6 Top Tips for Marketing Success for Your Apps


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6 Top Tips for Marketing your Mobile App

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6 Top Tips for Marketing Success for Your Apps

  1. 1. 6 Top Tips for Marketing Success Lee Stott Technical Evangelist Microsoft @Lee_Stott LeeStott@Microsoft.com
  2. 2. Tip 1. Preparation… You can prepare for your games release in advance to get the most out of all your marketing activities so the outcome is successful.
  3. 3. Stand out from the crowd • • • • What is the purpose of the your game? What are the benefits of playing your game? What makes your game unique? What makes your game better than the competition?
  4. 4. Know your audience • • • • • • Who is most likely to download your app? Age Gender Occupation Lifestyle Geographic location
  5. 5. What are your channels • • • • What sites your audience is likely to visit? Would they use online searches to find your app? What sites offer content that might be related to your app? Are there other channels, social media etc.. A. Websites, online publications, e-mail newsletters, social network pages and groups, forums, blogs and Twitter users that your audience is likely to follow or that would publish information about your app or be interested in talking about it. B. Offline events and publications that your audience might be interested in, or that might be related to your application.
  6. 6. Define your Ad • Write down a single phrase that describes your game • Write down a few more supporting phases that further describe how your game works • Choose a simple but descriptive name for your game A. B. C. D. E. F. It should be easy to spell and pronounce. It should be memorable for the people you want to attract as users. It should be easy to find. It should not be in conflict with existing trademarks or reserved names. It should match your game’s dedicated web address. Can you set up a webpage with that name? It should be unique. Two games with the same name is confusing.
  7. 7. Build your story • Focus your efforts on content • Links to all the social channels you create for your game • Make sure that all of your content is “sharable” on at least the most popular social networks in your market. • Materials explaining, demonstrating and supporting your game • Direct links to the app download page in the corresponding market
  8. 8. Tell your story • Positive quotes and reviews from others • “Keep it alive” • Links to other games you have published. • A “Contact us” section. This might be as simple as a contact email address or a contact form. • An “About us” section.
  9. 9. Don’t let it die! Updating contents on your game on a regular basis plays a key role. It creates the feeling that the game has a living, breathing developer or team of developers behind it, and that it will remain updated.
  10. 10. Search Engine Optimisation • SEO efforts. Always remember these three key points when defining your own specific keywords: 1. Keywords must be relevant to your application and the contents on your website. 2. Incorporate keywords that are frequently searched for using one of the online tools noted below. 3. Apply your previous learnings and keep language as natural as possible.
  11. 11. We Want to Hear • Have your materials in place to support the marketing opportunities - logo assets, game assets, PDF flyer • Have key summarises on the game/audience/monetisation/features/benefits etc • Don't be a stranger - make contact with the platform vendor or you could be a best kept secret
  12. 12. Use your networks • To generate “buzz”: Let other people talk about your game and share and distribute your contents. • To reach a wider audience: Social media can help you reach users who may not be actively looking for your game. • To facilitate communication: Give your current and potential customers an alternate means to connect with you and other users. • To build a community: Encourage loyalty. Happy customers will be your best and most enthusiastic evangelists.
  13. 13. We Want to Hear • Don't be a stranger - make contact with the platform vendor or you could be a best kept secret • Don't open up by asking for investment money....sell your game concept and why it will come alive on the vendors platforms. • Investment may come if the vendor buys into it but nothing more off putting than talking money in the opening remarks • Keep feeding back to the platform vendor on updates and performance as they platform may give it additional promotions
  14. 14. Test, Test and Test • Perfect your application before its launch • You need to get second and third opinions of what others like and dislike • Microsoft facilitate distributing your application to a limited audience for beta testing purposes. • Recruit volunteer beta testers through your website and social media channels. • Make a list of common specific questions they need to answer after trying out your application (around usefulness, ease of use, graphics and responsiveness), but also let them tell you about their feelings and impressions after interacting with it for a while.
  15. 15. Dress to Impress • Video will help to visually bring to life your application and highlight what it can do. • Plan your story (script) in advance before you shoot any footage. • Showcase your games use and standout features. • Highlight how it’s special. • Make it attractive for your target audience.
  16. 16. Tip 2 . In- App Business Models
  17. 17. Make the choice You will probably market your application through one of these four main business models: 1. Free download 2. Paid download 3. In-app advertising (which can apply to paid or free downloads) 4. In-app purchasing (which can apply to paid or free downloads)
  18. 18. Tip 3. Bought and earned media
  19. 19. Getting it known • Advertise through other mobile devices • You can create ads to reach your audience when they use their smartphones or tablet devices. Mobclix (www.mobclix.com), BuzzCity (www.buzzcity.com), Mojiva (www.mojiva.com). • Advertise through social media • Social media channels generally allow creating different types of ads or sponsored results you can leverage to promote your application.
