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Monthly Archives: April 2015

How to Spread the Word About Your App

what_is_mobile_app_marketing  - 9000

Marketing begins the day you put your mobile app idea into production. But not everyone has a budget for marketing. Contrary to popular belief, most effective marketing strategies don’t require any spending at all. How to put that strategy in place?

From the period before you launch your app to after it goes on the market, here are six important marketing strategies. While they may require time and perseverance, they involve little or no money:

1.Make your press kit pop. Your press kit should include information about the problem you’re solving, but not enough detail to completely give the product away. Key components include a high-resolution logo, sample design screens, an app icon, a press release, a microsite and a teaser video. Make sure you have a fantastic name and icon for your app that’s catchy and connects with the audience instantly. The first paragraph of the app description should be your selling pitch and app store screenshots should be customized to attract your customer.

One of the most under-rated, but highly effective strategies is app store marketing. Because a lot of people browse with keyword searches, select your keywords wisely by researching successful competitors.

2.Build an enticing microsite. These two to three page website aggregates all the information about the product. While a lot of downloads will come directly through app stores, a huge amount of traffic is driven through the web. For example, the Path app‘s microsite homepage greets visitors with the tagline: “Private messaging and sharing with friends and family” directly above a sign-up prompt at the top of the page. This is designed to hook new user as soon as they hit the landing page, before they’ve gotten all the information they need on the app.

3.Create a teaser or giveaway campaign. Build a teaser or giveaway offer into your microsite and invite people to share their email address to stay updated on when your app launches. This helps build a database of people interested in your app. For example, a teaser videothat came out before an app called Analog Camera came out last month, offered demos of how the app would work without going into a full explanation or revealing the release date. Instead the video lead you to a microsite with the message: “Sign up and you’ll be the first to know when Analog Camera launches!” — a clever way to gather potential customers early.

4.Keep content fresh. Do this by creating a blog linked to your microsite. This is important because blog posts are indexed by Google. Keeping your content fresh will drive a lot of inbound traffic to your website. You can also make your presence cohesive on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Digg and Stumbleupon by sharing your blog posts with an active audience. Always think about how your content can be of value to a follower. For example, Angry Birds’ social media strategy includes sneak peeks of new game levels and versions, special offers and real-life examples of people enjoying the game.

5.Build hype. Once your app is ready to be submitted to the app store, be sure to set a release date and plan publicity around the launch.

Get in touch with tech blogs and publications likely to write about your product. Personalize your email with links to the press kit and microsite. If you haven’t heard from them in a week, send a reminder. If they did not cover your product initially, reach out again after your launch with download statistics and customer testimonials.

Some popular sites like 148 Apps, App Advice and Macworld can help spread the word about your app. After it launches, write to them for a review of your app. There’s a large audience that reads recommendations online when deciding what to download.

6.Ask customers for feedback. The more positive the ratings are for your app, the better chance it has of being downloaded. That’s why it’s worth it for you to build a code into your application asking users to rate it. Make sure to include contact information at the end of your app description or use a software development kit such as Appsfire to let people send feedback from a notification inbox. You can then reach out to unhappy users, resolve their issues and ask them to leave a rating on the app store if they were satisfied. Converting unhappy users to happy ones will improve your ratings.

The main investment in these tactics is your time, persistence and creativity. Armed with these three qualities, you can get over a million eyeballs for your app in a very short time.

Top 5 Tools for Multi-Platform Mobile App Development

We all know how bothersome multi-platform mobile app formatting can get. Each platform is unique and exhibits different features, capabilities and behaviour. But then, multi-platform apps are truly “in” today, so you as the developer, need to find solutions to develop the best cross-formatted apps, without emptying up all your resources on developing for just a couple of platforms at one time.

Fortunately for you, there are some really great multi-platform developer tools in the market today, using which you can easily achieve your aim. Here is a list of the top 5 dev tools for cross-formatting mobile applications.

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1. RhoMobile

RhoMobile offers Rhodes, which is an open-source framework based on Ruby. This permits the developer to create native apps, spanning over a stunning range of OS’ and smartphones. The OS’ include Android, Windows Mobile, Symbian, iPhone and RIM, which pretty much covers it all.

The framework supplied by RhoMobile is such that you only need to code once. This code can be used to build apps for most of the major smartphones. Native apps are great for working with available hardware, so your job gets done with ease, speed and accuracy.

RhoMobile also offers developers RhoHub, which is a hosted development environment, and RhoSync, which can be employed as a standalone server to keep all the app data current on the users’ handhelds.

iOS and Android App Your one-stop service IT partner
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2. PhoneGap

PhoneGap, which won great acclaim at Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco’s 2009 Launch Pad event, is an FOSS environment that allows developers to create apps for Android, Palm, Symbian, BlackBerry, iPhone, iTouch and iPad devices. This platform uses standard web development languages such as HTML and JavaScript.

