When you’re building a business, it’s easy to get bogged down in minutiae, jargon, and tunnel vision. You start assuming that everyone understands your product or service as well as you and your team members do. Of course, this is rarely the case. When consciously avoiding groupthink, how can you and your colleagues break out of your own bubble and address an old problem with a new perspective? What methods can you rely on to get feedback and understand your customers’ pain points and desires?
What are the best ways to promote your app in news outlets and in the App Stores? I spoke with app creators to get their advice.
Timing is everything
Philippe Levieux is the creator of infiltr, a photo filter app that has been named an Editors’ Choice, Best New App, and Hot this Week in the iTunes App Store, and featured in over 150 countries. Timing is the key to his advice. “Always release your app on a Thursday,” he says, because Features also change on Thursday. Or more precisely, “We always schedule infltr to be released on Wednesday at 11 pm UK time, so if the feature team wants to feature it, it is perfect timing.” He also recommends “to leverage the new technology (both software and hardware) that Apple releases!” For example, “we were the first app allowing you to filter Live Photos back in iOS 9; we were the first allowing you to capture filtered Live Photos in iOS 10; we were the first to fully use the camera in an iMessage App! We are available on iPhone, iPad, iMessage & Apple Watch.” Being first with new features that Apple releases is an almost surefire way to endear your app to Apple’s editors. For infiltr, Levieux says, “we make extensive use of 3D-touch through the app. We have a Today Widget and a Photo/Video & Live Photos Editing Extension… Apple loves these.” … Continue reading
Along with optimizing your app’s name, writing an app description that sells, and choosing a memorable app icon, mobile apps also need to think about what app store screenshots will best entice users to download. I asked successful app developers for their advice on screenshots, and these common themes emerged.
Your screenshots don’t have to be actual screenshots
“The greatest misconception about app store screenshots is that they actually need to be screenshots!,” says Jonathan Kerns, co-founder of Comparakeet. Hugh Kimora of Mobile Action agrees, noting, “the biggest mistake is taking screenshots of random screens or menu screens inside the app and not highlighting a specific benefit.” Instead, he suggests, “Use a text banner to specify the exact benefit of the app that you are trying to highlight in each screenshot.” In addition, Kerns advises, “Take a look at major gaming apps and the types of things that they do for inspiration. Incorporate a mix of imagery from within the app with short marketing messages and calls to action.” One such marketing message, says Adam Davis, CMO of Thingthing, is to “have one screen showcasing any awards or press coverage you’ve had by adding their badges and logos. This can be very powerful as it adds a great deal of credibility to your app.” … Continue reading
User reviews not only influence other users to try your app, but they help boost your app’s visibility in an already crowded marketplace. We spoke with app creators and got their tips on encouraging user reviews.
Target Early Adopters
When you’re first launching an app, introduce it to enthusiasts who read up on new apps. “Early adopters, like those found on Product Hunt, Hacker News, etc. are far more likely to leave reviews because they understand the importance of reviews on your business,” said Brandon Wright, who works in marketing for ThoughtLab. … Continue reading
Exactly who likes your product or design should never be a mystery to you. Knowing your audience means understanding their needs and desires, and knowing how best to address them.
On PickFu, you always know who answers your polls – each result includes a demographic breakdown of gender, age, income, ethnicity, and education level. But you can also target certain demographic groups so that only certain subsets of the population respond to your poll. … Continue reading
When Steve Jobs talked to Fortune in 2000 about the Mac OS X’s Aqua interface, he delivered a classic line:
“We made the buttons on the screen look so good you’ll want to lick them.”
Today, an app’s icon needs to meet that standard if it’s going to gain traction with users. We reached out to app creators and UX designers to understand how to think about your app’s icon. Here’s what they shared: … Continue reading
Naming your app is like naming your baby and can be equally gut-wrenching. You want your name to be unique, but not so unique that no one can pronounce it or spell it. Your name ideally says something about your product’s personality, but also conveys its usefulness. Some apps that balance the two goals well are TravelZoo, BookBub, and Parking Panda; the names allude to the app’s main function, but are memorable and “brand”-able.
If only it were as easy as combining your app’s category with a fun-sounding noun, though. There’s much more to it than that. Here’s a quick rundown of 10 tips to consider when naming your mobile app: … Continue reading
Michael Cowden faced a dilemma. He and his team had been working for months on a mobile game called Outrun the 80s. Then a friend in marketing suggested a different name — Super 80s World.
Not bad, Mike thought. But is it better than Outrun the 80s?
He asked his friends. He asked his family. But, as he later told us, “the problem with this method is that they aren’t necessarily the target audience or the most likely to be honest with you.” … Continue reading