5 Steps to Get Your Mobile Application in the Spotlight
Simply developing a cool app is not enough to ensure it stands out in the highly competitive environment of mobile applications. In order to bring your app to the stoplights of the red carpet, you must scream out loud and announce to the world you’re out there.
What I’m trying to say is that the uniqueness of an app is not the only prerequisite for popularity, although it does help. Equally important, if not more so, is the way you announce your presence, and who you announce it to.
Knowledge of your target market, and hence your audience, is crucial for your app’s presentation. Using the right channels and speaking to the right people are keys to success.
Let’s list some key elements for achieving app popularity:
It may sound obvious, but I have to mention it.
Your application needs a website.
It needs it even before the launch. A fresh-looking, user friendly website acts as a teaser for the audience in the pre-launch period and is a must have point of reference once your app is on the market. Needless to say your app website should be informative and helpful – a demo video and how to section, as well as an open platform for customer feedback are mandatory.
2. Old school channels
The press release, considered an old school tool, is still in the game.
The reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated.
The contemporary version of the press release is no longer plain text. Nowadays it is more of a multimedia presentation and includes images, videos, hyperlinks, etc. You should invest time in developing this multimedia poster which announces the launch of your app. Consider using a web-based distribution service such as PRWeb or PR Newswire which offer various payment and distribution options, specific targeting and free tutorials on preparing press releases, including search engines optimization tips.
3. Social networks
Social networks are the next step. Having said that I presume you’re already in them.
Because building a living social network takes time.
Using social networks is a cheap and effective way to reach a large audience and maintain the communication with your customers. The most important rule of social networking you should never forget is to maintain a human presence. You are not there just for the pure promotion of your product, you’re there to help the audience understand your product and benefit from it. Be cooperative and try to appreciate even negative comments.
It’s up to you to decide what kind of social media to choose. You may create your own blog, or Facebook page, or be on Twitter, or go for something entirely different. Each media has its benefits and you should select the proper mix for you.
4. App reviews
Do you read user reviews before purchasing a mobile app from an app store or some device from Amazon? I do. And most users do too.
That’s why reviews are important.
Do some research and find the influencers - bloggers and review websites. Email them and pitch your app. Offer free promo codes so they can easily download and test your app, and keep your fingers crossed they are not better QA’s than you are.
Getting 5 stars from a blogger is good, but what’s even better is getting 5 stars from your customers. Find a way to push them to leave a review when downloading your app. A few positive comments will urge more people to download it. The negative ones might show you what needs improvement.
5. App markets
The smartphone application market is predicted to become a $15 billion business by 2013. This revenue is generated by various application stores. If you have an iPhone app, you don’t have much of a choice and the only distribution channel is Apple’s App Store – iTunes. Even if you list your iPhone/iPad application on various websites and carrier stores, they all will point to iTunes.
The case with Android and BlackBerry applications is different. Besides Google’s Andorid Market and RIM’s BlackBerry App World, there is a multitude of big and small carriers’ and independent stores offering online sales services. It’s up to you to decide which of them deserve attention and which not. You should calculate if it is worth investing resources in terms of time spent on uploading and management vs. possible sales revenue.
I have listed just a few basic steps you need to go through in order to execute a successful mobile app launch. I wouldn’t go as far as saying it is a comprehensive one, but you may consider it a starting point. Surely you can add some of your own directions on how to get to the spotlights.
I will appreciate all your comments, and ideas for extending the list.