We’ve put together some invaluable marketing and advertising tips for your iPhone/iPad application.
Create a Twitter account for your publishing name or applications. There are many different tools you can use to help you with this, see twitter tools. (n.b. recent stats show Twitter gets around 18 billion searches a month, there must be some of those people with iPhones, right?!)
You must BE ACTIVE on Twitter, communicate with your fans and you will see your followers grow and grow.
Create a Facebook fanpage and get your friends to join. Update your fan page with screenshots of your apps and post updates/competitions on your feed/wall.
Create a small marketing website/blog for your application, make sure you submit the URL for the website in with your App Store submission. You could use wordpress.com for this (free) or tumblr.com (also free)
Spread the word on iPhone/iPad related forums. This takes time but it’s free!
Post videos of your app in use on YouTube. It’s a great way to give your reviews a visual experience of your application and has an insane amount of traffic (approx. 200 million videos watched per day).
Get Beta Testers
Put your application on a beta tester website (such as iBetaTest.com), release the application to a small group of beta testers to generate some interest in your app. The testers just might tell their friends or kindly post a link on their Twitter/Facebook feed.
Submit your app to review sites
Many sites will review your application for free, try a google search for “iPhone Review” and try a few of them. You could even offer them a promo code.
Pay up $$££
Pay for your app to be featured on high traffic websites such as http://www.iphonedevsdk.com, it’s usually quite inexpensive to get featured on these websites.
Offer a lite (free) version of your app with limited functionality (restrict the levels/information/usage) and advertise the benefits of upgrading throughout your application.
Create competitions with prizes (iTunes vouchers etc) and advertise within your Applications (it could be posting a video on YouTube using your app, signing up to your newsletter or achieving a high score).
Use your friends (if you have any)
Get your friends to submit reviews for your application. Ask them nicely/bribe with beer to post a link to your website/app store page on their Twitter/Facebook feed.
Make your application free for a day or maybe for the weekend. The app might just get people talking! It might be a good idea to contact blog owners/review websites and ask nicely for a review, while the app is free.
Make your app icon as attractive/eyecatching as possible. This is the ONLY visual you will get when potential customers are scrolling through the app store on their iPhone/iPod Touch.
Use the best visuals you can on you app store description page (remember to upload the worst ones first and leave the best ones until last – for some reason the order they appear on the app store after uploading is reversed).
Offer promotion codes to review websites in exchange for a review (this will only work on US accounts). You can create promotion codes using iTunes Connect.
Be sure to tag your app with useful keywords and list the unique selling points of your application in the app store description.
Play with your pricing
Review your competitors apps and get a feel for the price range to sell your app at. Traditionally, posting your app at a £0.59 starting price was a decent tactic but due to the number of apps within the App Store, the chances of getting spotted are minimum. Don’t be afraid to sell your app for more than your competitors, your description should list all of the unique features to add weight to your app.
Aim for under 20mb
The maximum size of an application that can be downloaded through a 3G connection is currently 20mb (this may change in OS 4.0). If you try to keep your application under 20mb (could be difficult, depending on your app) you will have a larger target audience. If you app is over 10mb and the user only has a 3G connection, they will see a message asking them to buy the app later when on a Wifi connection.
Target the lowest platform
Make your app compatible with OS 2.0 if possible. Recent reports show they many iPhones in the wild are STILL using version 2 of the iPhone OS.
The latest major update of the iPhone OS (4.0) unveiled iAd, Apples own advertisement API (via it’s acquisition of Quattro Wireless). The API will allow iPhone /iPad developers to easily add advertisements into their apps, leaving Apple to handle the sales of the advertisements themselves.
As a result of including advertisements within apps, the owner of the application will receive a healthy 60% taking of the ad revenue. During the iPhone OS 4.0 unveiling, Steve Jobs (SEO of Apple, Inc.) mentioned that there will soon be as many as 100 million devices using the iPhone OS around the world, stating that iAd addresses a “serious opportunity” and “doesn’t suck” like most iPhone advertising SDKs.
According to Steve Jobs, clicking on an iAd provided advertisement will be “safe” to the user as it leaves them inside the application (i.e. opening the advert target as a modal window, on top of the application).
We are very excited about this! Almost as much as when Apple announced “InApp purchasing”!
Following the $750 million acquisition of the iPhone Advertising platform “AdMob” by the search giant, Google. Apple have recently acquired one of AdMobs major competitors, Quatro Wireless, for $275 million.
Quatro Wireless create tools for advertisements to be embedded into applications running on the iPhone/iPad operating system (currently version 3.0). The advertisers pay for ad placement within the iPhone applications, whilst giving publishers the opportunity to earn revenue for integrating the Quatro Wireless system. The placement of advertisements is a common technique within the free (“Lite”) applications within the App Store, giving application developers the chance to earn some revenue, to compensate for the free download.
There is speculation across the iPhone/iPad developer community that the next major update to the iPhone OS (version 4.0) will integrate the mobile advertisement facility within the SKD (Software Development Kit).
Version 4.0 of the iPhone OS is due to be unveiled today in San Francisco and will outline some of the new features to be expected in the next update. Could this mean the iPhone will finally have the much needed multi-tasking support? We will have to wait until the update event this evening!