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The Importance of UI/UX in App Development

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With all of the technological advancement of today’s world, people’s lives are inundated with gadgets and apps. It’s not enough to create a new app; to stand out from the rest, your app has to be created with the user in mind right from the beginning. The same can be said for any product or service – the concept of human-centered design has caught on in the last few years. Which is why a great User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) have become even more important.

 It’s also important not to confuse the two. A great UI is part of a great UX, but there is more to a great UX than simply having a great UI. UX is the entire pie, while UI is but one piece of said pie. If you’re somewhat new to app development (or really, any product development), you’re probably familiar with the concept of UI, but you may be less so with UX.

 

User Experience (UX)

When you’re developing a new app (or any product, really), it’s absolutely key that you approach the process with a clear understanding of your potential users – what problem you’re going to solve for them, what they need, what they like, what their abilities and limitations are – before you actually start development. That’s UX in a nutshell. It’s designing your application with the experience of the user always at top of mind, in order to achieve maximum user satisfaction.

Peter Morville developed a “User Experience Honeycomb” that touches on the important aspects of UX: Useful, Usable, Findable, Credible, Accessible, Desirable, and Valuable. For those looking to gain more knowledge about UX Design, his article is a great place to start. Key questions to ask as you design your app:

1.     Is it useful and desirable? Does it serve a function? How does it make my users’ lives easier/better?

2.     Is it usable and accessible? Is its design and UI easy to understand and use for all potential users – even ones who may have disabilities (such as those who have difficulty using their hands/fingers) or vision impairment?

3.     Is it findable and credible? Can my potential users find my app so they can download and use it? Can my user find what they need to do within the app itself? Have I designed my app to the absolute best quality so that users will have faith and trust in my company that we can deliver a quality experience?

4.     What is the value my app brings to my users?

 

User Interface (UI)

Knowing your user is key to being able to develop a UI that will function in a way that meets your users’ needs and leaves them feeling satisfied when they use your app. Your app’s UI is certainly the most visible and tangible aspect of the user’s experience of your app, as it’s what the user sees and what allows the user to interact with your app. An app’s user interface is both the back-end (the actual coding) as well as the front-end (the visual elements) combined, and both are equally important. Not only do you need to code your UI so that it is simple, easy, and efficient to use, you have to pay attention to how it looks. Every visual element plays a part in your app’s UI. Take time to study color theory as well as other apps similar to yours that are popular; choose each aspect of your app’s visual representation carefully.

 

Why are UX and UI Important?

UX and UI are key components to ensuring customer satisfaction – happy users are satisfied customers, and that means good reviews and stronger sales. Today’s users have nearly endless choices when it comes to the apps and products they use; to stand out, you have to offer the best user experience possible. A good UX will give your users confidence in your app and your company. This is even more important if you’re a new company starting out; first impressions really do matter. The key takeaway is that a positive or negative user experience can make or break your app.

There are many resources out there for those wanting to learn more about UX / UI design. UX Matters is an online community with numerous articles and information about UX. UX Collective offers curated stories from around the web about UX and UX design, and UX Magazine is a great resource for up-to-date articles on topics of concern in the UX field.

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Influencer Marketing – Is it Worth It?

The short answer is yes! Influencer marketing is very popular now, and for good reason. A 2016 study done by TapInfluence and Nielsen Catalina Solutions demonstrated that good influencer marketing can deliver eleven times a business’s ROI when compared to traditional digital marketing[1], and a survey done by Twitter showed that people have come to trust influencers almost as much as they trust their friends. Nearly 40% of responders to Twitter’s survey said that they had gone on to purchase a product after seeing it used by an Influencer on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Vine. 20% were also likely to re-tweet or share something posted by an influencer.[2]

 

What is an “Influencer?”

An Influencers is someone whose opinion and ideas others trust.  When we talk about Influencers, people immediately think of celebrities. Celebrities can certainly be Influencers, whether direct or indirect. Some celebrities purposefully attach their name to products (such as Guy Kawasaki praising Apple products), or even launch their own (such as Rihanna’s makeup). Other celebrities don’t purposefully endorse products, but when their fans see them using a particular product, that product often sees a bump in sales as fans rush to buy it. But! Not all Influencers are celebrities. There are three key “ingredients” that make up a good Influencer (and being a celebrity isn’t one of them).

 

Credibility and Trust

An Influencer is someone people trust as being an authority on a specific subject. The specificity is important to remember: someone who has a lot of credibility about video games will not have the same level of trust when it comes to, for example, cooking or financial investments.

 

Salesmanship

Influencers are also good at sales, whatever their personal style may be in terms of communicating. They are able to express their message in a way that makes their followers want to buy products they endorse.

 

Reach

The assumption is that an Influencer must have millions of followers (as some celebrities do). But that’s not accurate. There are certainly celebrity Influencers with massive reach, aka macro-influencers. But there are also micro-influencers, whose reach is smaller, but who still have a strong ability to sell products to the followers who trust them.

 

Choosing the Right Influencer

Big businesses with marketing budgets in the millions can afford to hire macro-influencers to help sell their products. But for smaller businesses with smaller budgets, Influencer marketing has to be done smarter, and of utmost importance is choosing the right Influencer for your product. The good news is that there’s excellent evidence that micro-influencers can be even more effective than macro-influencers in many ways, including engagement levels, trust, and impact.[3]

 

Match your Industry

Look for Influencers that match your industry. If your product is high-tech, you don’t want to use an Influencer who has no credibility when it comes to technology.

 

Match your Customer

If your product is geared towards teenagers, having an Influencer whose audience is adults isn’t going to help you. If your product is a new phone app, an Influencer in the book publishing industry will be of no use to you. You need to target Influencers whose audience matches your target customer, whatever that may be.

 

Match your Product

Finally, be sure the Influencer you choose is someone who is excited by products that are similar to yours. If your product is a game app, look for the Influencer who is talking about and reviewing other games, not one talking about fitness apps.

 

Authenticity

The final (and perhaps most important) key to good influencer marketing is authenticity; you want the Influencer to genuinely like and use your product. Think of them as an ambassador for your product.

 

If you’ve decided to enter the Influencer marketing arena, your goal should be to cultivate relationships with Influencers who are honest (yes, this means they will talk about both the good and bad aspects of your product) and who are truly enthusiastic about your product. Good Influencer marketing takes time; you can’t build a strong relationship with someone overnight. However, if you take the time to find the perfect Influencer for your product, it can pay big dividends in the future.

 

[1] http://pages.tapinfluence.com/nielsen-case-study?_ga=2.177615079.339850209.1520967831-1002904977.1520967831.

[2] http://www.adweek.com/digital/twitter-says-users-now-trust-influencers-nearly-much-their-friends-171367/.

[3] https://www.marketingprofs.com/chirp/2018/33333/the-influencer-marketing-revolution-macro-versus-micro-influencers-infographic

Ready to learn more?

Just get in touch to book a FREE 20-minute consultation on how we can help you reach your marketing goals through video.

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Avoid These App Marketing Pitfalls

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You can create a phenomenal app, but without strong marketing, even the best app will get lost in the sea of apps that are currently available on the various app stores today. You can’t afford to leave your marketing to chance – you need a plan. And when you’re putting together your marketing plan, here are five pitfalls you want to avoid, to keep your marketing on track for success.

