Making a video for your app – Case Study: Valuation App

Valuation App, a finance app for entrepreneurs and startups, is raising  $5000 on appbackr.  Developer Sohin Shah created this great video to promote the app campaign.  It’s an endorsement by “financial scholar” Professor Hans Von Puppet.  If you haven’t seen the video, please watch.  We talked to Sohin about how he came up with the idea and the reaction.

You can view and link to the app details page with this URL: http://www.appbackr.com/app/Valuation-App.
You can link or embed video on YouTube with this URL:  http://youtu.be/v3kmI2TLh-I

First, tell us about your app

Valuation App intends to benefit any finance individual who uses excel spreadsheets for the purpose of analysis. Excel spreadsheets may either have the formula ready in which case most professionals just type in the required values, or may require one to manually build models. There can be errors made while inputting the formula or one may not even remember the formula and would then need to either look them up online, or look for a suitable person for help. Basically, it is time consuming and at times can get pretty confusing.

The app can be a very resourceful tool for students, who will benefit greatly from it for their school assignments. Many of them only study about different valuation techniques but never really get a chance to work a financial model firsthand.

I envision VCs and Entrepreneurs sitting in meetings/discussions and using the app to perform instant calculations rather than delaying time to set up other resources for such analysis.

Don’t get me wrong, the spreadsheets offer a benefit of customizing them as per your need. But for those who do not have patience to build it from scratch, or wait for their laptops to turn on, this app can prove very handy.

The app, once downloaded, does not require Internet connectivity to function.  You can continue with your work when traveling by means where you have no Internet access.

How did you get the idea to do a video for the app? What company did you use to make the video?

I am a strong believer in the power of social media as a tool for getting your product noticed and generating public interest. Since my app involves a lot of technical jargon, a lot of the people did not even have the mental bandwidth to read its description on the campaign page- this was proved to me when many of my friends said they checked out my campaign but most didn’t even know what features the app provided. It made me realize that people were only looking at images or any other form of media which helped them get maximum information, spending minimum time/effort to do so.

Next, I have been posting regularly and very aggressively on our Twitter and Facebook fan pages. I regularly checked the ‘Insights’ feature on my Facebook fan page to see how much attention each post was getting. Even though people were reading the articles and messages that were posted, none really shared them. So a challenge for me was to get my content viral, which in turn would help the app get more publicity.

To address the above two issues, I decided to write a script for a video which would be brief, but at least mention what the app does. Also it was necessary for people to find the video to be ‘cute’ or ‘interesting’ enough to share it on their profiles. A one-minute motion-graphic video would be the perfect solution, but they cost more than what my campaign has raised. LOL!

So I started searching for freelancers, who could do the same job but at much lesser costs. And somehow the thought of motion graphics got cartoons to my head and that leads to the thought of a puppet narrating the script.

What has the response been?

It worked!! Dozens of people have already shared the video on their profiles; our campaign crossed its reserve goal and received even further backing! I no longer need to type out lengthy messages or indulge in complicated conversations to explain what the app is about. Nor do I need to request people to help me spread the word. All that is needed is the video, where I made sure to mention the importance of sharing ;)

What other marketing efforts have you done for the campaign or do you plan to do?

I have joined a lot of groups on LinkedIn where the theme is ‘Investing’, ‘Crowdfunding’, ‘Startups’, ‘Entrepreneurship’ etc. and have posted on them regularly to get the campaign noticed. I read somewhere on appbackr that only 2% of the people who view your campaign would probably back it. So every effort is being made to spread the word.

Once the app is ready, the plans are to get a video made which reflects app functionality. Banners shall be printed and distributed wherever possible. I plan to get them affixed on the notice boards at universities to get student attention. Also intend to reach out to professors at business schools requesting them to give the app a try and if they like it, then maybe suggest it to the students for use. A good strategy would be to probably hand out free copies initially to be sure that the app gets enough reviews for future user interest.

All of this means nothing though if the app has bugs. So the most intensive efforts will be made to be sure we get it right. I have already received requests from people mentioning they’d like for the app to also include other forms of analysis which can benefit the insurance industry users or asset managers.

Finance is a vast field. The demand for features will probably be never-ending. Hopefully that should keep us busy with releasing updates and bettering our creation.

Now that you’ve read about the app, back it!  Here’s the link to Valuation app, the app for financial professionals.