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Apple's app store
Posted by: Viki ZabalaDecember 8, 2011
This week, Android hit a huge milestone, reaching 10 billion total app downloads and Google has indicated that it's now seeing up to one billion app installs every 30 days. Apple's App Store has seen nearly double the total downloads – roughly 20 billion cumulative – according to TechCrunch.
With thousands upon thousands of mobile apps now available to consumers – and a flood of new entrants surfacing in app stores every day – competition is fierce. The biggest challenge facing both new and veteran developers and their marketing counterparts is how to stand out from the crowd and generate the download volumes necessary to create a successful mobile app business.
To help provide developers and marketers with best practices and actionable steps for solving the mobile app discovery dilemma, we presented a webinar this week on the topic, in partnership with FierceWireless.
Jo Wightman, director of client development here at Fiksu was joined by key industry players including Robin Thompson, chief marketing officer at WMC Global; Taylor Cascino, head of strategic partnerships at Chomp; Rob Carroll, director of publishing at Tapjoy and Marcus Startzel, senior vice president, sales at Millennial Media. The panel explored how app developers and marketers can build their brands by strategically leveraging traffic sources across the mobile ecosystem – from mobile ad networks to real-time bidding exchanges to incentivized download networks – to vault from relative obscurity into the upper ranks of app store bestseller lists.
Missed the webinar? Don’t worry – you can catch it on demand here.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaDecember 2, 2011
For the last few months, we've closely followed consumer anticipation for the iPhone 4S – tracking its direct impact on both mobile app downloads and app marketing costs.
With the arrival of the new iPhone, October was the pivotal month, putting an end to months of industry speculation and mounting expectation, and validating many of our own predictions based on insights gleaned from our Fiksu for Mobile Apps platform.
- The App Store Competitive Index tracks the aggregate volume of downloads per day achieved by the Top 200 ranked free iPhone apps in the U.S. The average volume of downloads per day increased by 29 percent from 3.8 million in September to a record high of 4.91 million in October, following the availability of the new iPhone 4S model.
- The Cost per Loyal User Index measures the cost of acquiring a loyal user for brands who proactively market their apps. For the purpose of the Index, loyal users are defined as people who open an app three times or more. The cost per loyal app user dropped 12 percent – 17 cents – to $1.47 in October from September’s all-time high of $1.64 due to the large increase in app downloads both paid and organically driven.
The first two weeks of October were similar to the month of September, as users held out excitedly for the new iPhone. But during the weekend of October 14 -16, the first three days of the new model’s availability, more than four million new iPhones were sold and app downloads soared to a record high. In fact, our Index experienced as much as a 70 percent increase in daily download volume during this time period, and recorded a significant increase in organic downloads.
For mobile marketers seeking extreme growth in a very short time period, that first weekend presented huge opportunity to secure large volumes of new users – but at a cost as competition was fierce. But by the end of the month, things had calmed down and marketing costs dropped 12 percent from September, yet volume remained plentiful.
Thanks to Kim-Mai Cutler of InsideMobileApps, Matt Brian of The Next Web, Jason Ankeny of FierceMobileContent, Keith Andrew of PockerGamer, Mobile Marketing Watch and TechJournal South for their reports on our latest Index data.
As we enter the holiday season, it will be interesting to see what’s in store for our November Indexes. Check back next month when we "unwrap" our latest findings.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaNovember 4, 2011
Smartphone ownership – and mobile app usage – in the United States continues to soar, but a new survey from Nielsen shows that smartphone adoption is happening among young adults much faster than other age groups. We’ll explore these findings, along with the latest Apple rumors, a look back at Android’s humble beginnings and new data on international mobile app usage, in this week’s Fiksu Feed.
Nielsen’s new third quarter study indicates that 62 percent of U.S. mobile users between the ages of 25 and 34 own smartphones, compared to just 43 percent of all U.S. mobile phone users. In an interview with New York Times, Don Kellogg, director of telecom research and insights at Nielsen, said, “This is a wake-up call for potential advertisers waiting for a tipping point for mobile media or for smartphones to reach the majority. We’re already there with certain segments.”
