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Every Monday, I write about something new you can try this week to drive more downloads for your mobile app and increase engagement with your existing app users, based on what has worked (and what hasn’t) for 23snaps.

When trying to gain new users for your app, little is as powerful as word of mouth recommendations. While it’s fantastic when these come from your users, it can be even more useful when they come from a trusted press source. But how do you capture the attention of busy journalists who are inundated with dozens of requests each day from independent developers looking for some coverage of their app?

One way is to provide them with the ability to truly visualize your app and the problems it solves (or fun it provides) without forcing them to take the time to download it and give it a go themselves; or worse make a guess at what your app does and looks like from a few lines in an email. You can do this by making a compelling demo video.

But a demo video is more than just a bit of collateral to add to a press release (although that is a serious benefit). It’s also a way to educate your potential users. More and more app stores allow you to include videos along with app screenshots – the Google Play Store puts video front and center – it’s the most prominent preview on the page – and the Amazon App Store allows developers to include up to five different videos for a single app. App stores recognize that videos can help drive downloads from their end users – so don’t miss out on the opportunity to take advantage of this important app store real estate.

Finally, a video can help sell your app and the brand or people behind it. A demo video can be more than just a demo of your product, it can tell the story of why you created your app, making your team or product more relatable or appealing to your core audience.

We’ve just launched our first video for 23snaps and so far the results have been incredibly positive. It’s helped us reach out to more journalists, is tracking plays from the app stores where it’s been embedded, indicating that potential users are engaging with our content and we feel it does more than just walk users through the app but is a slightly cheeky way to show the problems we solve in an aspirational way.

Here are a couple of lessons I learned creating our video:

– If you’re making a demo video, don’t forget the demo.

It’s important to get the culture and feeling of your brand and app into the video so it stands out from the dozens of basic demos out there – but don’t forget to actually show off the app. While a bigger brand can spend more time telling the story than showing off the product, at the end of the day, you want people to understand what you do and how you do it.

– Stand out from the crowd.

There are thousands of app demo videos, some better than others. The ones that stand out are the ones that do something a little different, that tell a story or that are visually interesting. A quick scan of the other demo videos out there show thousands of fingers poised over thousands of smartphones. What can you do that still showcases your app but does it in a different way?

– Be relatable.

A disembodied finger is hard to relate to. So how can you get a real person, user case or problem in your video, to help users understand who your app is for and why?

– Tell a story.

The phrase ‘content is king’ has become such a cliche in digital marketing I’m loathe to use it, but it’s more appropriate here than ever. Think about the adverts that you’ve related to recently – whether it’s the Spock vs Spock Audi commercial or the John Lewis Christmas advert  – many have a sense of narrative. What can you do that wants to make your viewers watch until the end?

Have you created a demo video for your app, or do you have some favorites? Share in the comments!

Every Monday, I write about something new you can try this week to drive more downloads for your mobile app and increase engagement with your existing app users, based on what has worked (and what hasn’t) for 23snaps.


You might know how much you pay per install, but do you know how much you pay per user that registers, or completes an in-app purchase? Do you know exactly how much you pay for those users per campaign?

I’ve written before about how you can use Google AdWords to place adverts within other mobile applications, and even target ads to specific apps. And with the Google AdWords SDK, it was pretty easy to see which ads were driving app installs. However recent updates to Google Analytics for Mobile combined with Google AdWords now allows developers a killer combo – using events and goals tracked within Google Analytics for Mobile as their conversion goal in AdWords. In otherwords, you can track your conversions in AdWords through to a specific event in your app like a registration or an in-app purchase.

This is a huge deal, and something that allows Google to steal a march on Facebook’s mobile ad platform. While some preferred Facebook developers (of which there are only about a dozen) have built tools and their own SDKs to link campaign management on Facebook to app KPIs, this still needs to be managed by a third party (and one that often times will charge many thousands of dollars for a “test” campaign). With Google, you can now self-manage a small campaign to see EXACTLY how much you have to pay to acquire a user that achieves your app KPIs, plus with enough conversions, you can start to take advantage of Google’s automated algorithms that optimize for conversions, meaning that Google will automatically target your campaigns at an audience more likely to convert to a registration, in-app purchase, or other KPI.

This requires a couple of different steps, but once you have all of the different pieces set up, you will be able to see exactly how much you are paying in AdWords for an event-related conversion in your app – something that isn’t possible yet with Facebook’s mobile ads. Here’s how to get set up.

1. Set up Google Analytics for Mobile

You will need to download the SDK that gives Google Analytics access to your application. While you may be familiar with Google Analytics for websites, the mobile version is quite different, although the sentiment – in depth, free tracking for your property – remains the same.

