Apple has now 300,000 plus iPhone apps available for sale at its App Store. The competition is fierce so in order to succeed you must aggressively promote your iPhone app if you want a fighting chance. Whats the best way to promote your app? You must employ multiple tactics to crack the success code. Simply relying on word of mouth is not enough – you need to get the attention of the news media. How? My solution is to seek publicity to help get the word of mouth going which will then lead to those highly sought after downloads.
Heres a list of 20 tips Ive compiled on how to promote your iPhone App.
1. Is your name catchy like 20 Minute Meals or Doodle Jump both winners of Apples Design Awards? If not, consider renaming your app so it can be found more easily in Google searches and in the App Store.
2. Include and promote content in your app that cannot be found anywhere else.
3. Offer a free download to newspaper columnists, technical and non-technical alike.
4. Send out a well-written press release to the media announcing your new app and its special features no one can do without.
5. Use free online press release distribution. Its a great way to access trade pubs, blogs, and consumer magazines.
6. Get a launch sponsor and co-promote. Hook up with a company that could benefit from being associated with this app.
7. Create a demonstration video and place it on your own YouTube channel.
8. Distribute the demo video online using free services like TubeMogul.
9. Create a tune or license one to play along with your YouTube video
10. Offer a free trial for users with an upgrade path to the paid version.
11. Host an App Launch Party for friends, family and prospects. Make sure the cake has your logo on it. Order custom imprinted balloons displaying your apps icon.
12. Get friends and business associates who are well-versed on your app to create a buzz by posting on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.
13. Set up a Facebook Fan page to showcase your app. Its free and easy and your fan page can be found in search engines.
14. Create wallpaper with rows of your apps icon and use it on your profile pages in Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.
15. Within your app, create Twitter and Facebook update features so users can easily post comments on their social network about how great your app is.
16. Participate in Q&A forums online, such as WikiAnswers and Yahoo Answers.
17. Get listed in free online directories such as DMOZ.
18. Place free classified ads on Craigslist.
19. Create your own blog and post an announcement about your new app or about a feature update to your app.
20. Get reviews of your app placed at such sites as AppStoreApps.com, the Apple iPhone Apps blog, AppSafari, 148apps.com, AppCraver, iPhone Application List, AppShopper and AppRater.
After reviewing the above list ask yourself these questions:
– Is our iPhone app getting all the media coverage it deserves?
– Is our competition getting more than their fair share of media coverage?
– Would media coverage get people to download my iPhone app?
– Do I have a PR strategy for continuous year round media coverage for our iPhone app?
If the answers to these questions are not satisfactory developers should consider a publicist wholl ‘pitch’ the media on their iPhone app. A publicist will create a story idea involving the app that would interest the people who read, watch or listen to a particular media outlet that would cover the app.
If you have the internal staff and expertise to commit to your public relations effort then you should still consider hiring an outside PR firm to just promote the iPhone app. The reason? There is much to do and its a big world out there with plenty of media outlets to reach. The outside PR firm can focus on the iPhone app exclusively.
The busier you get, the easier it is to “set aside” consistent, important PR activities. Don’t get caught in that trap! If you want your iPhone app to be a success then hire a publicist who can get the publicity you deserve!