The same Nielsen study shows that Android remains at the forefront of all mobile operating systems – holding strong with 43 percent of the market. Jessica Dolcourt of CNET takes a look back at the Android era – from the days of G1 to the newly released Android 4.0, better known as Ice Cream sandwich. She remarks, “I'm amazed at how far Google has come since the early days, when it was trying to convince the world that phones with the friendly green extraterrestrial could make applesauce of the revolutionary iPhone.”
Though Android continues to lead the smartphone market, you can bet that Apple isn’t sitting idly by. Forbes reported that the company is rumored to “completely overhaul” its products next year – with enhancements to its iPads, iPhones, iMacs and MacBook Airs. DigiTimes broke the news early Thursday, citing “sources in the upstream supply chain.”
The Next Web reported on new data from Flurry Analytics showing “astronomical” growth of mobile apps in China. The study tracked instances of use across 120,000 apps from January to October 2011, singling out the top 10 countries where app use has skyrocketed this year. While most of these countries showed jumps in usage between 300 and 500 percent, China took the lead with a mind-boggling 870 percent increase. Flurry attributes this “hyper-growth” to falling prices for older iPhone models and the surge in available Android devices.
TechCrunch published a great infographic from mobile ad exchange Mobclix, illustrating exactly what happens across the mobile space every 60 seconds. Author Chris Valazco quips, “In case you were curious, in the time it took me to write out my first sentence, over 23,000 iOS apps were downloaded from Apple’s App Store.”
Last but certainly not least, Angry Birds has reached the 500 million mark, making the insanely popular app the most downloaded game of all-time. Developer Rovio announced this major milestone on Wednesday at an event held in Finland. Wall Street Journal has more.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaOctober 28, 2011
iPhone anticipation strikes again!
Last month, our insights showed that a hiatus in iPhone sales (ahead of the much-rumored launch of the new iPhone) were directly tied to the drop in app downloads from Apple’s App Store.
Our latest Index findings reveal that the waiting game for iPhone 4S caused the volume of app downloads to continue to decline in September. Conversely, mobile app marketing costs reached an all-time high, creeping up 70 cents over the last six months. There’s no denying that attracting engaged users continues to be an expensive and competitive challenge for mobile app marketers.
- The App Store Competitive Index tracks the aggregate volume of downloads per day achieved by the Top 200 ranked free iPhone apps in the U.S. In September, the volume of downloads dropped by six percent to 3.8 million from 4.06 million in August.
- The Cost per Loyal User Index measures the cost of acquiring a loyal user for brands who proactively market their apps. Loyal users are defined as people who open an app three times or more. In September, the cost reached $1.64, a jump of six percent – 10 cents – from August’s $1.54.
Our Indexes have spurred a number of interesting industry conversations, including:
In examining the Indexes, AdWeek’s Anthony Ha writes, “On one hand, this seems like yet another way that developers are at the mercy of Apple. On the other, Apple isn't immune to these difficulties itself—the company blamed iPhone rumors (and the decision of consumers to wait for the new device) for sales numbers that fell short of analyst estimates.”
GigaOM’s Darrell Etherington says, “I suggest that declining app downloads may be more attributable to two other possible culprits: a slowdown of fresh, innovative content and/or marquee titles; and a user base growing more resistant to what has been a brand new form of product.” However, he goes on to say, “I still think it’s likely that new devices lead customers to new software purchases, even if my two counterpoints are true, so like Fiksu, I expect App Store downloads to see a rebound in the coming months.”
Thanks also to Sarah Perez of TechCrunch, Kim-Mai Cutler of InsideMobileApps, Phil Hornshaw of Appolicious, Matt Sakuraoka-Gilman of PocketGamerBiz and Jason Ankeny of FierceMobileContent for reporting our latest Index data to their readers.
Now that the new iPhone 4S is here – and more than four million people have already bought it – we’re as anxious as you to see what the October Indexes will reveal. We’ve taken an early peek at the data and all signs point to a spike in app downloads. Be sure to check back in late November when we’ll reveal the full download on October downloads!
