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Aug
22

Mobile Monday: Week 7 – Marketing An App

Welcome to Mobile Monday, our weekly blog posting dedicated to providing readers with useful mobile marketing tips from Bob Bentz’s newest book “Relevance Raises Response.”shutterstock_283022702 (2)
Every Monday ATSmobile continues to grant readers a brief passage from one of the most essential marketing books available for purchase today.

For our seventh week, we’re focusing on“Marketing An App”where Bentz discusses fiscal responsibility between app developments vs. marketing the app itself, & the importance of utilizing social media for sharing an App.

MARKETING AN APP

While app store optimization is certainly important, marketers must not rely solely on promotion within the stores to maximize downloads.  There are over two million apps in the stores and finding a particular app is similar to finding the proverbial needle in the haystack, despite the best ASO efforts.

It is not easy to get consumers interested in downloading another app on their mobile phone when smartphone users are already using an average of 26.7 apps per month, according to a Nielsen study.  Too often, a company spends all of its money on developing an app and does not reserve any money for marketing the app.  That is a rookie mistake.  Don’t make it.

A company needs to have developed a structured marketing plan in advance of the release of the app.  It needs a plan to tell existing customers and prospects good reasons why they need the app and where the app can be downloaded.  It needs to evaluate all of its current marketing channels to determine which would be best for promoting an app.  Facebook, for instance, would probably be better for facilitating app downloads than outdoor advertising since a social media user is likely on her mobile phone already as opposed to a driver who is hopefully not on his phone.  Google AdMob might be the best place since it enables an app marketer to advertise within other apps that consumers have already downloaded.

There is no doubt about the power of creating buzz on social media for an app launch.  It is an important part of the initial publicity required.  And, nobody does app marketing better than Facebook which earns a significant part of its ad revenue from brands pushing app downloads.

Of course, internet advertising is not always the best source for app downloads.  If the app has a huge budget, it may very well be television that results in the most downloads.  Game of War did a great job of promoting its app with eye catching Kate Upton and Mariah Carey as the stars of the commercials.

Acquisition costs will not always be high priced efforts like the television advertising for Game of War.  Publicity is a major driver of new app downloads so use press releases and other public relations efforts to get the word out.  Include a social media blitz as well.  The ROI provided by public relations efforts will likely result in the best ROI of any of the promotional efforts.

When marketing an app, it is absolutely critical to get off to a quick start to break through the supply of apps in the app store.  If an app is buried below thousands of others in the rankings, it is going to be difficult to get found.  Therefore, app marketers must get the word out quickly about the app by using a high level of growth hacking or a large advertising budget in an attempt to gain a featured listing and benefit from organic downloads.  Downloads beget more downloads thanks to the viral effect of the purchase and the improved ASO.

Research from Localytics found an added bonus to advertising apps.  App users that were acquired as a result of being discovered via a mobile ad network were more likely to come back for multiple uses on the app than those that found it from an organic search on the app store.  This is likely due to the fact that the ad creative has done a good job in pre-selling users on the benefits of the app and that the advertising was highly targeted.

The viral effect of apps is an important phenomenon to take advantage of.  An app should encourage existing users to share the app with friends or on social media.  (Think Candy Crush.)  This is a great way to take advantage of the viral publicity that a mobile app can provide.

Another great way to drive traffic to an app is to find the URL of the app download in the iTunes or Google Play listing for the app.  Keep in mind, this is not the URL for the business, but the URL that is used by the app stores.  Then, when the business does content marketing on its own blog or on external sites, it can link to the app store URL listings.  The goal is to get multiple rankings on the search engines for the app.  Those rankings might be the page on the business website that promotes the app download and the app stores’ direct URL’s for the download.

For iPhone and Android apps, there are multiple countries where the app can be listed.  If an app makes its money on advertising, there is no reason not to list the app in all countries, especially populous countries like China and India.  The Apple App and Google Play stores are available in over a hundred countries so it makes sense to be listed in as many of them as necessary.  Of course, if the app has an ecommerce element to it, this may not be practical.

There are many secondary Android app stores and therefore many places where an Android app can be marketed.  Amazon, Kindle, Nook store from Barnes & Noble, AppBrain, and GetJar are a few alternate places where an Android app can be marketed in addition to its logical home base in the Google Play store.

There is a defined cost to acquire app downloads and it is measured by a Cost Per Install (CPI) index.  The CPI per vertical market varies, but according to Fiksu, it averages $2.98 per user in 2015 and it is rising every year as businesses expand their use of mobile advertising, thus driving CPI costs up.

You can purchase Relevance Raises Response at Amazon or at other fine online book stores.

Dec
28

How to Market Your App

Tips on How to Market an App

You’ve developed an app.  Now, what are you going to do to get people to use it?

MARKETING AN APP

 

 

While app store optimization is certainly important, marketers must not rely solely on promotion within the stores to maximize downloads.  There are over two million apps in the stores and finding a particular app is similar to finding the proverbial needle in the haystack, despite the best ASO efforts.