 

Not Having a Launch Plan

The first week your app is out on the market is crucial. A successful launch is like a shot of adrenaline for your app. It can boost visibility and sales, so it’s worth taking the time to create an official launch plan as you put together your marketing strategy. Not sure what you need for a great app launch? Looking for a few tips? We’ve got you covered. (link to the app launch tips article)

 

Not Making It Easy for your Users to Reach You

It’s important that your users are able to reach you in case they have questions or need technical support. This is critical, as frustrated or disappointed users are twice as likely to leave a bad review about your app than satisfied users are to leave a good review.[1] Omnichannel customer service – meaning service provided via multiple communication channels (Email, phone, social media, and text) – is king; businesses that use an omnichannel communication strategy have much higher customer retention rates when compared to businesses that don’t.[2]

At the absolute least, you should have an Email address specifically dedicated to technical support and customer questions, and if possible, you should also have a phone number (preferably toll-free for the caller). If you can’t provide 24/7 support, make sure you set up both an automatic Email responder and voice mail with a message that clearly states when the user can expect to receive a response. Plan to monitor these communication channels closely in the first few weeks after your official launch so that you can respond as quickly as possible to any complaints or concerns.

 

Not Focusing on User Retention and Engagement

It’s not enough to attract users to your app, you have to keep them. In addition to omnichannel customer service, look for other ways to engage with your users, such as social media platforms and feedback surveys. You should also consider in-app communication tools and notifications if they are appropriate (depending on your app’s purpose and features).

User retention is even more important if you’re a company that offers (or intends to offer) multiple apps; the likelihood of an existing customer purchasing another product is at least 40% higher than attracting a new customer and in terms of cost, it’s six to seven times more expensive to find new customers than it is to keep existing ones.[3] Do everything you can to keep your users once you’ve acquired them!

 

Not Gathering User Data to Measure Outcomes

Sales revenue isn’t the only thing you should be tracking. Data points such as which features and functions of your app are being used the most, which features are creating pain points for your users, and how often / how long your app is used by users, are important to track not just so you can improve the app, but also to guide you in making decisions on what features you should expand and enhance.

 

Not Implementing a Rewards/Incentive Program

Not every app will be able to have an incentive program – but if your app is such that users make frequent purchases (one example is a microtransaction store, such as a game app might have) or other sorts of interactions, then you want to have a program that rewards users for their transactions while simultaneously encouraging them to make more purchases (or continue to interact with and use your app), thereby creating a cycle of rewards – interactions – rewards – interactions. Something else you can factor in are incentives and rewards for existing users to draw in new users. You see these now with some companies, where an existing customer is given a referral code, and if a friend uses that code, both the friend and the existing customer are given some sort of reward, whether it’s a discount or a free gift.

Creating a successful app is an amazing accomplishment! Be sure your hard work doesn’t go to waste: take the time to develop a marketing plan, and be sure to avoid the above five “no-no’s” in the process to save yourself headaches (and lost sales and users) in the long run. And when you’re ready to create your app’s demo video as part of your marketing materials, get in touch with us! Our videos incorporate both educational and marketing concepts to create the perfect showcase for your app. We’d love the opportunity to work with you!

 

[1] http://about.americanexpress.com/news/docs/2012x/axp_2012gcsb_us.pdf.

[2] https://loyalty360.org/content-gallery/daily-news/survey-businesses-that-use-omni-channel-strategies-have-far-better-customer.

[3] https://www.helpscout.net/75-customer-service-facts-quotes-statistics/

Ready to learn more?

Just contact us to schedule a FREE 20-minute consultation to talk about how we can help you market your app with video!

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App Previews Coming to the Mac App Store in macOS Mojave!

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Apple’s WWDC wrapped up a few weeks ago, and software updates were everywhere! The launch of the new macOS Mojave (OS X 10.14) and iOS 12 filled the headlines, but developers should also be paying attention to some big changes to the Mac App Store. Of course, we have a favorite new feature: App Preview videos for Mac apps!

 

Redesigned Product Pages with Video Previews

Product pages get a full overhaul in macOS Mojave, and they look a lot like the revamped mobile app pages introduced in iOS 11. Now, you’ll be able to upload videos along with your screenshots, giving app shoppers a true feel for what it is like to use your app. Just like the iOS App Store, you’ll be able to upload up to three demo videos to your app’s page to allow potential users to see your app in action.

Of course, Apple has guidelines and restrictions for Mac App Previews, but they’ll be pretty familiar to anyone who has developed for iOS or tvOS in the past:

·       App Previews must be between 15 and 30 seconds long

·       Videos must be primarily app footage, and can’t include live actors or much animation

·       App Previews can only be added or updated when your app status is editable (basically, when you’re releasing the app or an update to the code of the app itself).

·       Uploads must meet certain specifications: they must be under 500MB, full HD resolution (1920x1080), and have a framerate of 30fps or lower. See the full list here.

Those are Apple’s rules, but AppDemoVideos.com has some recommendations as well:

·       Just like in iOS 11 (and iOS 12), App Preview videos will auto-play in macOS Mojave, so your app’s listing will really stand out in the search results if you’ve uploaded a video.

·       If they mostly watch the auto-playing App Preview, many viewers won’t hear the sound in your video. This means that it has to stand on its own without narration or music, so you’ll probably want to add some text to highlight your app’s key features and benefits.

·       Pacing is key, so don’t try to fit all of the nuances of your app into 30 seconds. If your video feels like it is rushing to fit everything in, you could actually stress out your potential users. Focus on just a few key features and show them at a relaxed, friendly pace.

 

Coming This Fall

The new macOS Mojave and its updated App Store will be available soon – the last three major macOS updates have all come in late September, so plan for a launch at about that time.

If your Mac app has an App Preview on launch day, you’ll stand out from the crowd immediately. Need help with that? Get in touch with us. We’ve been making videos of mobile and desktop apps since iOS 2, so we know what it takes to make your app shine.

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Six Tips for a Successful App Launch

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With millions of apps on the market competing for attention and users, you want to do everything you can to ensure a strong, successful launch for your new app. Follow these six tips, and you’ll be well on your way to a fantastic launch!

 

Know Your Target Customers

Make sure you’ve done your research and know who your customers are. Demographics are certainly important, but also take time to find out what your customers like – research marketing strategies that work well, the prime times your customers are online, and also look at things like desirable color schemes and other aesthetic elements your customers have demonstrated they prefer – use the latter info when designing your landing pages and marketing materials.

 

Have an Official Marketing Strategy

Don’t launch your app without a plan! Take the time to research existing apps similar to yours; pay particular attention to any pain points you find in customer feedback for similar apps, and use that feedback to guide you as you develop your own messaging. Use the information you have on your customers to plan your launch and design your marketing materials. Make sure that you find ways to make your app stand out; with so many apps on the market now, your marketing must demonstrate what makes your app unique and different.

 

A Professional Demo Video for Your App

A demo video is an absolute must if you want to give your app the best chance for a successful launch. A demo video gives potential customers the opportunity to experience your app. It will demonstrate your app’s most important features and functionality, and show a user how your app can help them. Videos are the best way to showcase your app in an app store, and they can also be used in your other marketing efforts, such as your website, social media, and online advertising. Your app’s demo video is a vital part of your marketing plan and press kit.

 

Landing Page on Your Website

While most of your app sales will undoubtedly come from the app stores, you should still have a landing page for your app on your company website; it’s a good location to have additional information that can’t be included on the app store, along with tips and tricks for your app’s users. Be sure to include links to any demo and tutorial videos as well.

