Key Metric for App User Acquisition: CPI – Cost Per Install

By John Houghton on January 23, 2014

iPhone 5 on a white background

For those of you that don’t know, and many who call my company are new at this, there is a key metric for marketing your app known as “Cost Per Install.”  It is the marketing cost that you pay to acquire a user to install your app.  I remember last year, the number seemed to be around $1 per install, but now that number is creeping up to $2.  If you’ve read some of the previous articles on this blog, you’ll know that when an app is launched, it needs a boost to raise its visibility and get it moving.  It needs downloads, good ratings, and engaged users, all of which can be boosted by […]

8 Steps to an App Marketing Strategy

By John Houghton on January 21, 2014

Graph showing increase on a smartphone.

So you’ve spent a lot of your budget on building the app, and now you want to release it.  How do you drive adoption?  A lot of first-time app developers don’t consider this crucial next step, and as a result their app doesn’t go anywhere.  How you market your app and drive adoption in the marketplace is as important as the building of the app itself.  A lot of well-known brand marketers will say that it’s less important what the product does than how it’s marketed.  Therefore, app marketing is key to the success of your app.  If you want to go the social/organic marketing route, you need to start at least 6 months before […]

5 Pitfalls to Avoid When Hosting a Mobile Video Interview Program

By John Houghton on January 17, 2014

Lady standing in front of a video camera.

I’ve been in the mobile content business since 2005, and I’ve learned a lot about what works and doesn’t work in a video interview program.  I’d like to share the top 5 pitfalls to be aware of when hosting a video program that is delivered via new media, such as in an app.  Now, the context and attitudes that someone brings when their using their mobile phone are different from what they would be if they were sitting in front of their computer watching a video, or watching TV in their living room.  The mobile screen is smaller, so the content needs to be more engaging and dynamic (since the competition is higher on a […]

How to Drive Revenue with Mobile Content Marketing

By John Houghton on January 15, 2014

Picture of a man using a tablet while eating.

In 2005, I founded MobileCast Media in order to focus on mobile content marketing.  We’ve developed a lot of expertise on the subject since then, and I’d like to share some of it with you.  What can you expect from a content marketing app?  If the app and content are done properly, you can expect a lot of buzz.  If you’re the one publishing, you can also expect to become a thought leader, which will also carry over to your organization’s brand.  A lot of companies are blogging these days, and that’s a good use of time since it increases search rankings, builds followers, and demonstrates your expertise.  But since everyone is doing it, blogging […]

Tap Into Riches with Mobile Content Marketing

By John Houghton on January 14, 2014

Picture of a phone in front of dollar bills.

Before I get into how apps can be used for content marketing, many of you might not know what Content Marketing is, so let me first touch on that.  I like the way Wikipedia sums it up:

“Content marketing is any marketing format that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers. This information can be presented in a variety of formats, including news, video, white papers, e-books, infographics, case studies, how-to guides, question and answer articles, photos, etc.  Content marketing is focused not on selling, but on simply communicating with customers and prospects. The idea is to inspire business and loyalty from buyers by delivering consistent, ongoing valuable […]

4 Tips for Releasing High Quality Mobile Apps

By John Houghton on January 10, 2014

A stamp of quality.

Now that we have non-software industry CEOs / VPs / Directors / Managers heading up app development projects, I’m seeing many apps that release with a lot of bugs.  Let me share with you the tips I’ve learned from top software companies about quality assurance, and apply them to mobile app development.  These are the most important tips that I feel are often overlooked in mobile app development, and if followed would make a big difference toward releasing higher quality software.

I cut my teeth at Oracle, which is known for its expertise in quickly developing high-quality, inexpensive software.  They have good processes.  I was responsible for Product Management for one of Oracle’s all-time fastest growing […]

8 Steps to Design an Android User Interface (UI)

By John Houghton on January 9, 2014

Picture of a woman using a smartphone.

We previously discussed about how to design an iPhone app UI, and now we’ll discuss how to design an Android app.  The good news with Android is that Google doesn’t need to approve your app.  The bad news is that you have enough rope to hang yourself.  A poorly-designed app is enough to cast a death sentence upon the whole project.  When you start to get traction the first set of negative reviews will do you in.  Design is the most visible element of your project, so it behooves you to invest heavily here and do it right.

1. Read Android’s Design Guidelines.  You can find Android’s design guides online if you query: Android Design.  You’ll […]

How to Get Your iPhone App Approved by the iTunes Store

By John Houghton on January 8, 2014

Stamp of approval.

One of the most vexing parts of publishing an iPhone app is getting it approved by the iTunes store.  It can take a week or longer, and many first-time or unprepared developers get their apps rejected.  My collective team and I have submitted and received approval for dozens of iOS (iPhone/iPad/iPod) apps, and we would like to tell you about our experiences.  The Apple approval process is actually good for you and your users.  For you to successfully get your app through this process means that you get Apple’s seal of approval, and have permission to sit with what is right now the world’s top brand.  Here are the most important tips for getting into […]

5 Things to Look For in Offshore Mobile Developers

By John Houghton on January 6, 2014

Man working at his computer.

Screening offshore developers can be tricky.  Let me share some best practices.  To screen new talent at our company, we come up with small non-critical assignments and give them out to new developers or teams that have already passed the first couple of rounds of non-technical screening.  The non-technical screening shows you if they can keep commitments, read assignments completely before starting, and show up to meetings on time.  Don’t put your new or inexperienced developers on a critical project.  The pitfall here is if one of these new developers or teams is working on a critical project, they might blow through your deadlines and budget, leaving you in a bad spot.  Give them a […]

Should I Offshore My Company’s Mobile App Development?

By John Houghton on January 6, 2014

Picture of the world and people gathered.

As the head of a mobile app development company, I’m always looking to find and mentor new developer talent both onshore and offshore.  In this article I’ll be sharing some best practices for offshore hiring.  In case you didn’t know it, there has been a shortage of talented mobile developers since mobile apps took off in 2008.  The first thing I should say is that you should be offshoring only if you have the extra resources to find and manage a good team.  In effect, what you are doing is using your time to find and manage offshore resources, which almost always requires more time than finding and managing local resources.  The idea is that […]

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