Posts

5 Best Australian Startup Grants

 

So you have a great idea for an app startup…

 

But you don’t have the investment dollars upfront. What’s next?

 

Well I have some good news for you, the Australian Government wants to help you!

Malcolm Turnbull Approves

Image Source: businessinsider.com.au

Cover Image Source: asc.asn.au

A government grant can help you take your business to the next level or even launch it from the ground up. Even if you have the funding, grants help make it possible to launch your business to market faster and with better results.

 

These are the best of the best startup grants I recommend. The grant websites can be a bit confusing sometimes but don’t worry I’ve cut it down to a quick and easy shortlist.

 

I’ve broken it up into 4 things you’ll need to know if you want to apply:

  • What they do – What does this company do?
  • Who’s it for – Are you eligible for this grant?
  • What you can get – Is it a tax refund, a cash payment or some other kind of support?

 

And saving the best till last,

 

  • Where and when you can apply.

 

So don’t waste your time reading grants that aren’t relevant to your business. I’ve picked my top five startup grants to get you on the right track to government funding.

 

Which startup grants are you eligible for?

 

 

“The Research and development (R&D) tax incentive encourages companies to engage in R&D benefiting Australia.”

Image Source: shinkamanagement.com

What do they do?

The R&D tax incentive does pretty much what the name suggests. This tax incentive was started to get businesses to undertake R&D.  It gives companies a refundable tax offset of 43.5%. Which can be paid as a deduction of your tax bill, or as a cash refund by the end of the financial year. However, only if your company income is over $20,000 and under $20 million.

 

What’s great about this incentive is that it can be used to get cash back on wages spent used for R&D.

 

Who’s this grant for?

  • Companies that spend over $20,000 and under $20,000,000.
  • Companies that are attempting to solve industry-wide problems.
  • Running activities with new technology.
  • Or the intention to generate new knowledge.

 

What can you receive?

 

  • 43.5% of eligible expenses cash back at the end of the year.

 

 

Where/when can I apply?

Applications are done online. But must be done 10 months in advance. I’d get on that ASAP.

 

Related: Is your app not clicking with its audience? Try this design method!

 

“Supporting small business to take the next step.”

 

City ofMelbourne

Image Source: starobserver.com.au

What do they do?

The City of Melbourne is offering up to $30,000 to Melbourne businesses that are having a positive impact on Melbourne city. They have helped fund over 320 businesses, with over $7 Million since 1996.

 

What’s interesting about this grant is the way companies are chosen. Part of the application includes how your business affects Melbourne. So, the more you positively impact Melbourne, the better your chances.

 

Who’s this grant for?

  • Startups and Businesses (Under 20 staff) looking to grow
  • Businesses who are looking to export overseas
  • Support Service Businesses
  • Micro Businesses (Up to 4 staff)

 

What can you receive?

  • If you’re a startup or looking to grow, you can receive up to $30,000 dollars.
  • Are you looking to export, you can receive up to $10,000.
  • Or you’re a business looking to help other businesses, you can receive up to $10,000.
  • If you’re a micro business wanting to grow, you can receive up to $25,000.

 

Where/when can I apply?

The next round of applications open July 2018, visit: melbourne.vic.gov.au for more information!

 

Related: Need a business plan to help your chances of getting funding for your startup? Read our blog, with recommendations on the best way to do so!

 

“Landing Pads help market-ready startups and scale-ups take their business global.”

San Francisco Landing Pad

Image Source: blog.geomoby.com

What do they do?

Landing Pads provide startups with co-working places to work. As well as introduce these business owners to investors, networks and partnership opportunities.

 

What’s interesting about this grant is that they provide Australian startups with the potential to expand and work overseas. Landing Pads have been established in San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Shanghai, Berlin and Singapore.   

 

Who’s this grant for?

  • This grant is for businesses they believe could go global.
  • Companies that are different to their competitors.
  • Companies that the 90 days in a Landing Pad will make a difference.

 

What can you receive?

 

  • 90 days in a co-working space overseas.

 

  • Support from Austrade.
  • Training, coaching and networking opportunities.

 

Where/when can I apply?

Applications are ongoing and done online at: australiaunlimited.com/Landing-Pads.

 

Related: Have you heard about The Internet of Things? Read up on our blog, here.

 

 

“The Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) scheme is a key Australian Government program for small to medium aspiring and growing export-ready businesses.“

Exporting

Image Source: raconteur.net

What do they do?

EMDG offer grants to help you cover costs of running a business. As well as the activities that help get your company export ready.

 

What’s interesting about this is they offer to cover the costs of promotional and marketing material. Your company can claim marketing consultants costs, overseas trade shows and free samples. Really anything that gets your brand internationally.

 

Who’s this grant for?

  • Australian businesses that earn less than 50 million per year.
  • Promoted their goods for export.
  • Promoted their goods for delivery internationally.
  • Spent at least $15,000 on promotional activities.

 

What can you receive?

  • A lot.
  • A whole lot.
  • Grants of 50% of your spending.
  • Up to $150,000 dollars per grant.
  • And you can have up to 8 grants a year.
  • Yeah, a lot.

 

Where/when I can apply?

You’ve got a month to apply, as applications close 30th of November 2017. Apply at: austrade.gov.au.

 

However, if you can’t get it done by then. Getting an EMDG consultant will allow you to apply until 28th of February 2018.

 

Related: Got a startup company? Here are 9 tips from us to help you!

 

 

The Entrepreneurs’ Programme is a program which helps small and medium businesses to innovate and grow.“

Entrepreneur

Image Source: fortune.com

What do they do?

The Entrepreneur’s Programme is an Australian Government initiative. Created to make Australian businesses more competitive.

 

This grant offers 4 different things. This next bit has big words, sorry in advance.

 

  1. Accelerating Commercialisation grant. Which helps you release a new product to market.
  2. Business Management, advice and support from expert advisors and facilitator.
  3. Incubator Support. Which is offering grants and support to tech incubators in Australia.
  4. Lastly, Innovation Connections. They help identify the gaps in your business knowledge and fill them in. So you can improve your business.

 

What’s interesting about this grant is that if you participate in this grant, you are then eligible for another grant. A Business Growth Grant worth $20,000. It’s a two for one kind of deal!

 

Who’s this grant for?

  • For-profit Australian Startup company.
  • Or an individual, partnership or group who are willing to form a company.
  • Must have a product or service that you want to make money off.

 

What can you receive?

  • You can receive up to 50% of your business spend. Up to 1 million dollars.
  • Advisors, support and networks.
  • Eligibility to the $20,000 Business Growth Grant.
  • Up to 50% of your spend if you have a Tech Incubator. Up to $500,000 dollars worth.

 

Where/when can I apply?

Expressions of Interest are ongoing, apply now at: business.gov.au.

 

Related: Maybe you’ve been looking at starting a startup? Read our blog, here detailing the things that some startups miss!

Applying Smart for your Startup Grants

 

Don’t apply for everything. Creating these applications should take a lot of time and effort. So look for the ones that:

 

  • Will have the biggest impact on your company.
  • And your company best meets the eligibility criteria.

 

 

You should be creating a professional document. One that’s distinctive to your brand. Not just boring letter asking for money. If you need any help, this excellent article by the balance walks you through the grant proposal writing process.

 

However, if you want some personalised assistance in creating a grant application, contact me directly at: dane@launchpadapps.com.au

 

If you wish to read about more grants, visit Grants Victoria for more information!

 

And lastly get started right now! You have nothing to lose if you apply, but potentially a lot to lose if you don’t.