Your landing page can also be useful before your app’s launch. You can use it to gather contact information from potential customers, as well as use your demo video and other teaser information to generate interest and buzz.

 

Generate Pre-Launch Buzz with an Early Release/Review Period

A crucial part of your plan should be to find influencers and online websites and magazines to review your app. You’ll want to try and get a few reviews out at least several weeks before your official launch, in an effort to build anticipation and interest in your app. Be sure to include the official press kit with your email when you start asking for reviews.

You can also add an email sign-up to your landing page in the weeks heading into launch as you ramp up your marketing. Offer those on the mailing list an early chance to get the app as “beta testers,” or just send them an email right after you launch.

And if this isn’t your first app – don’t forget to target users of your other apps! You already know current customers like your products, so finding a way to let them know about other apps you release is a no-brainer.

 

Engage with Your Customers

The first few weeks after your official launch are crucial. Take the time to respond to all feedback you receive (good or bad). Make sure you’ve got multiple communication channels to make it easy for your customers to reach you, and be sure to be responsive to customer questions and concerns.

Following these six tips will give you a leg up when it comes to your app launch. And when you’re ready to create your demo video, we’d love to work with you! At AppDemoVideos.com, we apply marketing and educational concepts to create a custom video that makes your app shine. Our videos are designed to showcase and teach customers about your app, incorporating real interaction with your app to demonstrate its features and functionality. We work with you throughout the process so that you end up with a video you’ll be proud to use as part of your marketing plan.

 

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All About A/B Testing

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A/B testing, sometimes referred to bucket testing or split-run testing, is simply an optimization method in which you set up an experiment to see which version of something performs better. It’s one of the best ways to optimize marketing materials such as advertisements and websites.

 

What Can You Test?

A/B testing necessarily has a marketing focus because its goal is to determine which option appeals to users the most and will thus net you more sales conversions, downloads, or website visits.

It offers the means to test different options of all sorts of things. For example, you can A/B test online ads, advertising copy on your website landing pages, sales funnel Emails, even something as specific as a single headline – with the goal of determining which option performs better for whatever specific goal you have in mind, be it purchases, subscriptions, or clicks. A/B testing can also be used to test things such the appeal of different graphics (including icons, buttons, images used on your website, and even different color schemes), and if you have a beta group available to you, you can also test things such as different user interfaces and potential product changes.

A/B testing gives you the opportunity to see if something will have a beneficial effect before spending considerable money on fully implementing the change, thus preventing costly errors that have to be rolled back (not to mention the potential of upsetting users and customers if a change is not well-received), while allowing you to improve and optimize your user experience over time.

You can even test different video content. AppDemoVideos.com has helped clients create different versions of a video for them to A/B test as part of bigger marketing campaign. If you want to test different video versions, you want to consider things such as:

·       taking different approaches to explaining the same content

·       changing the script

·       changing any text in the video

·       different styles of video (e.g. animation versus live-action)

Since video is one of the most effective ways to reach out to your users, optimizing video content through A/B testing is a worthwhile endeavor.

 

How Does It Work?

A/B testing sounds pretty simple – and it is, as long as you approach it systematically. Here are six basic steps for implementing A/B testing in your business.

 

Data Analysis

To use A/B testing wisely, your first step is to identify potential areas where improvement is needed. For example:

·       a landing page with a low conversion rate

·       a webpage where visitors are often exiting your website

·       an advertisement that isn’t providing a strong ROI

You can also use A/B testing to make further improvements on something that’s already working well for you. You might have a product page that’s already doing great, but your data shows you are still losing a certain percentage of potential sales.

 

Goals

Be sure you set a goal for your testing. A goal can be anything from increasing the number of clicks on an ad to getting more customers to sign up for your email newsletter. You might decide that for a change to be worth implementing, it would need to increase sales conversions by 5%.

 

Testing hypothesis

With a clear goal on what you want to get out of testing in mind, you can then work on brainstorming ideas for improvement. This is where you should feel free to get creative, coming up with a list of ideas that you can then winnow down.

As you make your list, jot down why you think an option might perform better, and don’t forget to consider the difficulty and expense of implementation – that doesn’t mean you should automatically eliminate more expensive or difficult ideas, but it’s definitely something you want to have thought about before you begin testing.

When narrowing down your list of options you want to test, focus on the “low-hanging fruit” first. These are the ideas that:

1.     are simple to test, meaning they don’t require a great deal of time and effort to create

2.     have strong reasons for why they will perform better

3.     are also simple to implement once the testing is done if they’ve proven effective

 

Variation Creation

Once you’ve winnowed the list down, you need to actually create the variations you’re going to try. Do you want to try different color schemes on a landing page? Or a different opening line or subject line in a sales email? Note that there are numerous A/B testing tools out there, and many of them have visual editors that can help you create variations. If you’re creating different webpage versions or anything which involves clicking on a button or performing a specific action, don’t forget to test your options to make sure they are functional before the test begins. Make sure that the new button really does go to the landing page, and that there are no typos or grammar mistakes in any text you changed on the new page.

 

Test

Don’t try testing multiple different variations at once, even if you’ve come up with a number of possibilities; there’s a reason it’s A/B testing and not A-Z testing. Testing two options at a time is best. If you have more ideas than that, test two, and then run subsequent tests, keeping the top performer from the prior test to run against one newcomer.

 

Data Analysis Again

Once you’ve run the test, you have to look at the results to determine whether or not your stated goals were met. Sometimes, after analyzing the data, you may decide to implement the change even if your goal wasn’t met; perhaps it was only off by a fraction, or over the course of the test, your goals may have changed. It’s also possible that after analysis, you discover something else or another possibility you want to test, in which case the process begins again – in fact, good A/B testing is something that can and should be done on a regular basis as you gather more data and learn more about your users and what appeals to them.

 

A/B testing is a great way to take the guesswork out of your marketing and user experience. Don’t know which landing page is best? Test them both! Not sure which ad copy or sales email will give you the best results? Test! Using A/B testing will, over time, lead to steady improvement of your advertising and marketing strategies.

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Interactive Video – The Next Trend in Video Content is Here

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We’ve talked before about the reasons why videos are a must, whether you’re an app developer or a product-maker. Videos are an amazing tool you can’t afford not to have in your toolbox.

Interactive video is an up-and-coming video technology, and it’s something we’re incredibly excited about. Here’s the 411 on this new trend!

What is Interactive Video?

Put simply, interactive video allows the viewer to perform actions while they are actively viewing the content. These actions can have a direct effect on the content the viewer sees next, they can allow you to collect information from the viewer (such as answering a multiple-choice question or filling out a short form), and they can even provide something (like free downloadable content, or a click-to-use coupon or other easy way to buy a product) to the viewer.

Why Interactive?

Interactive video is the next step in audience engagement. An interactive video isn’t something they simply watch; it’s something they actively participate in.

You can use interactive video to present a “choose your own adventure” style journey through your products to help the viewer decide which product/s is best for their needs – and then provide an easy way for them to click on that product to add it to a shopping cart.

In a similar vein, you could use interactive video to allow a customer to choose how they want to learn to use your app or product, providing them with options they could click on in order to go through different features and functions.

