Category Archives: Mobile Marketing

Unity featured

Unity Game Developers Must Pursue ASO Strategies to Ensure Their Success

In some ways, there’s never been a better time to be a mobile game developer. As a leading game engine, the Unity game creation software suite offers an unparalleled level of features, support and platform-independence. Its asset store accommodates development teams of all sizes to iterate quickly and incorporate high-quality assets into their titles while the ample documentation of Unity and its sub-systems makes it easy for even novice game developers to get their apps on the app store. But even with these advantages, there are serious challenges facing mobile game developers today.

Chief among these challenges is the ability to be discovered organically within the storefronts where the mobile game is available for download. Even a cursory search for “puzzle games” or “RTS games” in either the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store will offer up thousands of results. Even a game with stellar graphics and unparalleled gameplay can easily be buried under games with lesser gameplay and underwhelming user interfaces if it lacks the downloads, reviews and exposure more established apps possess.

Marketing Challenges

This major challenge can be limited through conventional marketing strategies. Pay-per-click ads, video ads bought on platforms like YouTube, press releases, and influencer collaborations are all ways that mobile games can receive exposure and garner downloads. These traditional approaches to marketing, while offering modest returns, also suffer from several drawbacks.

First, they can be extremely expensive depending on how competitive the area game developers are targeting. For example, RTS games are extremely competitive because these titles rely on a consistent stream of user acquisitions in order to generate revenue. Another downside is that these external marketing measures don’t help users organically find your app on the platform they’re searching in.

Unity 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

So how can mobile app developers, who have invested a lot of time and effort into their projects, ensure their games get a fair shot at organic exposure on their apps’ respective storefronts? They need to make ASO, or App Store Optimization, a core part of their marketing strategy for their product.

How ASO Helps

For the uninitiated, ASO is a strategy that helps developers position their app within a digital marketplace by analyzing search trends and integrating those findings into an app’s listing. Optimizing the listing helps an app reach users organically through the search interface of an app store like Google Play or Apple’s App Store. At the core of ASO is the notion of making it easier for prospective users to find and engage with your software.

It’s easy to put on blinders and focus on just the content of your game, especially for game developers. Game devs are forever tweaking interface changes, adjusting enemy behavior, and polishing art assets for their games. And with post-launch patches, development on a game arguably never ends.

While this is great for perfectionists, sometimes this never-ending development can obscure the more important elements of a project, like branding and ASO. It’s important for Unity game developers to look beyond the immediate development needs of their games and focus on the big picture. ASO is a critical part of a mobile game’s success.

So for developers who are now considering making ASO part of their marketing efforts for their game, what should they know? First, a one-size-fits-all ASO strategy just isn’t enough anymore. Because of the competitive nature of the mobile game landscape, game developers should adopt platform-specific strategies. In other words, the keywords, descriptions, screenshots, and videos you’re using on Google Play are not necessarily the best fit for the Apple App store. You need to tailor your ASO approach based on the storefront you’re trying to garner users from. This is similar to how game developers will choose an engine that best suits their game’s conceptual and technical requirements.

Unity 3

 

 

 

 

The other important thing to know about ASO is that you don’t have to go it alone. You can read hundreds of articles, watch hours of video content about ASO and not even scratch the surface of everything you need to know about the subject. But don’t let that deter you from implementing ASO for your title. Companies like Gummicube have done all that legwork for you. They offer software and services that can help your mobile game get found easily by the very people who are the most likely to engage with it. More engaged users mean more word-of-mouth recommendations and reviews, which in turn can help cement your game in the app store search hierarchy.

In Conclusion

If there’s only one thing to take away from this article, it’s that successful games don’t become successful because of their gameplay and graphics alone. Always consider the big picture: the context of your game within the online landscape. Make ASO a core part of launching your game and you are increasing your chances of connecting with your target players.

 

Author Bio

Jonathan Lynch is the Digital Content Editor at Zco Corporation, a software developer that specializes in mobile software. Jon writes about mobile technology, games, and industry trends. He hosts the video series TechBabble that discusses how technology shapes the world.

5 Deadly App Localization Mistakes You’re Making and How to Avoid Them

App developers and marketers are striving to penetrate the foreign markets and countries with the highest number of potential customers for their products. There is a rush to reach out to as many customers as possible globally and this has made the competition even fiercer.

If you’re pitching your app to foreign customers, you need to attune the app to the needs and behavior of the local audience. Along with the language, other aspects such as the app’s name, keywords, color, symbols, currency and time-zone will be simultaneously localized. This is where the role of app localization comes into play.

