How to Market Your App: Important Tips From the Leading App Developers in Kenya

Whether you develop an app on your own or hire the best App Developers in Kenya, its performance will largely depend on your marketing tactics. Be realistic from the start. Millions of apps exist around the world in app stores. If you narrow down your search to one category, you are likely to find hundreds or even thousands of other apps. Hence, you must be creative with your marketing strategy to increase downloads. We offer a few tips to anyone struggling to get new downloads

1. Conduct market research

Most people associate market research with physical products. You need the same for your app. If you have already launched your app, it is still not late to conduct the research. It could be the difference between success and failure after a large investment. Start where you are even if you may need to change almost all the features after.

The purpose of the research is to define your target users and their needs. Develop such a clear definition of the user’s persona to the extent that you can almost predict the next move. If your app is already in use, analyze the users’ habits including any complaints about its functionality.

For new developers, market research will help you develop a viable app idea. Real data helps you to determine if the investment is worth. Is there a need for such an app in the market? What are the gaps in the market? Does your idea fill any gaps or are you reinventing the wheel? Extensive research answers such questions.

2. Make your app useful

If your app is not solving a problem, you are likely to get a few or no downloads. While conducting your research, identify the target user’s pain point. The app does not have to be an extension of your website or online store. You can borrow a few functions but then create an app that solves more than one problem.

If users can only buy your products or services via the app, they are likely to uninstall it after purchase. Give them a reason to keep the app and open it daily. What tips or useful information can you share with the users? How else can they benefit from your app apart from learning about your company or brand?

3. Analyze your competition

We mentioned this at the start; app stores are flooded with millions of apps. However, that does not mean that the apps are solving all the problems in the world. App developers in Kenya are still creating new apps for the same population of mobile phone users. As you analyze your competitors, you will realize that even in a pool of apps, only a few are real competitors.

Check the features, functions, and reviews of leading apps. User feedback is also a good place to find the unmet needs in the market. You can narrow down your competitors to the top five for easy analysis. Find out why their apps are outperforming your app.

Analyze their marketing tactics and borrow some ideas that apply to your type of app. Check the pricing, pros and cons of their apps, and monetization strategies. You will certainly learn new ideas that will boost your downloads.

4. Create a unique brand message and style

At this point, you know the persona of your target users and understand your competition. The next step is to differentiate your app on the market. Create a unique branding message that will run in all your marketing campaigns. The message should state clearly the unique needs that your app meets. While we recommend that you analyze your competitors’ strategies, the idea is to learn and not copy everything the competitors do.

Look for a message that resonates with the users. It should be easy to remember to the extent that they recite it when your app is mentioned. Give a story of why the app was created instead of just stating its features. In addition, give the brand message a human voice. Customers connect with people and not automated voices.

Top app developers in Kenya recommend consistency in branding. Be specific with the colours, fonts, and design styles. We will discuss some marketing platforms in the next section. Your brand style must be consistent on all platforms. Users should associate an ad with your app with just one glance.

5. Use multiple marketing platforms

It is now time to make noise about your app. You have a unique branding message that every phone user must hear. For mobile apps, the best place to start is mobile ads. Your target users are likely to be browsing on their phones when downloading apps. Google ads are a good place to start. If you have a website, talk about the app as well.

You can create a microsite or mobile website for the app. You can also develop a full website or a dedicated landing page. Include a short video that displays the app features and functions. Teach visitors how to download, install, and use the app. Make the process appear seamless and most importantly useful.

Social media is another great advertising channel that you cannot afford to ignore. Start by sharing the same videos on your site to social platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. You need to brand your social media accounts or pages and spread the word about the app.

Guest posting is another way to reach more users. Prioritize news websites and other high-ranking websites or blogs. A link back to your site or a mention of your app will generate more views on app stores. Explore email marketing as well. Remind your subscribers to download and recommend your app to others. Look for ways to collect email addresses on all platforms and use them for advertising with the subscribers’ consent.

Our Final Thoughts

Marketing tactics cannot replace the need to offer a quality product or service. We have offered a guide to help you market your app. However, you must start with a good app for the tactics to give you results. A poor-designed app will frustrate your marketing efforts. Work with reliable app developers in Kenya to improve the design and functionality of your app before marketing it. If users have a great experience when using the app, they will recommend it to others.

