Tag Archives: App Marketing

AR Marketing VR Marketing

Tips for Marketing Your AR or VR App

The number of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality apps available on Google Play and the Apple App Store is growing fast, and saw an increase of over 200% in 2016 alone. Still, when compared to other app categories, AR and VR are still in their infancy.

With GDC 2018 closing in on us in less than two weeks, developers are scrambling to make last minute optimizations to their apps, and also come up with unique ways to stand out both on the show floor and in the app stores. Traditional mobile app marketing may not be enough, however, so developers are looking to new and innovative ways to market their AR or VR apps.

Here are four ways to help market a Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality app, both online and in person.

1. Always Start with ASO Best Practices

You can’t talk about marketing an app without talking about App Store Optimization. However, since AR and VR apps are already unique, it means you need to think even further outside of the box. Making sure your title, icon, screenshots and preview video are all aimed towards an AR/VR audience is key.

Your title is one of the most important elements, since there are no explicit categories on the app stores for AR or VR. Including specific keywords, such as “Virtual Reality,” or the more commonly known abbreviation “VR,” in your title will help users find your app.

Your icon should also include imagery that clearly reflects the nature of the app. Including an image of a VR helmet or the letters “AR” are great ways to help your app stand out as users scroll past.

Your screenshots and preview video are going to be especially important, as they can showcase the uniqueness of your app. Making sure your screenshots call out important unique features that cater to AR or VR should be your priority, and your preview video should demo exactly what the in-app experience is like. Take a look at other apps on the app store for great examples of how this can be done.

2. Tell A Story

When you’re marketing your app, whether it’s in a blog post, app description or meeting face-to-face with your intended audience, create a story around the experience. Be sure to be honest and transparent about your app and brand so potential users will pay more attention to the app.

The narrative you create doesn’t necessarily have to revolve around the app’s features, but can rather focus on what drove you to create the app and the passion behind it. This may seem counterintuitive, as you’re not directly talking about the features, but this will drive interest nonetheless.

3. Utilize New 360° Technologies

The wonderful thing about AR and VR is it no longer requires a special device to understand what a user is seeing. Creating a 360° video and posting it on your website or YouTube means you can share it across social media and allow potential users to understand what your app is about without even having to download anything.

Users who view this video on their phones can use their gyroscope to move the video, while users on a computer can click and swipe for a similar effect. You can even use apps like Periscope for a live demo so users can interact with the video!

4. Connecting with Deep Linking

Deep linking is providing users with a link that takes them directly to a specific part of an app, or to the product page on either the App Store or Google Play Store if they haven’t downloaded the app yet. This can be a great way to offer special content only available to those who show up in person or are offered the link online.

If you’re looking for a great way to promote your app during GDC (or any other convention) you can combine deep linking with QR and display the code right at your booth! Doing so will draw foot traffic to the booth as well as users to the app, creating buzz that will help your app grow.

This is a great time to consider Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality, since the market is so new. If you already have a VR or AR app, it’s also a great time to get creative with how you market it. Optimize the app’s metadata, tell a story, provide an experience and remember to always think about your user first – if you do, your app will be able to reach a wider audience and help the field grow.

This post is part of our Blog Series on Gaming and GDC 2018. Click the link to see other posts in the series!

Want to know what mobile trends 2017 holds in store?

Mobile Trends 2017 – What will Hit in Q1?

The New Year is here, and with it comes a whole new batch of trends to stay on top of.

With regards to mobile trends 2017 has the potential to be a unique year. Last fall Apple shook up the world of mobile in a major way by shortening their Title field and introducing Search Ads. This quarter, expect app developers to refine their technique when it comes to mastering the new App Store ecosystem.

Look out for these trends in Q1 2017:

Search Ads Get Refined 

As the year moves on, more and more app developers will begin to discover what performs best for Search Ads. Look for major developers to hit Search Ads even harder in an attempt to expand their search footprint into any relevant keywords.

Similarly, as more developers begin to target wider swaths of Search Ads, they will also refine how to best convert users from Search Ads.

As the New Year begins, make it a priority to learn the best practices for landing and converting from Search Ads.

Services Continue to Grow 

App Store Services picked up major traction in 2016. Expect that trend to continue as 2017 winds on.