 

Have you applied for grants? Share your experience to help others below!

 

If you’re still only thinking about creating your tech startup, it might be time to take the next step. Contact us at Launchpad, we specialise in getting you investor ready!

How to get ahead in your design process.

A shortlist of the best tools used in the design thinking process.

To help your design thinking process, which you can (and should) start using them today. Use these design service tools to make you’re creating what your customer wants.

Personas

 

What is a Persona?

A Persona is a general idea of your customers. Create as many or as few customer personas as yoseu believe you need. A Persona will include a variety of different things. But for the customer buying personas include a list of various things. Start by giving them a bio, goals, frustrations and motivations. Give them a quote, brands they like and their preferred channels of advertising.

How to use them?

Create a persona so you have an idea of who you’re creating for. Use your personas to predict how an audience will react to situations. Or how the customer will react to a new product, service or for you, an app. Empathise with the customer. Observe the context of their lives. Engage with them. And experience what they experience. Otherwise, you won’t know what your design does for them.

Why should you use them?

Personas will help you create a design that’s accepted and enjoyed. Use Personas to accurately create content that your buyer will enjoy.

If you use any of these tools, I would recommend Personas above all else. This is because they will give you a clear picture of what your consumer/s look like.

Want to keep reading? I’d recommend this VIEO blog.

If you wish to use the same Persona template as us. Check out: https://app.xtensio.com/.

Xtensio is easy to use and free!

 

Customer Journeys

 

What is a Customer Journey?

A customer journey is an experience in purchasing anything. What does the customer go through to get the app you designed on their phone?

How to use them?

To create a successful app, look at the Customer Journey you’ve created. Or hopefully, will create.

Your Customer Journey should answer a series of questions, for example:

How does the customer discover your product?

  • Example: They have no way of discovering us apart from through the app store. We improved this by introducing social media advertising. And/or a referral program.

What do they experience in the purchase of your service?

The customer will experience excitement using our product. This is because they believe it will solve a certain problem. How can you capitalise on that, or keep that level of excitement going?

What points in the purchasing process can you lose your customer?

  • Example: They experience a pain point as the registration is tedious. How can you minimise that?

Why should you use them

Creating a Customer Journey for your Personas helps you. It shows you how to create a design to fit into their purchasing journey.

Customer Journeys help you identify problems and opportunities. Points in the user experience in which customers would be most susceptible to giving feedback. Knowing what your customer goes through, you can plan a wide range of this for your app. Like general content, what the app will look like in ‘x’ amount of years.  How you should change it to keep ahead of the curve.

Image Source: Pinterest

Try filling in your own:

Moments of Truth

 

What is a Moment of Truth?

Say you go to the shops to get a chocolate bar. You saw many different bars, what made you choose the one you chose? That is a moment of truth.

The moments of truth are the moments a customer goes through to make a purchase.

The 4 Moments of Truth:

  • The Zero Moment, credited to Google. It’s the moment a consumer has realised they want something. They begin to research and collect information on it.
  • The First Moment is the moment a consumer sees your product face-to-face. It’s the make or break purchasing moment.
  • The Second Moment is the post purchase moment. The moment they realise they were or weren’t sold what they feel promised to.
  • The Ultimate Moment is the final moment. The moment a consumer decides to advocate or criticise your product. If they were or weren’t sold what they believed promised. What will they do? Tell their friends, tell social media or post reviews. This moment is important, you have to be ready to respond. You can thank the customer, or try to change their mind.

How to use them?

 

Make sure to use all 4 moments for creating your app.

Consider:

  • What will consumers find online? Will it be positive?

Put lots of information online. Don’t leave the consumer feeling like it’s an unknown product. Give away the app to reviewers, consumers look to reviewers for advice.

  • Will it stand out in the app store?
  • Does your copy, or even your apps icon stand out? Is it enough to sell the app?
  • Will consumers be happy with their purchase and experience?
  • Did you give the consumers what you promised? Will consumers advocate or criticize your app?
  • Did the app go above or below expectations? Are you ready to deal with the outcomes?

Why should you use them?

These moments are crucial in recognition and research. Test facing the product in person. Test the purchase, experience and customer advocacy or criticism. Keep these moments in mind during your design period. Because it will help your product or service stand out in the moments. Standing out in these crucial moments could be everything to your business.

Image Source: Daily Tech

What now?

Think about it. Today more products and services exist on the market than ever before. For you to ignore design thinking, puts you at a disadvantage. Design something that gives the user a hassle free, pleasant experience. From that, your company will likely generate loyalty and advocacy. You should absolutely take advantage of it. Don’t forget how important customer loyalty and advocacy is.

Follow these steps to create your app. Create an app that will have greater success and preference by your customers. As they will feel that you made it for them!

So get started, you have no reason to leave this out of the design process. Every year, companies release apps that could be better consumer targeted.

Want to know the psychology of your customers?

Check out our upcoming blog. It dives into the reason behind customer wants and needs. We will explain what Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is, and how you should use it.

Or visit the Launchpad quote page, if you have a brilliant idea for an app. Launchpad wants to help you create a unique, successful app.

3 Things to Know When Making an App for Generation Z

Get ahead of the curve and meet Generation Z – The global, social and technological mobile app consumers.

 

The widespread popularity of smartphones and mobile technology owes much of its rapid adoption to Generation Y. That may seem like a ‘narcissistic millennial’ thing to say, but this cohort of young adults aged 18-34 grew up during the web revolution of the 1990s. As such, millennials were the first generation to have digital technology and the Internet embedded into their upbringing.

And with technology becoming more affordable and compact into the 2010s, smartphones have become a necessity in everyday life for millennials. For a generation that grew up immersed in the Internet, apps are virtually new tech products to easily adopt and navigate.

But while millennials grew up with the Internet, it’s the next generation that is coming of age alongside an unprecedented amount of technology. Generation Z (Also known as the iGeneration) is fast becoming the most mobile-consuming, app-savvy generation. Born in the late 1990s to now, they are strongly influenced by technology in terms of education and communication.

Furthermore, Gen Z’s interests in tech and how they use mobile apps is different from their predecessors. While millennials often prioritised mobility, authenticity and transparency in their apps, Gen Z is already showing a desire for security, privacy and immediacy.

As Gen Z’s influence on mobile technology inevitably grows, businesses and entrepreneurs wanting to develop an app should look to get ahead of the curve to engage these consumers.

To help you make an app for the linked-up and logged-on iGeneration, here are strategies to appeal to their interests and capture their attention. And with their spending projected to reach $200 billion by 2018, this is the generation who will decide the future of the app economy.

 

Mobile App Development Melbourne

Gen Z consumers spend 15.4 hours a week on their smartphones. Source: Vision Critical

1. Keep the app’s design and usability simple

The design, usability and experience an app provides should resonate with the audience that it’s been developed for. When it comes to Gen Zers, there are few things less frustrating than an over-designed, complicated app.

As a key ingredient to a successful app, the navigational flow from screen-to-screen and between features should be as simple as possible for them. The last thing they want to do is waste time figuring out how to navigate an app.

ROKO Labs found that poor design is the third most common reason for Gen Zers to uninstall an app.

According to ROKO Labs CEO Dima Rakovitsky, “nearly three-quarters of iOS apps are distributed from the App Store with anywhere from one to ten bugs, while 20% of these apps are reported to have as many as 50 bugs.”

Tech-savvy kids uninstall apps if they don’t work how they’re supposed to. If you want to attract and engage Gen Z, make sure your app is simple to navigate and bug-free.

