Post about "Finance"

UK Finance Blogs – Why is the UK in the Stone Age When it Comes to Alternative Financial Media?

In the United States, online financial information and investing media has exploded in recent years. Where once there were just online replicas of offline newspaper/TV commentary and anonymous spam-ridden bulletin boards, there is now a proliferation of stimulating and diverse financial content written by both professional and amateur investors. These include professional blog sites (like Bill Cara, Big Picture, and The Kirk Report), aggregator sites like SeekingAlpha (who handpick articles from the world’s top market blogs and investment newsletters), expert investment communities like Covestor and Social Picks, crowd-sourcing sites like piqqem, to name just a few…In contrast, despite London’s status as a financial hub, the online financial information and commentary scene in the United Kingdom still seems like a barren wasteland. There has been little apparent new development in recent years. Financial commentary is dominated by offline publishers like Bloomberg, Reuters and the Financial Times. To date, blogging has yet to become a big part of the UK investor scene. Most private investor discussion seems to be taking place on bulletin boards that would not have been out of place in the late 1990s and which don’t appear to have progressed much in terms of functionality in at least the last five years. Strangely, the web’s social networking phenomenon has barely touched the UK’s online financial sector.This is surprising given that the data suggests that demand for alternative content in general is there – according to Hitwise, the market share of blogs is now greater in the UK than in the US: 1.09% vs. 0.73% of all traffic respectively as of May 2008. Over the last 3 years, UK Internet traffic to the Blogs and Personal Websites category increased by 208%, compared to 70% for News and Media generally. The recent success of political blog sites like Guido Fawkes suggests that there is interest amongst the British public in alternative media. The issue seems more to be around the supply of alternative finance content – there just do not seem to be many finance bloggers out there. This is paradoxical given the strength of UK financial services. The City of London has some of the smartest investors and analysts globally. However, their views remain directed through institutional channels (e.g. equity research) and their voices are apparently not being heard more broadly by the public on the Web.To an extent, this reflects an apparent general reticence by the British to blog. In the States, the last five years have seen an explosion in alternative media, with vast numbers of independent commercial blogs, the most famous such examples being The Huffington Post, Engadget and Gawker Media. In contrast, the UK has been slower to adopt blogging with the same fervour – in the Guardian’s recent list of the top 50 global blogs, the UK performance was surprisingly weak given the bias towards English language content. The main UK appearances were Holy Moly (a celebrity blog – no. 27), the Offside (a football blog – no. 35) and the F word (a feminist blog – no. 41). A number of explanations have been offered for this dismal show. In a recent article, Shiny Media’s co-founder, Ashley Norris attributed the lack of UK blogs to a number of factors, namely:1. The limited number of UK online eyeballs (and related difficulties in monetising non-UK ad inventory);
2. A lack of imagination in the UK ad industry (who prefer to work with established media brands or mega portals);
3. A lack of UK media entrepreneurs;
4. A lack of VC support (European VCs apparently don’t tend to be too interested in media unless it is supported by a technological innovation); and
5. Too much competition from established media (including the chilling influence of the omnipotent BBC).In the UK financial information space, the most notable exception to this dearth of innovation has been the Financial Times’ Alphaville which launched as a live financial blog for market professionals in 2006. This has been a huge success but it is interesting that it took a traditional media outlet to really popularise blogging. Whether that says something about the British respect for authority is debatable but indeed, the other finance blogs with significant readership are all based around traditional media (The Economist’s blog, Interactive Investor’s blog, Robert Peston). There are of course some exceptions to this – Cash and Burn springs to mind or specialist media focused finance blogs like Media Money.Even the FT’s Alphaville has remained a phenomenon largely contained within the confines of traditional media, given that professional FT journalists have been driving the content. Interestingly, in October, the FT launched a new forums feature on Alphaville called “The Long Room” – named after a bar in Throgmorton Street that was once a notorious hub of financial chatter. The Long Room is designed to allow finance professionals to set up their own discussions. This part of the site is however something of a “closed shop” for the City of London, because the Long Room registration process requires users to demonstrate their finance credentials and then be invited into the Room in order to view and/or contribute to the discussions. It is hard to ascertain whether creating a kind of Morton’s members club for the UK online financial community was intended to: a) wall off the content to prevent it cannibalising the main site, or b) introduce a quality filter to prevent the conversation deteriorating to the level of the UK private investor bulletin boards. While one can sympathise with the second objective, it does seem a shame given that the US experience is increasingly showing that, if the right filters are applied, then investors outside of the traditional financial community can be as, or even more, insightful than professional investors or market commentators.Nevertheless, that gripe about exclusivity needs to be caveated with a recognition that, in terms of functionality, the Long Room is cutting edge in the UK scene and the Financial Times are to be applauded for innovating. It remains to be seen to what extent the Long Room represents the tip of the iceberg for UK financial blogging. Will the site lead to spin-offs as individual commentators develop their own online identities and followers?

