As both a marketing tool and a revenue generator, apps are a big numbers game. With more than 150 billion downloads across the platforms, accounting for $6 billion in developer fees, the industry as a whole seems lucrative. It is when we look at the individual apps that the picture looks a bit different.
Developers make less than a penny per download and the apps become more of a marketing tool than a revenue producer. The bottom line for both developer and marketer is simple. The more downloads you achieve, the better it is for your business.
If you are going to introduce an app into your marketing milieu, you may not want to shift all of your market efforts toward the app. Instead, create a microsite. A microsite is an independent website attached to your main page. It allows you to focus new marketing strategies on the app without changing or competing with your overall marketing campaign. Look at Rooms To Go and their development of a coupon app. The company is a furniture store so their online marketing SEO is centered on furniture. The app is a couponing program. Its marketing reflects coupons, not something that the overall campaign has at all. So they created a microsite that can be promoted independently and parallel to their company’s marketing campaign.
Most people chose an app to download on the recommendation of others. Five stars or two thumbs-up will earn a slew of new downloads but understanding the recommendation process is the stuff of hard science. Movie giant Netflix is renowned for its recommendation system. It uses a complex algorithm that distills viewing patterns, preferences and browsing behavior into a recommendation for the watcher. Its recommendation system is so important to the company that they are offering a prize for anyone that can come up with a better system. For the smaller business that is launching an app, the lesson from Netflix is simple. Analyze your recommendations and use social media to respond. Thank good recommendations and address negative ones.
The digital marketplace, including app stores, is a booming industry. Amazon, as one of the largest online retailers, has become a huge resource of scientists researching online buying behaviors. One group found that a product description is as important as price in the decision to make a purchase online. Make sure that your app has a well-rounded and complete description that includes platform, download size and a list of features. With descriptions, more is better. Use the product description to really sell your app’s functionality.
Privacy is an important issue for digital buyers, yet few fully understand how they work. Instead, they allow the background settings of the platform tell them if a download is safe. The practical upshot of this for an app developer is that a warning from the Play Store or Apple Store will kill a download. The more sophisticated your application, the greater possibility that it can be tagged as unsafe. Use a well-established, knowledgeable developer to make certain that you do not have this issue. Reputable app developers will know the new privacy rules and be able to design with them in mind. It is worth the money since a privacy mistake can destroy the product line.
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