 Melbourne App Developers

Gen Z’s most used and least used types of apps. Source: Adweek

 

2. Deliver content in a quick and convenient manner

As mobile devices have become more compact across generations, so too has the time span to grab their attention. Gen Z’s average attention span is around eight seconds, which is shorter than  millennials.

Simply put, Generation Z want everything provided to them ASAP.

Download errors, slow loading and transitional crashes within an app are hugely detrimental to winning over millennials, and you have even less time to capture the attention of younger consumers.

The fluidity and immediacy that Gen Z crave has been highly influential in the popularity of apps like YouTube and Snapchat, as both apps offer platforms for users with short attention spans to quickly engage with content.

Make sure your app functions smoothly and that the content is was to understand. Doing this will put your app on the right path to attracting and retaining young consumers.

 

iPhone App Development

How Gen Z uses Social Media apps. Source: SocialTimes

 

3. Give the user control of their app experience

Gen Z is a lot more concerned about how their personal brand is impacted by their online personas. This is why they enjoy the fleeting nature of Snapchat and the secrecy of Kik. However, they also enjoy the control in curating everything, from photo collections with VSCO to music playlists on Spotify.

Gen Zers also are concerned about security across online platforms. According to a study from the Centre of Generational Kinetics, “Gen Z is more concerned than millennials about their security and privacy when paying online with debit and credit cards (63% compared to 58%).”

This higher concern over Internet security may be due to the high-profile hacks that have occurred over their lifetime. And yet, in the same study from the Centre of Generational Kinetics, also found that Gen Z have “fewer worries when entering similar details on mobile payment apps like Venmo.”

So why do Gen Z feel more comfortable putting their credit card details into an app than a website?

It’s because the mobile app provides the user with a sense a control that can’t be replicated by a website. Let’s consider Venmo: The ‘free digital wallet’ app provides an component of control regarding what is private or public in the app (Similar to Snapchat), as well as the power incorporate emojis into a financial transaction.

The bottom line is, Gen Z is cautious with their private information. As a result, providing an app experience where they feel empowered will directly impact their decision to download the app, engage with the features and, in turn, become a loyal consumer of the functionality provided.

 

So for anyone looking to make an app…

You need to understand the opportunities and challenges that come with targeting this mobile-loving consumer.

Your app has to be easy to navigate and bug-free. It has to provide content in a fast and straightforward manner. And finally, it needs to give users the power to curate their app experience.

Have an idea for an app with Generation Z appeal?

Contact us to see out how we can help you launch your innovative app project.

 

How Apple Helps Your Business Put Its Best Foot Forward

Over the years, Apple has consistently maintained their position on the front line for all things business. These products have helped businesses with organisation and productivity. They’ve also offering companies a new platform to engage with their audiences using innovative software. In doing this Apple has become an embedded part of modern and mobile business.

 

The iPhone  

Since its release, the iPhone has set the benchmark for all mobile businesses. By creating a top of the line device that values user experience and speed whilst simultaneously offering companies an innovative platform to reach new audiences Apple has essentially created a product that seamlessly mixes business and pleasure.

With the release of the iPhone 7/7 Plus we have seen major updates to the hardware of the iPhone itself that will put pressure on companies to revamp their apps in order to stay current.

iphone-app-development

Apple CEO Tim Cook at the launch of the iPhone 7. Source: Daily Mail

 

Apple CEO, Tim Cook, recently announced the next generation of iPhones. They will include a longer battery life, updated software, improved hardware performance, and new A10 Fusion microprocessor.

The Apple A10 Fusion microprocessor boosts speed, making iPhones the ability to work 40% faster. than its iPhone6/6 plus predecessors, or more profoundly, the new microprocessor will allow the iPhone 7 Plus to work 120 times faster than the first generation iPhone.

App Developers Australia

The Apple A10 Fusion microprocessor is 120 times faster than the original iPhone. Source: ExtremeTech

We can only conclude that these updates in the iPhone’s 7’s hardware will have a direct impact on business’ bottom line.

It is only natural that users will be expecting mobile apps, sites, and games to react and behave as fast as the rest of the phone.

This update will put significant pressure on developers to optimise their apps to improve the speed and interactivity in order to distinguish themselves against their competitors and keep their audience engaged.

 

iOS

iOS software is known for its cross-generational usability that can effortlessly be applied to any business model. iOS 10 is no different. In the most recent update Apple has partnered with Deloitte to help enterprises engage with iOS in order to help businesses drive their mobile strategies.

Additionally, IOS 10 offers an improved usability. This makes it easier for businesses to connect their devices to maximise productivity and efficiency. Business apps such as Evernote can now be quickly accessed as a widget in Today, offering users the ability to operate features of the app without having to leave today. Additionally, the iOS app Workflow has been updated to allow users to automate functions across other apps and can easily be launched from inside other apps.  

Some of the best business based apps for iOS10 include:

  • Box, for importing documents
  • Skitch, for annotating images and maps
  • SignalMe, for meeting room efficiency
  • iAuditor, for safety inspections.

Handoff is another awesome cross-platform iOS app that allows you to begin work on one device and seamlessly transition to another to complete a project.

Mobile App Development Melbourne

Handoff Mail. Source: MacRumors

 

Overall, iOS is an incredible software that has the ability to support, nurture and boost the productivity of a business. It is a software that utilises apps to offer a complex and in depth support system to your business, yet is easy to understand at an entry level.

What really separates iOS 10 from previous updates is the latest updates to Siri.

 

Siri

Siri is the inbuilt AI system that Apple employs across the iOS software. In iOS 10 Apple has broken ground by opening up Siri to third party developers. This is a huge step that not even Google has taken.

Siri can now communicate with your client’s favorite apps to search for photos, message their friends, make payments, place calls, book rides and start workouts just by using their voice. This is a super impressive development and one that businesses and their apps should definitely capitalise on. As a result, The update makes it easier for people to interact with their favourite apps. For customers who favour Siri, this could be the difference between what apps they use within their daily life.

Apps such as Uber and WhatsApp, are currently in the process of already developing software to support the updated Siri.

Melbourne App Developers

You can now use Siri to book a ride on Uber and Lyft. Source: Apple Newsroom

Overall, Apple is making leaps and bounds in the business world. Their software is aimed to support the growth of businesses internally. Finally, it is also creating a platform for businesses to reach and grow client base. Now, Apple is a commonly loved brand with sleek designs, social status and business prowess, mixing business and pleasure seamlessly.

Guest written by Ash Donovan from Digital8.

Why Restaurants Are Moving to Mobile Apps and Facebook

At Launchpad App Development, we are always keeping up to date with the latest trends and insights in the world of apps and mobile. A notable trend we’ve been witnessing is the increase of businesses in the hospitality industry using apps and social media. It’s easy to see why. Social media and mobile has benefited many industries in the past few years by increasing efficiency, sales and innovation. Restaurants and cafes can also achieve these benefits through mobile, allowing them the opportunity to increase customers and sales. Today we give you an insight on why your restaurant should take advantage of mobile browsing, social media and smartphone apps.


Smartphones are changing our lives

Smartphones have changed many elements of people’s lives. For example, many young people rely on the clock on their phones, instead of wearing watches. In addition, it has also changed our purchase behaviour, where people buy things due to mobile commerce, which is a growing and lucrative market.

For instance, Restaurant App Engines found that 51% of smartphone users say they would be far more likely to make a purchase from a retailer or restaurant with a mobile specific website or app then search a retailer on a desktop. However, currently only 4.8% of retailers currently have a mobile specific site or app for their hospitality business.