Brainstorming The Ideas for Influencing Your Mobile App Audience

Once the app is downloaded, you have little time to take a sigh of relief, and then again start focusing on making things easier for the them till their goal is achieved.

According to the AppsFlyer, an app marketing company, the global uninstall rate for apps after 30 days is 28%. Entertainment apps are most frequently deleted, whereas apps based on Finance is least frequently deleted. No matter which app category you belong to, your strategy should be to remain in the mobile phones of users for a long time, and not just sit around but to fulfill your purpose as well.

If we analyze the encounters of users with an app step by step, it can help us unveil the critical factors that influence mobile app audiences, so that we can work upon those and achieve our purpose. Here are the details:

Step1. Finding Your App in Appstore

For this, we have to first find out what exactly users type to search an app. Based on a research, it has been found that 47% app users on iOS confirmed that they found the app through the App Store’s search engine and 53% app users on Android confirmed the same.

What have been their search queries? Interestingly, as the per the data provided by the TUNE research, 86% of the top 100 keywords were brands.With little scope for non-branded categories, most of the keywords were either of games of utility apps. Common keywords in the non branded category are: games, free games, VPN, calculator, music, photo editor, and weather.

Leaving brands aside, if we analyze the user-type of a Non-branded category, we will get two types of users:

1. Users are informed, and they know what they are search

2. Users are exploring possibilities, have no precise information in mind.

If you are a mobile app development company, targeting non-branded users, then your efforts must be directed to creating apps that compel these two types of users. To do so, we have to analyze once they are on an app store, what keywords they use to search. Regina Leuwer, with expertise in marketing & communications, bring some light to the subject. She reached out Sebastian Knopp, creator of app store search intelligence tool appkeywords, who shared with her the data of unique trending search phrases. And according to that data, in 2017, there were around 2,455 unique search phrases trending in the US.

Now, if we study these data to get information, we will find that name of the app is critical to attract the attention of the users.

If your app belongs to non-branded category, then make sure your app name is similar to the common search queries but also unique in comparison with your competitors. So that when your app name is flashed, they click it on to it, finding it purposeful and compelling both.

Step 2. Installation

Remember your users are on mobile devices has limited resources, from battery to storage and RAM to Internet. Everything is limited. So better create an application that is easy to download or say get downloaded with 5 minutes. One critical advice here:

1. Keep the application file size small.

If you are a developer, use APK Analyser to find out which part of the application is consuming maximum space. You can also reduce classes.dex file and res folder that contains images, raw files, and XML.

Step 3. Onboarding

After the user has successfully downloaded your mobile application, don’t leave anything on assumptions. Guide them properly. This you can do through an onboarding process, where users can learn the key functionality and where to begin with the mobile app. Below are the 3 things you need to keep in your mind when creating an onboarding process for your users.

Short and Crisp: The entire guidance of features and functions should be completed within few seconds, with easy options loud and clear option to skip.

Precise Information: Don’t introduce them to the app. They already know what they have downloaded. The objective to inform about the key functions and features.

Allow Users to Skip: Let the tech-savvy users skip the intro. Your app is to meet their requirement and not to have a friendly session.

Step 4. Purpose and UI
Here, the stage is set for your app and it is the golden chance for you to impress your users. What is needed here is the collaboration between purpose and UI of the app. It totally depends on the problem-solving capability and ease of use of the mobile app. Interface design plays the critical role, allowing the users to access features of the apps easily and quickly to perform the task for what they have downloaded the app. When it comes to interface design, make sure that the design is interactive and task-oriented. Here are some factors that you must take care off while creating mobile app interface:

1. Usability: The Mobile phone is an epitome of convenience and if your users find it difficult to use your app, then there is no way there are going to make the space for it in their mobile phones. From screen size to the color of the app, there are many factors that are equally critical and need attention.

2. Intuitive: To create an intuitive User Interface, you have to read the mind of the users, and develop a model based on that. The next should be precise, clear and ‘obvious’ in an interface.

3. Availability: Key features should be hidden in the drop down menu or even if so, it should be obvious for the user to look into the drop-down. An intricate work of design and research is required to make essential features available for the customers and they don’t need to navigate here and there.

If you need more help with the user-interface and innovative ideas for a mobile app, write to me [email protected] and I promise to get back to you with interesting mobile app designs.