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How to go from 10 downloads/day to 100? Or 1000?

10-10-2014, 09:54 AM
#1
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 53
How to go from 10 downloads/day to 100? Or 1000?

Hi everyone,

I am new here and figured I'll see if I could get a discussion started on how to take the next step with your App.

I've had an App out on App Store and Google Play for about 6 months now and my downloads are in the range of 10-20 downloads/day on the App Store, and on average 40-50 downloads / day on Google Play. Except an early peak due to a newspaper article, these numbers have been fairly steady for the entire time. Not increasing and not decreasing.

I havent really had time to do much about my app in terms of marketing, except a little when I released it, but now I've decided to make a serious attempt to boost those numbers. I thinking of I can get a steady stream of about 50 downloads / day (on both stores), then I could get 100. Or why not 1000?

Question is how.

I am suspecting others are, or have been, struggling with the same issue as me. So how do you take the next step?

App Store Optimisation and/or search engine optimisation. I've researched this very little to be honest. Can you really increase your download that much just by changing keywords? I've read a few articles, made some changes, but I can't say much happened...

Paid ADs? If so, where? Which Ad networks works best? I have no tried paid ads yet, but I am thinking it might be worth as shot.

Social Media? I've been trying to use Twitter with very little success so far, anyone have any success stories in the Social Media marketing category, or is that just a big hype that only works for the big companies?

My only real marketing success so far came after contacting a newspaper here in Sweden, who put my App up on their App Section, which boosted my numbers to 2.000 downloads / day on each store, but it only lasted for two days, and as soon as my App wasn't on the first page in the newspaper App Section, downloads went down as dramatically as they went up. I've contacted a handful of other newspapers without getting a reply since. So, clearly if you get your App in a newspaper, it helps a lot, but only briefly.

So yeah, thats the story of my first app so far. Anyone else care to share their story and/or advice?

Thanks!
10-10-2014, 11:29 AM
#2
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 102
Some ideas off the top of my head:

- Make sure your icon is as appealing as possible.
- Make sure your screenshots are as appealing as possible.
- Make sure your description text is good and is localised (even if your game isn't)
- Make sure your listed in appropriate genres.
- When you post in forums about your game, add the link (it won't be clickable because you've only done a couple of posts here, but it's still better than nothing)
- Having a touch arcade listing and a indiedb listing can't do any harm.
- Emailing every journalist and website going is hard work and as frustrating as hell because you'll be ignored by almost everyone, but you might get the occasional result.

Good luck.

10-10-2014, 11:53 AM
#3
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Columbo View Post
Some ideas off the top of my head:
- Make sure your icon is as appealing as possible.
- Make sure your screenshots are as appealing as possible.
- Make sure your listed in appropriate genres.
Think I got that covered. Although anything can always be improved of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Columbo View Post
- Make sure your description text is good and is localised (even if your game isn't)
That's interesting. My game is in English and I never even thought about making my description text localised. You think that helps? Personally I dont like reading poorly translated to Swedish-app descriptions but I suppose it could be worth doing a spanish/french/german translation perhaps. I dont have a clue about how costly it is though, gotta check that first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Columbo View Post
- When you post in forums about your game, add the link (it won't be clickable because you've only done a couple of posts here, but it's still better than nothing)
I did not post a link on purpose since I did not want to come off as someone who just wants free promotion, but instead wanted some actual tips and suggestions. But I'll take your advice and give it a go at the end of this post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Columbo View Post
- Having a touch arcade listing and a indiedb listing can't do any harm.
That I could do. Good advice. Tips on more _good_ similar sites out there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Columbo View Post
- Emailing every journalist and website going is hard work and as frustrating as hell because you'll be ignored by almost everyone, but you might get the occasional result.
Mailed about 20, got replies from 2, which did increase my downloads considerably. So I suppose a 10% success rate isn't that bad. Guess I should keep doing that, but you're right, its hard work.

For whoever is interested, here's a link to my app webpage:
http://www.connectforeplay.com

And here's the links to google play and app store:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/connect-foreplay-the-sex-game/id687742381?mt=8&uo=4

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...onnectforeplay

As you can see, it's an "adult" game, but a serious one. (compared to 99% of the market). Hope it doesn't offend anyone. But I dont see how it could!
10-12-2014, 07:29 AM
#4
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by maggiesgames View Post
Question is how.

