About a year ago, TikTok introduced Pro Accounts: a new type of account that may be especially helpful for businesses looking to grow their audience on TikTok. As of right now, the only difference between a TikTok Pro account and a regular TikTok account is that a Pro account grants you access to analytics.
Analytics give you key insights to your account’s performance on TikTok. You’ll be able to keep track of your follower growth and profile and video views, and learn who your audience is and how they’re finding you. Armed with this information, you can figure out what strategies are working well and which aren’t, so you can better hone your TikTok strategy and reach a wider audience.
How do you switch to a TikTok Pro account?
You’ll need to have an existing profile on TikTok before you switch to pro. So if you don’t have a TikTok account yet, now’s the time to create one.
Here’s how to switch to Pro:
Enter your profile and tap the three-dot icon on the upper right corner of the screen.
Tap “Manage my account.”
Tap “Switch to Pro Account” on the bottom of the menu.
You’ll be prompted to choose the category of your business. If you’re not sure which to choose, you can always just pick “Public figure” or “Other.” Then click Next.
Accessing TikTok analytics
Once you’ve switched your account to Pro, you can access your analytics by tapping the three-dot icon on the top right corner and tapping “Analytics” in the menu.
TikTok’s analytics page is quite similar to Instagram Insights. (You can learn more about Instagram Insights in our post, What Exactly Do Your Instagram Insights Mean?) The page contains three sections: Overview, Content, and Followers.
On the Overview page, you’ll see 3 graphs: Video Views, Followers, and Profile Views.
Video Views shows you how many times your videos have been watched by other TikTok users over the past 7 or 28 days. (You can toggle between those time periods by tapping “7 days” or “28 days” on the top right of the graph.) If you post fairly consistently, you may be able to detect patterns on this graph that can tell you which day of the week your audience is most active, and that can inform your decisions about when exactly to post new content.
Followers shows you how many followers you have and how your audience has grown over the past 7 or 28 days. This gives you a general idea of how your following is expanding, and it lines up nicely with the other graphs so you can pay attention to any correlations.
Profile Views shows you how many TikTok users have viewed your profile over the past 7 or 28 days. You may notice that some content leads more people to your profile, and you can compare these numbers to your follower growth to see how many people who visit your profile choose to follow you.
The content section shows you how each of your videos is performing.
At the top you’ll see the posts you’ve added in the past 7 days, and on the bottom right corner of the thumbnail, you’ll see how many views the video has gotten. Below, you’ll see your posts listed according to how many views they received.
You can tap the thumbnail of an individual post to see more specific information about that post: total play time, total views, average watch time, how viewers reached your post, and where those viewers live.
Pay special attention to the average watch time and compare it to the length of the video: are people watching it all the way through, or scrolling past after a few seconds? If the latter, that means your video may not be drawing them in enough. This is a sign that you should work on making those first few seconds really engaging.
This section teaches you about your audience.
You’ll see graphs that break your followers down by gender and by location. That’s not a ton of information to go on, but it can still be useful in helping you understand what kind of person is most interested in the content you’re posting on TikTok.
Knowing who your followers are can help you compare them to your ideal customer profile, giving you an idea of whether you’re reaching the people you want to reach. Furthermore, it can help you better tailor the content you upload to TikTok to the audience you have there.
Should I switch to a TikTok Pro Account?
If you’re a small business owner, the answer is absolutely yes! Unlike on some other platforms like Instagram or Facebook — which make it harder for businesses to reach audiences organically — there are no downsides to switching to a pro account on TikTok, at least as of July 2020. The only difference is gaining access to analytics, and that can be extremely valuable in helping you analyze your account’s performance and figure out how to improve it.
Mobisoft had a top paid app in a revenue-share model with client. App scaled to # 21 in lifestyle category. Naturally, we were excited to know the numbers – downloads, paid/free, adv hits etc. Although we made it great in terms of popularity, the earnings were less than expected.
The main reason was not having effective strategy for pricing model of app’s inApp & subscription purchases. What we realized is that “It could have been great to work on pricing strategy while developing the app” i.e. Monetization of app.
- Generate money
- Compulsion Loops, there are ways to draw user back into the app
- Engagement, does it have engagement elements that could be monetized, i.e. virtual currency?
- Value, is it worth your users’ time?
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1. In-app purchases
4. Location-based offerings
5. Social media sharing and aggregation
1. Try various in-app models to find the combination that maximize your revenues
• Games: Subscription based casual gaming package + premium payment for sending best scores
• E-books for kids: read once for free. Pay to read again
• Security: free trial (e.g. 30 days) . Paid license for 1 year period
• Video: pay per gallery
2. Freemium strategy
- Strongest marketing play Risk reduction
- Developers should be focused on finding consumers who are willing to pay, not trying to completely satisfy free-rider consumers
In-App single purchase
• This is probably the easiest path to implementation and launch and it’s straightforward and proven
• Virtual goods/currency through In-App
• No ongoing revenue stream No access to user data – makes selling advertising difficult.
• One potential workaround is to build in-app surveys, which pushes data back.
