In the first year of the iTunes app store newspapers and blogs were filled with examples of bedroom developers who had programmed their first application and made millions. Interesting to read, but these kind of successes became smaller with the app store maturing into a more professional business which includes now subjects like app marketing and cost per install. The marketing of the application is a new art and a new discipline. Below you will find an overview of tips and tricks, which you can use to market your application or game.
1. Give the app its own URL (with fixed IP address for better indexation in Google) and a page. Optimize this page for Google SEO (perhaps a similar page as the landing page in point 2).
2. Tip: Use your own landing page between the URL and iTunes. This allows you maximum freedom in text and formatting. Quite useful for measuring clickthroughs and it provides a landing page for when iTunes is not available. Apple is already working on an intermediate page, but until then you might want to create one of your own.
3. The first visible element of your app is the app icon. Pay great attention to it. Make sure that it’s appealing and looks professional. If you’re a known brand then make sure there are recognizable style elements incorporated in the icon.
4. Find related applications in the AppStore (advanced search function), download them, watch them and see what they can and cannot do well. Your version does not necessarily have to be unique. Learn from others and try to improve.
5. Create an item in a newsletter, a banner on the homepage of a corporate site or any other media you have available. Consider packaging, invoices, basically anything that goes out the door to potential users.
6. Your application is accessible in the iTunes store via a URL. Treat it so, so use it on the site, in banners, in email signatures, business card, etc.
7. Create an online screencast / promo via your website, YouTube channel or Slideshare
8. Use Google Insights for Search to find out the most used and related keywords within the domain of your app and use these words in texts and other promotions.
9. If you offer a paid app, make a pro and a lite version. The Pro version gives consumers the impression that it is a major application and promotes the download of the free version.
10. Put the ‘In appstore’ logo from Apple on your site and in various communication forms. It gives iPhone users a quick hint that an application is available for their smartphone or tablet.
11. Consider giving the application away for free or at a lower rate offering only basic functionality. Through in-app purchases a more desired functionality can be purchased. Beware of disappointments from users mentioning the basic application. Make sure you do not get the opposite effect.
12. Make the app a viral: Ensure that there is a feature in the application that promotes downloads. This feature doesn’t have to be related to the main relevant functionality. The functionality might commercially not add much but can seriously promote the reach and downloads.