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Chapter 5 - Marketing your App
There is one primary focus above all else at this point, which is to tell your target audience about your app!
The Apple iPod App Store is not the only place where you can gain exposure for your brand new app. You are probably extremely excited about your creation, whether you developed it yourself or came up with the idea and worked with someone else to develop it - And this means only one thing: It is time to show off your baby!
First and foremost, if you have a website, a blog, a Twitter account or something else that belongs to you, use these media outlets to get the word out about your creation. Mention your app in your e-mail signature, in forum signatures, as your FaceBook status, and anything else that you can think of to start creating links to your app in the App Store. This is the first and one of the easiest steps, because it involves a lot of sharing with friends, family and colleagues, but not as much marketing as you are going to need to delve into.
If you mention your app around the internet a bit the day it hits the app store, and then never mention it again, you're not going to go anywhere any time soon. Instead, you need to draw out your advertising campaign. You are going to want to tell people about all of the benefits of your app, and all of its features. Arouse curiosity, get people asking questions and wanting to know more. By the time your app hits the new releases category on the App Store website, you will already have some eager buyers ready to check out what you have to sell.
Give Away a Lite Version of your App
If you want to try a non-traditional method of advertisement for your iPhone app, something that you may consider is creating a lite version of your app and offering it for free. People love downloading free apps, so this will build you a significant amount of exposure for your paid app. Once people get hooked on the lite version and find out that you have another version, they will usually be much more likely to pay for the better version of the app, which means that you will experience an increase in downloads and a boost in your income accordingly.
Put Your App in Front of the Right People
Influential advocates are known as sneezers, the first people who get their hands on the coolest things, including the coolest electronics, the coolest gadgets and the coolest apps. You want to put your app in front of these people if you want your app to go far. Sneezers tend to be quite influential when it comes to niche marketing, and when they talk, people tend to listen, because sneezers have typically built up a strong reputation within online communities.
These influential advocates may even be willing to beta test your iPhone app for you before it officially launches. This will make them feel special, and they should be more than willing to help you out.
Employ Social Media Marketing Techniques
One of the best ways for you to spread the word about your app is to work with influential advocates, persuading them to talk about your app in blogs, forums and on social media websites. However, you cannot simply start posting advertisements about your app on these sites, you have to begin another way: By building up your own influence and authority in these communities so that when you speak, people will listen.
You need to be able to create your own level of influence, and there are three really awesome ways for you to do this.
1 - Social networking websites. On these websites you can post all kinds of different content, connecting with other people. Some of the most popular social networking websites are Twitter, MySpace and Facebook, though there are hundreds of other sites, including many that cater to a specific niche.
2 - Social bookmarking websites. On websites like these you can share your favorite websites with other members of the community. Members are able to rate each other's content, leaving comments and posting links of their own. The most popular websites for social bookmarking are Reddit, Digg and Del.icio.us.
3 - Social media content websites. These are websites that focus on sharing content, developing friends and building contact lists. They also allow you to rate content that you come across. Some examples of social media content sites include Yahoo! Answers, YouTube, Squidoo and HubPages.
Now you need to get seriously busy with raising awareness about whatever app you are offering by:
Becoming a respected member within the community by posting good content, and giving more than what you are taking. Find out how respected members went about earning that respect, and follow their lead.
Post content of the highest possible quality. Each forum that you become a part of is going to have its own rules that will ensure that you become a respected user if you follow them correctly. There is a common thread associated with all of these websites, which is that you need to be willing to share good content with all of the members in order to be considered respected. The more you participate, the better the results will be.
Build your own network or circle of influence as you work on giving to the community. Take advantage of all of the networking advantages that are associated with these types of websites by building lists of followers, friends and contacts.
Promote your app, but do so carefully. For example, include a link to your app in your forum signature. Post information about your app, but do so carefully so that other members of the community do not perceive your presence to be threatening in any way.
The above plan is a truly powerful one. It will help you build up your reputation in a positive way. The sooner you begin building your reputation as well as your contact list, the better the results will be. What this means is that you should begin today, and not stop building up your reputation until you are getting the sales numbers that you desire.