Languages,  Madrehood,  Marketing Tips,  Multiculturalism

3 Major Components Parents Look for in Language Apps

2020 is about to hit that 2nd week mark so it’s no surprise that language learners are going over their goals for the year! Have you set any goals for yourself or your child(ren)? 

 

In my case, I finally decided to dedicate more time to speaking Japanese to Chris. I was inspired by reading about a mother who went from monolingual to bilingual for the sake of her family. 

 

What’s wonderful for language platforms is that there are many mothers like myself jumping on this language enthusiasm train! In January, e-learning platforms see their numbers of subscribers skyrocket. Duolingo reports 25 million monthly users and Babbel shows 120,000 app downloads per day! Imagine the spike in downloads around this time of year. 

 

The “New Year’s Resolution” trend is actually very common in the language learning industry. For that reason, many platforms have content queued up and ready for new language learners

 

But what about learners who are parents with goals for themselves and their children? 

 

Parents who are learning languages with their little ones, or even parents who have no history with their target language, search for apps like yours with expectations in mind. Your app has to appeal to those expectations.  

 

If we dig a little deeper, however, you may find that parents not only have expectations but aspirations. They desire to see their youngsters understand another language. And that’s not a bad at all. All you have to figure out is how to market to those parents

 

If you’re wondering what to focus on first when it comes to marketing to parents and their bilingual goals, here are 3 crucial points you should prioritize

Kid-Friendly Designs

The Google Play Store bombarded me with a huge list of apps when I searched, “Japanese stories for kids.” The popular apps (editor’s choice) ranked first as usual but I wasn’t looking for something minimalistic or chic. I wanted something cute for my little guy. 

 

Within that short time frame that you have to catch a parent’s attention, it’s important to have a brand that’s going to resonate. Most apps do a good job of accomplishing this by showcasing adorable animals or loud, bold colors. There are many ways to go about it!  

But let’s not limit the conversation to just your app’s thumbnail.

When a parent opens your app, they are subconsciously soaking in your brand. It needs to be consistent and high-quality. Otherwise your app ends up in the graveyard with the forgotten calorie-trackers and seldom-played games. 

Straightforward Details

In the ideal situation, a parent is not just randomly downloading apps based on ratings. Apps stores do show these details because they are important nevertheless. Once our eyes finish scanning the ratings and reviews, we’re looking at the description. What does your app have to offer? Maybe it helps children learn how to conjugate Spanish verbs through games. Or it uses short spaced repetition to help them expand their vocabulary.

 

This area is essentially your selling point. Your elevator pitch. The screenshots, along with the videos that you may add to this area, are considered for a split second before a parent scrolls down to the reviews and related apps. Make sure that your app is being as clear and transparent as possible about what it’s offering. Parents aren’t looking to be tricked into to downloading a promise that your app can’t deliver. 

 

Lastly, reviews carry weight. We’ve all seen the trollish reviews that not only fail to be useful, but hurt the overall rating of an app. Do what I’ve seen all developers do: respond! Show that this is an issue that matters. Believe it or not, parents read these correspondences. 

Useful Guides

Now you’ve got your users out of the app store and into your amazing program! There’s nothing like the exploration stage. User experiences will vary, but hopefully not too much if everything has been beta-tested and your app is set up to run smoothly. 

 

Once they’ve gone through the welcome screen and set of tutorials, we’re left with one extremely important measurement: retention. How likely is it that user are going to come back to your app or recommend it to other parents? 

 

These measurements aren’t the easiest to determine because they involve relying on surveys and reviews. What if there was another way to connect with parents outside of the app? A way to share the voice of your brand with users beyond software?

 

The answer is a blog! Why does your app need a blog? Because everyone else has one! You’re not trying to play copycat, however. Blogs are more about showing the individuality of your brand. No two pieces of content are ever the same. 

 

Blogs are also a great way to cover questions and issues that your app may not be able to. Parents need guidance when it comes to language learning. I know that when I decided that I was going to speak more Japanese with my son, I couldn’t help but think, “OK, now what?” Many parents know what they want to do. They just have trouble going about it or staying motivated. 

 

If you’re giving users a place to learn how to integrate the app into their everyday lives or giving a glimpse at how your app is helping families become bilingual, you’ve already done way more than an app that sits in the Play Store without engaging content. 

 

Content creation means more than just blogging. Have users stay in the loop with email lists and notifications. The words that pop up on their screens is no different from you having a conversation with them. 

Another form of promoting your brand's voice is through email marketing. A very effective way to stay under a parent's radar!

What Developers Should Look For

As your app grows in terms of scale, don’t forget to seek constructive criticism from your users. This is one of the reasons why blogs do so well for language learning programs. They’re not just a backlog for customer service complaints. It’s supposed to be a tool to connect with your audience more. In this case, the parents who need guidance for fulfilling their vision of a multilingual home. 

Social Media

You should hang out where your audience hangs out! That way you can gain an understanding as to what parents are seeking. What are their pain points? What kind of products and services do they favor? Facebook groups are a great example of this. Obviously you don’t want to just join one and start self-promoting. First you want to be find a strategic way to engage

Engagement

Communication is something that no one can fabricate. The genuine exchange of words and ideas between the developers and the users (or between the users themselves) appeals to parents, or anyone interested in an app for that matter. At the same time, engagement is not something that you can force. It must be encouraged and welcomed just like comments. 

Feedback

Feedback ties into reviews but it’s also one of the most rewarding parts of engagement. Ask and you shall receive. Don’t be afraid to message users who you believe would benefit from your language learning app. Behind your app’s logo lies a team of hardworking people who believe in the vision to promote bilingualism. 

Marketing to both children and parents is not easy. It takes trial and error. But there will always be parents wanting to raise their children bilingual and they will always need help to guide them on that wonderful journey. Let your app be there for them! 

Trilingual copywriter and translator raising her biracial baby trilingual. I love raising awareness about diversity in the writing world. I'm also a tea snob who talks way too much.

2 Comments

  • Jun Mehta

    Amazing article! These are all great points that I think so many language learning companies would benefit from! It is so nice to hear the perspective of a parent like yourself about these language learning apps and how user-friendly they are, especially for children. Great job!

    • Errol De Jesus

      Thanks for the feedback Jun! There are so many apps out there. It’s not easy trying to catch a busy parent’s attention so I thought I’d weigh in on the matter. But hey, if my son likes it, it stays on my phone!

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