Interactive video lets the viewer choose the path they want to take through your content, giving them control over the process. This keeps the viewer from getting bogged down in information they don’t want (or need) to know yet, allowing them to access the information they do need quickly.

You can go even further into video interactivity – you can ask yes/no or multiple choice questions, and have your video respond with appropriate content depending on the viewer’s answer. Imagine being able to ask the viewer about their needs or wants, and then being able to direct them to the product that best meets their needs.

You can add forms to your video to gather information from your viewer, giving you access to viewer contact information that can be used for sales, or useful demographic data which could provide insights to help you create future content and help shape your marketing plans.

How does it work?

How interactive videos are created depends on what sort of interactivity it is you’re needing. Video platforms like YouTube and Vimeo offer simple interactivity options such as adding hyperlinks that let you jump pretty seamlessly to other sections of a video, to other videos, or to your website.

With interactive videos, what appears to be a single video is actually many shorter video segments accessed via a user interface either built into the video player or coded by your IT department. This means that there could be many more minutes of video than any single individual viewer will ever see. For example, when you ask the viewer to answer questions and then present video based on those answers, the viewer will never see any of the other options.

An individual viewer might watch a video that is 2 minutes long, but the actual full content of the video is 8 minutes; it’s simply that 6 minutes of the content wasn’t applicable to them. To the viewer’s eye, everything appears seamless – they simply made choices while watching that effectively made a custom version of the video that was tailored to their interest and needs.

The potential applications for interactive video are nearly endless. If you’re ready to jump into this exciting technology and want to create an interactive video for your company, please get in touch! We can help you decide how best to use interactive video to accomplish your goals.

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Our Webinar Production Process

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A number of our clients are now asking us to help them create and produce professional webinars and presentations in a video form that can be used in place of live webinars. Webinars are being used by thousands of businesses these days – you’ve probably seen advertisements for them on your social media platforms or gotten an invite for one in your Email. Chances are also good that you’ve attended at least one webinar in the last twelve months.

Webinars are on a high right now; everyone is using them, and for good reason. On average, webinars are able to retain 40% of their viewers’ attention[1], and for much longer periods of time than is generally achievable with other types of video[2]; in 2016, the average viewing time for webinars was up to 50 minutes. These days, where the recommendation is for videos to be no longer than 90-seconds to 2-minutes or risk losing your audience, the fact that webinars are holding their audiences’ attention for nearly an hour is nothing short of phenomenal.

Before we get started, there’s a trick about webinars that many don’t know: most of them aren’t actually live, even when they say they are. They’re pre-recorded and then held over a service that adds a chatroom, which gives the feel of something happening in real-time instead of being recorded. This also allows the company to have someone monitor the chatroom during the session to answer questions, follow up on leads, etc. if they choose. Said person is announced as an “assistant” in the webinar so as to maintain the illusion of real-time when in fact, the webinar itself is pre-recorded.

 

Webinar Uses

Webinars are an adaptive medium; they can be used for everything from marketing and lead-generation (58% of B2B marketers responding to Content Marketing Institute’s survey said they were using webinars and webcasts as part of their company content marketing, and 32% felt they were critical to their business success[3]), to product demonstration, to human resource presentations and employee training.

 

Benefits of Webinars

Webinars are a useful way to present any topic or subject you find yourself regularly speaking about; as an example, if you give a live presentation or webinar several times a year that presents the same information, creating a pre-recorded webinar to use instead frees up your employees’ time in preparing and giving the webinar/presentation each time.

In addition to freeing up company time, a pre-recorded webinar also ensures that you are presenting information with a consistent message, in the same way, and in a manner that is branded consistently, each and every time.

 

The Process

Our webinar production involves our clients throughout the entire process; we work together so we can ensure your finished webinar accomplishes exactly what you need it to.

 

Script

Drafting the script for the webinar is the first step, and involves a rough draft (and storyboards if the webinar is complex and storyboards would be helpful to track the flow of the webinar), which then gets edited and polished until we have the final version of the script.

 

Visuals

With a finalized script, we then finish planning and choosing the visuals. We look at whether there are existing company resources we can use – such as a PowerPoint or Visme presentation or infographics – whether we need to videotape an employee for some or all of the webinar, and whether there are any visuals that don’t yet exist which we’ll need to create.

 

Audio

Depending on the needs of the webinar and what the company is wanting in terms of style and delivery, we may be able to use an employee to record the audio for the webinar, or we may hire a professional voice actor (or more than one, if necessary) to do the recording.

 

Editing

This is the last step, where we pull the visuals and the audio together to create a webinar that not only passes on the information, but does so in an engaging, fun way.

 

No matter what sort of webinar your company needs, we can help! Please get in touch to talk to us about your webinar needs – we’d love the chance to work with you.

 

[1] http://www.makesocialmediasell.com/how-to-sell-using-webinars/

[2] https://bizibl.com/marketing/download/2016-webinar-benchmarks-report

[3] http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2016/09/content-marketing-research-b2b/

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Video Hosting Options

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Once you’ve made the decision to invest in creating original video content, you want to ensure that your investment pays dividends – and the only way to do that is by making sure your videos are seen by the audience for which you created them, be that your current customers and users and/or your potential customers and users. You have to put your video content to work for you if you want to reap the benefits of your investment.

One of the most important decisions, then, is where best to host your video content online in order to reach your audience. There are a lot of options out there, and our clients often ask us “Where should we put our videos?”

YouTube

If you host nowhere else, be sure you’re uploading your videos to YouTube. It is far and away the most popular of the online video hosting options, and uploading content is free – which can be of particular importance if you’re operating on a tight budget.

If you create video content and you’re not using YouTube, you’re missing out on your best chance to reach their enormous audience; with over a billion users,[1] it’s the third most-visited website in the world, receiving over 30 million visitors every day.[2] It has excellent language support, allowing viewers to navigate the site in 76 different languages, which means language access for close to 95% of the Internet population,[3] and YouTube has a robust suite of analytics tools, letting you review information such as audience demographics, the source of traffic to your videos, what devices your audience is using to watch your videos, and audience retention.

 

Vimeo

Vimeo markets itself as the “high quality” location for video content in an attempt to differentiate itself from its competitors. It’s also worked hard to establish itself as the host of choice for creative professionals. What’s interesting is that 70% of Vimeo’s viewers are from outside the United States,[4] so if you’re looking to target a truly international audience, Vimeo may be the perfect fit for you.

 

Wistia

Wistia was specifically designed for businesses. Wistia has made it simple to gather data on how well your video content is achieving your goals, along with other tools that make it easier to increase your website’s traffic and generate leads with your video content.

Wistia’s big selling point is that unlike YouTube (which is designed to keep viewers on YouTube), Wistia is designed to help drive traffic to the websites of the businesses that use it. Videos uploaded to Wistia are searchable and indexable by Google, so they contribute to your site’s overall Google ranking and search results relevance. They also have automatic SEO, which means you don’t have to be an SEO expert to get better rankings for your videos – Wistia handles it all.[5]

 

Other Hosting

Sprout Video

Sprout also markets itself towards businesses and like Wistia, has options to allow you to check on how effective your content is, along with features like email collection forms, curated playlists, and calls to action that help you integrate your videos with your overall marketing tactics.

 

Brightcove

Brightcove is another alternative, and is beginner-friendly; they offer 15 different player templates and built-in social sharing. Another plus is their YouTube Sync which will automatically push videos to YouTube for you.

