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You’ve Got A Mobile App – Now What?

graph_upward.gifWith so much competition in the App Store, trying to get your new app noticed, let alone downloaded and used more than once is an ongoing challenge for marketers.

Russell Berry from AppCreatives shares his strategies that may do the trick for you!

Unfortunately new apps can sit in the Apps store unnoticed very easily. To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, be sure you are ready with a plan to market your app before it goes live. Here are 10 steps to keep in mind.

1. Pre-launch promotion

Start building buzz about your app before it has launched. Email people who write about things that relate to your app and see if they will talk up the upcoming release of your app. On launch day, being listed as “New” in the App Store should help sales significantly, but remember, by the second day your app will no longer be on the front page of new apps, so planning passed this is crucial. Especially when, according to mobile-advertising company, Adwhirl says you need around 2,500 daily downloads to feature within the top 100 popular iPhone apps.

2. Lite or Demo Version

If you’re planning on selling your app, then you may want to consider releases a “Free” or “Lite” version of the paid app along with the real thing. What we’ve seen is that people are more likely to buy an app if they’ve had a chance to try it, they are more likely to spend money on it later.

You may also want to consider using Apple’s In-App Payment Mechanism to make money within free apps. This service allows you to charge for additional content in an app. In the case of a game, you’d let the users complete levels 1 & 2, but to progress they have to download the app to unlock the other levels.

3. Free Apps

russell_berry2.gifThere are a couple of ways to make money from free apps: Freemium content – offer a demo / freeware version of your app which then upsells to a fully paid version. This has the advantage of encouraging consumers to download the app with a full understanding of the costs involved.

In application advertising – tried and tested by people like Greystripe, HOvr and others. Feature ads running either in a wrapped manner (loading and exit screens of the app) or integrated within the app. Money is split between the technology provider, the content owner and the carrier (if they are distributing).

In a nutshell, just because it’s free doesn’t mean you can’t make money from it.

4. Reviews = Sales

A great review on a major blog may create sustainable sales for you. Technorati can provide you with a current list of bloggers. Use a conversational style, get right to the point and include a promo code. When you have sites like Gizmodo that get 3 million pageviews per day, this can easily translate to sales for you.

5. Send out a Press Release.

PRMac, a free (or almost free) press release distribution service, and the MacNN (Macintosh News Network) syndicate (free to submit) are definitely worth the price of submission.

6. Incorporate social media

If your users make the high score on his or her favorite game, it is a good idea to make it easy for the user to post it to Facebook or Twitter. Think about how your app can incorporate social media and build that functionality into your app. At a minimum, set up a fan page for your app on Facebook and Twitter and use them as platforms to communicate with your users and get feedback on your app. Comments are even crawled and tracked by the major search engines.

7. Plan for multiple releases

Don’t pack your app with every single feature you want to offer in the very first release. Make your dream list for the app and make sure that the app is designed to incorporate all of the features at some time in the future. Then periodically drop new versions of the app to boost app store sales.

8. Timing Is Everything

A high volume of downloads occur over the weekend, starting Friday afternoon, so by releasing in the middle of the week, you kick start the download process.

9. Create New Uses

When upgrading, think beyond content and consider upgrading the app’s functions. When the app platform’s operating system is upgraded, consider how to use the new features to enhance your app to make it more fun, interesting or useful.

You will also want to continue evolving your app to enlarge its marketing potential.

10. Get Featured in The App Store

Whilst a top spot in the App Store’s rankings is a sure fire way to guarantee the success of your app, unfortunately you can’t choose to be included, you are simply chosen. But why not contact iTunes and ask to be featured. It never hurts to ask and you never know, you might reach someone on a good day!

About the Author
Russell Berry is Director of AppCreatives, a fast growing SME that offers mobile/PDA application solutions that help organisations communicate with their customers through custom mobile devices. Leveraging our industry intelligence and technological background, we design and build mobile applications that are customer-friendly and facilitate easy and quick data processing.

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