6 Tips To Get Your App Noticed
Longtime readers will remember our Five Tips For Getting iPhone Reviews post from early this year. It remains one of our most popular articles.
Getting app reviews is part of a larger category of getting your app noticed. This article, expanding upon and broadening the earlier piece, provides six straightforward ways to get your app some attention:
1. Embrace Twitter. Build a Twitter account, and reach out to the community with active participation and updates about your app.
Twitter users are early-adopters, and a large percentage of them are iPhone/touch users. There is a large and growing community of iPhone developers on Twitter and because a lot of the review sites monitor Twitter it’s a great way to get noticed.
Keep your Tweets personal and not a constant news feed. It’s an important business tool, but constant self promotion will leave you friendless and unconnected. Twitter is great because it also allows you to chat on a more personal level with all your followers making it a great way to reach out to your contacts and make new ones.
The best thing about Twitter is that it’s a very accepted social networking tool within the iPhone community and that means fast efficient networking.
Also consider integrating Twitter into your app to grow a community and make a fun way for people who purchased your product to interact.
2. Be active in the forums. Forums are a great way to meet other developers, as well as introduce yourself to the most dedicated of iPhone app customers.
Again, forum participation allows you to connect to your potential audience on a much more accessible level just like twitter. Being connected to your consumers and having them know you on a personal level will create a sense of loyalty. Remember these people are mostly held in high regard by their peers as the “in the know” as far as iPhones are concerned and their endorsement can viraly market your app without you having to lift a finger.
3. Make a big stink about it – or find someone who can. You’re a developer, not necessarily someone who is talented at marketing. Specialization is important. If you don’t think that you can successfully spread the good word about your app, then find someone who is talented at promotion, either a “Marketing Guy” on your team, or use a specialist company such as Appular. They need to start distributing information early, often, do it in a compelling way, and make sure that they are being heard by the right members of the media: journalists, editors, and bloggers.
4. Create one spectacular screenshot and send it out as early as possible. This seems very common-sense, and yet very few developers are doing it. The old “a picture is worth a thousand words” maxim definitely holds true. A great screenshot allows users to see your vision of how the app will work, even before you have finalized the app. If your app is graphically intensive consumers will often purchase it based on screenshots alone so make sure each screen shot is show room worthy before you send it.
iDracula, the one-time #1 paid app, is an excellent example: its launch was much-anticipated thanks to its stunning screenshots posted a screenshot to the Touch Arcade forums. One forum member’s enthusiastic response: “OMFG thats (sic) looks freaking sweet cant (sic) wait!!!!”
5. Figure out your killer feature. What is it that makes your app so great? After all, you invested your time and effort into your baby. What separates it from the other 40,000+ apps out there? You need to know exactly what makes it a “must have” app, even if it’s for a very small segment of the general audience. This message needs to get out there, front and center! Even if you are marketing an app or game in a somewhat saturated genre make sure you differentiate by focusing on what makes your product new and exciting.
Rolando, the critically acclaimed game was highly touted for its innovative controls and gameplay (video). Its combination of tilting, to roll your character around, combined with touching objects with your finger to interact with them, was the major focus of ngmoco’s marketing strategy. By focusing on its very innovative gameplay, they were able to demonstrate Rolando was an instant classic and must-buy app.
6. Update your apps often, and incorporate suggestions from readers. Even if you aren’t able to build much buzz at the launch of the product, the fight for visibility has not been lost. By improving your app over time, customers will notice, and review sites will too. Again, they are looking for news that their readers find interesting; hearing about your app from readers is the best way to get their interest. Updating also refreshes your app in the “New and Noteworthy” list giving you multiple chances at getting impressions from prospective consumers.
Flick Fishing, which launched in November 2008, it is still near the top of the charts after 6 months due to its ambitious updates that included the introduction of a story mode, secret powerups, and most recently, Fish Net, a way to compete in virtual tournaments with your friends. Another notable App that has used updates to its advantage is Pocket God, which is updated every week and uses the announcement of each update as another marketing opportunity.