You may have developed the most innovative and useful app to date, but if no one knows about it then no one will care. There are millions upon millions of apps now available for download from Apple’s App Store and Google Play, so how do you make your own creation stand out, and indeed how do you make it discoverable amidst all the competition?
The odds really are stacked against your app being noticed, especially if it’s not listed in a top downloads category or editor’s choice list. But the trick, of course, comes down to marketing, especially in those first few days. It’s often the case that app developers spend so much time, money and effort in creating a great product, but then fail at the last hurdle by forgetting to go that extra mile by dedicating some serious thought effort on promotion.
Don’t be one of these developers – there will be nothing more disappointing for you than all your hard work going largely unnoticed, especially when there are some really simple things that you can do to prevent such a disaster.
First Thing’s First – Choose a Great Name
The name of your app is of utmost importance if it’s going to have a word-of-mouth impact. Indeed, recommendations by existing users to their friends and networks will actually prove to be the most valuable marketing tool there is – the only thing is that you won’t have any control over it.
However, since you’ve produced such an outstanding app in the first place, you can rest assured that people will be recommending it to each other, however, the name that you choose will still play a part in conversions. You need to make sure that it is truly unique, so that people don’t accidentally start downloading your competitors’ apps by mistake, and of course it has to be memorable.
Ensure, too, that you include the most important keywords so that it is absolutely optimised for the app store search, though be careful not to infringe any trademarks – the last thing you want to do is find yourself in court being slapped with a hefty fine, putting all profits into serious question before you’ve got off the ground.
Choose the Right Category in the App Store
This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many apps wind up in a completely incongruous category, seriously damaging their discoverability. No one who’s looking for new seafood recipes will be browsing the Games category. App shoppers will also often browse categories looking for something new and interesting, so make sure yours appears in the correct one, otherwise it will just cause confusion and likely be dismissed by anyone who discovers it obviously in the wrong place – it’s just unprofessional.
Create an Unforgettable Icon
App icons are an art unto themselves, and there are some truly great ones out there, often the simpler ones being the best. Indeed, your app icon matters hugely for your conversion rates. It needs to reflect not only the app’s core function, but also the style and character of the app. It has to be eye-catching, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it should be blindingly fluorescent and bright. Indeed, quite often the best icons use just two colours – a background colour, and then another for the image or logo.
Simplicity is key – it just looks cleaner, purpose-built and well designed. It looks modern, and you don’t want your brilliant new app to give the impression that it might be a bit dated before anyone’s even downloaded it. So, take great care, and get it right before you launch.
You will have the opportunity to include 3 or 4 screenshots of your app in-use that will be displayed next to the app’s description in the app store. Use these to tell the story of your app, and to put it context of how it is intended to be used. Choose the very best shots to include – that is, the ones that show off your app at its most creative and best. They need to be just as memorable as the name of the app and the icon, be exciting, but also explain exactly what the app does. The purpose of them is to convince users to download, so give this some serious thought and attention – it may well be down to your screenshots that persuade the user to download your app over a competitor’s.
Push for As Many Downloads As You Can in the First Few Days
Just after launch is the critical time for your app. You will want to offer a special introductory discount price to get it out there and get people talking and tweeting about it. Market the launch across all social media, offering discount promotional codes if you can, and engage with anyone who comments on your posts. The aim is to climb to top of the download chart as quickly as you can, and the higher up you get, the more downloads you’ll achieve, helping you to stay there for a decent amount of time.
Really, only by constantly being near the top of download charts will your app achieve lasting success, so once you’re up there, do everything you can to stay there. Offer frequent updates, and share the news again throughout all of your social networks. The aim is to try and achieve a constant buzz about your app with its great name, fantastic icon and unforgettable screenshots.
These efforts will pay off dividends when it comes to promoting your app, but for further inspiration then take a look at the infographic produced by the Spanish SEO service provider Blue Caribu, handily translated into English via Mashable here.
It can be quite a challenge trying to stand out in a competitive app market, but with a little strategy and effort it is more than achievable, and will be worth your while to ensure that people are actually managing to discover and ultimately use the fantastic app that you have created.