Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category« Older Entries |
Thursday, December 30th, 2010
After releasing an application, or a product in general, most people think that sending out a generic press release can be enough to get some coverage, but that is not the case. Often, tailored emails to blogs or publications can receive more attention than a one-size-fits-all press release. The best way to present a product is to tell a story (Steve Jobs docet), which provides an example of usage. You want to make sure that your story is targeted to the readers of the website your are contacting. For instance, if you were promoting an app like SyncPad to Web Workers Daily, you’d want to focus on how the application can help remote workers in their daily routine, while you would want focus more on the technology and business aspects of your application if you were writing to a website like TechCrunch.
The problem is to find the right websites to target. How do you find them? It’s easy to find big and well-known publications, but there are a pletora of smaller blogs that can still guarantee you a fair amount of exposure and they are much easier to approach. One of the things I do when I’m looking for websites to promote my apps is to look on ad networks. For example, BuySellAds.com offers a great collection of websites that you can filter by category, tags, impression and traffic ranks. Other networks that I consider a good source of interesting blogs (to read and target) are The Deck, Fusion Ads and Influads. In this case they have a curated list of advertisers, most of which are very Mac-friendly.
Besides having websites writing about your application, you can also advertise your application indirectly. How? Simple – just make sure the website for your app has a great design so that you can submit it to the different CSS galleries; design a great logo for it and submit it to websites like Logopond and share your design process on Forrst.
How do you promote your apps (or products)?
Thursday, August 12th, 2010
Last night I gave a presentation at Refresh Mobile, a combination of the South Florida iPhone meetup and the South Florida Android Developers meetup, about how to market your iOS, but not only, applications.
These are the slides from the presentation:
Here’s the video of the presentation courtesy of Damian Montero
Sunday, October 11th, 2009
Last Friday, Atebits launched the new version of their popular iPhone Twitter client, Tweetie 2, which in just one day dominated the Top Paid and Top Grossing charts in the App Store. What can we learn from this?
Keep your interface clean and simple.
Tweetie 2′s interface is really clean and simple, almost as if Apple themself may have had a hand in designing it. Everything is easy to access and erroneous clicks are pretty rare.
Offer what users need, not everything.
For sure, Tweetie 2 doesn’t offer as many options as other clients. Twittelator, just to name one, offers a full array of integrations and functions, but this may only serve to confuse a new user.
Keep it open.
On the other hand, Tweetie 2 gives you the option of using whatever service you want for posting pictures and shortening URLs, which is great! Now I can use my own URL shortener, and I’m not forced to use Twittelator in order to use, in my opinion, the best picture service around: Pikchur. Actually, if you want to use Pikchur as well, here’s the API ending point you need to insert in Tweetie: http://api.pikchur.com/tweetie
Create good products and people will throw money at you.
Tweetie was a great product, but Tweetie 2 is even better. And when you create such great products, people won’t mind spending $3 for your application. Of course, that doesn’t come without work. You still need great PR, and you have to ensure that your product gets in front of the right eyes (like that of a Mashable or Techcrunch writer). I must say that this doesn’t happen too often; there are several great applications buried in the App Store, but the best ones hardly stay buried forever.
Monday, June 15th, 2009
Next friday the new iPhone 3G S will be available for sale and the iPhone OS 3.0 will be released. All this will have a huge impact on the iPhone applications’ market.
This new feature will allow developers to keep making money even after selling an application and we’ll start seeing a lot of applications engineered to be expandable. Another (positive) effect is that it might “clean up” the iTunes store. Right now there are many applications that could be easily combined in a container application plus additional modules.
For my project Art for iPhone, in order to sell each individual artist, I had to release one application for each of them. Of course that made feel good the artist for having an application with their own name, but at the same time is much harder to promote the applications and to cross promote the artists.
In the iTunes store there are plenty of other examples like tourist guides or other applications that could work better if assembled in a single one. If I buy a tourist guide with the Italy module for it, next time I’ll have another trip I will most likely buy another module from the same application instead of going digging again between 50,000 applications to find another guide.
More power, less market
Yes, the new iPhone is an incredibly powerful portable gaming platform, and now software houses can start releasing games with even better graphics, but I don’t think they will go all the way with this. If they start releasing games that works only on the new iPhones they are cutting out a 40 millions devices market, and that would be plain stupid. So my guess is that they will wait until there will be more iPhone 3G S around, and that the iPod Touch will be updated.
A lot of application will have finally access to video recording. Right now the iPhone is the most used mobile device for uploading pictures to internet, also thank to a killer editing interface iMovie style.
I bet soon it will be also the most used device to upload videos. For sure there will be a massive number of updates from applications like Twitter clients, and that will make flourish a number of sites dedicated to short videos, space currently dominated by Qik, Seesmic and 12seconds.
GPS Navigation device
Thanks to the compass now the iPhone can finally be used as a full GPS Navigation device. this could be a big shift for all the GPS device companies out there as they will probably more software oriented than manufacturing hardware.
Do you think the iPhone 3G S will bring big changes to the mobile market? If so, how? Don’t be shy and leave a comment.
Friday, May 15th, 2009
UPDATE: since I wrote this post AppFigures managed to add review downloading from all 77 app stores around the world, automatic rank trending from the four major app stores, and show your app’s rank inside both daily and weekly email reports. Good job guys!