 

There are numerous other hosting options out there as well, including Viddler, Vzaar, and Vidyard. You certainly won’t hurt your video by uploading to these smaller services as long as you make sure you’re hosting on at least one of the larger platforms as well to ensure your video gets maximum exposure and visibility.

 

[1] https://www.youtube.com/yt/about/press/

[2] https://fortunelords.com/youtube-statistics/

[3] https://www.youtube.com/yt/about/press/

[4] https://vimeo.com/about/advertisers

[5] https://wistia.com/solutions/marketing

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Best Practices for Trade Show Videos

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Planning on having a booth at a trade show this year? Then you need a video created specifically for the trade show environment! Trade show videos are not the same thing as a typical product video; it’s not simply a case of loading your existing promo or demo video on a screen.

The best trade show videos let you reach more potential customers faster. Think about the thousands of people who will walk the floor on any given day at a trade show—you can’t possibly talk to them all personally. A video is another way to “talk” to people who are walking by your booth. It can also be a way to give people something to occupy their time if you need a few more minutes to finish up a conversation you’re having with another attendee at your booth.

What makes the difference between a good trade show video, and a great one?

 

Entice and Educate

Videos shown at a trade show or convention need to shine; trade shows are loud and distracting, and there are dozens of things clamoring for visitors’ attention all the time. If you’ve ever attended a trade show yourself, you probably know that feeling of being completely overwhelmed, of not knowing where to look or what to do first.  This phenomenon has a name: directed attention fatigue[1], and it can make it even more difficult for you to get people to focus on your product and your message because part of their brains have “tuned out.”

Your video needs to be more than just informative, it needs to be interesting—something people want to watch and which arouses curiosity—enticing the viewer to want to know more, and thus to stop at your booth for more information. If it doesn’t manage to do that, people will simply keep walking. Your video needs to make them want to stop.

Your video is likely to be the first impression an attendee will have, not only of your product, but your company. As such, it’s important that any video you play at a trade show be professionally-produced so that it’s of the highest-quality, and it should be at least HD resolution so that it looks good on a large screen or monitor. Showing a low-quality DIY video at a trade show will only make your product—and your company—look inexperienced and amateurish.

Avoid “whizzbang” flashy lights, garish, clashing colors, and overly-busy visuals. Instead, opt for a bold color scheme that uses your brand colors, and powerful, clear visuals that focus on your product.

 

Superfluous Sound

Trade shows are noisy. Thousands of people are walking and talking, videos are playing at hundreds of booths, there may be occasional announcements over a loudspeaker (which are often difficult to hear because of all the other sounds)—all of this becomes an unending background of noise that makes it difficult to hear yourself think, let alone the person trying to speak to you or the audio track on a video at a booth.

That means it’s imperative that your video be able to convey your message without the need for spoken words. Descriptive text within the video itself is key, so that the viewer can understand what they’re watching without needing a voiceover explanation. You can use a musical soundtrack, though, as long as its instrumental (no lyrics). If you go this route, make sure to choose music that you can stand listening to for 9+ hours (remember, it’s going to be playing on loop all day), and that evokes a positive emotional feeling in the viewer.

 

Small Bites, not a Meal

The people on a trade show floor are in constant motion. That means you have a very short window of time in which to grab their attention – the amount of time it takes someone to walk past your booth and decide to stop or move one – no more than a few seconds. And very few are going to be willing to stand and watch a video that lasts more than 5 minutes. Remember – the video is there to entice the viewer to ask for more information, not convey everything there is to know about your product.

If you’re starting to think about creating a trade show video, here’s a video we made for one of our clients that hits all the sweet spots. Watch and see just how much information is conveyed in under a minute. It is simple and elegant, with an upbeat soundtrack, and embedded titles and descriptive text that is concise and easy to comprehend.

And when you’re ready to start on your own video, get in touch – we’d love the chance to work with you. We’ll work with you throughout the process, from the early planning stages, to the final editing and finished video.

 

[1] https://hms.harvard.edu/news/city-life-and-brain-12-22-10

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Differences between Apple’s App Store and Google Play You Need to Know

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The two big players when it comes to app stores are undoubtedly Apple and Google, so chances are good you’re planning on submitting your app to one – or both – of them. You need to know that there are some significant differences between the two with regards to the procedure to submit an app to the store as well with app store optimization (ASO) and specifications for app videos you want to include with your submission.

An important note to our readers: both Apple and Google are constantly updating and changing their submission processes and requirements. This information will become dated at some point, so be sure you check their websites for the most up-to-date requirements.

 

Store Submission Process

Google Play’s submission process is open and simple: you pay the fee, complete the uploading process and information, and hit the submit button. After that, assuming it doesn’t contain malicious code, your app will be available for purchase in the Google Play store in 24 hours or less.

Apple’s App Store process is very different from Google Play. Apple’s submission protocols are very strict and detailed; there is no wiggle room, so be sure you follow them to the letter. We recommend you read them before you even begin development so you don’t inadvertently do something that will cause you headaches further down the development line. Every app is reviewed much more thoroughly; rejections are common – but don’t despair if you do receive a rejection. The review team will send you a response. Read it carefully, as it’ll tell you why your app was rejected and what you can do to fix the problem(s) before you resubmit.

With all the extra work required by Apple, you might wonder why anyone would choose to put their app on the Apple App Store. The answer is simple: despite Google Play having more overall downloads, Apple’s App Store brings in more revenue.[1]

 

App Store Optimization (ASO)

Google Play’s search algorithm is robust and smart; it works much like its regular search engine. This means that app developers have a lot of flexibility and freedom with regards to the keywords and phrases they can use. There’s a drawback to this, though: being too flexible with your keywords can hurt your search results if you’re not mindful about your keywords. Google Play’s algorithm will be pulling from your app’s description, so make sure to pack your description with strong, relevant keywords.

Google Play only allows you to place your app into one category, so choose carefully. Google allows titles of up to 30 characters – and the important thing to remember about your title is that Google’s search algorithm will look at your app’s title along with its description.

Apple’s App Store has a much simpler algorithm, and relies heavily on Apple’s keyword field. And while Apple’s search algorithm doesn’t look at the description, you should still optimize it for SEO because Google’s search engine does crawl through iTunes and Apple’s App Store for indexing and ranking.

Unlike Google, Apple is more generous when it comes to categories. You app can be listed in two categories – three if your app is a game. Use this to your best advantage to get your app in front of the eyes of multiple audiences. It’s also got more robust title options; you can use up to 255 characters, and Apple’s search algorithm does look at the title. One caveat, though – Apple will reject an app if it decides that your title is guilty of keyword “stuffing” – so just craft a good title with your strongest keywords.

 

Video

One of the best ways to showcase your app and make it stand out from the millions of other apps is to have a demo video. A demo video lets your potential customers see and experience your app; it’s your chance to demonstrate your app’s most important features and functionality, and show a user how your app can help them.

Be aware, though, that Google and Apple have different video specifications and requirements—as well as certain best practices—so a video made for one store can’t be used in the other. Apple started to expand its video options and capabilities with its iOS 11 update, but they still have far more requirements and restrictions your video will need to follow. Google, on the other hand, is much more flexible with regards to video allowed on Google Play.

 

Quick Look at Video Specs

Google Play

·       No restriction on number of videos allowed – any screenshot slot can be used for a video.

