Analyst Report: How to Market Your iPhone App: A Developer’s Guide


How many hours have you been at the computer developing the next killer iPhone app? Fifty? One hundred? More? And how much money have you put into becoming a registered developer, paying artists, hardware, software and training fees? The day has finally come to submit your hopes and dreams (your app, that is) to the whims of the Apple approval team. But did you forget something?

With more than 250,000 active apps in the iTunes store, the idea of yours being “discovered” and succeeding on its own becomes less likely every day. Now, for your app to succeed, you need both a high-quality product and a strategic approach to marketing it. Understanding the importance of the latter is imperative. There are many tactics — social media marketing, public relations, promotions and advertising, among others — that can help push your application to the front of the crowd. This guide is the first step towards helping you, the app developer, to navigate the nuances of app marketing to increase visibility and sales of your app.

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Preparing Yourself for the App Store
    1. Competitive Analysis
    2. iTunes SEO or “How the Heck Do People Find My App”
    3. Choosing Your App Name/Keywords
    4. Writing Your App Description
    5. Representing Yourself Visually
  3. Staging Your Release
    1. Application Download Codes
    2. App Reviews
    3. Switching Your App to Free
    4. Getting Featured by Apple (How and What to do if You Are)
  4. Using Social Networks to Market iPhone Applications
    1. Twitter
    2. Your Twitter Presence or What to Say and How to Look:
    3. One Channel or Many Channels?
    4. Who, Why and How to Follow: Building Your Twitter Community
    5. Facebook
    6. A Facebook Strategy
    7. Online Forums
    8. YouTube
  5. Promotions, Sweepstakes and Contests
  6. Advertising Your iPhone Application
    1. Why Buy Ads?
  7. Rankings and the App Store Ladder Points
  8. Media Buying
    1. Planning and Buying Effective Media
    2. Creating a Media Plan
    3. Getting a Little Kickback From Apple (START)
  9. Getting Press: The Art and Science of PR
    1. Contacting the Media
    2. Using a Press Release
    3. The Pitch Letter
    4. Dealing with Bloggers
  10. Monitoring Buzz
    1. Google Alerts
    2. Scout Labs
    3. Tool Time: Viral Heat
  11. Why Use a PR Agency?
  12. Wr(app)ing it Up
  13. Further Reading
  14. About Aaron Watkins

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