2. Create some basic event tracking in Google Analytics so you can set up goals

If you are not the developer of the app, this will need to be implemented by your development team. The Google Analytics for Mobile documentation is quite good (and available here) and outlines how to track events. Make sure you are tracking events for KPIs relevant to your app (such as registration, in app purchase, plays a game, invites a friend, etc). It’s most effective to optimise for just one KPI but you can track as many as you’d like in Google Analytics.

3. Create a goal for your KPI

Once you have Google Analytics for mobile tracking your app and app events, go to your Analytics admin section and create a goal for the KPI you want to optimise for.



4. Link Google Analytics and Google Play

You will want to complete the loop between AdWords, Google Play (and the download) and Google Analytics. Follow the instructions here: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2956981 to link Google Play and Google Analytics. As an added bonus, this will start to show you more of the referral sources that are driving traffic to your Google Play page.

*You can follow these same instructions (and skip this step) for iOS apps as well.

5. Import your goals to Google AdWords

Now log into Google AdWords and in the Tools section, under Conversions, you can choose the option to import goals from Google Analytics.


If you haven’t ever connected your Analytics and AdWords account before, you will be prompted to a this point. Then you will be presented with a list of your Google Analytics goals, and can select the ones you want to track as conversions in AdWords. As I mentioned in earlier, it’s best to optimize for one conversion at a time and stop tracking conversions for installs. AdWords does not differentiate for different types of conversions within a campaign which means if you are tracking an event and installs, you will be double counting conversions for some of your acquisitions. For the right KPI, installs shouldn’t matter anyway – you just want to know how much you are paying for the real thing.

6. Create (or watch) your AdWords campaigns

You’re done setting up tracking, now you just need to start monitoring the results. If you haven’t created a Google Analytics campaign to promote your app, you can create one now, otherwise your existing campaigns will start tracking and reacting to your new conversions within 24 hours.

Keep an eye on your Cost per Conversion metric – it will likely jump up quite a bit over your previous cost per install but it’s a much more realistic way to understand how much you are paying for your active users.


I haven’t come across any other self-managed ways to see automatically on a campaign level how much it costs to acquire users that achieve KPIs. Have you found any other way to track the cost of acquiring your most valuable users?

Every Monday, I write about something new you can try this week to drive more downloads for your mobile app and increase engagement with your existing app users, based on what has worked (and what hasn’t) for 23snaps.


One of the most important factors in ASO (App Store Optimization) is reviews. Get lots of great reviews, and there is evidence this helps you steal a march on your competitors and gain a boost in your rankings. Bad reviews, or no reviews at all, on the other hand, can be detrimental to your rankings.

So how can you ensure you’re getting positive reviews? One way is to prompt your users to add a review to the App Store, a topic I’ll cover in more detail in the future. But if your users aren’t already fans, how can you be sure their review will be positive? One of the best ways that we’ve found is by providing fantastic customer service.

Why Bother With Customer Service for an App

After the iOS 7 update, many applications experienced bugs or issues related to the new operating system. One such app was Zynga’s Chess with Friends – probably not one of their most popular apps, but still one with millions of users around the world. After iOS7, Chess with Friends was unusable, leaving many players frustrated as they received app notifications but couldn’t log in. The most persistent complaint on Zynga forums and in app reviews was Zynga’s lack of communication. “We just want to know if they are working on it!” typified user feedback. In the days following iOS 7’s release, Chess with Friend’s rating plummeted to below two stars.

Alternately, we have found that many of our top reviews reference great customer support – even if there was an problem or bug. Many of our five star reviews reference our great support services – we try to get back to all requests within one working day, but often times can respond within the hour.


Real support services, operated by real people who can answer the wide range of questions users have, is not the norm when it comes to apps – especially free apps. But the goodwill generated by setting aside just a bit of time to make your users happy and comfortable using your app can generate more than warm fuzzies. Users who have had a positive experience with your support team are not only more likely to be positive about your app when leaving a review, we have seen that they are more likely to stay engaged with your app over a longer period of time.

Not only that, but user feedback can be invaluable when trying to decide on what aspects of your app to improve or how to prioritize your product roadmap and you can test out potential solutions but asking customers with real problems whether a proposed update would really solve their issues.

Add to that the fact that measuring the total number of support requests about specific issues and tracking customer concerns and volume of queries over time can give you insight into how well you app is solving user needs, the points in favor of setting up a support infrastructure are starting to really add up.

How to Set Up Your Support System

So how can you get started? In the beginning it’s easy – answer your emails from users.

But as 23snaps has grown to hundreds of thousands of users, we needed something a bit more robust to handle and track support requests. We started using Zendesk, a fantastic support request management platform, and it’s allowed us to scale our support along with our userbase. We haven’t needed to hire any full time staff to manage support and can tag and track requests from users, as well as set up macros to respond to the most common customer issues. As an added bonus, it acts as a content management system for your FAQs, making it easy to manage and add new web pages with guides, tips and troubleshooting for your app.