·       Video alignment is usually horizontal/landscape – and if your app is a game, a landscape alignment is required if you want your video to appear in game collections

·       Video length is not restricted, but Google suggests 30 seconds to 2 minutes

·       No restrictions on video content

·       A/B and Split Testing: built-in capabilities, but you still may want to use a third-party tool

 

Apple App Preview

·       Allows up to three App Previews (videos)

·       Video alignment is usually vertical/portrait (with the exception of apps that run primarily in horizontal orientation), and have device-specific formatting requirements

·       Video length is strictly limited to 15 to 30 seconds

·       Video content limited to “captured footage of the app itself” – this means no stock video or other non-app-related content – and must be suitable for minor-aged audiences

·       A/B and Split Testing: no built-in capabilities, so you’ll need a third-party tool

 

There are a lot of things you have to think about when developing your app and getting it submitted to an app store, but you don’t have to stress about the demo video. We have extensive experience developing videos for all app stores, including Apple’s App Store and Google Play. Let us work with you, and you’ll be assured your video is of the highest quality, and 100% optimized for your chosen app store(s).

 

[1] https://www.appannie.com/insights/market-data/2016-retrospective-diving-country-metrics/

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Using Product Videos to Boost Sales Conversions

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Are you using video as part of your marketing plan and sales funnel? If not, you should! Informative product videos are a compelling, cost-effective way to generate sales, especially for products which are complex or have numerous options and features that can be difficult to encapsulate in a brochure or short demo video.

 

Video is Effective and Efficient

Video is one of the most effective communication tools in today’s digital world. We’ve talked before about how video enhances learning and retention,[1] and in her research, behavioral psychologist Dr. Susan Weinschenk identified four specific reasons why online video is so much more effective than text.[2]

We also know that people like watching video; most consumers say they prefer watching a product video to reading copy about it, and four out of five consumers said demo videos were important to them.[3]

A product video can sometimes even be better than a live demonstration. With a video, you have the ability to capture the perfect demonstration; you never have to worry about forgetting an important feature, tripping over your words, or tech issues interrupting the demo. Video lets potential customers experience your app whenever it’s best for them, without needing to schedule with your sales staff. This not only makes learning about your product more convenient for your customers, it also saves your sales staff time; live demonstrations may not be needed at all, or can be focused on answering a potential customer’s specific questions about the product since the customer will already have a basic understanding of what the product is and how it works.

Video is also a more efficient way to let customers learn about your product; the recorded audio of a video means no verbal fillers (all the “um’s” and “ah’s” and other verbal tics that slow us down when we talk) and you can eliminate all of the downtime you often have during a live demonstration (such as waiting for software to load up, product set-up, AV/computer equipment setup) and have a seamless demonstration of your product.

 

Video Length

General advice about online video is that shorter is better; the longer a video, the more audience you lose by the end (videos over 30 minutes barely manage a 10% retention rate). 90 seconds to 2 minutes is considered the sweet spot for maximum audience retention.[4]

However, product videos are a special beast that don’t have to follow the above time limits. Customers know a product video if going to be longer than a quick demo. Their expectations are for a more in-depth look at your product, and they know that will take more than two minutes.

We’ve found that 5-10 minutes is a good length for a product video; it gives ample time to talk about the product while not going so long viewers start to lose interest. If you have a product that is so complex it can’t be covered in 10 minutes, we recommend breaking it down into multiple shorter videos focused around different features or topics.

 

Video Personalization

Personalization matters; it’s one way to being to build relationships with potential customers. But unless you’re a company with an unlimited budget, it’s simply not possible for you to create a personalized product video for each and every customer. However, there are other ways to add a personal touch.

If you’re sending the product video link to customers via Email, include the name of the person receiving the Email, along with a customized personal message in the body (and be sure and include the name of the person at your company they can contact directly if they have questions). In addition, make sure you include the word “video” in your Email subject line; inclusion of that word can actually boost Email open rates by as much as 19%.[5]

You should also add personalization (also called account-based marketing) to your product landing pages. Anything to make the customer feel as though their experience on your website is unique and personal to them. A product video on a landing page can increase conversions by as much as 80%[6], and account-based marketing can increase conversions by a factor of four.[7]

The best part about a product video is that it’s always available, even when you aren’t – but this isn’t the time to try and DIY: 62% of consumers are likely to have a negative perception of a company that has a video of poor quality.[8] For a product video intended to be a potential customer’s first real introduction to your product, you want a professionally-produced video that lets your product shine.

At AppDemoVideos, we use both educational and marketing concepts to create a video that perfectly showcases your product. We work with our clients throughout the process to ensure that the final result is a video that meets all of your needs, and that you’ll be proud to use it as part of your marketing plan and sales funnel. If you’d like to talk to us about your video needs, please get in touch! We’d love to work with you.

 

[1] See: http://elearninginfographics.com/the-impact-of-video-in-education-infographic/, http://cct.edc.org/publications/television-goes-school-impact-video-student-learning-formal-education, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378720605000170, and https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/effective-educational-videos/.

[2] http://www.blog.theteamw.com/2013/01/22/4-reasons-why-online-video-is-compelling-persuasive/

[3] https://animoto.com/blog/business/video-marketing-cheat-sheet-infographic/

[4] https://www.vidyard.com/blog/16-video-benchmarks-need-to-know-infographic/

[5] http://syndacast.com/video-marketing-statistics-trends-2015/

[6] According to a study by eyeviewdigital.com

[7] https://www.crazyegg.com/blog/personalized-landing-pages/

[8] https://www.slideshare.net/AdelieStudios/adelie-studios-top16videomarketingstatistics2016-56658453/4-Adlie_Studios_Copyright_2016_All

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Want Investment Funding For Your App? How Video Can Help!

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You don’t need funding to build an app, but funding can mean the difference between a strong marketing push that gives your app its best chance at success, and leaving your app to flounder, lost amongst the millions of other apps currently out there on the market.[1]

Whether you decide to crowdfund or to seek out investors and venture capital, getting funding means convincing people that your app is a strong investment. Having a professional demo video as part of your marketing plan and funding pitch is more than just a good idea – it’s downright essential in our digital, tech-savvy world.

 

How Video Helps

Having a demo video adds a high-quality AV component to your marketing toolbox. Numerous studies have shown that video enhances learning and retention.[2] A video for your app will allow investors to see and experience your app in the most optimal and efficient way, gaining a much faster and greater understanding of your app and what it can do than if you only talk about it.

Video is one of the most effective communication tools in today’s digital world. A video is always available, even when you’re not. It lets you create the perfect demonstration of your app and marketing pitch; if public speaking isn’t one of your strong points, a professional demo video can do a lot of the communication heavy lifting for you. No need to worry about app bugs, connection issues, or tripping over words when talking about your app – let your demo video do the talking for you!

Video is also a more efficient way to communicate, letting you say more with less. You can pack a lot of information into a single 1-2 minute demo video, far more than you can achieve with words alone.  

 

Venture Capital

When it comes to seeking funding from venture capitalists, the pitch presentation is everything.

In today’s busy business world, the strongest, best pitches are short and compelling. You’ll be lucky if you’re even given a full half-hour meeting to pitch your app. Twenty minutes or less is far more likely, which means you need to hone and polish your pitch down to the most essential points. If you’re looking for advice on putting together a pitch deck, we can recommend Guy Kawasaki’s 10-slide pitch or Fred Wilson’s Six Slides as great places to start.

