Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Let's talk about community

So we'll talk a bit about community. We've already talked about social media, and of course it is just one way of being a part of the wider mobile music community. But for me the main things is about a conversation with people who share the same interests as you. It's about community and that in itself is a pretty big topic. 

I'm not planning to say everything there is to say about community in this post. For a start it would be impossible and also there's so much that been written about community that I wouldn't do it justice. However I can start things off. 

Deciding how to engage your community is an important first step. Do you want a forum? Having a forum isn't a decision you should take lightly. It requires a lot of time and effort in managing it and it might not actually attract enough users to make it viable. If you take that step make sure you're in a good position to keep it going. 

But there are other ways of engaging your community. Being a part of other communities online isn't good start. There are plenty to choose from now. There are communities on Facebook and forums such as the audiobus forum to look at for a start. 

You should also look at some of the bigger communities already in existence. Such as the beatmaker community, NanoStudio and others. Just to see how they work and to get a view on how much work it takes to moderate them. 

So be careful about diving in to building a bespoke community all at once. Take some time. Look at what others are doing and make a considered decision. It'll pay off in the long run. 

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Putting your app on sale

Putting your app on sale doesn't have to be a dark art. In fact it is quite easy to make the best of sales but there are a few things to consider first. 

When to put your app on sale?

The first thing I'd like to say about this is that you should avoid having too many sales or price variations. If you go on sale too often then it becomes confusing for prospective buyers. 

Also try and tie your sale to an event of some kind. Music events are always the most obvious but they're not the only relevant dates. Anyway, here are some ideas for events to trigger sales :

1. Musikmesse 
2. Significant music industry dates
3. NAMM 
4. Christmas sales
5. Your birthday even!

There are loads of other reasons you could choose of course. One thing to avoid though is messing around with pricing on such a regular basis. This just leads to confusion and worse, it annoys users as they've no idea if they bought your app at the right price or not. 

The most extreme form of sale is making your app free. You might want to do this periodically if you have iaps or if you just want to increase your user base. Also if you're launching a new product and want to create some noise for it. It's a good way to get it noticed as lots of sites will automatically pick up an app that's gone free. 

There are lots of options available to you for app sales. It's worth experimenting to find out what works so long as you don't overkill your audience.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Getting into the real world

Just as important as having a presence on social media is being around for events in the real world. Of course these don't come up too often, but when they do you should be ready to take advantage of them. 

There seem to be more and more events coming up all the time, and a growing community of interested developers and hackers going along to them. At the very least it's worth going along to a handful as they can be good opportunities to make connections. But where do you find out about these events? Here are some suggestions:

1. Palm sounds- often I'll post details of events although these tend to be fairly London orientated 
2. CDM - posts lots of events around Europe 
3. Matrixsynth - posts details of events too, and more in the US

Once you start looking you'll find that there are lots of options available and lots of things to go to. It's not difficult to start making connections at these events. I'm sure you'll find it worthwhile.

Give it a try.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Price, your app, and what works

Setting price for your app is a very individual thing. You need to think about a number of different variables such as:
  • how much time and effort you've sunk into the app
  • if there are other comparable apps on the store then what their price is set at
  • realistically what you either want or need to make from the app

It isn't easy and getting it right can be hard. Getting it wrong is easy and you'll know pretty quickly if you do. 

Of course if you do get it wrong, and that happens a reasonable amount of time, you can fix it. Changing your price is easy enough to do, but be careful about changing too often. This kind of pricing behaviour can lead to prospective users becoming confused and also can put them off from buying at all. 

Having regular sales is fine too. Don't be afraid to put your app on sale, but have a reason for being on sale and don't just do it randomly. I'll deal with sales in a separate post as it deserves its own focus. 

So, setting price doesn't have to be a nightmare at all. Just take some time to consider the variables the users and also as objectively as possible, what would you be willing to pay for your app?

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Your YouTube channel and you

Video is one of the best ways to get out information about your app. It's simple and effective and most importantly it's easy for sites and blogs to pick up on your video and post it. 

So having an effective video channel is important. It gives you a place to house all your videos and let users find them easily. It also lets you keep user generated video in a playlist too. 

Making your channel easy to navigate is straightforward too. Consider having different playlists for tutorials, new features etc. That way your users and your prospective users can easily find what they need. 

So how often should you post new videos? That's really up to you. But consider first how often you as a user would like to know about new features. Also think about spacing out tutorials and demos so that there's a steady stream of material. 

Friday, 24 April 2015

Using SoundCloud as a promotional tool

Having a SoundCloud group for your app is definitely a worthwhile idea. I suppose the only time it wouldn't be a good idea is if your app is an fx app and so produces no actual output of its own. But if your app is a synth (preferably with a sequencer and or recorder ) then having a Soundcloud group makes a lot of sense. It's a nice simple way to get users to submit tracks made with your app and allows you to show off what can be done with the app. 

Starting off with your group isn't hard at all. Just get yourself a free soundcloud account if you don't already have one and then create a group. Start out by putting in some of your own example tracks or sounds. 

Make sure you connect your soundcloud account to your Twitter and facebook accounts. 

From there it's not going to be difficult to get users to put their tracks into your group but you should also keep an eye out for people using a tag of your app's name to encourage them to place it into your group. 

Keeping on top of your group isn't hard work. It shouldn't take you long to stay on top of who's making tracks with your app. Track the appropriate tag(s) and it can take just a few minutes a day. 

So soundcloud can be another very useful tool for marketing your app and needn't take a lot of time to keep running. Try it out. 

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Make good use your promo codes

As I'm sure are aware, you get a bunch of promo codes for your app(s), but what are you going to do with them? Of course there's no reason that you have to do anything with them at all but if you do decide to here's a little list of suggestions:
  1. Give one or two to each of the major sites and blogs for review. 
  2. Run a promo code giveaway contest or get someone to do it for you, like one of the blogs. 
  3. Don't download all your codes in one go though as they'll all expire at the same time. 
  4. If you have existing users of a previous app of yours consider giving a few codes to super users as a way of saying thank you for their support. 
I'm sure you can think of other ways to use them on top of these but they're just a few suggestions to get you started. 

You don't have to use your codes for anything but they're a useful tool for marketing if you want to make use of them.