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Misconeptions of promoting your app

canada130113canada130113 Posts: 87New Users @
There are a couple things that I need to express to the new developers releasing games OR the developers who are looking to invest in marketing and don't know where to start.

1. Do NOT invest in review websites for your app
Honestly, the way the app store is arranged now, reviews are much less visible and if your app is free, users are much less likely to read the reviews because, well the app is free! No risk for the user at all. Also, if your app is done well and you took the time to properly release a quality app, your users will express their pleasure. With regards to paid apps, I do believe that reviews play a little bit more of a factor since you are paying for an app BUT that being said, if you invest in app reviews, for whatever reason, and your app is not good, those users who bought your app WILL vocalize this. So app reviews are redundant to me because if your app is good, then your app will receive the reviews needed and after your app reaches over 100 reviews, whatever your star rating is at that point, it isn't going to change much do to the volume. I do know of the benefit behind being brought up in the search menu but spending 400$ on something that doesn't change the search rank of your app a whole lot seems like a waste of money when starting out.

The easiest way is to simply have an in app rater installed in your app, for free, that goes off every 3-5 visits for your users asking them to rate your app. Doing this will have your heavy users seeing the message and will most likely leave a positive review. Doing this will exponentially increase your reviews initially.

Or you could just create 5 iTunes accounts, give yourself 5 reviews and that's it because only after 5 reviews do the stars show. Investing in "professional reviewers" is a waste of money in my opinion (I was actually running this exact service at one point and not only did we see how invaluable it was, but how much Apple disapproves of these actions. So just don't)

2. Getting told a CPI of $1.00-$3.00 is a fair rate is insane.
How can a developer monetize after a campaign when they are paying $1-$3 a download for a free app? The average value of a user for a free app, and I may be wrong so please correct me, is around $0.02-$0.10.

This system only works if you are going BIG. And I'm not talking about 10k, I'm saying at least 50k. Apps like Candy Crush Saga, Hay Day and Clash of Clans are perfect examples of these apps that are investing big and getting it back big due to the high quality of the app, the interaction of in app purchases and advertising and lastly, the organic download that come from being SO high up in the rankings in all of the major markets.

If your budget is around 1-5k, you should be spending around 0.25-0.33$ per install. Systems like AppGeneration (apps that promote other apps and I have used many times), Facebook (use all the time in smaller markets) and some specific blogs that have good local exposure (iphoneitalia, appshopper etc.) are great ways to spend little and get back a lot more, which then makes it easier to have continuous users instead of risking your years budget in hopes of a touchdown with other services or affiliate networks.

3. Using companies that are mobile marketing experts, or will advise you pre and post launch are NOT worth it.

Using these I see these companies everywhere, stating that they have a "robust" system where they give you expert advice on which markets your app is best for and blah blah blah. This is ridiculous. Here are some free tips about what to do before you launch your app. TEST, TEST, TEST. The more testing the better. And I don't mean you, I mean random, regular people. They will interact with your app in ways you never would have since it is yours.

Next, launch that baby! You get organic exposure regardless for free, so why not see how it goes first before you launch it.

Listen to early reviews. If you are getting 1* reviews everywhere, you got a problem. If people aren't saying anything, this isn't a bad thing either, it means they have nothing to complain about.

Lastly, have a strategy to monetize. Whether it be a paid app or an interactive app with IAP, have a clear cut way to monetize WELL before you launch.


All of the things I have posted here are my opinion and I love to discuss new, old and original ideas. I say these things so people do not make the same mistakes I have made in the past and save some serious cash and headaches. There are a lot of fantastic systems out there that are genuinely in place to help you with your app. Others, like I stated before, are not and are simply in place to rob you.

But one thing I can say is this. No matter how much money you invest in an app, and how much you try and push it, if it is a BAD app, people will not like it. So take the time in making a quality app and if you are strategic and get a little bit of luck, you will have great success!