A demo video can be the foundation of your pitch, freeing you from having to explain how your app works and what it does. This leaves you more time to focus on the pitch itself.

In almost every case, a shorter pitch is better than a longer one. Even if you’re given 20-30 minutes, aim for a presentation that is no more than 15 minutes. Time left over means you’ve got the chance to check in with your potential investors and let them ask questions. This gives you an opportunity to have a more natural exchange and conversation about your app, and connect on a personal level with the people in the meeting room.

 

Crowdfunding

Digital technology has made it possible to bypass more traditional methods of business funding and appeal directly to potential customers. The booming crowdfunding industry has hundreds of different sites where businesses and individuals can go to raise money[3] and sites like Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, and GoFundMe fundraised an estimated $34 billion dollars worldwide in 2015.[4]

To run a successful crowdfund campaign, you need a top-notch crowdfunding landing page. This page is the virtual equivalent of the pitch presentation. The focal point of this page is the video; since you can’t personally talk to every potential crowdfunder, your app’s demo video will be the primary way you can reach out to people and make them want to invest in your app. All of the highest-grossing business crowdfunding campaigns had a product video[5] and if you intend to raise money via crowdfunding, you can’t afford to miss the opportunity provided by having a top-quality video for your landing page.

At AppDemoVideos, we create videos designed to showcase and teach users about your app. We utilize marketing and educational concepts to create a demo video that lets your app shine. We work with you throughout the process to ensure the final result is a video that meets all of your needs, and that you’ll be proud to use as part of your marketing plan. If you’d like to talk to us about your video needs, please get in touch! We’d love to work with you.

 

 

[1] Estimate is based on figure listed on Statista website: https://www.statista.com/statistics/276623/number-of-apps-available-in-leading-app-stores/

[2] See: http://elearninginfographics.com/the-impact-of-video-in-education-infographic/, http://cct.edc.org/publications/television-goes-school-impact-video-student-learning-formal-education, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378720605000170, and https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/effective-educational-videos/.

[3] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-drake/2000-global-crowdfunding-_b_8365266.html

[4] http://crowdexpert.com/crowdfunding-industry-statistics/.

[5] See the Forbes article https://www.forbes.com/sites/wilschroter/2014/04/16/top-10-business-crowdfunding-campaigns-of-all-time/#63ce5123e9fd for a list of the top-grossing business crowdfund campaigns.

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Six Strategies for Increasing Your App User Retention

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We don’t have to tell you how important user retention is, and the statistics on app user retention can be a little discouraging if you’re an app developer; only 26% of apps are used on a daily basis, and one out of every four apps installed on a phone are never even used.[1] Nearly a fourth of users who install an app use it only once before abandoning it.[2] Overall, app user retention is just 42% here in the US and even lower worldwide.[3]

Fortunately, there are things you can do to increase your app’s user retention. Here we’ve got six ways you can build greater user retention into your app.

 

Easy Installation and Use

Your app’s account creation and login should be quick and simple; while it can be tempting to try and get as much information about the user during account creation as possible, you’re better off avoiding that. Overly-convoluted and time-consuming account creation processes can result in users deciding to “do it later” (and then never getting back to it, or your app) or deciding to delete your app altogether in favor of something they can get up and running faster.

Something else to avoid is information overload. If you have a robust app with a lot of features and functionality, you definitely need to teach your users how your app works. However, you’re better off doing it as part of the logical progression of the user starting to use the app instead of throwing all of the information at them at once. A series of tutorial videos are a great way to do this.

 

Incentives

There are all kinds of incentives out there that you can use to encourage people to keep using your app. Coupons, special offers and promotions, rewards programs for regular users – all of these can help keep your users coming back. Choose the type of incentive that works best for your particular app.

Gamification techniques – like achievements and collecting badges – are another way to encourage users to keep using your app. Gamification won’t work for every app, but if it can work for yours, adding in badges or achievements is a great way to keep your users engaged.

 

In-App Messages

In-app messages are a fantastic way to improve user retention[4] by encouraging and rewarding your user as they use your app. For example, successfully performing a function in your app can trigger an in-app “kudos” message. Another sort of in-app message might offer the user a “did you know you can do feature y” after they do feature x in your app (this is also a way to teach users more of the features of your app in the process of using it as we talked about earlier). Pre-programmed notifications and messages to the user in direct response to something they do can definitely help keep them engaged.

 

Push Notifications

Like in-app messages, push notifications are another communications method to improve user retention.[5] Push notifications are messages your app sends to your users’ mobile devices outside of your app.

Push notifications are trickier to use than in-app messages; good use of them will increase engagement and retention, but bad use will actually drive users away and make them more likely to uninstall your app. Half of all app users say they find push notifications annoying.[6] That statistic can make you feel like avoiding them altogether. We don’t think you need to go that far – just be judicious in your use of them. Never do general “blasts” to all of your users; instead, use targeted notifications with tailored messages based on individual user’s preferences, behavior, and location.

 

Personalized Experience

Depending on your app, personalizing the experience can be difficult. But there is one thing absolutely every app can and should do – call the user by their first name. It’s simple, and effective. If your app is more robust, you can also offer content based on a user’s preferences and personal information.

Another avenue for some apps – particularly games and “tool” apps – is to create an online community on social media, such as a Facebook group. This provides a means for your users to connect and communicate with each other.

 

Listen to Feedback and Add Value

The number one way you can add value is by providing responsive and robust customer support. Have multiple ways users can reach out to you if they have issues or questions, and be sure you respond quickly when issues arise and provide users with updates and timely solutions.

You should always be reading and responding to reviews of your app, checking in with user feedback, and tracking the behavior of your users via tools like touch heatmaps and analytics. This information is invaluable in discovering the features of your app that get the most use, which can act as a roadmap for what your users want and use most. This will make it easier should you find it feasible to add more content and features to the app in the future.

Implementing some or all of these six strategies can help you not only keep your current users, but attract new ones. Users that have a great experience with your app are more likely to recommend your app to their friends and family, and also to leave your app a great review, all of which acts as free advertising for you!

 

[1] https://think.storage.googleapis.com/docs/mobile-app-marketing-insights.pdf

[2] http://info.localytics.com/blog/23-of-users-abandon-an-app-after-one-use

[3] http://info.localytics.com/blog/app-user-retention-improves-in-the-us

[4] http://info.localytics.com/blog/23-of-users-abandon-an-app-after-one-use

[5] http://info.localytics.com/blog/app-user-retention-improves-in-the-us

[6] http://info.localytics.com/blog/the-inside-view-how-consumers-really-feel-about-push-notifications

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Are App Store Search Ads Worth It?

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If you’re an app developer on a limited budget, advertising of any kind can seem like an unaffordable luxury. However, if you want your app to be a top seller, then not only are app store ads worth the money, they are essential for success. For all but the luckiest developers, word of mouth just isn’t enough these days to ensure your app gets seen by potential customers; paid advertising is a must.

 

Apple App Store

Apple search ads are still relatively new, having only launched in October 2016. Their popularity is quickly growing, though. Many companies are electing to spend money on search ads in Apple’s app store; Apsalar’s third quarter survey for 2016 found that 2/3 of companies who responded planned to spend money on Apple app store advertising[1], and this increase in competition is quickly driving up the cost to purchase ads.[2]

The good news is that through October 31, 2017, Apple will let you try its Search Ads for free with a $100 credit.[3] If you’ve been on the fence about app store marketing, now is the perfect time to get started.

