The number of apps in the app stores keeps rising. For example, 500 games were launched every day on iOS in 2014 and 250 on Android. The competition is getting tougher in major app marketplaces. Thus, the issue of a competitive advantage is becoming more relevant. Very often people miss some free and available opportunities. One of those opportunities is app review mining.
What is review mining?
Review mining is an approach to get knowledge from the app reviews that end users submit to app stores. Fortunately, review mining is available to everyone and does not cost any money. There are huge amounts of data that contain valuable knowledge, but they are hidden and have to be mined.
Review mining is definitely underestimated among app developers and app publishers, and is not considered to be a serious app marketing activity for the vast majority of app marketers. Perhaps this is because it is free? People tend to not value freely available things.
It is important to mention that review mining can be done with regards to functional apps as well as games. It allows market research to be conducted not only for a single app or a collection of competitors, but also provides an opportunity to investigate the entire vertical.
Review mining allows you to track either your own or your competitors’ reviews.
Key objectives to mine reviews
There are many findings available from review mining, and there are several reasons to conduct it on a regular basis.
Here are some general reasons:
You can find a number of articles on the web that reveal keywords sources for an app. Usually, these are lists without any prioritisation or algorithmisation. Just take a minute and imagine how much time you will spend investigation each keyword source. There is a well-known approach to use a measuring system by the following criterion: relevance, difficulty and traffic. There is no doubt that the most important for keywords is the criteria of relevance. So, how can you find the most relevant keywords? Certainly, the most relevant keywords can be identified by studying user experience, the way in which people search. An awesome thing is that users leave tons of feedback via reviews.
Bugs are another important thing that can be retrieved from review mining. If an app has bugs and issues, users will immediately reflect it in their reviews. People tend to spread the word as much as they can if they have faced some troubles that affected their user experience. Review monitoring is a good indicator for that. Bugs and issues have to be eliminated as soon as possible.
Features. If you are about to launch a new feature or a brand new app, this is a great source to conduct free and very precise marketing research. There are millions of apps in the app stores today, so it is very easy to find relevant information.
Ways to mine reviews
Taking into account the fact that app reviews originally look like rows and unstructured data, there are some ways to transform them into knowledge:
• Manual processing
• Simple tools like Excel
• Professional tools and services
The manual method is the most time-consuming, but nevertheless it’s the best way to start. Just start review mining by simply surfing through your app and competitors list. At first simply take notes and try to set up this process on a regular basis. An important thing at this stage is to define your individual needs for analysis.
After you’ve defined the goals and a method to mine reviews that is affordable, it is a logical step to establish a system or a kind of dashboard to switch analysis on an advanced level. Make collections of keywords that represent the density in each field. If you add automation either with your own written tool or by using a service, it will be a great opportunity to track and observe the difference. You can also use this data as part of a decision-making process in your company.
Review mining is becoming very tough to do on a large scale, especially if you are a manager at a big app or game company. Here are some noteworthy tools that might be helpful in review mining.
• LaunchKit — free tool to monitor reviews, allows you to get reviews directly to team software.
• AppFollow — affordable paid tool for those developers who want a little more than just receiving reviews.
• SensorTower — enterprise paid plan for major players who have enough money; has advanced features for semantic analysis.
Many people today are keen on awesome tools like Slack and Trello. Another awesome thing that app review tools allow is for you to receive app reviews directly to your Slack or Trello account. This is fantastic because you won’t need to visit the app store every time you want to research or track, as it will all be in one place. Some tools even provide annual email reports that might be affordable for certain people.
(Image credit: launchkit.io)
This is a way to entertain and engage people by posting funny and interesting reviews. You can find some awesome and fun reviews while doing review mining. Use them to interact with and engage your subscribers on social media.
Taking into account that review mining is an underestimated approach nowadays, this might be your competitive advantage! You can monitor your app and track your competitors. Conduct market research on demand or implement review mining on a regular basis. It allows you to find new keywords, identify bugs and discover new features.