Zendesk is even cost effective for an independent developer – with a starter package of just $20 per year (although prices can go up pretty quickly for advanced features and large teams).

I believe that providing fantastic customer support for 23snaps users has been a major factor in our growth. There’s nothing worse for a user than feeling frustrated with a service and then not getting any response from the company. We’ve tried to prevent any of those feelings with a scalable support system that can address the needs of all of our users.

My Monday Mobile Marketing Tip for this week: Sign up for the free trial of Zendesk and use it to answer your support emails. See how your customers respond and what insight you can gain looking back over a week of support requests. You may just find it increases positive reviews, engagement and ideas for how to improve your product.

Every Monday, I write about something new you can try this week to drive more downloads for your mobile app and increase engagement with your existing app users, based on what has worked (and what hasn’t) for 23snaps.


This post expects knowledge of the Facebook Power Editor. If you haven’t used the Power Editor before, check out my post, Creating Your First Campaign with Facebook’s Power Editor.

Last week, I spoke on a panel at Social Media Week London about whether or not Facebook has cracked effective mobile advertising. You might have a guess at my answer given the last few weeks of Monday Mobile Marketing tips! I was speaking from the perspective of a smaller app developer, and tried to share some of the more interesting and actionable points from our experiences with Facebook ads.

One of those key lessons was that, when using the Power Editor to select specific interests to target, it can be incredibly effective to look beyond the obvious, basic interests that advertisers have been trained to select from other, more basic ad networks.

Because Facebook user “interests” can be much more broad than simple keywords, and include the names of Pages the user has like and groups they’re a member of, you might find that you can create some very large, yet targeted, groups with a few unusual, and unusually worded, interests.


For example, when trying to find parents to target for 23snaps, I discovered that some strange combinations of terms actually had significant reach (an example being “I love being mother,” shown above). A couple of other strange ones include “Mommys money saving obsession” and “I am proud mommy.” Despite the questionable grammar of these interests, it goes to show that keywords beyond the obvious can help you access large portions of your exact audience.

Why do these keywords work so well? It appears that Facebook considers any Page, ad, and in some cases the posts, that users have liked on the platform when considering a user’s interests. Many of these strange interests correspond to popular Facebook Groups or Pages. Regardless of how they are generated – this level of focused targeting is much more effective than targeting an interest like, say, ‘Parenting’ which not only is more generic, but is not always an interest that every parent will specify.

My Monday Mobile Marketing Tip for this week: Explore some unusual interests you can try for your Facebook mobile ad targeting while using the Power Editor. Stuck for ideas? Try looking for the popular Facebook Pages or Groups in your app category for some inspiration.

Every Monday, I write about something new you can try this week to drive more downloads for your mobile app and increase engagement with your existing app users, based on what has worked (and what hasn’t) for 23snaps.


This post expects knowledge of the Facebook Power Editor. If you haven’t used the Power Editor before, check out my post, Creating Your First Campaign with Facebook’s Power Editor.

Facebook ads are great for acquiring new users, but if you’re using the Facebook Power Editor, there’s a clever way to use Facebook ads to reengage existing users as well through Custom Audiences.

Custom Audiences are created from contact or mailing lists you already have (opt-in!) access to, such as your user database or your newsletter mailing list. If you have the email addresses of your existing users in a CSV or text file, you can upload them into Facebook’s Power Editor through the following steps:

1)      Open the Facebook Power Editor

2)      Click on the ‘Audiences’ tab on the left hand side

3)      Click the ‘Create Audience’ button

4)      Upload your contact list

Facebook will then automatically match those email addresses with Facebook users in their system, and create a target group of your existing users who are on Facebook.


There are tons of ways to use this audience but here are two examples from 23snaps:

Turn Users into Fans

Using a custom audience to drive Page Likes can be much more cost effective than using a wide audience because these users already know your brand. Once you’ve encouraged them to becomes fans of your page but running targeted adverts, you are able to communicate with them more cheaply than if you continued to target them with ads. Additionally it is an inexpensive way to give your Facebook page a boost. Make sure you’ve got great content on your Page.

Re-engage Users on Mobile

You can even use native mobile app adverts that target your custom audience. While this might seem counterintuitive – given these people have already registered for your app – this can not only encourage your users to open your app again even if they haven’t in a while, it can get your registered users who have deleted your app to download it again. We noticed a small portion of our custom audience in each campaign converted to app installs, suggesting we were re-engaging users at a fraction of the price of acquiring new ones.

My Monday Mobile Marketing Tip for this week: Upload your database to Facebook’s Power Editor to create a custom audience and use that audience to target some ads to re-engage or communicate with your existing users.