Getting your app noticed before 2008 was still easy, when there were only 500 or so apps in the app stores. But now, with the app making business worth billions, things are a lot more difficult. Every day, there are more than 1500 apps being made. So the question is- what will make your app stand out among the million others that are there to do the same?
It’s simple. To start off, think of a great app idea – that really can stand out.
As obvious as it sounds, it tends to get overlooked when the primary aim becomes to earn a quick buck or get the app featured. The focus must always remain on building something that you can be proud of. It would perhaps be a good idea to find a niche. Specialize in a rare category, or target a neglected market. This gives your app a definitive edge over the others. The next important factor is presentation. The app needs to have ‘audience impact’; it needs to be convincing enough to make you buy the product even without trying it. ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ they say, but the key here is that appearances matter. Apps must be usable, but they must also connect with the user.
If your app exhibits a personality, users will either love it or hate it, but they will certainly not forget it and will be much more likely to share it. The icon is most people’s first impression of your app. Make it simple, but memorable.
The Theory of Paid Apps…
The vast majority of featured apps are paid. The only free apps that are featured are those that are published by a high profile company or those that carry a known brand. It absolutely does not mean that apps from small publishers without direct revenue cannot get featured. However it is important to realize that your app is a product, and it must sell and make money. Apps are not featured to help the developers; they are featured to benefit Apple and its customers.
Once your app is ready, it is important to realize that connections matter. They power your marketing machine. Get in touch with Apple employees, tech writers and influential designers and developers in the community. Twitter is a great place to start. Commenting on influential blogs can be a great way to initiate contact. For face to face connections, it would be a good idea to hit up the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). This will give your app a better launch, and media coverage. If your app has been featured on popular websites, it is much more likely to get noticed.
All said and done, sometimes even really great apps do not get featured. There is no sure shot way. A successful app does not necessarily have to be featured. It is only the icing on the cake. If your app is good, it will make its way to the top with the great user reviews it receives. All you need to do is to stay focused.