Another reason being that more than 50% of the people across the world prefer to download or buy apps from websites in their own language. Moreover, only 15% of people worldwide use English as their first or second language, making app localization all the more necessary.

While expanding your app for the international audience, avoid these 5 common yet serious app localization mistakes.

#1. You haven’t thought about localization while developing the app

When developing your app, it must be flexible enough to adjust and adapt to different languages, cultures and regions if global penetration is the end goal. This makes it easier to roll out the app in multiple versions. Ideally, your app should be flexible to be customized for multiple local markets as well.

For instance, different languages take up different kerning space. While developing the app, take into consideration the physical space a particular language would take up. Your app should be flexible enough to accommodate multi-language internationalization.

Taking the example of “How are you” in English, which is made up of three words. The same in Chinese is “你好吗” and in Spanish is “Como Estas.”

To leave room for the app to be translated into multiple languages, separate the text from the code and let the developers’ use Unicode strings.

#2. Failing to translate the app’s name

Regardless of how interesting or unique the name sounds in English, if it displays a negative sentiment in another country, your app will receive backlash.

Choose a name which is easy to pronounce, remember and recognize. Optimize the description for the app store by incorporating the right keywords to gain visibility in a foreign app market.

When Nokia launched the Lumia in Spanish markets, the product name meant “prostitute” in Spanish. The product launch was a failure, as a result of which the brand received negative publicity.

On the flip side, many brands have changed their names to a different local name with the same meaning, while entering a new market.

To name a few examples, Coca-Cola, Burger King, KFC, Lays, Budweiser and many others have changed their brand names while entering a new market.

Picture1Picture2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source

One reason to consider using a professional human translator instead of a machine translator is the human understands the context of the text and the name being translated.

While a machine gives a literal translation, the professional translator thinks about:

  • The thought which first comes to mind when you hear and see the name
  • Does the name have an underlying negative connotation?
  • Does the name resemble a similar local word?

The professional translator does the necessary research to come up with a name appropriate to the local market. 

#3. Missing out the cultural aspect

A majority of localization projects fail because they do not take into consideration the cultural aspect while presenting the app to the local audience.

Culture influences the communication and thereby any population in the following three ways:

  1. Firstly, the cognitive concerns have a great influence on the cultural framework of a country. For example, in the USA, independence and individuality underlie its cultural foundation. In the South East Asian countries, family plays a vital role in the person’s upbringing. People believe in depending on their families and being there for each other.
  1. Secondly, the idea of what should be considered an appropriate behavior varies from one culture to another. For example, in some geographies such as Africa and South East Asia, the blunt expression of all thoughts and ideas is not considered appropriate. Meanwhile, in the western countries, there is nothing wrong with being bold to express thoughts, ideas and beliefs.
  1. Finally, it is difficult to undermine the influence that emotions have on the culture of a country. While gestures or crude language can be used to convey ideas or explain thoughts in some cultures, it can be considered highly offensive to others. For example, the use of peace signs in the USA is considered fine. However, in the UK the use of a backward peace sign will be outright offensive.

In-depth research on the local culture and practices of the country you are planning to localize your app for will allow you to create a unique identity without disregarding the local sentiments.

#4. Using the same logo for different languages

From the average 3,000-20,000 brand messages and advertisements we are exposed to every day, we notice and remember a mere 12!  What are the chances that your app will be among those 12? This makes it ever so vital for your logo to create an impact on your audience.

Your app logo has to be compelling and easy to remember. The same icons will not have the very same appeal in all markets, and that’s because different regions have different understandings of symbols and colors.

For example, when Coca-Cola entered the Chinese market, their brand name did not mean anything in the local language. So, they chose a close-sounding equivalent of ‘Coca-Cola,’ i.e., ‘Kekou Kele,’ meaning “let your mouth rejoice” in the local language.

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Create a local identity using icons, names and images that maintain your brand’s distinctive features and are culturally appropriate.

#5. A frustrating user experience

Remember, your potential app users won’t flock to download instantly. You will have to design your app in a way that it caters to user expectations and solves their needs.

While Japan, Australia, USA, UK and China have the largest number of iPhone users, the Android penetration is the greatest in India, Russia, Indonesia and Brazil. Instagram launched their Android app in the US one and half years after releasing their iOS app. At that time they had nearly 30 million iOS users. Had it been in a country with a greater number of Android users, their strategy would’ve been different.

If you look at Apple’s US and UK website, you’ll see that they’ve adjusted the date and time to be localized. Doing so causes no disruptions for users as they see the website in a format that is familiar to them.

