Archive for 'Marketing'

AppStop The Madness

Just need to throw something, anything, up for a landing page? AppStop has your back:

Create a landing page for your iPhone app, using the info you’ve already submitted to the App Store

Just enter an App Store URL below, and I’ll generate a customizable landing page for your app, that you can fork on GitHub and deploy on github.io or your own domain…

You can also scrape info from iTunes Connect for unreleased apps. So if you want to do some A/B testing on possible descriptions, screenshots, etc. this would be a pretty darn convenient way to go about setting that up, looks like!

h/t: iOS Dev Tools Weekly!

Older collections:

Over 200 Success Tips!

App Website Theme: AppifyWP Pro

Roundup: App Marketing 2013

UPDATES:

Applandr makes a landing page out of your store listing

LaunchKit.io’s Instant App Websites

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Over 200 Success Tips!

OK, it’s actually just one tip from us — this is a nice little collection of current best practices and links to useful resources:

Creating Successful Apps – Over 200 Development, PR and Marketing Tips

  1. Before Your App Is Launched

    • It goes without saying that you’re going to need to make a good product – but there’s so much more. We outline the steps you need to take before you even write that first line of code or start your first wireframe.
  2. App Store Optimisation

    • App Store Optimisation is a mix of marketing and research. We outline how to optimise your app to get the maximum amount of downloads, the factors in determining how visible your app is in app store searches… and tell you how to improve everything.
  3. Improving Your App

    • App development never stops. We outline what you need to understand about how people use your app and the steps you will need to take to improve your app’s retention rate.
  4. Getting Reviews & Coverage For Your App

    • Getting publicity for your app in the right places can be a real challenge. We outline how to find those right places and more importantly – people – to get the exposure your app needs.
  5. Paid App Advertising and Exposure

    • From paid social media to adverts in other ads. We talk you through the options and give some general advice on ensuring your budget goes as far as possible.
  6. Conclusion and future guides

    • In the coming months, we plan to create a guide on how best to monetise your apps and an experts roundtable with advice from some of the most successful app entrepreneurs and marketers…

Chances are you won’t be terribly surprised by much of this if you’ve been following our various roundups and/or have been working on selling apps yourself for a while, but it’s short enough to be a good checklist and comprehensive enough you’ll probably find at least something of interest; so we completely recommend adding this to your marketing reference collection!

UPDATES:

10,000 Mobile Apps Later and What We Learned

10 Tips for Getting Featured on the App Store

How to pitch your mobile game to Apple — with email address!

The Details behind a Six Figure App Launch

10 Effective Growth Hacks to increase your SaaS Revenue (any business, really, especially any software business)

Sweat the Details: Animation and Microinteractions in Mobile Apps

The Complete Guide to Enterprise App Marketing

Marketing Your Indie Game: The Single Most Important Thing That No One Knows How to Do

A Guide to Launching Indie Games, Part One: Pre-Launch

Advice on Building a Press List

An App Store Experiment Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5

My Buffer MVP – Idea to Paying Customer In 1 Day Without A Landing Page

Game Monetization Whitepaper; Appnext self-serve advertising; Lootsie real world rewards; Skillz play for cash

Mobile Games Press List

adamwulf / app-launch-guide: “This guide is aimed at indie developers who are building and launching their iOS apps largely by themselves. The guide will walk through planning, pre-launch, marketing, product dev, QA, and launch.”

How to Get Started With Apple Watch App Store Optimization

Three alternative mobile games marketing strategies

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Unsustainable Apps: Revolver

The good news is, there’s a pretty cool open sourced app for you to check out (h/t iOS Dev Weekly):

Ciechan/Revolved: a 3D modelling app for the iPad

  • OpenGL ES 2.0 based rendering integrated with UIKit
  • custom animation engine
  • a bit of private API hackery

The line drawing system has been explained in detail on my blog

The bad news?

Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 12.18.55 PM.png

Ouch! Damn, that’s just painful. Although sadly usual, these days:

The Majority Of Today’s App Businesses Are Not Sustainable

Accounting for 47% of app developers, the “have nothings” include the 24% of app developers – who are interested in making money, it should be noted – who make nothing at all.

