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Amazon Apps Go Global: Distribution Expanded Internationally

Published on January 8, 2014
Tags: Mobile Application Development

It's been announced that Amazon will be expanding their Appstore to include app distribution in several new countries. The Amazon Appstore for Android launches have previously included the UK, Japan, France, Spain, Italy and Germany and, while already a huge market, almost 200 more countries will be added to the distribution list, meaning that developers will be able to submit their apps more or less globally, reaching a whole new group of international customers.

Which Countries Are Being Included And When?
Just under 200 countries are being included in the upgrade, with the most notable being Canada, Australia, India, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa and South Korea. Even Vatican City is being included. While not available yet, these countries will benefit from Amazon apps when the new Appstore for Android launch is introduced internationally in the upcoming months. It will be an opportunity for web developers to embrace the monetizing potential of apps and games on Android devices and Kindle Fire on a bigger scale than ever before. Registered web developers can log on to the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portal as normal, and unless they ‘opt out’ of the system, their apps will be automatically available for download in the aforementioned countries.

Why Use Amazon?
As a global company, Amazon already has the ability to reach a huge user base, and with this new expansion, even more international customers will be included in their Appstore. Even without taking that into consideration, Amazon offers several features which actively encourage users to buy their products and use their services. Their 1-Click purchasing and recommendation system have both revolutionised the way people buy online, their Kindle Fire GameCircle is becoming more and more popular (even when compared to rivals such as Google Play), and other features such as

A/B Testing and APIs for In-App Purchasing (IAP) are keeping Amazon one step ahead of their competitors.

How Can This Help My Business?
If you already have an app related to your business – or if you are thinking of teaming up with a web development team to get one produced – these announced changes can help you in a number of ways. The first – and most obvious – point is that you will be able to reach a much higher number of users/potential customers. If you are already a global business dealing with international clients, you could start to see a higher conversion rate once your app is available in the newly-added countries.

With smartphones and tablets currently more popular than ever before, businesses of all shapes and sizes are starting to offer games and apps as part of their online marketing strategies. If you don’t already offer an app to your clients, it’s worth talking to a professional web development company to see how they could help your business, whether it’s with a game, a shopping app, or another application making use of gamification principles to attract new customers. With Amazon’s upcoming expansion, now is the time to find out about the advantages of having an app.

By Chelsey Evans

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Responding to Responsive Web Design: When Do You Need It?

Published on January 8, 2014
Tags: Web Development London

In the past year or so, responsive web layouts have been hailed as the ‘future of web design’, and while this could be correct, it is still very much in its infancy. How do you know if a responsive website is something you should be investing in? Here are a few tips to help you.

What Is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive web design has become popular due to the increase in demand for smartphones and tablets. With more and more people moving away from their laptops and desktop computers, it has become imperative for websites of all shapes and sizes – and business sites in particular – to accommodate the different dimensions of all the various screens out there. It’s a front-end development approach with the aim of providing easy navigation and reading on a range of devices, no matter what type of screen it has, resizing the page elements and changing the menus accordingly.

What Are The Advantages?
The main advantage is that with a responsive layout, you won’t need to develop completely different sites for each type of computer or device; it’s a sort of one-size-fits-all approach to web design & development. This means that when you need to update or change your site, you only need to do it once – a big time and money saver. Responsive designs are also useful in terms of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation): for example, you won’t get penalised by Google for having duplicate content (something which can happen when you have several versions of the same site).

What Are The Disadvantages?
Some people see the cost of having a responsive web design developed as a disadvantage, but this isn’t necessarily so. As has been mentioned, once you have the site, any updates you need making only need to be done once, saving not only money, but time as well. There can be issues with advertising: as responsive layouts move around depending on the device used, a placed advert won’t always appear in the same position – something which some advertisers may not want to pay for. Loading times can also be a problem on some mobile devices, but a good responsive design should take this into account – for example, by using fewer images and videos.

How Do I Know If It’s Right For Me?
One way of deciding if you should invest in a responsive web layout now is to look at who visits your website. The Google Analytics Mobile Overview feature will tell you how many of the users who visit your site are on mobile devices. If it’s more than a few percent, it would be a wise move to start looking at responsive design options.

Whatever you think of the above points, it is clear that there is a definite future for responsive web designs. As the industry moves forwards, we’ll see even more of an increase in smartphone and tablet sales, and if you’re not moving forward with it, you could start to lose out.

 

By Chelsey Evans

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Targeting Ads on Twitter: How To Make The Most Of Your Tweets

Published on January 8, 2014
Tags: Web Development London

Many business have incorporated PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising campaigns – such as using Google AdWords and adverts on Facebook – into their online marketing budgets, and while these are popular with companies of most shapes and sizes, they now have a new rival on the scene: Twitter.

What’s New On Twitter?
Last week, Twitter announced that they were changing the ways their ads worked. In the past, advertisers could target users by physical location, interest filters and mobile devices, but now they’ve added keywords to their arsenal. These will be based on the recent tweets of users (it isn’t yet known exactly how far back they mean by ‘recent’) and will allow brands to specifically target people who will be interested in their products and/or services. For example, a fast food chain could target users in their area who have tweeted about being hungry, especially if they’re using a mobile device and are already out and about looking for somewhere to eat their next meal.

Who Will Benefit From It?
If you’ve got a budget for online marketing, it doesn’t matter what size or type of company you have, as long as you know which keywords you want to target (if you already run PPC campaigns and have ads on other social network sites, you will have already done all the research you need). Large brands such as Walgreens and EE have trialled Twitter’s new advertising campaign, but it can work just as well for small, independent businesses. The users themselves will also benefit from this new upgrade; they will only be shown ads that are targeted to their tweets, meaning they won’t have to put up with an endless supply of irrelevant adverts. As with promoted tweets, they can also dismiss the ads if they do happen to get ones that aren’t relevant to them, keeping everyone happy.

