, but it’s only recently taken off in the mobile app realm. Ganguly suggests that “There is still plenty of room to define the future standards of mobile A/B testing, and 2016 will likely be the year the standard is set.”

Many Android developers are already conducting this A/B testing through Google Experiments, which enables real-time examination of how icons, descriptions, and keyword sets affect the traffic to a particular Android app.

iOS developers can leverage tools such as Apptimize and Taplytics to conduct their own A/B testing.

Companies, through becoming masters of A/B testing on mobile, will be able to optimize their ASO strategies just as successfully as they’ve maximized their SEO techniques.

6. The app description will become more crucial for ASO than ever before

Tiana Crump, from Buildbox Games, believes that Apple might begin to follow Google’s lead in 2016. The keyword density and quality in the app’s description will become as crucial for ASO as the submitted keyword list and app name, so developers will need to be more dedicated to providing descriptions that actually explain what the title does.

Developers will need to spend more time writing detailed, ASO-friendly app descriptions while still making it easy for the user to digest. Remember that Apple and Google want readability above all other factors so be sure to write good app descriptions and be careful about keyword stuffing.

The Calm app is an example of a great app description. The first two lines use relevant keywords and immediately show social proof by mentioning features in the New York Times and Lifehacker. In fact, I counted 10 mentions of “meditation” within the app description.

7. In-app engagement and personalization will become more sophisticated

Advertisements might be important, since they help with acquisition and drive downloads, but in-app engagement and personalization are going to become more sophisticated and valuable, according to Ganguly.

He explains, “[I]t is cheaper, the brand has more control over the message, and most importantly, they have the ability to engage their customers who are already invested in their brand, and using their product.”

As the app stores become more and more crowded, a great emphasis will be put on user retention as a factor in how well an app is ranked.

Features such as virtual currency, push notifications and additional characters all lend to increasing engagement in your app.

Get Your Free ASO Consultation Here

This Article is brought you by TheNextWeb and written by Steve Young.

 

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App Store UPDATE: Category Discovery Is Back, Welcome Search ADS !

App Discovery

App discovery is one of those areas that developers and customers have complained about for years. Finding apps is sometimes just a chore, but Apple has some ideas here too.

“We want our customers to have a reason to come to the App Store every day,” said Schiller.

The “Featured” section of the App Store will filter apps you already have installed on your device, so you are only looking at new apps. Apple is also bringing back the Categories tab for the store, allowing users to more easily browse through apps.

One of the ways many of us find apps is through personal recommendations. Apple will now have a Share sheet when you 3D Touch on an app on your home screen that will allow you to share the app on social networks, or with your family and friends. Developers can still use the sharing feature inside the apps, but this is another way for people to directly recommend an app they like.

The biggest change to this section of the App Store is that Apple will be accepting search ads from developers.

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Schiller said developers have contacted Apple in the past and offered to pay to be part of App Store Collections and other features of the store, but Apple turned them all down.

“Our store is not for sale—that’s not how we handle things,” said Schiller. “We are only going to do this if we can, first and foremost, respect the user and be fair to developers, especially small developers.”

There will only be one ad on the search results page and it will be clearly marked as an ad, according to Schiller. What’s more, the content of the ad will be exactly the same as the content of the app on the App Store. In other words, no spammy ads. Apple will only accept ads from developers in the App Store—they won’t have any third-party product ads in the store.

Schiller said the ads are done through an auction system for the developers. There are no minimums, and there will be no exclusives, so small developers can get in on the action as well. The ad system will roll out as a beta this summer and Apple will be watching to make sure the system is fair for all developers.

In keeping with its focus on privacy, Apple will not track users and will not share data about users ad clicks with developers. Developers will get reports, but no user data. Apple will also not serve ads to people 13 years old or under, if it can determine that from the device.

Developers will be able to sign-up for the search ad beta and there will be no charge to them during the beta period. When it does go live, after the beta period, it will launch in the U.S. first.

To get more insights on the App Store, visite our website here !

