As the mobile app market becomes more inundated with app competitors looking to make a name for themselves, it is critical for both mobile application developers and businesses to put some considerable stock into how they prepare to better market their mobile app. With a market that continues to increase exponentially every quarter, how can developers and businesses pushing new apps acquire new users?

Mobile Marketing

Fisku, a bespoke mobile app marketing firm, offers a Loyalty User Acquisition Cost Index that monitors the cost for new applications to acquire the attention and ultimately the loyalty of new users who will open and use an app at least three times. 2013 saw user acquisition costs raise to the highest that they have ever been, As the app marketplace continues to get flooded with copycats or apps that sacrifice a good UX for a cheaper end product, users are far less likely to arbitrarily acquire apps that have not been appropriately marketed, vetted by peers, and optimized for the app store. Today, we explore three avenues to appropriately market an app in today’s increasingly competitive market sphere.

Turning Twitter Into a Lead Generator & Social Engagement

Last week, Twitter began rolling out redesigned member profile pages; while this in itself may not seem like big news for app developers, the applications of this are actually quite far-reaching, and can have a tremendous impact on mobile strategy. What users now see in their feed other than targeted and promoted posts include ads specifically targeted at mobile developers. These ads offer spotlight Tweets offering users the opportunity to download and install the app all without ever leaving Twitter. This is technically a page out of Facebook’s book, but leveraging the mobile strength of Twitter as well as the platform of nearly 1 billion users to reach.

Mobile Marketing 2

This is even more staggering when you can take into consideration some facts about how smartphone users behave with and without their phone. A new study, published on Buffer’s blog, indicates that one in four mobile users rarely spend a waking hour without their phone in sight, and that social media has become the number one use for the mobile web. This means that potential advertising signals in social channels like Twitter and Facebook have massive implications for even the smallest budgets.

Optimize Your App for the App Store

Whether you are planning on an iOS app that will be sold through Apple’s App Store or an Android App to hit the shelves of Google Play, ensure that your app is well optimized for the app store.

First of all, many businesses forget to create clear calls to action to download their mobile application. Include a link in the footer of the site or on your contact page encouraging users to download the app; additionally, use links that go directly to the App Store to minimize friction and increase the likelihood of a user going from click to conversion. Make sure your description is robust, categories are appropriately identified, and be sure to include a logo that looks professional, and screenshots that show off the apps best features on all formats.

Encourage Engagement & Create a Platform for Customer Feedback

Engagement on a mobile app can be staggeringly difficult. Many users only open an app once, and then fail to open the application again if it does not immediately fit their need. There are a few things that application developers can do in order to encourage better user engagement. First of all, users might leave an app on their phone and neglect to open it again. Push notifications can help; either push notifications or app update notifications can help encourage users to give the app a second try. These let users know that the app has been updated, is regularly maintained, and that features are regularly optimized for the best user experience possible. Additionally, encouraging reviews with screens after a certain number of launches allows users to publically vouch for the app, and helps give the app a peer-established credibility that can help encourage further downloads and a better ROI.

For more information on how to best market your new app, contact us today. 

SourcingLine published new research on leading mobile game developers . A companion directory of mobile game developers provides a range of filtering tools to help buyers identify qualified developers that best fit their needs.

The leaders for mobile gaming are: Sourcebits, Infrared5, Small Planet Digital, OpenXcell, APPEK Mobile Apps, Zco Corporation, Eight Bit Studios, Apadmi, Appetizer Mobile and Fan Studio UK.

The research focuses on firms with a proven track record of delivering high-quality mobile games for clients ranging from promising startups to leading global brands. The top developers were selected based on over a dozen quantitative and qualitative factors including marketing presence, company experience, clients, industry recognition, reference feedback and focus on mobile gaming.

"Mobile gaming is a popular way for companies to reach consumers in an engaging and fun way," stated Tim Clarke, Senior Analyst at SourcingLine. "It's no surprise, then, that the market is full with firms claiming expertise in mobile gaming development. Our new research aims to help buyers sift through the clutter by identifying leading developers that could help them achieve their mobile gaming goals."

Read the entire article at: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/research-firm-sourcingline-publishes-list-of-leading-mobile-gaming-developers-2014-04-22

 Appetizer Mobile CEO Jordan Edelson was recently interviewed by Inc. in regard to the Heartbleed security issue, a vulnerability bug that affects thousands of different sites, and has taken the media by storm as a result. The furore about Heartbleed has certainly ushered security back into the forefront of the global conversation regarding the Web, https and secure server connectivity, as well as mobile app security. For mobile app users, security concerns from this bug can generally be circumvented by logging out of your mobile apps on your devices, changing your passwords, and logging back in; however, for application developers, it’s important that these security bugs are never a risk to begin with. Today, we go over three different things that mobile app developers and small business owners should take note of in regard to mobile security.