Good luck and discuss!
Post edited by canada130113 on

Replies

  • scottwbscottwb Posts: 952New Users @ @ @
    Nice post :)
    Agree with pretty much all that you've said except I think that the ratings do help with free apps as well. Not everybody has 64 GB iPads or the inclination to organise their apps, so I think some people do look at the number of stars before downloading a free app. Equally a good icon and decent screen shots also play a part.
  • canada130113canada130113 Posts: 87New Users @
    Yes I should have added that scott, very good point. I believe some developers under estimate the visual appeal of their app. If it has a good design and looks like some serious effort has been put into it, I will try it 9/10.

    With the reviews I am a little biased as I saw a system fail miserably due to unforeseen issues and the lack of response from the community so it is a so spot for me
  • IconicDigitalIconicDigital LondonPosts: 469Registered Users @ @
    Nice post.
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  • canada130113canada130113 Posts: 87New Users @
    Thanks @iconicdigital

    developers usually don't know which methods to properly promote their app initially and I just want to give some advice.

    I am also picking up some great stuff in the forum on how to properly develop an app yourself so it is a great give and take
  • IconicDigitalIconicDigital LondonPosts: 469Registered Users @ @
    @canada130113 yeah I know what you mean. I focus mainly on developing video and image editing software so it's always good to get advice from the forum. I know other forums like touch arcade tend to focus more on game development and promotion.
    Photo Editing IPhone & IPad - ImageLab
    Photo Editing IPhone & IPad - PixelPoint
    Live Video Editing On Your IPhone - Video FX+
    London Photography - London Photography
    Voucher Codes & Offers - SocialOffer.co.uk Voucher Codes
  • SoftPressReleaseSoftPressRelease Posts: 5New Users Noob
    @canada130113 thanks for your opinion, nice post. According to your experience could you list some useful ways for app promotion?
  • canada130113canada130113 Posts: 87New Users @

    @canada130113 thanks for your opinion, nice post. According to your experience could you list some useful ways for app promotion?

    Well depends on what app you have, but I have to say any type of promotion that is done through the actual device is better than via web. What I mean by that is, a service that is a blog or service done mainly through users accessing the website and not a mobile platform are least likely to have a large audience.

    Promotional apps (which are slowly being removed from Apple sadly) are a great tool if you can get a CPI rate around 0.25$ because anything over 0.50$, you will never get that money back UNLESS you invest thousands (25k). Then you will be getting a large enough organic audience to counter act the investment and hopefully monetize through them as well. So Facebook is decent in smaller markets, AppGeneration for app promotion is great too and if you have a larger budget, App-O-Day is pretty good as well. For blogs, don't pay unless it is a major blog like tech crunch, mashable etc.



  • HappyByteHappyByte Posts: 343New Users @ @
    edited April 2013

    For blogs, don't pay unless it is a major blog like tech crunch, mashable etc.

    They don't work like that - otherwise I would be really happy to pay to get there :-)
  • canada130113canada130113 Posts: 87New Users @
    Some guys take pay on the side to write up about apps but on the surface, no they don't ;)
  • HappyByteHappyByte Posts: 343New Users @ @

    Some guys take pay on the side to write up about apps but on the surface, no they don't ;)

    If you know such guys - hint them to PM me - I will be very flexible with them ;)

  • SoftPressReleaseSoftPressRelease Posts: 5New Users Noob
    @canada130113 Thank you, I'll have a look at AppGeneration and App-O-Day. Speaking about major blogs, it's important to have right contacts and a really good app to get coverage there.
  • canada130113canada130113 Posts: 87New Users @

    Actually ,whether your app is good or bad ,there is few people will rate and review it after use.So I do not think the review site is useless/.

    Simply put a free in app rater in all of your apps and have it set to go off every 5 sessions. This will bring forward your most active users and thus are more likely to give a better review. Did it in all of my apps and got thousands of reviews at 4.5 stars for free. No need to pay for your users to just leave a comment
  • iSpreadNewsiSpreadNews Posts: 359Registered Users @ @

    There are a couple things that I need to express to the new developers releasing games OR the developers who are looking to invest in marketing and don't know where to start.

