Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Insights from Promoting Android App

So after publishing the first Android app, it was time to promote the app. Here are the first few things I tried:
  • Send an email to all contacts
  • Posted it on my Facebook & Twitter accounts
  • Added it on the website
This resulted in around 50 downloads in the first day.

So now it was the turn to try something else. Here's the next few things I tried:
  • Ran AppBrain's Apptimizer tool - this basically does an analysis of the app and its listing page and provides insights into what could be improved. It told me to reduce app size as people downloading over slow Internet connection may timeout downloading the app. It also suggested I allow the app to be installed on external storage. This can be done by an entry in the app manifest file.
  • I tried AppBrain's Promoted Apps tool. This is a paid service that allows you to bid on installs. You create a campaign and specify your ad creative and max bid for an install. Unlike other advertising services which use a CPC (Cost per click) model, AppBrain uses a Cost Per Install mode. I spent $100, this got me 500 installs within a few hours. Basically they push the app to the users of their "Recommended App" app.
  • Next I tried advertising using AdMob - this turned out to be a real pain - AdMob belongs to Google and so has no direct customer service. I added 3 creative ad images. All three were rejected by their validation bot. The reason given was "Invalid/ misleading text in ad". that's it - no more explanations, no one to contact. As a last effort, I removed everything and simply put the app name in the ad image. Still same error. So I finally gave up on AdMob.
  • Now I turned to Millennial Media. This is the second largest ad network on Android platform with 17% of the market. They have a service called mMedia.com which is a self service platform to cater to smaller clients.
    Their website was a breeze through compared to AdMob. Within a few minutes my ads were completed. They also have a tool that will help you create ad images online. You simply select from templates, specify type of Ad action, set funding/bid options - that's it.
    I got a promo code for that that gave me $100 of free advertising on spending $1. The promo code is GMS!13GS^$ and anyone can use it.
Will add more learning's as they come....

Monday, January 21, 2013

Foray into Android Apps

We published our first Android App - "50,000 Quotes of Wisdom". We decided to enter the Android market to get a feel for the Android platform and to learn the workings of the Android platform. The Android platform can be so overwhelming. There are so many different marketplaces (all legit) unlike the Windows marketplace. There are so many apps already in the marketplace that its so difficult to break into the top section of any category.

This app is also available for Windows 8 and Windows Phone. In fact, this app has been in those market places in the top 20 apps list for the "Books & References" category ever since the apps were released.

Get it on Google Play