Tuesday, 31 March 2015

App Marketing Strategies: 11 Ways To Help Your App Succeed

AH Google Play Applications_11
Considering how many applications are available nowadays, it’s definitely not enough to create a great app and hope it will promote itself. No way that’s going to happen, there are a ton of great applications in the Google Play Store, and that number is constantly growing. It’s extremely difficult to make your application get noticed amongst so many apps, even if you created something unique, both in design and functionality. Well, we’re going to try to help you to make people notice your application. Here are 11 application marketing strategies that might help you promote your application:
Name And Description In The Google Play Store
This part is extremely important, more important than people might think. It is always best to use a unique name for your app, and even better if that name hints the purpose of the app. Your app needs to be recognizable and easily searchable. It is also good if people can easily remember its name. If your app has multiple words, the first one is very important, but the main and related keywords also need to be built into the description details, don’t forget that. Furthermore, make sure to always clearly explain what the app is for. The description shouldn’t be too long, and yet should be quite detailed and easy to read.
Press Release
Press release is kind of an understandable part of the launch process. A lot of people will read that press release, so you should do your best to put it together properly. Much like the apps description, it shouldn’t be too long, should be nicely formatted and explain what the app is about. Give out as much detail as you can, and yet not as many as you do in the description. The press release should be engaging, so keep that in mind. There are some PR sites that can help you achieve the desired effect, like PRNewsWirePRMacPRWeb andStandardNewsWire for example.
Commenting On Articles / Forums
What do we mean by this? Well, for example, once your app review is done and published all over the social media, make sure to spend some time communicating with users. Keep track of those posts and comments, and respond to people who have tried out your app or are interesting in doing so. That can be hard sometimes, but do the best you can. This can really help out, and can prove to users that you care about them and your product.
App Reviews
Application reviews are a great way of promoting your work. There are a lot of tech sites that do app reviews nowadays, and they can provide a lot of exposure for your application. This is a crucial part of promoting your app, app reviews can bring an unbelievable amount of traffic your way. Some of these sites even offer promo codes to readers and stuff. Don’t forget about app reviews, the more exposure you get this way, the better. You can also check out our app review service if you’d like.
E-Mail Lists
This is also a crucial part of promoting an app. A strong e-mail list is extremely important. You have to start somewhere though, so you can always add the people you know to the list, and work your way from there. As you progress, you’ll reach a lot more people, hopefully those who work in the industry or something, which will be immensely helpful when reaching out to people. You can share all sorts of info this way, as long as you don’t spam people with unnecessary content of course. You should always share your press releases this way, and every big announcement for that matter, like a huge update to your app and that sort of stuff.
Google Alerts
If you don’t know what Google Alerts are, it’s about time you find out. If you visit www.google.com/alerts, you can set up a Google Alert for your domain keywords and immediately participate in conversations related to your domain, which is great. You can set up an alert for your name, your app name and your website for example, which will certainly help in monitoring news about your app. This will help you keep track of what’s going on, and make your job of app promoting, much, much easier. When Google picks up on something with those keywords, you’ll get an alert in a form of a link. It’s tracking comments, reviews, blog posts… and much more.
Connect To News Sites
This part is actually closely related to the press releases and app reviews part. You should make contacts, make sure you reach out to news sites that are covering your sort of content. Contacts like these will help you promote your app, no matter if we’re talking about an article about your app of any sort, or an app review.
Develop Pre-Launch Strategy
Many people think that promotion part starts after you’re finished with your app, or when you publish it, but that’s not true. It’s always good to start promoting the app a while before it becomes official / hits the market. Tease your apps functionality, release some vague notes, a screenshot perhaps… anything that will help you get people’s attention. Social networks and news sites can help out a lot, so keep that in mind.
Admob Testing
Mobile advertising services can always help you properly test your app before you launch it. Multiple variations of app’s names and text descriptions can be tested. This part can give you an edge in front of your competition, make sure you pick the right info before you launch an app. Admob is a great service for doing this, the service’s CTR (Click Through Ratio) definitely helps you decide which name and description will work best. Furthermore, if you have some cash to invest in advertising, even better. There are a lot of services like Admob which let you advertize your apps, and Facebook, for example, is also a good choice. If you have some money to spare, definitely try it out.
Send News Tips To News Sites And Blogs
In order to do this step properly, you need to make some contacts beforehand, it will make this step a whole lot easier. You should always keep news sites / blogs on what’s going on. Send them some info, and see if they’ll make something out of it and help you get some publicity. Pre-launch teaser, pre-update teaser… well, anything useful really. Don’t do this too often though, that’s never good and people might take it as spam.
Social Media
We’ve mentioned social media a couple of times already, and that gives you an idea how important this aspect is. Social media is unbelievably important, simply because of the fact regular people check social media multiple times per day. If you manage to reach the right kind of people this way, that will be a huge step forward on your app’s promotion path. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest… there are a lot of different social media services you can and should use.
Twitter is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, and you should definitely use it, next to the likes of Facebook and Google+, of course. All you have to do is create a nice account for your app, set it up, and you’re good to go. You can release all sorts of stuff this way, don’t have to hold back as much as you should when sending out e-mails and stuff, it’s highly unlikely that people will take Twitter posts as spam, that’s the whole point really. People follow certain pages in order to get all the required information.

