Apple has now 500,000 plus iPhone apps available for sale at its App Store and Android has an equal number! According to iPhone App publicist Scott Lorenz of Westwind Communications, “The competition is so fierce that in order to succeed developers must aggressively promote their iPhone or Android apps if they want a fighting chance.”
What’s the best way to promote your app? Lorenz says developers must employ multiple tactics to crack the success code. “Simply relying on word of mouth or hoping your friend’s ‘tweets will do it’ 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,” says Lorenz.
Here’s a list of 22 tips Lorenz compiled on how to promote an iPhone and Android Apps.
1. Is your name catchy like ‘20 Minute Meals’ or ‘Doodle Jump’ both winners of Apple’s 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. It’s 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 the media, friends, family and prospects. Give em all a take away flyer, card etc.
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. It’s free and easy and your fan page can be found in search engines.
14. Create wallpaper with rows of your app’s 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.
21. Use the services of Mobileprwire and prMac to get the word out.
22. Hire a publicist that knows how to promote apps.
Lorenz says, “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 who’ll “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, says Lorenz.
“Furthermore,” adds Lorenz, “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 it’s a big world out there with plenty of media outlets to reach. The outside PR firm can focus on the iPhone app exclusively.”
Concludes Lorenz, “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!”
Lorenz invites app developers to reach out to him if they are ready to put publicity to work. Says Lorenz. “Tell me about your app at www.iPhoneAppPublicity.com and we’ll see what we can do.”
About Scott Lorenz and Westwind iPhone App Publicity
Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with individuals and entrepreneurs to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz has handled public relations and marketing for numerous iPhone App developers, authors, doctors, lawyers, inventors and entrepreneurs. Learn more about Westwind iPhone App Publicity at http://www.iPhoneAppPublicity.com or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@iPhoneAppPublicity.com or by phone at 734-667-2090