  20. 20. Getting it seen • Buy space in search results pages • SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is a form of online marketing that allows you to promote your website in search engine results pages • (SERPs). Paid placement campaigns (also called PPC – Paid Per Click) are the most common type.
  21. 21. Have it reviewed • Submit your app for consideration to Websites focused on mobile games are growing in popularity. • These are some steps you should follow: 1. Make a list of games websites that might be interested in publishing a story about your game or reviewing it. 2. Write your application’s submission. Personalise it for each website you contact. 3. Ensure you highlight your game strengths and what makes it unique. 4. Be polite. 5. Send your request together with a direct access to download your application. Always make the application free for your addressee. 6. If your application gets picked up and published in the form of a review or a news piece, make sure you thank them (even if it was negative). 7. Learn from praise and criticism. Improving by your mistakes is your greatest investment for the future.
  22. 22. Sowing the seed • Getting the right people to talk about your app • A single article by a single writer in a single site or publication could turn into your great breakthrough. • Influencers are people with the power to affect the decisions of others because of their perceived position, knowledge or authority. E • Lesser-known writers from major websites have the power to draw great attention to something nobody had even noticed.
  23. 23. Shout about it Send a press release Make a compelling and interesting story: Include your images and videos if allowed. Use the keywords and phrases you selected to optimise your website and create a well-written piece. • Be concise. • Include your contact information. • You can opt to use a free press release distribution service like openPR (www.openpr.com), pay a fee for a more complete service like PRWeb (www.prweb.com) • • • •
  24. 24. Nurture it 1. Build a community 2. You should already have your social channels up and running. 3. Develop and build relationships. 4. Search for pages, groups and people in social media who have a direct or indirect relation to your game 5. Try to actively participate in discussions, offer your advice, express your opinions, be helpful and share your knowledge. 6. With time, you will have created valuable connections to people who might be willing to spread your message. 7. When you feel you’ve really earned the right to do some self-promotion in those spaces, go ahead and openly talk about your application. 8. You can expect a payback from many of your virtual contacts in the form of positive word of mouth.
  25. 25. Tip 4. Launch Preparation
  26. 26. Open your Shop • Create an outstanding shop window • Your app’s page Marketplace has the same goal as a shop window: to catch the eye of potential clients and drive them to eventually make a purchase • Consider your store page as a miniature version of your own website. There are limits to how much content you can publish, so you will need to be concise. • Publish as many in-app screenshots as possible. • The first phrase is critical: make sure to pique people’s curiosity and make them want to know more about your game. • Create a thumbnail icon. It needs to attract people’s attention when they’re browsing through the stores.
  27. 27. Getting discovered • User searches in application stores are very different from those in web search engines. These searches tend to be more “...to the point”, and most are no more than three words long. • A user looking for a good free golf game in a web search engine might search for “...best free golf game for Windows Phone”. If the same user is using a store’s internal search feature, they might search for “free golf” or “free golf app”. • When writing your texts remember to exclude unnecessary and obvious words and phrases such as “Nokia” or “Windows Phone”, since users will not be looking for them. • Make sure to include other words you might not have given as much relevance before, like “game” or “free”. Incorporate single words that describe actions your application performs or helps with, such as “translate”, “browse”, “uninstall”, “find”, “block”, “call” and “upload”. • Ask some friends or colleagues to enter an application store and search for an application similar to yours. Take note of what you learn from their searches and add the keywords they use to your descriptions.
  28. 28. Exploit your own success • You might have released games in the past, or maybe you already run a successful personal website or blog, or have large follower bases in your social networks’ personal accounts. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of your reputation and your previous work to promote your new application. • Promote your new application within your previous app. If this isn’t possible, make sure you incorporate this option in your current or future applications. • Announce your application’s launch through your personal website or blog. • Use your personal social network accounts to communicate your application’s release to your friends, family and colleagues. They are very likely to help you redistribute the news as long as you don’t spam them.
  29. 29. Pave your way to fame • Look for contests that are seeking mobile applications and submit yours if it complies with their terms and conditions. • If the judging process involves public voting, make sure you apply all your previous learnings to get more positive votes. • If you’re allowed to link back to your website, contests can help you raise your search engine rankings.
  30. 30. Choosing the best moment for launch • Smart timing for your application’s release can help it ride the wave of specific events, seasons or activities. • People pay more attention to particular subjects or themes during certain periods of time, and searches for related content will increase significantly within that time frame.