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The 5 Steps Of Mobile Marketing Success

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Is there an idea bubbling in the back of your head for an app that just has to be created? But, then, perhaps you’re thinking, “why create an app just to enter a marketplace already crammed with over a million apps? Is it even possible to get your app noticed any more?”

The above image shows the rapid growth of the apps market (thanks to the telecomblog and Chetan Sharma consulting).

The mobile app industry is booming, and since the one-million-app mark was reached in late 2011, the competition to get your app noticed in the marketplace is fierce. However, there is space for your app, and, if marketed correctly, your app can and will succeed.

Factors To Consider Before You Launch

Marketing an app is often treated like an after-thought, left to after the initial idea has evolved and is placed in the market. It is at this point that the full-scale marketing plan goes into force. Stop!

Marketing planning should start at the very beginning of app development, well before it is launched. There are a number of factors that you must consider in the early stages of your app development, including branding, keywords, and competition.

Branding

Your brand is what represents you and your company. It doesn’t matter if your business is within the financial or gaming sector, branding is equally important. When you are developing your app and designing your brand, you must take the following into consideration: the name of your business, the style of the app and, of course, the icon that will represent you in the app market.

The brand that you develop becomes transferable to other mediums; it will remain static in new apps that you may later develop — a new website, or merchandising and so forth. Your brand is how your clients will recognize you and connect with you. The initial impression your potential users will get of your app and brand is on your app’s download page, your screenshots, brand identity and app description; this is what will convert possible users into downloads.

Keywords

What is a keyword? In the app world, a keyword is a word or phrase that your user will look up to understand what your app does. If your app is a children’s game called Donkeyman (this is a purely fictitious name), the most appropriate keyword would not be [donkey] or [man], but something relevant to the game, like [educational children’s game]. Having a keyword in your name helps your app get found. It’s also important to have it in the description.

Wondering which keywords work for your app? There are companies out there that specialise in ASO (App Store Optmization). Try their free trials to see what works.

Competition

Using your knowledge from your keyword exercise, you are now equipped to find out who your main competitors are, find out what their other keywords are and see how they rank in the market.

From this exercise, it is also easier to determine which category you should be placing your app under. Choosing the right category is difficult, and you will need to take a calculated risk. If your competition is fierce in one category, it may make more sense to choose another relevant category that was not your first choice but will get your app ranked higher and, therefore, more likely to be downloaded.

Post-Launch Marketing

Once you have launched your app, the second stage of mobile app marketing takes over. The first thing I recommend clients do, is to connect to an apps store analytic program, like Millennial Media or App Annie. This enables you to view the progress of your app.

Feedback

Submitting your app to app review sites will increase your brand awareness, allowing potential clients to discover your app while they are reviewing similar apps or while they are searching for an app they are considering downloading.

Encourage your users to review your app after download. Positive app store reviews will build trust in prospects who are wondering whether to download your app, especially if the app is not free.

Creating apps has become increasingly easy, especially with companies offering free app creator programs. Coupled with the right marketing strategy, the app market is still a place that offers successful business opportunities. What are you waiting for?

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The Ultimate Checklist: Wants your app to success ? Check this list before your launch it !

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Thousands of apps are submitted to the app stores every day. For each that is featured by Apple or Google, there are hundreds that fall through the cracks. In just a few years the mobile landscape has become incredibly competitive, and to the victor go features from Apple and a relatively permanent spot on the Top 100 charts.

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But what is the difference between an app that launches in the Top 10, and an app that launches into obscurity? According to Fueled, “launching an app doesn’t start with submitting applications, it doesn’t start with the marketing blitz the day before release – it starts with that first brainstorm, and continues well past week one in the market.” In other words, in order to remain competitive, you need to think about your app’s launch well before release day.

Below are five strategies that you can implement immediately which will help you prepare for a successful launch.

1. Conduct Market Research

You wouldn’t go camping without checking the forecast, and you wouldn’t go into a job interview without researching the company first. Launching your app is the same; the more you know about the conditions you’re thrusting yourself into, the better prepared you’ll be to make informed decisions at critical times.

