Marketing Checklist For Your iOS 8 App Launch

Is your app ready for iOS 8? Have you updated it and added all the great functionality iOS 8 provides? That sounds great, but what should you do next? There are a few helpful (I hope) tips that I’m going to share.

Update iTunes Connect.
Have you added great features, extensions and widgets? Very good, probably your app became much better and added a few use case scenarios. It is important to share this with your potential users who read your App Store descriptions. Update your App Description, What’s New and Screenshots. It is important to explicitly focus on the new iOS 8 functionality. People love new cool things, but they have to learn about their existence first.

Create Compelling App Previews.
While updating your iTunes Connect metadata you will notice that your apps can be advertized using short 15-30 second videos, a.k.a App Previews. App Preview must show the actual interface of the app, unfortunately, ad or promo quality videos are prohibited. You can easily record those using Yosemite’s QuickTime. Make it easy to understand, show the main cool/ killer features, add comments and music and you are ready to go.

P.S. App Previews are language specific, so it’ll take a lot of work to create a video for each language, each app, on both devices (iPhone and iPad). Let me know if you find a way to streamline that process.
These guys at IconicVideo can help you by the way.

An example of our Scanner Pro Preview:

Update: “App Previews are not localized, so limit copy to easily understandable terms and consider language choice in light of your target audience.”

Educate Your Existing Users.
It is vital to keep your existing users engaged and happy. After all, stickiness and retention matter more than absolute download numbers. Giving your existing users a free candy is always a good idea, especially with the iOS 8 groundbreaking features. For that reason you can use splash screens, e-mail newsletter, blog and your social media channels. But devs, pretty please, make those messages relevant and craft target segments carefully, so your users get useful information, not just promo materials.

For example: Our Calendars 5 now has a widget that allows to see the schedule in Notifications Center, which is pretty cool. So we will tell our Calendars 5 users about it via splash, e-mail and mention it on our blog.

ipad_Calendars-5.5-What's New 1

Take Advantage of App Bundles.
While being in the new iTunes Connect you will also discover that you can now bundle up your apps in one package. It’s a great move from Apple, hands down! Everyone wins: you can sell more, users get more for less.

A few details about App Bundles:
– Total price of a bundle should be less than all apps combined. The normal practice would be to discount from 30% to 50% of the total value.
– A bundle icon will consist of the 4 first apps that you add to the bundle.
– You cannot use “essential”, “Collection” and “Editor’s Choice” while naming your bundle.
– The bundle screenshots would be first images/video previews of the apps that it consists off.
– Apple Editorial team might be doing something for bundle promotions, so create them according to the guidelines to increase your chances if being featured.
– The first app (main) will determine bundle’s category on the App Store.
– For those whole has one app, there will be an option to “Complete Bundle” which can potentially boost your sales.

Example: I am making “Readdle Productivity Pack” that consists of Scanner Pro, PDF Expert 5 and Printer Pro. This is a great example when users can get complementary apps with a 40% discount. With deep-linking in place, our apps talk to each other making it super easy to work with documents (create PDFs using Scanner Pro, edit and sign them with PDF Expert 5 and print directly from your iOS device with Printer Pro).

Dig iTunes Analytics.
The new iTunes Connect would be the place to stay for hours, days and weeks as a marketer. Finally, Apple is going to show us all analytics about our apps, users, platforms, sources of traffic, impressions and conversions. This is groundbreaking! We can now measure the direct effectiveness of Screenshots, Video Previews, app descriptions and keywords. Moreover, you will be able to track sources of traffic and see what campaigns work best. If you don’t have a person who understands this, I highly recommend finding one. Or, sit down and learn yourself what to do with all this data.

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 12.08.49 AM

Get Press Coverage.
Press is one of the most important media channels when it comes to marketing. Journalists and bloggers love unique stories, interesting use cases and new stuff that we’re doing with our iOS 8 compatible apps. Tell them what you’ve done and why it’s awesome! If it really is, you will be mentioned and covered.

Tip: It’s very helpful to make a short video that shows your iOS 8 exclusive features. Look what our friends at 1Password did. This video was picked up by almost every single Apple-related blog.

Talk to Apple.
The same principle applies to communications with Apple Team. Just let them know what you are up to and what you’ve done so far. Apple cares about what good does your app bring to platform users. If it is something unique, useful and helpful, editorial team will reach your out for more details and might even feature your app.

I hope this list will be helpful for you. Let me know if I forgot anything.

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5 thoughts on “Marketing Checklist For Your iOS 8 App Launch

  1. “We can now measure the direct effectiveness of Screenshots, Video Previews, app descriptions and keywords”
    – I can’t find those features. Do you really have them available?

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