Marketing of iPad apps in the Apple App Store

We offer interesting material on how to promote iPad apps, with specific tips. Viktor Hegai, the author of the mobile app for children “ABVGDeika”, tells.

I will start not with the promotion methods themselves, but with preparation, which is no less important than the promotion and promotion of the application itself. I’ll make a reservation right away that I’m giving as an example only paid applications and the Russian App Store.

You simply have no idea how important the 72*72 pixel icon is, which is located in the program catalog. I think it’s better to have an attractive icon and screenshots, but the limited functionality of the application itself, than the fancy functionality of the application and a nondescript icon. A user who wanders around the AppStore in search of something can be attracted only by an icon and nothing more. Make a very noticeable icon so that it somehow stands out against the background with others (fewer small details), let it be contrasting colors with a bright frame or a beautiful illustration, also do not forget about the HD icon if your application is for iPad. For example, look at the picture with the apple and the screenshots – that’s what I’m talking about.

After the user is interested in the icon and he went to the product itself, then a large icon and screenshots immediately catch his eye. I think this is one of the key points, if the user did not like the screenshots, then he will not go into details, such as: description, iOS requirements, size, etc. Only after that, the user begins to view the details of the product itself. At this stage, the product description becomes important, try to indicate all the advantages of your application in 214 characters.

Before publishing the application on the AppStore, be sure to work on the following: keywords, sections (main and additional), try to specify all the sections that are suitable for your application, do not skimp on sections, because in additional sections there is a chance to get into New & Noteworthy.

Before I started my marketing activities, I read a lot of articles and, having put everything together and tested it on my application, I can draw the following specific conclusions:

1. Publication of press releases on thematic websites. This method has proven to be the most effective. Type in Google “review of iPad (or iPhone) applications” or “catalog of iPad (or iPhone) applications”, write down a list of sites for yourself, contact the site administrators and send them an overview of your application, including links to screenshots and to iTunes. Since many people request promo codes, you have to be very careful with promo codes, do not give more than three, this is quite enough, although many ask for five, remember you have only 50 of them.

2. PR Gage service, showed itself from the best side. I ordered the cheapest package, which costs only $39.

3. Banners on thematic sites. Almost all more or less visited sites have a link for advertisers with a price list, if not, then request prices for monthly banner placement. Many resources indicate unrealistic prices, but believe me, there are sites with a normal attendance of 15-20 K, where the cost of a monthly banner placement will cost from 4000 to 6000 rubles, which is quite acceptable.

4. If you have pages in social networks (facebook, VKontakte, Twitter, etc.), be sure to give a link to your application. Maybe this way of promotion is weaker than the three above, but believe me, there is not a lot of advertising in this sector, for example, I asked my friend to post a link to my application on facebook, and he has 4000 friends. I am sure that this has brought a certain effect for the development of the application.

5. Be sure to try the resource . Try contacting Arthur (the administrator) directly and asking him to view your application.

6. Regarding the review on Youtube and the application site itself, I’m not saying any more, these are self-evident things that must be done even before the launch of the application itself.

All of the above methods helped us to get into the TOP 7 most downloaded apps on the Russian AppStore. Remember that marketing must be carried out immediately after your application has got into the main catalog of the AppStore, if you stay at least one day, then everything will be more expensive and longer. Personally, I made a small conclusion for myself that if the application does not pay for itself during the first month of publication, then the probability that it will pay for itself in the next month is very small.

Yes, one more little tip, it’s better to set the publication date later, no one knows how long your application will be under moderation.

We stayed in the TOP 10 for exactly two and a half days, and then began to slide smoothly down. Promo codes have ended, reviews have been written on almost all popular sites and have also rolled to the second and third pages, according to the plan there were only 2 last ways, namely to try advertising through Admob and the service By the way, this service was also found on Habra.

About Admob ( – Google service) talked and wrote a lot, and for the most part they wrote not very good reviews and recommendations, such as “Don’t waste time on admob”, “admob costs don’t pay off with sales”, etc. But, because our ABC was falling down (at the time of admob launch, we were not even in the TOP 200 of the Russian upstore), we decided to try. I threw $200 on admob, created an advertising campaign and sent it for moderation. If someone has worked with Google Adwords before, then it will not be difficult for them to create ads in admob, because here the procedure is almost the same in principle, i.e. you create the name of an advertising campaign, then target your ads geographically, choose which devices to display ads on, choose the type of traffic, set a price for transition, load the banner and wait. I had to wait 3 days. We targeted our advertising to Russia, only for iPad devices, and only for wifi traffic, because the application weighs more than 20 MB. The minimum price for the transition was set at 5 cents, and the daily budget was set at $100.

After 2 days, the money was spent, and our application entered the overall TOP 50 and TOP 2 of its section. During these 2 days there were absolutely 110 purchases. Well, what can I say, the result is really not very good, because after spending $ 200, about $ 150 was earned (our application costs $ 1.99 and apple’s 30% commission). Now for the good, admob has a functionality called “delivery method”, which is divided into 2 points “Standard – show ads even through a day” and “Show ads as quickly ad possible”, by default it costs the first, i.e. in our case, the daily budget of $ 100. it will be spent evenly throughout the day, but if you choose the second one, then the same $ 100 will be spent as quickly as possible. The second method paid for itself, i.e., not the advertising itself paid for itself, but the tops, i.e., due to fast advertising, we got into the overall TOP 30 and TOP 1 of our section, as well as our icon got into featured and top grossing, from where natural sales began, respectively. I.e., when using admob, it is important to understand that advertising as such will not pay for itself, but due to a sharp jump up and getting into the tops, natural sales can begin, which can recoup advertising costs and bring profit.

In the service we ordered the most expensive package “Package ALL — Sending announcement to 384 sites in 23 languages”. In principle, we did not expect any special results, because our alphabet is only in Russian, and this package included the placement of press releases and articles on foreign websites. About 100 emails came, but there was no jump in sales, although the guys from this service worked very quickly and efficiently. I believe that if your application is not only in Russian, then this service will be useful.

Conclusions that, in my opinion, will be very useful to developers in terms of building marketing and choosing a general development strategy:

1. Immediately after you have uploaded your application to itunesconnect and it has been submitted for moderation, start making an update, because after each update Apple gives an additional 50 promo codes and, accordingly, after appearing in the store, immediately fill in the update to get new codes in another week.

2. Promotion should be done comprehensively, and in no case separately, keep in mind that, as a rule, the sweetest are the first 2 months of sales. It seems to me that if the application has not paid off the development for at least 30 days, then it is worth thinking very seriously.

3. It is advisable to specialize in one topic, and not to scatter across all sections, i.e., for example, we have chosen a certain market segment for ourselves, namely educational programs and games for preschool children. Even if you look at the big players, almost everyone has a certain segment. Segmentation allows you to sell several similar programs to the same buyer, because the buyer, as a rule, is looking for something purposefully, for example, educational programs and games for his child.

4. Last, the application itself should be really high-quality in all respects. I try to constantly monitor the App Store, and several times I bought programs that attracted me with their icon and high-quality rendered screenshots, because I am often one of the first buyers, there are no reviews about the program yet, but having taken a bite at a beautiful picture after a minute of using it, I begin to understand that the developers deceived me (the mechanics of the game terrible, the program constantly crashes, etc.). I wrote how important it is to make a high-quality icon and screenshots, yes it is really important, but the program or game itself remains no less important. Test and test again, a week’s delay in publication will not affect sales in any way, and bugs and shortcomings can seriously affect the reputation and simply overwhelm the entire project, because after a dozen negative reviews, they will simply stop buying it.

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