    1. Do NOT invest in review websites for your app
    Honestly, the way the app store is arranged now, reviews are much less visible and if your app is free, users are much less likely to read the reviews because, well the app is free! No risk for the user at all. Also, if your app is done well and you took the time to properly release a quality app, your users will express their pleasure. With regards to paid apps, I do believe that reviews play a little bit more of a factor since you are paying for an app BUT that being said, if you invest in app reviews, for whatever reason, and your app is not good, those users who bought your app WILL vocalize this. So app reviews are redundant to me because if your app is good, then your app will receive the reviews needed and after your app reaches over 100 reviews, whatever your star rating is at that point, it isn't going to change much do to the volume. I do know of the benefit behind being brought up in the search menu but spending 400$ on something that doesn't change the search rank of your app a whole lot seems like a waste of money when starting out.

    Thank you for very informative post.

    It would be nice to clarify that by the paragraph above you've meant "do not buy user reviews in AppStore", not "do not buy review of your app on news sites like AppSafari.com and TouchArcade".
    iSpreadNews.com - VERY CHEAP (from $50) way to send your iPhone/iPad app announcement to hundreds of blog & news sites owners over the globe.

    Just remember that there other countries besides US!
  • HappyByteHappyByte Posts: 343New Users @ @

    "do not buy review of your app on news sites like AppSafari.com and TouchArcade".

    A nice joke about sites that don't sell reviews for money ;)
  • canada130113canada130113 Posts: 87New Users @
    I simply meant reviews of your app in the App Store, not app reviews done by external blogs, even though the majority of the time no real benefit is yielded from spending money on these blogs either
  • ShelShockShelShock Posts: 128Registered Users @ @
    Generally having a holistic marketing approach is extremely important for your app being successful in the long term. Working with only one channel, method, or marketing model is a huge mistake.

    There has actually been a lot of analysis conducted on the impact of reviews and rankings in App Store search and beyond. For all of the same reasons that reviews of a restaurant make users choose to give it a try, reviews have the same impact and more.

    The editor of MAKE APP provided a great post and analysis on Quora with some data that backs up how important reviews and ratings can be for an app:

    http://www.quora.com/iOS-App-Store/Does-quantity-of-reviews-influence-Apple-App-Store-ranking-of-an-app

    His conclusion is "they [reviews and ratings] are important factors for rankings in the 'What's Hot' section in the Featured sub-categories as well as for ranking within search results."

    This analysis is supported by Oliver (founder at AppStoreRankings.net) in the same post thread. "As far as the review ranking, there is also a correlation between average star rating and downloads, so typically apps with 4.5-5 star rating get 264 k downloads while apps with 3.5-4 star ratings get 80 k downloads, etc."

    If you do plan to spend money marketing your app, working with channels that can provide this kind of long term benefit is to your advantage. It's important to understand that making an app successful takes more than one marketing method or channel. You need to have a good mixture of all channels that will work for your app.
    Services and Apps I Recommend

    Reviews and Ratings are critical to the success of your app. They significantly contribute to your ASO and organic growth.

    Gnome Escape is the best way to generate reviews, ratings, iTunes buzz and feedback for your app.
  • canada130113canada130113 Posts: 87New Users @
    Reviews are important, you just don't have to pay for them! You put an in app rater inside your app for free and the reviews come piling in. And yes, star rating do matter to a certain point like I said. Once you get to a certain amount of reviews with a 4-5 star rating, negative AND positive reviews won't matter as your app's reviews are saturated and that ranking will pretty much stay consistent unless a FLOOD of reviews come in.

    Apple hates companies that alter their store, and paying people to review and app is a big NO NO from Apple. So, put an in app rater in your app, have it go off every 3-5 visits so you are having the people who use your app the most reviewing it, thus getting a better ranking. Paying for it is non essential
  • ComboAppComboApp Chicago, ILPosts: 333New Users @ @
    5 cents:

    Regarding App Store reviews. Devs would rather not buy `good reviews` since they will look suspicious, will not bring real valuable feedback and might get deleted by Apple. At the same time unbiased reviews will share the real opinions of the users. You do not have to pay for it if you have a great deal of installs, loyal users (who open app more than a definite quantity of times). If you do not have them - getting real unbiased (emphasis) reviews might help (in terms of organic search as well).

