Tips on Marketing Renpy Apps on Google Play, App Feedback and Review Exchange

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ComputerArt.Club
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Tips on Marketing Renpy Apps on Google Play, App Feedback and Review Exchange

#1 Post by ComputerArt.Club » Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:30 am

So this month I released my first two apps on the Google Play store and I made a few mistakes and learned along the way, I also have become very confused by the differences in popularity of the two apps and I am not exactly sure why they were as different as they were. I'll post my experience below and also make some suggestions. Please post your thoughts, lessons you've learned and advice below.

Both apps were educational apps marked as paid, the lowest price that Google Play would let me set was about 1 US dollar (I wanted to sell them for about 60 cents).
I got a few sales, probably from friends of my sister who is a software engineer and has many developer friends and posted the app on Facebook. Nothing that would make me rich or even to buy a drink at a cafe, but it was something and it made me smile. I created a sale where it was temporarily free for a weekend and out of nowhere I got about 400 downloads. I was surprised, happy, I got a few 5 star reviews. There was nothing special about this app as far as search was concerned, no special keywords etc. I thought it perhaps every release would be this way during a sale. There were no further purchases since the sale ended. Not sure why I got lucky this first time during the sale, I was hoping that the same would happen for my second app, but as you will see, it definitely did not. Still have some marketing ideas, we'll see what happens.

App #2: I put a bit more effort into. More difficult to create. Educational and Christmas themed. Less successful. It struggled to get any downloads. I created a weekend sale and got about 10 downloads, even with quite a bit of effort. One difference was the first game was published on a Sunday and then the sale started the next week on Friday. For the second app it was released on a Friday and then the sale was the next day. Perhaps it was something to do with how long the game was up and the few purchases it had received? This might have affected search. The second app also had an issue with the url (com.domain.blahblahblah becomes your URL - you cannot change this after release so be careful when naming it). I relaunched my game because of this and lost the few reviews and downloads that I had. I had to work hard to get those reviews too, so that was a pity.

I have now just discovered that you cannot create a sale price within 30 days of your last sale. I've also read that apps that are not educational cannot even do such sales. Let me know if this is true in your experience.

The Google Play Developers console also only updates its analytics once every 24 hours during weekdays and it is even slower during weekends. You cannot track downloads and reviews in real time. It also gives you very limited knowledge of how your customers found your app. Others suggest using alternatives to Google play analytics but that may require adding something to your APK and I have a suspicion that it might also affect your privacy policy.

There is a lot of talk online about Android Search Optimisation (using keywords etc) I can remember I used to do something similar many years ago when I did some stuff with Google Adwords, but to be honest I need a bit of a refresher.

Online there are a lot of sites and groups that do review exchanges, but these have their problems. Reviews like these get deleted by Google as people tend to uninstall the app after reviewing it and most the app developers tend to be from India (I have a feeling that this will affect search and it is probably better to have reviews from all over rather than one locale - unless that is your target market). Recently people say that apps need to stay installed for at least 3 days. Also, most of these reviewers look like they struggle with English, and this may affect the quality of their reviews. Perhaps we could create something similar for Renpy VNs here for anyone interested?

Anyone who would like to exchange feedback (and suggestions for improvement) as well and Google Play reviews for apps please post here. Apps should be free or you should state when your sale period will be.

Anyone who wants to share their experience with promoting apps on Google Play, please feel free to share it below.

Here is my second app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... shop&hl=en
The sale ends Monday 23:59 GMT. If you would like to give me feedback or a review, please feel free to message me.
I will be further improving this app. I plan to add more audio recordings etc. I am also considering reducing the content per session.

The other app is not currently on sale and I cannot make another sale for it this month.

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Re: Tips on Marketing Renpy Apps on Google Play, App Feedback and Review Exchange

#2 Post by Qlara » Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:24 pm

I'd just like to let you know how immensely helpful and informative your posting is. Gathering information of this kind here is a great idea.
Unfortunately, I have nothing to contribute at this point, and therefore didn't reply until now but wanted you to know how much I appreciate your posting. I'm sure lots of readers felt the same way.

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Re: Tips on Marketing Renpy Apps on Google Play, App Feedback and Review Exchange

#3 Post by ComputerArt.Club » Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:45 pm

Well I posted a new game recently and set it as free with an in app purchase. I have been getting about 100 downloads a week for the last four weeks, so still not getting the same result as that first app with 400+ downloads in the first week but better than many of my other games. Only 2 ratings so far(5 star) no reviews, and 2 purchases (last time I checked - haven’t checked purchases recently). I haven’t yet added a prompt yet to get people to rate it, but I hope to do that soon. I should think that more ratings will drive more downloads. Probably search is driving all my downloads, I seem to be ranking in the top 5 on my phone for my keyword, but don’t know about other phones.

So yes, still building on things and working on new methods to promote my games, though I am away from home right now.

I definitely think review exchanges are important for indie developers, though they need to be done properly.

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Re: Tips on Marketing Renpy Apps on Google Play, App Feedback and Review Exchange

#4 Post by Qlara » Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:25 pm

I finally checked out your apps.
You really need to update your descriptions and make clear whom you wish to target.
I assumed the Chinese app targeted non-Chinese toddlers. I know from experience that the importance of early vowel acquisition can't be overstated and thus had high hopes for the app. But the interface is Chinese(?) so who is the target group? Children either living in China or born to a Chinese mother will have no need for such an app, unless it is not meant as foreign language aid, but simply as a reading app. I'm just unsure what it's purpose is and seeing that you haven't described it well there should be lots of room for improvement.
I really like what you did with the app produced by your pupils, but again you should describe in much more detail what your intentions were. From what I gather, app descriptions are your main route of market SEO, so use it.
That being said, I think your implementation, GUI design is flawless.

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Re: Tips on Marketing Renpy Apps on Google Play, App Feedback and Review Exchange

#5 Post by ComputerArt.Club » Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:17 am

Hey, thanks for your reply, trying the app and feedback regarding the description. Yes the target audience is Taiwanese toddlers and young children, but, like you said, it’s the parents that download the game and read the description. However, the app description changes based on your country. If you live in Taiwan (the target audience) you will see the description in Chinese (which is slightly different). That’s one of the nice things about the play store, you can have multiple descriptions for different areas. I will take a look and see how I can fine tune the English description, which is for parents living in other countries that would like to teach their children Chinese. Any suggestions are most welcome.

It passed 500 downloads last week, so I’m interested in seeing if that effects the download rate (I know that, I personally, I am less likely to trust new apps with few downloads).
I am also working on new apps using the same code, but will finish them when I return from holiday.
How is your Android version coming along?

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