I am a social media guru and blogger, and always looking for the latest innovations. When not in the office I can be found out and about at networking events, running, or in the kitchen trying a new recipe.
This year Zco Corporation celebrated its 25th year in business. With a quarter century of experience came a lot of learning, so the team at Zco decided to honor our silver anniversary with a curated list of the 25 best tips and tricks to help make your apps successful in the upcoming year!
Sara Woodward at Stable / Kernel notes that the key to developing a successful app is to “find a great development partner.” You must be able to build a relationship with your developer, and trust that the developers will code your vision.
Ekaterina Klink from Clickky recommends that developers consider monetization models. There are a variety of methods to use, but “freemium” monetization (free apps with in-app purchases for greater functionality) and in-app advertising are currently the models trending in the app store.
It is important to know that in today’s app market, your app will not be contained to just one device. Jess Bahr, Social Flow, mentions that you also need to think beyond smartphones to phablets and wearables.
“Customer research matters,” states Nick Johnson from Applico. You need to understand your customers’ needs, solutions, and devices they use. It is important to know who will use your application prior to releasing to the masses to ensure your application appeals to your target audience.
This year, Sarah Silbert at Deeplink noticed a trend of deep linking and believes this technique will be more mainstream in the upcoming year. “Deep links take you directly to specific locations in apps rather than dropping you at the homepage.”
This tip is for individuals considering developing apps for children. Tamera Bennett, Bennett Law Office, reminds us to become familiar with the laws and app store rules and regulations regarding marketing and selling applications to minors (under 16 years of age).
Amber Sawaya from Sawaya Consulting advises creators to “consider your ongoing maintenance plan. Your app will need to be continually updated with bug fixes, support new devices, and the addition of new features.”
Will King, Penthouse-Magic, reminds developers to “optimize for site speed. Google expects mobile apps / sites to load in under 1 second, so they should be optimized to load as fast as possible.”
To promote your application after release, Molly Sylestine of Apptive recommends that you build an integrated mobile marketing plan. The plan should include email marketing, push notifications, and social media.
For this tip we are focusing on design advice from Patrick Adams of Tonic Design. “When design and engineering truly collaborate, the proof is in the product: the way it looks, the way it works and the way it feels.”
“Your app can’t make a splash if users don’t know about it, so create a keyword strategy that lets users easily find your app in the App Store or via search engines,” says Sanjay Signhal from Audiobooks.com.
Jay Shapiro of AppMakr recommends that you “build a business before you build an app.” To be successful you must have a great idea, great execution of the idea, and a great business behind the idea.
It is important to “ask users to review your application exactly when they are most satisfied,” states Monica Zaldivar, Zoobe. This involves creating timely messages within the application and building a relationship between your brand and the users.
When promoting your app it is important to have visuals for the users to view. This will usually include screenshots and a tutorial video. Kathryn Quirk, OtoSense, recommends that your video show exactly what your applications can do now and not display any future updates planned.
It is important to consider the potential of every device when developing your application. Over the years, phones have developed better cameras, stronger geo-location, and improved calendars. Apps are able to harness these functions and incorporate them into their applications, according to Sean Allen, OutSystems.
Dan Laughlin, HyperMX, believes that 2015 will be THE year for mobile advertising. Many big brands are planning their Q1 ad spends for 2015, and mobile applications are being given a larger budget.
Joey Shelvelson, AIM Consulting, notes simplicity will be key in the upcoming year. He recommends that “instead of chasing the next feature or enhancement, identify the core of your app, the thing that you deliver to your customers that no one else can.”
In 2015, Lois Di Qual from Expensify believes automation and data tracking will be notable app components. Mobile apps already track tons of data based on your location and interests. In the upcoming year, this information will be put to use to provide a more automated experience.
Mobile devices now provide consumers the ability to use voice commands, and in 2015 this trend will extend to mobile applications as well. Dave Hochman, DJH Marketing Communications shares that “your mobile app can take advantage of these technologies that are baked into the OS of Android and Windows phone to create custom experiences that are fast and hands-free via voice.”
2015 is the year that brands will show appreciation to their users. Omer Chehmer, Last Minute Travel, states that it is important your app provides value added services. This will help increase consumer engagement.
