Everybody knows the cool kids love Apple (or, at least, the kids who think they’re cool). Apple users play a pivotal role in moving the cultural needle, and it’s important to keep this in mind when planning a strategy to increase your app downloads. If you want to get your foot in the door among trendsetting consumers, you need to attract them in their natural environment: the (Apple) App Store.
So, how do you boost your app downloads in the App Store? How can you attract the attention you need to push your app to the top? Follow these six tips to get your app climbing:
1. Give ‘Em What They Want
There are key differences between iOS and Android, and there are specific reasons that people choose each of these platforms. As a result, your Apple audience is different from your Android customer base—and elements that are a big hit with one crowd may not be the best match for the other. If you make your own app on Como’s platform, the iOS and Android versions of your app will automatically be optimized for their respective platforms and target audiences. But you developers out there will want to keep the contrast between Apple and Android users in mind when building your apps.
Pay attention to what iPhone and iPad users say about your app. If you consistently see similar themes or requests, you will know what tweaks need to be made. If you’re looking to charge per download, keep in mind that Apple users will gladly pay for add-ons when they feel like they’ve been given extra value. In addition to improving your product, listening to the peanut gallery will communicate to them that you value their opinions. When people feel personally involved in the shaping of a product, they will be more likely to invest in it.
2. Get to Know Apple’s Latest Mobile Products
If you’re developing your own app, it’s important to keep up with Apple’s major developments so you’ll better be able to decide which features and design to offer your iOS customers. The past couple months have seen some major progress there, and not only for end-users: The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Apple Watch, and iOS 8 all offer new creative opportunities for developers. Understanding the nuances of these products will help you come up with practical ideas to make your app stand out and get more downloads.
3. Start Spreading the News
To make your app a big hit on iOS (as well as on Android), it’s helpful to generate some serious buzz surrounding it. For larger companies, this could mean developing and implementing a large-scale media plan—but even the smallest SMBs should make the most of their websites, blogs, and social media presence. Trick out your website and/or blog with all the appropriate social media buttons and an email sign-up form. You’re definitely going to want a selection of screenshots, and you’ll need some video, so make sure to have an active account on YouTube.
Additionally, make sure to be proactive about getting attention from the blogosphere. There are tons of sites that offer helpful app reviews, such as CNET. And keep in mind: Having effective public relations doesn’t have to mean getting airtime on national TV—you can make a big splash by reaching out to local TV, radio, and newspapers. If you do a great job with your marketing and your app is up to snuff, the right people will take notice.
4. Reach Out and Touch Someone (at Apple)
There are already 1.2 million apps in the App Store, so there is a good chance Apple won’t pay special attention to your app. That doesn’t mean your customers won’t take note—but for developers and larger companies, getting on Apple’s radar screen could open doors that will help you get more downloads for your app. If you want to make this happen for your business, your best bet may be to get in touch with someone at Apple directly.
The best way to rub elbows with Apple types is to attend the annual Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. Chat up Apple developers after the sessions and during the labs. Generally get to know everybody you possibly can. If you start showing your face in the right places, people will know you’re serious about creating a successful app.
5. Just Give It Away
People like free stuff. If your business is one of those that charge users per download, changing it up and letting some users get it for free may boost those app downloads and actually increase your revenue. How? First, consider giving your app away for free on a designated day, or even a few days. People will notice and give it positive reviews, assuming they like it. This kind of attention is bound to push your app up the charts, both on iOS and on Android.
Second, develop a free demo version of your app. Most of us have downloaded a demo at some point to test out an app we’re interested in before plunking down any dough. A free demo allows you to expose your app to a much larger audience—and draw in more users once they discover how fantastic your app really is.
6. Build a Fan Base and Put It To Work
Customers who have been loyal since day one will be invested in your app, and they’re likely to tell their friends about it. So stick close to the iOS user base you gather early on, as these users can become the backbone of a future word-of-mouth campaign. This requires you to have every social media button known to man readily available—an easy step, but one that many businesses neglect. Remember: Happy customers can turn out to be your best marketers—and the cornerstone of your strategy for increasing app downloads.
So there they are, six ways to boost your App Store downloads. Just remember that at the end of the day, all of these techniques aren’t worth anything unless you have a killer business app to hook customers and produce sales. Don’t have an app? Create one.
Get an app worth downloading in the App Store.