The Trick to Marketing an iPhone Application in Today’s Market
How many applications would you say exist right now, available for download in the iTunes store? Thousands, tens of thousands? Actually, the amount is much higher. In 2009, the number was an astonishing 100,000, just a year into the first real push for application marketability. But now, as we enter into 2011, that amount has tripled. That’s right, there are now more than 300,000 applications in iTunes, and the number is growing by the day.
But the sad truth is that many of these are barely functional, pointless and sometimes actually manage to spark real controversy. You would think this would make it easier to get your own noticed by default, which is far from the case. The market is so bloated and the online app trade so hard to crack that you might feel hopeless when it comes to actually getting your own application noticed.
The truth is, it isn’t easy to market an app. Unless you are a large company already advertising above the competition, you will be forced to claw your way through the thousands of junk apps that are lingering on iTunes. But just because we aren’t in 2008 – referred by some developers as the Year of the App – that doesn’t mean being noticed is impossible. With a few solid tips, you can really make a dent.
Have a Decent Product
This should be a no-brainer. But many people will miss the obvious, and won’t put the work into their original concept before they begin coding. This leads to sloppy work and less than positive results. You should start out by creating a clear blueprint for what you want to create. Write down what you are planning and ask yourself a few questions. Has someone else done it? If so, can you do it better? Is the topic a popular one? How is the competition? Will it be a simple, user-friendly app? Will it be simple for you to make as per your specifications?
Focus On Your Branding
The greatest move you can make when marketing any product is to make it immediately recognizable. Whether that is through a logo, a slogan or just the subject of the app itself, you have to create something unforgettable. Plenty of fantastic applications get lost in the crowd because they fail to do this, missing out on literally millions of chances for download. In fact, 15% of the top 60% of all iPhone apps were found because of proper branding.
Start with an attractive, unique and simple logo that will be memorable. Next, make an icon based on that logo, then an iTunes page designed with it. Use that same image on all future marketing campaigns and advertisements. Sound simple? The concept is, but keep in mind that a bad logo image can really ruin your chances.
How do you communicate with customers? Email? Ads? Social media sites? All of the above? Good. Whether you have them on an email list or a text list, before you launch your major marketing campaign you need to start building the hype. Use all of your own resources, but also use others. Hire blogs to write posts, post in comments on sites, put up a viral video…anything that gets the word out and then gets past around is always a great idea.
If you want to take it a step further, you can always use a promotional tactic like competitions or drawings in the lead up to the major launch.
Keep Your Perspective
OK, so you have done everything right but your app isn’t a massive hit. Don’t fret. You have created a brand and gotten it on the market, which means updates, sequels or new products are more likely to be well received. As a matter of fact, you may even draw attention back to the original app once others have been released and visibility grows. It is a marketing technique that keeps working for you.
Just Be Smart!
All it takes is careful planning, and you can market your app with the same success of the early days. Just don’t forget the tips above when you launch that campaign.