Posted by: Viki ZabalaAugust 10, 2011
Last month, Apple announced that its App Store alone now contains more than 425,000 apps. For app marketers, your challenge is finding a way to make your app stand out in such a massive crowd.
Discoverability hinges on getting your app ranked high enough in the app stores. Additionally, in order to scale your business, you need to find a cost-effective way to secure enough downloads. And the real kicker – you need to achieve all of these marketing goals without breaking the bank.
Before throwing your hands up in defeat, rethinking your career choice and going prematurely grey, know that you’re not alone, and that there are ways to overcome these challenges.
Following are four simple and proven best practices for developing your creative and effectively promoting your app for profitable and sustainable loyal user acquisition and business growth. By employing these, you can greatly increase the likelihood of finding loyal users in a cost-efficient way. You can also read additional strategies in our recent post Five Ways to Drive Downloads and Loyal Users for Your Mobile App and in our e-book.
1. With App Ad Copy, Less is More
Unlike traditional ad copy, mobile real estate is limited. Keep your ad text short, punchy and straight to the point, and make your call to action immediate and valuable. When writing effective mobile ads, we recommend the following:
- Your ad copy should resemble that of Google AdWord copy, rather than traditional copy
- Do your research and identify the most compelling, targeted keywords to use in your title
- Highlight key benefits and functionalities that clearly differentiate your app
- Keep it easy to understand, and keep jargon to a minimum
2. Practice Makes Perfect
Once you've developed your creative, conduct A/B testing by comparing a baseline, control sample to a variety of single-variable test samples across all traffic sources to determine which ads perform the best – resulting in higher ranking in the app stores and/or garnering increased downloads. By looking at the results from different tests, you'll be able to identify the ads that consistently produce the best results and swap them for lower-performing ads on a per source basis. But don't stop there – routinely play with different copy combinations with the goal of continuously increasing conversions.
3. Write Your Landing Page for Mobile Consumption
It is extremely important to remember your audience when developing your app store landing page. When composing your landing page, don't focus on how it will look on the desktop, but rather how it will look on mobile devices, since this is where the majority of app download decision-making will occur.
4. Drive Downloads Through Your Title
When creating your app's title, it is essential to look beyond your brand and also consider terms of app store search results and conversion of users who arrive on your app store landing page. For example, if you have a photography-oriented app, speak to the functionality of the app in its title by referencing a feature like "picture color". This way you are just as likely to appear in the app store search results for a user looking for a "photography" solution.
It's true that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for marketing to and securing mobile app users. But the good news is that there is a way to overcome these challenges and build a successful, sustainable mobile app business – and reduce your user acquisition costs by up to 10x in the process. To learn more about these tips and tricks and many others, download the free e-book, Best Practices for Growing Your Mobile App Business.
Posted by: Bill FlynnJune 15, 2011
Fiksu for Mobile Apps was born from the technologies, tools and expertise we developed to successfully promote our own mobile app, Fluent News™ Reader. Within 6 months, the help of 5 PHDs and a history of hyper-efficient marketing experience, we figured out how to get our app to #1 in Apple’s App Store for our category (News) generating tens of thousands of downloads per day.
For a significant period of time, we were more than holding our own with heavyweights such as CNN, WSJ, NYT and others. Even better, we were able to get the cost of DL from $3.00 to $0.30 in a matter of weeks by finding the best places to spend our money. We immediately recognized we were on to something, that our winning formula could help mobile marketers supercharge visibility, create volumes of downloads, and build a loyal user base for their apps.
As a company we decided to offer this technology solution to others and so transformed the company about a year ago to offer folks like Groupon, Hearst, HotelTonight, Barnes & Noble, VH1 and dozens of others the Fiksu for Mobile Apps platform.
Recently we took our wealth of experience and published a useful free ebook: Best Practices of Growing your Mobile App Business
Here's the first couple of tips:
- Work with multiple traffic sources
- Focus on acquiring downloads from loyal app users
- Drive and track downloads from organic users
- Determine your optimal category and rank to maximize your ROI or cost per loyal user
...Find the other 10 Tips here: www.fiksu.com/resources/ebook/grow-app-business