Navigating the shallow waters of app entrepreneurship is no easy task.
Especially now when the market is approaching its imminent saturation phase.
This is precisely why you need
a soundproof marketing strategy that will give you an edge
over your competitors. Since the iOS app market is far less crowded than
Android, it leaves more wiggle room for publishers looking to experiment
different marketing strategies for their apps.
Sure, we’ve all read those cases where developers who spent a few days
tweaking over a brought source code and got as far as making millions in
revenue annually, without even considering a
marketing strategy for their app. Read also:
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Newsflash! Those cases are extremely rare, and the vast majority of them
happened way back when the app business was still early in its emerging phase.
If you think you can just throw an app into iOS App Store and expect it to
have a meteoric rise, I’m sorry to break it to you, but it’s not going to
- What are the steps I should take when launching an iOS App?
- What can I do to get people to download my app on App Store?
If you ever asked yourself the questions above then keep reading. We are not
claiming to have a “secret fail-proof plan” that will guarantee your app will
shine above all else.
What we can give you is a solid starting point with
iOS marketing strategies personally tested by us, with a real
potential of helping your app grow. Before diving into the actual strategies,
ask yourself this:
Is there a market for my App?
We feel like this essential first step is highly neglected among indie devs
and publishers. Doesn’t matter what kind of app or game you’re planning to
launch on the App Store, you are going to have some kind of competition.
If you don’t, ask yourself why nobody else released an app on that subject
Is it because your idea is state of the art and nobody was smart enough to
think about it yet? (highly unlikely)
Or is it because there’s no real market for your app, and there isn’t much
of an interest on that topic?
Ideally, you should fret over these questions immediately after you have an
app idea. It’s very soul-crushing to invest money and time in developing an
app, only to find out that nobody really cares about your product.
Once you’re done contemplating, here’s our list of the most effective
marketing strategies to promote your app
on App Store (iOS):
1. Research Your Competitors
Once you manage to identify your competitors, make a list with the most
successful ones and spend some time researching their businesses.
Get to know the ins & outs of their apps, find out what makes their
listing stay up and what you can do to make yours stand out in relation to
By analyzing the competition, you’ll get a pretty good idea on how to pitch
your app so that you can tap into their user base.
2. Do Some Review Mining on Store Listings
Read what the users are saying about your competitor apps. Don’t focus on just
the good or just the bad, both opinions are just as important.
Once you make yourself familiar with what the users love and hate about your
competitor app, it will become a lot easier to identify and include potential
killer features that will make users board your train.
On top of that, don’t neglect the features that are praised by your competitor
user base. Try to include as many of them as possible. It will make your app a
3. Write a Killer Description
If you got a pretty good idea on what the user wants to see from an app in
your niche, it becomes easier to devise ways to make him jump ships.
Let’s say you are building a platformer game and you’ve just identified a lot
of bad reviews hating on the lack of social integration. By all means, include
social integration on your app.
Even more, make sure you inform the users of your app capabilities in your app
description. Make them aware that your app has what the competition doesn’t.
Make a strong case and explain how yours is better and why they should install
There’s no such thing as playing dirty in the app ecosystem. You’re not
sabotaging the competition but enforcing your own product. And what if you
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4. Pay Close Attention to App Name
Long gone are the days where Apple’s manual review process would accept any
In theory, Apple lets you use up to 255 characters for your app name, but this
doesn’t mean you should spend time filling your App title with relevant
keywords in order to use every last character.
In fact, the more characters you have in your titles the more chances you have
of being rejected throughout the reviewing period.
What we encourage our clients to do is to avoid stuffing your app name with
excessive keywords. Instead, use only one, a major one that really contains
what your app is all about.
Use that major keyboard as a starting point and come up with a catchy name
that has the potential to spread among users.
5. Make Your App’s One-Liner a statement
When you submit a new iOS app, you’ll be asked to provide a so-called
What you’ll want to do there is create condensed tagline that contains your
app name + some keywords relevant to your niche.
Don’t make it spammy like “FishingAdvisor – fish, tips, guide, boat, fishing
rod, lakes” – that’s plain stupid. Instead, make your one-liner say what your
app is all about in a natural way. Creativity is your friend!
Take your one-liner and use it across all your social media channels. Use the
exact same description on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, your blog, or wherever
you promote your product.
This will help build your audience and make a strong statement that your
enterprise is a professional one.
6. Create a Cool Video
There’s no doubt that iOS users prefer watching videos instead of reading
plain text. Exploit this hint by creating a nice presentation video for your
app and include it in your store listing.
Use the video to spread the word of your app capabilities across all your
media channels. Share it on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, etc.
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7. Localize Your App
Localization plays a major role in the success of your app. This is especially
true for games that are played across many demographics. In this case, you
shouldn’t skip this step by any means. Track how well it’s doing in other
countries with different languages, especially those with huge growth
possibilities like China or Russia.
When you see opportunity, don’t hesitate. Translating an English app to
another language can bring you more downloads in a localized market than the
Important: When you localize your app, don’t forget to adapt your store
listing screenshots and video as well.
8. Social Media is Bliss
Do not understate the importance of social media in the app world. Using
Facebook, Twitter and Google+ in your
app marketing strategy should be a no-brainer in the current
Go ahead and spread your app on all the popular platforms. Release teasers,
in-game previews, anything that has the potential to build some expectation.
On Facebook, you can join groups relevant to your niche and
promote your app
there. Engage with users and invite them to like your page regularly. Do this
until you build yourself a big enough fan base, then new likes will arrive
On Twitter make sure you follow the people that have interests in the same
niche as yourself in the hopes that you’ll get a follow back. If you’re
launching a game, using hashtags like #gamedev, #indiedev or #indiegame will
9. Build a Website/Blog to Promote your Apps
Having a place where you can showcase and announce your new project will
greatly improve your personal brand or your company. Even more, it will
suggest your business is serious and will improve user credibility.
You can use it to create a portfolio with all your apps, linking them to the
iTunes “iTunes Alternative” listing of your app. This will improve the visibility and reach of your
Make sure to include a link to the website in your app description and on
every social media channel that you use for promotion.
10. Make a Perfect Launch Day
As with all things that have to do with customer feedback, the first days are
the key to the whole thing. Prepare your moment of glory well. In the last
month prior to the launch, announce the whole world you’re launching.
Use your social media channels to spread news of your arrival. Release
teasers, in-app footage, characters, organize contests – anything you can
think of that will spark the media attention towards your app.
After launch, make sure you get many good reviews as soon as possible. And no,
I don’t mean using shady practices or some sort of paid services. Those will
most likely get your publisher account banned.
Send your app to as many friends, bloggers and acquaintances as you can. Ask
them to review it and provide some feedback. Good luck and may your ratings be
Don’t look at this article as a step-by-step tutorial. Often times, in order
to hit big, you have to innovate.
Instead, use this information as a starting point and
develop a marketing
strategy that accommodates and lures the user base in your niche. Each app
behaves differently in the App Store, and as a result,
the marketing strategy should be tailored to fit its profile.