 

How will an app benefit my business?

There are many benefits of creating an app for your hospitality business, such as:

  • Gaining more reviews:

An app gives users the opportunity to establish a database of reviews from customers. Customers can rate and write their own reviews, while also reading reviews from previous customers. Online reviews are one of the main elements that influence a consumer’s purchase decision. According to Invesp, 90% of consumers online reviews before they visit a general business. As a result, having positive reviews will most likely increase sales and customer conversion.

 

 

  • Creating convenience for customers:

Creating an app can increase convenience for your customers, enhancing customer experience. Building an app can provide customers easy access to information, such as your menu, daily specials, business hours and store location.
In fact, previewing menus could influence customers visiting your restaurant. Research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey found that 62% of customers would less likely go to your restaurant if they can’t see a menu on their mobile.

 

Melbourne App Developer      Source: Guzman y Gomez’s app from the Google Play store

In addition, an app can help make the entire purchase process much easier. Customers can order their meal on their mobile and collect it in store. This decreases any long wait times or queues that consumers might experience during peak hours, reducing customer annoyance.

 

 

  • Gaining the competitive edge through incentives:

With an app you could even offer incentives, such as loyalty programs or mobile coupons, to increase sales and repeat customer visits, giving you the competitive edge. For example, Starbucks has a rewards program on its app, allow customers to redeem free music, drinks and apps.

Mobile App Development Melbourne

Source:  Google Play Store


Case Study: Domino’s Pizza

Domino’s Pizza is an example of a restaurant that gained success through creating an app. The app allows customers to view menus, order and customise pizzas with ease, while also tracking their order in real time. Released in 2009, starting with the iPhone, the app helped increase $2 million in sales within weeks upon release. Combined with its Android and Smartwatch platforms, the app continues to contribute in the pizza chain’s profit increases.

 

App Development Australia

Domino’s app allows you to order, pay and track delivery on your smartphone.

 

How will Facebook benefit my business?

Facebook now has over 1.13 billions daily active users with 1.03 billions users who access social networks via mobile devices. People spend a lot of time on social networks with an average of 50 minutes on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger every day.

This is a great opportunity to interact and engage with your target market. This can be done in various ways, such as providing menu updates, offering discounts or gaining feedback from customers. In addition, you can use images and videos to capture the interest of your target market, which can instantly become a return on investment.

Facebook campaign uses a pay-to-pay network, which gives you the ability to target users by their location, demographics, age, gender, interests, behaviours and much more. Facebook gives you the ability to easily track your users and provides you with an immediate influx of traffic.

As a result, Facebook marketing will give you the opportunity to capture your audience’s attention before they begin searching for other business like yours and potentially increase sales.

 

So what does this mean for restaurants today?

People are far more selective when it comes to eating out and are more inclined to share their dining experience on social media and blogs. Today, a majority of our decisions are influenced by research and information found online or recommendations by family and friends who post about their experiences through social media.

Users tend to use online reviews such as Google or Facebook when making their decision about where to eat. According to Modern Restaurant Management, around 80% of people will check the rating of a restaurant online before stepping inside. This can include checking websites or looking at reviews on different social media platforms. In addition, these 80% of people are more likely to take action the same day as their search.

At Launchpad App Development, we create innovative apps that will benefit your business and give you the competitive edge. We work with you throughout the app making process to enhance your app idea. We have worked with entrepreneurs and businesses from various industries around Australia to create the app of their dreams.

Have an app idea? Contact us today!

 

 

6 Step Guide to Designing Your Very First Mobile App

Did you wake up with a creative idea for the perfect mobile app? One that nobody else has thought of, and that you are certain will be the next Uber or Airbnb?

The only problem is, you are unsure on how to even begin designing and building an app! Never fear! We at Launchpad App Development have developed a brief guide on the 6 key steps that will bring your mobile app from idea to smartphone screens everywhere.

1. Define your goal.

It all starts with an idea. Having a “Great Idea” is the starting point to every successful project. Having a vision of what you want to accomplish at the start is an important benchmark that will confirm whether the development process is heading in the right direction.

 

Before you go straight into it, you must clearly define your app concept. This includes outlining:

  • Your app’s mission and purpose: what is the app going to do
  • Its core appeal
  • The problem is it going to solve, or what part of life is it going to improve

 

Defining a clear goal for the app is also going to help explain your idea to a developer and help move the development process along a lot faster.

2. Research your idea.

While you may believe you have a revolutionary idea, you may get your hopes up a little too quickly.

 

The main purpose of research:

  • Find out if there are other apps that do the same thing on the app stores.
  • Look for design inspiration for your app.
  • Determine the technical requirements for your app.
  • How you can market and monetise your app?
  • Decide whether you want to develop your app on iOS, Android or both.

 

Nonetheless you should not get discouraged by those who play in the same arena. It is essential that you focus on your own app project and your user acquisition. Learn from the core features and mistakes of competing apps, and drop all other assumptions about them.

3. Getting your app out there.

Think about developing a strategy on how you will get your app out onto the market. This shouldn’t be an exact map to take, but you should consider your possible pathways when getting your app noticed by your target market.

To do this, you must determine your niche. Research into how you can reach out to your target user and how you should reach them to make them see the value and use of the app.

Another important consideration is figuring out how your app is going to generate revenue. Will you charge your users to download it? Or will you offer the app for free but with ads? This monetisation model requires a large user base, so consider that as well.

There are various ways to monetise an app and it is up to you to decide on the channel you want to use.

App Developer Melbourne

4. Sketching your app idea onto paper.

By developing sketches you are laying the foundation for your future user interface. In this step you visually conceptualise the main features and the approximate layout of your app.

Having the first rough sketch of your app helps everyone on your team understand the mission. Use these sketches as a point of reference for the next phase of the project.

 

When sketching your app, keep in mind these 4 questions:

  • What will my Visual Brand Name and Design look like?
  • How will each screen look?
  • What are the size and shapes of various elements?
  • What are the actions users can take from each screen?

 

5. Creating a basic Wireframe and Storyboard for your App.

Wireframing is the process of creating a prototype or mockup of your app. There are a number of prototyping tools online. The most common are, Adobe Experience Design, Lucidchart and InVision.

These programs allow you to not only drag and drop all your representative graphics and placeholders into place, but also add button functionality so that you can click through your app in review mode. However, if you don’t want to pay for a subscription to these programs, you can always hand sketch your wireframes onto paper.

While you are working on your wireframes you should also build a storyboard for your app. The idea is to build a roadmap that will help you understand the flow between each screen and how the user can navigate through your app.

Wireframing

6. Find your self an App Developer you can trust!

When looking for an app development company, you’re really looking for a partner. To make sure you find the right partner for your app, we suggest asking every company a series of exploratory questions:

  • How do they learn to develop new innovations in mobile technology?
  • How do they collect and leverage the data from their previous apps and experiences? What have they learned from working with previous clients?
  • Do they offer the ability to collaborate (pairing their team with yours to develop, design, and test)?
  • Do they follow agile development methodologies (quick iterations, test driven development, constant communication)?

When it comes to agile development, our process at Launchpad is built to encourage innovative planning, adaptive development, rapid delivery, and constant improvement.

From budding entrepreneurs to emerging business, this framework allows us to approach every app with the right mix of technical constraint and creative expression to develop market-leading mobile apps.

So what are you waiting for? To find out how you can launch your very own mobile app, take the first step towards transforming your innovative idea into a successful app!

