By Henry Capper – Amsys Mobile
I have been asked by a number of clients for tips on “spreading the word” and marketing/promoting apps. Here are some tips I have scraped together…
Twitter Create a Twitter account for your publishing name or applications. There are many different tools you can use to help you with this, see twitter tools. (n.b. recent stats show Twitter gets around 18 billion searches a month, there must be some of those people with iPhones, right?!)
You must BE ACTIVE on Twitter, communicate with your fans and you will see your followers grow and grow.
Facebook Create a Facebook fan-page and get your friends to join. Update your fan page with screenshots of your apps and post updates/competitions on your feed/wall.
Blogging Create a small marketing website/blog for your application, make sure you submit the URL for the website in with your App Store submission. You could use wordpress.com for this (free) or tumblr.com (also free)
Forums Spread the word on iPhone/iPad related forums. This takes time but it’s free!
YouTube Post videos of your app in use on YouTube. It’s a great way to give your reviews a visual experience of your application and has an insane amount of traffic (approx. 200 million videos watched per day).
Get Beta Testers Put your application on a beta tester website (such as iBetaTest.com), release the application to a small group of beta testers to generate some interest in your app. The testers just might tell their friends or kindly post a link on their Twitter/Facebook feed.
Submit your app to review sites Many sites will review your application for free, try a google search for “iPhone Review” and try a few of them. You could even offer them a promo code.
Pay up ££ Pay for your app to be featured on high traffic websites such as http://www.iphonedevsdk.com, it’s usually quite inexpensive to get featured on these websites.
Lite versions Offer a lite (free) version of your app with limited functionality (restrict the levels/information/usage) and advertise the benefits of upgrading throughout your application.
Competitions Create competitions with prizes (iTunes vouchers etc) and advertise within your Applications (it could be posting a video on YouTube using your app, signing up to your newsletter or achieving a high score).
Use your friends Get your friends to submit reviews for your application. Ask them nicely/bribe with beer to post a link to your website/app store page on their Twitter/Facebook feed.
Open Days Make your application free for a day or maybe for the weekend. The app might just get people talking! It might be a good idea to contact blog owners/review websites and ask nicely for a review, while the app is free.
Eye candy Make your app icon as attractive/eyecatching as possible. This is the ONLY visual you will get when potential customers are scrolling through the app store on their iPhone/iPod Touch.
Use the best visuals you can on you app store description page (remember to upload the worst ones first and leave the best ones until last – for some reason the order they appear on the app store after uploading is reversed).
Promotion codes Offer promotion codes to review websites in exchange for a review (this will only work on US accounts). You can create promotion codes using iTunes Connect.
Be descriptive Be sure to tag your app with useful keywords and list the unique selling points of your application in the app store description.
Play with your pricing Review your competitors apps and get a feel for the price range to sell your app at. Traditionally, posting your app at a £0.59 starting price was a decent tactic but due to the number of apps within the App Store, the chances of getting spotted are minimum. Don’t be afraid to sell your app for more than your competitors, your description should list all of the unique features to add weight to your app.
Aim for under 20mb The maximum size of an application that can be downloaded through a 3G connection is currently 20mb. If you try to keep your application under 20mb (could be difficult, depending on your app) you will have a larger target audience. If you app is over 10mb and the user only has a 3G connection, they will see a message asking them to buy the app later when on a Wifi connection.