Facebook is the biggest social media network in the world. Much like Twitter, it’s very important for you to create a page here and push it towards consumers. Set up a nice page for your app and tweak it properly. You can find various ways to connect to your audience via Facebook, and also release all the necessary information to consumers. Twitter and Facebook are kind of similar, but also different in some ways. Make sure to communicate with people who show interest in your posts, and you’re good to go. It’s important that you’re active on social media, daily, Facebook included.

Top 3 Tech Trends 2015: “Internet Of Things” To Become “Internet Of Me”

As 2015 rolled out, research analysts dug deep to understand which trends will dominate the tech industry for the rest of the year. While it is not possible to make accurate statements, market researchers have accumulated a huge amount of search data that can help us peep into the upcoming trends. Think with Google recently published an infographic giving us an insight of what we can expect and which are the Top 3 Tech Trends in 2015. The projected trends are based on US data only though, but considering that global tech market is pegged to the US, these trends present quite a comprehensive picture of global tech trends in 2015.
Some of the key highlights of the infographic are:
“Internet of Thing” will be an official thing as burgeoning devices start working together. Almost 4.9 billion connected things will be in use, globally; up by 30% y-o-y.
  • 2.5X more Searches related to “Internet of Things”
  • Search for wearables, especially among health-conscious people grew three-fold.
  • 28% increase in search for Smart TVs, surpassing other popular TV specs.
  • Videos about connected cars have been watched on YouTube for almost 1.6M hours.
  • Search for smart light bulbs went up by 36%.
“Internet of Things” is now transforming to become “Internet of Me“- making our lives seamless to all possible extents. Smartphones are now becoming an integral part of our daily to-do(s). To meet our increasing needs, smartphones have now become smarter to transform into a hub for all these connected platforms.
  • Almost 1.3 billion smartphones will have shipped globally in 2014.
  • Americans spend around 151 minutes every day on their smartphones, as compared to TV or laptops.
  • 1 out 5 searches on Google are location-based. Searches for “nearby” have gone up to 5X since 2011, as people now feel the need to keep a tab on what is happening around them.
  • From the past year, searches for personal health apps have become 12X more in this year.
  • Searches for NFS, which lets smartphones “talk to objects” have increased by 1.5 times in the last four years.
Thanks to proliferating smartphones, we are now living in an era where everything can be accessed, executed or bought with a click of a button. Not just internet, but we need speed in our daily activities as well. Whether it is entertainment or music, food or gadgets, we need things INSTANTLY. Quick decisions and highly interconnected apps will make our life simpler and faster this year.
  • It is all about seizing the moment. And what better way than a lightweight HD camera. 2015 will be the year for HD cameras.
  • Search for HD cameras grew by 25%; for compact- up by 42%; 4K by 142% and drones by 270%
  • Searches for drones was 2.6 times more since last year.
  • Almost 800K hours of drone videos were watched on YouTube in November 2014.
  • ‘Same day delivery’ shopping search in February 2014 was twice the searches in February 2010.
  • “Take me home” Google app gets 30X as many action queries by VOICE as by typing.
It is an era when people are becoming app-centric. Smartphone users are increasing rapidly across the globe. According to reports on Kantarsmartphone penetration in US reached 59% in Q4 2014. And this figure is on a rise. Soon, people will have human robots to make their life simpler. That’s the speed at which technology is racing ahead.
User-engagement, intentions and decisions seem to have undergone a renaissance. It is time for the marketers to step out of their comfortable cocoon and analyse the alarming facts that Think With Google has presented in the infographic:
Marketers can create better user experiences, thanks to programmatic technologythat can help in delivering related ads in real-time. With the huge amount of data being generated in every moment, marketers can optimize these data to understand users’ behaviour and psychology. Admit it or not, user psychology plays a pivotal role in their decision to ultimately click on the “buy” button. The whole marketing funnel narrows down to this one point- Sales.
We are controlled by our smartphones to a great extent, And the mobile-app market is changing rapidly. Even to measure our health, we turn to health apps that do the calorie calculations for us. Location-based content and context and one-click delivery will become the USP in this year in mobile e-commerce category. Infuse brand royalty in your users by giving them an experience that is worth their time.
Consumers are always running short on time. They want everything NOW. As a marketer, you have to be on toes to make interactions, convincing and delivery fast, easy and simple. The industry is now awake 24/7! Extend your support to your customers at the hour of need as well as when they are busy in other chores.
2015 will set the trend of “Internet of Me” wherein it will be more about user-engagement, especially on smartphones. Presently, we can only brace up technology and optimize it to get the best possible result. As for going back to where we began, only by the year-end can we judge which technology or trend won the maximum attention.

