As a published author and former English teacher, I have written poetry, editorials, and short fiction for publications large and small. Writing for Zco allows me to mesh my love of words with my love of all things tech. Outside of the office, you can find me singing, gaming, or hanging out with my two cats.
Ever wonder how the Number 1 apps became Number 1? It wasn’t just luck. It wasn’t just great design. Climbing to the top of the app store requires much more; it requires a strong marketing strategy to get your app name known.
In this blog, I will focus on 3 elements of pre-release marketing that can take your app from obscurity to the top of the search results. The key to an application is to promote it like you are promoting a business, and market as you would a start-up venture.
Before beginning the development of an app, it is important to complete a competitive analysis. An article from Tune highlights how to use your competitors to your advantage. Do some research into what contributes to their success. Review their website pages, keywords, app store postings, and what app stores they are live on. This will give you insight about how and where to launch your mobile application.
The next key component of an application’s success is optimizing your application for each app store. Different app stores have different components that they review to decide if your app is number 1 or number 1,001.
One factor all stores use in the ranking is the app’s name. Kissmetrics writes, “Having a keyword in your title can improve your app’s search ranking for that keyword by an average of 10.3%.” Keywords are words consumers type into a search engine or app store search bars.
The next item to review is the keyword selection. This is crucial to how apps are ranked in both the iTunes and Google Play app stores. 47% of iOS users and 53% of Android users find apps through their app store’s search engine. Using optimized keywords will help those users find your app!
Once the title and keywords are optimized, the next logical step is to write the description. This is where you have the opportunity to grab the readers’ attention and provide all the details about the application. Include what it does, how to use it, and why the consumer should download it. You can incorporate any secondary keywords into the description as well, further helping your app’s rankings in the app store search.
Now that the consumer can find your app, it is important to visually entice them to purchase. According to a study by Tune, 93% of users stated they observe and consider screenshots when searching for apps in the App Store. The screenshot is a preview to the design and user experience of an application. Be sure to choose the most eye-catching screens!
The final piece to optimize your app store listing is a new feature that is available only in iTunes: app preview videos. This feature allows you to create a promotional video up to 30 seconds in length and highlight 3-5 features of the application.
As important as it is to have a presence in the app stores, it is also important to have a presence elsewhere on the web. Building a website is another way to promote your application. This is essential if you are promoting the application via advertisements, trying to get beta testers, or are contacting press. It also provides another location for consumers to learn more about your app.
Elements to include in Website design:
Pre-release marketing is the first step to in getting mobile app downloads. Taking the steps to create your app’s brand and build an audience will bring app success when it comes time to launch.
Let us know strategies you used to marketing your application before it was released!
Okay, the term “serious games” might seem a little confusing. The first time I encountered the term, I immediately though of the bone-dry typing games our computer teacher forced us to play in middle school. “Look, it’s fun!” she would exclaim, as we listlessly typed paragraphs to earn boring silver coins. It was very serious, and it barely resembled a game. Srsly.
“Serious games” today are quite different. The term defines a genre of games that serve a purpose other than pure entertainment. That purpose could be to improve fitness or wellness, teach a new skill, or to improve brand awareness. Most serious games fall into one of three categories: Simulations, Game-Based Learning, or Health Games.
Simulation games, games that provide a virtual learning experience that mimics the real world, have been popular since 3rd graders first died of dysentery on the Oregon Trail. That tradition continues with simulation serious games like HumanSim’s Zero Hour and the Stock Market Simulator.
The Marine Corps has even gotten in the game, with the training simulator Close Combat: Marines. The game was first released by the Marine Corps Gazette and Matrix Games in 2004, and has since become a successful simulation game franchise.
Game-based learning apps have a similar goal to simulation games: they are meant to teach a skill. The difference lies in the approach. Simulators feel like games with educational elements. Game-based learning apps tend to feel educational, with gamification embedded within lessons.
Duolingo is a highly successful language learning app that utilizes gamification with badges, points, and fun. It was Apple’s 2013 App of the Year, and Google Play’s Best of the Best. Schools are embracing EdTech serious games as well, with subjects ranging from biology to grammar.