 

The List is here! Top betting apps in Kenya (2020)

Betting apps in Kenya have remained popular despite the changes in government regulations.

The Kenyan government imposed a 20% tax rate on betting winnings but the gambling craze is still on.

Some companies have had to battle in court to maintain their licenses.

International betting companies dominate the betting world in Kenya.

The highest percentage of companies offers their services on websites and not betting apps.

A few have developed mobile apps to improve the experience for their users.

Mobile apps give players the same experience of a betting website with increased connectivity.

Some companies offer the option of betting via SMS or USSD code to save on data charges.

In this review, we focus on companies that have both a betting website and functional mobile app.

1. SportPesa

SportPesa is among the most popular betting apps in the Kenyan market. It was also among the first apps to hit the market.

The developers emphasize on the simplicity of following and placing bets on the app for the users.

In addition, the developers have been updating the app to optimise its performance.

The speed of placing bets on teams is important to users because it has an effect on their data usage.

Another top feature of the SportPesa app is the intuitive user interface. A large number of football fans have limited technical skills.

A simple and intuitive interface makes the app a favourite. The app is free to download and use.

Users enjoy a variety of sports to place bets on including tennis, football, and rugby among others.

2. 1XBET

The 1XBET betting company has a large international clientele of more than 400,000 site users.

Betting fans consider the stability of the betting company when choosing an app. 1XBET offers this guarantee, which partly explains its growing popularity in Kenya.

The app is available for both Android and iOS devices. The first deposit bonus of up to Ksh.10, 000 attracts many users.

The company has an excellent live betting platform and its jackpots are high.

Kenyans also use 1XBET because of the reliable customer services and high odds across all sports.

3. Betika

Betika has done a considerable good job of marketing the app across all online and offline platforms.

Many betting apps in Kenya emphasize on large initial bonuses. Betika attracts users with the betting amount.

Kenyan users can place a bet with as little as Ksh.49.

The app offers high odds as well across all sports and a great experience on both the app and website.

Kenyans run for the daily Betika bonuses and jackpot matches.

Similar to most betting apps, Betika offers instant deposits and withdrawals

Betika app is free and compatible with both Android and iOS platforms.

READ ALSO: Why are Instant Loans Popular in Kenya Despite Metropol CRB Listings?

4. Sportybet

The company offers a fast and light betting app to users. Users can complete the process of placing bets within 6MB.

Such a rate is affordable to many Kenyans given the declining data charges across all mobile carriers.

Another amazing feature of the betting app is instant notifications. Users know instantly when they win to cash out their returns.

Sportybet gives users the freedom to choose between full and partial cash out. Every bet has a return despite the outcome.

The app allows users to bet with any amount from Ksh.50 to Ksh.300. The Karibu bonus for placing an initial bet within that range is Ksh.1, 000.

The Sportybet is different from other betting apps in Kenya in that is allows users to bet on virtual games.

5. M-Bet

Kenyans have preferred international companies for a long time because of the risks involved in the game.

However, Kenyan companies such as M-Bet have managed to penetrate and gain a significant market share.

The company is fully incorporated according to the laws of Kenya for gaming sites.

M-Bet gives an easy experience to users and is available on all mobile networks in the country.

The company started by building its betting site before introducing its free apps to its users.

App users can bet on multiple sports and virtual games.

6. Mcheza

Developers have worked hard at making betting apps appealing to Kenyans.

The Mcheza app is among the apps that resonate with users right from its name to its unique features.

The company provides an option of using USSD code to register and place bets in case of internet disconnection.

Users can cash out their bets at any time during a live game or even before a game starts.

In addition, users can withdraw their bet via SMS at any time.

Mcheza offers virtuals sports in addition to other international sports such as rugby, football, basketball and tennis.

Similar to other betting apps in Kenya, the Mcheza app uses the Lipa na Mpesa payment option for deposits and withdrawals.

The app is available on the Android platform, which is the most popular mobile platform in Kenya.

Quick tips on how to choose a betting app

1. Privacy policy

Avoid betting companies without a privacy policy if you want to keep your personal data safe.