Subscription – I
- Revenue is sustainable
- Renew just as other web based subscriptions
- Easy extendable as an add-on
- Requires user management solution
- Requires users to leave the app and visit the publisher’s website to subscribe
- Conversion rate lower than in-app purchases
- Success : lifetime value of a subscriber > revenue lost from lower conversion
Subscription – II
Apple’s subscription policy for publishers:
- Apple still gets a 30% cut of any subscription a reader signs up for inside the App Store.
- Publishers can now offer an app subscription for a different price than what they might sell their app for in the App Store.
- Publishers can’t link to an external-to-Apple location that sells a subscription within the app.
Apple: iAd platform – Adv as an app
Third party : adMob, Medialets etc
- Easier to command advertising premiums and less pressure to live up to metrics
- Mobile budgets just aren’t well-defined
- Apple changes strategic decision with third party ad integration
Location Based Offerings
- Awesome mobile offerings into a high-fidelity advertising environment
- Complexity in integrating these systems
- Requires the device be connected to the internet
Social, Sharing & Aggregation
- Viral marketing
- Better user engagement
Getting advertiser support on a product as nebulous as this is challenging
Other payment integrations
- Paypal API integrations
- Carrier billing option – Very easy for users to pay
- Virtual credits
- Google Checkout
Other billing platforms
1 MoVend payment platform
- Easy integration – Supports Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone7
- Sales Track Better user engagement
Supports all mobile platforms including Operator billing
Mobisoft Infotech recommend to work with clients as partners and provide various pricing strategies to monetize their app. It will be certainly helpful to clients to get pricing strategies correctly integrated while the app is being developed rather than working on monetization after app is live.
No one would like to miss out on a prospective client. An impressive and impeccable web design can meet the need of any enterprise. In order to keep people hooked, web design field is constantly evolving.
Let us have a look at web design trends that are expected to change the web industry in a year.
Mobile Only Websites
“4 out of 5 consumers shop on smartphones.” From Brick-and-Mortar to Mobile Click-and-Order: Which Retailers are Carving Out Space in the M-Commerce Market?
The web design industry is moving from desktop to mobile only website. This drastic shift of users is forcing enterprises to consider mobile only strategy. If you have a website for mobile, there is a high possibility of more visitors than desktop. Many, these days, consider ‘Mobile First’ strategy as well, since they know it holds the success in future.
Let’s take Google Map, for instance. We all use it on our smartphone and since they have interface apt for mobiles, we find it easy to use and prefer it most. Had it not been with mobile website, we would have preferred conventional way of locating destination while on the go.
Large Background Images
Photographs with models or Photoshop images are losing its importance. People prefer natural photographs of real people over everything else. Hence, companies are putting photographs of their team members and employees on website design to increase trustworthiness amongst its potential customers.
While some companies and enterprises would be opting for large background images, some would simply replace background image with typography. Web designers are exploring their creative side by using typographic design. In the near future, we could expect a lot of it.
Companies are moving away from link-based approach. With increasing usage of latest devices, companies are adopting scroll down designs. This, further, enhances the storytelling technique of a web designer as well.
Take a look at Nasa Prospect. The website perfectly uses the feature of scroll down and tells a story through their graphics. This certainly keeps the visitor hooked up to the website and increases their curiosity to scroll down.
Compelling storyline can extend a user’s attention for couple of seconds more than usual. Companies and enterprises are getting creative and using various techniques of storytelling to achieve this.
Storytelling ways include videos, animations, impressive content and photographs. Web designers are expanding their creativity by including these elements in their storytelling.
Prince Pal, in his blog titled, ‘Web Design Trends Predictions for 2016 by Prince Pal’, The designer is successful in grabbing the attention of the user while trying to tell the story. He/She has engaged user through scroll down feature as well.
Nicole Boyer says in blog titled, ‘5 website layout trends of 2015 so far’, that many businesses use split screen to provide two elements. Some uses it to promote two products or services with equal importance whereas some use this design to promote a product and build the brand image of the company at the same time.
Since companies offer multiple products or services we can expect more of this design in the near future. The entire marketing strategy is changing and companies are getting personal. Perhaps, this design could help companies to build a personal connection with their potential customers as well.
Take Dewey’s Pizza, for instance. They have used the split screen feature to creatively display their products with central menu bar. It, indeed, is one the best ways to use slip screen to break the monotony and enhance the look of the website.
Card Web Design
Card web design is gaining popularity amongst web designers. Not only they look attractive but it is possible to display a lot of information above the fold. Most popular example of this design is.
Generally, shopping portals use this feature. For instance, Greats have managed to pull out the feature to the best use. Cards could be systematic and of similar sizes or can be irregular where one would spread across page while others are below or around it.
Ann-Feliza Sy mentioned in a blog, titled ‘6 Design Trends Taking Over The Web’, that ghost buttons got popular post Apple iOS 7. These transparent buttons enhance the aesthetic of the web design without hampering the background image or text. In a year, we can expect this to be a prominent part of the web design.
Weather Jams has creatively incorporated trending features to come up with an informative and engaging website. Look how they have placed their ghost buttons and have made it more appealing to the visual.
Right when multimedia was getting old, designers were experimenting with different elements to create more visually appealing websites. Joanna Krenz Kurowska & Jerzy Kurowaki mention that Flash was one of the platforms for such experiments in their blog, ‘The big design trends for 2015’, for 99 designs.