Service subscriptions have traditionally been confined to service-based apps like Netflix and Spotify. However, games like Boom Beach have also experimented with subscription plans, showing that recurring payments can be molded to work in a number of formats.

Services have been popular for Apple, too. Service revenue grew by 24% in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2016. Earlier, Apple had announced they would be offering successful Service subscriptions a more favorable revenue split of 85-15, as opposed to the usual 70-30. In order to qualify for the new split, developers would simply need to maintain a user’s subscription for one year consistently.

Superbowl LI Drives Sports Searches

Sports apps will have a field day with February’s Superbowl LI. News apps, fantasy apps and football games stand to benefit the most directly. If your app is relevant for “football”-related terms, update your metadata and creative to reflect this.

Cards, Dates and Flowers Go In Demand 

The first major holiday of 2017, Valentine’s Day will be accompanied by a surge in searches for dating, events, shopping and gift apps.

Whether your app offers gifts for couples, flowers for the parents or in-person meetup opportunities for everyone else, you can capitalize on Valentine’s Day by including relevant keywords and expanding upon them in your description and creative.

Following Valentine’s Day, some apps may want to look ahead to Easter. While the holiday falls in early Q2, apps that offer relevant services (flowers, gift baskets, candy, etc.) will want to pivot towards Easter sooner than that. Change out your Valentine’s Day marketing language and keywords for Easter by early Spring.

While gift apps will have a field day, games can get in on the holiday fun too. The later winter to early spring season is often a popular time for game developers to run special events, like last year’s Angry Birds Epic mini-campaign. This event introduced a miniaturized version of a standard Angry Birds Epic campaign for Valentine’s Day, featuring new levels, special items and more.

If your app can be positioned as relevant for winter and spring holidays, be sure to have your metadata and creative updated in advance so that you have already begun indexing by the holiday.

App Store Search Ads are a great complement to your ASO strategy

How Search Ads and ASO Go Hand-in-Hand

Apple launched their Search Ads initiative just over two months ago, taking the world of App Store developers by storm. Many developers feared that these new ads, placed prominently at the top of search results, would nullify or somehow contradict the ASO work they had already done. In fact, the opposite is true – ASO and Search Ads go hand-in-hand.

To understand how best to incorporate Search Ads into your existing ASO strategy, you must first look at how the ads work and what Apple wants to achieve with them.

Why Search Ads?

When the App Store’s title limit was 255 characters, thousands of spammy apps cluttered the store. These apps crammed keyword after keyword into their titles and descriptions, attempting to manipulate Apple’s rankings system by targeting often-irrelevant high-volume phrases. These apps weren’t just sloppy, they looked sloppy on the storefront, too. It was the opposite of Apple’s clean, sleek aesthetic.

By removing apps with titles longer than 50 characters and introducing Search Ads, Apple has forced spammy developers to clean up or leave the App Store, without denying legitimate developers a way to increase their rankings in the absence of a long title field.

This motivation extends out past Search Ads. Everything Apple does in the App Store, they do to create a more streamlined, friendly experience for users.

How ASO Can Help

That said, Search Ads on the App Store work a little differently than other keyword-based ad platforms. While many ad platforms award placement to the highest bidder, Apple also takes an app’s relevancy into account. It is incredibly difficult to have your app featured number one in a Search Ad for a term it is completely irrelevant for.

This comes from the same philosophy that led Apple to remove long titles from the App Store. For Apple it’s all about user experience, and that means for Search Ads it’s all about relevancy. If your app isn’t relevant for a keyword, you won’t have any luck targeting it in an ad.

ASO is all about creating that type of relevancy. A standard keyword optimization always takes into account which words and phrases your app is relevant for, and which of those phrases are being searched most by users. ASO then becomes all about selling Apple on the relevance of your app to those phrases.

A similar process can be used to create relevancy for keywords that you wish to target in Search Ads. It’s all about creating context for why your app is relevant for the terms you wish to target.

Because a standard optimization already creates relevance, and App Store Search Ads require and thrive off of that relevance, ASO and Search Ads work together to bolster one another. It’s just another way in which all mobile marketing is beginning to center around ASO.

