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.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Using vine for promoting your app

You might wonder what you can actually achieve in 6 seconds on vine but actually there's a lot. Vine can easily serve you in a variety of ways. Such as:
  • being a simple channel for hinting at new features
  • showing users how to do things and get things done in your app
  • showcasing new sounds / presets / banks etc
  • quickly explaining a feature
  • showing another app that you find useful too

There's lots of other ways too and it's worth seeing what other fellow developers are doing on vine to see how they use it and what sort of results they get. As with lots of other social tools vine links to your other accounts if that's what you want to do and it's well worth considering. 

Give it a try. You'll be in good company.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

What content do you put on Twitter?

So you're set up on Twitter. Your account is all raring to go. What do you tweet about?

Good question. Well the answer is relatively straightforward as it goes. What a lot of users will want to see is stuff like this:
  • screenshots of new features
  • tweets asking them for their views on what should come next
  • price drops if you put your app on sale or even make it free
  • user videos featuring or including your app
  • bug alerts and what you're doing about them
  • details of any new apps you're making or planning, but of course, not too early

So that's not an exhaustive list by any means but it's a start. It's also worth mentioning other apps and what they're doing. Especially if they are being used with yours. And take a look at what other developers are tweeting about and see if it helps. It probably will.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Marketing your app using Instagram

You may be wondering why or even if instagram is a good place to promote your app or apps, but if you decide to set up on Instagram you'll find that you'll be in good company. 

There are lots of ways to use Instagram to promote your app ...

So for one you can use Instagram photos to show off your screens so that users can get a view of how things work in your app. Instagram video is a great way to show short bursts of functionality too. Demonstrating to user how to get things done with your app. This can be especially useful in showing more complex functions or abilities of your app. 

Of course using Instagram can also help you to build community as well. That's one area that really  shouldn't be overlooked at all. You can link your Twitter and Facebook accounts to your Instagram account, and that's worth doing to help with your social media overall. But you need to start off by following other users of course. You'll find plenty of people worth following, from app developers and bloggers and users.

It's worth taking a little while to check out what other users are posting and getting a good handle on the community of music app users on Instagram. Instagram can be a useful tool for promoting and showing your app.

It shouldn't be overlooked and using it isn't difficult at all.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Using Twitter for your mobile music apps

If you're looking for the primary social media network for mobile music apps then you should know that Twitter is it. It is by far the most used network by both developers, bloggers and, most importantly, users. 

Using Twitter is easy. Really easy. 

So, start by opening an account. You'll need to decide if you want an account for just you or if you want it to be a Twitter account for your app. This is a bit more important when you're starting out as it'll help other Twitter users to work out if you're going to be only tweeting about your app and mobile music stuff or if this is a personal account from which you also tweet about your app. It's a subtle difference I know, but it does make a difference. Some users will prefer to follow an account that's just about the app.

Who to follow?

Well initially that's easy. There's plenty of good blogs with accompanying Twitter accounts and those are the best place to start. Also starting with those accounts means that you'll start to get retweets and that'll get your account noticed and get you more followers, and followers who are interested in apps like yours. 

So it isn't rocket science at all. It isn't difficult to get started. In fact, that's the easy part. Keeping going is more difficult. But that's a subject for another post. 

Friday, 3 April 2015

Which social media platform to choose?

It isn't a massive choice really when you think about it but the important thing is to maintain consistency in what you do. 

If you decide that Twitter is your primary social channel then stick with that channel and don't suddenly start posting all your news to facebook. If your going to mainly be on Facebook then stick with it. Both is fine too of course, it's just important to have consistency so users and potential users know where to look to find out what's going on.

Users like a consistency of channel for very obvious reasons. There's nothing wrong with operating multiple channels but ensure that what you do remains consistent across those channels. 

Cross posting is fine too. If you putting up pictures and video to Instagram then tweet the links. That's easy enough to do. So long as you're not posting huge numbers of updates on every platform you won't inundate your users, and if you do they'll tell you. 

The most important thing is to keep up the pace and be comfortable with what you're doing. If you find that you can't manage to maintain a regular stream of posts then scale back a little to a pace that you are comfortable with. It shouldn't be a chore for you. 

In the next few posts we'll look at a variety of platforms to give you a quick overview of what to expect and what you might be able to use.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Mobile music app marketing is back

After a long time Mobile Music app marketing is back. You may ask why? It's a good question.

Well, the app market for mobile music seems very healthy at the moment and there are plenty of apps around doing some really interesting things. One thing that's missing though is good marketing. Not all the time of course, and, there's a reason. Great developers aren't necessarily great marketers. Why should they be? So that's why I thought I'd start up mobile music app marketing again. To try and help people with some ideas on how to promote their apps and get their good work shown to a wider audience.

So you'll find a post or maybe two per week about topics relating to how to make your app marketing work for you. It could help, it could be something you already know about. Overall I hope you'll find it useful and maybe beneficial.

If you do, please let me know.