Apple seeks to make mobile payments mainstream like it did for digital music and smartphones

Jim Maholic, vice president of industry consulting, Hitachi Consulting
Apple does what Apple does. And we should quit acting surprised. Apple has a successful history of entering markets where some part of the user experience is inefficient.
A quick glance back at the iPod and iTunes makes that clear. The digital music business existed before Apple got into it. But digital music distribution wasn't fully baked nor seamlessly integrated until iTunes made the process painless.  Apple made it painless because it did the hard work of convincing the suppliers of music – namely the artists and labels – to embrace iTunes as part of Apple’s vision of the seamless process. 
Then there's the iPhone. 
Certainly there were cellphones, even smartphones before the iPhone. But working with carriers and app developers, Apple cultivated a value chain beyond just having a raw smartphone. We're all beginning to realize that the secret sauce at Apple seems to be this: Simplifying the value chain and building cooperation and collaboration from suppliers to Apple to end customers.
Apple finds a way to reduce the friction inherent in complicated processes and consolidate multiple points of contact to deliver nearly intuitive actions with very few intermediaries between the customer and his or her satisfaction. And in the process, Apple attracts a lot of customers and suppliers. Which brings us to mobile payments.  

Apple doesn't need to be the biggest, just the best

Apple is not the dominant player in the smartphone space. If you look at smartphone sales, they shouldn't be the dominant player in mobile payments.
Android sales continue to significantly outpace iOS device sales. According to IDC research, global Android smartphone unit sales for 2014 were 1.059 billion units compared with 192.7 million Apple smartphones shipped globally, giving Android an 81.5 percent global market share of smartphone sales for 2014. And Android's market dominance has existed since 2010. So here's what's interesting to observe, at least in the mobile payment space: Android smartphones command a 4-to-1 advantage over Apple smartphones in terms of unit sales. 
When Apple introduced Apple Pay in the fall of 2014, Google Wallet (the leading Android mobile wallet app) already had 10 million activations. Yet, according to Tim Cook, Apple's 1 million activations in the first 72 hours made Apple Pay the largest mobile payment offering. One million is certainly not ten million. But Cook was likely referring to something that we all know, which is that downloads and activations are not the same as active users. Countless users download apps due to a timely need (Uber, TripAdvisor, OpenTable) and never touch them again. Cook's bold statement in the fall has just been followed by a series of similarly bold statements during Apple’s most recent Jan 2015 earnings call.
During that call, Cook stated, "Apple Pay makes up more than $2 out of $3 spent of purchases using contactless payment across the three major U.S. card networks."  He went on to say, "Panera Bread tells us Apple Pay represents nearly 80 percent of their mobile payment transactions, and since the launch of Apple Pay, Whole Foods Market has seen mobile payments increase by more than 400 percent." So, it looks like Apple is doing what Apple does, yet again. 