Today, HTML5 element is used to create visual effects for website pages. Designers are considering these experiments since it has the potential to disable user for some moment by giving them visually appealing pages. They are also using graphic designs innovatively to improve the visual appeal.
(Image courtesy: Apple)
Single Screen Design
While split screen is getting popular amongst designers, some companies are opting for single screen design. This is opposite to split screen and has one screen just like a television screen. This one image will be symbolic to the product or service a company offers.
Nicole Boyer (5 website layout trends of 2015 so far) says the idea is to provide clarity and focus to the customers. In this, the image has to be stunningly beautiful and attractive to overcome the absence of chrome.
User Friendly web designs
Diminishing user’s attention is calling out for not only attractive and interactive designs but also those that are easy to understand. This calls for a user-friendly design. For this, designers have to bend certain rules in order to meet the end-user’s expectations.
With more people leaving conventional web viewing habit and shifting to handy devices, designers would focus more on easy yet attractive layouts. Wait and see how rules are bent to meet user’s expectations.
Increasing popularity of Flat Design
“68% of the web designers say flat web design will be here for around five years” – User Experience Report: Flat Web Design Is Here To Stay.
Flat design gained more momentum than expected. Big or small, every company is adopting this design because of its advantages –focus on content, wise usage of colors to guide user’s visual and excellent use of white spaces.
Undoubtedly, this helps users as well. They get a clean and attractive website with required information. Designers have the liberty to play around with the flat designs by adding up 2D or 3D images or illustrations.
Animations in Web Design
Animation is moving from movies to websites. Companies suffer from reduced users’ attention and thus are finding out ways to retain them. Animated web pages are one of the ways to increase user’s attention.
The animation moves when the cursor is rolled over on the screen. Though the effect is for short period, it does get user’s attention. This might not get as popular as other trends yet it would be prominent amongst web designers.
Mighty Nice is one such website that used the animation to the best. You would be stunned by the creative use of animation.
Innovative Header Background
Once, web pages had a large header with some texts on the top of it. However, some companies decided to bend the rule and gave rise to some new attractive trends. While some are leaving the large header background some are making it bigger than before.
Amber Leigh Turner gives example of The New Wave Company on her blog, 10 Web design trends you can expect to see in 2015, for The Next Web and explains how the large header is replaced by a large typography at the company’s home page.
Web-design dominated by loading speed
“47% of people expect a web page to load in two seconds or less. Whereas 40% of people will leave a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.” — Econsultancy
Once designers had freehand to work on the web pages, but today they have various factors influencing their creativity; loading speed being of them. Web designers are working hard to not only simplify the website but also to make it light to increase the loading speed. Thus, expect more of quick loading simple websites in the near future.
Getting Material Design
Google extended the flat design and gave us Material Design. This user interface design has main focus on clean, minimal color usage, typography and shapes. Since Google is one of the trend setters, don’t get shocked if you see this trend getting popular. They have used this design perfectly for their mobile inbox. You get all the required information on an attractive and stunningly designed page.
Attractive & Informative Infographics
Infographics became popular last year and would continue till next year. However, in its journey, they would become more attractive and informative. Web designers are using various ways and techniques to make infographics the center of attraction on web pages.
Videos were never an element of web design until recently. Videos are able to retain visitors while giving out required information. Since users want quick information, web designers are including videos as an element in design. Perhaps, in a year you would notice that videos would be prominently used against content.
Colorful web pages
Until recently web designers played safe. They gave simple web pages with limited colors. However, with time they have turned bold. Web designers are not shying away from playing with colors. Interestingly, users are welcoming this boldness thus encouraging them to step out from their comfort zone.
Collaboration of conventional and modern techniques
Social media buttons are successful in increasing the visibility by helping startups and enterprises reach out to the masses through various social media mediums. What’s next? Well, now startups and enterprises are experimenting by bringing conventional and modern marketing strategies together.
We have already started seeing a trend of bringing social media buttons along with direct email marketing buttons on the landing page. This would be used to survive the nasty and competitive market.
Moving images, also called as cinemagraph, are an emerging trend in the latest web design industry. Web designers have come up with this element, which is the mixture of photograph and video.
There have been few websites that have experimented with this element. Many believe that this element increases the visitor’s attention by 15 percent. In a year, this might become more common than now.
Design has its own language. Since designers are experimenting with various designs, it is legit to expect evolved design language in the coming year. Designers would use various elements and would define new rules to incorporate designs.
Popularity of handy devices like tablets and mobile phones is influencing web designs. Experts are focusing on responsive designs as maximum people prefer handy devices over desktop. Since it is turning the need-of-the-hour, we can expect some great output by next year.
Innovation is the key to success. Technology advancement influence web designing to a greater extent. With so many software, techniques and algorithms, web designers are looking for better, innovative and attractive ways to grab a user’s attention. Last year had seen a lot of new trends in web designing industry, which certainly is going to continue to 2016.
Those we are aware of Ionic they must be eagerly waiting to hear about the new feature and improvements done in the all-new version of Ionic frameworks that is Ionic 4. Let us have a look at those new features and improvements in Ionic 4, the latest upgraded version.
What is Ionic?
We will discuss those new features and improvements made in Ionic 4 but, let us discuss Iconic for those who are new to it or are trying to learn about it. So Ionic is a framework, we can say that one of the best frameworks available right now. With the use of this framework, you can easily create an app for website and mobile web, and it is possible because of the hybrid technology system installed in this framework.