Health serious games, or health apps that contain gamification, are incredibly trendy at the moment. Whether you want to feel rewarded for eating right, building good habits, or exercising, there are apps to help make your journey more entertaining.
Fitocracy is a wellness tracker, allowing users to manage calories and workouts. For mobile users looking to build positive habits, HabitRPG provides a gamification platform for customized goals. Zombies, Run! has earned attention for its unique approach in motivating fitness. The user becomes “Runner 5”, and must complete various running missions… while being pursued by hordes of the shambling undead.
As you can see, “serious games” are still entertaining. They are designed to teach anything from languages to medical techniques using highly interactive and engaging game formats.
Thinking about building a serious game for your organization? You’ve come to the right place! Give us a call at 603.881.9200 to learn more.
Everyone’s heard the Cinderella stories. A group of friends come up with a revolutionary idea, seek out seed money from venture capitalists, and strike out. All hope seems lost… until they post their idea to Kickstarter and are funded within a week!
The crowdfunding strategies behind these successful campaigns are omitted all too often. The teams use social media, cunning marketing, and branding to create a public buzz leading their Kickstarter projects to success. And for every media hit with a famous spokesperson and nostalgia clout like Reading Rainbow, there are thousands of successful, quieter campaigns.
This is great news: if fairy dust is not responsible for their success, then the strategies can be learned! We’ve created a list of the 5 indispensible crowdfunding tips.
Very few people seek out projects to fund on their own. The vast majority of your potential investors will find your project through social media, news outlets, or word of mouth. Remember when the potato salad guy went viral?
Before you even launch your campaign, figure out who your potential customers are. Are they busy parents? Exercise enthusiasts? Establishing your customer base will inform every part of your crowdfunding campaign: which social media platforms to use, which blogs and websites to court for articles, and the design and voice of your campaign materials. If you’re marketing to young male gamers, then your Tweets, emails, and visuals should appeal to young male gamers.
Now it’s time to appeal to their hearts. Excite them! As your teachers used to say, “Show, don’t tell.” Tell stories, whether from real experiences or hypothetical ones. Make your campaign vibrant and personal. Citing specs isn’t enough: you have to show your funders how this product will help them or someone they love.
Create prototypes and concept art, or even a video trailer to introduce your idea to the public. Media has the power to excite and engage people in a way that words alone can’t touch. The team at Gowyim asked Zco to develop a game trailer and promotional video to highlight the potential of their game concept. Their IndieGoGo campaign can be found here.
Create dedicated social media accounts for your product. Tweeting your smart pitches as “soccerplayer88” is a quick way to lose your credibility before you’ve even built it. Create brand-focused accounts dedicated to sharing content on the problems you’re going to solve and the benefits of your idea.
Now, don’t go crazy and create accounts on every single platform. Be strategic. Who is your potential audience? How much time can you dedicate to posting and interacting? At the very least, establish your brand on Facebook and Twitter. Depending on your audience and product, consider other major platforms, such as Google+, Pinterest, and YouTube. Share relevant and share often. Build relationships. Follow and RT. In short, be someone that other people want to follow and share!
Your idea should be ready to go the instant you post your campaign. Whether you have developed final prototypes or story-boarded your entire game, it is important that you know your product inside and out. More specifically, it’s important that you convey this confidence and depth of knowledge to your potential funders. Be specific and clear about why your product is a one-in-a-million idea.
Make your campaign the best, too. Take a look at this list of the highest-grossing crowdfunding projects. Browse through recently successful campaigns on the site of your choice. Jot down notes. Odds are, if something appeals to you, it will appeal to many other investors.
Crowdfunding campaigns are not “set it and forget it” moneymakers. They take time, and a little elbow grease. A successful campaign requires time and energy throughout its lifespan, which can be up to two months. Some crowdfunding ventures will pick up momentum on the first day, and others will scoot in under the wire. It is important to make the commitment to see things through to the end. After all, if you don’t believe in your project, who will?
In the end, you need to be your idea’s best cheerleader. Your project is worth funding! Say it loud, and say it proud!
