Why iPhone Apps Need App Marketing
As of this writing, there are approximately 240,000 applications currently on the App Store. In fact, about 230 iPhone applications are submitted to the Apple App Store every day. Of those, surprisingly only 20 are games. For people hoping to make a profit from an application, this competition can be a huge problem.
Sizing up the competition?
Are all of these applications competition? In a way, yes. They compete for user attention, they compete for the attention of app reviewers, they compete for attention from the news media, they compete for opportunities to be featured, and they compete for space in every one of your marketing channels. That makes them competition.
Of course, they may not be your most serious competition, since apps are divided up into categories, but they are only the first layer. Once you enter your product category, Travel' for example, you still have a monstrous 15,167 competing applications.
Competition does not mean that it is impossible to make money. However, unlike the early days of the iPhone, you have to work a lot harder than just simply "having an app."
In the early days of the iPhone, just having an app on the App Store was almost a guarantee to make at least some money. Now, putting an app on the app store with no external marketing is almost a guarantee for failure.
The Good News
While just creating an app and putting it in the App Store is unlikely to achieve results on its own, traditional marketing efforts still can be very effective in increasing the impact of your app.
We have found that almost nobody cares when a new app appears on the App Store. Reporters, bloggers, journalists, social media gurus, etc with 240 apps appearing every day, nobody has the time to follow that. However, with a little bit of marketing action, people are still surprisingly responsive to information about new apps.
Foremost, reporters still seem willing to run news stories about applications. Of course, there are some who are burned out and very hesitant to run a story, much less read your pitch, so results may vary. However, finding the right reporters in the right markets and catching their attention with the right pitch can be very beneficial and is still very possible.
This is a classic public relations type promotion, and in fact, some public relations agencies are offering app promotion services that utilize the networks and connections that these agencies already have. In addition to traditional reporters, there are many influential bloggers out there within your potential markets who we have also found to still be fairly receptive to app pitches, especially when approached correctly. This can be a huge benefit as you target reporters and publications within your potential market.
The Benefits to Marketing
The problem with really cool apps is that they are hard to find, and people rarely go searching for them. Instead, they often learn about apps through various news sources and social networks. In other words, there are a lot of people who would buy your app if they knew about it and many more who could be interested depending on the sales message.
Marketing does not necessarily involve paid advertising, but it is a strategic approach that helps you determine how your application will stand out above the competition. Marketing treats your application as a product, and helps you craft a strategy for promoting your application, and making it easier to find.
Marketing can help you accomplish the goal of the app. Perhaps your goal is to create a new source of revenue by selling a paid app, or through an ad-dependant app. Or perhaps it is to connect with your customers and provide them with some sort of mobile convenience, such as a banking app. (You could also check out tips for improving app retention and increasing use, which is especially valuable for consumer engagement and ad-driven apps.)
In any case, marketing helps you reach your goals. By planning marketing efforts early, you can get excitement building before it even launches, which helps ensure its success. However, even apps that have been essentially lost in the vastness of the App Store can benefit from resurgence of interest, and a little bit of marketing knowhow.
Besides helping directly sell the app through active methods, app marketing can also help with the "environment" research, so you know how to price your app, what to say in the app description and many other simple "passive" elements that can make it really stand out.
There are plenty of online resources that provide a good self-starter guide for app marketing. We're slowly assembling our own as well throughout this blog, as we have time to share tips and insights.
However, if you are feeling overwhelmed or unable to do it on your own, and you want to hire someone with a bit of experience that can get it going quickly and effectively, feel free to contact our app marketing and promotion experts.
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