Staying on top of the latest mobile trends
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
The AppStore, Android Market, AppWorld, and every other app retailer you can think of is so saturated with applications that most casual users rarely look beyond the featured apps. This leaves lots of awesome apps on the fringe, discovered only by the savvy user who is willing to spend time searching around, or by the friends and acquaintances of the developer; enough to generate a steady, if slow, following, but not not enough to get you in the Top 25.
Everybody wants their app to be a success, either virally or commercially, and preferably in the niche market at which it’s aimed. But how can an app go from neglect to success without some serious marketing behind it?
Marketing is exactly what’s needed, but it doesn’t have to cost a penny. Here is what you need to do:
1. Use Social Networks – Those awesome social networks like twitter, facebook, google +, and the rest are at your disposal for free promotional touring of your app. Create your app its own account if need be and interact with potential users. This involves already having a good idea of your user base, but it’s well worth the effort as you’ll soon see downloads increase in proportion to your social network involvement.
2. Submit Your App to Review Sites – There are many app review sites who thrive on the submissions of developers. It’s more practical for the reviewers to have somebody submit an app, provide a detailed description and links, than for them to stumble upon it out of thousands of other apps. I’d love to go into detail, but how about checking this list of 116 app review sites and taking your pick, you can’t miss: http://maniacdev.com/2011/08/ios-app-review-sites/
3. Issue a Press Release – If you’re confident your app will stand out among others, submitting a press release can be a great idea. When it’s picked up by media organizations you can be sure that many readers will be converted into users. A quick google search will find plenty of press release services, but look for some that offer some extras like SEO optimization and backlinks to your story.
4. Contact the Media – If you’re lucky enough to have journalist friends this should be a no-brainer. As long as your app has some real merit it’ll be an easy sell to an always thirsty tech journo or blogger. It’s not much different than a press release except this option gives you the opportunity to contact media outlets or individual writers directly, rather than passively waiting for a press release to be picked up.
5. Use the sneakiest trick in the book – Many app review websites use crawlers that pick up any paid apps that later lower their price. Sell your app, then make it available for free or at a reduced cost. You’re likely to end up seeing it featured in some e-journals, and then you’ll also see downloads soar.
Nobody says it has to be easy, but after all the hard work that goes into developing an app, it’s worth knocking on all the doors to see that sweat turn into downloads.