To learn more about Zco Corporation’s creative services, click here or give us a call at 603.881.9200
Zco Corporation is a proud associate member of the American Hospital Association. The AHA was formed in 1898, and is a national organization of healthcare representatives. Its members include providers, networks, hospitals, and affiliates, addressing both local and national issues. The AHA is an advocate for health information technology, an area in which Zco has extensive experience.
Zco has worked with healthcare partners to develop custom medical mobile applications, as well as 3D animations, walkthroughs, and modeling projects for medical, business, and nonprofit fields. With 25 years of developing cutting-edge custom software, Zco is proud to work with our medical partners in various fields to create a healthier future for everyone.
Medical mobile apps are an advancing technology having a bigger presence in the health care industry. Not only do healthcare professionals benefit from having mobile electronic health records of patients, apps are now giving patients the ability to keep up-to-date with their health records. Easy and convenient, mobile apps have improved the doctor-patient relationship by bettering communication and understanding.
Zco has built numerous healthcare related apps, including:
The Govern4Health app is targeted to health leaders, managers, and those who govern within health systems. It details four essential governing practices, enumerating various tasks that support those practices, and examples of those practices in use.
Using a standard mobile headset, MyBreath Lite generates a breathing score for its users. The app provides real-time feedback, fitness goal tracking, and coaching. Interactive graphs and animations provide step-by-step guidance.
With My Resource Search from the Patient Advocate Foundation, users can find the insurance and healthcare assistance they need. Resources in 35 categories range from financial assistance to transportation help. Four quick questions hone in on the user’s exact need.
Track My Health features templates for more than 35 critical laboratory tests as well as blood pressure, pulse, weight, and BMI. Data points can be graphed over time to see if one's health is improving. There are even tips for reducing one's risk factors – though, of course, you should always consult with your own doctor.
PetMed helps pet owners maintain an updated medical file of critical information that can be communicated with veterinarians, pet sitters, animal hospitals and animal hotels. It helps medical histories and general information about your loving pet come to life.
PMR gives patients the power to maintain their own Personal Medical Records. It also helps them communicate with their physicians via email, request medication refills, and track treatments.
Medical 3D animations can serve a variety of purposes in the healthcare industry. A medical device manufacturer can create 3D demonstrative videos for their prosthetics, teaching doctors and patients alike. Medical students can train via digital autopsies, exploring the body in detail when a cadaver is not available.
The possibilities for 3D in the healthcare industry are endless. Our 3D artists have worked with medical manufacturing companies, doctors, and other healthcare professionals to create intricately detailed tutorials, overviews, and mobile applications.
Here are some examples of the uses of 3D animation:
Walkthroughs allow visitors to virtually tour a facility, even if the building does not yet exist. A hospital looking to build a new wing can develop a 3D walkthrough of the proposed facilities to court donors. Tour Zco’s headquarters in our example of 3D walkthrough.
As the world continues to push more towards mobile technology, so must healthcare. Zco’s collaboration with the AHA is indicative of our commitment to building high-quality projects in the field of medicine. To learn more about Zco’s healthcare services, click here or give us a call at 603.881.9200.
Last week, two members of the Zco team traveled to Manhattan for the NYC Small Business Expo. The Expo is held at several cities across the country throughout the year, with the goal of creating connections between small businesses of all kinds.
Photo Credit: anieto2k via Compfight cc
Spending time in New York is always fun, and the Expo was no exception. There were businesses of all kinds, with strong representation in the areas of marketing, tech, and manufacturing. Local, smaller enterprises were mixed in with big-name companies Square, VistaPrint,and Zoho. Chambers of Commerce from throughout New York and New Jersey also attended.
One of the highlights of the show was the diverse workshop line-up. There were topics ranging from securing business loans to email marketing. Our own Randy Peterson presented to a standing-room only crowd in his workshop, “Business Strategy: How to Implement Mobile Apps."
We had a great time in NYC, and are looking forward to the next Small Business Expo in Boston on October 2! The shows are free and open to the public, so we hope to see you there!
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