Apple Watch and mobile payments

Apple has done the hard work of enlisting credit card companies, banks and retailers to make another human process easier. And they aren't done. Apple Watch will launch next month.
Apple Watch will expand Apple Pay's footprint on day one, bringing mobile payments to iPhone 5, 5s and 5c users. By most estimates, Apple sold nearly 100 million iPhone 5 units (all variations) in the U.S. alone prior to the launch of the iPhone 6. In the aforementioned earnings call, Cook stated that only a fraction of iPhone 5 users upgraded to the new iPhone 6. This means the launch of Apple Watch will potentially enable millions of iPhone 5 users to use Apple’s mobile payment system.
Android players are not sitting still. Attempting to strengthen their respective mobile payment capabilities and broaden their portfolio of offerings, Google just acquired Softcard and Samsung acquired LoopPay. And we can expect many more acquisitions as the big players find small, clever companies that augment their own growing mobile payment arsenals. While Apple Pay grows, Android is not just treading water. 

Time will tell if Apple will be dominant in mobile payments or make the technology mainstream. Regardless, retailers should expect exciting innovations in the months to come as mobile-payment titans duke it out for mindshare and market share.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Facebook dives deeper into the connected home

cnet.comThe world's largest social network joins Google and Samsung in eyeing the potentially lucrative Internet of Things market.Resultado de imagen para Facebook dives deeper into the connected home
Parse CEO and founder Ilya Sukhar talks about the Internet of Things during Facebook's F8 developer conference in San Francisco.James Martin/CNET

Facebook is fully jumping into the Internet of Things. The world's largest social network introduced Wednesday a new set of developer tools for creating apps that will let users remotely control devices within their homes, such as garage door openers and thermometers.
"I'm going to build a device to let me know when I need to water my plants at home," Ilya Sukhar, founder and CEO of mobile-infrastructure company Parse, which Facebook acquired in 2013, said during Facebook's F8 developers conference in San Francisco. "I'm a nerd, so I'm going to build a device to remind me."
Facebook has made some small moves into the Internet of Things, such as its January acquisition of Wit.AI, which will let users program their devices using speech-recognition control. But Wednesday's announcement appears to be the company's first big move in this space. This could open up a lucrative new market for Facebook. The Internet of Things market is expected to grow on average by 13 percent each year through 2020, reaching $3.04 trillion and connecting billions of objects that year, according to researcher IDC.
The company already offers developers easy access to its social network site and the nearly 900 million users -- or a seventh of the world's population -- who log on to it every day. But devices connected to the Internet of Things, such as Internet-connected cameras, smartphone-controlled door locks and lawn-sprinkler sensors, have so far been outside Facebook's reach.The Internet of Things is a rapidly growing area. It's the notion of connecting any- and everything to the Internet. Many observers view the home as a major battlefront in the emerging market. Tech companies are working to add more features and sensors into windows and doors, appliances and electronics. Google bought Nest Labs, maker of a namesake thermostat and the Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detector, for $3.2 billion last year. Samsung -- which said it will connect everything it sells by 2020 -- purchased SmartThings, a company that offers various sensors for the home, as well as the hub to connect them with other devices. Other firms in the market include August, which sells smart door locks, and Philips, which offers connected lightbulbs.
Throwing Facebook into the mix makes the quickly growing market even more crowded.
Two years ago, Facebook purchased Parse, which helps mobile-app developers create and manage Internet connected apps. Now Parse will assume a larger role within Facebook, as it integrates a new and growing range of devices that are connected to the Internet.
"It's 2015 now and this world is getting better," Sukhar said. "We're seeing many more devices come online."