Meanwhile, 23% make something, but it’s under $100 per month … those who prioritize iOS app development are less likely to find themselves in this group, with 35% earning $0-$100 per month, versus the 49% of Android developers…

Meanwhile, 22% are “poverty stricken” developers whose apps make $100 to $1,000 per app per month…

A Candid Look at Unread’s First Year

Unread for iPhone has earned a total of $32K in App Store sales. Unread for iPad has earned $10K. After subtracting 40 percent in self-employment taxes and $350/month for health care premiums (times 12 months), the actual take-home pay from the combined sales of both apps is:

$21,000, or $1,750/month

Considering the enormous amount of effort I have put into these apps over the past year, that’s a depressing figure. I try not to think about the salary I could earn if I worked for another company, with my skills and qualifications. It’s also a solid piece of evidence that shows that paid-up-front app sales are not a sustainable way to make money on the App Store…

I suppose this is a sign of maturity, the app market is starting to resemble other creative markets like books, art, and music as the returns to individual creators shake out. Depressing, isn’t it? But chin up and move on, just means we have to get better at marketing. And here is an excellent article on how to go about that:

How Hours became a top grossing app

… when I asked on Twitter what people want to know about, the overwhelming response was: how on earth did you market the app? Some seem to believe I have this magical ability to get featured by Apple, TechCrunch, etc. etc. etc. I don’t. It takes time and a lot of hard work and I started out just like anybody else so this stuff is completely do-able. I don’t have all the answers but I’ll tell you what I did…

TL; DR: Make a lot of friends. And it’s hard work. But read the whole thing!

UPDATES:

Increasing In-App Revenue with Metric Driven Design and Emotional Targeting

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Video Killed The Screenshot Star

So it’s not enough that designing the increasingly misnamed “screenshots” for your App Store listing is a full-fledged production process these days, now you need to ramp up your video production skills as well:

App Previews

App Previews are short videos showcasing what’s great about your app to help users decide if it’s right for them. Customers can watch App Previews directly from your app details page in the App Store. App Previews are composed primarily of device-captured footage of your app to help customers make more informed download decisions.

How Do I Create an App Preview?

With iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, you can capture real-time footage of your app directly off your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Just connect your device to your Mac using the Lightning connector and it will be automatically available as a video camera. You can capture anything you’re doing on-screen directly to your Mac using QuickTime Player. Edit your captured footage in your favorite video editing app and upload it on iTunes Connect—just like your screenshots—to submit it for review along with your next app update…

Availability

App Previews appear on your app details page in the App Store on iOS 8 or later. App developers can submit their App Previews this Fall.

So, time to get on that then, right after watching the “Creating Great App Previews” WWDC session. If there is such a thing as “your favourite video editing app,” that is. Those of us who would be hard pressed to even name any video editing app, never mind have a favourite one, well we do have a bit more of a challenge here, don’t we now.

No doubt in short order there will be a great deal of options to help us with that; but at the moment the only established option we’re aware of enough to have linked to before is Apptamin, who have here an excellent post here to get you up to speed,

App Previews (video on the iOS 8 App Store): Thoughts and Tips

Video on the App Store. It’s (almost) here. It’s awesome for App Developers. One can’t help but wonder why it’s only coming now when the Google Play Store and the Amazon App Store have added it a long time ago. But it doesn’t really matter. After producing close to 300 promo videos and game trailers since we started Apptamin, we do have some thoughts about the App Previews that were introduced. And a few tips as well…

Read the whole thing, as they say. And then these:

How to Produce an App Promo Video

10 Examples of Great App Promo Videos

The Ultimate Guide To Using Video For App Marketing

Let’s Make a Promo

Getting Started with App Previews

Everything You Need To Know About iOS 8 App Previews

UPDATES:

Ideon / SmudgeKit: “provides a drop in replacement for UIWindow to draw visual representations of all touch events to the screen. Ideal for for creating App Previews or other screencasts where it is crucial to show touch gestures.”

From the Wayback Machine: Fingertips: Presentation Mode

The Making and Effectiveness of an App Preview

Recording Your iOS 8 Device with QuickTime Player

How to Make App Trailers: Top 8 Do’s and Don’ts

TouchVisualizer: “Lightweight touch visualization library in Swift. Multiple fingers and touch radius supported!”

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SmoothReviews

Here’s a new service, “SmoothReviews”, you might consider signing up for if you’re trying to market an app and would like some more reviews — AND WHO DOESN’T? we ask you:

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 5.26.24 PM.png

That’s pretty much it, really; everybody scratches everybody else’s back and we all get more reviews, without the suspicious patterns that can be detected by Apple when puppet accounts are hired directly. We’ll let Jay the founder speak for himself:

My name is Jay and I am the founder of SmoothReviews.com, a brand new service for app developers that I think your Under the Bridge readers will love.

SmoothReviews is a service that allows any app developer to get unlimited, free, honest app reviews on the App Store or Google Play. Here’s how it works:

• You give a review, you get a review. For each review you give, you earn a point on your SmoothReviews account. Your app will then appear for another developer to review, and you’ll lose the point.

