Drive app installs with Snapchat influencers

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In 2018, Snapchat is considered one of the “fairest” social networks. Working as a live-video-streaming channel, it attracts especially young users who are looking for real, trustworthy content.

Due to a very specific format (short videos only available for watching for a rather short timespan), Snapchat stays pretty unsaturated by brands. At the same time, this network has a strong influencers community, powerful native tools for advertising, and a uniquely engaged audience. All in all, Snapchat influencer marketing is a perfect tool for young app-based companies to promote.
snapchat influencers

Learn to know Snapchat audience

The main tool of Snapchat is the frontal camera of a smartphone. Most of the content are the “talking-head” videos — people telling their real-life stories or showing stuff happening to them. Because of this format, Snapchat is a very personal platform where influencers have a lot of… well, influence.

The users of Snapchat are often the people you won’t so easily find on any other social media platform. If you want to target a marketing campaign for young people and drive app installs specifically from them, Snapchat is the ultimate solution.
mobile app promotion
There are three ways of using Snapchat for your mobile app promotion.

  • Snapchat account. Broadcast company’s snaps. Snapchat stories — in case they’ll be entertaining enough and are posted regularly — can help you build a customer community and this way to drive more app installs.
  • Snapchat native tools for ads. Having a company account on Snapchat, you can launch campaigns in order to increase customer engagement. Encouraging people to share their experience with your app is a good way to show potential users how good it really is. Run contests, give promo-codes, connect Snapchat campaigns to real-life campaigns — and the app will get more app installs.
  • Working with Snapchat influencers. Being really experienced community runners, Snapchat influencers can add some context to your app install campaigns. These Snapchatters know exactly what their fans do fancy, and are able to create cool entertaining snaps for your brand right away.

The first two options are inevitable. The third one is definitely worth your attention, especially if company’s target audience is young people.

Arrange working with Snapchat influencers

An average price for Snapchat influencer post is about $40 per 1,000 views. The costs are normally dependent on the number of active views per video per day. Since February 2018, Snapchat influencers have access to their statistics on unique viewers, total time watching, audience demographics — the data you will need to launch and analyze the campaign.

Step 1. Conduct a research on the target audience

Influencers usually work with specific themes: films, fandoms, cooking, pets, you name it. You need to find the influencers who work with themes that matter the most to your potential clients.

Step 2. Plan the campaign

After having found ideal influencers who are matching the company’s interests and views and contacting them, plan a campaign. Set a couple of SMART-goals for the campaign, define the key performance indicators you will work with.

It is a good thing to launch same campaigns with several Snapchat influencers at a time. This helps learning more about your customers, compare different styles and approaches and to create benchmarks for future campaigns.

Step 3. Plan the content well

To be able to use Snapchat influencer marketing to its full power, take care of a fitting format and context. Whatever the commercial will be, it has to snatch the attention of the mainly young audience, ready to swipe further if the content is not matching their expectations.

Solution: on Snapchat, strive for something called “advertainment”, something that sells and entertains at the same time. Give the influencers the freedom to wrap your broadly mapped out content plan into something appealing to their followers — this is the best practice.

Be aware: Snapchat content doesn’t necessarily require extremely professional content. “Real life” videos without too much “makeup” are proven to work better for brands because they look more honest and genuine.

Step 4. Provide clear instructions

An essential part of a successful app install campaign is giving users really clear and easy way to download and start using the app. There absolutely should be:

  • Visual demonstration of the app’s value proposition.
  • Demonstration of some particular handy functions of the app.
  • A strong call-to-action proving the value of downloading the app to the user. It works well to show the call-to-action during the whole snap, not just in the end.
  • Precise instructions of “Swipe to download”.

The thing is while working with millennials — and Snapchat is the ultimate source of millennial clients for your business — you have to make every action as smooth and quick as possible to a potential customer. Instructions and links are important for that.
advertise your app

Wrapping up…

Snapchat is a perfect source of young customers for your app. The format of this social media platform provides that the audience of it is engaged and loyal. Making the snaps from your company account and using Snapchat Ads is one way to advertise your app with Snapchat.

Working with Snapchat influencers is another smart thing to do. Searching for right influencers to represent you and planning measurable goals for app install campaigns are the key-factors of success. Do not miss out one of the hottest mobile app promotion tools in the market and start using Snapchat now it’s hot

Mobile user acquisition for apps explained: increase app installs and not lose your mind

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Increasing app installs is something every app owner strives for. Understanding how mobile app lead generation functions is a key to get this done.

69% apps are discovered and downloaded through Search tab. Accordingly, app store optimization (involving text and creatives optimization) is crucial for apps to increase installs.

Yet app store optimization is not the only thing one can do to increase app installs. Increase in app installs is usually a result of whole system of mobile user acquisition activities working harmoniously for an impressive result. We’re going to see what are the necessary elements of a mobile app acquisition system.

Traffic sources for mobile app user acquisition

how to promote an app
Universal App campaigns by Google Ads. An integrative tool powered by Google is extremely cool for optimizing mobile app promotion campaigns and maximize their effect on all Google-powered platforms (Google Search, Google Play, YouTube, Google Display Network). On Universal App campaigns, you set textual and visual assets appealing to your potential clients, place your bid, and the rest will be automatically optimized so that users could find the app Nice bonus: you get all the analytics of the ad campaigns and, accordingly, know exactly how much the app installs are growing since you use this lead generation marketing tool.

Search Ads by Apple. Similar to Google, Apple is providing the ads placement service for mobile app marketing campaigns. The platform is integrated with App Store Ads. In order to optimize your Search Ads campaign to a relevant app event (install, sign up, etc.) you will need to use a third-party service like AppsFlyer or Search Ads HQ. With Search Ads, you are able to set the preferable budget, optimize the keywords and prioritize them based on the real App Store data. Just as any other Apple product, Search Ads is a closed ecosystem: it does a lot of things, but nobody gets a glimpse of how it’s done. By now, Search Ads is only available for Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland, UK, USA, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Spain, and Mexico. Its outreach is growing gradually.