New Features and Improvements in Ionic 4-
Iconic 4 was released just a few days back, and it’s is highly identical with Iconic 3, but various changes have been made, let us have a look at those upgrades-
- Web Components– You must have noticed that in the previous version which was Ionic 3 in that, you were unable to create custom HTML tags and hence you were not able to have the complete access to make changes in the app. But with the latest update of Ionic 4, they have made this upgrade in which you can easily create custom HTML tags and can use it in your apps. There will be no limitation for the custom made HTML tags; you would be able to use it from any new or old web browser.
With the addition of web components, you would also be able to notice an enhancement in the overall performance and in loading time as well.
Some main specifications of Web Components are-
- Custom Elements- This is a specification with the help of which you can create custom HTML tags and many more things in Iconic 4.
- Shadow DOM- If you are trying to build an application based on components, then this is the tool all that you need.
- HTML Imports- These features help you to use HTML documents in one another.
- PWA Enabled- The next feature that makes Ionic 4 highly usable and exclusive is progressive web app development. With the help of this tool, the user would be able to create some extraordinary UI frameworks, which will offer high performances in various factors.
- Speed matters- As I said that speed matters, so the Ionic team had put their best efforts into making Ionic 4 the fastest than ever. There is not only speed improvement, but the developer team has also added several components, which you can use for higher performance of your app.
- More customization features- The next most significant improvement that you would love is that this version of the Ionic framework is highly customizable, and you can make changes according to yourself to any part of the app. There are no limitations for you in Ionic 4.
- Ion-Backdrop- This is a new component that is introduced in Ionic 4, with the use of this component, you would be able to dismiss any component you have used earlier easily.
- Ion-picker- The Ionic team has introduced two new rows with the help of which you can easily see and pick tools from them. These rows will make it easier to access tools and will enhance productivity.
- Ion-ripple effect- With the help of this component, the developer team has made it easier to add material design to the app.
- Ion-reorder- As it’s clear from the name of the component, with the help of which you can easily reorder items. You can rearrange them in a vertical or horizontal mode with the component.
- Ion-search bar- If you find it difficult to find various items or components from these frameworks, then you will not face that problem again as the developer team has added a search bar in Ionic 4, with the help of which you can effortlessly search any item. They have taken proper care of the UI, as they offer nine different types of search bar styles, which you can change easily.
- Ion-show when- This is the best component that the developer team added. It’s basically for them who are new to the Ionic framework and are not aware of what the tools can do. So with the help of this component whenever you first try to use a component or tool, there will appear a box with some detailed information about that tool.
- Ion-select popover- Again, here comes the best component, you must have noticed that there are some components or tools that you might not be using, and they are just consuming space. So with the help of this component, you can remove that component or tool from the row and can free up some space or can place another useful tool instead of that.
- Ion skeleton text- This component helps you in rendering widths of various blocks.
- Color changes- As discussed above that this version if the Iconic framework is the highly customizable one, this version offers many customizations. You can even change the color of your overall Ionic framework app.
- Tappable Items- In the previous version if you wanted to make something tappable then you would have had to use a button, but in the latest version, you can use the tappable attribute for doing so.
There are some other components also which are added into this Ionic 4, such as Iconicons 4.0, CSS Variables, and many more.
DevOps emphasises people (and culture), and seeks to improve collaboration between operations and development teams. DevOps implementations utilise technology — especially automation tools that can leverage an increasingly programmable and dynamic infrastructure from a life cycle perspective”.
DevOps has been around for quite a number of years at this stage and the concept is quite mature in organisations, from startup to enterprise – so why are so many of these projects not realising their full potential and delivering the kind of wins promised at the planning stage? While there are many challenges on the technical side, we will focus on the human aspect of the challenge of getting it right.
- People skills – The absolute key aspect of succeeding with in-house DevOps is the right people in key roles across the organisation. These resources should have the best balance of technical and business skills to get the operation running effectively. Unfortunately, people with this finely balanced skillset are rare and to get things moving, less effective or less well balanced substitutes are used, leading to a potentially critical failure point. Typically in a new setup, the best and the brightest will be appointed to the initial team and hopefully will get the ball rolling effectively together. But what happens when that success means an immediate or extremely rapid scale up? Good hires take a long time and are often in high demand, so short of a magic wand or a 3D printer for humans, there is going to be a delay in getting the right people into the next set of teams required to scale fast without compromising quality and sacrificing delivery times.
- Proper Collaboration – Extrapolating from the previous point, these key people then need to work hand-in-glove with the rest of the organisation to deliver the sort of collaborative work that gets the entire organisation involved effectively. In practice however, “silos” can exist or develop where teams and individuals operate outside the collaborative environment for various reasons. Simply put though, not all talented people have the will or the ability to adopt a flexible team-driven model and thrive in it.
- Culture – It is often (correctly) said that DevOps is more of a culture than a process and instilling the right culture to collaborate and work outside silos can be challenging. An environment where even a properly functioning DevOps implementation is working but the entire project is siloed into an “IT initiative” is likely to run aground due to lack of an organisation-wide buy in to a wider collaboration culture. DevOps needs a wider adoption to include everybody who delivers the application/product.
