How to Market & Promote iPhone, iPad & Android Apps (Part 2)

Steve Hoffman

Steve Hoffman

by Steve Hoffman, Publisher of Founders Space

It’s never too early to start marketing and promoting your app.  Ideally, you should begin right when you start development.  As you build out the app, you should be working on marketing and promoting it to all the key influencers, including bloggers, strategic partners, potential users, etc.

Development Phase – Marketing & Promotion

  • Identify your target customer.  Is it Moms between the ages of 35 and 45?  You need to know exactly who will be using your app and why they’ll download it.
  • Find out where and how these users spend their time.  This will give you clues as to whom you partner with and how you get the word out about your app.
  • Check out your competition and see what they are doing.  How are they marketing their apps?  Try to determine why certain apps are doing well and others aren’t?
  • Make sure your app has some unique feature or attribute that will attract users.  Why should anyone download your app?  What’s your secret sauce?
  • It’s increasingly tough to break into the upper ranks.  Apps need hundreds of thousands of downloads, which can be quite costly.
  • Try to find a niche which isn’t as crowded.   If there are lots of similar apps already in the App Store, you may want to change your focus.  Look for new market opportunities rather than ones that are already saturated.
  • Drive users to your website, not the App Store URL:
    • You have more control over your messaging on your website
    • You can measure the traffic using Google Analytics
    • You can experiment and test what messages work in driving sales
    • Every link to your website increases your search engine ranking
    • Users can discover your other apps on your site
  • Make a rich experience on your site:
    • Use video to show off your app.
    • Use Flash animation to create a sense of fun.
    • Use testimonials to convince users to download your app.
    • Have an FAQ for users who get stuck.
    • Integrate with Facebook, Twitter and other social networks.
    • Link to your company and blog, so people can get to know you.
    • Link to your other apps to aid in cross selling.
    • Post reviews of your app on your site.
    • Make sure your website is mobile browser friendly.
    • Set up a Linkshare account and use this to link to the App Store, so you can earn an extra 5%.
    • Offer a miniature press kit on your site with a custom link to the App Store and nice icons, so that others can use it to promote your app.
    • Add content to your site that relates to your app to improve SEO.  This can be a blog about your industry, posts featuring complimentary apps, and other things your target customers will find informative and useful.
    • Get users to sign up for your mailing list by offering them something free, like a useful PDF or video.
  • Focus on In App marketing
    • Cross promote your other apps.
    • Ask users to sign up for your mailing list.
    • Ask users to share your app on Facebook and Twitter – this works better if you reward your users for taking action.
    • Ask users to share your app via SMS.
    • Put “Forward to Friend” links in your app.
    • Give your users a reason to email you inside your app.  For instance, ask for their feedback or new ideas.
  • Begin commenting on blogs that relate to your app.  Also participate in online forums and communities that relate to your app.  Don’t spam.   Make your comment relevant, and include a URL linking back to your site.
  • Keep your app below the 20 MB limit so that users can download it with 3G, rather than having to sync with WiFi.  Sales tend to be 3x higher or more when users can use 3G to download your app.
  • Test your app on your target users and incorporate their feedback.  You can’t just rely on friends.  You need to focus on your target demographic and make sure they love it!
  • Build a great app.  It seems obvious, but good apps don’t sell.  Good apps get buried in the App Store where no one ever sees them.  Only great apps manage to breakthrough.  Don’t rush out your app before it’s great!

Comments & Advice:
  1. Mikk says:

    Get a list of over 100 websites and blogs that review android apps for free at:

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