    Regarding CPI $0.02-$0.10

    You might get low prices for low quality incentivized traffic. It might help to get a short ranking boost but will actually be of no use without support. If you want to get use of media buying - buy high -quality traffic and track-analyse all the in-app events.

    Regarding the third issue: do you want to say that pre-launch PR is of no use? In some cases yes, I agree with you. Still, not in all.
    ComboApp Marketing & PR Agency<br />
    <a href="http://marketing.comboapp.com"; target="_blank">iPhone App Marketing</a>
  • canada130113canada130113 Posts: 87New Users @
    edited April 2013
    ComboApp said:

    5 cents:

    Regarding App Store reviews. Devs would rather not buy `good reviews` since they will look suspicious, will not bring real valuable feedback and might get deleted by Apple. At the same time unbiased reviews will share the real opinions of the users. You do not have to pay for it if you have a great deal of installs, loyal users (who open app more than a definite quantity of times). If you do not have them - getting real unbiased (emphasis) reviews might help (in terms of organic search as well).

    Regarding CPI $0.02-$0.10

    You might get low prices for low quality incentivized traffic. It might help to get a short ranking boost but will actually be of no use without support. If you want to get use of media buying - buy high -quality traffic and track-analyse all the in-app events.

    Regarding the third issue: do you want to say that pre-launch PR is of no use? In some cases yes, I agree with you. Still, not in all.

    Incentived downloads are useless. I never said incetivized nor did I mention those prices you are saying. I am saying 0.25-0.33 is good and fair pricing for non-incent downloads.

    Also the pre launch was regards to companies assisting you in your market analysis and giving "expert" advice. Please read through more carefully
  • ComboAppComboApp Chicago, ILPosts: 333New Users @ @
    edited April 2013

    ComboApp said:

    5 cents:

    Regarding App Store reviews. Devs would rather not buy `good reviews` since they will look suspicious, will not bring real valuable feedback and might get deleted by Apple. At the same time unbiased reviews will share the real opinions of the users. You do not have to pay for it if you have a great deal of installs, loyal users (who open app more than a definite quantity of times). If you do not have them - getting real unbiased (emphasis) reviews might help (in terms of organic search as well).

    Regarding CPI $0.02-$0.10

    You might get low prices for low quality incentivized traffic. It might help to get a short ranking boost but will actually be of no use without support. If you want to get use of media buying - buy high -quality traffic and track-analyse all the in-app events.

    Regarding the third issue: do you want to say that pre-launch PR is of no use? In some cases yes, I agree with you. Still, not in all.

    Incentived downloads are useless. I never said incetivized nor did I mention those prices you are saying. I am saying 0.25-0.33 is good and fair pricing for non-incent downloads.

    Also the pre launch was regards to companies assisting you in your market analysis and giving "expert" advice. Please read through more carefully
    Be sure I am reading carefully enough.

    `Incentived downloads are useless.`
    - they are not if your goal is only boost in ranking.


    `I never said incetivized nor did I mention those prices you are saying. I am saying 0.25-0.33 is good and fair pricing for non-incent downloads.`
    - I did not mention that you said that to be the cost of incentivized. Please share sources that give good installs for CPI $0.02-$0.10 (that you mentioned) as a proof.


    `Also the pre launch was regards to companies assisting you in your market analysis and giving "expert" advice.`
    - in some cases you might be right - not all who claim to be experts are experts. it leads to another conclusion - not all developers are great in terms of usability and monetization issues - my practice shows that some of them do need a great deal of advice before the release - otherwise they waste time and money on promotion.

    ComboApp Marketing & PR Agency<br />
    <a href="http://marketing.comboapp.com"; target="_blank">iPhone App Marketing</a>
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