 

Rocket Icon

 

How to Make Your App Zig in a Market That Zags

“Why fit in when you were born to stand out!”

– Dr. Seuss

 

Say you were looking for a free note taking app (like I was recently) to help remember appointments and take notes at seminars. If you searched “note taking app” in the Google Play Store, you’d be greeted with the following results:

App Development

From the screenshot above there are apps from independent developers and reputable companies like Microsoft, Google and Evernote.

The million dollar question is: which one should you choose? Factors you might take into consideration could be the app’s rating, app icon, features, description or screenshots.

The app market is like a lolly shop. There are so many choices and so much variety, it’s overwhelming and competitive. Similarly, when you publish an app on the market you’ll be up against other apps vying for the attention of app users. The aim is to rise above competitors by standing out amongst the other apps in the market through grabbing the user’s attention.

 

How can my app stand out in the market?

 

1. Create unique and disruptive ideas

To stand out in the market you’ll need to either create an app that either solves a new or existing problem in a more innovative way.

For instance, Uber helped solve the problem for commuters who wanted to catch a taxi at a reasonable price. It also allowed riders to pay by credit card and track the location of their ride.

An example of innovating an existing problem would be the app Parachute (formerly known as Witness). It’s a personal emergency app that allows user to alert family and friends if in danger. While there are many similar apps in the market, the innovative feature is the ability for users to live stream the user’s location and camera to contacts.

A starting point of finding a need is through doing research on the target market of the app. If you’re looking to capitalise on an existing need, look at competitors in your app category and think of ways to be more innovative.

app developer

Parachute lets users live stream their location to family and friends.

 

2. Create visually appealing Screenshots and Graphics

A picture is worth a thousand words – This is the case with your app’s screenshots. In-app screenshots are one of the main factors which prospective users will assess in the app store. This is the case especially when prospective users are still confused over what the app does after reading the description.

Essentially, your screenshots should be like a movie trailer, showing off the most exciting sections of your app to grasp interest and a potential download. They should be high quality, visually appealing and also contain a caption or headline of the app’s main features and benefits.

app developers

Trucker TV’s Optimised Screenshots. Source: Google Play Store

 

3. App Ratings

App ratings is one of the main determinants of whether a user downloads an app, as it dictates quality. Research from Apptentive found that 59% of people assess the app’s rating before downloading the app.

As a result, having a high rating increases your chances of potential users downloading and using your app.

Melbourne App Developer

Source: Apptentive

 

In addition, gaining positive reviews and stars in the app store will highly likely significantly increase your app download conversion rate.  For instance, Apptentive also found that jumping to a four star rating from a three star rating could bring an expected conversion rate of around 340%.

Finally, app ratings is a tool for continuous improvement for your app. Whether it’s changing the app’s UI and UX or launch times, feedback from app users will allow you to identify improvements needed and overall create a more smooth app.

 

4. Create a Great App Icon

People search for apps in 3 ways: searching by category, keyword or a specific app. Your app icon is your opportunity to create a great impression on the prospective user. In fact, it’s the first thing people will see when browsing through the app store. In a way the app icon should function like a brand logo.

When creating an app icon the main things to consider are colour, image, icon shape, borders.


We’ve previously written about how to create a great app icon. Basically, you should be aiming for an icon that is easily recognisable, simple and visually appealing.  

app developers australia

From left to right: Spotify, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook Messenger

 

When creating the app icon avoid using words, keep it simple, use a border and only use your company logo if your brand is well known. You’ll probably notice that most of the apps on the market look very similar in terms of shape and colour, so if you’re stuck, check out icons from competitors.

 

5. Research Your Target Audience

Identifying your target market for your app is one of the key stages when formulating your app strategy. Every age group and demographic has different app usage behaviours.

For instance Blue Cloud Solutions found that that most smartphone users are aged between 25 – 34, who are parents or professionals.

By doing research, you’ll get an overall picture on aspects like app usage, behaviours, needs and preferences. Identifying these characteristics will give you ideas on what kind of app to create and features that appeal to them. Being innovative for the sake of it could cause confusion for the user when using the app.

 

6. Advertise on Multiple Channels

app development australia

Source: Think With Google

One of the myths of app store success is that the app store is the only place where apps are found. However, it isn’t effective to rely solely on app browsers discovering your app on the iTunes and Google Play.

To increase awareness and potential downloads, you’ll need to promote your app through additional channels. It can be through social media, paid advertising and even creating app landing pages.

You could even offer app users incentives for downloading the app like giving discounts, free in-app content or even creating a rewards program.

For instance, accommodation booking sites, like Hotels.com, offers lower prices of their rooms if you download their app compared to browsing on their desktop site.

To determine where to advertise, you should identify where your target audience are most accessible digitally. Research by Google found that the most effective mediums to drive app downloads is through search, video, banner and social ads.

mobile app development melbourne

Source: Think With Google

 

7. App Store Description

After the app icon and screenshots, the app store description will be the third main area that app browsers will see. It is important to focus on how you write your description, as good copy could persuade users to download your app.  

The description should start off with the most crucial information about your app. This is because the app store only shows a few sentences of the description, while hiding the additional text under the “Read More” icon. Here is a good example from One Minute Closer’s description:

melbourne app developers

As seen above, the introduction should contain a summary of your app’s Unique Selling Point (USP) and the main message. You can also add credibility by stating the high number of users or positive reviews from reputable sites.

The rest of the app description should contain information about the app’s features, benefits, a call to action and other apps you have developed. It’s also important to keep it free from any spelling or graphical errors and avoid lying as it could result in app deletion.

 

Why should your app fit in when it was built to stand out?

So here are the 7 tips for standing out in the app market. Just a final note: success doesn’t come easily, you’ll need to continue monitoring your app and trying to find ways to enhance your app activities.

Do you have any other tips for standing out in the marketplace? Have you managed to successfully stand out?

Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Want to increase your knowledge? Check out our most recent blogs for more insightful knowledge.

The Must-Have Metrics to Maximise App Success

 

App success doesn’t happen overnight. If you want to maxmise your app’s success you’ll need to measure its key performance indicators using insightful metrics. In this guide, we will unpack the different metrics that you can apply to your app and identify which ones to use.

The Pokemon Go app became a huge success around the world the moment it launched. As a big fan, I got in on the craze. It also got me thinking about app success. 

It seemed like the winning formula was: 1. Come up with amazing idea, 2. Create app, 3. Watch the money roll. Little did I know that I’d be completely wrong. First of all, I haven’t done any research to validate my idea and secondly, you can’t just sit back and do nothing.

In order to maximise on your app’s success, you’ll need to measure the app before and after it goes to market.

As there are many different metrics, you’ll need to focus on ones that are most relevant to your app. By choosing irrelevant metrics, you might not discover issues with your app.

 

app developers

Source: Perfecto Mobile

Whenever we work on apps for our clients, we always measure and monitor before and after launching to ensure that it performs efficiently, looks appealing and is giving the users the best possible experience.

 

What metrics can I use to measure app success?

There are lots of app metrics that you can use to measure the success of your app.

Here are some of the essential metrics which can help you maximise app success.

 

1. Performance Metrics

App crashes: This metric helps identify the average frequency of your app crashing after launch. The more your app crashes, the more negative feedback and less retention you would get.

The typical crash rate of a new app would be 1-2%, but depends on thinks like app type and usage.

 

Network errors: This metric looks at how often the app is cannot connect to a server. Additionally, it also looks at network overload within the app.
Having network errors could cause the app to crash or even slow load times.