Facebook Ads. With tools such as Custom audience and Lookalike audience, Facebook Ads makes it possible to advertise your booking app to potentially interested people. Accordingly, it’s a great source of new customers. A huge plus of Facebook Ads is that you can start working with it on any budget and then scale. Facebook Analytics is there to track the results of the marketing campaigns You can use any relevant app event (install, sign up, booking etc.) as an optimization goal.

Website search engines optimization (SEO). Optimizing your website content for search engines (say Google or Yahoo) is a good way to gain more app installs. Creating useful content is a part of it: the more exciting content you create, the more engaged your clients will be.

Social media channels presence (Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and whatever else popular in your region). Social media company accounts help to form a loyal customer community, that’s one. But they can also be a source of user acquisition for a relatively low price if you collaborate with the influencers, place ads and links for people to download the app in one tap

Video networks. Youtube, Vimeo, et cetera have a huge potential for app advertising. First of all, video is a hot content type in 2018. Next, it helps your SEO. What’s more, it can get viral — despite it’s really hard to get that far, getting viral can give a real boost to the app conversions. Plus, any video channel has a possibility for paid advertisements.

Mobile networks. Advertising within other apps is one of the cheapest ways to get more installs. The only problem here is that users are not targeted as precisely as with Facebook Ads, for example.

Partnerships for cross-platform promotion. Guest blogging, press releases, comments on forums, customer reviews, partnerships with other businesses. These are the ways to drive more app installs. Especially if you make sure these partnerships are with the companies relevant for your potential customers.

Referral programs. It is a fully-automated marketing engine that encourages existing customers to promote services to potentially interested new users. Your clients become referral holders: they recommend your services to people they know, and those can recommend it further. Result: downloads boost.

Offline promotion. Giveaways, printed materials, branded fleet, guerilla marketing — surprisingly enough, these can bring a plenty of app installs. Make sure you track the exact source of offline promotion. You can do so using promo-codes. This is needed in order to know which lead generation channels do bring the highest ROI.

***
Seems a lot of work? Well, no sweet without sweat: if you’re still hoping to own a successful mobility app without marketing activities, better reconsider the whole idea.

(English) The main reason taxi companies fail to exist (spoiler: bad marketing)

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In the last couple of years, the number of app-based taxi companies is subsequently growing. Yet not all young companies manage to be a success. Why so?

The answer is rather surprising: buttoning up one’s pockets when it comes to marketing drags new businesses down. While everyone wants to know why is Uber so successful, very few are ready to market their services in the same clever way as Uber did. Crazy, right?

Taxi market is rather saturated in 2018, especially when you think of all the on-demand companies emerging. The presence of the market giants such as Uber and Lyft and a high competition level in the branch makes marketing a necessity for every young taxi company.

Besides, more and more consumer behaviour researches state that the new generation of buyers only buy from the brands they trust. Guess what? The level of trust is resulting from how the brand communicates, and this is about marketing.
importance of marketing in business
Turns out, companies ignoring marketing are doomed in the long-run. As a matter of fact, they are often unable to make ends meet after the first 18 months operating. No marketing and poor marketing are on the top list of the most wanted business killers.

At TaxiStartup, we care about our customers’ success. A beautiful technological solution is just a part of it. The real key to success is good marketing.

How bad marketing can influence a taxi business?

First of all, it is marketing that attracts clients to your business. Accordingly, without a good marketing plan, there’s no need for hiring drivers or growing your fleet. Lack of marketing activities makes businesses piteous no-names doomed to vanish in disgrace. Bad marketing, whether done consciously or unconsciously, equals to a very disadvantageous business decision. Marketing investments are investments in the company future.

Bad marketing comes in all shapes and forms. An old ugly logo or app icon, a dying Instagram account, a poorly planned social media influencer campaign, lack of app store optimization for your white label taxi app, you name it. All so easy to happen to anyone, all very dangerous for your brand image and customer acquisition.
why is uber so successful

Why bad marketing happens?

Poor marketing can happen for many reasons. Very often it’s simply because companies think they have enough more urgent challenges and marketing needs can be addressed later. Another reason for bad marketing strategy is the aimlessness of the marketing activities.

The first reason can be traced back to a short-sighted decision making. The second one is probably even more dangerous and usually demonstrates company having low interest in researching the target audience, planning a budget, and adapting to the market needs. And this is the highway to… well, to nowhere.

Marketing activities with no clear objectives, no clear target and no brand language are killing young taxi businesses. Uber (or any other giant company) is celebrating their success because they do know exactly what they’re doing: they target, brand, plan and measure.

No taxi marketing at all

Small and starting businesses tend to see marketing expenses as something luxurious they won’t really need at the early stages. There are many other things to do, and everything requires investments. Marketing budget becomes residual.

Consciously choosing to launch the services with a non-branded app is another poor decision taxi companies make. The logic behind it is clear: trying to save money on launch and invest in branding later. Unfortunately, it’s a wrong assumption, because launching with no brand hurts company recognizability and consequently holds taxi businesses back from promoting their apps.
why is uber so successful
At the later stages, total panic breaks out when it becomes clear the revenue is not growing as well as it was planned. Unfortunately, panic is not your friend when it comes to developing a meaningful strategy, and this is why panic-driven marketing cannot be productive by definition.
taxi marketing
What are the good practices then, if you wish to avoid these widely-made mistakes?

  • Have a marketing plan based on research already before launch.
  • Plan a budget for essential marketing activities.
  • Allow professionals to do the branding, at least for the most visible solutions such as the booking app and website.

“Doing random stuff” taxi marketing strategy

Recognizing how important marketing is for a business is the basics. Data-based planning of the marketing activities is the next step. You’d be surprised to know how many companies just do things and make decisions without any research whatsoever. What exactly does go wrong?