Applications are not only found in the app store, but also found through all the popular search engines. Jeanne Hopkins, Continuum, emphasizes the importance of having a mobile optimized website. This will allow for prospective customers to find you through a variety of avenues.
Genna Carbone, SecureState, emphasizes the importance of security in 2015. She believes there will a strong push for more regulations in 2015, along with app developers creating more secure platforms.
If you are considering the cost of getting an application developed, your final sum will be for more than just the development. You need to also think of launch and marketing costs. Marc Appelbaum, Global Branding Central, states “You MUST, MUST, MUST market your project … there must be a marketing plan / budget in place.”
Tiffany Liou, H3 Communications, recommends getting an application on social media sites to increase visibility. Social media is one more way for users to find and connect with your app.
Development is no longer just for mobile. Wearables are entering the space and your app needs to be ready. Kobi Hatcher, AIM Consulting, encourages everyone to consider wearables when creating an application.
That’s it! Our 25th year in business is coming to a close, and we’re looking forward to ringing in 2015. We will continue to monitor and share trends in the upcoming year, and if you have a tip be sure to let us know in the comments below.
Happy New Year!
On Wednesday, November 19th Zco opened their doors for the 25th Anniversary Fall Harvest event. The celebration was hosted in the Riverview Café at our corporate headquarters, Nashua’s Millyard Technology Park. The event was full of food, networking, and lots of fun.
Katie Meurin, Director of Marketing, greeted everyone as they entered the celebration.
One of the biggest hits was the pool tournament. Laura Millar, Marketing Specialist, managed the bracket and both Zco employees and guests participated in the friendly competition.
Another activity guests enjoyed was the pitching booth. Businesses were able to discuss their app idea with Don Austin, Vice President, and Courtney Caudle, Account Executive. This allowed attendees to get answers to their app development questions.
At the event we made sure to recognize our clients. Many of the attendees enjoyed playing games including Hungry Bunnies 3D, AgRacer, QB8, and Dino Fight.
The highlight of the evening was the ceremonial ribbon cutting. John Olapurath, Founder and President, gave a brief speech thanking everyone for attending. After the speech, the executive team including Linda Reilly, Chief Financial Officer, and Don Austin, Vice President, stood next to Olapurath while he cut the silver ribbon in honor of our silver anniversary.
Overall, the event was a huge success thanks to the members of our local business community. We appreciate everyone who came out to celebrate with us and enjoyed learning about your businesses. We look forward to seeing you at future events and out in the local community!
On September 24 and 25 I had the pleasure of attending the Boston App Expo 2014. I was able to attend a variety of presentations regarding UI design, app marketing, and wearable technology. There was a lot to be learned about topics from development to deployment.
Every app needs to be intuitive for the user to pick up, said the Microsoft professionals in a Gaming UI talk. This includes a simple design, recognizable icons, and adequate in-app training. Along with being efficient and easy to use, the app should also have something whimsical about it. That might involve incorporating animations, adding fun jingles, or including surprises – the users want to have some fun.
Once the app is developed it is time to move on to the marketing. Apps are not “set it and forget it” tools, but need to be marketed and in front of the right target audience. Hunter Gaylor, pictured below, vividly described marketing and selling apps through relationship building. It is also important to research your target audience, their emotional triggers, and how they use apps.
With your target audience in mind, you can now think about the app’s description, taglines, keywords, and consumer marketing. Today 63% of apps are found via search, which emphasizes why app store optimization is crucial: specific words and phrases can be the difference between an app getting found and getting buried. Social media outlets, paid advertisements and focus groups can also be invaluable in getting the word out.
After you develop, research, and market you now need to analyze. Did the app reach its target market? Were users engaged? This cycle repeats with each new update to the app. Detailed analytics code can be built into any app to provide crucial performance statistics.
Overall, the Boston App Expo was full of thought leaders, creators, developers, and marketers all on a single mission: figure out the secret sauce to getting an app number one. Mobile applications are businesses that reside in people’s phones, with all the challenges and opportunities that any business presents.