For instance, my mum uses an email app on her tablet. Almost every time she launches it, the app would unable to detect WiFi, leading to the app crashing whenever she tries to send an email.

 

Installations and downloads: Here, you can identify information on the amount of times users have downloaded, installed and/or deleted your app using this metric.

However, it is important to note that thousands of downloads and installs of an app doesn’t mean it’s successful.

This metric becomes ineffective if users install the app app but don’t become active users.

 

Benefits of measuring performance metrics:

  • Helps you maximise app performance, ensuring that the app runs efficiently and smoothly.
  • You can decrease user frustration and dissatisfaction from the app by reducing issues like errors with UI and UX, network or app functionality.
  • Having a high performing app compared to competing apps will most likely increase app installation, positive feedback and usage

2. Engagement Metrics

Users: This metric identifies and gives you in depth information about the target market for your app. It looks at their behaviours, how they are using the app, geographic locations and demographics of users.

 

Session Length: This metric looks at the duration of time users are on the app in each session. A higher user session length indicates more engagement with the app. Here, you’ll be able to identify which users are spending the most time on the app and on which screens.

 

Session interval: This shows you how often users open your app by identifying the time between first and next time they open the app. This metric allows you to discover whether users find the app valuable.

 

Time in App: Identifies how long the user was in the app. This allows you to identify how users behave and pick up behaviour patterns. However, note that some app categories tend to have higher use times than others, such as: food delivery or games.

 

App screens accessed per session: Identifies how many app screens the user visits in one session. Furthermore it looks at which screens users visit.

 

Retention rate: Helps you identify how many users continually use your app after a certain period of time (E.g. Weekly, Monthly, Yearly). Localytics found that across a 90-day period, the average retention rate is around 20%, while above 25% is the desired rate.

app developers australia

 

Benefits of measuring engagement metrics:

  • Measuring engagement will help maximise user interest with your app, while also achieving a high retention rate.
  • These metrics give you the opportunity to identify the type of content and/or features that users find more engaging.
  • Identifying user behaviour lets you know what in-app purchases users are interested in and when they’d spend money.
  • You have the opportunity to increase user loyalty and conversion, leading to more user and, in turn, more revenue generated.

 

3. Revenue/Business Metrics

Lifetime value: This metric shows the value of each user and the financial value of the app overall. The Lifetime Value also helps identify the costs of user loyalty, overall app success and forecasts for future growth.

 

Acquisition cost: This metric helps measure the cost of gaining customers and generating revenue. It also identifies how users find your app (E.g. Google Play Store, Word of Mouth etc.) and their app behaviour.

app developer

The most effective user acquisition strategies for mobile apps. Source: VentureBeat

 

Benefits of revenue/business metrics:

  • Allows you to identify which user segment brings in the most revenue.
  • You can identify and capitalise on the best app marketing channels to reach your target users.

 

How do I know which metrics to use?

App metrics are essentially key performance indicators (KPI) that you’d find in any business or marketing plan. The metrics you use ultimately depend on your app goals and objectives, found in your mobile app strategy .

For example: An online fashion retailer might have the objective to provide a smooth and efficient checkout process. The metrics that would be suitable might be: app crashes, network errors, retention and time in app.

In addition to your goals, other useful aspects you can consider are desired user app behaviour and the direction you want to take your app.

But just note that choosing too many metrics may overwhelm and confuse you. On the other hand, you might not get enough information if there are too few metrics.

 

App Metric Tools

There are many tools and resources online that make gathering and analysing app metrics easier than ever. Each app platform has accompanying metric tools which you can monitor through Google Play or Apple iTunes.

However, the measurement and information they display is quite basic and features are limited. For more detailed information and features, you could use third party apps. There’s a range of paid and free tools like Google, Flurry, Mixpanel and Localytics. 

 

For good measure…

In conclusion, it is imperative that you measure your app metrics before launching it to maximise on the success of your app. This would not only increase engagement, performance and the number of downloads,  but most of all, increase the revenue your app can generate. Start your journey towards app success by keeping track of the metrics the matter most. 

As the saying goes: when you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail

Are the any other app metrics we should be keeping track of? Let us know in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.

I Stream, You Stream, We All Stream for Live Mobile Streaming

If a picture’s worth a thousand words then a live video is worth a lot more than that! As the latest trend in mobile marketing, live video streaming is a great way to share engaging content online. In this post, you’ll discover what live mobile streaming is all about and how you can benefit from interacting with your audience in real time.

We’re live in 3… 2… 1…

A funny thing happened at Launchpad recently. On June 14, our Managing Director Dane had purchased tickets to Flume’s concert in December. This was after two weeks of the office unanimously loving Flume’s new album, so it was kind of a big deal!

However, when deciding whether to get a ticket or not, the following scenario came to mind…

It’s December 14 and you’ve got your ticket to see one of the biggest electronic producers going around. You’ve had Flume’s songs on repeat across all your music streaming apps and are just a day away from belting out ‘Never be like youuuu!’

But then you sneeze. And sneeze. And sneeze again.

By the next morning, you have an almighty flu that makes it hard enough to get out of bed, let alone go to the concert that night.

And while this situation has never happened to me personally, it’s the type of scenario that I used to dread before a concert.

In the past, you’d have to politely watch with envy as a friend shares poorly recorded footage of a concert you missed. But this is no longer the case thanks to the latest trend in mobile: live video streaming.

With just a tap on your screen, the whole concert can be streamed on your smartphone in real time. I recently experienced Coachella Music Festival on a 360 Live Stream, including a fantastic performance by Flume! But don’t take my word for it; see for yourself when Flume’s set is streamed live from Lollapalooza Festival this July.

Mobile video previously had the curiosity of consumers by shifting their eyes away from the TV to the smartphone. But with live streaming now being introduced across online social networks, mobile video has grabbed our attention. As the ease with which users can stream takes down the barriers of adoption, let’s examine how the rapid growth of live video benefits mobile consumers and presents new marketing opportunities for businesses.

 

The streaming revolution

What was once used predominately for streaming game footage and special events, brands are now adopting live streaming to reach their stakeholders in more innovative ways.

With more and more companies using live streaming, it is predicted that this tool will become big this year and even bigger in the future.

In fact live streaming has been widely used by lots of businesses for marketing purposes and also for other interactions such as panels, tours and training purposes.

A study by Brandline found that business executives perceived live streaming to be beneficial in engagement. As a result, businesses are now prepared to invest more money into this marketing channel.

app developer

The benefits that companies perceive from live streaming. Source: AdWeek

 

As live streaming catches on with others, I believe that other social media platforms will want to tap (pun intended) into the market and use their own live streaming features. Potential apps that could potentially adopt live streaming include Snapchat, Instagram and Tinder (Streaming live dates anyone?).

 

What’s out there?

There are thousands of different live media streaming sites and apps online.

We’ll be taking a look at four mobile apps that offer live streaming functionality.

While some of the apps mentioned here are only available on certain devices and/or have not been released to the public yet, you can expect to be seeing them sooner rather than later.

Let’s meet them shall we?

 

1. YouTube Live

Back in 2011, YouTube first released live streaming but only to four of its partners. Currently the feature is only available on desktop and laptop but will come to mobile in the near future.

Note that before you start live streaming, you’ll need to download an encoder.

A live chat is available so you’ll be able to see the reactions and interactions of viewers. You’ll also be able to share your stream link on social media to notify followers and friends of the stream.

After the live stream ends, a copy of the stream is saved on the streamer’s channel.

