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A short 5 page PDF dedicated to helping mobile application developers best develop a marketing strategy for upcoming releases.

Text of s App Success Guide

The App Success Guide


THE APP SUCCESS GUIDE9 m a g n e t s . c o mBuilding Your Story Think simplicity The Press Release developers lose sight of when writing up a press release. Page 3 Getting on TV Dont lie to me, you want to be on TV Here are the strategies weve . used to be on three shows. Page 4 Developers often overlook the most Its not always about who has the What 99% of application important step of marketing an most features when you market an app. Page 2 application. Page 2

An informative guide to success in the App Store by Cameron Banga, our head of marketing and business development.Lets be honest here for a quick second. Like everyone else, youre drowning in the App Store. What was once seen as an endless gold rush has become an ever difcult way for indie developers to make a living, with 200,000 apps ooding the iTunes App Store alone. Each day, more applications are released, making it even more difcult to make your app stand out. Weve gone through the same ups and downs which you have. A year ago, I worked with a couple friends in founding Our goal was to come together and get one app released on our summer vacation from classes. In just over a month, we were able to release our rst application for the iPhone called Battery Go!. We were able to capitalize on a solid idea and less than 36 hours after release, we broke the top 100 paid apps list in the USA and climbed as high as number 72. It was a great experience and while we learned a bunch through our efforts, we were far from becoming nancially successful developers. Through a bit of trial and error, a lot of hard work, and continuous learning, I was able to land our apps in the New York Times, Chicago Sun-Times, Macworld, Fox Business News, WGN9 Chicago, NBC5 Chicago, PC Magazine, and more. Getting your app on television or a big publication isnt easy, however most developers dont even know the rst steps involved in getting an app featured by a major media outlet. Over the next several pages, I hope to explain some of the key lessons Ive learned about getting an application media coverage over the past year. If you have any other questions or comments, feel free to send me an email to [email protected] and Ill do my best to help you out.


Who is Cameron Banga? Cameron recently received his Bachelor of Arts Cum Laude in Economics from Valparaiso University. In addition to helping found, Cameron has had his blog mentioned in the New York Times, hosted popular gaming podcasts, been general manager of a radio station, raised thousands in charity while playing video games, and conducted interviews of Steve Wozniak, David Cook, and Zach Braff. You can reach Cameron at [email protected]

The App Success Guide [email protected]

The App Success Guide


B U I L D I NG Y O U R S T O RYWhy start with a story?Im going to give you the key to being a successful app marketer in one single word: story. When pushing an app or your company to blogs, television stations, or newspapers, you need to have a compelling story. Experts often argue that marketing is a science and difcult to manage, but the truth is that the key to pushing an application is nding a good story for your application. What makes your story different than everyone else is the key to success in promoting your application. So before you put together any marketing strategy for you iPhone, iPad, or Android application, take a time out to map out just what story you want to tell. Decide how your emails, blog posts, advertisements, and everything else will embody the story which you are looking to tell as well.

What makes me unique?This is a question that you really need to sit and ponder for a while in order to best determine what just pulls you apart from the competition. Here are some examples of different scenarios which may make your situation exceptional: youre a teenager making apps as a hobby, youre middle-aged and are doing development as a side-project afterwork and on weekends, youve never done any programming before, or youve programmed your whole life and are now transitioning to the iPhone. Anything can make a good story. If youd like, email me at [email protected] and we can discuss what your story is. Finding your story can be extremely simple, you just need to sit down and gure it out.

The story of I often mention to others that the rst step toward a successful marketing plan for a product is development of a good story. People want an interesting plot to draw their interest in any form of media, just like a good movie. An app or company is no different, you need to develop your own backstory to draw people in just like a great author. With CollegeKidApp, I really wanted to hit hard the fact that we were young students coming together to put together an application with essentially no prior experience. This meant that every blog post, email, interaction, everything, needed to be written as if it were coming from a group of kids who werent quite sure as to what they were accomplishing. I wanted our team to come off as unsure yet cocky. I wanted people to read our story in nd a sense of wonder in just how we pulled it off. It worked out well for us because it was a true story. Here we were, three college students who spent 60 hours a week each giving full effort toward learning how to best build iPhone apps. It just so happened that this was a story that people wanted to tell and then mainstream media outlets picked it up. Everyone is part of a story which others will nd interest in, you just need to gure out what your story is and then share it with the world.

Focus on the simple things in your app.The biggest problem in software marketing is the focus on feature sets and the drive for more. Often, developers work on a variety of features which only a small subset of users will actually use and then focus all their marketing material on just how many new features were added since the previous version. However, you often dont have time in any marketing situation to throughly explain each and every different feature. Instead, nd the one thing that your app does better than every other app and focus primarily upon that when pushing out new advertisements or when interviewing for a newspaper article. Journalists dont have the time to sit and listen to your 5 minute pitch and instead want the must-have feature of your application so they can make mention of it. So nd something about your application that no other competitor has and nd a way In Battery Go!, our slider bar was the to summarize the benets of that feature into a brief sentence or two which you can rattle of to any journalist or blogger which asks about your application.simple, differentiating, and enjoyed feature that we focused on.

The App Success Guide [email protected]

The App Success Guide


THE PRESS RELEASEWhy most people miss the point entirely.Ill be honest, I hate the term press release. When I worked as general manager of our school radio station at Valpo, I would receive 20-30 poorly written releases actually made us less likely to announce an event. Press releases only work for large companies with successful products, because people know the brand and are excited about whatever is being pushed. If youre an indie developer, chances are great that no big newspaper or blog is interested in your app because they have no idea who you are and your product is like 30 other press releases they received earlier that day for fart noise apps. Instead of sending 1000 press releases, take some time to write 50-100 more personal emails to larger media organizations. The receiving person will be way more open to reading the email if it seems personal. The email that got us in the Chicago Sun-Times and NBC5 Chicago Heres a copy of the email that got us into the Chicago Sun-Times and NBC5 Chicagos website. Hopefully you can see a bit into the writing style I used to push our story. Thanks for taking the time to read this e-mail. I wanted to contact you about a possible story involving two friends of mine and I and our crazy experience over the last two months of coming together with no programming experience, learning the fundamentals of iPhone development, and then releasing our rst application which became one of the top 100 paid applications in the country. We're all students at Valparaiso University and began the project in May, deciding that it would be a great way to spend our last summer before we graduated doing something that we really enjoyed. It was our one last hurrah of sorts. We began on May 13th, the rst day after nals, for our rst day of work. We were pretty much the most inexperienced group you could nd, but we still had hope for the project. Jeff would do art/design, I would handle the business/ marketing, and Mike would do all of the programming even though he pretty much had no experience and had only taken one basic intro to C++ course three years ago. So anyways, we plugged along and worked pretty good weekends for the next month in a half. Mike would spend about 60 hours a week learning how to code, I would promote us to anyone who would listen, and Jeff would help mock and create art for graphical interfaces. We would work long hours, sleep on couches, eat PB&J or off dollar menus, and do pretty much whatever it took to develop an app at pretty much no cost because frankly, we didn't have any money to spend since we didn't have real jobs. After toying around with a few app ideas, I had the idea for Battery Go! one night before I fell asleep, calling Jeff and Mike at 2am to tell them. They gured I was drunk, but it turned out to be a pretty good call. We spent the next couple weeks learning code and eventually developing Battery Go!

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