  31. 31. Tip 5. Maintenance
  32. 32. Listen • Don’t let your guard down – there’s still work to be done. And if it had a slow start, don’t worry – keep up the hard work and your game will achieve the success it deserves. • Remember these three keys for making the most of your application: 1. Pay attention to what users have to say. 2. Address their needs. 3. Communicate openly with them.
  33. 33. Reply with finesse • “the customer is always right”. • Follow these simple rules to reply to or moderate comments and reviews from other users: • Avoid deleting comments unless they’re abusive or defamatory • Don’t be afraid to publicly explain why. • Reply to both positive and negative comments. • Be honest and direct. • Admit your game flaws and communicate whether a future update will fix them. • Accept praise
  34. 34. Keep users informed • Use your website and social channels to communicate future updates and releases. • Communicate future updates and when they will be available. • When you release an update, make sure you publish detailed information on changes and improvements • Give full details on changes included in application updates. • If you are making your application available for another platform, you will definitely want to communicate it in your own channels as well. • Current users might recommend your application to other people they know who use a different platform.
  35. 35. Tip 6. Analysis
  36. 36. Monitor • Monitoring and analysing all the elements that compose your app’s ecosystem is critical to maximising its success. • You will need to monitor how your campaign performs over time and the results of that campaign. • How users are interacting with your application • How your application page within the corresponding store is performing • How your own website is performing, and the impact of your activity in social media channels. • The learnings from these results will help you finetune your marketing activity, discover and solve potential issues and will prepare you for future launches.
  37. 37. Fine-tune • Make sure you choose to advertise through services that offer advanced campaign results analysis tools • Review how your different keywords and keyword sets are performing • Review how your different ads are performing • Monitor the increase in fans, likes, followers, visitors or potential customers coming from your campaigns. • Identify areas of opportunity and loss and review your budget accordingly. • If you’re driving traffic to your own website, review campaign performance through your chosen analytics tool.
  38. 38. Learn from your users • You can discover very valuable information from users who downloaded your game: 1. Are they actually using the game? 2. How often? 3. For how long? 4. What features are they using most? And least? 5. Where are your users coming from? 6. What devices are your customers using? 7. Are they making in-app purchases or upgrades? 8. Are they clicking on ads displayed within the app? • The answers to these questions will help you discover your application’s true value to your customers and identify potential usability issues you could address in subsequent updates
  39. 39. Measure to succeed • Make sure you integrate an application analytics solution during your app’s development phase so you can measure results from the very first day. There are several solutions 1. Localytics (www.localytics.com), 2. Includeapp (www.includeapp.com) 3. Bango Analytics (www.bango.com) 4. Flurry (www.flurry.com)
  40. 40. Measure activity on your website • Your visitors are an invaluable source of ideas and insights, so make sure you get as much information from them as you can. Set up a web analytics tool on your website, take the time to understand its reports and try to answer these questions: • How did your visitors find your website? • Did they come from a search engine, or are other sites linking to yours? • What keywords or phrases are people using to reach your website? • Are visitors arriving from one of your campaigns? • What cities or countries are they visiting from? • What types of content are they most interested in?
  41. 41. Research • When you find the answers, make the most of this information by taking action: • Go back and visit the sites that are linking back to you. • Try to extract common patterns and trends from keywords and phrases used to reach your site. • Are visitors simply searching for your app’s name? • Are they looking for specific content? • Do they need to solve a problem? • Are they looking for a specific version? • Give your visitors what they came to find. • Look for popular origins (geographical, campaigns and devices). Investigate why?
  42. 42. Measure • These are the most important questions you should try to answer when analysing activity in your social channels: 1. How did your visitors find your content? 2. What keywords or phrases did visitors use when arriving from a search? 3. Who is linking to or embedding your content? 4. Which messages or publications had the greatest impact on users? 5. What are the most and least popular contents? 6. Which contents are being shared? Where and how are they being shared? 7. Are there common topics in user comments and conversations?
  43. 43. Social Growth • Social monitoring tools are constantly evolving and new metrics and dimensions are added every month • Facebook (Facebook Insights): - Post reach, engaged users and virality (to get an idea of how interesting your publications are to your page’s visitors). • Demographic and location data (to find out more about the profile of people who like your page). • External referrers (to find out where your traffic is coming from). • YouTube (YouTube Analytics): - Video plays, likes, comments (to find out what people like, dislike and value about your videos). • Demographic data (to find out where your video viewers are visiting from). • Playback locations and traffic sources (to find out how users found your videos and where they are being played from). • Bitly (Bitly Statistics): Click referrers (to find out where your links are being shared and where they’re being clicked from) Click locations (to find out where users clicking on your links are geographically located)
  44. 44. Now Lets hear from the Indies