App Marketing: the crucial line item too many app developers miss

Mobile Phones And Abercrombie
You’re developing what you hope will be a killer utility app or mobile game, you’re past proof of concept, you’re gotten some serious investment dollars, tested, tested, and retested, and are ready to launch. The one thing you may have overlooked? How you’re going to market the damn thing.
According to Gary Yentin, CEO and Founder of App Promo in Toronto, more often than not, developers are rushing to launch without a marketing plan in place and the budget to fund it. “I’m still amazed six years later [after the App Store launched], that people don’t put a line item in for marketing,” he says. He says that even seasoned VCs overlook it and instead get too fixated on the technology.
Of course, in order to market intelligently, you need the right analytics. You need to know who your users are and what they’re doing. But according to Yentin, many developers haven’t even put the right SDKs in place for tools such as Flurry or Google analytics, or any of the other mobile measurement platforms. “You can advise them to do it but sometimes they just don’t have the time,” he says. “They’ve set a launch date and that means they would have to go back and re-submit to the store.” No app developer wants to do that.
Even for those who have planned to capture data out of the starting gate, there are issues to solve. While there are a number of valuable analytics tools that can provide vast amounts of data, Yentin says that all too often, most developers are just too busy and overwhelmed with making things look good and work right to make good use of them.
“Developers are always super-rushed and have limited resources, and to be honest, a lot of them don’t know how to understand and interpret the data,” says Yentin. “It’s kind of a catch 22; you can put the KPIs out there but then you have to understand how to use and understand those KPIs.”
He’s contrasting this to giants like EA, Disney, or King, that have specific teams of up to 50 people dedicated to analytics. For mid-size and smaller developers, this just isn’t realistic, and for Yentin, it’s essential at the start for these mid-range players to build in an internal resource to monitor and interpret analytics, or outsource if that’s not possible.
Collecting data over time is important, but the first week after install is most critical, says Yentin. A lot of players won’t return after that first week, so it’s an essential time frame in which to get the most important data: what time of day users open the app, how often they come in and out, how much time they spend, how they interact with the app and its functions. Learning why people leave is as important as why they stay.
Developers also make the mistake of failing to determine exactly who their user is. He provides the example of a gaming client who had exclusively targeted males 18 to 24. All the creative in the game and all the advertising were aimed at this audience. But when the developers started to look into the demographics, they saw that they had a 30 percent uptick of females. “That was something they never dreamed about,” says Yentin. “Here they’re creating for one group, and then find out they have a completely different sex playing the game. That’s kind of significant when you think about how you’re going to go about acquiring users.”
But before developers find themselves in a similar situation doing a quick correction by targeting a percentage of advertising spend at gossip sites and fashion publications (yes, a terrible, awful stereotype, but it makes the point), developers can feel out their audience ahead of time. Yentin says it helps to get your app on a test flight. For smaller developers that can mean something as simple as using a meet-up group in your local city which can provide invaluable information and data. “A lot of people do all this research and great planning on the product side without considering the audience in terms of what that audience will actually do,” he says.
Being in Canada, he often sees another route to early learnings. “We see a lot people do their MVP [Minimum Viable Product] launches in Canada because it’s very similar to the U.S. market,” he explains. “Once they see what resonates with the audience, and tweak it, then they hit the big time.”
Ninety percent of App Promo’s business actually comes from outside Canada, from places as diverse as China, Japan, Russia, Europe, and Mexico. “It turns out, we’re a very good testing ground!”