• We support free or paid, Android or iOS, Tablet or phone apps. Any app can receive reviews.

Here’s the big news for you and your readers: Anyone who registers during the BETA period (before June 10) will get unlimited app slots for LIFE! After that, new users will be given 2-3 app slots and charged a small fee to add more.

We ask that you please check it out and tell your readers about your experience so they can get free unlimited app reviews for life, and start moving up the app rankings.

Indeed. You loving it, Dear Readers? We love it so far — signed up last night and got a freebie 4-star review for that fine Poses app pretty much immediately, seems they’re handling the nobody’s earned any points yet case by picking lucky people to get reviewed anyways, and some righteous dude is into the idea enough to spend $3 on our app. If you’re reading this, thanks awesome guy.

Any-ways, we figure this seems like a morally acceptable way to pump up your review count. Vastly more morally acceptable than the usual begging, wheedling, and outright bribery, that’s for sure. So we’d encourage you all to go sign up! Especially before June 10th, when it’s FREE ! UNLIMITED! FOR LIFE! WOO-HOO!

UPDATES:

How Overcast asks for reviews

The Broken App Store

How I hacked App Store ratings for a consistently perfect 5 stars

ReviewsMotion appears to be the same idea: “Give a review – Receive a review, it’s that simple”

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App Annie’s 2013 Retrospective

This is worth a read to keep tabs on just who’s winning teh app storez:

App Annie Index: 2013 Retrospective – The Top Trends of 2013

2013 was a milestone year for mobile apps and app stores alike, setting the stage for exciting new opportunities in 2014. Over the last year we saw many new trends including significant growth in emerging markets, a dramatic shift in game spending on mobile and the global expansion of social messaging platforms. In this App Annie Annual Index, we will uncover a variety of trends and insights to guide you in making smart business decisions.

Specifically, this App Annie Index 2013 Retrospective report recaps the top headline trends of 2013 with insights to the top-growing countries, categories, app stores, and more. The report shows the causes of this growth, giving you insights into the trends and markets you can’t ignore for the upcoming year…

Here’s their picks for ‘Top App Trends of 2013’:

  • Trend 1: Google Play Surpassed iOS in Worldwide App Downloads
  • Trend 2: Japan Became the #1 Country in App Revenue, Surpassing the US
  • Trend 3: BRIC Countries Emerge in 2013, While New Markets Are Poised to Break Out in 2014
  • Trend 4: App Store Games Spend Exploded, Surpassing Game-Optimized Handhelds
  • Trend 5: Freemium Proves Its Worth
  • Trend 7: Music App Revenue Rocked Out in 2013
  • Trend 8: Social-Focused Photo & Video Apps Went Viral
  • Trend 9: Mobile Banking, Payment, and Financial Management Apps on the Rise

The report also includes top apps and publishers by country, and top countries and categories for both the App Store and Google Play. Nothing shockingly unexpected jumps out at us on a first flip through it, but having some quantitative data to back up your impressions is always handy, yes?

UPDATES:

Also check out Developer Economics Q1 2014 for another industry overview!

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App Marketing: ASO Explosion

So you’ve probably noticed that the ASO space has been getting pretty crowded since our last marketing roundup, but here’s developments of striking interest to both us little indies and big serious people from MobileDevHQ:

Today I’m extremely excited to announce a big new release for our users. First, we’re making big changes to our best-in-class pricing plans, expanding our free plan with huge additions. Second, we’re launching an API for our Enterprise users — allowing our customers access to their data on their own terms, in their own internal dashboards or to run custom analyses.

So if you’re another overloaded indie that’s been wondering whether this ASO thing is actually worth the trouble, go check out their presentation and sign up to try it!

Other options providing various combinations of services and tools — here’s a somewhat outdated comparison to start with — are

AppClover

AppCodes

Appnique

App Promo

AppRankCorner

AppSlicker

Apptamin

ASO Professional

Keywords.me

Mobile Action

SearchMan

Sensor Tower

Tried any of these — or one we’ve missed so far, which given how quickly these things are sprouting up is pretty likely — and they worked for you? Or didn’t work for you? Let us know!

