Let’s get the important bit out of the way first: I managed to score 53 on Flappy Bird over the weekend.
I was set to write about apps within the next few weeks but have brought it forward due to the fascinating events surrounding the mobile game over the last fortnight.
As of Sunday the game was made unavailable for download by the creator who released Flappy Bird in 2013.
A pretty unremarkable event in all, until you consider the Daily Mirror ran a live blog all day Sunday to gauge reaction and commentate on the event!
The global consumption of the game has been phenomenal and well documented, so I don’t want to tread over old ground.
But I do want to highlight the positives of developing your own app and how it can bring visibility and success with the right creative strategy.
“I am sorry ‘Flappy Bird’ users, 22 hours from now, I will take ‘Flappy Bird’ down. I cannot take this anymore.”
— Dong Nguyen (@dongatory) February 8, 2014
Flappy Bird, created by Vietnamese developer Dong Nguyen, was taken down because he felt he ‘couldn’t take this anymore’, assumedly referring to the gaze of the world’s media.
But Flappy Bird was more than just a game. Whatever you think of it, Nguyen recently told The Verge that it was earning him approximately $50,000 every day from ads within the app.
That’s nothing to sniff at and one can only imagine what that revenue will do for his studio, dotGears.
Was Nguyen right to pull Flappy Bird from the internet? Or is it nothing more than a clever marketing ploy? Let me know in the comments section below!
As mouth-watering as those figures look though they’re not for everyone.
For instance if you’re a retail business and want to develop an app that people can use to buy your merchandise then ads that take clicks away from what you’re trying to sell would be extremely counterproductive.
And, don’t forget, those revenues will have been achieved from Flappy Bird being the number one free app on the iTunes and Google Play charts.
As I mentioned last week SEO has become a term that encompasses all parts of your marketing strategy. App creation and distribution can also fall under that umbrella.
So instead of just creating an app, releasing it, and hoping for the best it’s essential to integrate its existence into your overall creative strategy.
Engagement or sales?
The first question you need to ask yourself is what do you want to set out to achieve with your app?
Giving a strong, confident answer to that question is so important to everything you intend to do, not just when creating an app but for your overall strategy.
Research and an objective frame of mind is also essential. Are there other things to concentrate on; you may achieve better results with a responsive design instead if you’ve neglected your site lately, for instance…
But there’s also little doubt that creating the right app will be an essential strategy for the future. Take two of the UK’s largest publishing houses, Future and Dennis, who are looking beyond the newsstand according to TheMediaBriefing.
That article shows how much creativity and foresight is needed to create a great app, with little guarantee of success.
Do you have a business app? Has it helped or hindered your online marketing strategy, and how? Let me know below!
Tips on creating a great app
Flappy Bird isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it did a lot of things right that helped its chances of being picked up and increasing its visibility that every app creator can learn from:
Simplicity is key with Flappy Bird. Anyone on the planet can access it thanks to its simple tap mechanics. But the game’s fiendish difficulty makes it incredibly addictive and makes you want to play just one more time to beat your score.
The lesson here, like the most successful websites, revolves around simple, accessible design. The best retail apps have clear images, key product information, and visible and effective calls to action. The ASOS app is a great example.
Why do you click on your favourite apps so many times a day? In my case it’s to check to see if it’s been updated, whether it’s a news app or retail portal. There’s little point in creating an app if you’re just going to leave it on the sidelines.
Users crave fresh, creative content, and if your app fails to deliver and make a good, immediate impression then they’ll quickly lose interest. You need to decide whether to incorporate your app into your existing content strategy, complement it, or create an entirely new one.
But have you ever seen a successful app smash the charts that was released and hasn’t been updated since day one? Thought not…
Theories to Flappy Bird’s rapid growth centre around the large prominent share button that appears on the game over screen that connects to users’ social media accounts to spread the following message: OMG! I scored 0 pts in #flapflap!!! -> http://itunes.apple.com/app/id642099621.
It’s no Shakespeare but it’s not meant to be. It’s to show people’s friends that they’re playing the game and enticing them to try it for themselves, download it, and give it a go. Flappy Bird never intended to be in anyone’s face (the game was released on 24 May 2013!) but its ease of social sharing helped to increase its visibility.
Is your app doing the same? Can users quickly and effectively share amazing deals with their friends on all the major social networks to generate interest? Can they easily leave opinions and comments on articles?
Like your site, optimising your app to provide the best user experience possible is essential. But, of course, that philosophy needs to be part of your overall online message for sustained success.
BREAKING NEWS: I’ve just scored 108!
If you’d like to find out more about how apps can help spread word of your brand contact us today to find out more!