What We’ve Been Thinking
search, mobile, app marketing, events and some random stuff.
search, mobile, app marketing, events and some random stuff.
As you can imagine I download and play around with a lot of apps. More apps than you can shake a stick at. This is how the Blippar post came about. Since then I’ve been thinking, ‘Maybe I should tell people when I find a good app’ and that’s what I’m going to do from now on.
If you’re like me you will check the permissions apps requested before installing. If you don’t do this, start right now!
A good example was an LED torch app that wanted my location and access to my contacts. No mi gusta! As you can imagine that didn’t get installed. The problem is that sometimes you forget to check or are in a rush and don’t. It’d be nice to have something that checks permissions for you and keeps you up to date on any apps permission changes.
That’s right. There is an app to help you keep track of permissions, fight the bad guys if you will, and the one I’ve been using is called Clueful. It’s simple, easy to use and has an absolute gentleman of an icon. How couldn’t I trust these guys to keep me on the straight and narrow and defend me from the darker side of the app stores?
I don’t know the technicalities, all I know is that Clueful categorises apps into three tiers: High Risk Apps, Moderate Risk Apps and Low Risk Apps. They use a traffic-light colour code to warn you. It couldn’t be simpler.
And There’s More
Not only does Clueful ‘traffic light’ your apps but it also scans new apps and updates itself to categorise them. It pushes to tell you that there has been a change as well as what category a new app fits into. It’s simplicity made so simple it’s simple enough for simpletons like me. I recommend downloading and testing this app out. Prepare to be surprised with the result.
*In an English Victorian accent* Clueful, we at miratrix extend our hand in respect to you. Keep up the good work, Sir!
The questions I am asked most often about the app marketing world are, ‘What keywords should I use for my app’ and, ‘What tools do you use for app store keyword research?’. You’ll all understand the answer I give, and it’s well worth knowing (even if it’s one of my more complicated insights). Here goes: we don’t get keyword data from Google or Apple and based on what Google are doing in the SEO world I would suggest that Google certainly aren’t going to consider making this data available any time soon, if ever.
My tactic tip
This post will show you a specific tactic that I use to try to gain a greater understanding of app keyword targeting outside of the usual ‘look at Google AdWords’ that most people tell you. It also helps me get a picture of what time of the week people are more active in search for the product/ service you sell.
In this case we have data from a fashion retailer throughout December which excludes their brand phrases.
Keywords taken from users who are on mobile device browsing your site are about as close as you’ll get to actual keyword data for mobile from Google. You need to make a couple of assumptions when using this data.
Firstly, people are searching on Google using their mobile device in the same way that they would in the App Store or Google Play. Secondly they aren’t going to put more effort into searching, for example writing longer phrases for Google, than they would the App Store or Google Play. Finally they will use the ‘Google Suggest’ functionality in the same way they would in the App Store and Google Play.
Looking at the graph below you can see the season’s spikes and troughs over Christmas and when traffic came back to that specific industry. Using information like this can help you understand the user’s behaviour and when you can expect peak traffic across various keywords and keyword sets.
Unfortunately I can’t show you the keywords my client ranks for in mobile but I can show that they do rank for a variety of phrases, 263 to be precise. That’s a good start for app keyword research.
Sort the data how you like. In this case I sorted by volume but you may want to sort by time on page, revenue, transactions. Whatever your KPI is, that’s where you begin.
So you’ve got this data. What the hell to do with it!?! Firstly you need to remove keywords with anything under five, at least. Few things will convert with such low search volumes. Ideally you’d only deal in double digit traffic phrases – triple is even better!
Secondly you want to look for themes of words. Are people using particular words regularly? Do the words follow certain orders? There is no hard and fast rule. It takes practice and testing to understand what words will work. Once you’ve identified a theme or some sort of regular pattern, you can begin to work these variations into your app title and app description.
Don’t use one keyword set as a crutch simply because it earned you a few good results. Another set could easily trump that result so make sure you have a plan in place for testing different themed keywords. Be brave about failing. Failure is a lesson learned. The risk is minimal because you can always revert to the more successful set in a week or so.
SEO Keyword research is easy to learn and difficult to master. App store keyword research is doubly hard but never despair, keep practicing and learning. It’s taken me years working with multiple brands, sites and apps to gain the knack for it but it can be done and you’ll get there eventually.
Here is a link to the custom report in Google Analytics that I’ve build for identifying mobile traffic. All you need to do is navigate to Acquisition > Keyword > Organic and open the report.
Let me know how you get on with the report. Tell me if you find it useful or if you’ve got any questions, please ask away.
Hi all! Welcome to a New Year!
I’ve decide that in 2014 I’m going to talk more in blogs, video’s, twitter and also in a couple of other places. This change will either make you cry or smile…not sure you will jump for joy though; some of you might.
