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Developer
Posts: 100
Registered: ‎10-04-2010
My Device: Not Specified

Marketing & Dev Tips for App Developers

A bit hello to all the app developers out there (or those considering developing an app)! As a new Playbook owner, and the owner of several Blackberry phones in the past, I wanted to share some of my experiences and thoughts with you on the current state of the App World marketplace and how you can better market your apps and encourage sales.

I've been working as a marketer with a focus on the web for several years now, I have a background in design and development and a degree in Marketing. I'm certainly not the end-all and be-all when it comes to selling mobile apps, but I have learned a few things that I hope will help you make a bit more money (and in turn will make for a better app ecosystem for us all). Anyone interested in chiming in with your thoughts or things I might have missed, please chime in!

1. Offer a Trial version.
I don't want to pay for your app unless it has incredible reviews across the board and there are multiple screenshots that shows me what it does (as well as a long description). Still, I'm MUCH more likely to buy and be satisfied if I can try it first, than I am to buy it for a couple of bucks and hate it (plus I'll leave you a negative review if it doesn't do what you say it does). I also encourage time-limited trials with full functionality (or, for games, a certain number of levels free), though the exact route you take will depend on your app, its features/benefits/value, and so forth.

2. Write a complete, clear description, and include multiple screenshots
Don't skimp on the descriptive information. Make sure it's clear and concise, with an introduction and a list of the top features that differentiate your app from others in the same category. Throw up plenty of screenshots that show all the different views in your app (e.g. main page, settings, article view, level selector, gameplay, etc.)

3. Provide a link to a dedicated website for the app
This is important. Show me that you, the developer, exists and is there in case I need something, support, I have a question, whatever. Also provide large screenshots and, if possible, videos that demo your app.

4. CHANGELOG. Tell us what's new and when it was updated.
This is also very important. I want to know you're working on the app on a regular basis and that my money won't go to waste. Tell users what's planned in future updates, and what was added in recent updates. You don't have to rewrite the app description each time, just write "for a complete list of recent updates, as well as plans for the future, and to offer your suggestions and feedback, visit www.oursite.com." Get people involved, ultimately they will sell your app with good reviews and word of mouth.

5. Get social.
Okay, so this may not be absolutely necessary, but if you can spare the time and effort, get onto Facebook, Twitter, and forums everywhere and talk about and promote your app. Run a contest with sites like Crackberry to give away free copies. Expand awareness. Talk to bloggers. Get the word out, and you will be rewarded.

6. MOST IMPORTANT: Don't sell garbage.
Alright, so you want to know the secret to selling? Sell something worth buying. Don't launch your app if it's not ready yet. If you have plans to add features in the next month, add them now and launch in a month. Look at the Playbook launch as a good example -- think of how many people didn't buy because it wasn't ready, and look at all the poor reviews! Once you have 3 stars, it's a lot harder to get to 4 or 5!!!

That's all for now. If anyone would like a free consultation (because I am passionate about marketing and design) to discuss their current app or how to enhance an app they're working on, please don't hesitate to post right here in this thread (or contact me by PM, I will keep everything confidential if you say so). I can provide my insight and experience with regards to the interface, overall design, branding, functionality, and help you zero in on your target market and create some selling strategies.

Here's to Playbook 2.0 and the NDK, hopefully we start to see all of you developers really excel and start to shine over the next few months and well into the future! You have the support of all of us!



Developer
Posts: 1,280
Registered: ‎03-03-2011
My Device: Playbook, Z10, Q10, Z30 with Files & Folders and Orbit of course
My Carrier: Vodafone

Re: Marketing & Dev Tips for App Developers

1: check

2: check

3: check

4: check

5: check

6: check

 

...seems we're doing it right ;-)

 

I'd be careful about point 4 when it comes to future plans. There are many apps in App World that promise all sorts of things but have so far failed to deliver (especially in the file manager department). Our policy is not to brag about planned features, but simply to deliver. Not that we're secretive - if anybody asks we're happy to talk about our plans - but we'll not shout it out untill we're done.

 

Concerning video demo's: has anybody found a good way of doing this? A screen recording of a demo running on a  desktop PC does not really engender confidence, and a video recording of the app running on the physical device is often hard to read/see...

Files & Folders, the unified file & cloud manager for PlayBook and BB10 with SkyDrive, SugarSync, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, Google Docs. Free 3-day trial! - Jon Webb - Innovatology - Utrecht, Netherlands
Developer
Posts: 100
Registered: ‎10-04-2010
My Device: Not Specified

Re: Marketing & Dev Tips for App Developers

It's interesting, because I actually had Files & Folders in mind when writing the original post Smiley Happy. You guys definitely have taken the right approach, and the feedback shows (and hopefully sales as well).