- Conflicting Outputs and Goals – The very concept of DevOps is that taking members from across the organisation to develop applications together should produce a common goal to streamline efficiency and eliminate conflict. In practice however, the outmoded view of having diverse targets for Operations functions and IT defeats the very purpose that DevOps exists to solve.
The Benefits of Getting DevOps Right
- Competitive Advantage – Business in 2019 operates on slim margins meaning customer adoption and loyalty is often only achieved on the ability to deliver key personalisation of the (UX) User Experience in the market. DevOps (done right) allows organisations to fast track delivery of their digital applications and getting the mix right allows them to respond faster to all stakeholders whether internal or external. Essentially there is a greatly reduced launch time to market, enabling a proper and substantial competitive advantage for those who get it right.
- Speed of Delivery – Effectively implementing DevOps reduces project delivery time considerably as multiple stakeholders from development to production are involved, fostering the all-important culture required. The speed of production and delivery are greatly increased and allow for failures to be quickly identified and rectified without compromising quality or deadlines.
- Collaborative Wins – Tying together team members who were previously siloed off and even competing with each other can effectively change the company culture and get the best out of the Operations and Development functions with a common goal in sight.
- Innovation – Properly run DevOps allows for fast failure and reiteration, more experimentation and vastly increased productivity and enabling a focus on key business outputs.
- Automation – Having removed barriers internally between Operations and IT, and automating deployment delivery, organisations are able to focus on end user value goals. Enabling competitive advantage is a key outcome from automating processes and being first to market with a better and more attractive, continuously improved user experience will attract and retain customers.
- Increased ROI from team synergy, increased productivity, and scaled, faster delivery is the core result of adopting DevOps effectively. With integrated teams able to focus on delivering bottom line value, through automation of repetitive “lower value” tasks, software developers can work on producing good applications that are adopted and retained by customers.
DevOps Managed Service
Implementing a DevOps culture in your organisation can have a lot of challenges as discussed earlier but also deliver exponential benefits for those who can pull it together with the right team at the outset and also when the collaboration needs to scale up. This latter part is where the most organisations begin to come up short and fail gradually. This is where the introduction of a Managed Service for DevOps comes in to consideration. Kellton Tech specialise in offering best-in-class Managed Services for all aspects of DevOps.
The Benefits of Adopting a Managed Service Model
- End-to-end Transformation – Planning, design, implementation and configuration from our team of highly practically experienced experts. Taking the DevOps project from the outset right through to delivery, our team enable your organisation to deliver.
- An instant extension of your team – why waste time hunting for weeks or months to find rare talent when we can deploy the perfect candidates from architects to developers to scale or build your team immediately?
- Advice and consultation – having experienced every challenge in DevOps, our experts stand ready to help with the ideation stage before planning even begins and being vendor agnostic, we can give you truly unbiased advice at every stage in the journey.
Kellton Tech’s USPs in Managed DevOps
- We are early adopters working with open source technologies, IoT, Bots, Cloud and DevOps.
- We have a wealth of practical experience gained by Implementing DevOps for SMEs and Enterprise clients.
- Kellton Tech have a DevOps plan scaled to suit every need from start-up to Enterprise level organisations.
- We are a pioneer and leader in “next gen” technologies with case studies of ground breaking projects delivered on the ground where others are still conceptualising.
Branding, by definition, is an exercise undertaken by the marketing department, in which a business creates a name, symbol or design which is readily identifiable as belonging to the organisation. This assists with identifying a product and distinguishing it from other products as well as services.
Branding is also the utilisation of a name, term, symbol, design – or a combination of these – which will identify a product or service.
Why is branding important?
Branding is important as it is not only what makes a memorable impression on consumers, but it allows your customers as well as clients to know what to expect from your organisation.
It is a method of setting yourself apart from the competitors in addition to clarifying what it is you offer which makes you the preferred choice. Your brand is constructed to be a true representation of who you are as a business in addition to how you wish to be perceived.
Branding is critical to a business because of the overall impact it makes on your company. Branding can alter how people perceive your brand. In addition, it can drive new business and increase brand awareness.
What is a brand?
You can look at a brand as the idea or image which individuals have in mind when thinking about specific products, services as well as activities of an organisation, both in a practical (e.g. “the shoe is light-weight”) in addition to an emotional manner (e.g. “the shoe makes me feel powerful”).
It is thus not just the physical features which creates a brand but it is also the feelings which consumers develop towards the company or, alternatively, its product. This combination of physical as well as emotional cues is triggered when individuals are exposed to the name, the logo, the visual identity, or even the message which is communicated.
A product can be simply copied by other players in a market however a brand will always be one-of-a-kind. For instance, Pepsi and Coca-Cola taste very similar but, for some reason, a number of individuals feel more connected to Coca-Cola and others to Pepsi.
What are the advantages of branding?
The advantages to branding would include the following:
- Branding gets recognition.
- Branding increases business value.
- Branding generates new customers.
- Improves employee pride and satisfaction.
- Creates trust within the marketplace.
- Branding supports advertising.
What is the process of branding?
Companies tend to make use of different tools in order to create as well as shape a brand.
The following are the processes through which branding can be achieved:
- Brand definition: purpose, values, promise.
