4 Best Practices for Launching and Positioning Your App

Case Study: The Launch of Morton Subotnick’s Pitch Painter iPad App for Preschoolers

By Katja Schroeder, Expedition PR

Source: Pitch Painter http://bit.ly/1ev2PPc

Source: Pitch Painter http://bit.ly/1ev2PPc

Are you launching a new app in 2014? When developing your marketing strategy, take a look at what has worked, or has not worked that well for other app development companies. Expedition PR has worked on a variety of app launch and positioning programs. Based on our experience, we developed an integrated marketing play book for apps.

One of the apps we recently worked on is Morton Subotnick’s Pitch Painter, an educational app that teaches music composing to preschoolers. Using finger painting as a metaphor, children can compose, erase, edit, save or load their creations with Pitch Painter.

The agency executed an introduction and review program and later was brought in again for the release of the updated application, which featured an improved user interface design and button layout that is more intuitive for kids to create music. As a result, Pitch Painter received the ON for Learning Award from Common Sense Media. Pitch Painter was just one of 50 apps, games and websites that received the distinction from the national nonprofit dedicated to helping parents and teachers manage the media and technology in kids’ lives. Media coverage in the parenting, consumer and tech media included “Top 5 Apps for Kids” by Mashable and “New and Noteworthy Kids App” by Best Apps for Kids. Just Mommies included Pitch Painter among the “Top 10 Educational Apps for Kids”. Reviews appeared in CNET, Mobile Apps Review Online, Apps4iDevices, App Annie, App Shopper, Apps for Children with Special Needs, iPad Apps for Autism, Montessori at Home, Motherhood Moments, ByronMom, Peanut Butter and Whine, Digital Playground/School in Toronto, among others.

Continue reading


Fluent in Facebook, Basic Knowledge in Twitter: Student Entrepreneurs Diving Into Social Media Marketing

By Katja Schroeder, Expedition PR

According to the Kaufman Foundation, about 85% of all new jobs in the nation stem from entrepreneurial ventures. Companies like Google, Facebook, Reddit and FedEx proved that companies can successfully be started during college. Founding a company does not require a stint in the corporate world.  It can happen any time when you have the right idea. And, large corporations are also now looking for employees with an entrepreneurial spirit, to drive creativity and promote a “can-do” attitude. But an idea is not enough. Entrepreneurs, especially student entrepreneurs, need help with financing, operations, HR, and marketing.

Committed to assisting Brooklyn’s and New York City’s entrepreneurs, St. Francis College launched the SFC Center for Entrepreneurship. The center is providing classes, tools and academic research to support budding and existing entrepreneurs in the city. The first cohort of 18 students started this semester to learn the fundamentals of creating and running a business.

afkj-300x200I met the inaugural class of the Entrepreneurship Center last week to give a talk on how startups can use social media marketing.

At the beginning of each class, I typically survey what types of social media channels the students are familiar with. Millennials are the Facebook generation. 99%-100% of the students in my class are on Facebook to connect with their friends and family. They get their news on Facebook and YouTube, as opposed to newspapers. About 30-50% use Twitter and Instagram. Less than 5% are familiar with Pinterest and location-based applications like Foursquare. Even less students, about 1-2 in each class, use LinkedIn. No big bloggers or Yelpers, so far.

While budding student entrepreneurs have a great opportunity to apply their experience with using social media for their personal life to marketing their business, they asked the same question as any other entrepreneurs: How do I best use social media to engage with my customers? And, how do I start developing a good social media strategy?

Continue reading


The Summer of 2013: S’mores and Apps

By Katja Schroeder and Dennis Anderson. Published by ACM Computer in Entertainment on July 31, 2013

The dog days of summer have begun. Schools are closed. The annual summer reading list is taped on the fridge. For many kids, the summer is not just about spending time at the beach and enjoying s’mores at campfires; an increasing number of parents send their children to camps that offer some type of educational value, such as learning a new language or exploring science.  Bookstores are stocked with summer learning books that promise to prepare their children for the next grade.  A new generation of tech-savvy parents has discovered mobile apps and online software as a learning tool for their children.

In 2011, already more than a quarter of all parents had downloaded apps for their children to use, according to aCommon Sense Media study. The higher use of mobile devices has accelerated the adoption of educational apps at home since then.  The Pew Research Center estimates that tablet ownership among adults in the United States rose from 10 percent in December 2012 to 34 percent in June 2013—and 50 percent among parents with young children. About 60 percnet of children ages 8 to 11 use phone apps based on a study conducted by the research firm KidSay.

The appeal of downloading educational apps for kids is simple.  The gamified approach of apps engages kids to solve math problems and other tasks that they may not want to do.  They can collect virtual coins and rewards for solving a variety of challenges. Like adding vegetables to favorite dishes to make meals more nutritious, practicing math via apps becomes fun, and makes the use of mobile devices for kids more beneficial.

Here are the five most popular math apps for children available on iTunes, which can make the summer more enjoyable.

To read the full article, click here


The Art of Rallying the Crowd: How Creating an Online Community Helps Crowdfunding Campaigns Succeed

By Emily Kuo, Expedition PR

Crowdfunding has become an increasingly popular method to raise money, for businesses and individuals alike. According to a study by Massolution, in 2012 alone, crowdfunding raised about US $2.7 billion and funded more than a million projects across the world. This is nearly double the estimated US $1.48 billion that was raised in 2011. Crowdfunding campaigns are becoming more diverse as well, as we see more and more platforms developing across all four of Massolution’s categories of crowdfunding platforms (CFP): equity-based, lending-based, reward-based and donation-based. They’re not just used to fund non-profits and individual products, but also to start small businesses and improve existing ones.

At the same time, the use of social media has also been on the rise. According to a webinar hosted by Aaron Strout, there are more than a billion users on Facebook, 60% of whom log in daily and more than 80% of whom reside outside of the US. Twitter was the fastest growing social network in 2012 with more than 200 million users. 20% of adult internet users in the US are on Twitter. Linkedin has 2 new users sign up per second, and more than 200 million users in 200 different countries. As we move our social lives online, our other habits change as well. Social media isn’t just for keeping updated with friends anymore; we track our favorite TV shows, stores, restaurants, news and more.

Many crowdfunding campaigns have used social media to create a network of supporters of the project. Building this community of donors helps draw in the crowd and rally even more support. Not all campaigns succeed in raising enough money to get funded. Indiegogo saw that in 2012, 64% of campaigns had pitch videos, and of those, the ones with videos that were under 5 minutes were 25% more likely to succeed.  People stop watching pitch videos at 2:20 minutes, according to Emily Best, CEO and Founder of Seed & Spark and one of Indiewire’s 2013 Influencers for Independent Film. This means that any information past that is lost and exemplifies the importance of conciseness. Keep in mind that not all campaigns are able to raise the funds needed, but a consistent social media presence can make or break a successful campaign.

Read More


The Future of Learning Starts with a Click

By Dennis Anderson and Katja Schroeder

This article was published originally by Computers in Entertainment.

What is your goal for 2013?

Traditionally some of the top New Year’s resolutions include eating more healthy and working out more regularly. Sadly, “60% of gym memberships go unused and attendance is usually back to normal by mid-February,” according to Time Magazine.

Inching up towards the top of the annual New Year’s resolution list are more long-lasting endeavors, such as learning something new. The interests vary widely, from acquiring a new language, to playing musical instrument (have you played the ukulele yet?), cooking new dishes, or even mastering the skill of butchering.
Continue reading