February 17, 2011 in Services (E)
[prMac.com] Plymouth, Michigan - With hundreds of thousands of iPhone apps available for sale how can any iPhone App developer get traction with their app? "It's simple," says iPhone app marketer Scott Lorenz, "You must harness publicity."
"I've promoted hundreds of products and services using publicity. It's effective because there's an implied third party endorsement with the media coverage. iPhone apps are becoming so important to our society that the media MUST report on ones that are of interest to their audience," says Lorenz, President of Westwind iPhone App Publicity. "To get the media's attention you need someone who deals with the news media on a daily basis. Sure you can do PR yourself up to a point, but, if you're not available when they call or are busy writing code all the time, you may miss the opportunity for exposure."
Lorenz asks, "Do you really want to allocate a few hours of your day to strategize and promote your app? Of course not, and that's why smart developers hire a publicist to handle that chore."
"Since each app is unique and has a unique audience the PR strategy for the app needs to be customized," says Lorenz. "What worked for one app in June may not be effective in November. This market is changing fast and you've got to stay on top of it." "We've even spotted trends or suggested fixes or improvements in apps after getting media feedback or from our own understanding of the marketplace," adds Lorenz.
To help inspire iPhone app developers Lorenz compiled a few case studies of some of the iPhone Apps his firm has promoted. "Perhaps developers can get some insight into our promotion tactics and learn something they can implement themselves," says Lorenz.
1. DYI Democracy App for the Prometheus Institute, a think tank in Los Angeles. A "California only app" that had more downloads than the bible during the first weeks of its initial launch. Westwind's media and online marketing campaign put the app on a pace for 50,000 annual downloads in just the first weeks after launch. One of the most successful approaches was distribution of a release on prMac.
2. ICEPICs. This app pinpoints the user on a map and automatically sends the photos to people the user pre-selects. Westwind placed stories in Wall Street Journal Radio, LA Times Travel Section and numerous media outlets. The YouTube views increased by 13,500 overnight after one major social media hit. We targeted both the safety and security market as well as the travel markets in the campaign.
3. Sacramento Book Review created an iPhone app called "KIDS BOOK App." With their office a short drive to Silicon Valley they chose midwest based Westwind Communications to promote two new apps related to book reviews for Kids books. Westwind Communications has been promoting authors and their books for years so we were able to tap into our wealth of contacts in the book media world who would be interested in this book related app. The result: We kept KIDS BOOK App in the news by tying into book signings by bestselling authors and reaching out to reviewers who wanted to hear about the latest book app.
4. VUVAZAGA, This was an app game tied into World Cup Soccer and the fans' use of the 3 foot long horn, the Vuvuzella. In fact, the word "Vuvuzella" was named the most important new word in 2010. This developer identified this as a trend months before the World Cup Soccer games began. He anticipated its news focus and we tied into it beautifully. Westwind Communications obtained worldwide attention for this app.
5. LeadMyGoals, Inspired by the best-seller 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, this app was designed to record goals, tasks, milestones and track progress and personal performance. Westwind tied into the inspiration of the app which was a bestselling book to gain traction with people who loved that book. We also tied into New Year's resolutions mania which is the most popular time of the year to set goals.
6. Traverse Traveler Designed to promote a very popular tourist area of northern Michigan's wine country and the dining establishments of Traverse City. The app helps people find out about attractions and helps them navigate to the next vineyard. We obtained dozens of TV, Radio and print placements in Michigan and across the USA. It hit 1000 downloads in 25 days after launch and it was in the OFF season. Since the developer lived in the same area we used that local app develor 'hook' and the media really liked it. In addition the developer is also a mom so we're promoting the app with a "momtrepreneur" angle as well.
7. Livermore Valley App. This app promotes the wine country of Livermore Valley, California. Wine connoisseurs and travelers are able to use this app to plan their trips to this wine region often lost in the shadow of the high exposure the Napa Valley vineyards receive. Westwind iPhone App Publicity launched the app, got reviews and media exposure by targeting the visitors who were coming to the area.
8. sir Sampleton music app from the creator of Atari sounds and the famous PCS TV commercial 'Hello, Hello Hello.' From obtaining video reviews to blurbs and mentions in music publications, Westwind played upon this developer's creative background and reputation to launch the app into the hearts and minds of thousands of users. Because the promotions went worldwide there were a significant number of downloads from Japan.
9. Clubzone app- clubZone's mission is to organize the world's nightlife information. The clubZone app provided a comprehensive city-specific nightlife guide with content ranked by popularity, helping party people quickly see which events are hot. Their proprietary New Year's Eve ranking system made it easy to quickly find the most popular New Year's Eve events in dozens of cities in the US and Canada. Westwind iPhone App Publicity obtained video reviews, dozens of reviews on the iTunes store and generated a buzz online and in numerous publications including the Miami Tribune as well as popular internet sites. Says the developer, "We were doing 70 to 80 downloads per day... and it shot up quickly to 170, 180, 190, 200... then as our New Years Eve traffic started to build, we had days... 400, 500, 600... on the last day, we peaked at just over 1,000 downloads."
10. RanDinger, allows the user to preview over 10 million tracks as their ringtone for $2.99 - the cost of the app. Each new call features a different tune based upon user choices. "If you like U2, then the next time your phone rings it could be a sample of "Beautiful Day" or "With or Without You." Or if Kid Rock is more your style then you might hear "Born Free" or "All Summer Long. We immediately obtained a radio interview during peak drive time on WJR, Detroit's number 1 news/talk station with the developers. We then landed a front page story in a major suburban newspaper, the Observer/Eccentric. More interviews are scheduled with business publications. Reviews are pouring in, as people love the app.
In an effort to see what is effective and what tactic is working we are usually privy to sales information as it helps us determine what pitch, and what media drove the most downloads. Some developers understandably, like to keep that quiet to not attract competition. We've seen copycat apps pop up to steal market share, so it's best not to talk about huge sales for this reason alone.
iPhone App Public Relations:
These brief case studies efforts are intended as illustrations of how a public relations professional, especially one with Internet marketing savvy, can move an iPhone App developer high above the clutter into the niche market arena that will place him in the middle of shoppers and buyers using Publicity as the primary tool. For a list of "52 Tips To Promote Your iPhone App" as well as other ideas on promoting an iPhone app visit the web site. If you are ready to put publicity to work for you then tell us about your app, we'd love to hear about it.
Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with individuals and entrepreneurs to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz has handled public relations and marketing for numerous iPhone App developers, authors, doctors, lawyers, inventors and entrepreneurs. Learn more about Westwind iPhone App Publicity at the web site or contact Lorenz directly. Copyright (C) 2011 Westwind Communications. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.