  • Targeting fails. Relying on a guess is not a good way to figure out who your clients are and what they need.
  • Thought-through strategy adjustments become impossible. When instead of analysis one is driven by feelings in their decision making, results are predictably unimpressive.
  • Investing in marketing activities becomes a “spray-and-pray” job. Instead of focusing on the channels that work, one goes on investing a little here and a little there. Frankly speaking, it’s a waste of money.

Here’s the thing: only research at all stages will allow you defining which marketing expenses are really necessary and which can be easily eliminated.

Successful taxi marketing strategy requires a lot of analytical activities carried out — it’s the only way to ensure there will be returns on your marketing investments. Do not believe anyone telling they can do the marketing in a couple of days, without a thorough research, at a low price.

Get your marketing strategy straight

Getting right to the point, researching plus creating a thought out strategy is the only recipe for good marketing. The “random marketing” approach is what makes taxi companies spend money on the nonsense that fails to deliver.
To start shaping a waterproof marketing strategy, use this checklist.

  • Start with mapping out all the marketing activities needed for your business growth.
  • Consider the market specifics and the characteristics of your target audience — this is needed to forecast realistic ROI.
  • Estimate marketing budget.
  • Hire professionals (preferably local) to carry out the plan. Working with a marketing agency helps to cut the costs and spare precious time.
  • Measure and analyse the results of the marketing activities (set KPIs and stick to them).
  • Adjust your marketing strategy based on the analytical data.

Of course, it’s much better to think of this all before the launch. The sooner a company integrates proper planning, researching and measuring, the greater the profit will be. But don’t worry: in case some bad marketing has already happened to your business, there are still chances for salvation. Just stop focusing on finding out why is Uber so successful and work out your own marketing strategy to take over the market

Ready for your own taxi business? Sign up for a trial version right now.

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Use Facebook Analytics and increase your app downloads

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Facebook Analytics (also known as software development kit, SDK), is a solution for iOS- and Android-based mobile apps, powered by Facebook itself. The magic of it is that it helps tracking your business development, allows increasing app downloads, staying relevant for your customers and attracting new ones. Facebook Analytics is a free tool, and it is already integrated into your white label solution powered by TaxiStartup.

What is Facebook Analytics for apps?

In 2018, Facebook retains the position of the most actively used social media platform. 1.65 billion people all over the world spend time on Facebook every month. Facebook Analytics was designed in order to help companies see how their customers interact with apps, websites, social media commercials, and chatbots. The tool measures the performance of your apps and makes the analysis of all the relevant data really easy.
facebook data analytics
App users do not have to sign in via Facebook or even to have a Facebook account at all! Facebook Analytics collects all data, and you get it in an aggregated form via the Analytics. Facebook Analytics turns out to be a bonanza for app-based companies eager to understand their target audience better!

Knowing exactly who your clients are and what they (potentially) like is a key to good marketing strategy and a business success. In fact, gathering and aggregating this data can be done in various ways. Facebook Analytics is a very reliable one among them.
mobile app analytics

The Facebook Analytics metrics for perfect mobile app analytics

Facebook SDK is integrated into every TaxiStartup powered branded solution. At the very moment the app goes live, Facebook starts gathering all the relevant data. You navigate through the metrics of Facebook Analytics using the menu on the left side of the dashboard.

“Events” tab shows the particular things users do within your app.
mobile app analytics

You can keep track of the following event types:

  • App install — user installs the app;
  • App launch — user opens the app;
  • Sign up for the app — user gets registered in the app;
  • Booking confirmed — user books the services;
  • Order cancelled — user cancels an order;
  • Trip paid — user proceeds a payment for an order;
  • Card added — user ties up a credit card to their account.

App installs and app launches are key performance indicators for developing a strategy to increase the app downloads, while other app events are necessary to track in order to get a full picture of how the business is developing. Thanks to the Facebook events analytics, you can find out what kind of audience have previously used your app but never came back to it in the last. You can try and win these users back. You can target your referral programs at those who are the most likely to refer your services to other people (users with high order rated percentage).

The “People” tab provides a plenty of information about the apps users (their demographic characteristics, devices they use, the pages they like). But even more important: thanks to this tab one can create Custom Audiences on Facebook Ads to advertise an app to! Custom Audience is a group of people who already know about your services, thus they are the most likely to start using the app. The “People” data from Facebook Analytics can be easily transferred to the Ads Manager so that targeting ads at a certain group of people becomes really a piece of cake.
mobile app analytics

Custom Audience allows creating a Lookalike Audience. Lookalike audiences on Ads are lists of people Facebook makes after analysing who the existing users of your app are. The interests, behavior and demographic characteristics of a Lookalike Audience are resembling to those of your active users, thus these people are very likely to join the brand community.

“Overview” and “Insights” tabs show ready-made tends of what’s recently happening with the audience, which groups of clients need extra attention. “Active users” data shows how many new people came to use your app and if they’re staying with the company long enough to ensure the business growth. The tab also aggregates a lot of information about the existing users: the exact data on their activities, sessions length, age, gender is stored in this tab. This knowledge can be used to analyze who your (potential) target audience is and to plan more marketing activities even if you do not use Facebook Ads.

“People” and “Breakdowns” tabs have a plenty of useful data for those planning to start partnering with other companies. Understanding what the customers care about is the key here.

Analyzing the effects of marketing campaigns becomes easier with “Percentiles” data. It demonstrates the exact number of users who have launched the app a certain number of times (or have committed some other app event). Because you can segment the “Percentiles” data, it’s really easy to see how particular groups of users respond to your marketing activities. You can also use the “Retention” tab data to see whether the campaign succeed to turn this segment into loyal customers if you’ve targeted a marketing campaign at some segment of your audience.

