App Developers: Trying to market an app yourself? Good Luck!
The allure of becoming rich as an app developer is probably at an all time high. In July 2008 the App Store launched with just over 500 apps. Fast forward to 2016 and there are now over 4 millions of apps to choose from for iOS and Android. Countless app developers from around the world are still trying to get a piece of the app gold rush.
However, with the number of apps being submitted on a daily basis for approval is at an all time high, yet, we are also seeing more and more apps that fail. In fact, minus family and friends, some apps never receive any downloads at all.
How can this be? The problem is there are too many apps to choose from.
Angry Birds is probably one of the most iconic apps in the history of apps. When the app became a global phenomenon, members of the media could not get enough of the success story. This really glorified the opportunity in the app space. The app marketplace has become something of a mystery to app developers looking to create the next big hit in mobile. Unfortunately, what most people do not understand is that more than 95% of the apps published do not make any money. Why? The answer is simple; too many apps to choose from and most app developers do not know how to capture users to download their app.
When you have an app you need to market it every single day. It does not matter if you are selling lemonade, a widget or an app; if it is not marketing then chances are no one knows about your app/product/sevice. You hear plenty of app developers saying “but I am marketing my app on social media.” While social media is almost considered a requirement now-a-days in any business, you also have hundreds of millions of people tweeting at the same time. You are trying to tell the world your app is the best and everyone else has something to say (on Twitter) at the same time. If a user on Twitter is following 4000 people (as an example), what are the odds they are seeing your tweet when you post it? Rest assured, no one is looking through countless tweets on their timeline daily to find your app. We do think app developers should use social media because it is a free forum to try to acquire users, but you must rely on other things to market your app. If any app developer is going to rely on just social media, that is a recipe for failure.
Another common thing we hear about in the mobile space is app developers want “free exposure” for their app. Here is a quick tip if that is your game plan, take your app off the market and go do something else. A logical and simple explanation: Anyone that works for “free” is probably not very good at what they do. There is one exception to this rule, if you volunteer your time for charity or some other good cause for giving back. Why is someone going to help you for free? There is no reason someone is going to help you profit unless they are going to get something in return for their time and services.
There are a slew of app marketing options for developers. Platforms such as GreatApps.com, who have been serving the app community since 2011. Sites such as PreApps.com, that can help app developers before their app is released. Treat your app like a business. Every business needs a plan which includes marketing and the required execution that goes along with it. If you treat your app as a viable business then you will increase your chances for success.
If you are going to ‘hope’ that people will work for free to get you downloads, chances are your app will never make it. We respect the hard work app developers put into their projects and want to see more developers succeed. Unfortunately, many developers do not have a marketing plan prior to bring an app to market.
Tips for app marketing:
-Engage as many app marketing firms that are within your budget.
-Have a good quality app video that showcases your app.
-Issue press releases highlighting your app.
-Use social media daily, but do not talk about the same thing multiple times per day.
-Have a high quality website.
-Make sure your app description is very specific and at least 2-3 paragraphs in length.
-Cast the largest net as possible to reach a large audience.
The more people that know about your app, the more likely your app can become a success.