How our ten games went Trending on the Google Play Store within a month with no marketing spend!
Eduisfun is a Mumbai-based EdTech venture which aims to make learning fun, easily accessible to everyone through games. We launched 10 of our games for android platform and within a month of their launch, all of our apps topped the trending list on google play store with zero marketing spend. This is an account of how we did it.

The Trending list highlights apps that are growing faster than Google Play can predict. The goal here is to present the user with what’s hot in the play store, movers and shakers that are moving the needle in a 30 day moving window. Yes, that’s it – you need to be phenomenally growing in that 1 month time post your launch. Every app has a predicted growth rate at Google Play and if an app performs better than predicted, it makes to the trending list.

Google Play (just like every other Google property) uses many measurable statistics that affects app discoverability. Some of the metrics that it uses are: installs (more installs for higher ranking), uninstalls, “long install” (which depends on the time the app was used before actually getting uninstalled), recent installs, ratings on app, reviews by users on google plus, number of app updates done etc. These metrics help to determine user engagement which affect our app rank and status on Play Store. To increase user engagement and create a viral loop we conducted below listed activities. Only those mediums which generated high-traffic (tracked from short urls like bit.ly) were focussed upon later.

World Class Product- A world class engaging product crosses all boundaries on the google play store. Engagement of users plays an important role. Eg: Collectively our users in Snailrush had solved over 3,00,000 questions & collected over One Billion points in the span of less than 30 days of its launch. Snailrush ranked in Top New Free Category under 100 ranks in 8 countries including Spain, Russia, Brazil, Germany, France, UK, US (Source appbrain.com)

Some of the lists like Top Paid, Top Free, and Top Grossing lists are targeted to first time users and users with new devices. These users are searching for the stuff they need on their tablets or phones immediately to even get going. ‘Top New Paid’ and ‘Top New Free’ lists are focused on return users who already have that basic framework.

Include popular hashtags in social media posts- Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were used to create buzz for the App launch. Efforts were made to include top trending hashtags and hashtags of celebrities in the posts to boost traffic. Our game had these popular celebrity snails like Sachin, SRK, Obama, Messi, Emma etc. and hence we promoted it in the fan pages and Facebook groups of those celebrities. Also, every time we posted new stuff on twitter – we made sure these celebrities were tagged along. Promotions that had potential to go viral (which can serve as comic forwards) and which are appealing to users were made to create buzz on WhatsApp, Facebook groups and other social media channels.

App store optimisation– The description and title of an app is a very important aspect of how easy it is to discover your app on google play store. Choose the words which you believe will be right for your app and include those words in the content of your app description in Play Store. Changes made in description and title affects your app rank when a particular keyword is searched for on the play store. This google reference book (The Secrets to App Success on Google Play) will surely serve as a good read towards app success.

Personalised Recommendations- To get into the recommendations section, Google primarily takes signals from Google Play Store and Google plus. The section provides a list of apps that might be the right fit for you by showing those apps that are popular with “similar people” or users who installed apps that are complementary to the app installed by you as well as selections that your Google+ friends have graced with a ‘+1’. Here, Google puts an imperative emphasis on Google Plus and so it becomes important to have presence on Google Plus. A lot of our friends and family see our educations games in their recommendations because of our ‘+1’ on them.

Get Recognition from trusted sources and get featured-  Digital presence should be created on trusted platforms/sources that in turn will boost search for relevant terms on Google search and play store. Our mission was appreciated by various online media blogs which in-turn helped us create buzz.

Eduisfun Aims to Make Learning Easy and Comprehensive Via Games”
-published in Iamwire

Eduisfun Flipping Classrooms” – got featured by YourStory

We got featured on various trusted app review sites like ‘TheGreatApps.com’ and ‘ThePopularApps.com’, that boosted our credibility.

Create Viral loop- Apart from presence on other social media channels, we ensured good reviews and recommendations on google+ to make it socially more engaging. Reviews made by people will show-up in their social circles that increases potential of your app to go “viral”. Again, google play store puts a heavy emphasis on Google+. Through our games, we incentivised users with virtual game currency and PayTm cash to share our games on various platforms like messaging, Hike, WhatsApp, Fb etc.

Mass SMS and email campaigns were done to all our personal contacts (friends, family, all gmail contacts etc), student groups and general smartphone users from data available in our database. Performance was tracked in back-end using various parameters like click to installation ratio and number of clicks done on the short url.

If your app is like our trivia game Snailrush,  that can be used by niche community of users (college students, office crowd, school students etc), consider manually contacting them to get the news about your app broadcasted in their groups. Eg: A lot of college newsletters, WhatsApp groups got our app launch news circulated among their groups during the first week of our App launch itself.

Offline Campaigns– As a step further, create awareness amongst your target users by conducting interactive workshops and posters campaigns. Eg: Poster campaign was used by us to target students through three different channels – societies, schools and college campuses. Due to these campaigns our learning games Knowledge Kombat which are focussed on conceptual clarity in Science / Math were appreciated by students. Our offline gaming workshops (checkout our upcoming event) created buzz amongst student community as can be seen in our testimonial video.

Create something meaningful-  There are tonnes of apps on the google play store (over 2 million apps to be precise; source: appbrains). Having an app which also serves a real purpose surely takes you a long way amongst your end users. Apart from all the pointers mentioned above, our main secret lies in creating something meaningful. Our aim was to impress users with outstanding games that are aimed at achieving conceptual clarity and we were able to do it for most of our 10,000+ user base across the globe. This ensured that our first set of users give us high ratings and good reviews on play store. On an average our apps have 4.5+ ratings and impressive reviews from our users.

These were just a few tricks up our sleeves that worked well for us. With launch of every new EduGame these became better and better. We hope they work well for your apps too!