- Brand positioning statement.
- Brand identity: name, tone of voice, visual identity design (which includes the logo design, colour palette, typographies…).
- Advertising and communications: TV, radio, magazines, outdoor ads, website, mobile apps, etc.
- Sponsoring and partnerships. Product and packaging design.
- In-store experience.
- Workspace experience and management style.
- Customer service. Pricing strategy.
If you want to have a brand which is strong, everything that you do has to be qualitative. The employees, the marketing campaigns, the investments as well as all the factors which come into play will have a massive influence on your branding performance. If you want to invest time, focus and money into these aspects, you’ll skyrocket your chances of becoming a big name within your industry.
The security world confronts businesses and organizations with a lot of challenges. The recent exposure of Efail, Meltdown and Spectre, low rates of DMARC adoption, and the ever-looming “Cyber Security Pearl Harbor”, should be a bit worrisome. We are consistently and constantly preaching about the dangers of social engineering and the lack of user awareness. We can continue to improve the technology, but, as of yet, can’t control what users choose to open and click.
This makes wanton disregard for cyber security best practices that much more difficult to watch. I remember at one of my early jobs, we were required by IT to reset our password on a monthly basis (with a “one capital, number, symbol, etc” password that you could never remember). I deeply resented it. Yet, begrudgingly, I accepted the fact that whether or not I thought it was snake-oil, it was part of the IT plan designed to ensure the security of the data infrastructure and as such, much like I don’t want finance to get in the way of my plans, I should respect it.
Organizations that have plans and members who stick to them will be much safer in the long run. Willful ignorance, because playing by the rules is too inconvenient, doesn’t have to result in disaster, but results in a dramatic increase in the likelihood of a breach.
When we see people in leadership positions whether a Clinton storing confidential emails on an insecure home server or a Trump saying using secure phones is “too inconvenient”, it dramatically reduces the effectiveness of technological solutions and simultaneously increases the possibility of a breach, in these 2 cases, of state sponsored threats.
Leadership, often in the form of CEO fraud, is a high value target for cyber criminals. Certain industries are associated with specific cyber risks, whether data breaches in health, corporate espionage in manufacturing, or state sponsored attacks in government. The conflation of high value targets and leaving openings in vulnerable industries is a recipe for disaster.
Security is both bottom up and top down. The chain is only as strong as its weakest link. To properly protect an organization, there is no room for breaking with an IT plan. It doesn’t mean there has to be a breach, but we never want to make it easier for the criminals.
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We work diligently to produce email security solutions that attain an equilibrium, where we can maximize protection while minimizing inconvenience. We continue to develop products that require less and less user action to ensure security, while making email safer. Automated triggers, backups, URL scanning, attachment defense, machine learning, and more, have all created a vastly more convenient and safer experience for your average user.
The higher up in the food chain you go, the more inconvenient security will be (whether email or physical). It’s a very small price to pay. And for the love of your IT team, please respect their plan. Inconvenient or not.
App store optimisation (ASO) is crucial for ensuring your mobile app ranks highly in app store search results and driving downloads. According to AppAnnie, 65% of Apple App Store downloads come from search alone and is consequently the most used method for discovering apps.
ASO is the process of optimising your app store listing in order to rank higher in search results. The higher the ranking, the more visible your app is, the more traffic your app will get. Therefore, the ultimate goal of ASO is to drive traffic to your app in order to increase app downloads.
Several factors can affect your app’s ranking in the app stores, however, downloads and engagement are considered the key influencers. Where engagement correlates with the features of the app, app downloads are dependent on app visibility. In an extremely competitive marketplace, ASO strategy is imperative for app success. When implementing ASO, take into consideration the following tips.
#1 Optimise your keywords
Understanding your target market and who your potential users are is crucial for ASO and keyword optimisation. Research what keywords are most frequently used in app store searches and identify those that relate to your users. Utilising these keywords is essential for ensuring your app’s discovery in the app store.
It is important to conduct keyword research to determine what keywords your competition is using and what they are ranking for. This will help you understand the competitive landscape in the marketplace. Utilising trending topics, such as seasonal events, in your keyword strategy is a great tactic for driving traffic to your app. Another strategy would be to find and use keywords that have lower competition and search volumes and to rank well for them. Once your app’s credibility is built up, you can then move on to tackle the more competitive keywords.
When picking your keywords, consider the following questions:
- What language do my customers use?
- How would they describe my app?
- What are their reasons for downloading my app?
- What is my competitive advantage?
Add as many relevant keywords as possible so your app has a higher chance of discoverability. In order to get the most out of your keyword field don’t use spaces, instead, you can separate words with commas. To avoid any duplication, make sure not to use plural keywords or the name of the app.
#2 Create a ranking title
The title should reflect the purpose of your app. Keep the actual name of your app short and concise. Then you can augment this with keywords after the name, in example preceded by a dash, to create the title. According to Tune, apps with relevant keywords in their title ranked on average 10.3% higher than those without keywords. For this reason, try and include relevant keywords in the title by picking keywords your target users are searching for. Adding these descriptive keywords in the title will help increase your app’s discoverability. However, try not to use more than 3 keywords as the title might get rejected by Apple App Store.