I'm going to be purchasing F&F next week after I decide whether or not I'm returning my Playbook. As I said, if you'd like any feedback I'd be more than happy to provide some.
Developer
Posts: 425
Registered: ‎03-17-2011
My Device: Developer
My Carrier: Telus

Re: Marketing & Dev Tips for App Developers


supraking wrote:

A bit hello to all the app developers out there (or those considering developing an app)! As a new Playbook owner, and the owner of several Blackberry phones in the past, I wanted to share some of my experiences and thoughts with you on the current state of the App World marketplace and how you can better market your apps and encourage sales.

I've been working as a marketer with a focus on the web for several years now, I have a background in design and development and a degree in Marketing. I'm certainly not the end-all and be-all when it comes to selling mobile apps, but I have learned a few things that I hope will help you make a bit more money (and in turn will make for a better app ecosystem for us all). Anyone interested in chiming in with your thoughts or things I might have missed, please chime in!

1. Offer a Trial version.
I don't want to pay for your app unless it has incredible reviews across the board and there are multiple screenshots that shows me what it does (as well as a long description). Still, I'm MUCH more likely to buy and be satisfied if I can try it first, than I am to buy it for a couple of bucks and hate it (plus I'll leave you a negative review if it doesn't do what you say it does). I also encourage time-limited trials with full functionality (or, for games, a certain number of levels free), though the exact route you take will depend on your app, its features/benefits/value, and so forth.

2. Write a complete, clear description, and include multiple screenshots
Don't skimp on the descriptive information. Make sure it's clear and concise, with an introduction and a list of the top features that differentiate your app from others in the same category. Throw up plenty of screenshots that show all the different views in your app (e.g. main page, settings, article view, level selector, gameplay, etc.)

3. Provide a link to a dedicated website for the app
This is important. Show me that you, the developer, exists and is there in case I need something, support, I have a question, whatever. Also provide large screenshots and, if possible, videos that demo your app.

4. CHANGELOG. Tell us what's new and when it was updated.
This is also very important. I want to know you're working on the app on a regular basis and that my money won't go to waste. Tell users what's planned in future updates, and what was added in recent updates. You don't have to rewrite the app description each time, just write "for a complete list of recent updates, as well as plans for the future, and to offer your suggestions and feedback, visit www.oursite.com." Get people involved, ultimately they will sell your app with good reviews and word of mouth.

5. Get social.
Okay, so this may not be absolutely necessary, but if you can spare the time and effort, get onto Facebook, Twitter, and forums everywhere and talk about and promote your app. Run a contest with sites like Crackberry to give away free copies. Expand awareness. Talk to bloggers. Get the word out, and you will be rewarded.

6. MOST IMPORTANT: Don't sell garbage.
Alright, so you want to know the secret to selling? Sell something worth buying. Don't launch your app if it's not ready yet. If you have plans to add features in the next month, add them now and launch in a month. Look at the Playbook launch as a good example -- think of how many people didn't buy because it wasn't ready, and look at all the poor reviews! Once you have 3 stars, it's a lot harder to get to 4 or 5!!!

That's all for now. If anyone would like a free consultation (because I am passionate about marketing and design) to discuss their current app or how to enhance an app they're working on, please don't hesitate to post right here in this thread (or contact me by PM, I will keep everything confidential if you say so). I can provide my insight and experience with regards to the interface, overall design, branding, functionality, and help you zero in on your target market and create some selling strategies.

Here's to Playbook 2.0 and the NDK, hopefully we start to see all of you developers really excel and start to shine over the next few months and well into the future! You have the support of all of us!




My PlayBook app has achieved critical success (4.5 star rating with 43 reviews) but is nowhere close to being a financial success. Sure I've had some good spikes and I have some hope that things will improve in the future. One of those spikes occurred in the second half of last month and was the result of my participation in CrackBerry forums. However I would say that although you are giving some excellent advice, it is premature to say that applyoing these ideas in the PlayBook context will lead to instant gratification.  Much depends on whether RIM can grow the the user base beyond the estimated 200,000 current PB owners. 

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New Developer
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎01-21-2011
My Device: Playbook
My Carrier: None

Re: Marketing & Dev Tips for App Developers

Hi, 

One thing i wiould like to add is that users appreciate customer service too. Whenever someone contacts me about an issue with the application i always make sure to contact them personally and to make sure that if they are reporting a bug that it is fixed before any new features are completed.

 

Regards
Anthony 

Playbook Apps

Liquid-Photo
Follow us on Twitter @LiquidPhotoApp
P.S. Did you know you can take a screen shot by holding down the up/down volume buttons on the PlayBook! Great for recording errors.