I am suspecting others are, or have been, struggling with the same issue as me. So how do you take the next step?

App Store Optimisation and/or search engine optimisation. I've researched this very little to be honest. Can you really increase your download that much just by changing keywords? I've read a few articles, made some changes, but I can't say much happened...
They all say that and plenty of people spend a ton of time to optimize things which return very little extra. Most of the time, everything I read from people on forums just reeks off desperation. Then, other times, you have the pro articles. They basically say make a nice icon (conveys the message, is pretty, clear and stands out) and think you keywords well. I found one article that claimed a huge explosion of traffic ... in percentages, that is, and that's not the only relevant data, I'm weary of percentages.
But the ASO was so pathetic that it wasn't a surprise that with just basic, moderate and relatively obvious words, downloads multiplied. But the total wasn't impressive.
The rest, I think it's just hogwash.

Quote:
Paid ADs? If so, where? Which Ad networks works best? I have no tried paid ads yet, but I am thinking it might be worth as shot.
Normal ads, CPI, CPL, etc. If you're going to play this game, you'll need tens of thousands of dollars, that is all.

Quote:
Social Media? I've been trying to use Twitter with very little success so far, anyone have any success stories in the Social Media marketing category, or is that just a big hype that only works for the big companies?
The real social that works is if you have a community of at least several thousands of people ready to download your app within a week at most, in order to propel your app sufficiently high to grab the spot where the organic meat is.
If you have a blog or f/t page that has a real following, you're good. Otherwise, don't delude yourself and move on.

The other "social" sits halfway between social, press coverage and fandom community: youtubers and the like. And they ain't cheap.

Quote:
My only real marketing success so far came after contacting a newspaper here in Sweden, who put my App up on their App Section, which boosted my numbers to 2.000 downloads / day on each store, but it only lasted for two days, and as soon as my App wasn't on the first page in the newspaper App Section, downloads went down as dramatically as they went up. I've contacted a handful of other newspapers without getting a reply since. So, clearly if you get your App in a newspaper, it helps a lot, but only briefly.
Typical. Reviews and press coverage are only good if you can combine them with other powerful factors. They also help give a presence in the world and on Internet. But even their relevance is overblown.
I wish it weren't the case, but that's the sad truth. Plus many media outlets hardly are impartial nor brave. Many just sugar coat the piece of PR paper they were handed.

Other than that, you go look for bots that cost several thousands to build and/or Asian sweatshops which are supposedly owners of thousands of dumped iPhones.

One thing that hasn't changed in the industries that sell goods is that you need coverage to reach the attention of customers. The people who come talking about the passion and beauty of making games alone are plain fools, unless they live in a castle and sleep on bags of cash (and they'd just be cynical having fun of gullible serfs).
The majority of people are getting poorer, taxes are on the rise everywhere, you work longer, you consume more crap and have even less time.
And you are supposed to sell stuff to these people. Plus your market is overly saturated with junk software.

Have a nice day.

Last edited by Pixelosis; 10-12-2014 at 07:33 AM.
10-12-2014, 07:39 AM
#5
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by maggiesgames View Post
That's interesting. My game is in English and I never even thought about making my description text localised. You think that helps? Personally I dont like reading poorly translated to Swedish-app descriptions but I suppose it could be worth doing a spanish/french/german translation perhaps. I dont have a clue about how costly it is though, gotta check that first.
It definitely does. Apps which have, at least, a translated presentation pages register more downloads in the respective specific countries; the difference can be huge. Best thing to do is look at your app's genre and category and see in which countries they are the most popular, and target them with your translations.

Quote:
Mailed about 20, got replies from 2, which did increase my downloads considerably. So I suppose a 10% success rate isn't that bad. Guess I should keep doing that, but you're right, its hard work.
Honestly, when you consider the gains for the cost of work (and any time you spend is money invested, like it or not), I find the results most unconvincing.

Luckily, making a really nice game and finding a community that would like it, and stick with it, would kinda help. Depending on the type and platform, some people will be ready to shell out the bills while others will be more prone to download it in droves if it's free (you're aiming for IAPs then with this model).
10-12-2014, 10:17 AM
#6
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 53
Pixelosis:

You paint a bleak picture..