The first thing I’m going to do on a weekly basis is write a round up of what’s been happening in the app world. As you’ll have no doubt have guessed it’s called The App Store Times, very original I thoughr. It will contain anything from security breaches to acquisitions, to app store updates which have hammered your downloads! Anything that is interesting in the world.
Yahoo have failed to get any of their 10 App’s into the Top 100 of the Apple App Store. Not even the much loved Flickr app managed to get in there. If Yahoo want to become synonymous with mobile they are really going to need to pull something out of the bag in 2014.
Based on their apps at the moment they are trying to compete in super competitive places, weather, sports, news, chat etc. Maybe it’s time that Yahoo developed something useful and niche. Come on Mayer! Put the R&D team to work, maybe try an early days of Apple approach…
If you don’t know what Flock does. Flock makes Bump which, you may have guessed, allows you to bump your phone’s together and share files, contacts etc. Google acquired Flock back in September at the time it was all fine and nothing was to change, until now.
I’m not sure if Google are planning on implementing this directly into Android or if they just wanted the brains behind it. We do know that they are working on Android Beam and this would work nicely with it. The team at Flock are now being assimilated (sorry, had to use that word) into Google and are focusing on other projects which leave no time to maintain the Flock and Bump apps. Kind of makes sense.
The next few months will be interesting from a hardware perspective. You’ll all know from posts that I think that Apple and PayPal are trying to kill NFC. If Google release beam and it’s entirely Bluetooth LE then I think it’s fair to say that NFC is about to take a long walk off a short peer.
…in full disclosure. I’m in the Bluetooth LE. BT4 LETS GOOOO!
Good luck to Meizu. I’ll be keeping an eye on this.
Well. That’s it for this issue. Hopefully you’ve found it useful. If you’ve got more info on the topics or have your own opinion please chime-in in the comments.
Ciao for Now!
This post is a little later than I wanted it to be but it’s been a good, hectic October/ November. After the best part of two weeks away from HQ I have returned to the motherland with stories of a Big Green Machine…there was also a blue one but that’d only confuse the post.
After Tech OnYou (which was the first event we’ve ever sponsored) was a wrap I headed to Droidcon London. I was interested and excited but expecting to emerge feeling slightly less clever than I did when I went in.
My inability to code was not as big as a problem as I first thought. I expected some of the talks to be highly technical and just waaay over my head but they weren’t. I may have deliberately sought out the less technical talks but all in all everything developers were doing had a solid actionable purpose. Everything from medical, to car tracking to gaming.
There was literally something for everyone.
There were a couple of things that made me wish I was a developer, wish that I could do that stuff. As I’m essentially a big child you’ll not be surprised that the displays I found the most impressive were using mobile devices to control robots and drones.
Sony demoed at Tech OnYou bringing their Watch2 which controlled a Lego robot that reminded me very much of something from the Terminator films. Check out the video of me mucking around with it.
…ignore my clumsy camera work at the end.
David Smart blew my mind when he pulled out a quad copter drone which he and his son had built and which was controlled by their Android phone. He did confess that we couldn’t use it at the conference because it was currently experiencing stability problems and the propellers easily cut flesh, while revealing the BIG scar on his arm. Nevertheless another very cool and interesting use of a mobile app.
We might not be too far away from having drones for the home. Check out this, albeit spoof, of a Domino’s pizza being delivered by drone. The Domicopter.
My entire exposure to the Epson brand is printers, ink jet printers to be specific. But guess what? Epson are at the forefront of wearable technology. They’ve developed a wearable monitor: the BT-100 Moverio.
That’s right, a 3D display which you wear on your head. It’s not sexy or cool looking, in fact it’s pretty terrible looking, but it works a treat. It is good fun playing games on it, you get the feeling that the objects are in the room with you and feel that others should see it as you do.
Epson are looking for mobile app developers to build good apps before they move things forward in the design front. No point in spending millions on designs if users can’t find a use case.
I’m going to do my best to get back down to Droidcon next year. Can’t wait to see how much further the controllers have come and see what new uses for Android that developers come up with.
This post is a little off the usual marketing beat. Don’t worry, we’ll be back down to business next time!
It being Halloween I had to ask the question “If SEO is dead, how is it possible that business can still be doing it?” The answer? Zombies!! All SEO’s are zombies because we are super hard to kill and just don’t stop till you chop our heads off. I mean this figuratively (WARNING: Please do not attempt to decapitate an SEO. Miratrix is not liable for your actions).
For SEO’s to die search engines would need to die first.
Flick through. It’s the first one I’ve done so would love feedback!
This post came to me because of an actual app experience I had and couldn’t stop thinking ‘that could’ve been a much better experience’. I’ll go over what happened and how I think app marketers and indie developers can avoid making these mistakes.