Remember that you will be required to give your personal details for registration.

You will also provide your mobile money account for deposits and withdrawals.

2. Betting odds

Go for betting apps in Kenya with high betting odds.

High odds help you to lower your risks of overspending on betting.

3. User interface

The best betting apps should have a simple and friendly interface.

Betting is a fun game. You do not need long manuals to learn how to use an app.

4. Customer service

Betting apps and sites sometimes develop issues, especially when you want to place a bet or withdraw.

If you have any issue with your account, the customer care staff should be available to resolve it fast.

Read other client’s reviews and test the customer service before betting huge on a new app.

5. Payment options

Mpesa and Airtel Money are widely accepted in Kenya.

Get an app that supports your preferred payment method for deposits and withdrawals.

6. Bonuses

Every player deserves a good bonus from the preferred betting company.

Check the bonus policy right from the initial bonus and other bonus products.

Watch out for companies with a high initial bonus but low earnings on other products.

7. Variety

Football is huge in Kenya but you need more than one sport.

What happens when a league ends? Do you stop winning?

Choose an app with a variety of games, especially your favourite games.

Final remarks

Choosing the best among the top betting apps in Kenya is now easy for you. However, you must play responsibly to enjoy the game. The list of apps will grow as more betting companies develop apps to enhance user experience.

Web Design in Kenya: Why is Your Website Traffic going Down?

One of the top reasons why you should invest in the best for web design in Kenya is to attract traffic to your website. The number of visitors affects your bottom line at the end of the year.

You may not admit it but you get worried every time you see a downward trend on Google Analytics. What is wrong? Where did all the visitors go?

Let us look at the top reasons why your website traffic may decline.

1. Outdated keywords

Keywords or key phrases drive traffic to your website. Internet users end up on your site if it appears among the top results for their search phrases.

When is the last time you updated your keyword strategy?

We understand the demands of building a business. You do not have all the time to follow up on the website after the web designers hand it over to you.

The common practice in many businesses is to search for keywords when developing a new website. The website owner will then write content based on the keywords.

As time goes by, you forget about the website especially if you have steady traffic at first.

The right keywords for any business will change over time as search trends change. For instance, internet users were concerned about the best web design in Kenya in the past.

Today, the users are more concerned about a responsive website design.

If your traffic has declined, it is time to review your keywords. Rewrite the content or write fresh content for the website based on those keywords.

Schedule keyword review in a way that you do not forget to keep your content updated.

2. Google Algorithm update

Many website owners are victims of algorithm updates from Google and Bing. Unfortunately, the search engines do not give any warnings.

The greatest concern for search engines is to give internet users the best experience possible. Remember that they are also in business.

Happy internet users mean higher returns and loyalty to a search engine.

When Google updates its algorithm, the ranking of your website will either improve or decline.

A decline in ranking means that fewer internet users see the website when search for your line of business. The result is low traffic.

Combine this with the wrong keyword strategy and your website will be invisible to your target audience.

You cannot do anything about algorithm updates. However, you can watch the trends in ranking websites and determine what you need to change on your website.

If an update pushes your website to the second or third page of results, use alternative ways to drive traffic as you fix your website.

Social media and email marketing are proven strategies that drive traffic to websites.

An alternative is to run Google Ads for the keywords that your business targets.

3. Security issues

Security is a big issue in online business. A small security issue will affect website traffic almost immediately.

The downside of it is that even after you fix the issues, some visitors will never come back.

You need to fix any security issues immediately.

Start by ensuring that your website is HTTPS and not HTTP. What is the difference you may ask?

HTTPS encrypts user data when transferring data. Hence, sensitive information like the user’s bank details is encrypted when using your website.

Internet users are aware of this difference. In addition, Google always notifies users when they visit a HTTP website.

For most internet users, such a notice means that they need to run or look for an alternative.

Some visitors may proceed after the notice just to get information but they will not purchase anything or provide any personal data.

When choosing a company for web design in Kenya, ensure that you purchase and activate a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate.

If the SSL certificate has an expiry date, update it before that date. Otherwise, you will lose traffic when Google starts indicating that your website is insecure.

