iPhone and iPad Apps aren’t going to market themselves. No matter how brilliant, how innovative or how plainly time-saving and cost-effective an app might be, it always requires some form of marketing. Luckily, not all marketing costs money, especially on the internet. Learning how to harness virtual word of mouth can go a long way toward alerting consumers about the existence of a particular App.
The Apple App Store
The Apple App Store is the marketplace for iPhone and iPad Apps, therefore, all marketing efforts must lead to it. Whether a company chooses to use a paid method or marketing or a free viral based campaign, they must always remember to include a link to the specific location of the App in the store. Without this link, considerable amounts of potential revenue can be lost.
Making an App stand out in the App Store requires popularity and a particularly informative yet catchy tag line. The App is competing against a slew of world-class technologies; making it stand out is a matter not only of understanding the target audience, but writing copy that makes that App particularly appealing. The description of the App shouldn’t attempt to be clever, but rather should emphasize brevity and precision. Frequently, descriptions that are short yet punchy attract the most attention, whereas long-winded word play tends to lose potential customers.
For those who prefer to take no chances, paying a marketing firm is a good idea, yet it is important to choose a firm with a mobile marketing bias as the rules for marketing apps in this area are somewhat different to traditional routes. A marketing firm can help an App find its audience through an aggressive campaign on a social network such as Facebook or Twitter. By getting people to “like” the iPhone App, marketers can often persuade these individuals to purchase a copy, either by giving them a free trial period or producing a steady stream of intriguing content that compels them to buy the App. Marketing firms can also pay for legitimate advertising space, such as advertising boards on trains and busses or magazine pages. Although this can be a significant financial investment, the App will attract a much larger audience through large-scale paid advertising. Those individuals or companies who are creating an App that is a direct extension of their business should consider having some form of paid advertising.
There’s also in-app advertising, which allows App creators to place ads within another App. It’s innovative and highly targeted; if someone already is using an iPad App or iPhone App, they’re going to be more likely to buy another App especially when the ads are targeted at a likeminded audience.
However, there are a number of ways to generate free press, too. The most direct method is to write articles or blogs about the App on a free blogging site and then link these entries to your website or App Store download page. This helps build up information on the App. When people perform a search for the App on a search engine, they’ll see a significant amount of information and content. This helps bolster the App’s popularity and ranking, and also can generate commentary by actual users. Providing some kind of free demonstration of the App’s functionality is vital. Positive user feedback can sometimes be the difference between a successful campaign and a total strike-out. If people genuinely respond to an App, they’ll be sure to tell their friends, which will result in even more interest and potential sales.
Finally, creating a free page for the App on a prominent social networking site is important: it serves as a reference point and as a way of generating new content and interactivity with a potential client base. If someone hears about the App, they will probably want to research it before buying and that’s just good marketing.