THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT APP MARKETING – PART 2: APP STORE OPTIMIZATION
Missed Part 1? Read it here: The most important facts about App Marketing – Part 1: Basic Principles
APP STORE OPTIMIZATION
After we learned how apps get discovered and what impact the top lists hava, let’s see how app store optimization helps you to boost your app downloads. Similar to search engine optimization, there are several elements that need to be optimized to achieve the best results. Especially the app title, video, app icon, localization, screenshots, app description and the selection of app category should be optimized.
The title is very important for the app discovery when users search by keywords or app names. The choice of name is therefore crucial for the success of the app. The app name should not exceed 25 characters, to ensure the name is not cut off in the preview. Adding keywords in the title can help in getting found and helps to describe the content of the app. A collaboration with a well known brand, that is included in the app title helps to get known faster. A great example was the app cooperation “Fruit Ninja vs. Skittles. It can be both advantage and disadvantage, to choose a name that is similar to other apps. The uniqueness and memorability of a name helps to be easily found when marketing campaigns are executed in parallel. For apps that want to build on the success of other apps, a similarity in the title can help. The decisive factor here is to choose the right category.
Finding the right category for an app is not always easy. Usually it is better to select the appropriate category in which the competition is overwhelming. With the multitude of existing apps, it is helpful to find a niche to occupy rather than compete with already successful formats. Especially when you are no well known app developer or brand.
Thanks to the large app stores, apps can be delivered to more than 150 countries and in more than 40 languages. Developers have the possibility to offer an app in different languages. Not only the texts in the App Store but the entire app including metadata and user interface are translated. The localization helps being found more easily in the App Store and can double the number of downloads.
Easy to find and attractive to look at
It is not enough to make the app show up in the results. App Store optimization also ensures a high conversion. Especially the app icon, app video, screenshots and the app description is important to generate downloads.
Videos in Android Play Store have a double positive effect. Firstly, they are very popular among users and on the other each view in the store counts as a YouTube view as well. This promotes the spreading of videos and more search results in Google, which in turn promotes the social proof of the app. The video can be localized, to be available in different languages. Apple just released the possibility to include videos in the app store profile. Apple calls this videos “App Preview” and has placed it’s own rules. The app preview can be added only for one type of device (iPad or iPhone), in one language and in either portrait or landscape format. Because this opportunity is still very new for developers and marketers, there are no insights so far. We will keep you posted. As for now, Apple provides a nice overview in its Apple Developer Guide.
The app icon is the first impression your app provides to an app store visitor. Whether in a category or search results, the app icon is the signature of an app. Therefore, it is crucial to test different versions with the target group before publishing. A nice overview of iOS icons can be found here: iOS Icon Gallery. You should also have a look at this very extensive Pinterest collection.
Screenshots and store geaphics
The screenshots and header images have the greatest impact on the potential users. Because they can quickly trigger emotions and give a brief overview of the app’s purpose. The requirements and sizes are different in the app stores and must be of sufficient quality. The number of available screenshots should be used to illustrate the scope of the app. However, the screenshots should not be randomly selected. To get the most from the screenshots, it is advisable to extend them with tips or feature description.
The app description is important for turning up in search results, but also gives visitors an idea of the app. You can use various tools for keyword optimization such as Keyword Volume Estimator, Sensor Tower and also the views in competing app descriptions helps. Therefore, tracking tools like Google Analytics or Flurry Analytics should be implemented from the beginning to better understand user behavior. Portals such as App Annie, however, can be used to gain an overview of the app market and competition. In each app description, the following points should be included:
• Short descriptions
• Social Proof – over 200,000 happy customers, best app to…
• Credibility – list all relevant features
• Mystery – Stimulate the curiosity of users
• Shortage – When you perform a marketing campaign, promote that it in the app text – “Free for a limited time”, but be careful – it can quickly annoy users.
The possibilities of influencing app reviews are limited. A good support and, depending on the app even a community management can be very important. App reviews are usually either very good or very bad. Users often react sensitively to small changes. Since reviews are crucial to app download decisions, users should be encouraged charmingly in the app to rate the app. This can be a nice text pop-up before exiting the app or incentivised. At the same time, users should be able to simply contact support and forward requests and critic. A fast feedback increases customer satisfaction. Developers have limited opportunities to directly respond to negative reviews. With Apple there is the possibility to report reviews. However, there is no indication how quickly Apple responds. Android developers can respond directly to reviews.
This is especially helpful when users misuse the evaluation function for support inquiries, help or feature requests. Both stores offer the support functionality for that but a lot of users just don’t use it.
Checklist and related links
So there are a number of factors that must be considered, tested and adjusted again and again. A helpful checklist for App Store Marketing for iOS provides Sensorberg. You can find a list of helpful tools at Kissmetrics. If you want to delve deeper into keyword optimization I recommend the Slide Share of „appcodes“.
Additional actions – App Marketing
Everything that goes beyond the classical store optimization is summarized as app marketing. Each potential app user should have the opportunity to try the desired app for free. This can be implemented by a time-limited trial version or a stripped down version of the app, which then must be unlocked by a purchase. To boost the number of downloads in the short term it can help to adjust the pricing or offer specials on a limited time. You can learn how to set the right price for your app in our last blog series “monetization of apps”.
Developers transformed to brands
If you are developing multiple apps, it’s also worth to cultivate the developer’s name as a brand. This allows developers studios like Rovio Mobile (Angry Birds), Supercell ( Clash of Clans) or Zynga (Farm Ville) to generate quick famosity of new apps. Firstly, because users search for specific apps, but also because the developers can use all existing apps as an advertising channel for new apps.
App marketing outside of the App Store
There are countless ways to perform app marketing. As with classical marketing, focusing on the target group and marketing goals is important. These include, as already described links from app to app but also landing pages on the web, campaigns on social media channels and classic ATL and BTL actions.