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5 Challenges to Reflect on when Endorsing your Android App
The Android Marketplace can be an influential avenue to promote your products. In the last quarter of 2013 alone, Android handsets constituted almost 74% of the entire worldwide Smart phone sales base.
As a promoter, your product’s success or failure will mainly come down to the amount of exposure that it has, and so the idea of having a potential customer base of hundreds of millions of Android users is a delightful outlook. But, before you get carried and jump straight into the Android Market, you have to bear in mind that any avenue for advertising has its advantages and its disadvantages.
Considering the amount of time and money that spending in a marketing strategy can take, it’s grave that you are aware of any drawbacks along the way, so that you can evaluate whether an advertising avenue is correct for you and your product.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the top 5 challenges for you to navigate when endorsing your Android apps.
1. Android Fragmentation
When looking at the Android user base, the numbers seem quite striking. What has to be kept in mind, however, is fragmentation. A lot of Android devices, such as the Kindle Fire, have their own proprietary version of Android running. These devices all have their own custom ecosystems which, not only display adverts in a different way from one another influencing ad visibility, but also may prioritize marketing of their own services and products over 3rd party developers and advertisers. For instance, the Kindle App Store decides what Kindle Apps they want to emphasize, but they are different than the highlighted apps in the Google Play store.
This influences the way in which marketing campaigns should be designed and carried out, which is a problem that iOS does not have, due to all Apple devices running the same ecosystem.
2. Free versus Paid
The present model for app distribution and revenue on Android is a system where app developers can offer free apps with marketing to fund the app development, or a onetime payment for ad-free software. A rising complaint within the Android user base is that many free apps are overloaded with ads to the point that they cannot enjoy the app itself and, in the most horrible scenario, their device's performance is actually compromised.
This has supported a tendency of people procuring the ad-free versions of apps they require. This has impacted the reach promoters have in the Android Marketplace. You would like to have firsthand experience with any app you are considering advertising through, to make sure that its marketers are not over filling it with ads, putting users off.
3. Market Saturation
Because of the open philosophy of the Android Marketplace, there are so many apps obtainable that it is not unusual for only Google's Top Free or Top Paid category to get serious notice. Apps are being added frequently each day, a total of 950,000 Android apps available, and it is thus a challenge for promoters to decide which apps to advertise with in order to reach their chosen customer demographic. If a promoting contract is signed, an advertiser can end up paying a huge sum of money for basically little product visibility.
4. App versus Third Party
Based on your advertising strategy, you may consider advertising through your own apps - app to app advertising. As a promoter you might think that this channel is only for those able to build an app related to their product, but it is not. There is always the ability for appointing an app developer to make an app which will get high visibility from the demographic you are interested in engaging, even though the app itself seems unrelated to the product or service you sell. Then you can set up your own ads through it. For instance, American Family Insurance has an Ask Russell app which isn't directly related to the product they sell but it connects the audience they want to be in front of.
The trouble is that this can be a pricey approach, and is also notoriously random. If anyone could just build the next big app, we all would!
5. Fluid Marketplace
Even once you have selected the type of app you wish to promote through, there is one alarming problem up ahead – few apps remain at the top of the charts for long. Hence, as an advertiser, you will have to put in a serious amount of time in assessing the Android Marketplace for new apps which would be worth partnering with. You should constantly aim to stay ahead of the game and run campaigns; especially in the initial stages of setting up your brand. One approach is to run a “burst campaign” to drive a high volume of installs in a short period of time, which can help raise organic discoverability and overall lift of your mobile app advertising results. This is effectual if you have just started your app or are seeing a lull in installs.
The above 5 points are affirmed, not to put you off from employing the Android Marketplace as viable advertising revenue, but rather to notify you that there are serious thoughts which need to be taken into account when doing so. Certainly not every app needs to be promoted to hit the top of the charts. Super cell rose from nothing to $3 Billion in 3 years with very little endorsing. They focused on partnering with Apple to drive exposure and monetized in-app events to drive revenue. If you decide to improve your marketing with advertising, with a bit of research, and bearing these points in mind, there is no reason why you and your product cannot find an extensive customer base through the Android Marketplace.