Case Study: How To Launch An App In A Month

     

GlassJar Team

It was just over a month ago we decided to do our first Build A Business, where we brought a company into the BigBangly family and gave it everything we got with the end goal of helping it become that much more successful.

The team at GlassJar were good sports and were instantly interested in what could happen during a month with BigBangly.

We had some good times, some even better times and we lay it all out in the open for you to learn from and join in on their success!

 

Week 1 - Search Engine Optimisation

The first week was all about that... SEO - sorry Meghan Trainor.

Since they are launching in America, we thought it was best to build up their .co domain instead of their .co.nz. The only problem was that GlassJar.co.nz had a whole bunch of inbound links from websites like Lightning Labs linking to it and we didn't want to waste such strong links!

So we did a permanent 301 redirect. This may sound scary, but it simply means that we are telling Google that the .co.nz to .co transfer is permanent so Google will then go ahead and transfer all the link juice from the old URL and move it to the new URL.

This is important!

If you go and do a 302 temporary redirect, which tells Google that eventually you'll be switching back to the original domain, you're not going to transfer over any link juice from the inbound links you created for the original domain. We actually did the exact same process for BigBangly when we switched from BigBangly.com to BigBangly.co.nz.

 

glassjar organic results glassjar organic results

These are their results from organic search on Glassjar.co and you can see if went from near zero to about 20 organic views a day almost straight away after we made the change!

With that week one was done.

We had gotten to know the team and the company a lot better, we had transferred over the domain ensuring that the hard work from the past year had not gone to waste and finally did a lot of outreach to NZ companies to see if anyone was interested in writing an article about these awesome people.

We had an awesome week together and were seriously considering asking Red Bull to see if they would sponsor us!

 

Week 2 - The Online Marketing Begins

The second week was all about setting up the marketing campaigns. Their goal was to get as many users actively using the app as possible so we needed to way to drive more interest... and quickly!

It turns out GlassJar was holding an ace up their sleeve. They had been accepted into Y-Combinator - the world's most famous accelerator who had helped launch companies like Uber, Reddit and AirBnB.

It also turns out that a month from now wasn't just an arbitrary date, but their demo day where they were to pitch their app to an audience of highly influential people and share to the audience how much people loved their app... No pressure.

We decided to focus on Facebook advertising. Facebook is more affordable and is better for generating viral interest than Google Adwords.

Adwords is more for companies who want to solve a clear problem, for example an SEO company like us! If someone types in 'My SEO sucks, help!' we want to make sure we are the first to come up, ahead of our competition. On the other hand GlassJar was focusing on a more viral approach and for Google to have a positive return on investment, we needed to somehow get our cost per click (CPC) under $1 which is near impossible with the time constraint we were facing and also such a competitive market.

So we set up a highly targeted ad on Facebook aimed at people in San Francisco and managed to get a cost per click of just over $1.30 in the first week.

Interestingly enough the ad with the bad grammar ('funnest' instead of 'most fun') had the highest click through and conversion rate! Goes to show you don't always have to listen to your English teacher at school ;)

 

GlassJar Facebook Ad

Then we went a step further with Facebook and set up a re-targeting campaign. Re-targeting is where you place a pixel on your website so everyone who visits your website after that moment gets pixeled. Now we can set up an advertising campaign only for people who have visited your website.

We then created a cool ad that grabs the attention of website visitors that didn't download the app and ensure that they go back and finish the download!

The major benefits of re-targeting are;

  • It costs less to target someone who has been pixeled since you have hyper-niche focus
  • You get a higher conversion rate since the people you are targeting already know about the product or service
  • Higher chance of going viral since people who have visited your website are more likely to like and comment on the post which improves social proof.

 

GlassJar Facebook Ad 2

I'd definitely recommend setting up your pixel as soon as possible (and I'll be making a post about setting this up ASAP) as every person pixeled is an asset. You can now target them in the future for a lower cost and a higher conversion rate.

