How to Market and Promote your Games and Apps, Part 2/4
Welcome to Part 2 of the iOS App Marketing series!
In the first part of the series, we gave some ideas of things you can do during the pre-development and development phases to make sure you’re on the right track, and increase the chances of success for your app.
In this second part of the series, we’ll give some ideas of things you can do when your app is released. We’ll cover the following topics:
- Creating a Press Kit and Press Release
- Making a Successful App Store Page
- Making App Trailers
- Using Giveaways for Promotion
- And much more!
Thank you all for your tweets, comments and feedback on part 1, none of this would be possible without your continued support!
So let’s get onto the fun stuff. Your app is released… now what?
OK, so you’ve finished your app, having researched the competition and created something cooler and better. You spent time polishing the app, making sure it works well and looks great.
You’ve created some initial buzz, and have some ways to communicate with your customers, and now your app is out on the App Store.
What do you do now? How do you get it to sell?
This article will focus on step 2 ;] We’ll cover some things you might want to try, from press kits to trailers to app reviews.
Keep in mind that there’s no surefire way to success (other than to never give up), so read through and try what you think is the best fit for your app!
1) App Launch Day
As an app developer, it’s often tempting to let your app be automatically released as soon as the review is finished, so it’s out on the App Store as soon as possible.
However, there are a number of advantages to setting the launch day yourself (after it is approved) rather than letting it being set semi-randomly by Apple:
- Buzz spike on launch date. It gives you a particular day you can market to and have people anticipating your app, allowing you to build some buzz. The first few days are really important, because it’s your best chance to get into the top charts.
- Time for preparation. It gives you extra time to get all your marketing plans in motion, rather than scrambling at the last minute.
- Advertising spike. If you choose to go with paid advertising, you can schedule an advertising spike starting on the scheduled release date.
- Promo codes and previews. You can hand out promo codes in the period between the app being approved and the release date to give people a “preview” copy. This is great for giveaways to reward people who follow your newsletter, mailing list, Facebook page, etc.
You should also consider which day of the week to release your app. This is a matter of some debate:
- Sunday? Techcrunch had a recent article that said statistically Sunday is the best day to launch your app.
- Tuesday? Some people argue earlier in the week is good (i.e. Tuesday), as the press is most active during the work week.
- Thursday? Some people argue that toward the end of the week is good (i.e Thursday), as there are more downloads on weekends.
For more reading, this subject has been debated to death in various forums.
Our advice is to experiment and see what works for you. If you have any particular notes or advice in the matter, please join our forum discussion below ;]
2) Creating a Press Kit
A press kit is a collection of materials that make it easier for app reviewers to do their jobs. It is usually just a simple .zip file hosted on your website containing:
- A brief description of your app and its features. Remember this is for the press or for publicity so try to synthesize things and keep them short and simple.
- Useful links like Twitter, Youtube account or trailer, website, App Store.
- Contact emails (this is very important!).
- Images of the product in action, logos and perhaps high resolution art for any game characters or relevant content.
The idea is twofold:
- This saves app reviewers a lot of time rather than having to hunt around for screenshots and the other materials they ned while doing reviews. And the easier you make it for the press to do their jobs, the more likely your app is to get reviewed.
- Many reviewers will use your content verbatim, allowing you to present your app in the best possible way.
Not all who replied to our survey have created a press kit. It’s certainly not an obligation or something you must do with every app you release but it can definitely help:
”I have templates [for press kits] that I use. [They include] Press Release, Product overview, Graphics they can use, Links to web site, Links to app.” – Mike Park
Remember that the idea of a Press Kit is to make info and resources about your product available without having to dig for it. It just makes it easy for any media outlets, fans or bloggers to be able to write about your product and include as much media/information as possible.
Of course, for this to all work your game/app needs a website! Nowadays it’s how most people get support, contact the developers and find out more information about a product. In part 1, we covered some tips and suggestions about creating a web site for your app.
A blog or website is our generation’s Yellow Pages, so it’s very important!
Note a press kit is not very useful by itself. Don’t let it sit on your website, share it! Post it to the forums your customers hang out in, email it to media outlets, send it to your friends, and tweet it around!
Again, some might think this is not really useful or necessary, especially when you consider that this effort could be put elsewhere and be of more help, but this isn’t a lot of effort for you and can reap dividends down the line.
Remember that marketing is not about doing a single thing. It’s about using all the tools and resources at your disposal to generate as much buzz and publicity for your product.