READ ALSO: How to Keep Visitors Longer on Your Website

4. Slow speed

Nothing puts off internet users like slow speed. As long as they have fast internet, they expect your website to load in 3-4 seconds.

If your website takes longer than that, they will be clicking on the next best result.

Check the site speed regularly especially after uploading media like videos and images.

Delete unnecessary files and pages that slow down the website. In short, you cannot just develop a website and forget about it until you hear of a complaint.

Be proactive in checking for issues even when the traffic looks good.

Test it on different devices and different internet connections where possible. Remember that most of your visitors are likely to visit the site on their mobile devices.

All pages must be responsive and load fast.

5. A poor SEO strategy

Keywords are a large part of SEO but not everything. You need to update your SEO strategy as you update your keywords.

Your SEO strategy determines your ranking on search engines for specific keywords.

Having the right set of keywords is not enough. You need a good strategy to outdo your competitors in ranking for those keywords.

Follow the latest SEO trends and update your strategy accordingly.

If you have little knowledge and experience in SEO, consider outsourcing the service to experts.

SEO companies come in handy when you are in a highly competitive field.

Be careful with your SEO strategy when redesigning your website. Many companies lose traffic while trying to improve user experience.

6. Poor Server Performance

Everything we have talked about so far relates to issues you can fix internally. However, external issues like an unreliable server or hosting company will affect your website traffic.

If you pick the right provider for web design in Kenya, you will get a good recommendation for a hosting company.

A big mistake that website owners make is to go for the cheapest deal to save costs.

You may save money on a hosting service and then lose traffic when you need it most.

An expensive package, on the other hand, does not always mean a reliable server.

Check the experience of other website owners with a hosting company.

If you are using an unreliable hosting service, do not wait too long to make a move.

Make quick changes even with the other issues mentioned above. If you wait too long, your potential customers will have moved on to your competitors.

It is advisable to track the performance of your website daily to identify issues that need immediate attention.

Is the New WhatsApp Pay a Threat to Safaricom’s Mpesa?

When Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the new WhatsApp Payment Service, the world paid attention.

WhatsApp has 500 daily active users (DAU), which makes explains the interest in the new payment service.  Further statistics show that 2 billion people across 180 countries use WhatsApp every month.

Imagine the number of transactions Facebook is targeting with WhatsApp Pay. Most of the users are in emerging markets.

India has the largest number of users (200 million) followed by Brazil (120 million). Facebook intends to roll out the service in Brazil and then expand to other major markets including India, Mexico, and Indonesia.

How does WhatsApp Pay Work?

Facebook is exploring the simplest method of transferring cash to another WhatsApp user. In fact, the tagline for the service is “Send money on WhatsApp just like photos”

Users will need to link the service to their MasterCard or Visa debit or credit card.

Facebook rolled out WhatsApp Business to enable business owners to post their products and link to their e-commerce or online stores.

WhatsApp Pay comes in to complete the loop by allowing customers to pay for products directly from their WhatsApp account.

Imagine a scenario where you can shop and pay for products directly on WhatsApp without integrating any other payment method.

Further, WhatsApp Pay integrates seamlessly with all other social platforms that Facebook owns.  It will integrate with Instagram, Facebook, Facebook Shops, and Messenger.

Potential Performance in the Kenyan Market

WhatsApp is popular among the youth in Kenya despite the presence of other competitive social media platforms.

A survey in 2019 indicated the 87% of Kenyan youth between 16 and 45 years used WhatsApp daily.

Add the popularity of Facebook-owned social platforms and you will see the potential boom of WhatsApp Pay in Kenya.

Kenyans pay for goods and services in cash. Mobile payment services have been cashing in on the preference for cash payments.

A survey by Financial Sector Deepening in 2019 indicated that 90% of all transactions in Kenya were cash-based.

The big question is, can WhatsApp Pay outdo Mpesa?

WhatsApp Pay versus Mpesa

Look through the window and you will see an Mpesa signage or a shop painted green. In fact, our towns are saturated with Mpesa kiosks.

Airtel Money has been trying to match up the service but Kenyans have proved loyal to Mpesa despite the disparity in charges.