It will also help improve your overall marketing campaign as people who find your website through organic search or through other marketing efforts will also be pixeled and see your re-targeting ads on Facebook.

Get on it today.

So week two was all about getting the ball rolling, getting more website visits and getting the name out around town and again... another successful week!

And seriously Red Bull, sponsor us!

 

Week 3 - To Infinity and Beyond!

GlassJar is becoming the buzz around town, especially with their latest feature, card roulette - you can check out the video on their website here!

The re-marketing is going well costing only $0.60 cents a click, half the price of a normal ad!

With their video release of card roulette, we decided to venture into Facebook's video ads. 

The video ad is running at $0.20 cents a view which is awesome because the video ad is much more interactive than a standard text post with a picture.

People that click through on a video ad are near three times more likely to convert than from the standard advertisement.

 

Sponsored Post

The downloads are going strong and we seem to be on track! Fingers are secretly crossed but the team over at GlassJar don't know that. To them we look as cool as a cucumber.

And then it happened...

Well actually two things happened.

GlassJar got onto NZ Herald.

 

glassjar nzherald 

And Product Hunt!

 

GlassJar product hunt 

Leading to a crazy boost in sessions, almost breaking 4,000 in one day alone!

 

google analytics 

And this is exactly why we suggest you set up your Facebook Audience pixel as soon as possible. You never know when something like this this is going to happen and because we set it up at the start, we now have an audience of over 6,000 people in two days that are now aware of the product, have a higher chance of converting and will only cost us around $0.60 a click!

You can't get a higher return on your investment than that.

 

Week 4 - Google Play & Slow and Sustainable Growth

SEO is probably one of the most overused and misunderstood acronyms. Companies will blurt it out to impress you, others say it without actually knowing what it means and almost everyone doesn't know that SEO isn't just about Google, but about other search engines and other platforms.

Think about the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for a second. There is a reason why you see the apps you see.

The apps you see on the front page are the apps that have a winning combination of lots of downloads a day, great reviews, a track record of previous successful apps and a lot of in-app statistics such as high retention and return rate. This is another form of SEO and if you're in the app business, this is something you need to understand!

This week was all about getting their app more visibility on the Google Play Store.

 

GlassJar App Store 2 

First step - get some Google Plus shares! Since the Google Play Store is owned by Google (who would have guessed), they take G+ likes seriously. I went out and got a few people I knew over in America to download the app, give it a go and recommend it on Google!

 

GlassJar Google Play Store 

The next step was getting the app more reviews. I got the people who I asked to download the app to do me another favour (they're all probably sick of my constant messages) which was to go and write an honest review about the app.

With more downloads each day, some G+ likes and a lot of reviews, GlassJar is bound to see an improvement to their visibility on the Google Play Store!

Week 4 was also about winding down and setting up a sustainable campaign that they can use for months or years to come. The SEO we built at the start is one massive part of sustainable business and playing the long game where you might not get results in the first month, but you'll be reaping the rewards for years to come.

I will definitely have to admit that slow and sustainable growth is my favourite phrase in the whole wide world. Most companies try launch, go crazy spending their budget for the month on their first week of advertising and SEO and quickly fade into the nether because they didn't set up anything sustainable.

The Build A Business campaign was a massive success with the GlassJar team. We managed to get over 2,000 downloads for the month with an advertising budget of under $500 with a mixture of re-targeting, SEO and referrals. We also managed to spread their brand in a positive light, help them quickly market validate a few of their ideas and finally pixel over 6,000 people for future re-targeting campaigns!

I'd like to borrow MailChimp's famous high five to finish off the first Build A Business campaign!

 

High 5

Thanks GlassJar for a fun month and I hope everyone reading this gets a lot of value to add to their own business!

 

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About The Author

Steven Male is the director of INBOUND. With over 8 years of experience in inbound marketing and SEO, he has decided to focus the majority of his time helping New Zealand become more awesome. Oh, he also really likes mochas, helping companies realise their full potential, and writing about himself in third person.