Wrapping up, here are the activities where Facebook Analytics data is extremely useful:

  • Targeting and tuning Facebook Ads.
  • Defining and reaching a relevant target audience.
  • Developing promotion campaigns tasty for the app users.
  • Analyzing the promotion campaigns impact.
  • Finding businesses to partner with.

Working with Facebook Analytics statistics will give your business the boost it needs

What to do to maintain user activity after launch

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Your app going live is just the beginning of a fascinating journey into the mobile world. After the business is rolling on the right foot, it’s time to work on a strategy to maintain the activity and expand the customer community. Long story short, your company should develop a fact-based engagement and re-engagement plan. Fact-based, because ideally, all the decision-making needs to rely on the analytics.

Know what you’re measuring

Some companies tend to gather and analyse literally all data, while others prefer to throw things at the wall and see what sticks.
how to promote an app

None of these approaches is clever. You have to know exactly what to measure, otherwise, you’ll sink in useless numbers. The lesson here is: know your key performance indicators for every marketing activity you begin.

The revenue is an important indicator of how well the app is doing. However, it is good to learn what exactly is attracting people and elaborate these features. If users are leaving, finding out at what point people do not come back to the app anymore is a must. Our inbuilt company analytics, Facebook analytics integration and App Store Connect analytics are giving you a plenty of useful KPIs, such as:

  • Number of active users per period;
  • Reasons for orders cancellation;
  • User retention rate;
  • User lifetime value;
  • Referral campaigns engagement, costs and results.

And many more. Concentrate on the metrics that matter at this very stage of the business development and think of the long-term success in the first place.

Never forget to update

Your customers love to know the app is constantly becoming better for them. Not only users tend to delete apps that are never updated, the lack of new releases causes poorer Store distribution results. Plus, new updates give you a possibility to talk to the community and learn what they think.

Go on with customer support

If you’re striving for a real meaningful relationship with the customers, it’s important to be always there for them. Even when they complain, whine and behave ugly. Apple App Store doesn’t allow to answer the users, but on Google Play it’s possible, so do it. A nice, concerned respond can also happen via emails, phone and support line. Take care to personalize your feedback management. As Mark Zuckerberg says, people hate to receive not-targeted messages.
how to promote an app

Avoid being too pushy

SMS-marketing are a great tool to communicate with the customers.
how to promote an app

However, there’s a thin line between being informative and being annoying. All the notifications should be scheduled and planned so that they won’t irritate people. Here, too, take care of enough personalization and target your messages well.

As you see, taxi marketing plan requires a lot of data-driven planning (what a surprise, right?) and creating a unique strategy to let your brand stand strong in the market. Now, do you feel empowered and inspired? We hope so! Do not hesitate to ask any questions

Ready for your own taxi business? Sign up for a trial version right now.

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Release 0.20.1 Heat Wave

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Our Release 0.20 is here! It comes with all the new features giving you the business advantages you were dreaming of😼

Apps now look awesome on iPhone X

We’ve thought, why not? And then our iOS developers have made iPhone X UI-support for both Driver and Passenger apps. Enjoy it, iOS crowd!
titov_release
Polupanov_release

taxi dispatch system taxi dispatch system

New Dispatch panel features

Complete GPS tracks for orders

Back in the days, we were only able to show order tracks drawn by Google maps. Since today, it’s possible to track a trip as it really is — next to the “ideal” GPS track! Every tiny moment the exact location of a driver is marked on the map. This way we provide you with more control over driver efficiency: because it’s crucial for your business👀
taxi dispatch system

Drivers nearby on the map when creating an order

Optimize the workflow for your dispatchers is our top priority. From now on, all the available drivers of a chosen service type near a pickup location are shown on the map. Less time spent on figuring out which driver will be the best match for an order. Plus, if you click the driver’s pin, the driver’s details will be filled in automatically. Yes, we love to save your time!
taxi dispatch system

Updated pins in Booking history

Now a dispatch operator can view two types of drop-off pins for Cancelled orders: one of the driver (where the driver has finished the trip) and one of the passenger (where the passenger has finished the trip). Analysing these drop-offs will help you to improve the quality of services.
taxi dispatch system

New Search orders options

Namely, now one can search for an order by driver’s phone and board number in the Dispatch, next to searching by an order ID and passenger’s data. One-click access to all orders processed by a driver — it’s basically a visualisation of a driver’s performance💪
taxi dispatch system

Coupon discount visible in Trip summary

Now dispatchers are able to view how much of a completed order was paid with a coupon. It’s now visible why the end price can differ from the amount of money paid by a customer.
taxi dispatch system

New preorders type

We’ve got two types of statuses for preorders: those sent out to drivers instantly, and those sent out in two hours before the trip. Now dispatch operators know exactly why some orders are not assigned immediately.
taxi dispatch system

Facebook SDK

For those keen on keeping track of their business development, we’ve enriched our Facebook SDK integration with new event types. Before Release 20.0, you were able to track

  • App install — user installs the app;
  • App launch — user opens the app.

Now, you can also track other important events:

  • Sign up for the app — user gets registered in the app;
  • Booking confirmed — user books the services;
  • Order cancelled — user cancels an order;
  • Trip paid — user proceeds a payment for an order;
  • Card added — user ties up a credit card to their account.

Do you use Facebook Analytics already? Believe us, you should. Keeping track of the app events helps to evaluate the business growth, allows staying relevant for the customers and attracting new audiences.
taxi dispatch system
white label mobile app

Company panel

Minimum driver balance option

From now on, you can set a minimum driver balance amount for taking jobs. The drivers who didn’t manage to top up their balance in time won’t be disconnected immediately. They will be still able to take jobs — until they reach the negative limit you’ve set. No more problem with too many disconnected drivers!

You can switch this feature off if there’s no need in it🙌
white label mobile app

Custom “Any nearest driver” service type option

Ever had a problem with dispatchers always automatically clicking “Any nearest driver” — and clients who were not happy with a service type they’ve got? Now you can hide this button and oblige the dispatchers to choose the service type requested. Set up in just two clicks in Operator settings in your Company panel.
white label mobile app
white label mobile app

New Google Maps looks in all apps

Google was begging us to implement their new Maps design in our apps. We’ve said, “Okay, Google”. Now the maps look much, much better.