UPDATES:

The ASO Super Bowl: “We are pitting the #1 paid app, Slayin, against the #1 free app, Flappy Bird…”

Our Best App Store Optimization and Marketing Tips for App Developers

App Annie Launches New App Store Optimization Tools

The Future of ASO; Why ASO Is Not A Silver Bullet; Keyword Difficulty in 3 Easy Steps

What Game of Thrones Teaches Us About App Store Optimization

MobileDevHQ’s Ultimate Guide to Keyword Research

Preparing Your App for Launch Part 1: Why App Store Optimization is Key

Top 5 App Store Optimization Mistakes

Why App Store Keyword Rankings Drop Dramatically Seven Days After Launch

What to Do When Apple Deletes App Store Keywords Without Telling You

Preparing Your App for Launch Part 1: Why App Store Optimization is Key

Do You Need App Store Optimization? 3 Questions to Ask Yourself

How To Learn App Store Optimization in 7 Steps

How Vertical iPhone Screenshots Can Give Your App an ASO Advantage in iOS 8

Choosing the perfect keywords for your iOS app

How to Take the Confusion Out of App Store Keyword Optimization

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Annotated Screenshots

So are you still being a good instructions-following developer and when you’re submitting your screenshots actually listening to Apple when they say:

Show the actual pixels of your app, using the full screen, without graphics or borders around the image…

Rather quaint when you look around at how many people casually disregard those instructions, isn’t that? Well, seems like we can pretty much start considering those instructions officially obsolete, as look who’s setting the pace (h/t: iOS Dev Weekly!):

With the introduction of the Apple Store for iPad app, Apple decided to go with annotated screenshots for on of their own apps for the first time. They did it in an interesting, and unusual way, by showing an image of an iPad running the app below a headline that explains the benefit or feature shown in each screenshot.

screen480x480.jpeg

So apparently the rules on both device images and annotations in your screenshots have achieved the status of Officially Disregarded. At least if you’re Apple, anyways. But hey, since everybody else is getting away with it, why not you too? (h/t: iosdevelopertips!)

Apple’s guidelines suggest using non-edited screenshots of your app, but by doing only this you’re really giving competing apps a big advantage. As we’ve seen already, App Store images don’t have to be plain old screenshots. Instead, you should think of them as a spot to advertise your app and its features.

I personally like to do one of two things; either include the device within the screenshot or actually photograph the app in use, similar to a lifestyle photo. Both of these options give extra space to describe and sell the features of an app…

If you want to go for what’s called the ‘lifestyle look’ in that article heck out iOS Templates’ photographs for your app-displaying convenience.

If you want to munge up shots yourself, here’s some tips.

Need some examples with more good ideas? Check out Designing App Store “screenshots” and How to Design App Store Screenshots that Sell.

Seen any other particularly creative uses of “screenshots” as little billboards? Let us know!

And just in case you missed this, soon as you get comfortable with the now apparently pretty much official lack of rules for “screenshots”, get ready for adding App Store video trailers to your necessary productions budget…

UPDATES:

Designing Great App Store Screenshots

How to Make Great App Store Screenshots

frameit: “Want a device frame around your screenshot? Do it in an instant!”

Handy iPhone App For Quickly Adding Frames And Descriptions To Screenshots

A Sketch Plugin For Exporting Customized iPhone App Store Images

Why The iOS 8 Scrolling Results Will Change The Way You Make Your App Screenshots

Scenery: “Showcase your designs with premium mockup templates.”

LaunchKit.io’s Screenshot Builder: “Create gorgeous images for your App Store page in minutes.”

How to Photograph and Retouch iPhone Mockups

How to Eliminate Drop Shadows in OS X Screenshots

App Store Screenshots Of The Rich And Famous

Creating perfect App Store Screenshots of your iOS App

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Translation Tragedy

Oh noes! Remember that localization tool Linguan that we reviewed a while back with the delicately restrained conclusion of

buy it NOW. NOW! NOW! NOW!

Well, not enough of you listened to us, it seems:

It is with a heavy heart that today we’re announcing that we are looking for a buyer interested in acquiring our Mac localization tool Linguan … When sales didn’t make us rich as expected it turned out that there wasn’t enough income to allow for ongoing improvements…

As it stands right now Linguan produces annual sales of around 10000 Euros. This is also the minimum asking price we are hoping for. For anything less BytePoet’s CEO stated that he they wouldn’t agree to sell for but rather keep it as a reference project for their own use.

If we had a little more cash and time sitting around, we’d take them up on that. Seems there must be some translation company out there that’s foresighted enough to see the value in having a fully-toolchain-integrated submission service for Xcode developers, and would be willing to underwrite development or give you a referral percentage or something like that. But you’d also imagine Messr. Drobnik & co. wouldn’t have missed exploring that option, wouldn’t you. Well, if anyone out there is looking for a career in building development tools, we thoroughly recommend this as your first acquisition, it is unquestionably the best tool available to help you organize for an immensely valuable service!