App developer Australia

YouTube has finally debuted live streaming. Source: YouTube Creator

 

2. Facebook Live

With Facebook Live, you can stream within Facebook from your Android and iOS smartphone without the needing to download a standalone app.

All you need to do is log into your Facebook account by tapping ‘Go Live’ in your status update.

You can monitor engagement through real time comments, likes, loves and emoticons in the comments section on your live stream.

mobile app developers melbourne

Facebook Live allows users to broadcast video through the company’s flagship mobile app. Source: The Verge

 

3. Periscope

Acquired in 2015 by the social media platform Twitter, Periscope is an iOS and Android app that allows users to create broadcasts.

Compared to the other streamers, you can’t schedule dates for future live streams. Another difference, which is currently only available for iPhone users, is that Periscope gives statistics on broadcast performance. This is highly beneficial for businesses to understand what works, what doesn’t and how to improve.

melbourne app developers

Periscope lets you broadcast live video to the world. Source: TechSpot

4. Meerkat

Released in 2015, our last streamer is a direct rival of Periscope that allows the user to stream live on the spot or schedule live streams. You can connect your Twitter and Facebook account to Meerkat, which alerts friends and followers when live streams start.

One of its unique features is Cameo where it allows the streamer to choose a follower to take over the live stream for up to a minute. This also alerts the follower’s friends of the live stream.

iphone app developers melbourne

Meerkat allows streamers to choose a follower to take over a live video. Source: Digital Trends

 

So now that we’ve introduced the four main social media mobile streaming apps, you might be wondering….

 

Why should I use live mobile streaming?

There are many ways live video streaming can benefit your promotional activities regardless of industry.

Check out the awesome infographic from Hyperfine Media that shows the advantages of video marketing.

app developer

 

1. Live streaming speaks louder than posts

Video streaming is more engaging than viewing an image, post or tweet. This means followers will stay and watch your content longer instead of scrolling past, potentially increasing brand awareness.

Bold Content Video found that live-streamed videos on Facebook are watched 3x longer than recorded videos. Furthermore, live streaming provides flexibility that enables brands to be creative with their streams and show audiences who they are.

 

2. Increased interaction

You will be able to respond and engage instantly as viewers interact with you and others via the live chat box when live streaming. You’ll be able to spark debate or even get feedback from viewers, making it a more intuitive experience.

This is also great for customer support. With live streaming; you won’t need to wait 30 hours on the phone or 30 years to get a response to your query.

You can provide exceptional customer support by responding quickly to questions about your business, providing a more personal interaction.

 

3. Affordable and easy

Live streaming is free for everyone. All it requires is a social media account or a streaming app, such as Periscope, which is free. It’s so easy to operate and you won’t need to know that entire videography lingo.

You also won’t need high tech video producing equipment unless you want to produce high-definition quality streams. All you need to start a live stream is a smartphone and you’re good to go!

 

4. Larger reach

Posting a Tweet or Facebook post limits your audience to followers and viewers who click on your page. With live streaming you have the ability to broadcast to the entire world or across an entire social media platform. This could increase awareness and potentially lead to more customer prospects.

 

How can I use live mobile video streaming?

There are many ways you can use live mobile video streaming. You could stream events like webinars, new product releases, press conferences, fundraisers or meetings for your business. Viewers can watch those streams anywhere in the world without actually being present.

This is a great way to keep viewers up to date with business activity, major events and also allows you to provide an educational experience. A recent example is Microsoft’s launch of Halo 5 with a live stream on YouTube showcasing the gameplay

This helped increase sales in the billions and made it the top selling game on Xbox One.

 

Product or service tutorials

Besides teaching users on how to use product/services, live streaming tutorials are a great way to highlight your products/services.

Going in detail though the features and benefits could attract awareness among prospect customers. An element of your product or service could be the answer to their needs!

 

Q&As

This is a great way to interact and engage with the audience by answering questions from viewers. It’s also a great way to inform viewers of future products, direction of the company and address issues in the media.

For example, Domino’s Pizza recently held a live Q&A stream on Facebook, where viewers could ask the CEO questions.

 

Behind the scenes access

You could live stream a typical day at the office or your work environment to highlight your culture and brand personality to your viewers.

This would be ideal if you’ve got a unique office environment, like those organisations that boast an in house laser tag arena, make-your-own sundae buffet and slides.

Besides turning the whole world green, it can be used as an HR tool and potentially promote and attract talent to your work place.

Have an event coming up? Give viewers a VIP pass back stage pass to live streaming events, conferences, latest movies and concerts. Not only will it be memorable but could also showcase your partners and sponsors and increase views.

A recent example of this was the behind-the-scenes Facebook Live stream from the Oscars.

 

Tips for mobile live video streaming

Before you start pulling out your smartphone, here are some tips for you to create an awesome live stream:

 

1. Plan and prepare

As the saying goes: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. So before your live stream, Make sure you plan aspects like location, Internet connection, equipment, running sheets, notifying followers of your live stream and contingency plans.

Unless you’re doing a live stream that’s spontaneous or doesn’t require a lot of preparation, plan ahead.

 

2. Make the live stream content relevant to your target market

Find out what content captivates your target market and use that as a basis for your live streams.

E.g. Redbull’s known for extreme sporting events and daredevil feats. In 2012, they live streamed a freefall from the edge of space by that racked up millions of views.

 

3. Trial each app

Like a shirt, one size may fit or may not fit all. You’ll need to experiment with the mobile streaming apps and choose those that works for you.

Most live streaming platforms have analytics tools, which is great for getting feedback on your streams. This is useful to determine the platform’s suitability for you.

In addition, Cision has created a mini guide, which is helpful when decide which streaming platform you’ll be using.

 

4. Have a stable Internet connection

This is important performance wise especially if you’re broadcasting at an event. Having a stable connection ensures that there aren’t any disruptions or lag during the stream. The audience won’t want to miss any minute of the action, so if your stream cuts out they might lose interest.

Also note that streaming uses up a lot of data, so make sure you have enough data and be aware of the roaming costs when you’re overseas.

 

And… Cut!

So what are your thoughts on mobile live streaming? Think it’s just a fad?

Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

For more insightful posts, check out our most recent blogs.

App-Startup-Guide-Download

The Complete Guide to App Store Optimisation

Looking to maximise your app’s visibility in the app store? To get your app the attention it deserves, simply follow the key steps in this guide to ensure your app meets ranking criteria and rises to the top of the Apple and Google Play Stores.

It is crucial to understand the various marketing channels available to attract users and generate revenue. Once such channel is the very important, but often overlooked, technique of App Store Optimisation (ASO).

ASO is essentially improving your app’s visability on the app store to drive more downloads for your app.

When it comes getting your app discovered and downloaded by users, the numbers don’t lie:

  • Users discover and download apps through general app store searches 63% of the time.
  • Apps with keywords in their titles on average rank 10.3% higher in the app stores than those that don’t.
  • The more positive reviews and ratings you get, the higher your app will rank in such results.

There are a number of aspects that come into play when someone sees your app in the search results. To effectively optimise your app on the store, you need to focus on elements, including reviews and ratings.

If you have a vision for an innovative app that provides real value to users, here are the crucial steps to implementing an ASO strategy that maximises your app’s search ranking on the largest discovery channel available.

 

Step 1 – Understand why App Store Optimisation is important

In order to successfully optimise your app for the stores you have to know what Apple and Google are looking for. Once you know what is used for iTunes and Google Play to rank the search visibility of your app, you have to optimise for these particular factors.