Working with images quicker and better

As sometimes all our apps need to take pictures, now it’s possible to work with them without leaving the app. If a driver or a passenger need to crop an image, it can be done quicker than finding ✂️ on emoji-keyboard!

Driver app gets some new features…

Tips and extras visible in Job details

After a job is finished, the total bill is detailed. Just good to know such things!
white label mobile app

Disabling expired credit cards

If driver’s credit card is expired, it’s hidden in the account. We’re planning to make this feature more stunning in the next release.

… And Passenger app stays fabulous

Like, this level of fabulous:
taxi dispatch system

Final status of the trip in Recent orders

Now the passengers will see the amount of the trips finished, paid or cancelled — and the prices paid.
white label mobile app

Coupon discount shown for Future and Recent orders

Now passengers can know exactly what the coupon discount was. It’s not mind-blowing, but always good for budget overviews.

Vehicle color visible to passengers

We’ve hired a new designer. He’s an awesome, brilliant guy and he loves to fire great ideas right away. So he’s made it possible for passengers to see the real color of the vehicle for both Future orders and Recent orders. And he’s planning to do much more!
white label mobile app

And more!

  • The possibility of cashless payments is important for any business, big or growing. With this release, we’ve got our clients covered in Belarus. Bepaid is there🎉
  • We’ve fixed numbers in Arabic localization.
  • Now the apps are working in Ukrainian, Urdu, and Serbian
  • We’ve improved default colors for service types in Dispatch and Company panel.
  • We’ve highlighted selected tab in Dispatch. Yep, our new designer is young and furious!

Do you want to start your own taxi business? Sign up for a trial version right now.

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What to do while launching?

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The biggest challenge of your launch is getting enough drivers and enough passengers at the same time. So the success of the whole operation will depend on two things:

  • How many interested customers you’ll attract to become passengers;
  • How many drivers will go online and accept jobs at the launch day.

Now let’s begin with the drivers.

Inspire drivers to do their best

Given that the company has done its best to get a lot of chauffeurs interested, the question is: how to motivate them to be online and go for all the job offers they get? The very first step you may take is introducing a “registration fee” to weed out people who just apply and never really ride.

Our client in Saudi Arabia, Kaiian, has solved this by providing better tariffs than the competitors do. In many communities, positive word of mouth will ensure everybody’s knowing how profitable working with this new company is.

app launch
Another clever move was giving new drivers a free trial period. It brings no incomes to the company, but it brings passengers — and the possibility to analyze and polish possible driver plans. Our Sudanese client, Tirhal taxi, has quickly figured out that a flat rate did not work for them, so they had to switch to pay drivers an order percentage. As a result, the company was able to introduce the “Drivers Leaderboard”, showing average monthly wages of the drivers who ride regularly and well and motivating other drivers to do their best.

It is also possible to stimulate new drivers to take their work seriously by paying them higher rate for every trip at the first stages.

Get as many passengers as possible

Now imagine: a thousand drivers online and crazily eager to work. What do they need? Passengers! The obvious source for attracting passengers is advertising. The only problem with it: it probably won’t get you 1,000 loyal clients per day who’d recommend the service to their friends and family. What to do?

A fundamental step is getting your ASO straight so that by the launch people will already know your app and get to see it on top of the Store distribution list. The more traffic your app will attract, the better for the launch. Next to reading our how-to ASO courses, you can also request extra-packs we’ve created for ASO (you can address your account manager for ASO assistance) and Search Ads. If your marketing budget is pretty limited, it’s generally better to invest in ASO than in the promotion of your website: this way you’ll attract traffic directly to the apps.

One more extremely cost-effective method to draw more clients is to distribute referral coupons at some fancy event. 1,000 coupons handed out = 1,000 “warm” potential passengers, who’re immediately encouraged to advice your services to someone they know because it’ll give them a discount.
how to promote an app
That’s why collaborating with local events is such a great promotion tool to use during your app’s launch. The most exciting: it even works if you just stand there at the event, not pitching or anything. Big fleet of branded cars: it’s always impressive!

Referrals not only work ideally with events, there’s always a possibility to partner with restaurants, airports, hotels and more. It’s clever to create separate referral programs for each partner you work with to monitor which collaborations are the most successful.

Another great thing about partnerships with events is that it can bring the company in contact with early-adopters, people the most likely to actively use new services and products. These individuals are often influencers, opinion-makers in their field. And guess what? Influencer marketing is all hot!

taxi marketing
Okay, Google, what’s influencer marketing? It is promoting services and goods via personal blogs and social media pages. People trust social media influencers because their advice feels natural, personal and trustworthy, as that of a person you know for years. One more plus is that influencer marketing allows targeting the audience extra-precisely. Do not hesitate to reach out to the influencers who can become your early-adopters and tell people about it. Here you can learn all the how-tos of influencer marketing.

Do not screw up your own app: meet the expectations

The early-adopters of your services, what do you expect from them? That they will love the app and use it again and again. It’s important to make sure their integral experience with the app will be just awesome. Not only should you have enough chauffeurs to drive everybody around, you will also need to give the early-adopters a refined attitude. If they complain, react personally. If they give negative feedback, do whatever it takes to solve the problem and win them back.

Know what’s the rightest way to screw up your own app? It’s not investing in support line and feedback management.
ASO
If it seems unnecessary to you, consider this: with no support line, whatever goes wrong, people will come spit out their frustration right in the Review section of the app. Bad ratings guaranteed. Say “bye-bye” to ASO success.

4,5—5 is considered a good rating in the Stores. The more negative reviews, the lower your rating, the deeper you sink in Store distribution. Accordingly, reviews management is an A-level priority, especially in the very beginning. The rules are simple:

  • Answer every review;
  • If a review is negative, fix the problem or provide a compensation;
  • After problem solved/compensation provided, ask people to change their review or add a new one.