It is not easy to get consumers interested in downloading another app on their mobile phone when smartphone users are already using an average of 26.7 apps per month, according to a Nielsen study.  Too often, a company spends all of its money on developing an app and does not reserve any money for marketing the app.  That is a rookie mistake.  Don’t make it.

A company needs to have developed a structured marketing plan in advance of the release of the app.  It needs a plan to tell existing customers and prospects good reasons why they need the app and where the app can be downloaded.  It needs to evaluate all of its current marketing channels to determine which would be best for promoting an app.  Facebook, for instance, would probably be better for facilitating app downloads than outdoor advertising since a social media user is likely on her mobile phone already as opposed to a driver who is hopefully not on his phone.  Google AdMob might be the best place since it enables an app marketer to advertise within other apps that consumers have already downloaded.

There is no doubt about the power of creating buzz on social media for an app launch.  It is an important part of the initial publicity required.  And, nobody does app marketing better than Facebook which earns a significant part of its ad revenue from brands pushing app downloads.

Of course, internet advertising is not always the best source for app downloads.  If the app has a huge budget, it may very well be television that results in the most downloads.  Game of War did a great job of promoting its app with eye catching Kate Upton and Mariah Carey as the stars of the commercials.

Acquisition costs will not always be high priced efforts like the television advertising for Game of War.  Publicity is a major driver of new app downloads so use press releases and other public relations efforts to get the word out.  Include a social media blitz as well.  The ROI provided by public relations efforts will likely result in the best ROI of any of the promotional efforts.

When marketing an app, it is absolutely critical to get off to a quick start to break through the supply of apps in the app store.  If an app is buried below thousands of others in the rankings, it is going to be difficult to get found.  Therefore, app marketers must get the word out quickly about the app by using a high level of growth hacking or a large advertising budget in an attempt to gain a featured listing and benefit from organic downloads.  Downloads beget more downloads thanks to the viral effect of the purchase and the improved ASO.

Research from Localytics found an added bonus to advertising apps.  App users that were acquired as a result of being discovered via a mobile ad network were more likely to come back for multiple uses on the app than those that found it from an organic search on the app store.  This is likely due to the fact that the ad creative has done a good job in pre-selling users on the benefits of the app and that the advertising was highly targeted.

The viral effect of apps is an important phenomenon to take advantage of.  An app should encourage existing users to share the app with friends or on social media.  (Think Candy Crush.)  This is a great way to take advantage of the viral publicity that a mobile app can provide.

Another great way to drive traffic to an app is to find the URL of the app download in the iTunes or Google Play listing for the app.  Keep in mind, this is not the URL for the business, but the URL that is used by the app stores.  Then, when the business does content marketing on its own blog or on external sites, it can link to the app store URL listings.  The goal is to get multiple rankings on the search engines for the app.  Those rankings might be the page on the business website that promotes the app download and the app stores’ direct URL’s for the download.

For iPhone and Android apps, there are multiple countries where the app can be listed.  If an app makes its money on advertising, there is no reason not to list the app in all countries, especially populous countries like China and India.  The Apple App and Google Play stores are available in over a hundred countries so it makes sense to be listed in as many of them as necessary.  Of course, if the app has an ecommerce element to it, this may not be practical.

There are many secondary Android app stores and therefore many places where an Android app can be marketed.  Amazon, Kindle, Nook store from Barnes & Noble, AppBrain, and GetJar are a few alternate places where an Android app can be marketed in addition to its logical home base in the Google Play store.

There is a defined cost to acquire app downloads and it is measured by a Cost Per Install (CPI) index.  The CPI per vertical market varies, but according to Fiksu, it averages $2.98 per user in 2015 and it is rising every year as businesses expand their use of mobile advertising, thus driving CPI costs up.

Jun
22

PLAY BALL! – Introducing the MLB & USA Baseball Play Ball Coach’s App

PLAY BALL MOBILE COACH APP

USA Baseball, in cooperation with Major League Baseball, is pleased to announce the introduction of the Play Ball Mobile Coach AppThe app is specifically designed to improve baseball coaching at all levels.

Included are baseball drills with specific levels of difficulty assigned to each.  Videos are included to enable the baseball coach to better understand the way that the drill should be run.  Coaches will also learn to rely on the pitch count portion of the app which enables the coach to track the pitch counts of his pitchers on the team so he knows which players are eligible for each game.

USA Baseball wants to make sure that all of its baseball coaches are as good as they can be.  This is a free app and ready for download now on the Apple and Android stores.  Search for “Play Ball Mobile Coach.”

The mobile app was created in King of Prussia, PA at ATS Mobile headquarters.

Video produced by ATS Mobile.  ATS has been very active in the sports app market.  Learn more about the USA Hockey app and why it’s so important to have a How To video here.

Feb
13

Apps Development

Author Bob Bentz    Category Apps     Tags ,

Mobile Apps for businesses

A Walking Billboard in the pocket of your Customer 24 Hours a Day

That’s what an app can be for your business.