According to Forbes Tech, the two main factors when submitting on iOS app to Apple are the app’s name and keyword searches. Let’s breakdown the important factors involved in ASO…

Names and Keywords

Your app’s name is the principal piece of meta-data that impacts it’s ranking in app store search results. Therefore, the keywords that your target users are searching for (More on that in Step 2!) should feature in your app’s name, as well as the description. While the app’s name and icon grab the attention of potential users, it’s a persuasively written description that ultimately convinces them to download your app.

Mobile App Development

The app store title for One Minute Closer features the app’s name and an additional five keywords (‘Free’, ‘FIFO’, ‘Roster’, ‘Lifestyle’ and ‘App’) that target users would search for. Source: iTunes

Ratings and Reviews

You can’t control an app’s ratings and reviews in the same way you can find and leverage keywords for ASO, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t aim to influence them. These are two significant factors when you consider that 59% of people usually or always check ratings before downloading an app – even if everything else checks out.

Furthermore, a single star in your app’s rating can make a huge difference when attempting to reach target users. In fact, a 2015 Consumer Survey found that jumping from a 2-star to a 3-star rating directly increases your app store conversion by 340%. Managing ratings and reviews, gives your app the best chance to achieve a dramatic increase in active users.

Melbourne App Developer

Only 15% of people would consider downloading an app with a 2-star average rating, while over 95% would consider downloading an app with a 4-star rating. Source: Apptentive

Let’s now explore the app store optimisation practices you can use to maximise your app’s discoverability.

 

Step 2 – Research your target audience

Knowing who your app’s target users are is the foundation to implementing a successful ASO strategy. To figure out whom exactly benefits the most from being an active user of your app, you need to assess three elements of your target audience: 1) who you have designed the app for, 2) what demographics will get real value from the app, and 3) what is the problem it solves for them.

To systematically gather and interpret such information, you need to do market research. With effective market research, you can determine the likelihood of your app being downloaded in the app stores, as well as the motivations and behaviours of app users. As part of our Rocketfuel Workshops with entrepreneurs and businesses, the market research to clearly define an app’s target audience usually comprises of two parts…

 

Primary Research – User Persona Modelling

The more you know about your users, the better and faster your can meet their needs. Creating user persona models helps you understand the behaviours and motivations of your app’s target audience.

With an understanding of your app’s target users, you should then place your created personas into scenarios: situations where desirable or ineffective app features become evident. Consider a day in the life of your identified key personas – waking up, working, evening routine etc. – and how your app interacts with them. Use these scenarios to determine the app features that satisfy the market and then prioritise features based on your primary research.

 App Developers Australia

An example User Persona, featuring the target user’s motivations, goals, bio and personality. Source: Xtensio

 

Secondary research – Industry Analysis

Once you’ve identified the app features that satisfy your target users, it’s time to validate your app using the plethora of collected data and existing research available online. If your app is focused towards a certain industry, sources like IBISWorld offer readily available Market Research reports across every industry in Australia.

To find out if users are actually searching for an app like yours in the app stores, use tools like App Codes to track out what keywords your competitors rank for. This will empower you to find the best keywords for ASO and make sure your app’s gets maximum exposure for search results.

 

Step 3 – Identify the right app name and keywords

With your most relevant keywords identified during your secondary research, you can now optimise your app’s name. To increase the visibility and traffic generated, the identified keywords should be in your app’s name.

You have up to 255 characters for your app’s name on the Apple App Store. This is a generous amount of space allows you to insert relevant keywords that will lead to more app downloads. However, don’t start keyword stuffing, as this is widely denounced and often penalised by Apple.

Keep the following tips in mind when picking the right name for your app:

On iTunes, your app name is shortened after the 23rd character on the search results and top charts pages. Even with 255 characters, make sure your keywords fit in logically.

On Google Play, you only have up to 30 characters for your app’s name.

As a result, it is essential so to put your best keywords at the start of the app’s name.

A general rule of thumb is to include three top target keywords in your app name.

While identifying the top keywords to maximise your app’s visibility, focus mainly on the keyword ranking traffic and difficulty. Traffic is the measure of a keyword’s popularity in relation to search volume, while difficulty is based on how intense the competition is to rank for a certain keyword.

Aim for the ideal combination of a keyword that gets a lot of traffic and very little competition. It may take time to find the perfect one, but it’s worth it for the boost your app will receive in the rankings.

 

Step 4 – Create a memorable and unique app icon

As your app’s visual anchor, you want your icon to stand out and be memorable to app store browsers. An app icon is the key visual that users interact with when they see your app for the first time.

So what are the key traits of a great app icon that screams ‘INSTALL ME!’?

Firstly, your icon will be seen on a variety of screens and in a variety of sizes. Therefore, it’s important that your icon is scalable so that it maintains its legibility. Big or small, the app’s icon needs to look good.

 iPhone App Developers Melbourne

An icon should maintain its legibility across multiple resolutions. Source: One Minute Closer

Secondly, your icon is confined to a 57×57 pixel space, so ensure it clearly communicates what your app does. App Analytics firm App Annie provided the following tips to designing a simple, unique icon:

  • The most effective icons provide a clear message through simple design.
  • The icon’s colours should pop while still representing the colour scheme within the app.
  • The icon must represent the core values of your app. This may be the app’s primary feature (E.g. Gmail’s use of a letter) or imagery within the app (E.g. Clash of Clans featuring a main character).

Using these tips will help you highlight the unique selling point of your app, converting browsers into engaged users.

 

Step 5 – Feature high-converting screenshots

The sequence of screenshots on the app store page shows what your app can do. Optimised screenshots convey your app’s key selling points and unique value proposition.

Mobile App Development Melbourne

Life Pulse on Android Wear tells a story to engage uses. Source: Google Play

When submitting apps for our clients, we recommend featuring screenshots that showcase how the app works.

Life Pulse is a perfect example. First, it hooks users with the app’s starting point (Entering your Resting Heart Rate). It then outlines the heart monitoring experience by visually explaining the key features the wearable app provides to users.

To find out which screenshots optimise your app’s conversion rate, use A/B testing methods. When you know which screenshots perform better, as well as the correct order to present them in, you’ll greatly increase your app store conversion rate and, in turn, the number of app downloads.

To A/B test potential screenshots on the app stores, StoreMaven allows you to not just compare your screenshots against each other, but also test your screenshots to industry standards. There’s a 30-day free trial, letting you discovering which screenshots maximise your app’s conversion rate.

 

Step 6 – Maintain your App Store Optimisation

ASO is a marketing practice that you have to keep monitoring and regularly tweak for sustainable app store success. The best practice to efficiently optimise your app is to keep leveraging keywords that rank well and maximise the traffic generated for your app’s page.

It’s also important to consistently update your app so that you keep improving the user experience and performance it provides. Apps that are continually updated are deemed to be high quality and user-centric by the app stores and mobile consumers.

The average update frequency of the top 500-ranked apps is between 30 to 40 days. As a result, you should be aiming for this too. By providing users better versions of your app with each update, your ratings and reviews will organically increase. Additionally, better app store ratings and reviews, will help your app rank prevalently in the search results.

 

Before optimising your app…

Now that you know everything involved in implementing an effective ASO strategy, you can see how the path to startup success doesn’t end when your app is launched. That’s just half of the journey.

With this guide, your app can soar up the app store rankings and maximising visibility.

Can you recommend any other tools and resources for App Store Optimisation? We’d love to hear about them.

App-Startup-Guide-Download