It is clever to have two separate support lines for drivers and passengers. Having a possibility to call a support operator directly from the app is always a good idea.

Because the best (and the most cost-effective) promotion is still people talking positively about the company. Ensuring customers have an amazing online and offline experience with your services is essential here. To add up to these basics, think of making social moves. As our client in Saudi Arabia said, taxi business is not always about investing huge amounts of money. It can be about pulling a stunt the audience will like. This is why following trends is really important. Get inspired by the examples of the market giants like Uber and Lyft. The more crazy your idea is, the more viral it will go. Profit!

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App launched. How to make it popular?

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The success of app launch is very much a question of finding your own solution for the classic “chicken or the egg problem”. To launch well, you need a lot of clients (who will book your service), and to attract more clients, you need more chauffeurs. Young companies often fail to get one of those two magic ingredients — because they think of an app-based system as of an ultimate remedy for their business.

But let’s face the fact — it’s 2018. An app-platform is a must-have. To “sell” the apps, you still need a bulletproof marketing plan. Over 50,000 apps are being released every single month. This means, to create a stable users community, your app has to stand really strong. Let’s see how to market the app from the very beginning.

What to do before launching the app?

The thumb-rule is “start as early as possible”.

The very first step is to analyze the local market situation. This includes:

  • Learn as much as possible about your competitors. Here you can find our marketing brief template with the questions to answer.
  • Try to find your unique market niche. Knowing the competitors gives you an idea of what you can do differently to create a strong brand that will be special to the customers.
  • Work on your pricing policy. Dumping can work well for young and furious brands. But it is a short-term strategy. You cannot attract clients by low prices alone forever. Another important part of your pricing is the drivers billing. Work out some reliable schemes that’d motivate drivers to work more.
  • taxi advertising costs

  • Create an integrate brand strategy. An example: Kaiian, our Saudi-Arabian client decided to become a “family-member” brand. Ever since, Kaiian behaves and advertises this way, and is profiting from enormous word-of-mouth waves.
  • Learn to know your target audience. Musts: Who you’re talking to? How to reach them? What are you going to share? How will you make your promo something worth talking about?
  • Try to get as much info as possible about the local ways of using popular communication channels. Our clients in Arabic countries enjoy the promotional power of Snapchat at full blast, while in the US the channel is losing its audience. Such things can be a real promotional goldmine. This and the previous steps may require some professional help, so we advice hiring a local marketing agency. Their prices are usually more competitive, while their knowledge of local specifics can be impressive.
  • how to promote an app

  • Start your outreach activities prior to launch. 6-8 weeks in advance is normally a good timing. Why so early? Because it gives people the time to get used to your services, which results in more clients. The same applies to drivers: the earlier they know how attractive the company is, the bigger the chance they’ll try working for it.
  • Set clear goals for your taxi app marketing campaign. Develop clear key performance indicators to be able to check up the success at every stage. And yes, monitor progress constantly: every day, week, month, year.

Kate Makovetskaya, Business development director in Russia (Zorka.Mobi Creative Mobile Performance Agency):

“Defining the key performance indicators is especially difficult for a new, unique product on the market. Analytical data from past advertising campaigns can make it easier. If there’s no data from the past available, try this:

  • Analyze the average market benchmarks use them as a starting point.
  • Use the experience of the market experts.

Anyway, after launching a marketing campaign, KPIs will need to be adjusted.”

Now, let’s deal with this horrifying term, “outreach activities”. Basically, what are the ways to reach out for an app-based taxi company?

There are two types of publicity you’ll work for before your app’s launch. First one is aimed to attracting drivers. Another one is attracting customers.
taxi marketing

Use social media for taxi marketing

To reach out to more drivers, you should know what communication channels they use. Uber has launched tremendous Facebook Ads campaigns before going live in San Francisco, because Uber’s marketers told them potential drivers spend a lot of time on Facebook. Where do your potential drivers spend time? Maybe they’re not on social media at all and you should rely on word-of-mouth initiated by a couple of “ambassador drivers”?

Ensure media publicity to promote your app

Getting some local media publicity is another way to breed curiosity among drivers-to-be. Think of TV, radio, newspapers. Share your story and tell how your service is different from everything they’ve had before. Small media often publish for free. Pitching to app review websites is also a good method, but take care you pitch to the source your target audience really reads. The more coverage prior to the launch date, the closer you get to solving the “chicken or the egg problem”

Promote your app online to get customers

As to the customers, one of the basic things to do is initial advertisements. To use it productivity to the max, start in advance. Use online promotion tools, such as Google AdWords to draw more users for your app. You can also launch Facebook and Instagram ads (or any other social media campaign) to prepare people to the app launch.

Online promotions are generally not so expensive as old-school offline methods, and are very effective: they provide widest targeting opportunities. However, online advertising is something needing proficiency and experience, so we advice you hiring a digital marketing agency to get it done well.

Do not forget to state your online presence. Now we’re talking about online promotion, mind this: creating and maintaining social media accounts is extremely important. Facebook, Youtube and Instagram, you name it — are allowing you to create real customer communities.
launch app
Things you place on social media also can go viral, because it’s easy to share content there. The more viral your promo is, the more clients you get, and the less you have to invest in advertising

Optimize your apps for store distribution

The last, but may be the most important thing ever needed before launching your app: a clear, bulletproof strategy for optimizing your apps for the store distribution. Here you can read our ultimate guides on App Store and Google Play store optimization. The first steps in optimization you can take on your own. Most of the tools you’ll need are accessible for free (at least for a trial period) and only require some serious analytical teamwork. On the later stages, it might be helpful to hire mobile marketers or ASO specialists to do the tough work.

Planning a budget for marketing activities

How to prepare a financial plan for marketing activities before the app launch?