PhoneGap allows the developer to work with device hardware features such as accelerometer, GPS/location, camera, sound and much more.

PhoneGap additionally offers an Adobe AIR app and also online training courses to help the developer access native API’s and build mobile apps on its own platform.

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3.Appcelerator

The Titanium Development Platform from Appcelerator, which incidentally has a formidable fan following in Twitter, aids the development of native mobile, tablet and desktop apps via web programming languages such as HTML, PHP, JavaScript, Ruby and Python. It now powers over a 1,000 native apps per month. The best thing about Titanium is that if gives users easy access to over 300 APIs and location information.

Additionally, Appcelerator also offers customizable metrics for actions and events. Apps can be totally hardware-based and all app data can be stored either in the cloud or on the device.

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Image Courtesy MoSync.

4.MoSync

MoSync, yet another FOSS multi-platform mobile app dev SDK tool, is based on standard web programming. This SDK offers the developer integrated compilers, libraries, runtimes, device profiles and other useful tools. While support for JavaScript, PHP, Ruby, Python and such other languages is planned, MoSync now includes Eclipse-based IDE for C/C++ programming.

MoSync offers support for several types of OS’, including Windows Mobile, Android, Symbian, Moblin and even a mobile Linux distro. Support for the iPhone OS andBlackBerry will be coming soon, after the release of MoSync 2.4.

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5.WidgetPad

WidgetPad is a collaborative, open-source environment for development of smartphone apps. This program uses standard web technologies, such as JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS3.

Included in this platform are source code editing, collaboration, debugging, project management, versioning and distribution. WidgetPad, which is now in private beta, can be used to create apps for the iOS, Android OS and WebOS.

Top Three Inbound Marketing Strategies for Mobile Apps

Mobile. The very word makes some of us cringe these days. Everywhere you look in the marketing world, you see signs of it – mobile this, mobile that… Is it just me, or is it a bit overkill?

Sometimes, I feel like we’re pushing the idea of mobile to the limit. But then I look at the numbers:

  • There are currently 750,000 apps in the App Store alone.
  • These apps have over 40 billion downloads.
  • There are one billion smartphones existing in the world, and that number is growing.

2 Huge Markets - The growth in iOS and Android apps over the past 4 years

Whoa.

There are over one billion consumers looking for information on their mobile devices, and you know what works when consumers are looking for information? Inbound marketing.

In this post, I share the top three most effective inbound marketing tips app marketers can use to begin making waves in the world of mobile.

Inbound marketing wins in mobile

The opportunity to connect deeply with consumers through inbound marketing has never been larger than it is today, and mobile is fueling a huge amount of the growth. When it comes to apps, all you need to know is this: apps have already surpassed the web when it comes to consumer time-spent, and are second only to time spent watching television.

Time Spent in Mobile Apps Now Rivals Time Spent with Television - a multi-year comparison chart 1. Be social

By this point, we should all understand how important social is to any good marketing strategy. However, when it comes to mobile, social is just what we do as humans. We text and email like crazy. We ride the bus and check Facebook. We Instagram our lunches and Tweet our random observations while standing in line at Starbucks.

These days, to be mobile is to be social. This means that social is a perfect venue for conversations about your mobile app’s offerings. Let’s take a look at two of social’s leaders and how they can be used for mobile purposes.

Twitter

A while back, Nike ran a Twitter-focused experiment to introduce a new mobile app they’d created. They proactively shared their content and the app with likely consumers who were sharing their athletic activities on Twitter. The results astounded them. Their two week experiment yielded:

  • Over three clicks per outbound Tweet
  • A doubling of the positive ratings and reviews in the app store for their app
  • As many downloads from the Twitter campaign as their largest paid channel

Although Nike is a large company, the results of their campaign fascinating at any level. The last part is the most interesting: they received as many downloads from their social “experiment” as  they did through their largest paid channel. The ROI was extraordinary.

Facebook

It’s impossible to talk about the social landscape without bringing up Facebook. For mobile, Facebook can be incredibly important. For certain categories of apps (movies, tv, games, news, and others), connecting with Facebook drives a massive increase in revenue and engagement from users. Take a look at the data from some of the most popular apps who have integrated a Facebook login.

Engagement & Monetization Data from Popular Apps with Facebook Login

Facebook isn’t necessarily the best option for every app developer, but when it’s done well, it’s clear that integrating Facebook into your app can really improve your results.

2. Tell your own story

Consumers generally surf and search for apps from within the app store. As such, making sure that you’ve optimized your app store presence is absolutely crucial.  Getting discovered by a large audience of interested customers can be as simple as:

  • Selecting the right name
  • Investing in a compelling and memorable icon
  • Experimenting with categories and keywords, and
  • Testing and optimizing your app’s description (social proof in the description itself works wonders – take a look at the description that document signing app SignNow has crafted)

You must own your presence in the app store and also make it another channel for telling your app‘s story. Most app developers gloss over many of the important details that can affect downloads for an app. It’s important to not let the app store tell your app’s story for you. If you do, you’ll be missing out on a large marketing opportunity.