Imagine how important that is to be one of the 26 apps that the average person has on their mobile phone. What’s that real estate worth to your business?

Number of Apps Available

It seems like everybody is making apps today, even the US government thanks to President Obama’s initiative that all departments have apps. You can even get the IRS To Go while picking up your cup of Java at Starbucks.

It’s no surprise how many apps there are given how much time Americans are spending with their apps. Let’s take a look at just how many apps are available:

  • Google Play (formerly Android Market) – 1.3 million
  • Apple App Store – 1.2 million
  • Windows Phone Store – 300,000
  • Amazon Appstore – 240,000
  • BlackBerry World – 130,000
  • Galaxy Apps (formerly Samsung Apps store) – couldn’t find number
  • Nokia Store – 120,000

App Development is Expensive

When it comes to mobile marketing, marketers must be very careful when considering app development due to its cost.

Here’s a cool tool that can give you a quick estimate of the cost of app development for your project.

But, while the cost to program a new app is at an all-time high, it may be amazing to many that 95 out of the top 100 apps in the apps stores are FREE!

It’s important that you have a basic understanding of the primary types of app development that are available to you. Consulting with your developer will give you the background you need to decide what type of app you should develop.

  • Native Apps

Native apps live on the device itself. They are installed through the app store and are developed specifically for just one platform. Because they are unique to only one platform, they can use the other features that are already on the phone such as the camera, the GPS, and your contact list.

If you are in an area with no connectivity, a native app will still work and it will be fast. Think of downloading a travel guide.

A major negative of native apps is the update process. If the business wants to update, it must submit those updates to the app store and then have the update pushed to the users.

Another negative for native apps is that you have to pay a 30% fee to Apple for all purchases made on its app store.

  • Web Based Mobile Apps

Web apps are really websites that may look like native apps, but they reside on a browser. Most are written in HTML5. They are usually accessed from a web page where the user is given the option of “installing” them. The install, however, is not really the app itself, but a bookmark to the site.

One of the advantages of a web based app is that you don’t have to go to the app store to find it. Also, if the business wants to update it, it’s as simple as updating a web page; no submission to the app stores necessary.

Another advantage of web based is that there are no content restrictions. Apple, for example, has been notoriously prudish in its willingness to accept some content. Hence, it was Playboy that was one of the first companies to use web based apps.

  • Hybrid Apps

Hybrids are, as you would expect, a combination of Native and Web-based. One of the advantages of hybrid apps is that they work on any platform. Therefore, costs are significantly reduced since the code can be used on multiple platforms.

App Marketing

When you are competing against a million other apps vying for the consumer’s attention, you can see why it’s important to have a well thought out strategy for marketing your app.

While every marketing strategy is going to be different when it comes to apps, there are some basics that you need to get right to have any kind of chance.

  • Include the most important keywords and keyword phrases so that you show up when a consumer does a search in the app stores. Otherwise, it’s almost like your app doesn’t exist.
  • You need to be able to sell the app when the consumer arrives at your page in the app store. Exciting graphics and adding video.

  • Social media is big. Facebook is almost always a critical part of your app marketing plan.
  • Mobile advertising – what better place to advertise your new app.
  • Create buzz prior to your release date. Think email marketing, press releases, and all the same strategies you’d do if you were having a store grand opening.
  • Encourage positive customer reviews. If you get off to a bad start with reviews, it’s very difficult for the app to recover as it will be buried in the app stores.

It’s extremely difficult for an app to get a following, even if you represent a well-known brand. Be sure to not spend all your budget on development or you’ll have a great app that nobody knows about.

Sep
17

Promote Your App with Video

Author Bob Bentz    Category Apps     Tags

Apple App Store Now Allows App Preview Videos on Product Pages

It’s not easy getting your app noticed.

At the June, 2014 Apple Worldwide Developer’s Conference, the company announced that it now has over 1.2 million apps in its store.  Just a year ago, at the same conference, Apple said that it had 900,000 applications in its store.

The ever increasing size of the app store has led many developers to try to game the system to enable their app to shoot above the din of apps that are a part of the store.  Others are spending lots of money advertising on media and especially on social media websites such as Facebook.  In fact, apps download advertising on Facebook makes up a whopping 59% of its advertising revenue!

Coupled with Apple’s announcement of the new iPhone 6 and the iWatch on September 9, 2014, was a less exciting one for the general public, but perhaps a more exciting one for apps marketers and developers.  In the Apple App Store, you are now able to insert a 15 to 30 second video promoting your specific app .  The video resides on your app product page on the App Store.  Such a short video will demonstrate the features, functionality, and user interface of your app.

Here’s a sample promotional video from USA Hockey that acts as a Apple App Store video.

 

 

If you’re looking for a longer video to give your users more information about the app, check out this one that we did for the US Olympic Committee.

 

 

Can we help you sell more app downloads by creating a video for your next or existing app?

 

 

 

 

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