Kate Makovetskaya, Business development director in Russia (Zorka.Mobi Creative Mobile Performance Agency):

“Ideally, everyone wants to see a beautiful “one-size-fits-all” budget plan. Sad enough, such thing will never be adequate to a real situation.

  • Collect enough information for a financial forecast. Use the data from successful cases, references and insights from other companies. Your product team or/and a marketing agency you’ll hire will need to provide realistic benchmarks.
  • Plan the essential marketing investments. Those will depend on how exactly you’re planning to launch the app: will it be a soft-launch campaign first, or an immediate, aggressive push-campaign? The specifics of the market, the number of competitors on it, and many other variables are to be considered while making a financial plan.
  • Be prepared the return on marketing investments is influenced by many factors as well. Monetization model, the reasonableness of it, how much it’s planned to earn from one user, etc. — a realistic financial plan can only emerge from all this data put together.

It’s clever to plan a marketing budget allowing certain number fluctuations: this will let you make more flexible decisions in the future.”

Okay, now you know the basics of preparing your app to a successful launch. Let’s proceed to the next step.

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Greenr Cabs: taking over Malta, no CO2 involved

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The size of Malta is about 27 by 14.5 km. For a taxi company, it’s a rather small working area. In 2015, a group of young and furious transport professionals decided to disrupt the taxi market on the island with something completely unique: eco-friendly cabs with excellent drivers.

How did Greenr Cabs manage to launch a successful taxi startup customers from the whole world are over-enthusiastic about? Fabien Courtellemont, managing director and founder, tells everything about starting a taxi business and helping it grow well.

Start an innovative taxi business

Greenr Cabs is the first transportation company in Malta to abandon the technology that has powered the industry for more than a century. On their website, there’s a quote of Prince Charles: “We do not have the right to steal our children’s future”. This was the exact reason for the founders to start a “fully ecological” taxi, with original electric vehicles only.
startup taxi

An example of Greenr cabs analytics

Fabien says: It is an innovative, rewarding concept. Malta is an ideal place to use electric cars because of its size. Most of our trips do not exceed 10 km. The island has a strong network of charging points all across. The airport (almost the only way to enter and exit the country) is extremely important for tourism and business, so we can profit from being the only company providing eco-friendly airport transfer.

Such an innovative business and an on-demand platform to power it seemed a match made in heaven. Greenr Cabs founders only had to decide on the exact brand of vehicles to work with, and find a platform as sustainable as their view on transportation.

The whole concept of XXI century transportation is about combining several features:

  • impeccable comfort of the passenger (both while booking and during the trip);
  • respect for the environment;
  • competitive pricing.

Greenr Cabs works with a fleet consisting of Nissan Leaf cars, the electric vehicles ideal for taxi business because of combining high-level comfort and the astonishing quietness of the journeys. Another important plus of the Leaf car is its cost-effectiveness. Basically, fuel and running costs have always been the biggest factors for taxi owners and drivers, and electric vehicles allow to cut the long-term costs about 8 times

Constantly look for growth possibilities

Greenr Cabs had several major requirements while looking for a taxi platform. First of all, the company didn’t want it to cost a fortune, so they were not interested in developing own applications. They needed a not too pricey, good-looking app that would provide customers with a possibility to book and pre-order a cab with ease.

Another important feature was a handy, functional dispatch system.

“Greenr Cabs works a lot with tourists and business travellers, and consequently deals mainly with pre-orders. A clear dispatch system providing enough information to understand the situation of the operations was one of the crucial features while looking for a provider.” — explains Fabien.

And, of course, Greenr Cabs needed reliable and clear reporting tools for the company. After some market research, Greenr Cabs has chosen TaxiStartup system to empower their taxi business.

The opportunity to grow in your own tempo is nice. As soon as we were able to, we’ve invested in branded apps that represent our business at full blast. Both passenger and driver apps are simple and clear anyway and are accessible in many languages. For Malta is a great melting pot of European cultures, it’s a good thing.
startup taxi

An example of Greenr cabs analytics

Solve the three biggest “taxi problems”

The main three taxi problems, according to Fabien, are:

  • Initial financing;
  • Finding good drivers;
  • Making a name on the market.

While financing is a unique question for every taxi startup in the world, two other complications are rather universal.

Making a name for an emerging taxi business was something Greenr Cabs managed to do perfectly after all. Main thing here is having a unique product with a strong value — environmental friendliness. While hundreds of taxi companies look absolutely the same, Greenr stands out boldly with their concern for the nature and promotion of sustainable practices.

People prefer electric cars to ordinary cabs. Once you’ve tried, you never go back to a regular cab. It’s so quiet and smooth, you can relax or work more easily, and additionally, you know you emit no pollution.

Another important part of making a recognizable name was providing a wider range of services than just traditional taxi. Greenr Cabs started offering airport transfers pretty soon: because it’s possible to pre-order online within just a few seconds, this service gained a lot of popularity. Fast WiFi on board, a possibility to plug in passenger’s own music in the cab — these are the additional services that seem tiny, but are adding up to creating a strong brand name of Greenr Cabs.

Make sustainable, thought-out plans

Here’s what people say on Facebook about Greenr: “Finally safe cabs in Malta! After crazy Maltese taxi-drivers it was such a pleasure to get a ride by professional. First surprise was that driver found my place without calling me 5 times never happened before. And first time arrived at the airport without stress and fear for my life. I’m not using other cabs anymore.”

The Greenr Cabs system is evolving in a good way. There’s a lot of room for further growth. What fuels the company? Fabien says Greenr is getting inspired by innovation, refining the quality of services and building a great team.

A good team cohesion is what allows us to move forward together. We’ve got values, we want innovative technology to serve better, greener world. It’s important that every driver and dispatcher in the company believes in it.

There are ambitious plans for the future. Right now, Greenr is busy to gather more business analytics to find out where to move next. They are analyzing who their clients are and how they travel. For a company with a relatively small fleet, it is extremely important to know several things.