Steer clear of using any long, complicated keywords in the title. Ensuring your title is descriptive yet brief will allow users to read the title in its entirety and understand what the app is offering. Try to refrain from using special characters or symbols in your title as this can negatively impact your ASO.
#3 Write a compelling description
The description provides you with the opportunity to promote your app, increase traffic and encourage downloads. Your description should be targeted to your users and viewed as a potential call-to-action. Describe what the app does and compel the user to download it.
It is extremely important to put the most engaging content in the first two sentences. This is due to the app store displaying only the first 2-3 lines of text before users need to click the ‘more’ tab. Therefore, treat these first few lines of your description as an ad copy, with the purpose to build curiosity and generate interest in your app.
Remember to break up paragraphs and list your app’s best features. More specifically, use bullet points to list the unique benefits and use cases. It is also important to provide user testimonials and links to your website and app support.
#4 Create a unique icon
The app icon is the first impression users will have of your app. Icons should be clear and immediately convey what your app does. They should be creative and communicate your app’s core functions whilst standing out from the crowd. The ultimate goal for optimising your app icon is to create a simple yet descriptive image.
People make a subconscious judgement about a product within 90 seconds of initial viewing – up to 90% of the assessment is based on colour alone – Kissmetrics
In the case of app icons, less is more. There is a general trend towards bright colours, unique shapes and simple imagery. So try not to overcomplicate things with unnecessary words or images. Make sure to use vivid colours and imagery that support your brand and that are consistent with the design of your app.
#5 Put your best 2 screenshots first
Screenshots allow your users to visualise the app before download. Screenshots should include the pages where users will spend most of their time. According to Storemaven, 60% of users won’t swipe past the first 2 screenshots in an app store listing. Therefore, make sure the first 2 screenshots showcase your apps best features and demonstrate the value to users.
The idea is to think of screenshots as banner advertisements for your app. It is important to diversify your screenshots and show users why they should download your app. The screenshots can include menu navigation to showcase features, or action shots to show how users will interact with the app. When designing your screenshots consider hi-res images that use overlay text and annotations for clear messaging. Don’t worry about a logical order, instead put your most important screenshots first.
#6 Include a preview video
It is recommended to include an app preview video to showcase the different functionalities of your app. According to AppAnnie, a video can increase conversion and downloads between 25 to 30 percent. Furthermore, Storemaven found that users are 2-3 times more likely to download after watching the video.
Remember to use an eye-catching thumbnail image to encourage users to click on the video. It is also important to keep your video short, with particular focus placed on the first 10 seconds.
#7 A/B test everything
To ensure your ASO strategy is successful, run A/B testing on all components from icons and screenshots to descriptions and keywords. For example, A/B testing different screenshots can help determine which drive the most app downloads.
#8 Pick the right categories
Users are able to browse apps by searching through categories that fit their interests. Therefore, placing your app in the right categories plays a major role in your app’s discoverability. However, deciding on the best categories can be challenging. It is important to weigh up the pros and cons of each. Pick the category which best describes the core function of your app. Although, keep in mind that categories can be changed later if needed.
#9 Remember to localise
A ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach is risky when it comes to mobile app strategy and ASO. Users outside the English-speaking world prefer to use their native language, even if they are fluent in English. Taking this into account provides a significant opportunity for app developers to tap into a global market simply by catering to their user’s unique preferences. Doing so will help increase app discoverability, adoption and conversion. According to OneSky, localising your app can increase app downloads by as much as 767%.
#10 Promote your app
Promoting your app provides the opportunity to create hype and drive traffic to your app listing. The more traffic you drive to your app, the higher it will rank in search results. Consider building an online presence around your app through content, social media and review sites. An article from a major tech blog or popular review site is another great way to increase traffic and download rates. However, try and find the sites that cover apps in similar categories to yours. It is important to utilise these channels to generate awareness about your app and to engage your target users.
#11 Ask for feedback
App ratings and reviews play a significant role in how your app is perceived by users. Generally, apps with a large volume of positive ratings dominate the top charts. However, more often than not, users will only leave a review if they have had a negative experience or to report a bug. Therefore, in order to encourage positive feedback, ask your users ‘yes/no’ questions about whether they like your app. If they select ‘yes’ you can then prompt them to rate and review your app. If they select ‘no’ you can provide them with an option to leave internal feedback.
Remember that happy users are great brand ambassadors for your app, so make it a top priority to resolve any negative reviews. It is important that you continue to gather user feedback and leverage this to guide future app updates and improvements.
Successful mobile app development requires more than just coding and design knowledge. While extensive coding knowledge may make a product technically sound, successful app development is reliant on the value it offers its users. Mobile app development must follow a process that encompasses strategy, development, QA, delivery, and continuous maintenance to ensure a product’s ongoing success.
Combined, these aspects are part of Clearbridge Mobile’s custom agile app development process, which is designed to deliver great mobile products with low risk and high predictability.
How Our Process Works
At its core, the Clearbridge process is designed to take a client’s vision and make it a reality. Typically, a preliminary product vision is vague and nonspecific, so Clearbridge provides rigorous product definition, strategy consultation, and product road-mapping to create an actionable plan for the design, development, and delivery of the product.