 

Google Play

Google Play’s search ads rolled out in July 2015, but despite the market having been around longer than Apple, the cost for a Google Play ad is far less than an Apple ad[4], so if your app is available on Android, you can get excellent value for your marketing dollar.

 

Benefits of Search Ads

App store search ads are a smart way to use your advertising dollars, as they let you market your app to people who are actively searching for apps, often with the intent of purchasing one in the immediate future.

Search ads are first-party ads, which are more appealing to potential buyers than third-party ads such as those you can run on Facebook or other platforms. First-party ads only require a single click to download and install, so they are easy for potential customers to use. In addition, first-party ads make it easier to observe and track the success of individual keywords with regards to app purchases and installs, so you’ll be able to tell which of your ads are working best for you and adjust your marketing accordingly.

Keyword-targeted search ads are an important part of your advertising arsenal, and can help your app “rise to the top” and stand out from the millions of apps available on app stores. They can be one of the best ways to ensure your app gets seen by those seeking to purchase and download apps, so if you can do so, allocate some of your marketing budget towards these important ads and reap the rewards!

 

[1] https://apsalar.com/138-lp-mobile-marketer-survey/

[2] https://fiksu.com/resources/mobile-cost-indexes/

[3] https://searchads.apple.com/promo-terms/

[4] https://fiksu.com/resources/mobile-cost-indexes/

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iOS 11 Update Bringing Big Changes to Apple App Store Videos!

Apple’s iOS 11 update introduces a wide array of updates to the iPhone and iPad experience, but this time, it also brings a major revamp of the App Store that really puts the emphasis on video. We’ll focus on the three major video updates in this article – you can read about all of the changes here.

Three App Previews Instead of One

That’s right! With iOS 11, it will be possible to upload up to three different App Preview videos. This means you’ll now have the option to upload not just a quick promo video, but also two more previews, giving you the opportunity to further showcase one or two important functions of your app in greater depth.

Apple will also let you choose in which order your videos are displayed. This is important, since not everyone will update to iOS 11 right away. Those who don’t update will only have access to one of your videos, so you’ll need to make sure your primary demo video is the one that displays first.

Video Localization

Our customers have been asking us about App Previews for different languages and App Store localizations for years, and we can finally say that they are available – videos can now be localized! This will allow app developers to target multiple populations and/or countries by having videos in different languages. iOS 11 allows developers to localize their videos for any and all available App Store languages if they wish.

Not sure how this works? It’s easy – you can upload videos in different languages and if, for example, a Spanish-speaker clicks on your video and you have a Spanish version of your video, they will see the Spanish version instead of the English video (provided the viewer has the proper app store localization settings selected on their device).

Auto-Playing Videos (Without Sound)

Videos will now auto-play as users browse the app store. This makes App Preview videos even more important, as they will basically be shown to every person who views your App Store listing. This is a great opportunity to show off more of your app, but it is important to realize that the videos will play without sound until a user interacts with them.

This makes having a well-planned and impressive-looking App Preview essential, as the auto-playing video will immediately draw viewers’ attention to it, making it a substantial part of the first impression they’ll get of your app. Because the video will initially play without sound, it also makes some form of on-screen text something to consider if you have a fairly complex app.

These are huge changes that have the potential to drastically affect app marketing. Not sure how to best leverage these changes for your app? We can help! Get in touch, and we’ll work with you to figure out how to make the most of these changes (without busting your marketing budget).

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Want to Create a Mobile App? Starter Resources for the Complete Newbie!

The mobile/cellphone and tablet market is big business these days, along with the apps that add increased functionality and services to these devices. In America alone, nearly 77% of people have a smartphone, and 51% own a tablet of some kind,[1] and estimates are that as many as 6.1 billion people worldwide may own a smartphone of some kind by 2020[2]. There are literally millions of apps in existence already[3], with more being developed every day.

Given the growth of the smartphone and tablet market, it’s no surprise that many want to try their hand at creating an app – But can it be done? Can someone with little – or no – experience really build an app?

The answer is of course! Just know that if you have an idea for an app and you want to build it yourself, you’re going to have to be willing to spend some time learning and experimenting on your own.

To help you get started, here’s a list of some of the better educational resources for app developers, new and experienced.

Which Platform?

What platform you’re going to build your app for is the first question you need to answer. For someone new to app development, we recommend not worrying too much about which might be more profitable or “popular” in terms of marketability. Instead, for your first app, focus on the platform you use yourself. You’ll already be familiar with the platform and should have at least some familiarity with its apps since you’ll have been using them on a daily basis on your own device. You can always develop your app for other platforms later once you’ve become more knowledgeable about app development.

Android App Development Resources

Official Android Resources

Android itself has excellent educational resources for developers. For beginners, Android has “Building Your First App” which walks you step by step through building a first app. You’ll also find many other useful lessons at that resource, along with articles on best practices and considerations for special situations.

Other Android Resources

Outside of Android’s official resources, there are numerous third-party resources where you can find tutorials, many of which are free.

MIT’s App Inventor has a series of beginner video tutorials for Android, and you can find educational videos at Ray Wenderlich’s website, along with an excellent step-by-step (with screenshots) that walks you through installing and setting up Android Studio. Vogella, a German tech development company, offers instruction on everything from getting started to in-depth tutorials on special topics like Android libraries and Android source code. Both Envato Tuts+ and Treehouse offer free trials, and both have Android app development courses.

There are two official Google Groups for Android development. One is the community for the Android Developer Tools, and the other is for Android Development. In particular, you’ll find the latter useful, as it’s the place to go to ask questions of other developers, find other resources; in short, it’s the place to go if you want community and support in your quest to becoming a better developer.

Apple / iOS Starter Resources

Official Apple / iOS Resources

Like Android, Apple offers beginner resources and training for developers. Its Start Developing iOS Apps (Swift) offers lessons that walk you through the development process as you build an example food-tracking app. Once you’re done, Apple also offers further education on the Swift programming language and other app development topics.

Other Apple / iOS Resources

Ray Wenderlich has a series of tutorials on both the Swift Language and on iOS development and Stanford has a complete iOS Development Course available for free on iTunes. Code School also has an iOS course, which you can try out for free before deciding to enroll.

The best community for Apple developers can be found at the official Apple Developer forums, where you can meet like-minded developers, ask questions, and receive advice.

App Builders

For those who want a little more assistance in building apps and who want to jump right in, there are a number of companies that offer platforms and means of quickly creating the more common types of apps. Appmakr offers the ability to build both Android and Apple apps and has a free of charge option as well for those on a budget. LiveCode has options for multiple platforms and offers services such as code review, documentation, customized training and architecture advice. Shout’Em has both Android and Apple, with an app designer which requires no coding ability and utilizes a user-friendly drag-n-drop interface.

There’s no way we could list every available resource for app development in a single article. While the ones we offered here are far from an extensive list, they’ll help you get started on the exciting road to developing your own app!

 

[1] http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/01/12/evolution-of-technology/

[2] https://techcrunch.com/2015/06/02/6-1b-smartphone-users-globally-by-2020-overtaking-basic-fixed-phone-subscriptions/

[3] https://www.statista.com/statistics/276623/number-of-apps-available-in-leading-app-stores/

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