In my opinion, companies and people developing an iPhone application can be devided into two categories: those who want to jump into this exciting market with a new kind of app or established tech web sites or services wishing to capitalize on iPhone traffic in order to drive additional traffic to the service. The aim is the same for both groups – get more downloads of the app.
An iPhone app start ranking in category as long as it has enough daily downloads. Once the app is ranking in specific category or in overall rank (wow you lucky!) you start getting natural AppStore downloads. If the app is good – downloads will increase and thus the rankings will increase as well.
The topic I cover in this post is getting initial downloads needed for the app to start actually ranking in the relevant category of AppStore. If you don’t follow at least one of those steps below (the more the better for sure) your app will end up nowhere in AppStore and be lost among 45.000 apps available.
1. Change the release date of the app as soon as it’s approved for sale!
By default, your app is released with the date of submission. Change that to the date of approve (during 24 hours since approval). The date will be changed and the app will pup up in Recently Released list of Desktop and Mobile AppStore 2-4 hours after that. Presence on the list gives immediate downloads! As long as you go down the list number of downloads decrease. Once the app is on the page 3-4 the number of downloads from it are minimal. The only way to get back on top of that list is to submit an update to the app (can be very minor) and do the same change of date again.
2. Have a marketing strategy behind the app or hire a PR company
You need to get immediate downloads in order for the app to show app in TOP100 of category – remember?
Here is the overview of marketing methods that are generally used for the promotion of iPhone apps in order to get that initial traffic.
1. iPhone app review sites (there are about ~300 of those with ~10 big ones)
2. Mainstream and tech, mobile review media
3. Social media (digg, bookmarking, commenting, twittering)
4. Press Release distribution sites
5. AppStore optimization strategy
Optional (extra cost incurred)
6. Facebook ads
7. Google Adwords ads
8. Admob ads
9. Banners on iPhone review sites
10. Other custom and sometime guerrilla marketing methods