  • Customer activity level per city and throughout the day. It helps distributing drivers more effectively.
  • The most popular destinations. It gives an insight on what services in what locations need more attention.
  • Localities from where people order the cabs. This, again, helps to distribute the small fleet effectively.
  • The number of corporate clients. It provides understanding if partnerships with some businesses are in demand.

startup taxi

An example of Greenr cabs analytics

And of course, there are more sustainable plans.

Our aim to reduce the local air pollution wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t plan to go a step further. Our commitment for the next 10 years is to increase the share of green electricity that we buy for our vehicles. As the wind and sun are the Maltese Islands’ greatest treasure, it is then our aim to migrate towards these sources of energy.

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Google Universal App Campaigns: tune it, tone it, get lots of app downloads

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Google Universal App campaigns (UAC) is an app promotion tool based on machine learning algorithms. Many app-powered services make smart use of the UAC’s possibility to advertise the app to the right users at the most relevant moments.

For instance, working with UACs helped Uber to refine the target audience without too much manual effort, and show the ads to this audience at the moments they’re potentially ready to install. The result was +45% increase in signups rate.

  • Active audience, on right time. UACs work for all the Google-powered platforms: Google Search, Google Play Search, YouTube, and Google Display Networks. This means Google UACs optimizes campaigns — and then shows them all across the platforms to the most relevant audience.
  • No need to adjust the assets manually. Thanks to machine learning algorithm, Universal App Campaigns do not require app owners to have any specific marketing or design skills to launch effective campaigns. All the assets created in course of UACs match all the platform requirements.
  • ASO will work even better. Working with Google UACs has positive effect on your app store optimization strategy if you already have and apply one. Because UACs work with the existing assets and improve them for getting more paid traffic, the cost-per-install decreases. Result: boost in the app ranking and more installs. Win-win situation!

How to set up Google Universal App Campaigns

The essence is simple: you add a couple of textual and visual assets that are corresponding with your audience interests, place a bid on campaign costs, and the rest is magic helping potential customers to find your app.

Universal app campaigns are not extremely hard to set up even if you have zero experience with it. Let’s see what the Google UAC set up steps are.

Universal App

Google AdWords. New Universal app campaign

Log in to your Google AdWords account. From there, go to the “All campaigns” tab, then to “Campaigns” and click the “blue plus” icon.

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Choose “Universal App” and select the mobile platform you want to work with in this new campaign. Enter your app name and click “Continue”.

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Now you can set up all the ad creatives needed for your new Universal app campaign.

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You will be asked to add textual assets, images, and videos for the campaign. It is highly recommended to carry out a research on the relevant keywords beforehand and optimize your app title, description and other textual fields to it. All the text ideas will be mixed — better make sure every part is clear and self-explanatory. Defining the list of keyword synonyms is a good practice as well. With synonyms, it’ll be easier for Google to combine different pieces of text from your app and Ad text ideas and get something meaningful as a result.

The next step is adding visual assets. The main rule: provide as many as possible really high-resolution images so that Google can use them for all various platforms. It is extremely important to use the images appealing to your target audience. And that’s why researching who your audience is crucial. Define the countries where the users are located, the language they speak, their interests, aspirations and the way of thinking — the better your initial visuals will be, the more app installs the UACs will attract.

After filling the sample assets in, you’ll get to see sample ads previews for the channels supported by Google UACs.
Here you will also be asked to set the goals for this campaign. It’s a choice of two options:

  • Install volume — campaigns aimed at increasing the app install volume. The results of these campaigns can be analyzed through AdWords itself.
  • In-app actions — campaigns drawing specific in-app events occurring after an install, such as a sign-up, making or paying an order etc. For “in-app actions” campaigns you will need third-party tracking tools to understand how many relevant events are really happening in course of the campaign.

Install volume campaigns are better to start with for an absolute beginner or a launching business. Because Google UACs use a machine learning algorithm, it is much better to launch a more complicated in-app actions campaign after the algorithm knows as much as possible about your app.

Now, the initial set up part is done. Doesn’t it get curiouser and curiouser?

Google UAC budget planning

After having done the initial set up, you’ll have to set the budget for the new campaign. This includes planning the daily budget you’re ready to spend on app advertising right now and bidding for an acceptable cost-per-install (CPI).

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If you’ll follow the “Learn more” link, you’ll get more information about UAC budget planning and some good advice from Google on how to manage it the very first time.

We advise to do thorough budget planning before you even start to fill this form in. Despite Google UAC is proven to be an effective tool for every budget, it’s always better to invest having realistic expectations than to throw money at the wall.

The budget needed for productive Google app marketing campaign launch will depend on

  • competition level in the industry in your country;
  • marketing efforts of the competitors;
  • having your app already optimized (or not);
  • campaign goals.

Same factors will influence cost-per-install.

It’s also smart to launch a “trial” campaign before engaging with Universal App Campaigns seriously. A “trial” campaign is a sample one launched with a low budget (about $100). It allows you to see how many actual installs the app will get, and to plan future realistic goals and budgets for the real Google app marketing campaigns.

After the budget and the CPI are clear, define the dates of the UAC and the location options.

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So, exciting, right? Click “Save and continue” and let the fun start!

Analysing Google UACs results

There is analytics to the Universal app campaigns. In the “Campaign” tab, chose the campaign and you will see all types of analytical data on how the things are going: conversions, installs, cost, and much more.

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Click at “Ad assets” to get more detailed insights into how particular textual or visual elements of the campaign are working.

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In order to analyze properly, you will need really clear campaign goals. Having launched a sample campaign with a tiny budget will help you define realistic expectations for Google app marketing with UAC and adjust the cost-per-install to maximize your campaign ROI.

All in all, Google Universal App Campaigns are there to save you time and money on getting more active audience for the app. Try it, you won’t be disappointed

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