My experience with ASO is similar, I mean if you have some common sense you'll have keywords fitting your game already, and the "tips" you read about are usually just that, common sense. And creating an icon that stands out together with good screenshots... well duh? Obviously. Like you say, most people who benefit from it are probably those who's done a terrible job at it. Which is quite a few...

I've did some ad test runs for a handful of dollars and yeah, it's pretty obvious I'd need a much bigger budget than I am willing to spend to get any real results. I am gonna do a few more small tests though. Might at least learn something from it.

I do think I am gonna try localise my description and keywords. See if it helps. It should be easy enough to do a test on that with one or a few languages.

My game is more or less the only serious one in its niche, the hard part is to find the people who would be interested in it, and getting into a community without seeming like some spammer who just wants downloads. (Which is the truth..

I am not sure I agree with you on articles. Even 6 months after two magazines wrote articles about my app, I have a much higher download rate than what would seem normal from Denmark and Sweden, where the magazines where located, while I have basically 0 from other nordic countries. So I think I still gain some from those articles even though they're old now. But sure, it's hard work, and maybe I'd gain more by doing something else.

On you it basically sounds impossible though... Have you had success yourself with some strategy, and if so what was it?
10-12-2014, 12:33 PM
#7
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by maggiesgames View Post
I am not sure I agree with you on articles. Even 6 months after two magazines wrote articles about my app, I have a much higher download rate than what would seem normal from Denmark and Sweden, where the magazines where located, while I have basically 0 from other nordic countries. So I think I still gain some from those articles even though they're old now. But sure, it's hard work, and maybe I'd gain more by doing something else.
Regardless of your app's own merits, the effects of such articles do exist, but not to the mountainous hopes some make them out to be. You need a lot of press coverage to have a total activity make a difference, and it just happens that this has a real, solid price as well. You're back at how much are you willing to pay, knowing that a large percentage of the paid reviews won't make a difference but that you pay for those that will, in some sort of convoluted CPC multivectorial campaign.

Quote:
On you it basically sounds impossible though... Have you had success yourself with some strategy, and if so what was it?
If you have the money, or the people, or the black marketing means, it's doable. I'm just tired of the click-bait articles that sell you "5 tips you need to know to increase your app's presence" blah blah blah...

Being in a community and having an influence is most useful, but the vast majority of devs, even if honest and passionate, don't really register on the radar, even if they have already been members of certain boards for what would seem eons.

Plus anywhere there is a ranking system, it can and will be gamed, and the richest will dominate. In many ways, the vast majority of devs on smartphone are a bit late in the game. The older and more attractive the system is, the harshest and darwinianest it gets. At some point, it pretends operating under regulation while in reality it's a pure law of jungle in disguise where only those with the means can win, while pretending it's fair.

If anything, independant curating systems forwarding their own selection or catalog of third party apps validated by community peers and pushing them through their own apps published on iOS and Android would rejuvenate those big markets. But this is neither here nor there.
I frankly don't know what to say other than make a good enough game, grow a solid web of contacts and PR, try to grow a community which you'll be able to trigger on release date, and amass money to spend on ads and press coverage when needed, with a clever pre-release and post-release strategy.
Oh, see, I'm doing it, typing obviassduh tips.
10-12-2014, 06:32 PM
#8
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Wellington
Posts: 874
Quote:
Originally Posted by maggiesgames View Post
Anyone else care to share their story and/or advice?
We've had some success with downloads. In order of importance in terms of what promotion drives downloads from best to worst, I'd list as follows

- Platform Featuring (make sure your app is high quality, ,supports platform specific features like iCloud and Gamecentre and new hardware like iPhone 6/6 Plus, and localize the store and ingame assets, a feature can be worth hundreds if not millions of dollars worth of "free advertising")

- Favourable coverage in a mass media outlet (getting covered in major newspapers, massive websites, radio and television can drive a lot of users, especially if you have a casual title or one with broad appeal, but hard to get this kind of coverage unless you have a compelling social angle)

