Many people struggle launching an App, what things to do, what not to do, so I have decided to make this post and eventually improve it step by step in the next months.
I’ve broken down the launch marketing tactics according to the day. Some of these tactics require preparation in advance. Please reference the iOS App Pre-Submission Checklist.
Did you test the app for bugs on multiple devices with different versions of iOS? Did you test the app with Wi-fi and 3G or 4G? Did someone in another country test the app for you?
Do the graphics look right on different devices with different aspect ratios? Do the layouts and individual buttons and icons look distorted, pinched, or stretched? Does the app load quickly?
Does your app have “mystery meat” buttons or icons that will not make sense immediately to new users? Does each screen offer a way to go back home or to navigate to a different screen? Are there any design dead ends?
Create custom interstitial and banner ads for crosspromotion within your existing apps.
For example, you will need two sizes for a Playhaven internal cross promotion: 320x480px (Regular) and 640x960px (Retina/iPad). For Chartboost, you’ll need 240x350px Portrait interstitials and 390x200px Landscape interstitials.
Ad services, such as Chartboost, Playhaven, and Flurry enable you to upload custom ads for your apps and promote them in your other apps. I recommend creating the ads and setting up the campaigns well in advance so that on Launch Day all you have to do is turn them on.
Negotiate and coordinate cross promotions with your developer friends in advance, and send them ad creative before the app goes live. Be sure to follow up to ensure that they have already set up their campaigns and can easily press “Play” on Launch Day.
Keyword Research (SEO) – Use Market Samurai to do your keyword research.
Remember to write and distribute a press release. For $22.95, PRmac.com will distribute your press release to Apple- and Mac-related websites. PRLog.com is free. I typically send out press release through PRMac the morning of the launch, and the same press release with a different headline, using PRLog.com, the following day.
Make list of friends and family whom you can ask for reviews.
In the rating/review pop-up section, I explained how important positive reviews are for ranking. The sooner you get at least 5 reviews or ratings, the sooner your app will gain credibility and rank for keywords. If your app is a paid app, you should gift the app to friends and family within iTunes Connect. People who download your app using a promo code CANNOT leave a review.
Set up web page with your app icon, description, and a purchase link. Once your app is live in the App Store, publish a dedicated page for your app on your website. If you already created a Coming Soon page, then be sure to edit the language and embed the working link several places on the page.
Write and set up a Press Kit web page that includes the following: “vanilla” Facebook post, Tweet, and press release for your app, as well as the iTunes link, short link, app icon, and screenshots. Be sure to compress everything in a .zip and make that available as well. Add the Press Kit link in the appropriate metadata field in iTunes Connect.
If you’ve got an email list, then you should use it. Write a short email, describing your app’s best features. Embed the iTunes link in at least two to three places, usually at the beginning, middle, and end. Tell people what you’ve got, why it matters to them, and what you want them to do next. Make the ask.
You can use the simulator in Xcode and a nifty piece of software called Screenflow to record a screen capture video of your app in action. You can also use Reflector App to tether your device, mirror your device’s screen on your computer, and record a video.
Create a Facebook fan page for each app or for your app company.
Create a Twitter account for your app company.
Use Buffer App to schedule morning and afternoon tweets for Launch Day,
Include a short link to your app. Post as often as you can without spamming your fans and followers. Be creative and change up how you talk about the app. Draw attention to special features.
Turn on your Facebook ad campaigns.
If you chose to integrate the Tapjoy Advertising SDK, be sure to turn update your app as soon as it is live and to submit your incentivized installs campaign for review. Also, be sure to email Tapjoy support to ask for expedited review of your campaign.
Mohound makes it easy to buy mobile advertising and to track which traffic sources are monetizing the best. To use Mohound’s platform, you’ll need to integrate their SDK.
In the days before your app goes live, write your push notifications. iPhones will safely display 107 characters.
Longer notifications will probably get truncated, so use bit.ly or georiot short links. Next, use Google Translate to localize your push notifications before scheduling them with whichever push service you use—e.g., Pushwoosh.
Before you submit your app, you will need to add each localization in iTunes Connect. Services, such as icanlocalize.com and rev.com, offer affordable translations for titles, descriptions, keywords, and screenshot captions.
Be sure to add translated captions to each of your screenshots and to upload them in iTunes Connect.
If you set your release day for some day in the distant future before submitting it for review, be sure to set back your future release day after approval to 48 hours before your desired release day. This way, you can ensure that your app shows up in the new releases in App Stores around the world.
Identify people and organizations whose business interests and hobbies overlap with your app’s theme or intended purpose.
You can participate in Tapdaq’s community and help other indie developers by leaving reviews and sharing their apps. These activities will earn you “daq” that you can spend on reviews and social shares for your app. To use Tapdaq’s platform you will need to integrate their SDK.
Your app is live. Now what?
Continue to spread the news, using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
Consider buying 25 unbiased reviews from a service like MyAppAware.com, or give reviews to receive reviews with https://appreview.me or Tapdaq.com.
You can only use Tapdaq if you have integrated Tapdaq’s SDK before publishing your app.
Buying biased reviews is a violation of Apple’s Terms & Conditions, but unbiased reviews are fair game. A word to the wise: only pay for reviews if your app is going to make a positive impression!