Google Play 2017 Trends: More AR, More Face Swapping

Google Play 2017 – What We Can Learn From Google’s Top Trending Games of 2016

On December 2, Google announced their top trending apps for 2016. Included were games like Pokémon GO and Clash Royale, as well as apps like Face Changer 2 and Castbox. The popularity of these titles won’t surprise most who work in the apps industry, but Google’s announcement is still worth looking into for the sake of determining trends that have influenced the Google Play market this year – And may continue to do so throughout 2017.

For starters, Google’s Top Trending Games of 2016 were:

  1. Pokémon GO
  2. Clash Royale
  3. Traffic Rider
  4. slither.io
  5. Dream League Soccer

Meanwhile, their Top Trending Apps were:

  1. Face Changer 2
  2. Lumyer- Photo & Selfie Editor
  3. Castbox – Podcast Radio Music
  4. Emoji Keyboard Pro
  5. MSQRD

Let’s start with the games.

Pokémon GO became the fastest app to reach $600 million in revenue just three short months after its launch in July 2016. The app rode a wave of nostalgia and social media buzz to a massive launch, but that wasn’t the only thing that made it a success.

The game was the first major title to use augmented reality to enhance the game experience. Users were asked to go out and catch monsters in the real world, and the unique flavor of the gameplay made it a big hit. Augmented reality isn’t going anywhere in 2017, either. Just look at Google’s own Tango to see that Google Play 2017 will feature more of the AR gameplay that made Pokémon a hit.

Clash Royale, meanwhile, shows that real-time strategy games still have room to expand. With strategic online multiplayer games becoming more readily accessible through the mobile market, games like Clash Royale that offer real-time online multiplayer will be more attractive to the gaming market, in a similar way that online multiplayer has evolved the console gaming market.

Other games, like Traffic Rider, Dream League Soccer and sliter.io, serve to reassure game developers that arcade action and sports games aren’t going anywhere in 2017. These genres remain immensely popular, if crowded. Expect the usual growth spurts for sports games as the football and basketball seasons hit their peaks next year.

Google’s Top Apps, meanwhile, reveal a continued fervor for face changing and enhanced expression.

Of the top five, only two (Castbox and Emoji Keyboard Pro) are not related to photos. While these trends show that photography apps remain popular, there are tons of apps in these categories, and your app will need a fun hook to stand out. Face Changer 2 focuses on warping photos into funny facial expressions, while Lumyer has high-quality video effects and MSQRD has a wide array of face stickers. It’s safe to say we’re in for more face changing and video editing in 2017.

Google’s Top Trending Apps of 2016 reveal an interesting set of trends that will no doubt carry over into 2017. Look out for the above and more as we welcome in the New Year.


Google Gets Tough on Fake ‘Top Charts’ Apps

Google announced this week that they would be cracking down on apps that try to fake their way into the Play Store’s top charts. Through the use of a new detection and filtering method, Google will remove apps that utilize fake or incentivized user ratings and installs to get a boost, and will even remove apps outright from the Play Store.

This isn’t anything new for Google – the company made a similar pledge to remove fraudulent top apps a little over a year ago – but what has changed is the method of detection. Google has introduced a method of detection which will supposedly “detect and filter” apps that utilize suspect methods of ascent. Apps that are found to be utilizing these means will be removed from the top charts in an effort to “make Google Play the best platform for enjoying and discovering the most innovative and trustworthy apps”.

The big news for many developers is that Google will actually remove apps from the store for violating this principle. Google warned in a blog post that “developers who continue to exhibit such behaviors could have their apps taken down from Google Play”. It’s not as wide-spanning a threat as Apple’s recent title limit change, but the removal of a popular app (even one that only became popular through suspect means) could still shake up the Google Play store.

Google promises than in most cases, no action will be required on the case of the developer. They also ask that should developers request marketing assistance from an outside source, they make sure the means of the marketing are legitimate.

A strong Google Play campaign doesn’t necessarily need to utilize fraudulent reviews or downloads to boost onto the charts. The strongest method of discoverability is and has always been search; most app downloads come from searches, not from the top downloads charts. Similarly, the primary determinants of your app’s keyword rankings are its title, short description and long description. A solid marketing agency will take these elements into account instead of suggesting burst campaigns or fraudulent downloads.