Heartbleed

Close the Gap: Avoid Open Ended Data Collection, and Strip the App Down to Exactly What is Needed

Many apps may give users the option to enter a plethora of data; from things like dates of birth, height, weight, age, gender, bank account and financial info, location information, pictures, and access to social profiles, which host even more personal data, apps often aim to provide the most personal experience possible in their user experience and interface. This is also a critical component to monetizing an app, as advertisers who pay for in-app advertisements tend to mine the data of the users to ensure they are targeting their appropriate audience. However, if these apps become vulnerable, all of this data is at risk to end up in strange places. Try slimming the data collection down to exactly what you need to keep both you and your advertisers appeased, and the app running as lean as possible. Limit fields so that users aren’t overzealously entering unnecessary information, and strip down login and profile pages to only include what’s necessary for that app. Some of this data collection can be more invasive than once previously thought, as some mobile apps that focus on communication or social networking collect and track call and SMS logs, and enterprise apps can potentially leak downloaded or shared documents if not appropriately protected.

Invest in IT

As we said in our interview on Inc., working closely with an IT department to develop and prevent security risks is your single biggest ally in allaying mobile security concerns. From testing apps as they integrate with others, as more and more apps continue to call on the service of other apps in order to provide the best user experience, to simply using a sophisticated and highly trained tech professional to spot technical shortcomings or potential security threats, an IT department that is well-versed in the security threats of mobile applications is a critical cornerstone for any mobile app. Automated scripts are often used to cut-corners for enterprises or businesses who are looking to quickly test a mobile app without too much invested in human resources. However, these automated scripts are typically myopic, and only spot a portion of the dangers where a security issue may arise. In a recent study, one of Wal-Mart’s mobile applications came under scrutiny when it was discovered that automated script testing neglected to spot many of the security issues under the hood of the app. Any skilled IT professional would have been able to unpack and identify the unsavory elements of the application; however, the automated bots missed it. Testing and meticulously unpacking these dangers helps prevent security issues in mobile apps.

Keep Passwords Protected for In-App Purchases by Requiring Entry

While storing a user’s password is a great way to minimize friction and enhance the user experience, it is also one of the riskiest ways to store one of the most important pieces of information. This is especially true for apps that offer the ability of an in-app purchase. While Heartbleed potentially exposes users to more data being usurped from applications, app developers can avoid this by requiring the user to re-enter their password for any apps that require access to in-app purchases or credit cards. This way, the password is not stored on the app’s server, but instead, has to be re-entered by the user in order for the purchase to go through.

The steps above help outline the ways in which small businesses should plan the way in which their app is designed to help maximize security alongside user experience. Additionally, being aware of this type of vulnerability helps underscore the importance of the IT department in your company. For more questions or concerns on mobile security, contact us today.  

Windows

Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system was released the same year that Alicia Keys’ “Fallin’” hit No. 1 on Billboard, 2001. Yet Microsoft has continued to support and update the aging OS -- until now.

As of this Tuesday, Microsoft has officially pulled the plug: no more patches, no more security updates for what’s still the second most popular desktop operating system in the world. Windows XP powers numerous businesses, home computers and bank ATMs, but its technical support is still going offline.

“[Businesses] traditionally like operating systems that have been on the market for longer,” said Jordan Edelson, the CEO of Appetizer Mobile, a software and design company. “They’ve been vetted; vulnerabilities are more likely to have been discovered.” But, as Callas explained, even a decade of work doesn’t net a perfect system.

This isn’t the case, however. ATMs aren’t usually connected to the Internet, so the possibility of someone stealing funds from one while lounging on a couch in rural Wisconsin is slim to none. ATMs are as secure -- or insecure -- as they’ve ever been. The danger, Edelson explained, is “more so in localized attacks.” Basically, a localized attack is when someone physically breaches an ATM, and it’s doubtful that any software could stop a criminal with a large enough hammer.

View the video at: http://tv.ibtimes.com/microsoft-xp-support-ends-what-now-15204

Read the entire article at: http://www.ibtimes.com/why-microsoft-dropped-windows-xp-support-what-you-should-be-doing-about-it-1569557