It’s been just over a year since the app store officially opened for business. In that time we have launched a number of great iPhone apps – one in particular generated over 170k downloads - therefore I’m writing this article with the hope of sharing with you some of the secrets to making a successful mobile app.
But to be brutally honest, I’m not even sure I fully understand yet, what it takes to make those millions as a developer, we’ve all heard about in the press.
However just 2 weeks on from the release of our latest app Ben10 MouthOff™, which we created in partnership with Turner/Cartoon Network, I think I am starting to get a rough idea!
Deciding to partner with an appropriate brand in the first place makes an awful lot of sense. Branded applications can leverage their 'brand power' with pre established followers, influence and money in order to get that all-important visibility.
Likewise the brand can gain from working with innovative, creative and passionate design studios. If the brand is big enough they also have the status to get Apple to listen to them.
If Apple does choose to support the marketing of your app through placement on its app store, you have an incredible platform in which to succeed and build marketing momentum, immediately achieving standout from the crowded market place.
However most developers are not lucky enough to be in that position. Most reputable digital studios or development companies that create apps invest serious hours and capital, which often means tens of thousands of sales/downloads are required to get a decent return on investment.
Developers must take control and increase their own exposure via a number of media channels including PR, advertising, blogging, viral video creation and seeding which done correctly all help generate a buzz surrounding the launch of an app.
We are fortunate enough to be in the best position possible – promoting an app that has a good media profile with good downloads already, an app that has been taken on by a huge media giant whilst having the time, support, budget and resource to concentrate fully on promoting it to as many suitable ways as possible.
So, it will be interesting to see what happens with Ben 1 MouthOff™. With our own hard work and the help of the team at Turner/Cartoon Network, the application has been featured on a large number of high profile blogs and publications, a full page competition in the Daily Mirror, and a number of other high profile newspapers are due to be running articles, competitions and other associated promotional activity.
In conclusion although the best part of me wants to believe that major success can be achieved without paying a huge amount to promote your app, I have a sneaky suspicion that the money and major clout of a huge brand and marketing budget will win.