This week we asked the Mobile Team:
Developing an app these days is only half the battle, what’s one thing every app developer can do to help market their app?
|It is easy to overlook the importance of App Store Optimization (SEO for apps) and how this drives users to your app. Discoverability is key and not everyone can afford to pay thousands for installs or cross promotion to get their app up the charts. A much cheaper option is to think carefully and experiment with the title and keywords for your app so that your app appears near the top when users search for specific terms. There are even some free tools available to get you started.
|Post a demo video. Most app stores do not require a video, so many developers just skip it. But a video is a much richer format, and it gives you a chance to weave a story around your app. The video does not have to be professionally produced. Think of it as a show-and-tell. Share your excitement about the app.
|A landing page is essential to help raise the profile and awareness of your app. It gives you a central place to direct users and collect their details before your app goes live. Having the details of hundreds (hopefully thousands) of potential users who are interested in downloading your app can really help boost your chart position on day one.
Each day new apps are announced and most of them don’t have a great landing page. A lot of them are missing key elements, and at the very worst they don’t even say what the app does. I don’t have space to go into all the details here, but if you’re interested in learning more about building the perfect landing page you should check out this article.
|As soon as you know what you are building – get a launch page up early and start generating interest (and emails) – I’ve used a service called Launchrock before with a lot of success. By the time you are ready to launch you’ll have a solid group of early adopters that can help you beta test and promote your app when it hits the store.
|Make your app free, or have a free version of your app. It’s much easier to market an app that is free to a consumer. Then, once you’ve got them hooked you can draw them in with in-app purchases and other monetization methods. Everyone likes free! Especially on Android, the expectations for free apps is very high and you’re going to have a much tougher time convincing someone to spend even $0.99 on your app even if it’s amazing.
|It is all too easy to focus on the functionality of an app and forget about its form. A beautifully crafted app not just from a visual perspective but also from an user experience stance speaks volumes. Before a user downloads an app the first thing and often only thing they look at are the screenshots. Make sure that your app is presentable, well thought out and designed. Invest time and/or money into making a great icon and appearance.
Developers spend months working on their apps and then just minutes putting together the app store meta data, if people don’t give your app a chance they won’t know how well everything was developed.
|If you are trying to market an app that you’ve built, you’ve already lost. Marketing should be a part of your app’s conception, creation, and implementation. Before you start designing, ask yourself questions like this:If someone was going to tweet about your app, what would they say?
Would you retweet that?
What is going to motivate your users to tell people about your app?
Why would a journalist get excited about your app?
If you were going to describe your app in one sentence, what would it be?
If your app doesn’t sound like it matters, you’re going to have a very hard time convincing people that it does. Marketing starts with understanding your market and how to engage them.
|Never underestimate your content on the App Store. Good screenshots, a well written description, and testimonials are key. Regardless of how customers found out about your app, they will see this page before they download. Make sure it represents your app well.
|Tell people about it in advance of the release. Too many developers get hung up on the worry that if they tell anyone about their great idea it will be stolen. To be honest, there are very few truly original and groundbreaking ideas left, you’re probably building something that has already been attempted or built, but hopefully you are doing it a lot better.
So get the word out about your amazing new app. If you are doing anything interesting from a code or interface perspective then blog about it and get people excited about what you are doing. We’ve seen blog posts generate huge traffic and interest in an app weeks before it’s even been released. The more buzz you can build for free the better.
Do you have any special strategies to help market your app? Share your questions and comments below or by using #MobileTeam on Twitter.