Without making regular improvements on your app, the likelihood is that you will begin to see less and less downloads, and your current users may become bored or frustrated with your app’s ever-dating features, and begin to look elsewhere for a more up-to-date alternative. Promotion of your app never stops, and certainly not just because it’s reached the app store. Users need to be kept engaged, and your app needs to be kept enlivened and invigorated through updates – and then you need to tell the world about them.
Obviously you put a lot of hard work in to building the original app – a lot of time and money as well, no doubt. But, even so, it’s rather unlikely that you managed to create something that is absolutely 100% perfect from the get-go. Indeed, it is unlikely – if not just downright impossible – to ever get your app to a stage where it couldn’t be improved. And that’s what updates are for.
Your number 1 priority will be to fix any bugs that you or your users encounter after launch. These, not surprisingly, will not be too hard to identify, for you will soon find that lots of bloggers and tweeters will be quick to take to the keyboard and communicate to the world just how clever they are for spotting those mistakes you missed. What is more, they will also be singing about the extra features that they feel should be there, but aren’t – so, take heed of what they say, and use it as a basis for your first round of updates.
Updates and App Store Optimization (ASO)
The ‘What’s New’ section in the App Store means that you get to list all the new features of your app as you create them and send out updates. With this section constantly being renewed with fresh content as you produce new updates, your ASO is thusly improved, since the App Store likes to see that your app isn’t dead and has been forgotten about.
Be specific as well in this section. Don’t just list your updates as ‘Bug Fixes’ or ‘Various Improvements’ – tell your users and your potential customers who are browsing the App Store what they can expect from the updated version. Even if they are just bug fixes, then list what was new in the last update you sent out, so an update never looks vague or bland.
It’s also an opportunity to inform your followers that you have listened to their comments and have implemented the updates based on what they have said. This will help build an engaged community around your app, and encourage further engagement in the future.
You must also insert a call to action button, telling existing users to download the update now.
Promoting Your Updates
While it’s probably not the best idea to make a big song and dance over an update that’s essentially just a tweak or irons out a few buggy creases, when you’ve got some genuinely new and exciting features prepared, it can be a great opportunity to reinvigorate your promotional campaign.
Let your users and your blog and social following know that there is an update imminent before it happens. The idea is to try and create a buzz and a sense of anticipation, similar to that which you would have been trying to create before the app’s launch. Give yourself a couple of weeks, and really push it across your social networks – this is a free update, and you won’t believe what you are going to get!!
Write about the upcoming update on your blog, and really try and sell the thing. The idea is that you will want to be attracting brand new downloads for your app, as well as exciting existing users about what’s happening. Explain in detail about each new feature that you’ve built, include some screenshots, and don’t forget to always provide links to your website and the app store where your app can be found.
Of course, the best way of alerting your users that there is an update ready and waiting for them when it’s ready is to send out push notifications. Again, this should only be done when you have a significant update available, not just those bug fixes or performance improvements that you’ve needed to implement.
Reach out To Journalists and Bloggers
You of course want to get the word spread around far and wide about the new features for your app, and of course alert as many people as possible that you even have an app in the first place. So, write a press release all about it, and hope that it gets picked up by key media figures in the app industry. However, it won’t hurt to cold call a few of these people as well. Perhaps offer them a free promotional code so that they can download and start using your app. Though remember, only contact these people if your update is genuinely newsworthy – if it’s not, then all you will be doing is causing an irritation to the people that you will want to rely on in the future for promotion.
Updates are a sure fire way of making sure that your app continues to generate downloads and that your users are kept engaged and happy with what you have produced. Always listen to feedback that you receive either directly through your website or social media, or on the review section in app stores. Use your updates as a means of continuing to engage with your users, and always give them something to look forward to and tell their friends about, and you can really start to exploit your updates for promotional purposes long after your initial launch.