Marketing in a box - Real world test case
Note: This is a community entry in the Series 40 Webinars - Contribute and Win Competition 2013Q1 with Marketing in a Box competition.
This article talks about the new Nokia Marketing in a Box service along with a real world test case use of the service and some feedback, bugs & advice.
Recently Nokia intreduced a new service called Marketing in a Box (MiB) which is composed of a set of tools to help developers with marketing, it extends its previous marketing service which generate promotional banners only. The MiB supports both the Nokia store and WP Marketplace so for the purpose of this article i decided to test it for a real use case with my game Shimmy says which is available on both the Nokia store and WP marketplace.
The Test Case
My App Shimmy says is available on both the WP Marketplace and the Nokia store (it has a new good looking version for the Touch enabled phones and an early old version for keypad phones), lately i've added a facebook fan page for the main character in the game "Shimmy" to add some extra intrest to the app and allow user to "like" the page from within the app, it already has some nice looking promotions headers for use in stores and an old youtube video.
I have created 3 assets for the Nokia store version of the app based on the Asha 311 handset, the 3 assets are Video, Facebook tab & Banners.
Spotlight Banners - I'll start with the promotional banners, below you can see the spotlight banner created with the MiB tool and my own created spotlight banner.
As you can see the automatic banner while it has a clean look is way too simple and not very appealing to the eye and shows only 1 image from your app screenshots with the custom made banner you can do anything you want and since the first impression is everything my advice to you is to invest time in creating a unique and appealing banners (if your on a 0 budget for those marketing graphics banners to your app then the automatic is ok to use) One thing i would like to mention that i think it is nice for some apps to show the Nokia phone displayed in the banner itself but even that can be done with custom banners that will look better with more wow effect, see the below example for a different app of mine called Fireworks Touch (this banner was globaly featured on the Nokia store for a week before new years eve)
Youtube video - inside this option you can select different keywords, background music and image orders to appear on your video and then connect your Nokia developer account to your youtube account to automatic upload of the video. this is a sample video i created for Shimmy says with the default setting and my selection of keywords and background music while the overall video is good there are some problems that i think worth mentioning.
- Firstly the image that the video uses are take from the screenshots of the app on the store however the screenshot that you upload to the Nokia store are 1:1 in aspect ratio and the phone in the video is portrait so the images have to be stretch and they get distorted, also as a result of the images for the Nokia store being in 1:1 ratio some developers often upload an image which in its center the actual screenshot from the phone resized to keep the aspect ratio and the rest of the space is transparent or white bg.
Here are some examples of screenshots for apps within the Nokia store that will simply not look good at all with the current working of the youtube generator http://store.ovi.com/content/193022 http://store.ovi.com/content/306686 http://store.ovi.com/content/203189 so basically what i want to say is that the lack of option to upload images for the video on the fly is badly missing and should be added asap.
- Secondly the created video is uploaded with near empty description (only link to the Nokia store for the app) and since the entire upload is done automatic you might forget but its extreamly important to edit the video description and add keywords so your video will be easily found by search engine etc (a good thing that the automatic video generator tool could do is take the description from the Nokia store and the keywords as well and upload them along with the video)
- Thirdly there is an option to add your own video to embed within the video and since i have an old video for the game (shot on none touch device) i tried to add it but sadly the preview didnt show me a version of the video that includes the embeded video and the processing video screen got stuck on 21% everytime i tried to run it (and i tried several times and each time i waited for over 30 min for it to try to finish and i tried youtu.be shortcut format as well).
The Facebook tab - lets start from the end for this one THIS is the end result of the facebook tab, as you can see its still doesnt look good, there are scroll bar and the width doesnt fit exactly (though i tried both of the width option for the facebook tab in the app settings).
Creating the facebook tab on the MiB has its pros and cons, the pros are that its easy to populate the page with text according to the format you are presented,the page is nicely designed and the page is freely hosted on the Nokia developer site, the cons are that the page cannot be edited because it is hosted on the Nokia developer site (i.e. HTML edited and not simply the formatted text), it consist of one single format which doesnt fit everyone and customization isnt possible and sometimes developer.nokia.com wasnt available or too slow which made the tab unavailable.
Even though the MiB tool links you to the facebook developer site on how to create tabs and i am a programmer i had the hardest time figuring out how to add it (who knew that a tab needs to be an app as well)
Tip: This page actually helped me alot to setup the facebook tab properly and add it to my facebook app fan page.
Overall i think the facebook tab option is good because social marketing is only getting bigger and bigger and if this feature continue to grow i can see it being a very important aspect of the tool.
Unfortunatly at the time i tried to use the MiB tool for my WP version of Shimmy says but when i entered the url the tool refuse to recognize it and marked it with red X This affected several people (probably the reason is for apps available only for WP8) and the MiB team has been notified so a fix could already be in the works and maybe deployed by the time you read this article (DiBo threads thread1 thread2 thread3)
In conclusion i hope you enjoyed my real world test case use of the Nokia Marketing in a Box and it helped you assess this tool for your own apps and the different workaround that are currently needed to get the best out of it. If you are working with a near zero sum marketing budget or have no marketing experience then definitly use this tool as it continue to grow and released from beta. I'll try to update this article in the future as the bugs and other things change and if i'll have info as to how the addition of the facebook tab and new video helped the marketing of the app.