After You Build an APP, the Real Work Starts

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Marketing your APP

Marketing your Apps – Getting an app into the marketplace is a tough task. The whole process of building and submitting to Apple takes a long time.

Apps submitted to Apple are rejected for all sorts of reasons, not always technical. My Garden Journal App was rejected just once because of the graphics used that show up in the Apple App Store where you purchase the app.

After your app finally makes it into the app store, it’s only natural that you want to see your first downloads, validation for all your hard work and bragging rights, telling all your friends that you made your first sale of your $1.99 app (which Apple takes 30%) and that now you can kickback and watch your dashboard as the $$ roll in-NOT SO!

Marketing, yes, marketing the age old art of advertising and salesmanship. Guess what, people are cheap, won’t even spend a $1.99 for for a complex piece of software that they know they need. So what do you do? Work as as hard marketing the app. Since the launch of the Garden Journal app, I’ve spent hundreds of hours on social media building a community, ad campaigns and direct marketing. Don’t get me wrong, the time was necessary and well spent. I’m just saying anticipate spending a lot of time and money on an app project. After my first two weeks of setting up social media accounts and experimenting with the various best practice marketing techniques, I can only say that Internet marketing is amazing. At no cost to me I ‘m now communicating directly with serious gardening/landscape design types all over the World, it’s actually very cool.

Even if you don’t sell your app at first, what I’ve found is that people all over the World are basically the same, friendly and love to give feedback, which is fine because the first step in the marketing process is building awareness for your product. Casual conversation on social media is need to build a community for your app. Twitter has been an invaluable tool for building a community around the app. The next most valuable digital ad platform has been YouTube; I once read that if you can’t draw a crowd with a 30 second spot ad on YouTube, you need to re-thing your app.

Taking this advice to heart, I produced a 30 second spot ad (actually 29 seconds) and created a YouTube channel for the app. At first I used Google AdWords to create an ad campaign with the objective to have people click a link to watch the YouTube video. At the same time I joined the Google Partners program in order to monetize my videos. This arrangement places ads in my video. The length of the video is important. Using YouTube analytics I discovered that people are watching the full 30 second ad, but the average watch time on a (similar) one minute app features video falls off quickly. Lesson learned: there’s a delicate balance between marketing and closing the deal.

Internet Marketing

In Internet marketing there’s something called the conversion funnel that is split into four steps:

Awareness,
Interest,
Desire, and
Action
Each step requires that your conversion objectives will differ, they have to, you’re trying to navigate a completely different set of emotions at each step. If you ever do an app project you’ll soon learn that each of the social media platforms has its own particular strength corresponding to the 4 stages of the conversion funnel. I’m aggressively using Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and to a lesser degree Instagram and Pinterest. And yes, you have to have a Web presence for marketing the app. I’m using WordPress. Here is a mind map with the details.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

(847) 635-4752

Ross

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