Since Android is the fastest growing mobile system, you’d think that goal number 1 for anyone is reaching those users. In looking at what’s working and what’s not, you quickly find that Android’s diversity right now is also the challenge to you, the business wanting to get their app in front of users, because:
- The App Store: With Android, unlike Apple’s App Store, you have Google, Opera, and Amazon App Stores, so getting to the top is not a one stop shop as Apple’s.
- Android is on so many platforms, that many developers I’ve spoken with talk about the subtle differences of having your app work on Verizon and ATT which differ, as well as on the various phones like Droids and HTC’s. This lack of standards is making development alot like the early days of the Internet, with tons of tweaking, and while surely Google will adapt this, it is why many people have Apple apps and not Android, so far.
- For your App to be a success, it needs to get a high rating (+4 is often quoted); if you don’t have a quality app, it’s just not worth your time.
- Mobile lead generation is not only about App downloads, you want to have a mobile web page as well, get emails if possible so you are not limited to just communication via your app, and many try to get SMS permission as well. This is alot to ask from the average user, and working all of these into the mix takes savvy and lots of testing.
Given that you will see these as not obstacles but opportunities, you need to get people aware of your application. Again, much like the early Internet, there are TONS of choices and so few ways for users to differentiate. Most successful apps are games of course, news, and provide some reason to go back to them again and again…and for the many who simply put content feeds into their apps and don’t interact with their audience, it’s just not a worthwhile game, because if your app is ignored, that’s a waste of time.
How to Get Your Android App Noticed
The best advice for getting your app noticed often focuses on the Internet first, and then onto the mobile platform, because the reviewers and gatekeepers of this space are still contacted via the Internet more than mobile:
- Get reviews from top Android Review sites; the old review system is still in place, because trying to do this with your smartphone in an App Store is tough. Surprisingly the old Internet web site still does a better job, and reviews here can go a long way to getting you noticed, AND installed (remember, if you are not installed, what’s the point).
- Social media, especially Twitter, for your PR and buzz building: here is one of the places that Facebook does not seem to be as strong. Twitter can connect you to the key influencers and is of course seen on mobile phones easily, so make sure that you do some pre-launch buzz building, PR at its finest, and get the word out.
- Pay Per Installs and Incentives: Tapjoy is seen as a leader in pay per installs, and there are many other PPI companies rising up. Tapjoy uses an Offer Wall to encourage users to install your app, with a specific price charged to you for the installation. In addition, Pay Per Action (PPA), where you pay for users actually being active with your App, are also being tested, because if your App is not used, what’s the point?
- Viral, Which Means Make Your App Great: Just creating an app for a few specific functions does not get it used. Outside of the gaming space (and even if you don’t do games, gaming mechanics should be integrated into your app and its usage), make your app something worth referring to others. People get apps for news, entertainment, updates, and even survival – think of farmers getting weather and pricing updates. What makes your app essential for your audience? Best to answer that question, and to give them a reason to share this with friends and to keep ongoing contact with friends via your app and its functionalities.
Mobile lead generation is not just about getting your app installed, it’s about getting it used, giving people the ability to visit your mobile web site for ordering (if you don’t do that within your app), and if possible use location tracking as a benefit that your app takes advantage of…proximity is the new buzzword, both in terms of physical location and to people who are like minded in terms of interests.
The Key is Viral –
Good Quality App + Incentives to Pass It On = Growth
In all my research for the New Media Game, one thing becomes clear; if its’ not viral, if people don’t use it repeatedly and pass it on, it won’t get recognized by Android (or Apple for that matter) as high quality. The proof is in the app, so don’t just rush it out there, consider how people will use it, and pass it on.
Then give them the tools to do this right within your app, and get the buzz going. Just like in the early days of the Internet everyone had a web site, and most of the web sites were brochures, today many people have apps, and while they are not literally brochures, if all they do is provide content, it may not be worth your time…yet.
After all, if no one takes action with your app and uses it, what’s the point? How are you planning to make your app viral? Let me know your questions and I’ll see if I can provide you some answers….