Even with occasional increases in charges, Mpesa is still growing within and across borders.

Mpesa transactions in Kenya are estimated at 40 Billion US Dollars every year.

Safaricom works tirelessly to expand the Mpesa network, which overtook its core business of telecom services.

In addition to expanding to other East African countries, Mpesa has partnered with banks and SACCOs to facilitate easy and quick bank transfers.

Other services that have strengthened Mpesa’s reach include Fuliza, KCB-Mpesa, and M-Shwari.

The reliance on users’ bank accounts is a major drawback for WhatsApp Pay in Kenya. Most of the major banks in the country have binding partnerships with Mpesa.

Hence, the integration with a competing payment service may suffer rejection.

Banks are known to be slow to adopt change, especially where their clients’ data security is involved.

Facebook has been trying since 2018 to introduce WhatsApp Pay in India with no success.  The regulators feel like the global giant is invading the emerging market.

The Kenyan banking sector is likely to respond in the same manner given the duration it took to integrate Mpesa to customer bank accounts.

Read Also: WhatsApp Has Introduced A Fingerprint Lock Feature

The opportunity for WhatsApp Pay

Despite the supremacy of Mpesa in the Kenyan market, the newbie payment service may still have an opportunity.

The e-commerce space has been expanding rapidly in the country. Business owners are doing everything possible to increase their online presence and business.

The Covid-19 crisis has increased the speed of adopting digital technologies in the Kenyan market.

Technology has proved a key element in reaching clients in a time when free movement across counties is restricted.

The banks may be reluctant to change but the young generation of customers is open to new digital solutions.

The popularity of loan apps in Kenya is a clear indication that the youth need an alternative way to access quick loans.

The push from entrepreneurs who see the opportunity on social media and WhatsApp Business may force banks to adopt WhatsApp Pay.

Facebook is likely to explore other ways of funds transfer other than relying on the user’s bank account. For instance, PayPal is still a reliable payment method.

Kenyans have also been exploring like Chipper Cash, which allows mobile money transfers across borders at no cost.

International banks might also step in and fill the gap that local banks create if they delay in integrating WhatsApp Pay.

In addition, should Facebook offer a better deal than Safaricom, banks will open up to the digital solution.

The Threat of Cloud-Based Solutions

Both Mpesa and WhatsApp Pay are currently SIM-card based. Users cannot register and transact without a valid SIM card.

With the rapid growth of fintech in our day, another giant can emerge with a cloud-based solution.

Millions of users may be open to a cloud-based money transfer that does not necessarily require them to own a SIM card.

Consider the large number of teenagers on social media that cannot legally own a SIM Card of bank accounts.

SIM cards also restrict some online businesses from maximising mobile payments. A cloud-based solution can easily expand as long as customers have a considerable guarantee of safety and reliability.

Final Thoughts

Safaricom is a local giant in both telecom services and mobile money transfers. However, in the global scene, the company has miles to go to become a force. Digital innovations will continue in the current business environment.

Many companies have realised how much they can do without many of their employees. The alternative is digital technology. The push to launch WhatsApp Pay is an indication of the direction that businesses are likely to take in the near future.

Kenyans are loyal to Mpesa and its 35 million-customer base is impressive. However, the younger generation may be open to new payment systems that integrate across all social media platforms. The technical strength and popularity of Facebook Inc cannot be overlooked as well.

Great News as the First African-Made Video Conferencing App is Launched in Kenya

Gumzo, which is the Swahili word for chatting is the name of the new video conferencing app.

The app comes to the rescue of many teachers and business owners who have been paying a high price on other foreign platforms.

After the Kenyan government closed all learning institutions due to Covid-19, many school administrators started exploring video conferencing.

The developers, Usiku Games were also hit by the pandemic. Some of their programmers had to work from home.

Innovation and creativity in the midst of a crisis

The effects of the pandemic have not spared mobile app developers in Kenya. However, the crisis has stirred up creativity as we are all now witnessing with the new app.

Schools needed to keep their students engaged and learning during the crisis.

The need is still there because of the rising cases of Covid-19 in the country.

Business owners need a solution to keep their remote workers engaged until it is safe to work from the office again.