Friday, 27 March 2015

Customer-Centric Revolution Unleashed by the Internet of Things

Resultado de imagen para Customer-Centric Revolution Unleashed by the Internet of Things
By 2020, the number of internet-connected devices is expected to reach 50 billionOpens in a new window. While businesses already use surveys, purchase histories, loyalty programs and other methods to be able to understand customers better, these techniques will pale in comparison to the relationships the Internet of Things (IoT) will build.
As consumers incorporate more and more connected devices into their daily lives, information that's never before been available to companies will redefine what it means to know a customer's needs and wants. Additionally, this new insight will create opportunities to improve timing and customization of sales messaging, improving the results of outgoing sales and marketing efforts. 
Marketing and sales messaging that's tailored to a customer has been proven to be more effective time and again. Jupiter Research found that relevant emails drive 18 times more revenue than broadcast emailsOpens in a new window. Aberdeen Group states that personalized emails improve clickthrough rates by 14 percent, and conversion rates by 10 percentOpens in a new window. The numbers show that when companies take the time to craft messaging that customers can relate to and that has meaning to them, it will pay off.
Now, this relates to the IoT because customers will willingly be providing businesses with insights into their habits, decision-making processes and other aspects of their lives that were never accessible in the past. For example, take something as simple as a connected toothbrush. A customer purchases it because the Bluetooth-connected device will track brushing habits and the customer can receive feedback on how good a job he/she is doing with brushing and overall dental health.
For a savvy dentist, a connected toothbrush isn't just a way for a patient to track how many seconds they spend brushing each quadrant of their mouth. With the right marketing and sales software in place, dentists can synch the data collected by a toothbrush with patient records. Sales software can analyze the data from the toothbrush and trigger email outreach to the patient if certain criteria are met. If a patient is only brushing for 30 seconds once a day, the software can create an email recommending that the patient come for a cleaning more often than twice a year, or it can flag an alert for the office administrator to call the patient in for a checkup.

Moving Beyond Push: Mobile Marketing In 2015

As a vendor in the field of mobile marketing automation — I thought it might be of interest to discuss what is happening in that world today and how these trends might affect the landscape.
‘Marketing automation’ simply refers to — you guessed it — those technologies that automate the marketing process. Think emails, direct mail, and perhaps more importantly understanding lead flow and lead behavior to identify the right target groups for your campaigns. All integrated — usually — with a CRM system to which the leads are handed over.
But nothing stays the same for long. There are major trends afoot in this space, both of which smart organizations need to stay on top of.
The first has been the extension into the B2C space. That makes sense — if anything marketing has more to offer in the B2B space, and digital marketing techniques in particular have made B2C marketing just as ‘automatable” an activity as its B2B cousin. It does demand, however, a level of scalability that is something marketing automation hasn’t had to handle in the past.
The second has been the rise of mobile. There’s almost no need to go over the statistics again. Let’s just use one – the mobile app will account for more internet traffic in 2015 than the desktop and mobile web combined. That probably says enough. What it means is that marketing automation needs to be cognizant of the fact that our relationships with users — or potential customers — now needs to encompass those campaigns delivered on mobile.
So What’s Next?
In response to those two trends we’ve reached a place where it’s possible to deliver campaigns to mobile users, and at scale if desired. And these campaigns can be informed (scratch that — NEED to be informed) by detailed understanding of user behavior, and thus targeted to be effective.
But we need to get beyond simply campaigns. I don’t believe that it will be enough to simply ‘deliver’ users to the front door of the app home page and then leave them be.
That’s where push notifications, for example, run out of road. They are typically used in some pretty unimaginative ways simply to bring people to that door. And the fact that they are often targeted indiscriminately means that often they aren’t particularly effective even at that level. In many cases they are guilty of stepping over the line into interrupt driven spam. No wonder many users put them straight into the ‘ignore this’ file.
Where the tools of email and push end, I see true mobile marketing beginning — right there in the app. That interpretation of mobile marketing means delivering true real-time conversations and in the moment personalization, all based on a detailed understanding of user activity and behavior.
That’s my vision of mobile marketing automation: the collection of techniques and campaigns: in-app messages, surveys, video, native content changes and yes — push notifications — that can change user behavior. But always informed by the most sophisticated view of the user possible.
That latter point deserves expanding. There are a myriad campaign types, or ways of talking to users within the app out there. But like any conversation, they are only as good as the data that informs it. At Swrve we’ve put a lot of effort into ensuring we can handle user events: to the tune of 5 billion a day at the latest count. That’s important, because it’s the level of granularity our customers demand to really build up a true picture of the user’s behavior in the app. Only then are all those campaigns and message types truly effective.
I see 2015 as the year in which marketing — and mobile marketing in particular — definitively moves beyond getting people to the app and becomes a discipline concerned with what happens in the app.