- Paid advertising (however, usually way too expensive because most games don't generate enough revenue per install to justify it and most developers don't have the $50-100k+ you need to spend on this per day to make a difference in the rankings)

- Licensing (leveraging licensed material and IP can allow you to tap into a prexisting audience/fanbase who are likely already congregating on certain websites and social channels and can be reached easily)

- Clickswap/friendly cross promotion (tap large networks outside of your own with clickswap deals with other developers/publishers)

- Internal network cross promotion (the easiest install you'll get is from an already existing customer in another game or app of your own)

- Localization (helps with featuring and getting users across the line to generate a download. The "most important" languages are English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Turkish, Russian, Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean, and Japanese)

- Games press PR (works best if you are making midcore to hardcore titles given game sites are usually)

- Social media promotion including TA, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram (mostly this is way more effort than the benefits it generates unless you have a large social following)


However, the key to maximizing the effectiveness of promotion is great on store assets. Have a great memorable app name, eye catching icon, compelling screenshots and description copy, and good localization. If you can increase the conversion of users who visit your page into installs then that will be a multiplier on everything else you do promotion wise.
10-12-2014, 07:34 PM
#9
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Columbo View Post
Some ideas off the top of my head:

- Make sure your icon is as appealing as possible.
- Make sure your screenshots are as appealing as possible.
- Make sure your description text is good and is localised (even if your game isn't)
- Make sure your listed in appropriate genres.
- When you post in forums about your game, add the link (it won't be clickable because you've only done a couple of posts here, but it's still better than nothing)
- Having a touch arcade listing and a indiedb listing can't do any harm.
- Emailing every journalist and website going is hard work and as frustrating as hell because you'll be ignored by almost everyone, but you might get the occasional result.

Good luck.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixelosis View Post
I'm just tired of the click-bait articles that sell you "5 tips you need to know to increase your app's presence" blah blah blah...
I am starting to get tired of them as well. It's all the same stuff, and it's all generally just common sense they list in their "amazing tips on how to get rich on apps". Heh. Which is why I asked here to see if I could get some real advice from actual people who's not looking for clicks mainly.
10-12-2014, 07:59 PM
#10
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 53
Thank you PikPok for sharing your marketing knowledge, very interesting read for a marketing newbie like me.

I am currently going to try out localizing my game description to a handful of major languages other than English. Unfortunately my game is very text heavy, so translating the whole game simply is not doable. At least not very cheap. I am gonna experiment with translating the app description and keywords though. To see if it has any noticeable effect on people from those countries finding my app, even if the game itself remains in english.

I just finished a two day test run on a small text ad on reddit, which gave me an estimate on how much a click to my app homepage would cost there. $0.11 / click seems like a pretty good CTR actually, still those are homepage clicks, they will have to lead to app downloads and then in a freemium app lead to a purchase.

So the cost / purchase will obviously be quite high even with a decent CTR. So yeah, paid ads wont be cheap in the long run.

It's especially hard with an app targeted for an adult market, even if its not in any way pornographic or contains anything even close to naked, most mobile ad networks will refuse ads to anything that isn't 100% "family safe".

I am gonna continue to make a few other test campaigns though, to get some more data on paid ads.

Other than that, it feels like my best bet is getting featured in magazines, websites, etc.

Interestingly enough the first magazine I contacted, a big one in Sweden, immediately _called_ me after reading my mail, and within hours they had an article about my app up on their main App section site. It spiked downloads and purchases making my game #1 in Lifestyle Sweden, #10 overall, and #2 grossing Lifestyle app in Sweden. That lasted only a day though, then a decline started until my downloads within a week or so went down to the current, and much lower, level.

I first thought "Wow, that was easy!", but my success was short lived, as only one magazine I contacted after that wrote an article about my game. The rest did not even reply at all. In a way I was kind of unlucky who got such a good first impression on how "easy" it was to market an app, when in fact, it proved out to be far from easy eventually.

Anyway, after a bunch of months when I've been busy with my day job, I am ready to give this another go. Fingers crossed!

Oh yeah, if anyone has any suggestions on how to improve my app web page and / or app store pages, icons, screenshots etc, feel free to have a look and let me know. http://www.connectforeplay.com

Last edited by maggiesgames; 10-12-2014 at 11:18 PM.