Market research is an essential first step in developing an app because it tells you whether there is demand for your product, and shows you how to differentiate yourself from the competition.

Look up apps with similar features, themes and visual styles, and study how well they’re doing in the market. Do they rank on any Top 100 – or better yet, Top 10 – lists? Have they ever been featured by Apple or Google? How are their user reviews? Dig up the positive elements and consider them for your own app, and use the criticisms to make your project bigger and better where it counts. Applift advises to “try to focus on the recurring missing features that are mentioned by users so that you can eventually provide them within your app”. This strategy will help you differentiate yourself from competitors in a positive way, even before you start coding.

2. Start Marketing As Soon As You Can

Even if you have all the features your customers crave, nobody will know unless you do some good old-fashioned marketing. Once you have your core features down, get your marketing team involved and start brainstorming ways to spread awareness of your app before you release. This will help you in the long term, as you’ll be able to benefit from strong awareness that could bump you to the top of the App Store on launch day.

A good marketing strategy should carry you far past launch, though. As Forbes points out, “if your app is worth building, it should also warrant the effort to iterate and optimize its performance and user experience.” Plan not just for launch day, but well beyond as you continue to optimize and improve your product.

3. Make Sure Your App is ASO-Ready

Marketing can drive users to your app over the duration of the campaign period, but in order to achieve organic, long-term growth you will need to optimize for the App Store. That means taking a long, hard look at your app’s title, keywords and description (plus short description, if you’re launching on Google Play), and gearing them towards the trending terms that will help you gain traction with your target audience.

ASO is an exhaustive topic that’s always growing, but there are a few ways you can kickstart your efforts without spending weeks working on a strategy. Begin by taking those competitors you found during your market research phase, and see which search terms they’re ranking for. If you type in ‘casino games’, will you find competitors for your Poker app? Also be sure to make notes of the title tags used by your competitors, and develop a strategy here as well. Will your app use tags? Which terms will you target? Keep in mind that you’ll want to use trending search terms in order to ensure that your app has the highest chances of being found.

When conducting your research, make sure to use mobile data from a true app store intelligence platform, and not SEO data.

4. Optimize and Test Your Creative

A successful optimization takes into account more than keywords. You’ll also want to test and optimize your creative assets, including your app’s icon, screenshots, preview video, and even its name. Adobe found that just as an app’s screenshots can draw customers in, they can also make “the bounce rate [skyrocket]…if the images are of poor quality and add little value to the mobile app”.

You’ll want to make sure that users will love your app’s icon, screenshots and other creative content. This can involve running focus tests featuring your creative, and A/B testing your app with unique creative components. Study user behavior and really take that feedback to heart as you work on finalizing your presentation.

And remember, tastes will change and styles will come and go. Take Apple’s recent Earth Day promotion, which featured green and blue icons prominently on the store page, as an example. Just as you’ll want to have a long-term marketing and ASO strategy, you’ll also want to have a long-term creative strategy.

5. Run a Beta or Soft Launch

So you think your app is ready to go, but you’re worried about receiving a bad reception at launch. A soft launch is perfect for gathering real-world user feedback without alienating large portions of your fanbase.

Testmunk describes a soft launch as “a staged rollout for an app…[in] a specific region, state or country”. During this time your app will really be live, but only for users in a certain region. This will allow you to collect feedback including live reviews, testing on a much broader scale, and gather data on how your users interact with your app. This is particularly helpful for polishing the crucial tutorial flow, where users who drop off may never return to your app again.

If you’re hesitant to release your app to the world just yet, consider launching a beta. Testflight supports beta distribution for up to 1000 users, and can be incredibly valuable for complex apps that require a lot of testing.

Conclusion

Even if your app isn’t in a playable state, it’s still essential to create a marketing plan. By implementing the five steps detailed above, you will put yourself on the path towards a successful launch and a fruitful first year in the marketplace. And remember: optimization doesn’t end once you’ve launched. Keep researching and keep improving to continue pushing your app towards the top of the pile.