4

If you look at Apple’s India and US website, they have adjusted the names on the homepage to be localized. Doing so causes no disruptions for users as they see the website in a format that is familiar to them.

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source – Apple’s India website

 

6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source – Apple’s US website

Your app should provide an optimal user experience for the users of the region you are targeting.

For example, if your app provides purchase options, make sure that they can be done in local currency. The price of the products should be converted to that region’s local currency for the convenience of the users.

Conclusion Keeping yourself updated on the latest trends in the international markets will help you effectively implement your app localization strategy.

Please leave your thoughts in the comment box below and let me know if you know about any other mistakes.


Alpi MantryAbout the author – Alpi Mantry is the VP of growth and relationship at Translate By Humans. With her 10-years of experience at Oracle, Deloitte and Infosys, she now helps Translate By Humans cater to global brands such as Vogue, Nike, HSBC Europe, Amazon and many more.

The Viral Loop: Get Your Users Doing the Heavy Lifting

From lead generation to customer generation, getting new users and clients on board isn’t cheap. When it comes to app user generation, this is no different. Depending on your product and marketing style, creating, distributing and maintaining an app can be costly.

Effective social media campaigns can help reduce the financial blow. But by far the best method is to create a viral loop –  turning your app into its own user generator. Let’s dig a little deeper into what viral loops are, the different strategies you can use, and which companies are doing it best.

What is a viral loop?

Essentially, a viral loop is a type of marketing campaign designed to promote your app. As the name suggests, a viral loop is created to “infect” a user and cause them to share it with others. There are usually steps in place for the user to invite a new set of users, a process that is repeated in exactly the same way each time.

For mobile apps, viral loops offer a cheap and easy way to establish your name and drive growth – as customers can do most of the heavy lifting for you. However, there are different types of viral loops, so it’s important to consider which one is right for your mobile app.

What types of viral loops work well with mobile apps?

Every viral loop should revolve around an incentive for the user to pass it on. This is viral loop marketing 101. Different strategies work well across a variety of platforms, but some work better with mobile apps. Here are four strategies you can use:

  1. The user gets something in return

Put simply, this is the “give and get more” type of strategy. When your customer shares your app with a new user, they get some kind of upgrade or benefit to their own experience of the app.

  1. Create a social community

Tap into everyone’s love of sharing their news, progress or achievements on social media. If you’ve created a mobile game, this might mean allowing users to share high scores via Facebook. You can then reward users with upgrades or other benefits when they publish content. This strategy encourages users to be active, as well as get others involved.

  1. Offer a monetary incentive

Whether it’s a saving, discount or some bonus credit, offering a monetary incentive is another way to motivate users to share your app and sign new people up.

  1. Be a do-gooder

With access to more information, the world is rapidly becoming more socially, ethically and environmentally conscious. There are plenty of problems in the world, which means there are plenty of ways you can help out.

Donating a portion of your profits with each share or invite is a simple way to entice users to take action. Creating a viral loop that rewards people will not only enhance your reputation but will also help you make a difference.

From Uber to Candy Crush: great examples of viral loops

Uber and Candy Crush are two of the most successful apps on the market. Part of this comes down to their viral loop marketing efforts. To get you inspired, let’s take a closer look.

How Uber is driving growth

Uber, the largest ride-sharing service in the world, has taken advantage of the monetary incentive strategy. But instead of the existing user only experiencing the benefits, the new user does too.

Uber has a dual-side referral code system. Essentially, the existing user receives an attractive amount of credit when the new user signs up using the existing user’s code, and the new user also gets the same amount of credit. It’s simple, generous, and has significantly boosted the company’s customer base.

How Candy Crush is crushing it

Candy Crush is one of the most popular viral apps out there. It has millions of users who continue to tell their friends about it, and has been sitting near the top of the app store for years. How do they do it?

The game uses a combination of the first and second strategies mentioned above. Candy Crush allows you to share your progress with others. By doing this, users also get something in return – such as help from friends, new content, or more lives. This currency of sharing and receiving, combined with persuasive and emotional in-app copywriting, taps into fundamental human desires. Sometimes this is all you need to create a successful viral app.

Over to you

Done right, viral loops are an ingenious way to build your app’s user base, turning each one into an individual marketing machine. But this doesn’t happen overnight, or simply because your app is incredible.

Strategy is key. Take into consideration the above points, as well as inspiration from successful apps such as Uber and Candy Crush, and you’ll have a better chance of creating viral loops that are truly infectious.


Picture1Akash is a technical strategist in business growth and development. Having worked with more than 500 businesses over 3 years Akash is well versed across a range of industries specialising in strategic mobile app and website development at EB Pearls.