The app store is only one place to tell your story. Using your website and other channels to share why people use your app and what problems you’re solving is an increasingly powerful method of enabling app discovery, and it also makes your app seem more “human.”

Because apps are so exceptional at providing task-oriented solutions in small consumable packages, journalists and bloggers are actively searching for apps they can share with their audiences. The largest tech blogs and app review sites routinely drive as many installations as a feature in the app store. Take the time to produce content and information that will appeal to journalists and share your story in enough detail that they’ll discover your app and want to learn more. For a great example, take a look at how the small team behind Chewsy has shared their unique take on restaurant and dish reviews with publications like Forbes.By sharing your story with these outlets, it’s likely that your downloads will increase.

3. Court your audience of fans from day one

It should be clear that you want to own your story and tell it in the app store and elsewhere. However, there is another, more powerful route – having your customers tell great stories about you. Not only is this personally gratifying (nothing’s better than hearing from a customer that you’ve developed something that delights them), but word of mouth is incredibly effective. Consumer studies continue to show that recommendations from the people we know are trusted the most for the average consumer.

Data on the Most Trusted Advertising Sources for Consumer Decision-Making

Now, how do you get your fans to go tell their friends and say good things in public?

For many web businesses, this is an incredible challenge because there’s no centralized source for customers to share their thoughts. For mobile apps, that’s not the case – the app stores give you a great venue for this in the form of the ratings and reviews sections.

But how do consumers get to the app store to review your app? Despite the existence of easy opinion-sharing venues most customers don’t speak up.In fact,it appears that less than 0.1%of downloads result in a rating or review in the app store. Most consumers need a nudge – a reminder that they can share their thoughts and opinions.

This is why you should be proactively connecting with your customers from day one. If your app has a returning audience it means that there are people who are a fan of what you’ve built. Those customers are highly likely to share their fandom with the world, if you make it easy for them to do so.

The wonderful thing about developing apps is that you can use them as a direct channel to talk with your customers. Reaching out to your biggest fans inside your app, and connecting more deeply with them is a powerful strategy for increasing customer loyalty and motivating a group of evangelists.

Connecting with your audience of fans certainly increases the number of customers leaving great reviews for your apps, but it’s about more than just reviews. It’s about the recognition that we walk around with our smartphones all day long.

When we take a look at our phone in a meeting or open it at dinner, we’re around others, introducing them to apps we love. By communicating closely with your customer base, you can massively change your awareness and download trajectory. We’ve talked with a number of developers who can map their adoption geographically. Word of mouth, in the real world, is a major inbound channel for mobile which every app developer can influence in a meaningful way.

AppReview: Five Nights at Freddy’s

There are just a few people on the internet by now that has never heard or played Five Nights at Freddy’s. Sure, it is originally a point and click game for PC’s and even consoles, but Five Nights at Freddy’s has gained a lot of attention from being playable in cellphones and tabs too. It has gained so much popularity though its gameplay is very straightforward and even downright simple. Garnering so many fans from so broad a demographic, this game has gone on to merit two sequels to the original game a testament to the success of this simplistic yet very likable game.

Five nights is a scary game where the player works as a night watchman for a pizza place not that different from a regular Chuck E. Cheese. All one has to do is get through five nights of being in the guard’s quarters. There is one kicker thought at night, the haunted animatronics of the pizza place move and become murderous.

More than anything, the game five nights at Freddy’s succeeds at being one thing-scary. It is, at its very core, a horror game. There is not much that can be said about it except that it is just a bunch of clicking.It does fit in well to the goal of the game though- checking the security cameras for the activities of the scary animatronics and conserving electricity to survive the night.

The game gives a great portrayal of the creepiness that comes with a job of being a night watchman. People have loved the simplicity of the operation of the game and the fact that it is not as complicated as other horror games. That said, the game’s not being complicated most certainly doesn’t mean not complex. Yes, there is a background story to the game. There are a lot of things that happen on and off screen and some that one would just have to be very observant about to know more. In this, the game succeeds by not pretending to be
anything more than what it is- a scary point and click game.
Though there are some detractors, this game still proves to be a very worthwhile endeavor for its creator as it delivers exactly what it promises chills down the player’s spine. This type of game may bore others but for those open-minded and adventurous, this is one that should never be missed.

Disclaimer: The content of the above mobile app review are the opinions of the reviewers and is intended for informational, educational and discussion purposes only, and should not be used, interpret or relied upon as any form of recommendations. We does not endorse or accredit the mobile app. We make no representations or warranties with respect to the app for the company owned the app and the app developer developed the app.