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Insights about releasing your first App

I have released over 8 apps now since I first started developing apps and I have taken different approaches for each of the releases. When I released my first ever app several years ago I had no idea how to get it out there. I didn’t have much of an understanding of social media and it was practically selling from word of mouth and from my support website. iSurfer App is what I am talking about and is by far my most downloaded app. It has hit #1 spot several times in the app store under the sports category and every summer in Australia gets featured as a must have app for summer. I put this apps success down to the fact it was the first app of its kind and I provide updates with new features every 2-3 months to keep people interested and talking about. I have never paid for any advertising for the app nor had any reviews published on review sites. I even have a really crappy demo video that I created years ago. But my latest app is a different story.

The release of the My Injury was a whole other ball game. Firstly this app took myself and my business partner nearly 2 years to develop so when we were going to release it I wanted everything to be in place and set up ready to go. Now, because this was a medical app we needed to keep it very hush hush because there is not an app like this on the app store. So firstly, once the app was ready for upload into the app store we made sure we had all of our social media accounts set up and set to private so no one could view our product. I know a lot of marketers say you should promote the product before it comes out to create a vibe but we didn’t want to take this approach incase someone was quick enough to create a similar idea before we did.

While the app was waiting for approval in the app store we polished up all of our images and videos on our support site, social media channels and began planning social media posts that we will be doing. When the app was released we pounced on every social media network possible. Firstly we made sure all of our friends shared our posts and facebook page, we began following twitter accounts that would be related to our business model and also began following, commenting and liking peoples photos on instagram that may be interested in our apps. This went on for about a week and the vibe was good, apps were being downloaded and people were spreading the word. But it began to die off quickly.

However, there was one area that was working well and this was our demo video.I took particular care in making this demo video and I believe it is vital at the release of an app to have a short but specific demo video. I like to keep my demo videos at around 1 minute in length so the customer can get a quick idea of what the app is about. It is important that the main features of the app are shown in the video and the graphics and transitions are appealing and visually eye pleasing. In my opinion, the demo video is a vital component of getting the viewer to download the app. If the video is lacking professionalism this may be seen as a replication of the developed app.

As app downloads plateaued and decreased we changed our angle again and my business partner went to the phones. This guy could talk underwater and I hate talking on the phone so I let him take charge of this. He began ringing the biggest universities in Australia and pitching our app to them as a learning tool for their students. This worked well because our app ultimately is a learning tool for a wide range of injuries that people can suffer from. It helps provide information for identification, treatment, rehab and much more for injuries that can occur on the body.

It is still early days for our app and our next marketing strategy will be to create a range of promotional items such as stickers, flyers, posters and business cards and begin approaching sporting and fitness organisations to place these items around there areas.

One thing I have taken out of the release of this app is that it does not matter how good your product is (or the information you provide in it), if the masses are unaware of it they will not go looking for it. So if one marketing strategy doesn’t work, try another one and another one and another one. Eventually you will find the one that is best suited to your apps image and market.

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