The effects are worse for companies with many workers and limited office space.

Most people have been relying on Zoom and WhatsApp videos to communicate. Skype has always been a great tool for video conferences.

However, the greatest challenge is in hosting many people in one meeting for a long period.

Zoom offers free meetings at the beginning and then charges for subsequent meetings depending on the duration.

It is expensive for companies and learning institutions that require video conferences daily.

Google also jumped into the trend and allowed Gmail account owners to host meetings.

In short, every developer saw the opportunity in the sudden call for employees to work from home.

The prediction is that the trend is likely to continue in the future. Employees may prefer to continue working from home after it has proved effective.

Many entrepreneurs did not know they could run their businesses from home until the crisis started.

With a reliable delivery service or app, many businesses can run well with fewer employees working from the office.

Accessibility and Affordability

The difference that Gumzo makes is in pricing and accessibility. Zoom ranks at the top of video conferencing tools.

Gumzo Video Conferencing apps

The video conferencing app is free to host up to 100 participants for a maximum of 40 minutes.

Users can host as many meetings as necessary but within the time limit. One to one meetings are unlimited.

The Pro subscription is priced at $14.99 per month. It is limited to 100 participants but allows a meeting duration of 24 hours.

Gumzo is offering a video conferencing service at $1 per week. It simply does not get better than that!

Joining the service is free but you need to pay if you want to host meetings.

This means if the business owners or teacher can pay the $1 per week, the rest will join in the meetings and learn or build the business at no cost.

Another amazing feature that Usiku Games included in the app is the compatibility with all smartphones.

Many Africans still have older versions of smartphones with limited memory.

Gumzo is web-based, which means that it is accessible on all mobile devices including tablets and PCs.

Some businesses still use desktops to manage their operations.

The video conferencing app gives them the same opportunity as those equipped with laptops and tablets to hold video conferences at a cheap rate.

Related: 7 Remote Working Tools That Every Virtual Team Needs

Need for Speed in innovation

The coronavirus has been in Africa for about 3 months now. It has disrupted business and learning in the most affected countries.

Kenya is among the countries whose business landscape was thoroughly disrupted by curfews and quarantines in major cities.

The number of new cases may be rising but judging from other countries, the wave of Covid-19 will soon be over.

It may take several weeks or months for some sectors to open up but the return to normalcy is soon coming.

One of the greatest lessons for mobile app developers and programmers in Kenya has been innovation in times of crisis.

A good idea is never enough. You need an equally good execution strategy.

In times of a crisis, you need speed as well.

Usiku Games are known for video games. However, the developers saw the need for an affordable tool to simplify remote working and online learning.

The programmers came up with the app within 8 weeks.

Such a fast development process is impressive but necessary when taking advantage of a passing opportunity.

Covid-19 will pass and may never be an issue after the medical practitioners come up with vaccines.

The question is, have you learnt how to adapt and identify opportunities in a crisis?

Innovation across the globe

When the crisis began in China and other Asian countries, developers started coding apps that would trace Covid-19 patients’ whereabouts.

In short, you could tell with an app how far you are from the location of a confirmed Covid-19 case.

The apps were working until countries went into partial and total lockdowns to flatten the curve of the pandemic.

Even with such measures, innovation was still necessary. The World Health Organization has recently released two Covid-19 apps.

WHO COVID 19 App

WHO Academy App provides health workers across the globe with all the information they need when handling Covid-19 patients.

Many deaths were reported from the frontline workers and WHO responded with an app.

WHO Info App provides the public with accurate information and statistics about the pandemic.

We have also witnessed innovation in the field of logistics. Delivery app owners have had to scale up their services and operations to meet the growing demand.

E-commerce apps like Jumia have also increased their product range to include essential items like groceries.

Businesses that previously relied on human resources are exploring technologies such as apps, digital marketing, and e-commerce platforms to build and maintain customer relationships.

Concluding remarks

The Covid-19 crisis has been a perfect opportunity for all programmers and mobile app developers in Kenya to innovate. Gumzo is enough proof that African developers have the skills necessary to build competitive products.

While you think of innovation, think about the global competitiveness of your solution. The crisis has hit all nations and hence solutions are needed in every country.