This is part two of a 2-part blog post. You can read part one here.
When I wrote this blog post, I thought it was quite long. After going over it, I could sense that there were basically two parts to it. One had to do with lessons and validations learned outside the actual development of the content. Such as how valuable KISS was, or how important it is to surround yourself with colleagues you trust.
However, this is more about looking at the content. How it was put together, why it was put together the way it was, and how it got iterated on.
Here are the final 5 lessons and validations from creating my Google Play marketplace content.
Lesson #6 – Upgrade your marketing and storytelling skills.
Don’t overlook how marketing affects the way you generate content.
When it comes to creating my marketplace content, someone summarized it well over a drink. “You need to get their attention quickly, show them something cool, explain to them what it’s all about, then make sure they can go download it”.
This marketing model is called AIDA and it stands for: Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action. It’s literally, from a marketing 101 book. It’s very helpful in establishing an engaging position to your product. This helps look into how you think of your language, screenshots, and video.
This is the equivalent of the first level of mario brothers for marketing.
The first Word Ways screenshot that everyone sees.
Awareness towards your product is going come from your icon, your first message, and the “packaging” of it all. Hopefully these are inherently tied in your product’s mechanics, aesthetics, pillars, and come from your attempt in comprehending your user’s needs and problems. “A new kind of word game!” states that the product differentiates itself somehow. Additions such as the “FREE” banner make sure everything I need to communicate are done instantly.
To catch their interest, I show a second gameplay moment that looks slightly different and contains a new word. Other elements have changed on the screen as well. Instead of showing a word being tapped, I invite the user to try to figure it out. I chose a word with enough variation and a little difficulty. I also communicate that the game is easy to play by simply saying: “Tap to create words”.
On the third screenshot, I attempt to create the desire. I show how the product is different and reveal the fun of the game to the player. They now know more about the product, how it’s new, and that it might provide a new experience and challenge that they’ll enjoy.
Action stands for converting your user t acquire your product. At the end of each marketplace content: Screenshots, Trailer & Google Plus, I tried creating a natural Call to Action to drive users towards downloading the game. In the screenshots, I ask a question: “Do you have a way with words?”. The trailer completes with “Download Now” and an annotation to my Word Ways G+ page. The Word Ways G+ page links to the app.
Blog titles like “10 Lessons creating my Google Play marketplace content” are quite trite, but still effective. I was impressed by how savvy tech entrepreneurs are regarding marketing when I joined a local tech incubator. They are incredibly familiar and experienced with regards to growth hacking, conversion funnels, SEO, A/B Testing, and a lot of other things I hadn’t experienced before in my industry.
If you are making your own games, my recommendation is. Start building yourself a little “how to sell” skill set that speaks to you. This will help you create more engaging and effective content. Spending some time learning these skills make for an invaluable asset.
Lesson #7 – Product-centric, not ego-centric. The first 3 seconds are the most important.
Don’t make the mistake I made with the current version of the video. I decided to put an intro Collective Entertainment animation. After releasing, I saw this as an ego-centric decision, not a product-centric decision.
The first 3 seconds are the most important. You don’t need a company intro.
If you need to show your company name, dedicate a spot for it throughout the video. Not what I did above.
The other very important part is to introduce your App’s icon as soon as possible in your video. I chose to place the Icon and the App’s title right by each other in the trailer… too bad it takes 3 seconds for people to see it.
If viewers close the video early on, it’s critical that they can take away the most important parts with them.
Lesson #8 – Perfect your wording, presentation and transitions
One of the reasons to have a circle of colleagues, is to get the right feedback so your wording is simple, clear and catchy. Selling points should be brief, contain strong keywords, and use big, clear fonts, that are easy to read. I hadn’t really worked out my language yet, and it shows. If you go back to my first post, you’ll see the order of the things I wrote. Well, I didn’t stick to it.
I was still figuring out what I wanted to communicate while creating the trailer since I’m not comfortable in this environment.
Early version of the Word Ways trailer. Wording and presentation is too busy.
I communicate 5 selling points, over roughly 45 seconds, allowing me about 9 seconds to communicate each point before transitioning again. Most people lose their attention in about 8.5 seconds, so keep each point to roughly this time frame. I also tried to keep all the animations clean, short and stuck with a layout composition that always draws the user back to the gameplay action.
Something that I didn’t do and could have done is taken some review quotes, and used them to establish quality and create trust between users and the product. Instead, I focused on cleaning everything, sticking to my main points, and just showing an evolving gameplay.
Compare now to the final cut of the Word Ways trailer. How does it feel?
In the final version of the trailer, viewers are simply shown the scrambled word just long enough, before the player starts solving it. This feels like a very natural, engaging and emergent way to display the game. Friends who were watching the trailer began actively trying to figure out the word before the player started working it out. One of them noted how compelling of a reaction that was, and definitely, it’s something that I’ll keep an eye out for.
Final trailer blessing and truism bestowed onto me.
Keep your video to a maximum of 45 seconds.
Lesson #9 – Your Google Plus page gets organics! Do something about it!
While trying to link my trailer on Youtube directly to my App, I realized, I was unable to do so. One of the ways that you can link users from your Youtube video to somewhere else (a website), is to send users to your Google Plus page. And so, I went to look into this.
When I landed to the G+ page, I thought I’d check into the insights out of curiosity. I had released my “Pivot & Local Play Only” update in April and became happily surprised when I saw close to 600 visitors in the 2 weeks following the release of that update.
Your Google Plus page receives organic traffic. Even with very little marketing, visibility, new users, at zero cost.
I am still not acquiring users through any marketing channel, I am basically pivoting a game that I never scaled, back to it’s basics. There have been no updates in almost 2 years. This was awesome to see.
Spending a bit of time structuring your Google Plus page could lead to organic user conversion. I’m not sure how Google Plus communities work on scale but these 600 users came to my page organically, and that should be motivating for people to spend some time on their Android community. In the “website link” of my Google Plus page I put a Bit.ly link to try and drive users to my app, and see if it’s being used.
Lesson #10 – Link up your trailer to your Google Page.
Annotations are clickable areas that you can place in your video, where users can get redirected to other videos, and other locations.
As I had never done this before and wasn’t familiar with it, you can’t use a web link. To link both, I learned that you need to post your video via your Google Plus App Page Account. In my case, I made sure my Word Ways Google Plus page account is available on Youtube, then I utilize that account to post the video.
Adding Annotations to my trailer and linking it to the Word Ways Google Plus page
- In the very end of the video, I laid out my Icon, along with a tag line “Available Now” and the “Get it on Google Play” icon.
- I let my video run an extended 15 seconds after it “ends”. Roughly making it 1 minute.
- I put the annotation and make it as large and centred as best as I can.
- I finally link the annotation to my Google Plus page as you can see on the bottom right of the image above.