Speaking of translation companies, once you have gotten your translation needed strings sorted out, what do you all use for a translation service? The project we’re working on now does 12 (yes, twelve) languages with Tethras who are a pretty common choice and we haven’t heard any complaints. But here’s some others who profess iOS-specific competence:

Applingua

Babble-on, who have a great localization tutorial. And like the Glossary here too.

DYS Translations

ICanLocalize, also have a decent tutorial

Langwich

LocalVersion

iPhoneLocalizer

Smooth Localize

TraductoPro

WordCrafts

Not overly iOS-focused options that we’ve noted positive feedback on somewhere or other:

Gengo

Globalme

Glyph Language Services

Other roundups:

The Developer Economics App Localization list

The Apptamin Localization list

Apple’s Third Party Localization Vendors list (also note the mothership resources list)

Or, if you want to crowdsource your translating, check out

AppTranslate.com

POEditor

Did we miss your favourite here? Or, more importantly, any listed here that you would warn against? Let us know!

UPDATES:

iOS Localization Tutorial: Localize Your Apps to Support Multiple Languages

Localization of Xcode iOS Apps, Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3 and Part 4

jeroentrappers / LocalizationPOC: “Localization proof of concept for iOS. Let’s you change the language on the fly.”

Lin: A Localization Manager for Xcode 5

TraductoPro Releases a New More Convenient Way to Submit to the App Store

Rephrase.io: “Install our free plug-in to Xcode and request localisations for your strings without leaving the app you’re in.”

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iTunes Affiliate Changes

In case you never got around to slogging through the approval process for Linkshare link kickbacks, you can cross that off your todo list now: there’s a new affiliate scheme in town!

As a valuable member of the iTunes, App Store, iBooks Store and Mac App Store affiliate program, we want to alert you to some important program changes. We are no longer using the Linkshare or DGM networks, so if you are an affiliate in these programs, you need to migrate to the new program.

Performance Horizon Group (PHG) will support our new affiliate program. To continue earning commissions without interruption, you must set up a new affiliate account with PHG and update all existing Linkshare and DGM affiliate links before October 1st, 2013.

We have improved and expanded our program to create a more global platform with enhanced reporting capabilities. The new program terms include a higher 7% commission on eligible sales within a 24-hour purchase window. You can use the same new affiliate tracking token for US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Japan and more. Tradedoubler links are not impacted by this change.

APPLY NOW!

Here’s the FAQ explaining the new links, and the affiliate resources page, but you can skip those and just read this nicely done overview:

iTunes Affiliate Linking

Locate the product you want to link to in iTunes and copy its link. This should look something like https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/audiobooks/id311507490?mt=8

Locate your affiliate token. This is in the upper-right corner of your PHG overview screen. It should look something like 10l4B9.

To create an affiliate earning link simply append &at=token to the link. If your iTunes link doesn’t already include a ? then append ?at=token.

(Optional) If you want to track the performance of this link specifically you can then add a campaign token to the link. This is basically just a string that is meaningful to you which will be associated with all purchases resulting from this link. For example, you could add a blog tag to all your blog links to see how they perform. To append a campaign token simply add &ct=campaign_token to the link. The exact text you use is entirely up to you. It just needs to URL-safe and no longer than 45 characters.

You now have a fully formed affiliate link.

Simpler, more international, better paying, what’s not to like?

Oh … that’s right … all those links out there in apps out the wild that are going to be broken until the unlikely event that we ever get around to updating them. Bah. Too bad we’re not as clever as Michael Tsai here:

New iTunes Affiliate Program

I never liked the LinkShare URLs, and I’m not really a fan of the iTunes ones, either. So I’ve been using an Apache .htaccess file to create friendlier links. For example:

RedirectPermanent /store/mac-app-store/eaglefiler http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=gEdNJG0Aalw&offerid=146261&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=1826&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Feaglefiler%252Fid414232012%253Fmt%253D12%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30

This redirects http://c-command.com/store/mac-app-store/eaglefiler through LinkShare to the Mac App Store. Fortunately, this means that there’s a central place to update all the links. I also use this approach to create true permalinks in my apps for certain sites that often break their page URLs.

Yes, doing something like that would certainly have been a clever and forward-looking idea. Ah well, barn doors and horses. We’ll be ready for the next affiliate change!

UPDATES:

Parameters of iTunes, App Store and Mac App Store links

“Want to link directly to Watch App Store? Include &media=watch in your App Store link.”

Growth Hacking with the iTunes Affiliate Program

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