Here in New Hampshire, at the Zco Corporation headquarters, the cool mornings have begun and the school buses are all getting ready to bring students to school. In honor of the changing seasons it is the perfect time to reflect and look at some of the great educational and parenting apps our clients have created.
Kicker Rides a Bike created by MySporties is an interactive storybook that encourages young children to learn to read. The book is a combination of animation, sound effects, and interaction to keep young readers engaged while learning life lessons. The app is currently available on iTunes and Google Play.
Created by Bright Solutions for Dyslexia, the Barton Tiles System helps individuals with learning differences ranging from 1st graders to adults improve their reading and writing skills. The mobile app contains short 10-minute pre-loaded lessons and has the ability to track program progress for tutors and students. This app is currently available on iTunes.
The creators of Chores for Rewards believed that positive behavior should be rewarded, and motivation should be a key to success. This app allows parents to control their child’s Android tablet or smartphone from their personal phone. Kids earn time in their favorite apps by completing chores, and app privileges can be revoked and restored by parents. The app is currently available on Google Play!
The last app on our fall list is an app that helps parents in emergencies. This application has two parts, one for the child and one for the parent. The child app is simply a GPS tracker to keep the parents in the know about their child’s whereabouts. The parents’ app has a list of emergency contacts that can be notified if your child goes missing and can hold a child’s basic information to access at the tap of a finger. Along with being a safety app, SafetySnapp acts as a digital scrapbook and photos can be taken within the application. SafetySnapp can be downloaded on iTunes and Google Play.
All of these apps were created will the student and parent in mind. Whether they help your student grow in school or they help the parent manage their hectic schedule they are here to make life a little easier. Let us know some of your favorite fall or back to school apps!
Zco Corporation is excited for the upcoming months full of events. We will be traveling locally in New Hampshire and the Greater Boston area to get to know our community and answer all your mobile app and animation questions!
Manchester Young Professionals Network (MYPN): Summer Luau
August 13th 5:30 – 7:30pm - World Sports Grille, Manchester NH
Kathryn and Randy kicked off the event tour at the MYPN Summer Luau. They interacted with local businesses specializing in technology, marketing, non-profit, healthcare, and many others. The event was full of entrepreneurs and business professionals discussing their industry of expertise and learning about future business relationships with each other.
Manchester Young Professionals Network (MYPN): High-Tech Event
September 16th 5:30 - 7:30pm – Dyn, Manchester NH
This year is the 2nd Annual High-Tech event, and we are excited to attend. This event is anticipated to boast a large array of technology companies in the Southern New Hampshire area, so if you are looking for an event highlighting the latest innovations - this is it!
September 18th 3:00 - 7:00pm – Center of NH Expo Center, Manchester NH
We are headed back to Manchester for the 26th Annual Tri-City Expo with Randy and David representing Zco. This event is hosted by the Concord, Manchester, and Nashua Chambers of Commerce and is one of the largest B2B expos in New Hampshire. The expo holds 200 exhibitors with over 1,000 guests anticipated to attend. The expo is sure to be full of food, local vendors, and great businesses, so if you are in the Manchester area I would encourage you to stop by.
Small Business Expo Boston
October 2nd 10:00am-5:00pm – Hynes Convention Center, Boston MA
Finally, we will be heading to Boston for the Small Business Expo. This is the largest small businesses events series in the country, and we are lucky it is coming so close to our headquarters. The event will hold over 20 workshops on business automation, public relations, search engine optimization and many other topics. Courtney, an account executive, will be hosting a mobile apps workshop as well. Along with workshops the event has empowering keynote speakers, speed networking events, and an expo hall that boasts a large array of small businesses and organizations the specialize in working with small businesses. This event was a huge hit in Boston in the past and it is only anticipated to grow this year.
If you are attending any of these events leave us a comment and we will keep an eye out for you! We look forward to seeing you soon.
Zco Corporation is a custom software company with headquarters in Nashua, New Hampshire, USA specializing in mobile app development, enterprise software, and 3D animation.
NEW HAMPSHIRE, HQ
58 Technology Way, Suite 2W10,
Nashua, NH 03060, USA
Phone: (603) 881-9200
745 Atlantic Ave,
Phone: (855) 926-2777