I came across Blippar after I saw a advertisement, for Watch Dogs, on the front cover on the free magazine Short List last week. In the advert was a promo for Blippar which stated interactive advert. My thoughts were this could be cool!
As soon as I got a good internet connection (it amazes me that, still!, some cafes don’t offer free wi-fi) I downloaded it. Then I didn’t look at it again for over a week. On Sunday I was standing on Platform B at St Pancreas and saw another Blippar ad advertising Coca-Cola. It didn’t really explain what the app did just that you could Blippar a can of coke. I assumed something cool would happen. I decided to scan a can of Coca-Cola that I had back at the house.
Right after I got home I went for the can of Coke. After about 20 seconds of 70’s Star Trek transporter style graphics on the screen, which I thought was pretty cool, I got the following image.
After taking the time to remember to, then go get a can of coke to watch this awesome augmented reality advertising stuff unfold and ultimately improve my life, it didn’t work. I felt exactly like every person that takes the time to use the Blippar app feels.
Using Blipper is something you need consciously do. You need to stop doing something else to use it. It’s interruptive. So when a user takes that time to engage with a brand that they like you need to make it work, first time or gives a good reason to why it hasn’t worked.
Seeing an ad for a brand that Blippar supports 30 minutes prior to testing the app and then being told ‘it’s not a Blippable item’is pretty frustrating and not follow with a good reason or another action to compensate. The experience ends sharply at that point.
Looking at the app reviews and ratings it would seem that I’m not the only one having problems with Blippar.
Depending on how you look at it this is good user feedback or at least useful. It may not be as easy to hear as ‘this app is awesome’ but it’s definitely giving Blipper qualitative feedback to work with. Blipper are doing their best to manage the complaints by responding to each negative review, enquiring for more info or explaining how it works. That in itself must be a full time job.
This is an outside view and based on the users responses so I maybe wrong. It looks as if they’ve sold the service to users before fully on-boarding the brands.
They have extensive marketing campaign across the UK (I saw one ad in Glasgow and the other in London) across print and other out of home advertising (not cheap!) which I’m sure will have pushed them to the 100+K downloads that they have. In realising the app too soon they’ve angered almost 60% of early adopters and provoked a ‘meh’ response from the rest.
Below are a few points that I think you can use to try defend agains the problems that Blippar are having.
Hire, yes, as in pay someone. Hire testers to use the app for an entire day. Get 200-300 people from across your target market to test your app. 24 hrs of high volume use from a varied demographic will create a fantastic bug list.
Using social media it’s pretty easy to find brand-crazies (I think they are also called ambassadors, ha!) as I like to call them. These are people that are always posting picks of the latest branded item they’ve bought.
Speaking to brand ambassadors (brand-crazies) will help you, as either a developer or marketer, understand the motivation and process of someone actually engaging with the app. If a person who is addicted to brands and engages with brands, sharing, posting, etc. finds it a hassle to use your app you might need to rethink things.
Some people hate soft launches. I can’t think why. They allow you time to debug with, generally, a more patient user. I’m not saying a less vocal user but certainly one that’s willing to perceiver with you.
Soft launches also allow you to test that your in-app analytics are working correctly and gives you time to make any last minute adjustments.
You could argue that beta testing is like a soft launch but you need to assume that once someone has got their pay cheque that the app will be removed from their phone and never looked at again.
Assuming you’ve worked out all the kinks in the app and the UX is perfect you are now ready to launch.
Your big task is now to ensure that when someone sees your ads that they know exactly what to do, what the app does and how it will benefit them. I’m not saying that if you don’t do this that you campaign is unlikely to be successful at all. I’m saying that if you don’t do this your campaign won’t be as effective as it could be.
Blippar didn’t communicate what their app actually does. I took leap of faith and used my intuition and it didn’t work out. The experience caused me to write this blog post. Which could be perceived as good or bad.
The app isn’t user focused and indeed Blippar the business isn’t user focus. I came to this conclusion after looking at their website. The sites tone talks to potential brands first and has very little to say to the user.
My thought on this are: App’s don’t exist without users. Keeping the user happy will ensure that you have prime real estate for advertising partners in the future.
Augmented reality advertising still interests me. I found the process of figuring out what it is that Blippar does then it failing to work very frustrating.
For the time being I will be uninstalling Blippar. If I were them I’d pull back in pushing to users until they’ve got a lot more brands on board or fix the technical problems they are having. Then I’d start talking to my users and build a community around the app. Not just push via their clients.
In saying that all of that. Blippar are certainly doing something right to get the clients and exposure they have had. Keep Going and Good luck Blippar!
p.s. This is a blog. Which means if you disagree (or agree) you can post below and tell me why. Unless it’s offensive or totally off topic I won’t be censoring comments.
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