Product definition focuses on determining the goals of the product, mapping business objectives, market and competitor research, and creating a mobile strategy. Businesses looking to work with Clearbridge can expect to kick off their project with an intensive design thinking session that zeros in on product definition with a clear set of goals including:
- Determine the purpose of the mobile product and how it aligns with business goals
- Define business outcomes
- Identify market viability through competitive research
- Create user personas rooted in extensive user research
- Communicate and justify a product’s concept with user journeys, wireframes, and mockups
- Create and prioritize a scalable product roadmap
- Enter the market quickly with the most impactful and useful features
Typically, these design thinking sessions fully define the scope of a brand new mobile app; however, practicing design thinking also carries many benefits for reimagining, rebuilding, and expanding existing mobile apps. In some cases (and for many reasons), mobile apps don’t always perform as expected and businesses need to continually revisit mobile strategies to effectively reach product goals. In these cases, the product definition stage of a project helps businesses:
- Reorganize existing mobile product strategies to better align with business goals
- Outline a clear vision of how the product will scale
- Develop an app analytics strategy
- Validate market opportunity
- Realign product features with user needs based on research and not assumptions
- Continue to define a user retention strategy and opportunities for long-term growth
At the end of this process, we provide a set of deliverables that include the user journey, user personas, storyboard, wireframes/sketches, and a visual app prototype.
These sessions work to set the tone and priority of the delivery schedule for the project; ensures we have a solid foundation to build a successful, marketable product; and allows teams to make the decisions necessary to deliver a great product.
User Experience (UX) Design
Clearbridge’s entire design process focuses on the end-user. All decisions are made with the user in mind, which is why mapping out user personas during product definitions is so critical. Understanding the user and their needs helps inform design decisions so the final product has a pleasurable and intuitive UX design.
The key to designing great mobile products is not only to make them aesthetically pleasing but most importantly, designing the product to be usable with a seamless user experience. From product definition, Clearbridge is able to take the discoveries and research insights and apply them visually through a process of ideation, prototyping, and styling.
Agile App Development Process
Our custom app development process combines elements of various agile philosophies that allow us to create great apps, minimize downtime, reduce risk, and maintain predictable project velocity. The central tenets of our development process are described below.
Flexible, Squad-Based Development
Flexibility is an integral aspect of the agile methodology in theory, but not always in practice. Having flexibility is important because it allows you to shift and adapt to changing circumstances and project needs without affecting project velocity. The reason why so many teams struggle with it is that it needs to be instilled directly into the development process, which is no easy feat.
At Clearbridge, the structure of our development team and the processes we follow are designed to provide flexibility. We develop using squads; small cross-functional teams that plan together, share knowledge, complete code reviews, and have a known maximum capacity that allows us to scale up or down within that capacity based on project needs. There are a number of advantages to using this approach: knowledge transfer is seamless, development cycles are faster, downtime is reduced, and there is an overall reduction in project risk.
Rolling-wave planning involves delaying product decisions until the team has enough knowledge to make them. This approach may seem counterintuitive, but it actually reduces waste that results from having to draft detailed plans upfront, and then re-plan as the product progresses and requirements change. As a result, teams remain flexible and adapt easily, which mitigates scope creep and budgetary risks.
The practice of rolling-wave planning puts product teams in the best position to analyze, understand, and act upon knowledge gained from developing the product. In the Clearbridge agile app development process, clients see a product demo after every sprint, which allows them to review each increment and evolve, adapt, or pivot without wasting money or impacting project velocity.
Short Iterations (Sprints)
Sprints are a common agile development concept that involves short development iterations: in our case, 2 weeks. The purpose of sprints is to accelerate development and divide projects up into smaller, attainable goals that can be accomplished within certain timeframes. For example, developers will focus on building out a certain feature or closing out a certain number of tickets within the two-week timeframe, rather than trying to aim to complete an entire app by a certain date. This way, teams are more productive, time estimations are more accurate, and you don’t waste time or money in the event that products pivot or business objectives shift.
Story Points & Predictable Project Velocity
We plan and estimate capacity based on story points. Stories are small units that describe a feature from a user perspective. We assign values to each story using a points system that measures its complexity; the more complex the story is, the more story points it is given.
Squad capacity is also defined in story points. In other words, we know a squad has a maximum of, for example, 25 story points per sprint. This judgment is based on the past projects we’ve done that have allowed us to determine a consistent number of story points we’ve been able to get through in sprints from prior projects. This system allows us to more accurately estimate the time it will take to complete work and maintain project velocity.
Quality assurance serves the simple function of keeping bugs out of the final product. QA at Clearbridge is integrated with development throughout the project lifecycle, which helps reduce delays and bottlenecks and ensures that defects are corrected as they are discovered.
We use a combination of testing practices including cross-developer verification (code reviews and unit testing) and have a dedicated product team that handles client verification. Additionally, we use a continuous integration system that compiles projects, checks for errors, and distributes the app to the product team for testing.
When the application is ready to be published, we also handle the submission process to the appropriate app stores. For iOS, in particular, this is an important yet overlooked phase that many don’t consider in project timelines, but definitely should. If done incorrectly, having your app accepted into the App Store can take up to a week, in some cases longer if the submission is rejected.
At Clearbridge, we have a product release manager that assembles all the assets, optimizes your app listing, and completes the submission process according to the guidelines of the appropriate app store.