I always say that the iPhone applications business is all about downloads, so being able to track your sales is key.
So far I’ve been using three tools to track my sales: AppSales, AppViz and AppFigures. AppSales isn’t developed anymore and they suggest to use AppViz so I won’t even bother reviewing it. Too bad cause it still has few features I wish AppViz and AppFigures had.
Let’s start with AppViz.
AppViz is a desktop application for Mac, it costs $29.95, but after the month of trial i decided it was worth the money. Apple only provides those ugly and unreadable spreadsheet files and I really don’t have time every morning to go thru the to see how much I made in sales. AppViz can download all the reports with just a click, and it organizes the informations in easy-to-read graphs. It also let you download all the reviews, a great way to keep track of your users’ feedbacks.
- One click reports download
- Easy-to-ready graphs
- It let you download and track reviews
- Great customer service
- $29.95 (it is worth the money but free is always better)
- You can’t directly compare different applications
AppFigures on the other hand is a pretty recent web application, and it’s completely free. AppFigures imports reads the text-file reports that Apple provides developers through iTunes Connet and transforms them into structured data. Reports can be uploaded manually, by syncing with iTunes Connect, or automatically on a daily schedule using Auto Import. While is missing some of the functions that AppViz offers, it has what is my most favorite feature: email reports. Every morning when I wake up I just need to reach my phone and check my emails to see how many sales I made the day before. You can choose between daily and weekly reports, and if you want the stats about all your iPhone applications or only some of them. You can also choose multiple recipients. Pretty damn sweet I’d say.
- It’s completely free
- Automatic reports download twice per day (in case the first attempt fail)
- Easy-to-ready graphs
- Email reports (daily or weekly)
- It shows profit by region
- You can compare different applications in the same graph
- Quick response to the community feedback
- Sometimes it is buggy and doesn’t handle very well too many applications at the same time
Thursday, April 23rd, 2009
Last night I gave a presentation at the South Florida iPhone developers meetup, organized by me and Ben Bloch. It was really nice to see all those people and I hope everybody had a great time as I did. I also learned a great lesson: it’s “bribe” not “bride”, but I guess people now is used to my typos… I can always blame it on being Italian. Here’s the video of my presentation, I’m sorry it’s missing the first 4 slides but luckily they were just some stats.
Sunday, April 5th, 2009
Ok… this post was supposed to be online a while ago but I was waiting for the video, mine is incomplete but I’ll try to post it anyway the upcoming week. While waiting you can check out the slides of my presentation “Apple Hates Boobs”.
Monday, January 26th, 2009
After almost 3 months of experience in the iPhone application market I think it’s time to make some considerations.
First of all, you need a business plan. A lot of people think that just because iPhones and iPhone’s Apps are hot, then they will get rich overnight.
You need a business plan: an idea of the developing costs and have some sort of revenue projection. Most important, you need to take in count that if you think you app would sell between 10 and 50 copies per day you probably need to make your projections on a 5 sales/day.
In this post I’ll try to cover the revenue stream part.
Where the revenues come from?
- Sell your application. This is of course the most immediate solution. Buying applications on the iPhone (and iPod Touch of course) is just one password away. That’s a huge friction reduction during the sale process. When you buy some desktop software you need to look around for your credit card, fill up at least 2 or 3 forms, here you just need your iTunes password. It’s that easy. People spend tons of money in apps and they don’t even realize it.
Pros: Once a user buys your app you are done. It’s up to you to keep providing support and keep working on the application. Also you don’t have to deal with nobody else than Apple.
Cons: Once a user buys your app you are done. Meaning that you can’t make any more money from that user anymore (or hardly). Unless your app is really requested and successful, one single app won’t feed your family.
- Advertising. Many people give away their applications for free and makes money with advertising.
We could divide ads on iPhone applications in three category: 3rd part managed, direct and self promotion. 3rd part managed you need to use services like AdMob. The good thing is that you don’t have to worry about looking for advertisers directly, but on the other hand you can’t negotiate the earnings and how much you sell your ads for. Direct advertising offer you more control on the ads you show, but you need to spend time in order to find advertisers. With self promotion you basically promote on your free application other application you made that are for sale and there is where you actually make money.
Pros: Free applications are downloaded at least 10 times more than the same application for sale. Lots of people will download your application even if they are not really interested in it just cause it’s free.
Cons: Still if you want to generate real money it might not be enough. With ads you don’t need just downloads, but you also need the users to keep using your application. Sure, making a fart with your iPhone is really cool, but the life span of that application is really short compared to an application that people would use daily. Also there is not an official analytic tool from Apple as far as applications usage, so unless you use a 3rd part SDK (like the AdMob one) you need to build your own analytic system.
- Freemium system. Actually there is not a real freemium system cause you can’t upgrade the very same application from free to paid. You need to have a free application as well as a paid one at the same time on iTunes. Basically you can offer the free one with some limitation or ads supported while the paid version is a full application ads free.
Pros: You give a chance to your users to try your application before they spend money on it. If your free version has ads you can make money also from that big chunk of market that doesn’t like to spend money for iPhone applications.
Cons: People can discover how much your application sucks before buying it, so make sure your application has some real value.
Of course there could be other ways to monetize an application, but these are for sure the 3 most common and Apple proof.