Looking At The Future
In order to keep up with the likes of Google and Facebook, Twitter are looking at updating the way the site works in several ways in the future. With the introduction of Twitter #Music, we can already see the different ways in which the site is expanding its functions and therefore its user base, and there will no doubt be many exciting updates in the months and years to come that online businesses should watch out for. 

Businesses who use Twitter shouldn’t just rely on ads, however; tweeting, retweeting, and engaging with customers and potential clients on an individual level will help boost your profile. With the amount of users that are signed up with sites such as Twitter and Facebook, you can’t underestimate the power of social media sites when it comes to advertising, building up your online presence, and expanding your brand in general. In 2013 alone, Twitter is expected to generate over $580,000,000 in global advertising revenue, reaching up to $1 billion in 2014, so get in there now and start targeting your ads.

By Chelsey Evans

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Twitter Ads And Amplify How The Social Media Site Can Help Your Business

Published on January 8, 2014
Tags: Web Development London

This month saw an announcement from social media giant Twitter that got everyone talking: their ad platform is now open to all U.S. based users, including large and small businesses, online marketing specialists, the self-employed, and more. This exciting news was announced by Kevin Well (Twitter’s Senior Director for revenue) during a conference in New York at the end of April. Before this, the ad platform was more exclusive (by invitation only, in fact), and required a minimum spend level per quarter. While this is currently only open to American businesses, UK based companies will no doubt be keeping an eye on Twitter to see if their future advertising updates include the rest of the world. For now, U.S. businesses can start using Twitter advertising by logging into the business portal and answering some questions on the self-service page.

Other Twitter Advertising News
Even more recently, Twitter announced ‘Twitter Amplify’. This new feature is based on the knowledge that Twitter users like to utilise the social media platform in order to discuss what they see on television – you’ll no doubt notice the hashtags that pop up on a lot of TV shows these days. In fact, it’s said that out of all the online interaction regarding TV, 95% of it happens on Twitter; an incredible amount. Twitter Amplify is a new advertising product which relies on this connection between TV and the internet, as consumer brands can now promote television clips on the social media site – just short clips of 10 seconds or less – which are accompanied by an advert from an advertising partner of theirs. This is then, in turn, promoted by Twitter, increasing its potential online reach. Twitter users are reminded of their favourite programmes by the ads, and because of this new advertising opportunity, communication surrounding TV on Twitter is set to rise even further. 

How Can Twitter Help My Business?
With this cross-platform advertising, Promoted Tweets reach new audiences all over the world. If you’re in business and want your company to benefit from this new feature, there’s also a dashboard which advertisers can view to see when and where an ad for a certain brand is running on television, allowing timely Tweets to be sent to their followers. Along with the new adverts and Twitter Amplify, the social media site is a great platform for targeting potential customers both in your geographical area and with similar interests – just search for hashtags and see what people are saying about your field of industry, then you can either contact them to help with their questions, or offer them special deals if they go to you instead of a competitor. You can also make use of online contests and encourage customer communication… the possibilities are almost endless.

Don’t Have The Time To ‘Get Social’?
If you don’t have the time or resources to focus on building your brand via social media, seek advice from an online digital marketing specialist or a web development company; they’ll be able to answer your questions and point you in the direction of the best social media platforms for you and your business.

 

 

By Chelsey Evans

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What Mobile Marketing Will Look Like In The Future

Published on January 8, 2014
Tags: Mobile Application Development

Mobile marketing has been growing steadily over the past few years, and it’s getting to the point where – with approximately half of mobile users owning a smartphone – mobile technology is really coming into its own. With mobile apps growing in number and scope every day, the future of mobile marketing is looking brighter than ever. But what can we expect over the next few years?

It Will Make Life Easier
Simply put, users want their mobiles to work for them. As well as being a source of entertainment, people expect apps to be of use on a day-to-day basis. It’s all about making life easier, and in the future, life will be made much, much easier. In fact, normal lines of communication such as phone calls and texts won’t be needed as much, as the internet starts to offer cheaper, more interesting alternatives.

In fact, this has already started happening. With apps such as FourSquare and Facebook notifying users when their friends have checked into the vicinity, people no longer need to text each other to find out where they are. This can be great in large crowds at big events, and even better if you want to actively avoid bumping into certain people.

It Will Help Local Businesses
GPS will also be made use of more in terms of local businesses. People who are in the area can be offered special deals as a way to entice them in, and customers will be able to instantly review hotels, bars, cafes, and other businesses with the touch of a button.

Shopping will also be made much easier. Of course, there are already hundreds of apps out there that help users with their shopping, whether it be actual ecommerce applications or price comparison apps. In the future, however, we’ll start to see a whole new level of mobile shopping experience, from paying for products with apps or Bluetooth to using apps like Shazam to instantly buy an item when listening to an advert.

Augmented Reality
We’re rapidly heading towards a world of augmented reality (AR) when it comes to mobile marketing. With many people owning more than one internet-ready device, our reality relies on the ability to connect to the internet – in many ways, we use the internet to explore our surroundings. In the future, we’ll go beyond location-based apps and start to see things emerging that will actually help us in our day-to-day lives without any (or very little) input from us. Due to our preferences and past history on our mobiles, online sensors will be able to influence how we use our mobiles in the future.

Mobile applications can be a great investment: they can help your business to generate new customers, as well as keeping your existing clients engaged with your company.  If you don’t already have an in-house app developer, a web development company can work with you to create an app that works both for you and your customers. With the future of mobile marketing looking so fascinating, it’s a good idea to get in there and start creating an app right now.

By Chelsey Evans

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