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Breaking: Ad blocking users DOUBLED last year to almost 420 million globally

The most popular form of mobile ad blocking is now browser-based.

 

In August last year, Adobe and PageFair reported that the global number of ad-blocking users had grown from 21 million in 2009 to just under 200 million in mid-2015. Earlier today, PageFair (and Priori Data) released a new mobile ad-blocking report that asserts there are now roughly 419 million mobile ad blockers around the globe.

In other words, the numbers have doubled in about a year. Approximately 22 percent of smartphone users worldwide are blocking ads. Asia is where ad blocking is most widely practiced. It’s “less developed” in North America and Europe, according to the report’s findings.

The most popular and widely adopted method of ad blocking is now mobile browser-based. PageFair said that it identified “45 different ad-blocking browsers available for download on iOS and Android.” But by far the most commonly used ad-blocking browser is the UC browser, which is owned by Alibaba.

The UC browser is now the second most popular mobile browser in the world, according to StatCounter, behind Chrome and ahead of Safari. Its largest markets are China, India, Vietnam, Russia and Indonesia.

Many North America-based surveys have identified consumer complaints about ad relevance or intrusiveness, as well as slow load times, as motivations for using ad blocking. In the developing world, however, mobile data costs and the savings associated with ad blocking appear to be the primary consideration.

Google’s AMP and several other initiatives are attempts to improve ad quality and address mobile user complaints. Facebook is also trying to improve the quality of ads that it runs on its own properties and its Audience Network. Those efforts may prove to be irrelevant in developing markets.

The report predicts that mobile browser-based blocking is now so mainstream in certain countries that “the next billion users,” which Facebook is keenly interested in, “may be invisible to digital marketers.” They will simply be blocking ads out of the gate.

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Android users open 2x more notifications, but iOS users much faster to open

A new report on push notifications and personalization from Leanplum finds a huge discrepancy between the behaviors of Android and iOS users. Android sees open rates twice as high as those on iOS, but Apple users open notifications much faster, suggesting they’re potentially more qualified.

Android sees open rates of 3.48 percent for push notifications, while iOS has open rates of 1.77 percent, or approximately half.


The report points out that, overall, iOS users opt in to receive notifications much less often than Android users. Beyond this, it tries explain the discrepancy in open rates as a function of the how each operating system deals with notifications:

On Android, messages “stick” around longer in the lock screen. A user is required to acknowledge the notification in some form, whether opening or dismissing, for it to disappear. Even after users shelve notifications, Android still lets them know they have unread notifications by adding a sticky icon to the top left corner of the home screen.

Conversely on iOS, once a user unlocks their screen to take any action, the message moves straight to the notification tray. It is then only accessible if a user drags the tray down from the top bar. The ephemeral nature of iOS push notifications may play a large role in the vast open rate differences.

In terms of open speed, Leanplum says its data show the the median (middle) time to open for Android users is 48 minutes. For iOS users, the median time is seven minutes. The company again attributes this, at least in part, to design differences.

The report also speculates, “Perhaps iOS users are trained to act with more immediacy, knowing how quickly pushes will be moved into the hard-to-find notifications tray.” It’s also possible that because iOS users tend to be more consciously selective about notifications, they are more qualified as an audience and more receptive to the notifications they do accept.

The remainder of the report is devoted to personalization.

As the graphic below indicates, personalized notifications see much better open rates than generic notifications. Leanplum explains that personalization can be very basic or deeper and more contextual: it can “factor in small details, such as the receiver’s first name . . . event parameter, action item, language, lifecycle, real-time location, and more.”

An earlier survey-based report from SessionM found significant resistance to “generic” notifications among consumers. In that report, 62 percent of respondents said they never wanted to receive push notifications or wanted them less than once per month — even from their “favorite brands.”

Brands and marketers often think about mobile experiences and notifications largely or exclusively in terms of their marketing objectives. This approach almost guarantees consumer resistance and failure. But when publishers and developers deliver real value or utility, their efforts are more likely to be well-received by mobile users.

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